Cut like a demon with a high quality reciprocating saw blade.
A reciprocating saw, also known as a sawzall, is a tough, compact, versatile cutting tool. Whether you are cutting dead branches off a tree or removing an old roof, a reciprocating saw is a tool you can rely on to get the job done.
Like any saw, a reciprocating saw is only as good as its blade. There are various blades to choose from, some of which are more suitable for specific tasks. This can be very helpful but it also means you might struggle to choose which blade you need.
To help you find the right blade, we have reviewed five of the best reciprocating saw blades that are currently available. We chose these sawzall blades based on their material, size, and how many teeth they have.
Our Top Picks
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Reciprocating saw blades are available in various sizes and thicknesses. The good news is that they are all universal, meaning they fit any saw brand. We examined dozens of blades to bring you our reviews of five of the best reciprocating saw blades that are currently available. We chose these blades for their durability, length, and teeth per inch.
This 9-inch saw blade from Milwaukee is ideal for wet or green wood because it has just five teeth per inch. This means it will quickly tear through the wood at high speeds. It won’t leave a neat cut, but that won’t matter when you’re cutting roots. The deep teeth eat through the material quickly, reducing the effort required.
This blade is made of high carbon, so it will flex without snapping. If you want a saw blade that can reach tight spots and cut flush with the surface, this is an excellent option.
The only drawback of carbon blades is that they dull very quickly, but this is balanced by how cheap they are to buy. You are unlikely to have an issue with their toughness unless you encounter stone when cutting.
This Milwaukee product contains five saw blades, so you will have plenty of spares when they dull. Once you have cut through any roots, these blades will also make short work of any branches.
DeWALT is among the best reciprocating saw manufacturers in the world, so it is no surprise that the company also makes some of the best blades. This 12-piece set contains a range of bi-metal blades designed to cut through metal and wood.
This set includes two 6-inch 18-TPI metal cutting blades as well as three 8-inch 14-TPI metal cutting blades. DeWALT has even included a 9-inch 10-TPI demolition blade for the toughest jobs such as cutting through wood containing nails.
These saw blades are bi-metal, so they have all the attributes of carbon steel and high-speed steel including flexibility and durability. They cut very straight lines, which is crucial if you are slicing through copper pipes to add a joint or connector. You will need a neat connection to prevent leaks.
As they are bi-metal, they cost more than carbon steel blades. However, they should also last ten times as long, so you will likely save money in the long run despite the higher initial cost.
This Bosch 12-inch wood cutting saw blade uses the company’s Turbo-Teeth technology, which makes the blade dull slowly and increases its longevity. This blade should last as much as three times longer than similar wood-cutting blades.
These blades are carbide-tipped with tungsten to increase their cutting strength and make them more resistant to heat. This results in a saw blade that will stay sharper for longer.
With five teeth per inch, this blade meets the usual standard for wood-cutting blades. However, as it is carbide-tipped, it has increased rigidity that will help you make a straighter cut.
This set contains five blades. Given how carbide-tipped blades can last 20 times longer than bi-metal blades, this set should keep your reciprocating saw sharp for a long time
High initial cost
Lack of flexibility
Wet wood, lumber, softwood, tree limbs
4. DeWALT DW4856 Reciprocating Saw Blades 6-Piece Set
If you want a versatile pack of saw blades without spending much money, this is a great option. They carry the DeWALT name, so they are good blades despite their budget-friendly price.
This pack contains an assortment of blades for various materials and hardness. While all the blades are 6 inches long, the tooth count includes 6, 10, 14, 18, and 24 TPI blades.
Having so much variety means this product will allow you to tackle the hardest materials such as concrete and steel, as well as softwood and green wood. The only downside is that the blades are quite short, so they probably won’t be suitable for pruning.
These blades provide excellent value for money, but they are still made of bi-metal, which is more durable than carbon steel and heat-resistant. This all adds up to a set of blades that costs very little but will last a long time.
At 9 inches, these are very versatile multi-purpose pruning blades. This means that they can cut through most branch sizes without forcing you to switch to a 12-inch blade. They are made of carbon steel, making them flexible enough to cut at awkward angles and robust enough to cope with the strain.
This also means you can get tight to the base of the branch you want to cut. Like most wood-cutting blades, these ones have five teeth per inch, which is ideal for ripping and shearing through wet and green wood.
These blades are American-made by a small independent company called Caliastro in Chicago. Although the brand isn’t a household name like DeWALT or Bosch, the company still makes excellent reciprocating blades for pruning.
The only downside is that these blades are carbon steel, which means they are softer and prone to dulling quickly. That is less of a problem as you will probably only be cutting softwood, but keep in mind that carbon steel is less robust than bi-metal blades.
