How to Cut Straight with a Reciprocating Saw – Step by Step Guide

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Have you got some work to do that needs a reciprocating saw? Are you searching for the right reciprocating saw but don’t know which one will get the job done? Do you want to know which reciprocating saw is perfect for your work and how to cut straight with a reciprocating saw? Let me tell you, there’s nothing to worry about it because this article has got you entirely covered.

There are a variety of saws. Some saws are used for a light surface with small blades and others for a hard surface with a sharper edge and large size. But for all of them, these reciprocating saws are hand-carryable, which makes the work a whole lot easier.

This is a step by step guide related to the reciprocating saw, its blade types, and how to use it properly to get the perfect straight cut.

How to Cut Straight with a Reciprocating Saw

What Is Reciprocating Saw?

A Reciprocating saw is a professional cutting machine or tool in which the cutting process occurs by pushing and pulling action of the moving blade. This saw is mostly used for construction and demolition work. This saw is also said to be a hognose saw. It has sharp and large blades that make the cutting process easy.

Different Types Of Reciprocating Saw And Their Uses

There are six different kinds of reciprocating saws. The one you require depends upon the type of work. As listed the following are the different types of reciprocating saws:

  • Cordless reciprocating saw
  • Pneumatic reciprocating saw
  • Corded reciprocating saw
  • Compact reciprocating saw
  • Plumbing & HVAC reciprocating saw.
  • Mini reciprocating saw

1. Uses Of Cordless Reciprocating Saw

A cordless reciprocating saw is generally lightweight, so; you can carry it easily while working in outdoor areas or at high heights. Because of this, it is also said to be a handled saw. Cordless saw have an excellent electronic battery with superior voltage.


  • Easy to use
  • Hand carry
  • Convertible for different areas
  • Excellent amps
  • Small with heavy voltage motor easy to use for exterior work.


  • A battery can take time to charge.
  • Slightly bulky
  • Battery timing is limited.

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2. Uses Of Pneumatic Reciprocating Saw

It is used mostly for industrial work such as in manufacturing plants, gas utilities, and water purifying plants. An Air compressor is necessary for its working. Based on this function, it is also known as an Air saw.


  • It is long-lasting and irreproachable.
  • Perfect for commercial use
  • Has the ability to cool its blade on its own
  • Excellent Battery timing


  • A little bit difficult to move
  • It’s commercial use is limited.
  • An Air compressor is necessary while using it.

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3. Uses Of Corded Reciprocating Saw

A corded saw is used for heavy construction and demolition purposes. This saw has excellent battery timing, but you do not need to worry if the battery becomes low during working. You can charge it in less time. It has AC, and DC output used for working. 7-10 amps for thin cutting and more than 11 amperes are used for the purpose of the grove.


  • Readily available in any market
  • Appropriate Price
  • Highly demanding
  • Excellent power for cutting
  • It has full power motors, which make them a faster and easy process of cutting.
  • More durable


  • Working is limited because of the cord
  • Using it near a place that has an electric supply is more convenient. Hence using it outdoors is not very suitable
  • There’s a risk while using it
  • Dangerous to use without proper clothing

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4. Uses Of Compact Reciprocating Saw

As the name suggests, this saw is a compact and small reciprocating saw. An Air compressor is necessary for its working. Due to this reason, the cutting process becomes easy and fast. Out of all the saws, the compact saw has the most beautiful design, attracting the attention of customers. Its charge is in either voltage or amps. The saw is very light weighted and hand carry tool, perfect for challenging cuts.


  • Adjustable with the areas where both hands do not fit in place
  • Adjustable in indoor areas
  • Can be used in the narrow places
  • Hand carry
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Medium size


  • Small motor takes more time for working
  • Battery timing is limited
  • Can be used for softer objects
  • Not suitable for hardwood or wall
  • Take extra support while using due to small size

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5. Uses Of Plumbing Reciprocating Saw

Pluming saw is a good option for the use of hard and difficult places. It is adjustable for narrow areas and having a sharp blade can be suitably used in local pipes. A plumbing saw is best for working inside the wall and trimming the wood into small or large pieces. It is also called as HVAC.


