Reciprocating saws are powerful and versatile instruments available for your woodwork. With the right saw blade, you can effortlessly cut through timber, metal, concrete, glass, branches, plaster, and many more.
From regular standard blades to advanced, modified blades, for cutting dense material or for detail designing, you name it, there’s a blade for it. It will depend upon the blade installed on the saw; you can get your desired cuts; you just need the right blade.
A large number of blades gives the reciprocating saw its flexibility and reliability as the most versatile power tool. This article will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of Different Types of Reciprocating Saw Blades.
Different Types of Reciprocating Saw Blades (Based on Molecular Components)
In this portion, you will learn the basics of saw blades and their building materials and use.
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Carbon Steel Blade
Carbon steel blades are cheap and widely used. They are flexible and give you enough mobility for effortless cuts. Though they aren’t that durable, it’s a relatively soft blade. This kind of blade is best for cutting softwood or plastics. However, if you are cutting hardwood and metals with this blade, you might have to sharpen them from time to time or completely replace them with a new one.
Speed Steel Blade
Speed steel blade can resist heat and much stronger compared to the Carbon steel blade. They will give you more extended service than the carbon steel blade. The durability reduces the flexible characteristics of speed steel blades but no need to worry; you can easily cut through metal and thick wood with this kind of blade.
It’s a combination of speed steel and carbon steel blade, and the combination gives the bi-metal blade flexibility, durability, heat resistance, and much more. It also has an increased service life, though it’s gonna cost you a bit more than the previously mentioned blade. If you are cutting heavy, dense material on a day-to-day basis, then bi-metal would be the best choice for you.
This is also a bi-metal blade; usually, it’s a mix of tungsten or titanium and carbon. The teeth are the only part of the blade that is carbide tipped. A carbide-tipped blade is heat and impact resistant, has much more longevity compared to any other blade. You can easily cut through any heavy metal sheet or dense wood with this kind of blade.
Carbide Grit Blade
It’s a tungsten carbide blade, you won’t find any teeth in this blade, instead of having teeth like all the traditional blades, it has an abrasive strip. It’s a hard and durable blade that can easily cut through almost anything without prematurely damaging them.
Diamond Tipped Vlade
It’s an abrasive blade with a diamond-tipped blade. It’s an expensive blade mostly used for getting clean cut through any dense material. This blade’s hard and fine characteristics make it perfect for cutting any glass effectively with any premature damage to the glass. You can cut concert and stones effortlessly with this blade. It will give you a long time service compared to any other blade.
Types of Sawzall Blades (According to Their Uses)
There is a lot of variety available on the market, and for every specific work, there is a modified version of the blade to give you the best and effective results; let’s learn about them.
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Blade for Cutting Aluminum
A metal cutting reciprocating blade is usually used for cutting Aluminum pipes and sheets. This metal cutting blade generally is fine-toothed and has fewer teeth per inch count. It will give you a slow and clean cut.
Blade for Cutting Bone
For cutting bones and butchering meat, there is a special kind of reciprocating saw blades. These blades are made with thick and robust steel, making them cut through bone without any hassle. The blade has reverse teeth designed explicitly for pushing away meat and bones from the saw to give you an effortless working experience.
Blade for Cutting Brick
This blade almost looks like a chainsaw, and it can cut through Brick and stone without any effort. The blades used for cutting Brick are mostly carbide tipped and quite durable with long-lasting service life. You can use 2 or 3 teeth per inch blade for such work.
Blade for Cutting Cement Board and drywall
You can use six teeth per inch blade for the best outcome to cut through cement boards or drywall. Mostly carbon steel blades are used for such work, and I would recommend a carbide-tipped blade for a better outcome with prolonged blade life.
Blades for Cutting Branches
If you are thinking about cutting or trimming your tree branches, then 9 to 12 feet long and 6 to 8 teeth per inch carbon steel blade will be your best bet. The blade teeth can easily cut through any uneven surface, and some blades are curved to give you the extra edge on cutting branches.
