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How To Cut Straight With a Reciprocating Saw-(Amazing Guide)

How To Cut Straight With a Reciprocating Saw

Last Updated on 3 months by James D. Miller

Sawing or cutting wood isn’t an easy job, when making straight cuts across a piece of wood. Know how to cut straight with a reciprocating saw, avoiding errors below.

If you are just starting to make your power tool collection, a reciprocating saw could be the best to buy. 

Reciprocating saw is a tool for removing present installations where work includes refitting or reworking, such as removing fixtures or replacing windows from a building before refurbishment. 

It is ideal for cutting metal, wood, plastics, brick, fiberglass, and other materials in a straightway. 

However, it should be noted that cutting exactly straight and exact lines can be difficult if you don’t know the use of your reciprocating saw. Today, we’ll discuss a general guideline about cutting straight with a reciprocating saw.   

How to Cut Straight with a Reciprocating Saw?

Table Of Contents

Before discussing the how to cut part, we have to go through the detailed guide below. Knowing the things you need to have will improve your quality in both professional works and DIY projects.

Things you need:

● Reciprocating saw material ( cutting surface)
● Permanent marker
● Measuring tape

Reciprocating saw material (cutting surface)

Being a demolition saw, the reciprocating saw does a remarkable job on all uneven surfaces. So, you can effortlessly strip off wood, metal, PVC, or any other household material. Having the saw in one hand is sure to set new lights to your cutting, plumbing, or wall indentation projects. You can churn through masonry tiles, wood, plaster, and even fiberglass, like butter. The best part is, you need no training to use the saw in cast iron, steel, or any other strong metal.

Permanent marker

Now you may ask me, “Why a marker?” When you want flawless cuts on horizontal or vertical surfaces you need a marker to mark the cutting like. The line will aid you in grooving the surface, without getting into an unwanted area. Working on wood, stone, brick wall, or metal pipes will get even better while using a maker first.

Measuring tape

Generally speaking, we just can’t go on a rampage with a reciprocating saw. The saw acts like a butter knife on any material you throw at it, and this is why you need a measurement first. Using a measuring tape lets you mark the area you want to cut, and you can use the saw accordingly. Isn’t it flabbergasting?

How to Cut a Straight Line of a Horizontal Workpiece?

Things you need:

  • A board of wood
  • C clamp 
  • Reciprocating saw

Steps to follow: how to cut straight

lets’ know how to cut the straight line of a horizontal workpiece. Follow the step by step below to get a straight cut.

Step 1:

When it comes to cutting the wood in a straight line horizontally, you should take two measurements, including: 

A) Measurement of the fence rail of the wood and 

B) Measurement of the foot. 

Step 2:

Use a C clamp and stop the fence rail strongly to avoid vibration while cutting. 

 Step 3:

Ensure that the foot of your reciprocating saw is placed on the fence rail with its edge. 

Step 4:

It would help if you kept your body pressure straight on the rail using a horizontal edge, which helps the blade stay on the line. 

Step 5:

Thus, it would be possible to keep a straight side pressure on the rail to get a straighter cut with a reciprocating saw.

How to Cut a Straight Line off a Vertical Surfaces?

One of the significant things you need to ensure is that the reciprocating saw you choose has the right blade to get a straight cut.

  • Set the rail with wood screws after making measurements on the wall, which is more than mounting the C-clump on the side.
  • Now it is time to fix it with the rail.
  • Throughout this way, you can get cut in a straight line off a vertical surface.
  • For avoiding slipping out of the saw on the wood, the fence rail needs to be thick enough.

Are you facing the problem of how to square a board with a table saw? click here.

Cutting Circles with a reciprocating saw

Aside from cutting straight cuts, a reciprocating saw can make wonderful circular cuts. For it to work, you can use a regular blade or better yet a universal one. Making sure the blade guard is working perfectly is important for the process. With a marker, make a circle on the work surface.

Now poke a hole into the cutting surface and place the saw blade inside. Any regular recip blade can curve circular cuts once you use the step guide. Apply proper pressure and guide the blade circularly to the work surface.

Can you Cut Straight Lines With A Reciprocating Saw?

Cutting straight lines with any generic blade can be hard when you don’t have previous experience. And even if you have, the cuts may get out of hand for many technical reasons. Having a back and forth momentum, the reciprocating saw churns out some of the best straight line cuts. However, the saw is completely different from a circular saw, which is the finest straight cutter. The reciprocating saw has a thin blade with a short surface, allowing you to cut straight cuts with some precautions.

Use a measuring tape to measure the length you want to cut. If you are a newbie, you should go slowly to get the hang of it first. Getting a straight cut is easy once you have a proper grip on the tool.

