Bob Vila Radio: Choose the Right Saw Blade for the Task at Hand

One size does not fit all, at least when it comes to saw blades. If you're in the habit of cutting different materials, from wood to plaster to tile, working with the right blade for the job can help you get done quicker, with less labor along the way.

When it comes to using reciprocating saws, choosing the right blade can make your jobs a lot easier. Among the many reciprocating saw blade types available, these are the ones any DIYer ought to know about:

Reciprocating Saw Blades


mp3 file

Listen to BOB VILA ON RECIPROCATING SAW BLADES or read the text below:

If you’re cutting through wood, you’ll get best results using a relatively coarse-tooth blade. For plaster, the coarser the tooth, the better. If you’re tackling nails or metal pipe, a fine-tooth blade—much like a hacksaw—is the best choice. Special blades are available for cutting stone or tile.  They’re essentially toothless and are coated with an abrasive grit that’s most often composed of tungsten carbide. That same blade also works well with cast iron.

The standard length for most reciprocating saw blades is six inches, but shorter and longer blades are available. If your job involves reaching the blade deep into recessed areas, you’ll want to pick up an extra long blade. Long blades are also handy for pruning trees or cutting through thick timbers used in landscaping. Be sure to have your safety glasses and gloves on before starting the job.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.