Best Reciprocating Saw Blades of 2020

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Categories Saws
Cut like a demon with a high quality reciprocating saw blade.

The best sawzall blades are tough cookies, and they make any job easier to tackle. Whether you are sawing limbs from a tree or tearing down an old roof, reciprocating saws are the go-to tool.

But remember, your sawzall is only as good as the blade. That’s why we decided to take a look at the best reciprocating saw blades to put you in the picture.

Table of Contents

    Do Reciprocating Saw Blades Fit All Saws?

    Yes, reciprocating saw blades have a universal shank and fit all reciprocating saws. Brands like Milwaukee and DeWALT are interchangeable with all brands of saws, so you don’t need to search out your specific manufacturer.

    What Size Reciprocating Saw Blade Do I Need?

    The size of the blade you need depends on what you intend to cut. The longest blades are 12 inches in length and designed to cut small limbs from trees and bushes as well as used in the heavy construction industry. A 12-inch blade can do some serious damage to a house during demolition.

    On the flip side, if you are cutting smaller items like pipework or sheet metal, a 6-inch blade is the one to choose because of the decreased size adding extra rigidity to the blade. This helps you cut straighter lines. 6-inch blades also cut through lumber and plastic with ease.

    The best everyday blade length is 9 inches. This blade caters to most tasks, and they are easy to control.

    Quick Note

    Check what kind of saw you have because some have larger fronts and you could lose up to 3 inches of blade length.

    How Do I Choose a Reciprocating Saw Blade?

    Reciprocating saws are versatile, and that’s thanks to the blades. So, choosing the right blade for the job is crucial if you want the best outcome.

    Quick Tip

    As a rule, choose a blade type that’s harder than the material you are cutting.

    Blade Material

    The material of your blade plays a significant role in its quality and efficiency on the job. These are some of the most readily available blade materials on the market.

    High-Carbon Steel (HCS)

    High-carbon steel blades are the most common of all the blade materials and the least expensive. They are also the softest of the blades and are known to flex without breaking. This means they are great for cutting through wood, plastic, and particle boards, but they also blunt very quickly.

    High-Speed Steel (HSS)

    High-speed steel blades are tempered to increase their durability and heat-resistance. This makes them last up to five times longer than carbon steel blades.

    The downside of the tempering process is it makes them brittle and prone to snapping when put under pressure. Still, the added durability means these blades cut hardwood, non-ferrous metals, and aluminum without too much wear and tear on the blade teeth.

    Bi-Metal Blades

    Bi-metal blades are a combination of carbon steel for flexibility and high-speed steel teeth for heat resistance, durability, and hardness.

    These blades are more expensive than carbon or high-speed steel blades. They last ten times longer than carbon steel blades and five times longer than high-speed steel varieties.

    Bi-metal blades are popular with trades, auto shops, and professional construction workers. They are also useful for occasional DIY work around the home.

    Some bi-metal blades have cobalt-steel alloy teeth and are even tougher. These types of blades are ideal for demolition work, including nail-embedded wood, as well as cutting sheet metal and wood.

    Carbide-Tipped Blades

    Carbide-tipped blades are bi-metal blades with tungsten or titanium carbide tips. These types of blades are 20 times stronger than standard bi-metal blades and are extremely heat-resistant, as well as hard-wearing.

    If you are cutting through cast iron, stainless steel, or thick bolts, this blade is up to the task.

    Carbide-Grit Blades

    These blades have a tungsten grit coating and no teeth. They cut through tile, brick, marble, and concrete, as well as cast iron and fiberglass. The grit protects the blade, slowing the wear and tear.

    Diamond-Coated Blades

    Diamond blades are the most expensive you can buy. They have a diamond grit rather than tungsten, which makes them extremely abrasive. They are used to cut through denser and more brittle material like glass, tile, ceramics, concrete, steel, and as well as other masonry.

    Length

    The length of the blade varies depending on what you are cutting. Sizes range from 3 inches to 12 inches, and standard sizes include, 4-inch, 6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch.