Steps to Follow: How to cut a board straight

  • First, take all the necessary tools along with a piece of wood or other material.  
  • With a pencil or a permanent marker, try to mark the material to create a line that helps you get your desired cut.
  • You can also use a measuring tape to ensure a straight alignment on the wood to be cut.
  • Now, place the reciprocating blade on the line as close as possible, use your fitness and foot backup to keep the cut aligned. 
  • Now align the saw a bit downwards; it will start to seize or cut by the wood piece with your given pressure. 

How to cut a board straight couldn’t be a tiresome job for you if you follow the above-mentioned steps consistently.

Reciprocating saw working mechanism

The reciprocating saw has a push and pull momentum blade, giving it the name reciprocating saw. A reciprocating blade is kinda like a knife, which is highly sharp in both edges. Generally speaking, the saw design is similar to a jigsaw, but without the thrust momentum.

Turning on the reciprocating saw will enable the piston’s push and pull mechanism. A blade clamp locks the saw blade in place, giving it its signature saber sound. Turns out, sawzalls offer varying blade speed for complex materials like masonry tiles, rocks, metals, etc. You will get a heck of fun after attaching a universal blade to the four position-blade clamp. Change the clamp position to adjust the blade in place.

Straight cuts on tree root with Reciprocating saw

A recip saw is tough enough to even cut nail-embedded wood without doing significant damage to sharp blades. Among the many types of surfaces, tree root is the easiest place to run your reciprocating saw. You can either use a blade for woodcutting or a wood to metal blade.

The only problem is, you can’t make a proper straight cut on tree roots as it has uneven surfaces. However, if you are experienced with a reciprocating saw, you can make straight cuts that will fit your needs.

Other features of a reciprocating saw:

Let’s take a look at a chart of extra tools feature of some reciprocating saws that can help you cut safely in a straight line. 

Extra featuresBenefitsOur opinion
Anti-Vibration HandlesIt lowers the vibration to lessen tiredness on a weak arm.Its anti-slip grip is good for wet conditions. 
Adjusting pivoting shoesHighly supportive when it comes to getting a straight cut.Good for cutting in uneven surfaces.
LED LightingIt is necessary to light up a dark place.  Suitable for plumbers and electricians.
Blade clampHaving blades clamp (four positions) is suitable for getting more cuts from different angles.Ensures accuracy, which is essential to have a straight cut.
Variable speed dialSpeed is significant to get an accurate cut though there’s no unique speed setting. Know what speed you should apply to the materials to be cut, which helps you stay away from the accident.  
BladesChoosing the right type of blade is essential to have a straight and precise cut without any problem—available blade types: plaster, masonry, metal, wood.Blade with 8 TPI is suitable for cutting wood. 

How to use a reciprocating saw to cut wood?

Want to know how to use a reciprocating saw to cut wood? Let’s look at the following methods with steps on using a reciprocating saw to cut wood. 

Things you need: how to cut straight

Without having the proper equipment, you can’t be successful at any work. So, before letting you know how to cut straightarrange the following things to get the job done.

  • Reciprocating saw
  • Reciprocating saw blades
  • Earplugs
  • Clamps
  • Safety glasses

Method 1 [select and set the blade]:

  • First of all, start with removing the battery pack or unplugging the cord.
  • Choose the right blade for the metal to be cut.
  • Give pressure on the chuck of your reciprocating saw.
  • Run the blade into the hole and allow go of the force. 
  • Now make the blade stabilized and fix its length by adjusting the shoe.

Method 2 [Draw a line on the material and work surface]:

  • Hold the reciprocating saw firmly with both hands.
  • Draw a line on the material to be cut.
  • It would be better to clamp up the metal to the work area. 
  • While working, wear earplugs and safety glasses.
  • Control the saw with both of your hands very strongly. 

Method 3 [complete the cuts]:

  • For getting backup support, press the footwear against the metal to make the saw fixed and stabilized. 
  • Get the full speed of the saw by pulling the trigger. 
  • Operate the blade straight to the material.
  • Allow a jump cut by forcing the blade edge by the material
  • Unplug the power button and keep the saw on its end.

Safety Tips:

While following the process on how to cut straight with a reciprocating saw, you need to remember some safety concerns. These are as follows:

  • Don’t forget to wear eye safety glasses and earplugs while working to stay safe.
  • Use both your hands to ensure that there’s no kickback accident. 
  • Be careful about the blade during operation. 
  • Don’t wear loose-fitting dresses because they might get caught in the blade.  

