Whether you’re in the renovation, demolition, building or similar sphere, it’s a laborious process that demands hard work and planning. This aspect is especially true if you’re working with strong and hard materials that are difficult to manipulate and use. Examples that come to mind are wood and pipes, as they require careful and precise work. One way to do your job is, of course, using manual tools. There are many saws, hooks, hammers, and many more that can get the job done. There’s also testing equipment that can be invaluable in certain situations. And although these hand tools can be practical, nowadays, there are many electrical power tools as well.
That said, one tool that is particularly helpful in demolition and remodelling is the reciprocating saw. This tool can be a gamechanger for you in all of your projects in many different aspects. As a result, I decided to write this article to make a detailed guide, or maybe even “study notes”, for this type of saw. I will go over its technical features, capabilities, and the many benefits it brings.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best reciprocating saw. If you want to get a quality tool that is practical and useful to you at all times, read this part carefully, as it can teach you what to look for. With that in mind, I will focus on the 20V reciprocating saw, and for good reasons. But before I get into it, let’s explain what the name reciprocating stands for. It means that the cutting action is done in a push and pull manner. They’re considered a gateway tool for DIY, and they’re also called sabre saws. Now, let us get into the nitty-gritty.
The first factor to consider is the brand. While there might be many industries and markets where the brand doesn’t play a conclusive part, it does in power tools. It’s a certificate of quality and safety, which is crucial when using construction equipment. The brands you should always first look at are DeWalt, Makita and Milwaukee. And yes, they are more expensive, but their price is a guarantee for quality.
Voltage and Cord
There are two types of voltage that are widely spread – 18V and 20V. Mechanically, there’s not a difference between them. The battery pack, which is decisive for the voltage, is made of five individual battery cells in both cases. The difference is in the voltage rating, nominal and maximum. The nominal voltage of a battery cell is 3.6, while the maximum is 4.0. However, the difference that comes with this 0.4 difference is that they are more powerful to a degree. This difference can be of help for more demanding jobs. On the other hand, a lot of them come in both cord and cordless versions. The corded ones are typically more powerful, but they restrict your movement. If movement is more important to you, you should go for cordless.
Despite naming this section as features, I will also go over the specifications. They are decisive to the quality and working of your 20V reciprocating saw. The first thing you want to see are the strokes per minute (SPM for short) and if there is a loading time. This characteristic determines the power of your saw. Next, you want to look at the stroke length, which is how long the blades will reach.
Afterwards, from a personal use perspective, you want to look at the dimensions and weight. If you plan on using it daily, you want it to feel comfortable and easy to use, especially as you’re holding it. In line with this, sound and vibration also play a part. Remember, when you turn it on, the first thing you’ll notice will be the sound and the vibration in your arms. If you want to ensure that you can comfortably do your work and the sound and vibration are too much, you can buy gloves and isolating headphones.
Variable Speed Trigger
The speed is a decisive factor for any saw. And the more you have, the more powerful the saw, but it’s not always necessary to go full power. If you want to have more control over your saw, you can get one with a variable speed trigger. It allows you to be precise and exact with your speed based on the material you’re working on.
If you’re cutting something in difficult positions and you can’t quite reach it, this is the feature you should have. It offers more control and stability, and it extends the blade life and allows for control of the cut’s depth.
As previously mentioned, using reciprocating saws can be uncomfortable due to the vibration. The best solution is getting a saw with cushioned grips to reduce the amount of vibration felt while operating it. Cushioned grips also play a part in the ergonomics of the saw.
There are many benefits to using a reciprocating saw. The biggest benefit is its versatility. You can use it in many situations, and it’s a ubiquitous tool in the construction industry. Here are some ways to use it.
If you’re worried about pesky branches in your yard that have outgrown and extended their welcome, you can remove them with a reciprocating saw. It’s portable, light and powerful to cut away any branches you want to go.
In plumbing, this saw is considered an essential tool. You use it to cut through holes, notches, or any plumbing structure (pipes) without causing any damage. The reason for this is that it always makes a clean cut.
Reciprocating saws truly shine in this area, as they can tear apart with easy anything hard for a crowbar or hammer. You can cut out materials around doors and windows or cut through joists and plasterboards. Furthermore, you can remodel any of these things afterward by using them again with the help of the saw.