Considering how much of a workhorse a reciprocating saw is to even an average homeowner, it is no wonder that the tool will occasionally not function properly. While there are a variety of issues that could cause the reciprocating saw to malfunction, there are some that are pretty common issues that can easily be addressed by the user. The first step to fixing a malfunctioning power tool is to refer to the user manual. By reading the manual or user guide, you will be able to eliminate the possibility that the malfunction is actually due to user error. Also, the user guide will frequently give you varying scenarios in which a malfunction can manifest, and what to do to address the issue. Below you will find some of the more common issues with reciprocating saw malfunctions, and what you can do about it.
1. Blade Insertion
The proper method of saw blade insertion will vary depending on your saw. Some saws will have a lever that needs to be disengaged before removing an old saw blade and inserting a new one. Others require that an Allen screw be loosened, and yet others have a locking pin securing the blade. Some have a combination of these. Again, reading your owner's manual will greatly help to ensure that not only the blade is inserted and secured correctly, but will help to avoid breaking a blade off in the saw. One trick when it comes to locking pins and/or Allen screws is to loosen the screw as much as possible without removing it entirely. If the blade still does not come out easily, try tilting the saw parallel to the floor, and turning it from one side to another, trying to remove the blade on each side. The pin that holds the blade can slide out of the way when the saw is tilted on its side, allowing for the removal of the blade.
2. Blade is Stuck
If the blade or a piece of the blade is stuck in the reciprocating saw, try to disengage the locking mechanism for the saw blade, and run the saw (slowly and carefully) to see if the blade or the broken piece of blade will fall out. Frequently, the broken piece of the blade that cannot be reached will come out of the saw when this is attempted.
3. Inconsistent Reciprocation
If the saw is not reciprocating as it should be, it may be the gears on the inside of the tool. If the gear has any broken or missing teeth, this can interrupt or stop the reciprocating action all together on the saw. Most manufacturers offer replacement parts and service. If the saw is under warranty, have the manufacturer fix it for you so that you can ensure the job is done properly. If it is not, you will need to replace the gear on that saw yourself if you are mechanically inclined.