    The rule of thumb is, the shorter the blade, the more aggressive and rigid it is. Rigidity makes it the ideal blade for plunge cutting and slicing through pipework and thinner metals.

    Longer blades have a higher flex level and are better suited to hardwood, softwood, lumber, and pruning. Because the blades have extra flexibility, they can also cut flush with the surface, meaning they are ideal for demolition and auto-dismantling.

    Remember

    Keep the tip length 3 inches longer than the material you are cutting.

    Width

    Wider blades are suited to heavy-duty tasks. The extra width gives them greater rigidity and provides a straighter and more aggressive edge. Typically 0.75- to 1-inch in width, these blades are stalwarts of the demolition and auto industry.

    Even the emergency services use wider blades when attending accidents where the occupants need to be cut free.

    Thickness

    This at-a-glance table highlights the standard thickness of the blades and their intended uses.

    0.035 inchesStandard use.
    0.042 inchesMedium to heavy use.
    0.050 inchesHeavy-duty use.
    0.062 inchesUltra heavy-duty use.

    Thicker blades have less vibration and can withstand greater load pressures. This makes them ideal for the heaviest tasks like demolition and auto-dismantling. They cut through thicker and denser material like metal, nail-embedded wood, and automobiles. This makes them the blade of choice for fire and rescue services when attending emergencies.

    Keep in Mind

    Longer blades bend more easily, so only choose a thicker blade for tasks of 6 inches or more.

    Teeth Per Inch (TPI)

    Just like circular saw blades, the amount of teeth per inch suits different materials. Reciprocating blades range in teeth from 3 to 24. Here’s a handy chart:

    Teeth Per Inch (TPI)Uses
    3 to 11 TPIWood and demolition. Low TPI means a rougher cut.
    12 to 18 TPIMetal and finish cuts in wood. Higher TPI means a finer finish.
    18 to 24 TPIMetal cutting only.

    Top Tip

    For the best results, always keep three teeth in contact with the material surface. It gives you greater control and provides a neater finish.

    The Best Reciprocating Saw Blades of 2020

    The best reciprocating saw blades come in all sizes and thicknesses. The good news is they are all universal, meaning they fit any make of saw. We looked at dozens of saw blades to determine which one was best in five different categories.

    1. Milwaukee 48-00-1301 9-Inch 5 Teeth Pruning Blades

    Best Reciprocating Saw Blade for Roots

    Milwaukee 48-00-1301 Sawzall 9-Inch 5-Teeth per Inch Pruning Blade, 5-Pack
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    This saw blade by Milwaukee is ideal for wet or green wood because it has just five teeth per inch. This means that it’s useful for tearing through the wood at speed. It won’t leave a neat cut, but when you’re cutting roots, it doesn’t matter. The deep gulleted teeth eat through the material at a rapid pace, reducing the effort needed

    What makes this saw blade stand out is that it is made from high-carbon, so it will flex without snapping. If you want a saw blade that reaches tight spots and can cut flush with the surface, this is the one.

    The only downside to carbon blades is they dull very quickly, but the upside is they are cheap to buy. This is only a problem when you encounter rocks and stones in the soil.

    This Milwaukee saw set has five blades, so even though they dull quickly, you’ll still have a spare on hand. And when you have finished working on the roots, this will make light work of tree limbs.

    PROS:
    • Flexible.
    • High-carbon steel.
    • Five teeth per inch.
    • Come in a pack of five.
    • Ideal for wet and green wood.
    CONS:
    • Dulls quickly.
    • Only useful on softwood.
    • Doesn’t leave a neat cut.

    Additional Specs

    Weight5.6 ounces
    MaterialCarbon steel alloy
    Pack size5
    Length9 inches
    TPI5
    Other usesWet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs

    2. DeWALT Bi-Metal 12-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blades

    Best Reciprocating Saw Blade for Metal

    DEWALT Reciprocating Saw Blades, Bi-Metal Set with Case, 12-Piece (DW4892)
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    DeWALT makes some of the best reciprocating saws in the world, so it stands to reason they should make some of the best blades. This 12-piece set comes with a variety of bi-metal blades designed to cut through wood and metal.

