If you have some home construction projects you would like to tackle, you might be about to use a reciprocating saw. This tool is very useful for any number of tasks, from opening walls to roughly cutting wood beams. However, it's not always as easy to use as you might hope. These tips will help you through your first few times using the reciprocating saw.
1. Remember that the blade can bend.
When you are cutting something in an awkward position, you may have a tough time getting to it. Bending the blade as you push it through the material can help. You won't snap or hurt the blade -- it's designed to bend like this! If you use a longer blade, you will have an easier time bending it.
2. Cover the shoe with tape.
The shoe is the part of the saw that is directly behind the blade. This part of the saw can rub against the surfaces you are cutting, leaving marks. If you need to protect the item you're cutting from such damage, wrap the shoe in some duct tape before you start cutting. The duct tape will slightly soften the surface so it does not cause these rubs and abrasions.
3. Lubricate the blade.
If you have to cut through something other than wood, such as metal, lubricate the blade before you begin. There are specific saw blade lubricants that are made for this purpose. They make the blade slippery so that it slides past the metal more easily and without sparking. Your blade will also last longer without dulling when it's properly lubricated.
4. Wear goggles.
Little pieces of material may fly up when you're sawing. Make sure your eyes are protected with goggles so you don't end up with serious damage. Having a little piece of wood hit you in the arm is one thing -- having it hit you in the eye is quite another.
5. Use smaller blades for smaller items.
If you use too large a blade to cut a small item, you may feel like the blade wiggles around as you're working. If this occurs, switch to a smaller blade. You'll get a smoother cut, and your arm won't be quite as tired when you're finished.
If you need more tips and advice for using a reciprocating saw, consult the owner's manual or read more on the web. Every saw is a little different, and this manual or reading from different sources should advise you how to best use the saw.