Reciprocating saw blades have a universal shank and fit all reciprocating saws. Blade brands such as Milwaukee (which gave Sawzall its name) and DeWALT are interchangeable with all makes of saws, so you won’t be limited to the same manufacturer as your saw.
What Size Reciprocating Saw Blade Do I Need?
The size of the blade you need will vary depending on the task. The longest blades are 12 inches and are designed to cut small limbs from trees and bushes as well as perform tasks in the construction industry. A 12-inch blade is also great for cutting through tough materials during demolition jobs.
At the opposite end of the scale, a 6-inch blade is perfect for cutting smaller objects such as pipework or sheet metal. This is because the decreased size increases the rigidity of the blade, which will help you cut straighter lines. 6-inch blades also cut through lumber and plastic with ease.
If you want a versatile blade, the best length is 9 inches. This blade will be suitable for most tasks and will be easier to control than the largest models.
Check Your Saw
Before you buy a blade, check what kind of saw you have. Some saws have larger fronts, which could mean you lose up to 3 inches of blade length.
How Do I Choose a Reciprocating Saw Blade?
Reciprocating saws are versatile, largely due to the shape of their blades and the different sizes that are available. With many blades to choose from, it is important to choose the right one if you want a job to go smoothly.
Always choose a blade type that is harder than the material you are cutting.
Your blade’s material has a significant impact on its quality and efficiency when cutting. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most widely-used blade materials for reciprocating saw blades.
High-Carbon Steel (HCS)
High-carbon steel blades are the most common blades and the most affordable. They are also the softest blades and have the ability to bend slightly without breaking. This makes them ideal for cutting through wood, plastic, and particle boards, but it also means they will blunt more quickly than other types.
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.
One negative of the tempering process is that it makes these blades brittle and prone to snapping under pressure. However, they are more durable when cutting, so they can cut hardwood, non-ferrous metals, and aluminum without wearing down their teeth too quickly.
Bi-metal blades combine the flexibility of carbon steel and the heat resistance, durability, and hardness of high-speed steel teeth.
These blades are more expensive than carbon or high-speed steel blades. However, they should last ten times longer than carbon steel blades and five times longer than high-speed steel, so they are well worth the extra cost.
Bi-metal blades are popular with auto shops and professional construction workers. They are also excellent if you want a reliable, versatile blade for DIY work around your home.
Some bi-metal blades have cobalt-steel alloy teeth, making them even tougher. These blades are ideal for demolition work, including cutting through wood with nails embedded in it, as well as cutting sheet metal and wood.
Carbide-tipped blades are bi-metal blades with tungsten or titanium carbide tips. These blades are 20 times stronger than standard bi-metal blades and are extremely heat-resistant, making them among the most durable you can find.
If you need to cut through cast iron, stainless steel, or thick bolts, these blades will be up to the task.
These blades have no teeth, instead using a tungsten grit coating to cut through materials. They can cut through concrete, tile, brick, and marble, as well as cast iron and fiberglass. The grit protects the blade, slowing the wear and tear.
Diamond-coated blades are the most expensive type you can buy. Instead of teeth, they are coated with diamond grit, which makes them extremely abrasive. They are used to cut through dense and brittle materials such as glass, tile, ceramics, concrete, steel, and other types of masonry.
The best blade length varies depending on what you need to cut. Sizes range from 3 inches to 12 inches, with standard blades including 4-inch, 6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch.
As a general rule, the shorter the blade, the stronger and more rigid it is. Rigidity makes a blade more suitable for plunge cutting and slicing through pipework and thin metals.
Longer blades are more flexible and are better suited to hardwood, softwood, lumber, and pruning. As the blades have extra flexibility, they can also cut flush with the surface, making them ideal for demolition and cutting cars apart.
Try to keep the tip length 3 inches longer than the material you are cutting.
Wider blades are intended for heavy-duty tasks. The extra width provides greater rigidity and ensures a straighter and more aggressive edge. These blades are typically 0.75- to 1-inch wide and are staples of the demolition and auto industries.
Even the emergency services use wider blades when attending accidents where the occupants need to be cut free.
Here are some of the standard reciprocating saw blade thicknesses and what they are used for:
Medium to heavy use
Ultra heavy-duty use
Thicker blades vibrate less and can withstand greater pressure. This makes them ideal for the most heavy-duty tasks such as demolition and dismantling vehicles. They cut through thick, dense materials such as metal, nail-embedded wood, and automobiles. This makes them the blade of choice for fire and rescue teams 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)
Like circular saw blades, different amounts of teeth per inch will be more suitable for different materials. Reciprocating blades range from 3 to 24 teeth per inch, which is a significant difference. As a general rule, the fewer teeth per inch, the softer the material the blade is designed for. A blade for cutting metal will have a much higher TPI than one for cutting wood.
