Without a doubt, reciprocating saw blades are one of the most useful tools for heavy-duty applications. Often referred to as sawzall blades, these tools can be used to cut through a wide range of materials, including some that are too hard and thick to be cut using other means. As a matter of fact, apart from cutting all types of hard woods and plastics, reciprocating saw blades can cut metals such as aluminum, cast iron, steel, and even high-strength alloys. Having established that sawzall blades are fantastic, it’s important to address the fact that choosing the right one can be difficult. For that reason, this buyer’s guide will review five of the best sawzall blades on the market. Additionally, it will provide useful information about reciprocating saws and saw blades in general.
The Best Sawzall Blades You Can Buy – Five Reviews
|Milwaukee Electric Tool Blade Set|
|Dewalt Blade Set|
|Irwin Tools Blade Set|
|Makita Blade Assortment Pack|
|Bosch Saw Blades RP125|
1. Milwaukee Electric Tool Blade Set – Best Overall Reciprocating Saw Blade
If you are looking for a sawzall blade set that will enable you to accomplish just about every task you can imagine, this is it. Combined, the 12 extra-wide blades included in this set are versatile enough to get most jobs done quickly and effectively. Additionally, this set comes in a job site case for protective storage and transportation.
Speed and Power
Precision and Finish
The reciprocating saw blades that make up this set favor width and length instead of the kerf. As a result, they are generally well-suited for being used in tight spaces and shaping material with precision. At this point, it needs to be noted, however, that the blades included in this set are not very flexible. As a result, they are not very good for making sloped or curved cuts.
With everything on the table, it can be confidently said that the Milwaukee Electric Tool 49-22-1129 Sawzall Reciprocating Saw Blade Set is a versatile, practical and convenient option for people who work with different applications. In general, the blades included in this set are tough, durable and efficient. Additionally, the set comes with a handy protective case.
2. Dewalt Blade Set – Best Heavy-Duty Sawzall Blade Set
Having been around for almost 100 years, Dewalt is, without a doubt, one of the leading manufacturers of tools for the construction and woodworking industries. It’s only logical, then, that this product by the company boasts an impressive level of quality. Including six professional-grade blades, this set can be used in a variety of applications.
Speed and Power
Precision and Finish
Despite being far from the finest and most delicate saw blade set you can find, the Dewalt DW4856 includes blades with a high TPI count that can help you perform precise cuts. Even better, when properly used, these saw blades can achieve a surprisingly smooth finish.
After taking a look at its characteristics and features, it can be said that the Dewalt DW4856 Metal/Woodcutting Reciprocating Saw Blade Set is a great option for those who are looking for power and speed but don’t want to sacrifice effectivity. Despite not being the finest ones out there, the blades included in this set can be used in a variety of contexts with a high level of success.
3. Irwin Tools Blade Set – Most Versatile Sawzall Blade Set
If you are looking for a cheap sawzall blade set, this product by Irwin Tools is not the right one for you. However, if you take into account that it features 11 different high-quality blades, this set’s price point begins to make a lot more sense. Featuring blades of various different sizes, this set can be used in a variety of applications.
Speed and Power
Precision and Finish
If there is an aspect that the Irwin Tools Reciprocating Saw Blade Set 4935496 excels at, it’s the precision of its blades. Narrow, flexible and with a low kerf, these blades are easy to maneuver, allowing you to make accurate cuts with quickness and ease. In addition, its cuts are smooth and reliable, even producing very little debris.
Without a doubt, the blades included in the Irwin Tools Reciprocating Saw Blade Set 4935496 are not the toughest, fastest or more powerful. However, they are very maneuverable and accurate, allowing you to make cuts with precision and finesse. Additionally, having 11 different blade sizes, this set allows you to choose the perfect tool for every situation.
4. Makita Blade Assortment Pack – Best Workshop-Ready Blade Set
Including 6T, 10T, 18T and progressive teeth blades, this reciprocating saw blade set can be a one-stop-shop solution for most workshops. Made of a strong and tough combination of materials, these blades are capable of exerting great power without becoming damaged in the process. What is more, they are long-lasting even when subjected to extended use.
