what is a sawzall used for

What Is a Sawzall Used For?

If you’re the kind of person who likes to take on his own home improvement projects, it’s likely you already have more than a few tools in your garage.

Power tools can be especially handy, often making light work of otherwise time-consuming tasks.

However, they don’t come cheap, so it’s good to know about a tool’s range of uses before buying it.

If you’re wondering what is a Sawzall good for, then stick with us as we’re about to share what you need to know about this tool and its many uses.

Is a Sawzall Worth It?

Sawzall is actually the brand name for Milwaukee’s reciprocating saw, or recip saw for short.

It’s not often that a brand becomes so popular that its name is used in place of the correct term! Calling a vacuum cleaner a Hoover would be another excellent example of this rare occurrence.

Before we jump into what you can use a Sawzall for, here’s a quick note on choosing the right one for you.

If you already own some Milwaukee power tools, it can be beneficial to buy a Sawzall over other brands of recip saws.

On the other hand, if you have another brand of power tool in your tool arsenal, then it’s worth checking out their recip saws instead.

Sticking with the same manufacturer offers the massive convenience of being able to share batteries between the tools.

The reason for this is that you can always have one battery charging while you use the other, making longer tasks a breeze.

You should also make sure your power tool comes with a good warranty. That way, your investment can last you a lifetime.

What Is a Sawzall Used For?

Thanks to the wide variety of blades available for a reciprocating saw, it can cut through just about anything.

Special blades can cut through anything from softwood, plastics, hardwoods, and metal to ultra-dense materials such as ceramic and cast iron.

1. Demolition and Remodeling Work

Recip saws are most commonly used for demolition purposes, and there are a few good reasons for this.

They can cut through almost anything.

As mentioned, reciprocating saws can cut through just about anything, including wood embedded with nails.

They can cut in hard-to-reach places.

Reciprocating saws are handheld devices that are relatively more lightweight compared to some other power tools.

They have a long exposed blade that can reach into and cut through joints, as well as into tight corners.

They allow for better salvage.

Cutting through and removing an entire surface of wood allows you to reuse it elsewhere. On the other hand, you could use a crowbar to try and pry the wood away.

The only problem with this is that it could crack and splinter the wood, potentially rendering it useless, apart from on the burn pile.

A sledgehammer would, obviously, do even more damage to the materials, so you wouldn’t be able to reuse anything.

2. Limbing and Pruning

Unless you’re felling a tree or cutting through a thick tree trunk, a Sawzall can be much more efficient at limbing and pruning than a chainsaw.

Due to its size and weight, it’s also a lot easier to handle, not to mention, less scary! Its light weight also makes it easy to reach higher up and overhead.

The thinner blade will allow you to make closer cuts and efficiently get into all the small cracks between the limbs and branches.

3. Curved and Straight Cuts

Like the majority of saws, a reciprocating saw is also capable of making curved and straight cuts.

You need a steady hand and a lot of practice, but with this saw in your toolkit, you can cut what you like, how you like.

4. Making Repairs

There is often a need to use a saw when making repairs on your house, whether replacing a section of pipe or a rotting wooden board or sill plate.

A Sawzall is a perfect tool for cutting out the exact piece you need to replace thanks to the exposed blade.

5. Plumbing Tasks

A reciprocating saw is a useful tool for plumbers for a couple of different reasons.

Firstly, you can accurately and safely expose the area you need to be working on when the pipes are under the floorboards or behind a wall.

The fact that you can also cut through a variety of materials helps when it comes to getting through both plastic and metal piping.

what is a sawzall used for

Extra Attachments

As if this power tool isn’t already versatile enough, you can also buy several more attachments that make it even more useful!

Like the blades, these attachments can be bought to fit a particular brand of power tool, or you can also purchase universal attachments instead.

If they’re universal, they should come with an adaptor that makes them fit any brand.

Extra attachments for the Sawzall include a sanding attachment and a scraper, but there are many more available once you start looking for them.


If you have an intimidating sanding job ahead of you with no access to a belt sander, you can buy a sanding attachment for your recip saw.

This is a plastic circular disc attachment that you stick a round and sticky piece of sanding paper to.

The specially-made and -shaped sanding paper is easy to find. What’s more, you can choose the coarseness you need, just like with any other sanding paper.

Whether you’ve just made yourself a new kitchen table or built a boat, using your recip saw as a sanding power tool will be a lot faster than sanding by hand.


Another popular attachment available is the scraper.

With this, you can remove old floor tiles, whether they be vinyl or laminate, as well as ceramic tiles from the bathroom or kitchen, with no problems.

It is also really handy when it comes to preparing surfaces, allowing you to remove paint, thinset, and stubborn glue easily.

The scraper blades can usually be found in a variety of widths. This means you can buy a wide scraper for larger areas, and a slimmer blade for reaching in nooks and crannies. 

Can I Use the Sawzall for All My Cutting Needs?

Now that you have an idea of how a reciprocating saw can be a useful tool, you may wonder if it’s the only saw you’d need in your collection.

While it’s true that it will get any kind of cutting job done, it isn’t necessarily the best tool for each and every job.

If you need to make lots of long straight cuts in your next project, a circular saw would be a much better option.

On the other hand, if you want to cut neat curves, a jigsaw will perform much better.

A Sawzall will work in both these scenarios, but you would need to have mad skills to get the same consistent results.

Each type of saw has been designed with one or more specific cutting tasks in mind.

If you plan on doing a lot of one type of cutting in particular, it’s best to have the right tool for the job.

For example, if you need to cut down a lot of wooden boards to size, a circular saw will help you do it more accurately and efficiently.


Now that you know what is a Sawzall used for, you can decide for yourself whether it will make a worthwhile investment for you.

If you don’t use your tools very often, it may indeed be a great power tool for you due to its sheer versatility.

After all, why buy a circular saw or jigsaw when you know that you’ll only ever use it this one time? The aptly named Sawzall really does saw it all!

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