  • Excellent for plumbing work
  • Can be used in narrow places
  • Sharp blades
  • Supports fast working


  • Bulky tool
  • A bit expensive

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6. Uses Of Mini Reciprocating Saw

The mini flush reciprocating saw is the smallest size, as indicated by its name. It is easy to handle and has a small blade of 12-inches. Useful for lightweight objects.


  • Can cut pipes from narrow areas
  • Useful for barrier places
  • Easy to handle
  • Lightweight
  • Small size
  • Beautiful Design


  • Can be used for lighter objects
  • Home construction is difficult.
  • Demolition is impossible

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Purposes Of Reciprocating Saw

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw with Battery and Charger

Reciprocating saw are used for cutting and trimming soft or hardwood. These reciprocating saws have sharp blades that make working fast and quick. These saws are used for home construction or demolition. Flush reciprocating saws are also available in the market for flush cutting.

The saw can be used for cutting plastics or metal pipes, drywall, soft/hardwood, windows, plumbing, etc. These saws make the cutting process easy.

Difference Between Straight And Orbital Cut Reciprocating Saw

  • Straight cut reciprocating saw has a straight blade that can only move in forward and backward direction. A straight cut saw is used to cut challenging areas or metal.
  • On the other hand, the orbital cut reciprocating saw has a blade that can move in every direction, rather in a circular motion. It is the best option for faster cutting on soft material.

Step By Step Guide On How To Cut Straight With A Reciprocating Saw

For a straight cut, first set an angle and mark the line with a pointer. After that, apply pressure on this line with the help of a reciprocating saw. If you don’t draw a straight line on that material that has to be cut, then the saw will not cut straight due to its specific design for power cutting, not for accuracy.

But there are also many saws in the market which support the straight cutting.

Necessary Tools That You Need To Cut Straight Using A Reciprocating Saw

Many things matter that is necessary for a straight cut, which are given below:

i) Blade

Blades of a reciprocal saw are designed to cut almost any type of material. These blades are sharp and fast in cutting. There is no specific saw which is designed for cutting all kinds of material with, as different saws are made for different purposes.

Some saws blades can be used to cut softer material while others are for wall drawing outlet and woodcutting. Similarly, some saws have small edges, and others with large blades can also be differentiated with the number of teeth present on the saw.

ii) Blade Clamp

Blade clamp allows cutting material from different angles. The clamp has four positions for adjusting the blade. Every clamp position has a different angle, which provides more accuracy in straight cutting.

iii) Variable Speed Trigger

Speed is the most crucial factor while cutting. Each material needs a different pace for cutting. The rate should be according to the material that is to be sliced. Otherwise, it can result in damage or breakage to that material. ‘Speed triggers’ prevent users from damage. 

iv) Adjustable Pivot

An adjustable pivot protects the teeth blades against hard surfaces. They become adjust to hardwood or dry walls quickly.

v) Illuminate LED Lights

Some reciprocating saws have LED lights that are useful while working in dark places. This feature helps in focusing more, which in turn reduces the chance of fault. Reciprocating saws with this attribute are highly in demand.

vi) Anti- Vibrant Handles

This anti-vibrant feature is handy in handling reciprocating saws. It does not put an extra effort into the arms during working. This feature also provides additional grip to the reciprocating saw. It also reduces the chance of muscle fatigue while using it.

How To Cut Straight With Reciprocating Saw

DEWALT Reciprocating Saw, 10-Amp (DWE304)

For a straight cut, make an estimate of the desired slit, then set an angle and mark the line with the pointer and apply pressure on this line with the help of a reciprocating saw. Use screws that escalates the upper side of the wood and afterward fix it with the support which protects it from jerks during cutting.

This will set the log in place. Drawing a line is an essential step for a straight cut; if you don’t draw a straight line on that material that has to be cut, then the saw will not cut straight because it is designed for power cutting, not for accuracy.

