Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw?

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People who have never used a reciprocating saw to cut wood are rare.

They are often used for demolition, but they can also be an effective tool in the workshop.

In this blog post, we will discuss how Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw and what precautions need to be taken before using one. 

Reciprocating Saw Types

There are two major types of reciprocating saws:

  • The Sash Saw

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • Keyless

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

Both function by having an oscillating blade that moves back and forth as you move the tool across a surface. In addition, there is also a smaller hand held version for more precision. 

Most keyless saws have a pistol grip and are more comfortable to use for extended periods of time.

Saw Blade Types

There are also different types of saw blades that you can use with a reciprocating saw. The most common are the T-Shank and U-Shank.

  1. T-shank blades are the standard type and fit in most standard reciprocating saws.
  2. U-Shank blades have a larger surface area and so they are good for cutting through thicker materials, but cannot be used in all saws.

Blade Types:

  • T Shank

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • U Shank

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

When using a reciprocating saw, it is important to know how deep you can cut into the material without overheating the blade or breaking it.

There is a chart below that shows the recommended depth to cut into different materials:

Material Depth Maximum Recommended Plywood 3/4″ N/A Particle Board 1-1/8″ 4″ MDF 3/4″ 5″ Solid Core Door 1-3/16″ 6-1/2″ Fiberglass 3/4″ N/A

What Can You Cut with a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saws can be used for all sorts of different applications in the workshop. They are great tools to have around when working on DIY projects.

A common use is cutting holes into drywall, especially where there are electrical boxes.

They can also be used to cut through metal pipes, plastic, and other materials.

How to Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw?

When cutting wood with a reciprocating saw, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.

  • First, make sure that the blade is sharp and in good condition.
  • Use a slow and steady motion when cutting.
  • Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from debris.
  • Finally, do not force the saw through the material as this can cause the blade to break.

Step By Step Guide

This is a general guide on how to cut wood with a reciprocating saw:

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • 1. Wear safety goggles and make sure the blade is sharp and in good condition before you start.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • 2. Decide which way suits you best when cutting wood- either starting from the base and cutting up, or ‘chiselling’ away at it.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • 3. Make sure you use a slow and steady sawing motion when cutting.
  • 4. Apply pressure to the shoe of the saw to ensure a good grip.
  • 5. Remember to use caution when cutting as there is a danger of injury if not done safely.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • 6. Cut slowly at first until you get used to the motion of the saw.
  • 7. Check for any jagged edges or burrs on the wood that need to be filed down before moving onto the next step.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • 8. Use a strip of wood as a guide when cutting long pieces of wood, in order to keep your cut straight and consistent.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

Pro Tip!

Remember – it’s always best practice to start with a test piece, so that you can perfect your technique before moving onto the real material.

Blade Type

The blade you use is important, as it will determine what type of material you’re cutting.

Wood Blades:

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

are mostly used on wood materials, although they can also be used on plastic and metal.

Metal Blades:

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

conversely, are made for cutting through metal materials like pipes or bolts and won’t work as well on wood.

In order to choose the right blade, you’ll need to consider what material you’re cutting.

Getting Your Wood Angle Right

The angle of your saw is important as the correct angle is the difference between a clean cut and a jagged one. 

If you have trouble finding an effective angle, there are a few tricks that can help you increase your chances of getting it right.

There Are Two Ways to Cut Through Wood Materials:

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • (1) Starting with the base of the wood and cutting up towards it effectively ‘chipping’ away at the material Use the log as a guide for where to start sawing this will help you to control where the cut happens, and will also help with consistent results.

The most important thing to consider is deciding which way suits you best.

Can You Cut Wood with A Reciprocating Saw

  • (2) Some people find it easier to ‘chisel’ away at the wood this way, while others prefer cutting downwards, using the log itself as a guide.

It’s important to try out different methods and see what works best for you.

Sawing Motion

  • When cutting, it’s important to use a sawing motion going back and forth with the blade.
  • This will help to increase the speed of your cut, as well as making it easier to control.
  • If you find yourself having trouble, try using a slightly slower sawing motion.
  • A slow sawing motion will help you to control where your blade goes through the material.

Safety First

When making any cut, it’s important to consider safety first especially when using a reciprocating saw.

Here are some of the most important safety tips to remember when using a reciprocating saw:

  • Wear Safety Goggles
  • Make sure the blade is sharp and in good condition
  • Don’t force the blade through the material let the power of the saw do the work for you
  • Make sure your shoe is pressed firmly against the wood, in order to provide the best grip
  • When you first start out cutting with your saw, it might take a few minutes for you to get used to the motion.
  • Once you’re comfortable with the cut, check for any burrs or jagged pieces of wood these will need to be filed down before you move on.

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The most popular blade on the market is a bi-metal blade because it can cut through many different materials.

Yes, you can cut metal with a reciprocating saw.

You only need to use the appropriate blade for the material.

Use your saw in a slow and steady motion to avoid damage or breaking of the blade

It is important to use caution when working with a reciprocating saw. They are powerful tools so it is easy to lose control of the saw and to break or dull the blade.


Make sure that you keep your work area clean and clear of clutter and electrical wires. Wear safety goggles and make sure that you always use slow and steady motions when cutting something, don't force it through.

It is important to keep your reciprocating saw clean and well-maintained in order to ensure safe and effective operation.


To clean the saw, first disconnect it from the power supply. Then use a damp cloth to wipe down the entire saw, including the blade. Be careful not to get the electrical parts wet.


If any dirt or debris accumulates around the blade, you can use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a narrow attachment to remove it. Finally, reattach the blade guard and reconnect the power supply.

There are a number of benefits to owning a reciprocating saw. They are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of applications.


They are also relatively affordable, and most models come with a variety of customization options. Finally, they are lightweight and easy to use, making them a great choice for DIY projects.


reciprocating saws can be used to cut wood, metal, plastic, and other materials. However, it is important to use the right blade for the material and to take precautions to avoid injury.

When using a reciprocating saw, always wear safety goggles and use a slow and steady motion.

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