Buying Guide

Reciprocating Saw Blades

Teeth

The number of teeth per inch (TPI), along with gullet size, width and depth of the space between the teeth determines the material the blade can cut

  • Blades with a low TPI deliver faster cuts with rougher edges and are ideal for cutting wood.
  • Blades with a high TPI deliver smooth, slow cuts and are ideal for cutting metal.
  • The number of TPI ranges from 3 – 24.
  • Try to have at least 3 teeth come in contact with the material at all times to reduce snagging.
Dimensions

There are three dimensions to keep in mind for blades: length, width and thickness

  • Reciprocating saw blades range from 3 – 12-inches long.
  • Keep in mind, the longer the blade, the deeper the cut.
  • Wider blades reduce bending and wobbling.
  • Heavy duty blades tend to be 7/8-inches wide and 0.062-inches thick.
  • Blades with 0.035-inches thick provide adequate strength for standard cuts.
  • Blades with 0.05-inches thick provide enhanced stability.
  • Short blades with tapered backs are best suited for plunge-cutting jobs.
Composition and Uses

Reciprocating saw blades are usually made of carbon steel, high-speed steel, bi-metal or carbide grit

  • Carbon steel blades are flexible to allow bending without breaking and are great for cutting wood or plastic.
  • High-speed steel blades have durable teeth, but are more prone to breakage, and last up to 5-times longer than high-carbon steel.
  • Bi-metal blades are combine high-speed steel teeth for longevity and heat resistance, with a carbon-steel body for flexibility and break-resistance, and last up to 10-times longer than high-carbon steel.
  • Carbide-grit blades are used for materials such as fiberglass, ceramic tile and cement board.
Carbide-Grit Blade

Recommended Use

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): Medium carbide grit

  • Cast iron, fiberglass, ceramic tile, clay pipe, stone brick, plaster, marble
Demolition/Heavy-Duty Blade

Recommended Use

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 6

  • Demolition work in nail-embedded wood

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 10

  • Demolition work in nail-embedded wood
  • Fire and rescue
  • Heavy-duty pipe, structural steel and stainless steel
  • Stainless steel: 1/8" to 1"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 10/14

  • Heavy-duty pipe, structural steel and stainless steel
  • Stainless steel: 3/16" to 3/4"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 14

  • Heavy-duty pipe, structural steel and stainless steel
  • Stainless steel: 3/32" to 3/8"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 18

  • Fire and rescue
  • Stainless steel: 1/16" to 1/4"
Metal-Cutting

Recommended Use 

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  14 

  • Pipe, structural steel and stainless steel: 3/32" to 1/4"
  • Nonferrous metal: 3/32" to 3/8"
  • Hard rubber

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 18

  • Pipe, structural steel, stainless steel and conduit: 1/16" to 3/16"
  • Nonferrous metal: 1/16" to 5/16"
  • Contour cutting in metal: 1/16" to 1/8"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  24

  • All metals less than 1/8"
  • Tubing, conduit and trim
Wood-Cutting

Recommended Use

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  4 

  • Extra-fast cutting in thick, nail-free wood

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  6

  • Contour cutting in all woods, nail-embedded wood and composition materials
  • Roughing-in work and nail-embedded wood
  • Fast cutting for wood, composition materials, plastics and nonferrous metal
  • Pipe, structural steel, stainless steel and nonferrous metal: 3/16" and thicker
  • Plaster, plaster board and lath
  • Bi-directional cutting

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  10

  • Nail-embedded wood, composition materials and plastics
  • Pipe, carbon steel and stainless steel: 1/8" to 1/4"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI):  10/14

  • Nonferrous metal: 1/8" to 1/2"

Teeth Per Inch (TPI): 14 

  • Contour cutting in wood less than 3/4" and metal 3/32" to 5/16"