How do you cut a straight line with a saw? Any saw

If you want straight cuts on your work surface with any saw, you will need two key things. A roller or marker, and the saw itself. Using a carpentry square, you can draw your cutting line at an appropriate length. You can easily slice off the wood after marking. However, this is just the general part of the story.

If you want everything cut to be flawless, try using a measuring tape and check the foot measurements. While using a circular saw, jigsaw, or any other mechanical saw, make sure your setup is flawless. A proper blade selection will improve your quality of cuts, as all blades are their unique specialty.

Behind the knife-like blade and parallel to the clamp, there is a shoe, which guides across the holding surface. Other parts of the reciprocating saw include the rear handle, front grip, vents, carbon brush, etc.

In the end portion, you will have a grip handle, making hold on easier.

Thickness of Reciprocating saw cuts

Sawzall blades have sharp edges with varying speed, cutting any material you through at it. The cutting depth varies from 0.035-inches to 0.05-inches or more depending on the blade size. A longer blade gives you enhanced stability with more straight pressure. On the other hand, short blades offer better cuts in plunge-cutting jobs and cross pressure areas.

Maintaining a reciprocating saw

Knowing how to use a reciprocating saw is not enough if you are a professional. Maintaining it and knowing the right ways to maintain it are also important. The steps of maintaining your recip saw are,

  • Using proper power

Different materials need different power requirements. You can’t just force the blade on to a surface and hole for it to last long. Then again, corded and battery-powered recip saws have different power settings. You can follow the manufacturer guileless for it.

  • Using the right blade

There are variations in reciprocating blades to make the perfect cuts of your material. Depending on the TIP, a blade makes its way to the work station. The more the TIP, the harder the material. If you are working on wood, then using a low TIP blade will be more adequate than a high TIP one.

  • Cleaning 

Dust buildup is a common issue while using a reciprocating saw. If you don’t clean it regularly, the internal machinery of the saw may jam up, creating a fine saw now. Then again, you can’t use harsh chemicals as they can ruin your product quality. Try using a vacuum cleaner or blower to remove the dust and debris.

Reciprocating saw vs. Circular saw

People often think a reciprocating saw and a circular saw are the saws with a different structure. However, to improve your professional quality, you need both tools for distinct works. First, a circular saw has a circulating blade, pivoting on an axis. Whereas, a recip saw has a knife like blade with a push and pull momentum.

The body structure of a circular saw is round and a reciprocating saw is long and straight. When it comes to performance, a circular surpasses a reciprocating saw. But this difference doesn’t last for long as a reciprocating saw can slice off horizontal surfaces, surface scrap material, and even vertical surface materials. Having both of these saw is a win-win for a professional.

Complete Guide for Buying for Reciprocating saw: Detailed Guide

Trying to make a fence on wood, a wall with wood, or rail fence on the rail space? But not all tools churns out flawless results, and not all brands produce similar quality recip saws. Here is a buying step guide, and you will get the best carry tool if you follow them.

Choose the right Saw type

A reciprocating saw varies depending on the cording system, i.e, corded or non-corded. The saw type you want to buy will solely depend on the place you are in and the type of project you are doing. When you are a pro you need to go on a rampage with the tool, and you need a non-corded tool. A corded saw needs a constant power outlet and can generate more power.

The only setback of a corded recip saw is, you can cut the wire accidentally when using it. You need to choose your saw and how you want to use it before buying.

Motor type

The internal motor of the saw gives it its push-pull thrust. Variation in the motor type will greatly impact the user experience. A standard brushed motor composes brushes and commutator, giving the motor its pass through energy. However, a brushed motor get damaged with time, and the motor looses its power. Having a brushless motor can bypass this problem, eliminating unnecessary friction and power loss.

A brushless motor reciprocating saw tends to be more rigid and also pricier. When money is not an issue, getting a brushless motor saw is the best deal.

Stroke length and rate

The stroke length will determine how the saw blade will travel in the upward and downward direction. Getting a saw with a higher stroke length will help you travel in both directions more. A higher stroke length will allow you faster cuts as more teeth engage in cutting the material surface.

Now, a stroke rate is the rate at which the saw blade mores with time. Similar to the stroke length, an increase in the stroke rate will determine how fast you can cut a material. Many saw manufacturers offer stroke rate control, giving you a better cutting ability.

Vibration control

Due to the push and pull character of the saw, avoiding the vibration can be a problem. However, with an anti-vibration feature can significantly reduce the vibration of the saw. An anti-vibration system absorbs most of the vibration, and comforts your arms in the process.

Blade design

Depending on the hardness of the material, you need to choose your blade. Working on hard materials like metals require more TPI (Teeth per inch). The more the teeth, the better the tool can cut through hard surfaces. If you want to demolish a house or just remodel it, try using a universal blade with a high speed steel.