While Cutting Straight Horizontally Or Vertically

Using a wooden board along with a reciprocating saw while cutting is also the best option. Lock this board with edges by its clamp. C- clamp protects from jerks and helps to keep the wood in place, this prevents uneven cutting that happens due to jerks. Then, estimate the rail space and area that is covered by the saw.

The cut is done by the distance between this rail and the log. The same rule is applying for vertical cutting. After taking an estimate there is a need for a wood screw for attaching fence rail on the wall for vertical cut.

Safety Measures That Are Necessary While Cutting Straight With A

Reciprocating Saw

Safety measures are essential to protect yourself from harm. For this purpose, some points have to keep in mind.

Safety Clothes

The type of clothes you wear is important while cutting. There are thousands of cases in which people do not care about proper clothing during cutting, which leads to their own damage

Safety Goggles

Wearing goggles protects eyes from the harms of a reciprocating saw and the effects of the environment. Do not use a saw without wearing goggles.

Safety Gloves

Hand safety is one of the most important aspects of cutting. Use the particular types of gloves that protect your hands from wounds or cuts.

Safety Mask

Mask plays a vital role in protecting your face from environmental dust and cutting material particles and debris like woodcutting or wall drawing.

Safety Helmet

The helmet protects against sun rays and against head injury. Using Saw is risky work due to sharp blades, that’s why it is essential to cover yourself as a whole to minimize the chance of injuries.


Earplugs prevent your ear from noise, which occurs due to the cutting process. 

Awareness About Using Saw

While reciprocating the saw, you should first be aware of how to use it. It will reduce the chance of incident and assure you are protected from risks and serious injury.

Use Correct Blade For Accurate Purpose

There are many types of reciprocating saw, and each saw has a different kind of blades for various purposes. Some blades are used to cut soft material and others for hard material.

Similarly, a reciprocating saw with flush cut blades is highly demanding in the market. If you are not aware of which saw could be used for which material, it will damage or break your blade.

Reciprocating Saw Using Tips And Hacks

These reciprocating saw tips or hacks will make work easier and provides safety given below:

  • First of all, draw a straight line at the point where you have to cut.
  • Auger a hole in the hard places. It is a good idea to cut hard or thick areas.
  • Use the reciprocating saw with a metal blade. This type of blade is usually sharp and provides fast cutting. It helps in easy to cut to hardwood and metal surfaces.
  • Start cutting slowly precisely to the point which has to be cut. Use the blade’s tip on the surface of the material after it forces the machine downwards towards the surface.
  • Cut material by loose trimming. You can change the side of that material for smooth cutting.
  • Hold the tool with the help of both hands. Rubber boots help to provide a good grip, which reduces the chance of an incident also saving a person in case the Saw short circuits.
  • Make a small hole on the wall. When you are sure that this is the area you need to draw, start to work on that surface properly.
  • Don’t put extra force on the tool; it results in bending of the blade. In those cases, do not try to straighten the edge directly with your hand. It can burn your hands because it may become hot.
  • Use safety clothes while cutting. For changing the blade, first, pull the plug outside and disconnect the main power supply.

Maintenance Of Reciprocating Saw

  1. Maintenance of reciprocating saw is essential, which ensures that it will go for the long term.
  2. Reciprocating saw can cut wood, metal, plastics and steel pipes and ceramic, etc. These materials can make the blade dusty or rusted. SO, clean reciprocating blades properly after every use.
  3. Use proper pressure or force on the material according to the object to being cut.
  4. Ensure air compressor is used according to requirements.
  5. Remove blades from the tool after using it. It will also increase safety chances.
  6. Blade becomes hot after using it. Therefore, remove the edge a few minutes after using it. It will protect from injury.
  7. Maintenance maximizes the life of your tool as compared to other devices that are not appropriately maintained.

