Planning any Demolition Work? Why You’ll Most Likely Need a Reciprocating Saw

reciprocating saw

If you are planning on doing any demolition work at home for something such as remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, then there are a number of tools that are going to be essential for the job.

Most people will have a standard tool kit at home that will contain all of the basic tools such as a hammer, screwdriver set, hand saw, pliers, tape measure, screws and nails, and a few other items that you can find in most hardware stores. However, for demolition work, there are a couple of specific tools that are very important to have, and which will make the work a lot easier.

Introducing the Reciprocating Saw

One of the most useful items for this kind of work is the reciprocating saw. It’s a hand held device, electrically powered in most cases, that makes ripping out fittings, as well as door and window frames a breeze. Though you could accomplish the job with other more basic tools such as a good hammer and crowbar, you’ll be relying on a lot of muscle work, and for many people, that’s something that they’d prefer to avoid.

With a reciprocating saw you can cut through metal, plasterboard and board at ease. You simply need to switch blades for the material you want to cut through and you are good to go. Replacing windows used to be a very tough job, and ripping out the old existing frames was a lot of work. With a reciprocating saw, the job is one you can complete at ease in a very short time.

It’s also ideal for those hard to reach places, such as fittings in a corner or a room or in a tight space, as it doesn’t have a flat base.

Switching blades

The fact that you only need to switch blades to start cutting through all different types of material makes reciprocating saw usage extremely versatile and useful for large projects and demolition work. Though there are other types of saw available, none offer such a variation of uses as a reciprocal saw.

The movement of the blades are powered by a motor, moving it in forwards and backwards strokes, similar to that of a jigsaw. As mentioned previously, the reciprocating saw can cut through various materials, so if you are going to use it for a specific job, make sure you are using the correct blades. Though the device is tough and durable, you can cause damage to it if you are trying to cut through metal piping using a wood blade.

The two types of saw

When it comes to reciprocating saws, there are two types that you can use – corded or cordless saws. The cordless versions are certainly the most convenient, and can be used outdoors for demolition work where you might not have a direct power outlet for a corded model.

The battery packs for the cordless saws are either 9 or 12 volts depending on the specific model you pick up. It’s a good idea to pick up a spare battery or two and make sure that they are all charged, as the main downfall of the cordless saw is that the power can run out suddenly, so you’ll need to have at least one spare on hand to switch over.

Corded reciprocating saws are much more powerful than their cordless counterparts, and though they do have a slight limitation in that a power source needs to be located close by, they are great at what they do and are vital pieces of equipment when it comes to demolition projects.

Staying safe when using a reciprocating saw

As with the use of all types of tools, whether electrical or not, it’s important to be aware of the safety guidelines when using certain pieces of equipment, and follow any rules that have been laid out.

One of the most important things is to wear protective clothing and accessories when needed. Safety glasses are very important, and can prevent any damage to your eyes, protecting them from any flying debris or tiny pieces of material that can shoot up into your face when working. It’s also a good idea to use hearing protection as well, as the noise coming from various equipment can be pretty loud and continuous, especially if you are cutting through metal.

Anticipation is key when it comes to demolition work, and you should always anticipate problems when cutting through flooring and walls, where you are bound to come across things such as water pipes, electric wires and other such things. Make sure you know, to the best of your ability, what is behind the wall or floor that you will be cutting.

The constant motion of the blades can create a lot of heat, so if you’ve just been using the reciprocating saw, don’t attempt to grab the blade right away, or you could suffer a nasty burn. If you need to change the blades, as you might be cutting through a different type of material, then make sure that the saw, if a corded one, is unplugged from the power source.

What is the best reciprocating saw?

This is a question that is often asked, but one that can’t be answered quite so easily. The best reciprocating saw really depends on the type of work that you need to carry out, whether it be the installation of a new kitchen, or simply replacing old windows. They are available in a wide range of sizes and types (corded and uncorded), so you’ll need to find the one that is better suited to your needs.

If possible, it’s a good idea to pop into your local hardware or DIY store and speak to one of the members of staff who will be able to suggest the best option for you based on your requirements. There are also a number of websites that you can pay a visit to, which offer detailed reviews and analysis of all types of tools and equipment, including reciprocating saws, and you can pick up quite a few nuggets of information from them.


About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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