There are three types of blades they are, high carbon steel, high speed steel, and bi-metal steel. Bi-metal blades are more pricey, but will last longer, and has more cutting power.

Pricing

Reciprocation saw are some high-end saws, which has a starting price of 60 dollars. When you choose a saw with more features, the saw will increase in price. A cordless reciprocating saw with a brushless motor offers the best features with a high price tag.

Brand

Getting a reciprocating saw can be hard if you don’t know the major tool giants. Low-end manufacturers often cheat the customers with low quality products, and tons of depression. Brands like DeWalt, Skil, Black+Decker, Worx, etc., will offer you the best saws and other tools at an affordable price. Go for these brands if you want a reciprocating saw tool.

How to Use a Reciprocating Saw Youtube

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why would I use a reciprocating saw for a straight cut?

The best saw for cutting wood straight is the reciprocating saw. It is suitable for quick cuts. It’s an excellent power tool, especially for construction laborers, window artisans, and urgent rescue services. 

The presence of additional accessories like long blades and clamps makes it ideal for getting a straight cut.  

2. What are the best uses of reciprocating saw?

  • A Reciprocating Saw is ideal for remodeling and demolition.
  • It can easily cut different types of materials like metal, wood, nails, and PVC.
  • Suitable for cutting metal pipe with reciprocating saw.

3. What tools could I use that are more suitable for a precise and straight cut? 

Of course, the reciprocating saw with the right blade option is suitable for a precise and straight cut. Choose a blade with maximum tooth count for getting a smoother cut. 

The blade’s composition is another significant point that you need to look at while choosing a tool for getting a precise and straight cut.

4. Is a reciprocating saw dangerous?

You know, the reciprocating saw is designed for cutting metal, wood, and any kinds of construction metals.

So, if you can’t operate it carefully, there is a chance of an accident. The most common problem with this tool is their ability to kickback. 

5. How thick can a reciprocating saw cut?

With 3″-12″ of the long blade, a reciprocating saw allows you a deep cut. The thickness of this blade avoids wobbling and bending. You will find heavy-duty blades up to 7″ to 8″ wide and 0.060+ inches thick. 

6. What contraptions may I have the choice to use that is coherently suitable for a definite and straight cut?

You will find plenty of power tools out on the market, suitable for a definite and straight cut. Let’s take a look at it. 

7.How do you plunge cut with a reciprocating saw

Plunge cuts help you make straight cuts, cross pressure cuts, angled cuts, and so on. Generally speaking, plunge cuts make initial box holes for the blade to adjust on the wall. A reciprocating saw can make an initial hole in walls, eliminating the need to use a plunge saw. All you need to do is place the saw on the wall after turning it on. Place the tip of the blade in a single place, and a hole will appear within a few seconds.

8.Can you cut 2×4 with reciprocating saw

Cutting 2×4 with a reciprocating saw is easier said than done. A reciprocating saw has a punch to it while it is on, and you need to maintain the pressure. If you have a free piece of wood, you need to use a well-supported lumber.

9.What tools could I use that are more suitable for a precise and straight cut?

For a more precise and straight cut you can use a circular saw. The blade of a circular saw is circular and can bend in times of angular cuts. You can also use a reciprocating saw, but the results will not be as clean as a circular saw. In many cases, the results are pretty similar for a rotary cutting tool and a circular saw.

10.Can you cut plywood with a reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw has variations in the blades to fit the cutting surface. Plywood needs a regular wood cutting reciprocating blade with a low TIP (Teeth per inch). If you use a high TIP blade, the wood will not cut evenly on plywood. Not saying it will not cut. But the results won’t be satisfactory.

11.Can you cut aluminum with a reciprocating saw

Cutting aluminum with a reciprocation is like cutting any other metals. Take a blade with a high TIP, or a blade for metal surfaces. You can use the blade on a wood screw, steel pipes, and on aluminum too. Aluminum has a light surface, letting you use the blade for longer.

12.Is a reciprocating saw the same as a Sawzall

Technically speaking, Sawzalls is a popular brand, which sells reciprocating saws. Since the year 1951, people have confused themselves with a reciprocating saw and the Sawzall brand. Nowadays, there are many brands like Skilsaw, craftsman, and even tool giant like Dewalt, who makes reciprocating saws.

Conclusion:

So, you have a reciprocating saw; but don’t know how to use it to get a straight cut? Well, I hope your stress is over if you go through this guide, “how to cut straight with a reciprocating saw.”

It doesn’t matter whether you need to deal with metal, wood, or construction materials; once you learn the trick, the game is over. 

Have a reciprocating saw; get straight cuts.

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