Are Sawzall Blades Universal? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you tired of constantly having to switch out your saw blades for different brands and models of reciprocating saws?

Well, we have some good news for you! Sawzall blades, also known as reciprocating saw blades, are universal and standardized to fit all reciprocating saws.

This means that you can use any type of reciprocating saw blade in most reciprocating saws, regardless of brand.

In this article, we will explore the versatility of Sawzall blades and answer some common questions about their usage.

So, let’s dive in and discover the world of universal saw blades!

Are Sawzall Blades Universal

As mentioned earlier, Sawzall blades are universal and can fit all reciprocating saws. This is because they have a standardized shank that is designed to fit all reciprocating saw models.

This is great news for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike, as it means you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when purchasing new blades. You can simply choose the blade that best suits your needs and be confident that it will fit your reciprocating saw.

Understanding Sawzall Blades

When it comes to Sawzall blades, there are various types available for cutting different materials. The main differences between Sawzall blades are the teeth per inch (TPI), blade material, and blade shape.

For wood cutting, Sawzall blades with 5 to 10 TPI are recommended. These blades are ideal for cutting most types of wood, branches, and softer materials. They can also cut nails. Demolition blades, on the other hand, are best for nail-embedded wood and heavier duty applications. They are thicker and have a TPI range of 6 to 11. Some demo blades have variable TPI to better cut the range of materials encountered in a demolition job.

Combination blades use a variable pitch tooth configuration and can cut both wood and metal. They have tooth configurations such as 8/11 TPI or 10/14 TPI, making them a good choice for many jobs that require cutting a wide variety of materials.

Metal cutting blades have more teeth per inch and are recommended for cutting harder, denser materials. They typically have a TPI range of 10 to 18, but some can go as high as 24 TPI. These blades are also used for finish cuts in wood as they leave a smooth edge.

Carbide tipped blades are recommended for cutting very hard or dense materials such as high-strength alloys, cast iron, and stainless steel. Even though they usually have a TPI of 8, the ultra-hard and durable carbide tip allows them to cut materials that destroy other blades. Carbide grit blades do not have teeth but instead have a grit surface used primarily for cutting tile and masonry.

There are three product family names to know: The AX, Torch, and The Wrecker. The AX blades are for wood-cutting while TORCH blades are for cutting metal. The WRECKER is a multi-purpose type of blade that can cut wood, nail-embedded wood, plastics, and metal. These premium blades often have special features and tooth profiles to deliver faster cutting, longer life, and greater tooth durability.

Benefits Of Universal Saw Blades

The benefits of universal saw blades are numerous. Firstly, they offer convenience and ease of use. With a universal shank, you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when purchasing new blades. This means you can save time and money by not having to search for specific blades that are compatible with your reciprocating saw.

Secondly, universal saw blades offer versatility. As they can fit all reciprocating saws, you have access to a wider range of blades that can be used for different applications. This means you can switch between blades depending on the material you are cutting without having to worry about compatibility issues.

Thirdly, universal saw blades are cost-effective. As they can fit all reciprocating saws, you don’t have to purchase different blades for different saws. This means you can save money by purchasing one type of blade that can be used for all your cutting needs.

Finally, universal saw blades offer consistency in performance. As they are designed to fit all reciprocating saws, you can expect the same level of performance from each blade regardless of the brand or model of your reciprocating saw.

Types Of Sawzall Blades

When it comes to choosing the right Sawzall blade, there are several types available on the market. Each type is designed for specific applications and materials, so it’s important to choose the right one for your project. Here are some of the most common types of Sawzall blades:

1. Carbon Steel Blades: These are the most inexpensive type of Sawzall blades and are also the most common. They are soft and flexible, making them ideal for cutting softer materials like wood, particle board, and plastics. However, they are not very durable and can quickly become dull when used on harder materials.

2. High-Speed Steel Blades: These blades are made from a harder material than carbon steel blades and are designed for cutting through tougher materials like metal and hardwoods. They are more durable than carbon steel blades but can still become dull over time.

3. Bi-Metal Blades: These blades are made from two different types of metals, typically high-speed steel and carbon steel. This combination makes them more durable than either material alone and allows them to cut through a wider range of materials.

4. Carbide Grit Blades: These blades have a coating of carbide grit on the cutting edge, which makes them ideal for cutting through abrasive materials like ceramic tiles, brick, and cement.

5. Diamond Grit Blades: These blades have a coating of diamond grit on the cutting edge, making them ideal for cutting through hard materials like glass, stone, and ceramics.

6. Specialty Blades: There are also specialty Sawzall blades available for specific applications, such as pruning trees or cutting through cast iron pipes.

When choosing a Sawzall blade, it’s important to consider the material you will be cutting and the type of cut you need to make. By selecting the right blade for your project, you can ensure that you achieve clean and precise cuts with minimal effort.

How To Choose The Right Sawzall Blade

When choosing the right Sawzall blade, there are a few factors to consider to ensure that you select the best one for your specific cutting needs. Here are some important factors to keep in mind:

1. Blade Material: Sawzall blades come in different materials, including carbon steel, high-speed steel, and bi-metal. Carbon steel blades are flexible but less durable, while high-speed steel blades are more durable and harder. Bi-metal blades are a combination of both and offer the best of both worlds.