Speed and Power
Precision and Finish
Without a doubt, the Makita 723086-A-A 6pc Recip Blade Assortment Pack features some of the most precise blades of their kind. Using blades with different types of tips, you can either plunge or slice with about as much ease. While the cutting process with these blades can be slow, it’s also very smooth, even generating very little debris.
Featuring an all-inclusive variety of blades, the Makita 723086-A-A 6pc Recip Blade Assortment Pack provides great versatility. In fact, chances are one of the blades featured in this pack can be used to solve any cutting-related problem in professional workshops. Additionally, the blades presented in this pack are durable and very resistant.
5. Bosch Saw Blades RP125 – Most Durable Sawzall Blade Set
Being a product of one of the most notable manufacturers of heavy-duty tools in the world, it’s only logical that this product by Bosch would be amazingly popular. Made with pruning and wood cutting in mind, the blades included in this set are as powerful as they are precise.
Speed and Power
Precision and Finish
While they are certainly not the smoothest or more precise on the market, the blades included in this set are accurate enough to be successfully used on most detail-oriented applications. Despite the roughness of their cut, when properly used, these blades can help you produce smooth finishes.
Everything considered, it can be stated that the Bosch RP125 reciprocating saw blade set is a good option for those who are looking for stability, balance and versatility of use. Powerful and effective, they can be used with great success in a variety of applications. Additionally, due to their turbo technology, the blades’ teeth are capable of lasting up to three times longer.
Types of Reciprocating Saw Blades
Tapered Back Reciprocating Blades
As the name indicates, these blades taper at the tip. For that reason, they are very useful when it comes to plunging into a tough material. Typically, this type of reciprocating blade can be used for standard cutting operations.
Specialty blades are made for a specific purpose. Normally, they are used by novices who don’t yet have a good grasp on how to use a regular sawzall blade set to achieve different purposes.
With a double edge, these blades are capable of cutting in both directions. As a result, they are well-suited for tasks such as applying, modifying or getting rid of plaster. Unfortunately, these blades are not recommended for being used for standard cutting procedures.
What to Look For in Reciprocating Saw Blades
High-Speed Steel (HSS): After being subjected to a special tempering process, high-speed steel blades are more heat-resistant and durable than regular sawzall blades. As a result, these blades are up to five times more durable than regular carbon steel. Additionally, they become capable of cutting through hardwood, aluminum and non-ferrous metal with remarkable ease. Apart from becoming harder overall, blades that have been subjected to this process become less flexible. The downside of that is that it makes them more prone to breaking when bent.
High Carbon Steel (HCS): Being the most inexpensive type of reciprocating saw blade, carbon steel blades are the most widely used. They are also the softest type of blades that you can buy. This characteristic allows them to bend a great deal without breaking. However, it also makes them the least durable. As a result, this type of blade is good for cutting soft wood, particle board and various types of plastic. If used on harder woods and other hard materials, they quickly become dull and unusable.
Bi-Metal: Bi-metal reciprocating blades combine the flexibility and break-resistance of high-carbon steel with the heat-resistance and durability of high-speed steel.
Typically, bi-metal reciprocating saw blades last 10 times more than a regular carbon steel blade. Of course, bi-metal sawzall blades are also more costly than either HSS or HCS blades. However, they offer both versatility and toughness, making them the perfect choice for more demanding applications.
If you want even more heat-resistance and durability, however, you can get a bi-metal blade that uses a cobalt-steel alloy to enhance its cutting edge. Being incredibly tough, these blades are suitable for being used in demolition (nail-embedded wood), auto dismantling, sheet metal and pipe cutting.
Carbide-Tipped: These sawzall blades are bi-metal blades that have a tungsten or titanium carbide tip a the end of each tooth. As you may know, carbide is extremely hard and heat-resistant. As a result, blades that employ it offer 20 times the cutting life or regular bi-metal blades. As a matter of fact, they can cut thick pieces of hard metals, including cast iron, stainless steel and even high-strength alloy. All these are difficult materials that would quickly destroy an HCS, HSS or traditional bi-metal blade.
