What Is A Sawzall? A Comprehensive Guide To This Power Tool

Are you a DIY enthusiast or a professional in the construction industry?

If so, you’ve probably heard of the term “Sawzall”. But what exactly is a Sawzall? Is it just another name for a reciprocating saw? And how does it work?

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Sawzalls and explore their uses, features, and benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie to power tools, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about this versatile cutting machine.

So, let’s get started!

What Is A Sawzall

A Sawzall is a type of reciprocating saw that is used for cutting through a variety of materials, including wood, metal, concrete, and PVC. The term “Sawzall” is actually a registered trademark of Milwaukee Tools, but it has become a common term used to describe any brand of reciprocating saw.

The cutting action of a Sawzall is achieved through a push-and-pull motion of the blade, which is powered by an electric motor. The blade is long and thin with teeth on one side, and it moves back and forth rapidly to cut through the material.

Sawzalls come in both corded and battery-operated versions, making them a versatile tool for both small and large jobs. They are easy to use, making them a great asset for DIY homeowners and professionals alike.

What Is A Sawzall?

A Sawzall is a type of reciprocating saw that is commonly used in construction and demolition work. It was first produced by Milwaukee Electric Tool in 1951 and has since become a popular tool among professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

The design of a Sawzall includes a large blade resembling that of a jigsaw, with a handle oriented to allow the saw to be used comfortably on vertical surfaces. The typical design also includes a foot at the base of the blade, similar to that of a jigsaw, which the user can hold or rest on the surface being cut to counteract the tendency of the blade to push away from or pull towards the cut.

When using a Sawzall, it is important to choose the right blade for the job. A fine-tooth blade is used to cut metal and smooth woods, while a coarse blade is used for rough-cut woods. Using the wrong blade can result in burned materials and damage to the saw.

To install a blade on a Sawzall, lift up the release lever on the blade clamp and insert the blade shank side first. The blade is locked into place by pushing down on the blade clamp release lever. When cutting wood, it is recommended to use an anchor to secure it in place and prevent slipping. For cutting metal, lubrication with a thin layer of oil can prolong the use of the saw blade.

It is important to take proper care of your Sawzall by storing it without the blade in place to prevent damage from humidity, and taking it to a tool service center every six months for inspection, cleaning, and lubrication. The trigger switch can become clogged with debris over time, resulting in choppy movement.

The History Of The Sawzall

The Sawzall was first introduced in 1951 by Milwaukee Electric Tool, making it one of the oldest power tools still in use today. It was designed to be a portable and easy-to-use alternative to the traditional hacksaw, with just three moving parts and a 3/4” stroke ideal for roughing out and sawing.

Originally marketed under the name “Sawzall,” this type of saw quickly became popular due to its flexibility and ability to cut through a variety of materials. The reciprocating saw was initially an evolution from a previous saw that Milwaukee Electric Tool had made, which had a right angle cutting mechanism intended for use by plumbers in tight spaces.

Soon after, Milwaukee Electric Tool released a true reciprocating saw that is still very popular today. The reciprocating saw had changeable blades that could match certain materials, making it very flexible for users. Demand for the Sawzall increased greatly after it was released to market due to its versatility and ease of use.

Over the years, Sawzall technology has continued to improve with new features such as variable speed, battery power, and an extensive selection of quick-change blades. Today, reciprocating saws are made by every tool manufacturer and are commonly used in construction and demolition work. Despite the many advancements in technology, Milwaukee continues to be known as one of the best manufacturers of Sawzalls and blades on the market.

How Does A Sawzall Work?

A Sawzall works by using a reciprocating motion to move the blade back and forth rapidly. The blade is attached to an electric motor that powers the movement, and it is designed to cut through a variety of materials with ease.

The user holds the Sawzall with one hand and operates it with the other. The blade is positioned at the desired angle, and the foot of the saw is placed on the surface being cut. This foot helps to stabilize the saw and prevent it from moving around during use.

As the blade moves back and forth, it cuts through the material with each stroke. The speed and power of the saw can be adjusted depending on the material being cut and the desired result.

Types Of Sawzalls

There are two main types of Sawzalls: one-handed and two-handed. One-handed Sawzalls are smaller and more compact, making them ideal for cutting in tight spaces or for tasks that require more precision. They typically have shorter stroke lengths and slower stroke rates, but they can still cut through a variety of materials, including EMT, PVC, and copper pipe. One-handed Sawzalls are also great for pruning and landscaping tasks when paired with a low TPI carbide pruning blade.

On the other hand, two-handed Sawzalls are larger and more powerful, making them ideal for heavy-duty demolition work. They have longer stroke lengths and faster stroke rates, allowing them to cut through thicker materials such as metal or concrete. Two-handed Sawzalls also have a larger blade size, ranging from 9 to 12 inches in length.

Both types of Sawzalls can come with different blade types, including bi-metal blades that combine high-carbon steel for flexibility and high-speed steel teeth for heat-resistance and durability. Bi-metal blades are popular among professionals who use Sawzalls frequently or daily as they offer toughness and versatility for more demanding applications.

Uses Of A Sawzall

A Sawzall is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. One of the most common uses of a Sawzall is for demolition work. When renovating a house, there may be old frames, walls, studs, and pipes that need to be removed. While a sledgehammer may be the first choice for demolition work, it can quickly become tiring and ineffective. A Sawzall can easily cut through walls, studs, frames, pipes, and other materials that are in the way.

When working on wooden parts of the home, it is recommended to use a wood cutting blade. On the other hand, if you are working with metal objects, it is best to switch to a metal cutting blade. The exposed blade of the Sawzall is very useful in these situations as it allows you to easily guide the blade in small and tight places.

Another advantage of using a Sawzall for demolition work is its compact size and flexible cutting direction. This makes it an ideal tool for working in small, tight spaces where more destructive tools like a sledgehammer or jackhammer won’t fit. With the right blade or attachment, Sawzalls can even be used on mortar, brick, tile, or other masonry materials to help with demolition projects.

Aside from demolition work, Sawzalls can also be used for cutting through just about everything short of a rock. They are the go-to tool for remodeling and demolition projects. With a Sawzall, you can cut through lumber even if it’s embedded with nails. It can also cut all common forms of metal such as steel, aluminum, copper, and cast iron.

Features And Benefits Of A Sawzall

Sawzalls have several features and benefits that make them a popular choice for cutting through a variety of materials. Here are some of the key features and benefits of a Sawzall:

1. Versatility: Sawzalls can be used to cut through a wide range of materials, including wood, metal, concrete, and PVC. This makes them a versatile tool for both DIY homeowners and professionals.

2. Power: Sawzalls are powered by an electric motor, which provides a lot of power for cutting through even the toughest materials. This means that they can handle heavy-duty jobs with ease.

3. Precision: The reciprocating motion of the blade allows for precise cutting, making it easy to make straight cuts in even the most challenging materials.

4. Portability: Sawzalls are available in both corded and battery-operated versions, making them easy to use in any location. The battery-operated versions are particularly useful for jobs where access to electricity is limited or non-existent.

5. Comfortable grip: Sawzalls are designed with a comfortable grip that makes them easy to hold and control, even for extended periods of time.

6. Easy blade changes: Sawzalls are designed to make it easy to change blades quickly and easily, which is essential when working on multiple projects or cutting through different materials.

Overall, the Sawzall is a versatile and powerful tool that can handle a wide range of cutting tasks with ease. Its precision, portability, and ease of use make it a popular choice for both DIY homeowners and professionals.