2. Number of Pieces: Different brands sell Sawzall blade sets with varying numbers of pieces. It is recommended to choose a set with more pieces as it offers more versatility in terms of applications. The more pieces with varying thicknesses and lengths, the better suited it will be for cutting metal, wood, plastic, drywall, and other materials.

3. Teeth Per Inch (TPI): The TPI of a blade determines its cutting efficiency and speed. Demolition work requires TPI of 6, 10, 14, and 18, while metal and wood cutting work require TPI of 14, 18, and 24. It is important to choose a blade with the appropriate TPI for the thickness of the material you will be cutting.

4. Blade Length: Sawzall blades come in different lengths ranging from 3″ – 12″. It is recommended to choose a blade that is slightly longer than the thickness of the material you will be cutting. This reduces slipping and binding and allows for greater freedom of movement.

5. Application: Consider what type of materials you will be cutting and what type of cuts you will need to make. For example, if you need to make plunge cuts or cut thinner metals like copper pipe, shorter blades are more rigid and aggressive. For jobs like demolition or pruning, longer blades are more flexible and dissipate more heat.

By considering these factors when choosing the right Sawzall blade for your reciprocating saw, you can ensure that you select the best one for your specific needs and achieve optimal results with your cutting projects.

Tips For Using Sawzall Blades Safely

When using Sawzall blades, it is important to prioritize safety. Here are some tips to help you use Sawzall blades safely:

1. Wear protective gear: Eye and ear protection are essential when using a reciprocating saw. Additionally, sturdy gloves can protect against cuts.

2. Choose the right blade: The blade you choose should be suitable for the metal being cut. For thin metal, blades with 20-24 teeth per inch are recommended, while for medium thickness, blades with 10-18 teeth per inch are preferred. For very thick metal, a blade with around 8 teeth per inch is ideal. Investing in a bi-metal saw blade set that contains a selection of blades suitable for different projects is also a good idea.

3. Consider the length of the blade: Choosing a longer blade can be useful when flush cutting, as it will bend to enable a greater proportion of the cutting edge to ride flat. Cutting thinner materials with a smaller blade will help limit ‘waggle’ during use; usually, the blade should only be a couple of inches longer than the depth of cut required.

4. Insert the blade correctly: Inserting the blade in a way that best suits the application is crucial. For example, if cutting through a material that is flush to the floor, it can be useful to insert the blade with the teeth facing upwards and then switch the orientation of the tool (flip it upside-down) so the handle does not get in the way.

5. Adjust speed and shoe position: Setting the saw to a slower speed than for wood cutting will extend the blade life and provide more control and precision. Adjusting the shoe to ensure it is set at the most appropriate point on the blade can also help.

6. Use a pivot or fulcrum: Placing the blade where the cut will be and using the shoe as a pivot or fulcrum can help guide the blade until it gains purchase in the metal. Slowly squeezing the trigger and keeping a firm hold on the tool housing is also important.

7. Change cutting angle: Changing the cutting angle by lowering or raising the trigger hand (in relation to the workpiece) can speed up cutting time.

8. Withdraw blade carefully: When the cut is complete, let go of the trigger and withdraw the blade back through the cut.

9. Prolonging blade life: If a saw blade becomes buckled, it can be easily straightened by placing it on a flat surface, putting a flat piece of wood over the damaged area, and hitting it a few times with a hammer (being careful not to damage the teeth). Blades that have become too worn to cut metal can often be repurposed for use cutting plastics.

By following these tips, you can ensure that you use Sawzall blades safely and effectively for all your reciprocating saw needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sawzall Blades

Here are some frequently asked questions about Sawzall blades:

1. How do I choose the right blade for the material I need to cut?

Choosing the right blade depends on several factors, including the material you need to cut, the blade material, length, width, thickness, and teeth-per-inch (TPI). For specific cut types, blade shape, tooth shape, kerf-width, gullet, and tooth pattern can be selected. Once you know the basics of these characteristics, choosing the right blade becomes easy.

2. How often should I change my Sawzall blade?

It is recommended to change your Sawzall blade after every few uses or when it becomes dull or damaged. Using a dull or damaged blade can cause it to overheat and wear out faster, which can damage your saw and make it less effective.

3. Can I sharpen my reciprocating saw blades?

Yes, you can sharpen your reciprocating saw blades. However, it is important to note that not all blades can be sharpened. Only bi-metal blades and some carbide blades can be sharpened. It is recommended to use a diamond file or sharpening stone to sharpen your blades.

4. Are all reciprocating saw blades compatible with all Sawzall models?

Yes, all Sawzall blades have a standardized shank that is designed to fit all reciprocating saw models. This means that you don’t have to worry about compatibility issues when purchasing new blades.

5. What are some of the best Sawzall blades on the market?

There are many great Sawzall blades on the market, but some of the most popular ones include bi-metal blades and carbide-tipped blades. The WRECKERTM with Carbide Teeth SAWZALL Blades are one of the most versatile carbide blades available today, offering up to 50X more life compared to bi-metal reciprocating saw blades. The Fang TipTM Design allows for faster plunge cuts into wood materials.