    This set includes two 6-inch 18-TPI metal cutting blades as well as three 8-inch 14-TPI metal cutting blades. They even include a 9-inch 10-TPI demolition blade for those stubborn jobs like nail-embedded wood.

    These saw blades are bi-metal, so they have all the attributes of carbon steel and high-speed steel, meaning they have flex and durability. They cut straight, which is crucial If you are slicing through copper pipework and adding a joint or connector. You need a neat connection to stop leakage.

    Because they are bi-metal, they cost a little bit more, but the good news is they last ten times as long as carbon steel blades, so while you pay more initially, you save in the long run.

    PROS:
    • High teeth count.
    • Durable.
    • Dull slowly.
    • Neat cuts.
    • Cuts straight.
    CONS:
    • Lacks flexibility.
    • Prone to snapping.
    • More expensive to buy.

    Additional Specs

    Weight1.01 pounds
    MaterialBi-metal
    Pack size12
    Length6-inch to 9-inch
    TPI6, 10, 18
    Other usesWood, metal, plastic, concrete, masonry

    3. Bosch 5-Piece 12-inch Wood Cutting Saw Blades

    Best Reciprocating Saw Blade for Wood

    Bosch 5-Piece 12-Inch 5 TPI Wood Cutting Reciprocating Saw Blades RP125
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    This Bosch 12-inch wood cutting saw blade has something called Turbo-Teeth technology, which slows the blade dulling and increasing its longevity. This blade lasts up to three times as long as similar wood cutting blades.

    Unlike the Milwaukee blades, these are carbide-tipped with tungsten to increase their cutting prowess and reduce their susceptibility to heat. It all adds up to a saw blade that stays sharp.

    Like the Milwaukee, it has five teeth per inch, which is standard for wood cutting blades. However, because this one is carbide-tipped, it has increased rigidity, so you get a straighter cut.

    This set contains five blades. But because carbide-tipped blades last 20 times longer than bi-metal varieties, it means this model will stay sharp for a very long time.

    PROS:
    • Carbide-tipped.
    • Straight cuts.
    • Turbo-tooth technology.
    • Increased rigidity.
    • Heat-resistant.
    CONS:
    • Expensive initially to buy.
    • Lack of flexibility.

    Additional Specs

    Weight9 ounces
    MaterialCarbide-tipped steel
    Pack size5
    Length12 inches
    TPI5
    Other usesWet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs

    4. DeWALT DW4856 Reciprocating Saw Blades 6-Piece Set

    Best Budget Reciprocating Saw Blade

    DEWALT Reciprocating Saw Blades, Metal/Wood Cutting Set, 6-Piece (DW4856),Metallic
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    If you want a pack of saw blades, but don’t want to spend a fortune, this could be the pick for you. And the best thing is they carry the DeWALT name, so they are going to be good blades into the bargain.

    As you would expect, this pack contains an assortment of blades for different materials and hardness. While all the blades are 6 inches in length, the tooth count varies from 6, 10, 14, 18, and 24.

    This array of choices means you can tackle the hardest material like concrete and steel, as well as softwood and green wood. The only downside is that the blades are little on the short side, so you probably would struggle to do the pruning with them.

    These blades are incredible value for money, but just because they are cheap doesn’t mean they are cheaply made. They are made of bi-metal, so they are more durable than carbon steel and heat-resistant. It all adds up to a set of blades that costs very little and lasts a long time. That’s why they made our shortlist as the best budget pick.

    PROS:
    • Bi-metal.
    • Cuts straight.
    • Long-lasting.
    • Increased rigidity.
    • Heat-resistant.
    • Excellent price.
    CONS:
    • Short blade length.
    • Lack of flexibility.

    Additional Specs

    Weight2.4 ounces
    MaterialBi-metal
    Pack size6
    Length6 inches
    TPI6, 10, 14, 18, 24
    Other usesMetal, plastic, wood, lumber, drywall, nails

    5. Caliastro 9-Inch Pruning Saw Blades 5-Pack

    Best Reciprocating Saw Blade for Pruning

    9-Inch Wood Pruning Saw Blades for Reciprocating/Sawzall Saws - 5 Pack
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    At 9 inches, these saw blades are the ultimate multi-purpose pruning blades. It means that they tackle most branch sizes without having to swap for a 12-inch blade. They are made from carbon steel, so they are flexible enough to cut awkward angles and robust enough to get the job done.