Most of the saw blades tend to stick to the branches while cutting, but you don’t have to worry because an anti-stick coating is applied over the blade for a smooth and effortless cut.
Blades for Cutting Cast Iron
Eighteen teeth per inch diamond-tipped blade will be best for cutting cast iron pipes. An abrasive diamond blade will last longer and give you a fine cut. Use lubricant if you are dealing with hick pipes.
Blades for Grinding Clay Pipe
Clay pipes are brittle and should be handled with care, and using an abrasive blade will help you prevent any premature damage to the clay pipe.
Blade for Cutting Concrete
For a clean-cut, you can use a carbide grit blade, and if it’s for a demolition job, a toothed blade will be your best deal. Vast gullet and low teeth per inch count will make your concrete work effortless and effective.
Blade for Cutting Copper Pipe
Fine toothed, high teeth per inch would be perfect for this job. A metal cutting blade will give you a smooth and clean finish.
Blade for Cutting Foam
An 18 inches long blade will be enough to cut through any foam type material used for insulation and other purposes.
Things You Need to Know about A Reciprocating Saw Blade
To purchase the right blade for your job, you must know about their length, width, shape, TPI, and related information. This information will assist you in making the right decision.
Length of the Blade
You can find 3 inches to 12 inches long reciprocating saw blades on the market. Most common are 6-inch and 9-inch blades, but you can also find 4-inch, 6-inch, 9-inch & 12-inch long blades that are mostly available as standard size blades. The shorter the blade, the more rigid it is.
For getting a straight or square cut, a rigid blade is your best bet. You can use a short blade for cutting thin metals and copper pipes. Long blades will give you more flexibility, though the overheating can be a little bit annoying.
Moreover, long blades are best for demolition work. Always keep in mind that a blade length should be longer than the density of the material you are going to cut. Please don’t use an excessive long blade as it tends to wobble and won’t give you the desired cut.
Width & Shape of the Blade
Wide saw blades will provide you added durability and stability. A wider blade can resist tilting and vibration to offer you an effective clean cut. As I said earlier, you can use wider blades for heavy-duty demolition work. 0.75 inches to 1 inch are deemed as wide blades.
For fine-cut and detail wooden design, you can use a 0.5-inch blade. For plunge cut, you can use a sloped shape blade; for edge cut, use a straight blade. There are many shapes of the blade that will provide you with specific and desired cuts.
The Thickness of the Blade
Reciprocating saw blade thicknesses:
- 88 mm thick blades are considered standard duty blades.
- A 1.06mm thick is called a medium-heavy duty blade.
- A 1.27mm thick blade is heavy-duty.
- 57mm thick blade is an ultra heavy duty.
The thicker the blade, the better the durability and vibration resistance. You can do heavy-duty demolition work with a 1.27mm thick blade quite effectively. Firefighters use a 1.57 mm thick blade for fire and rescue and other related heavy material cutting. For household work, you can use 0.88 mm standard duty blades.
Reciprocating Saw Blade Teeth Per Inch
If you search for a power tool blade, you would most likely find blades with teeth, although there are many abrasive grits available. TPI or teeth per inch represent the density of teeth installed in the blade.
Gullet – It is the thickness and width of the room between the teeth.
The TPI and gullet size help you choose a specific blade for your desired cut. Low TPI means the blade will have large teeth and places at a wide distance from each other.
A Low TPI blade will give you a faster cut and is mostly used in demolition work. A high TPI blade has a closely spaced and dense number of teeth, primarily used for getting fine cuts in metal sheets or wooden pieces. For concrete and Brick cutting, a 3TPI blade is perfect, and for metal cutting, 24 TPI blade is your best option.
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This Different Types of Reciprocating Saw Blades article aims to give you in-depth knowledge about the Sawzall blade types and related topics and help you decide which saw blade would be best for your project.
I hope my effort to share my knowledge will be successful as well as your adventure to purchase the right blade for your woodworking projects. Best of luck!