DIY Reciprocating Saw

WORKPRO 12V Cordless Reciprocating Saw with Clamping Jaw, 2.0Ah Li-Ion Battery with 1 Hour Fast Charger, Variable Speed and Tool-Free Blade Change, 3 Saw Blades for Wood & Metal Cutting

Suppose you do not have a reciprocating saw but have a drill machine instead, and you also do not want to buy a saw; then, there is an excellent idea for you with the help of which your driller machine can work as a reciprocating saw.

The drill machine is used for making a hole in walls or other problematic areas, but you can adjust the cutting blade or circular saw blade in front of the drill machine through any nob and guzzle. Your DIY reciprocating saw is ready to use.

Plunge cut with reciprocating saw technique is also considered to be useful for cutting. In this technique, a hole is made in the wood so that saw can insert inside it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: When To Use Reciprocating Saw

A: Reciprocating saws are used while cutting and remodeling the different materials. These are used for cutting wood, ceramics, metal, iron, plastic pipes, etc. If electric wires are damaging inside the wall, then these tools are helpful to detect it by tearing down the target wall by using its blade, hence, allowing the problem to be fixed.

Q: How To Use Reciprocating Saw

A: First, you have to be aware of the right type of saw that can be used for your desired work. Put a reasonable force in the downward direction. Move slightly to the forward and backward movement or in a circular motion.

Q: Which Is The Best Blade To Use For Reciprocating Saw

A: A metal blade is best for pipes cutting. The toothed edge is also suitable for this purpose. For hard surface cutting like wood and drywall, use coarse blades. If blade quality is good, then the chance of damages reduces. If these reciprocating saw blades bend, then they could be flattened with a hammer and reused.

Always keep in mind that the tooth blade is faster and flexible at the point.

Q: How To Lubricate A Reciprocating Saw

A: Lubrication increases the life of the saw. Grease is an excellent option for this purpose.

  • First, pull the pin outside and remove the saw’s shoes.
  • After it, remove a supportive clamp.
  • Then it removes plastics cellophane.
  • Use a grease gun, compress the needed amount of grease.
  • Different types of lubricants are used for different kinds of reciprocating saws. 

Q: Can You Cut Straight Lines With A Reciprocating Saw?

A: Making straight cuts with a reciprocating saw is possible if a line is marked on the object with a permanent pointer. Start cutting slowly in forward to backward direction. Nowadays, many reciprocating saws are available in the market that can cut a straight line with a small focus on that object, even in more challenging areas.

 Q: How To Make A Flush Cut With A Reciprocating Saw

A: Reciprocating saw has a Stretchable flush cutting augmentation that allows flush-cuts even in narrow areas like doorstep and jams doors. The blade is made up of counterbalance, allowing the cutting portion of the flush cut saw blade away and paralleled to the saw bar.

In this way, it is easy to make the flush cut with a reciprocating saw. 

Reciprocating Saw Flush Adapter

This type of saw reduces the chance of breakage and protects blades from bending. Also, making it easier to flush cutting. Reciprocating saw flush adapter makes easy access in hard and narrow areas.


In this article, I have discussed a complete guide in which each and everything related to how to cut straight with a reciprocating saw is mentioned. By reading this guide, you will be well aware of all types of reciprocating saws and which saw can be ideally used for that purpose. Different saws are used for cutting other objects.

A certain amount of power or pressure has to be applied to different reciprocating saws. This guide will make you capable of making a DIY reciprocating saw with plumbing when in need. Maintenance is necessary for its long life.

You May Also Interested to Learn:
1. How to Cut Plexiglass with a Circular Saw -Expert DIY Guide(2020)
2. How to Cut Baseboard Inside-Outside Corners with Miter Saw (2020)
3. How to Make Straight Cuts With a Circular Saw – Top 3 Ways (2020)

To Know More About Woodworking and Carpentry Vist at iSaw Guide Home.

Robert Terry

Robert Terry is a specialist author at He is very enthusiastic about woodworking and carpentry. His writings have been published in the wood magazine before. His passion for working with wood and woodworking tools lets him explore many pieces of informative content and resources. Besides working as a creative writer, he loves to share his skills and experiences with the woodworking and carpentry community.

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