    It also means that you can get tight to the base of the branch you want to cut. As with other wood blades, these have five teeth per inch, which is typical for ripping and shearing through wet and green wood.

    These blades are American-made in Chicago by a small independent company called Caliastro. So they might lack the might of DeWALT or Bosch, but they make the top of our list for the best reciprocating blade for pruning.

    The only downside is that because these blades are carbon steel, they are softer and prone to dulling quickly. That isn’t such a problem because of the material you will be cutting, but just be aware that carbon steel isn’t as robust as bi-metal blades.

    PROS:
    • Flexible.
    • Carbon steel.
    • Low TPI.
    • Affordable.
    • American-made.
    CONS:
    • Blades dull quickly.
    • Limited uses.
    • Makes rough cuts.

    Additional Specs

    Weight6.4 ounces
    MaterialCarbon steel alloy
    Pack size5
    Length9 inches
    TPI5
    Other usesWet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs

    Reciprocating Saw Blade Comparison Chart

    ProductBestWeightMaterialLengthTPIOther uses
    Milwaukee 48-00-1301 Pruning BladesRoots5.6 ozCarbon steel alloy9″5Wet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs
    DeWALT Bi-Metal Saw BladesMetal1.01 lbsBi-metal6 to 9″6, 10, 18Wood, metal, plastic, concrete, masonry
    Bosch Wood Cutting Saw BladesWood9 ozCarbide-tipped steel12″5Wet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs
    DeWALT DW4856 Saw BladesBudget2.4 ozBi-metal6″6, 10, 14, 18, 24Metal, plastic, wood, lumber, drywall, nails
    Caliastro Pruning Saw BladesPruning6.4 ozCarbon steel alloy9″5Wet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs
    Jump to the Full Reciprocating Saw Blade Reviews

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What Can You Cut with a Reciprocating Saw?

    Reciprocating tools are a demolition expert’s dream. They cut drywall, wood, steel, cast iron, and sheet metal, as well as nails, copper pipes, and masonry. With the right blade, you can even cut through tile, ceramics, concrete, and stone.

    The saw is only as good as the blade, so choose the right blade, and you can cut almost anything. Auto-dismantling is even possible with tungsten-tipped blades.

    Are Reciprocating Saws Dangerous?

    Reciprocating saws are notorious for kickback, making them among the most dangerous power tools available. In the wrong hands, this saw can cause irreparable damage. Kickback occurs when the blade resists the material and forces the saw backward towards the user.

    At the point where the kickback happens, the operator of the saw is not in control and typically off-balance.

    How Long Are Reciprocating Saw Blades?

    They range in length from 3 inches to 12 inches. Typical standard length includes 4, 6, 9, and 12 inches.

    The size of the blade you choose depends on the job you undertake. For heavier tasks like garden pruning, choose a longer blade. For smaller tasks like cutting pipework, select a shorter blade.

    Longer blades have more flex, whereas shorter blades provide a neater finish and a straighter cut due to a lack of flexibility. This makes them more brittle.

    What Blades Fit DeWALT Reciprocating Saws?

    All reciprocating saw blades are universal, so if you have a DeWALT saw, go right ahead and fit Milwaukee blades. Likewise, if you have a Milwaukee saw, DeWALT blades fit just fine.


    Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

    Reciprocating saw blades are versatile. They handle almost any cutting situation with power and aggression. Still, they are not a precision, fine-detail tool. Remember, your reciprocating saw is only as good as the blade you have. So choose the right blade for the job.

    You should start with the tooth count. The lower the number of teeth, the better they are for softer material like green wood and lumber. The higher the tooth count, the better they are for hard material like metal and concrete. The good news is that no matter what blade you want, they are universal.

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    About the Author

    Mark Weir

    Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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