Carbide Grit: Normally made of tungsten carbide, carbide grit sawzall blades don’t feature regular teeth. Instead, they have an abrasive strip that can cut dense materials without becoming damaged or worn out as regular blades would. As a result, they are commonly used for working with tile, cement, brick, marble, stone, masonry, cast iron and fiberglass
Diamond: Diamond blades operate through abrasion just like carbide grit blades. However, they are made of diamond instead of carbide. For this reason, they are the most expensive type of sawzall blade out there. However, they are also a lot faster and around 20 times more resistant than carbide grit blades. Additionally, being very fine, diamond blades are perfect for cutting dense material that is also very brittle, including glass and fiberglass.
Width and Shape
As a rule of thumb, wider blades are more stable than their narrower counterparts. Additionally, they resist vibration and bending better, allowing you to make faster and more aggressive cuts. As a result, wider blades are better for heavy-duty applications such as demolition, auto-dismantling and rescue operations. A blade that measures in at anything between 3/4″ and 1″ is considered wide.
On the other hand, blades with a lower width offer more flexibility than their wider counterparts. For that reason, they are often used for projects where flexibility and accuracy are important. Normally, they range between 1/2″ and 3/4″ in width. Blades that have less than half an inch in width are rare, and they are normally used for scroll cutting as well as creating small details in wood, metal and plastic.
You should also take the blade’s shape into consideration. Sloped shaped blades are perfect for plunge cutting. Meanwhile, straight blades are great for edge cutting. If you can’t choose between the two, take into account that some blades combine both shapes, allowing them to perform both tasks with ease.
When working with reciprocating saw blades, you should take into account that short blades are more rigid. As a result, they can be used in a more aggressive way. Additionally, added rigidity makes for straighter, more square cuts. As a result, shorter blades are best used for plunge cutting, copper pipe cutting and slicing through thin metals.
On the other hand, longer blades are more flexible. Due to having a larger surface area, they can dissipate heat more efficiently. For that reason, they are often used for jobs like demolition, pruning, auto-dismantling and rescue operations. Additionally, their flexibility allows you to make flush cuts with a lot more ease.
It’s important to take into account that the length of the blade you use should be longer than the thickness of the material you want to cut. Apart from reducing the possibility of slipping and binding, this will give you great freedom of movement. On the contrary, if your blade is too long, it can wobble while you cut. The vibration that results from this can slow down and ultimately compromise your work.
Logically, thicker blades are more durable and resistant than thinner ones. Additionally, they are better at handing bending and vibration. As if all that wasn’t enough, they also allow you to apply more pressure during tougher jobs. Heavy-duty thicknesses (between 0.050″ and 0.062″) are commonly used for demolition through nail-embedded wood, auto-dismantling, rescue operation and dense metal cutting.
On the other hand, thinner blades are flexible, practical and versatile. In fact, they can be used generally for most applications. Apart from being easier to use, these blades tend to be quicker and a lot less expensive. As a result of all this, standard-duty sawzall blades are the most commonly used.
Standard reciprocating saw blades have the following thicknesses:
- Standard duty: 0.035 inches.
- Medium-heavy duty: 0.042 inches.
- Heavy duty: 0.050 inches.
- Ultra-heavy duty: 0.062 inches.
Teeth-per-inch, very straightforwardly, is a term that refers to the number of teeth a sawzall blade has for every inch of its length. There are various factors that are determined by a blade’s TPI, including the speed and roughness of the cut.
While blades with a low TPI cut faster, they leave rougher edges. For that reason, they are often used for jobs that do not require precision or finesse. Rough woodwork and demolition work are good examples. As you would expect, general purpose wood cutting sawzall blades are right in the middle, offering a TPI of 5 or 6.
Conversely, blades with a higher TPI cut slowly, removing smaller amounts of material with each pass. However, they are a lot more precise and leave a much smoother edge. The blades that feature the highest TPI of all are mostly used for cutting metal and other dense materials. Sometimes, they will also be used on hard wood.
All in all, the five products featured in this buyer’s guide are worth looking into. Effective, durable and incredibly powerful, all of them can help you complete heavy-duty jobs with ease and finesse. In the end, however, it’s up to you to select the perfect one for your particular needs. Hopefully, all the information that was laid out in this guide will help you do just that.