Here is what each type is suitable for:
Teeth Per Inch (TPI)
3 to 11 TPI
Wood and demolition work. Low TPI means a rougher cut.
12 to 18 TPI
Metal and finish cuts in wood. Higher TPI means a finer finish.
18 to 24 TPI
Metal cutting only.
For the best results, always keep three teeth in contact with the surface of the material. This will improve your control and provide a neater finish.
What Can You Cut with a Reciprocating Saw?
Reciprocating saws are ideal for the precision cutting of trees but they are also invaluable tools for renovation and demolition projects. They can 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.
A saw is only as good as its blade, so take the time to choose the right one for the job. If you do this, you will be able to cut through almost anything you encounter. It is even possible to dismantle cars with a reciprocating saw if you use a tungsten-tipped blade.
Are Reciprocating Saws Dangerous?
Reciprocating saws are notorious for kickbacks, making them among the most dangerous power tools available. In untrained hands, this saw can do serious damage, including to its user. Kickbacks occur when the blade can’t cut through the material and the saw is forced back toward the user.
When a kickback occurs, the operator of the saw often loses control of the saw and is left off-balance. You should do everything you can to avoid one, including choosing the right blade for the material you need to cut
How Long Are Reciprocating Saw Blades?
Reciprocating blades range in length from 3 inches to 12 inches. The most common lengths include 4, 6, 9, and 12-inch blades.
The blade length you need will depend on the task you need to complete. For large-scale tasks such as pruning trees, use a longer blade. For smaller tasks such as cutting pipes, you can use a shorter blade.
Longer blades have more flexibility, whereas shorter blades provide a neater finish and a straighter cut due to their greater rigidity. This also means shorter blades are more brittle and prone to breaking.
What Blades Fit DeWALT Reciprocating Saws?
All reciprocating saw blades are universal, so any blade will fit your DeWALT saw. This includes top brands such as Milwaukee and Bosch. It also means that if you have a Milwaukee saw, you will be able to fit DeWALT blades.
Can You Use Any Brand Blades With a Reciprocating Saw?
It’s possible to use any brand of blades with a reciprocating saw because of their standard fit. However, some reciprocating saws work best when you use blades of the same brand.
Can Reciprocating Saw Blades Be Sharpened?
Getting the most out of a reciprocating saw means keeping the blades sharp. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy process that can be done with a file or sharpening stone. Always use a coarse-grit option to remove any large nicks or burrs when using a file.
Once the blade is nice and smooth, you can switch to a finer-grit file for a polished edge. If you’re using a sharpening stone, start with a medium-grit option and work up to a fine-grit stone. Remember to lubricate the blade with water or oil before sharpening to prevent undue wear.
Is Brushless Better for a Reciprocating Saw?
When shopping for a reciprocating saw, professionals usually go for brushless models. Although brushed reciprocating saws are cheaper and more widely available, brushless models have some advantages.
First, they’re more efficient. Because they don’t have brushes, there’s less friction, so the motor doesn’t have to work as hard.
This increases the saw’s lifespan and makes it more powerful. Also, brushless models tend to be more durable and require less maintenance.
For example, they don’t need to have their brushes replaced as often, and they are less likely to overheat. They also generate more power using a battery of the same size.
Who Makes the Best Sawzall Blades for Metal?
When cutting through metal, there’s no tool more versatile or powerful than a Sawzall. There’s simply no competition. And with Sawzall blades, no brand is more trusted than DEWALT. Their blades are made from high-quality steel designed to withstand repeated use.
The cutting edges are specially hardened to stay sharp longer, making them perfect for super demanding jobs. That’s probably why professionals love them so much.
Are Diablo Reciprocating Blades Good?
If you’ve ever experienced a broken or dull blade, then you know having a good set of reciprocating blades is super important. That’s why the Diablo Reciprocating Blades are such a great value and well worth the small investment.
They’re extremely durable and made from high-quality materials, and they also perform amazingly.
With a wide variety to choose from, there’s a Diablo blade that’s perfect for any project on your roster. And because they’re so affordable, it’s easy for you to stock up and have a few sets on hand.
Which Reciprocating Saw Blades Are the Best?
The Milwaukee reciprocating saw blades are probably the best choice right now. They’re made from high-quality carbon steel, and the 9-inch blades are available in 5-pack boxes. Also, you get a universal fit, so you can use them with all sawzalls.
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.