What Is a Reciprocating Saw? The Uses and Benefits Explained

Reciprocating saw cutting through wood
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What is a reciprocating saw? You might have heard the name, but at the same time you'll be thinking what is it and what is it used for? In a nutshell it's a powered handheld saw that uses a back and forth motion like a manual wood saw to cut through a host of different materials. 

The best reciprocating saws are multi-use tools that can tackle a whole range of tasks. They are not fine crafting tools that carpenters and woodworkers will typically use; they are powerful tough tools that pros and DIYers can use for demolition jobs and remodelling homes. When a hand saw, wood saw or jigsaw aren’t up to the task at hand it's time to call on a reciprocating saw to get the job sorted.

Here we take a look at what they are commonly used for and what to look out for if you are thinking of investing in one. 

Steve Jenkins

Steve Jenkins is a freelance content creator with over two decades of experience working in digital and print and was previously the DIY content editor for Homebuilding & Renovating. 

He is a keen DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating the many homes he has lived in. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has a wide range of skills gleaned from working in the building trade for around 10 years and spending time at night school learning how to plaster and plumb.

He has fitted kitchens, tiled bathrooms and kitchens, laid many floors, built partition walls, plastered walls, plumbed in bathrooms, worked on loft conversions and much more. And when he's not sure how to tackle a DIY project he has a wide network of friends – including plumbers, gas engineers, tilers, carpenters, painters and decorators, electricians and builders – in the trade to call upon.