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How to Use a Sabre Saw | Step by Step Instruction

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Even a few years back I would get confused every time it came to choosing the right tool for cutting something or working on a DIY project. I carry out a lot of household tasks and maintenance work where I need to cut through difficult areas or reach a constricted crevice for slicing something off.

There are many tools you can use, but nothing beats a good handheld reciprocating sabre saw which acts as an all rounder. It can replace almost any tool and uses the pull and push thrust of the blade to cut through objects like wood, metal, plastic and what not.

It has given be many advantages, and I’m sure you will also find it very useful. Today I will tell you exactly how to use a sabre saw properly and safely.

Specifications of a Sabre Saw

Handheld sabre saws can differ in their designs, but the basic parts are the same. Here is a diagram of a typical sabre saw and the different parts you need to be aware of to use it properly

Specifications of a Sabre Saw

What tools do you need?

To use a sabre saw properly, you will need to choose and fix the cutting blade first. For that, you will need-

  • Protective wears like safety goggles and gloves to keep you safe
  • A Philips or a flat screwdriver to unscrew the blade (you may also need a suitable Allen Wrench to do the job depending on your brand of saw)

You will also need to choose the saw blade suitable for the project you want to carry out-

  • Pick a blade with smooth knife edge if you want to cut through materials like leather or linoleum)
  • A blade with 6 to 7 teeth per inch can be used for cutting wood
  • For plaster or wallboard choose a blade with eight teeth per inch
  • Blades equipped with more than 10 teeth per inch is best for woodwork and slicing specific materials
  • For cutting metal, use fine teeth blades with 24 teeth per inch

Before you Begin

It is the right time to put on your protective wear. Also, unplug the sabre saw from the power outlet or remove the batteries if it is powered by one.

How to change Blades of the Sabre Saw?

Step 1: Unscrew the Blade

Pick the suitable screwdriver or Allen wrench and locate the screw that holds the blade in place. You will be able to find it at the base of the blade where it enters the saw. Proceed to unscrew them and take the blade out.

Here’s how the locking screw looks like in the jigsaw type of sabre saw-

How to change Blades of the Sabre Saw

Pro Tip

If you have a saw like a diagram we presented, just press the blade release switch to get the job done.

Step 2: Attach the New Blade

Now pick the suitable cutting blade and insert it in the saw. Fix the screws and tighten them till the blade is fixed properly.

Pro Tip

The cutting blade will have a small hole in the end which holds it in place with the screw. Make sure it sits perfectly so that the blade is securely attached. 

How to Use a Sabre Saw?

Begin by plugging the saw to the power source or inserting the adequately charged batteries.

Step 1: Position the Material

To make an edge to edge cut on board, place the saw with its front facing the line to be cut. The board should be placed facing downwards as the saw utilizes upstroke to cut through.

Pro Tip

Ensure that the weight of the material to be cut is properly supported so that it does not bend or splinter due to the stress.

Step 2: Slice it Through!

Now press the safety switch and hold down the trigger. Now slowly trace the cut mark and cut the material by holding the saw with some pressure.

Take a look at this picture showing you how to cut a wooden board-

HG Blog showing you how to cut a wooden board

Pro Tips

  • The sabre saw will jump up the moment the teeth of the reciprocating blade starts cutting the material. Hold it with stable hands applying some pressure.
  • You can use the saw as a guide or as it is.
  • Make sure the material is not placed on something which can be damaged while cutting.
  • Use the saw on slow speed for cutting metals and turn it to high speed for soft materials.
  • If you are cutting from the center of the material, it is better to drill a starter hole first. Then place the tip of the blade inside it and proceed to cut the material.

I have covered the basics of using your sabre saw. Now we will look into some unique uses that you can out your saw into-

Recommended article DIY floating shelves from

Different Uses of a Reciprocating Sabre Saw

Cutting PVC Pipes

PVC pipes are often located in hard to reach places, and the sabre saw is the best tool to reach those areas. The material is also very easy to cut through using this type of saw.

Slicing through Nails

Sometimes you are not able to pull out a nail from some furniture or wood no matter what. The sabre saw comes handy by cutting through the nails and freeing the ends for you to work on.

Chopping Tree Branches

The cutting power and durability of the sabre saw makes it perfect to chop down those odd branches from trees in your backyard.

The varied use of the sabre saw makes it the most popular tool around the household. It is important to learn its proper use and ways to handle it safely. You can use it suitably for your projects by following the guide. The information will be helpful no matter what type of project you undertake.

Please feel free to mention any other use of the sabre saw in the comments below and share the information of this guide with those who need it.

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