How (and When) to Change a Reciprocating Saw Blade

How (and When) to Change a Reciprocating Saw Blade

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When you have big jobs to do that require you to cut through tough materials like metal, hardwood, or tough plastic, then you need a tool that will help you get through it easier. That would be the reciprocating saw. The motion of the tool moving back-and-forth helps you saw into hard materials much easier and with less force from you.

However, these kinds of jobs take a toll on even the best tools. So, you will need to replace the blade often if you want to keep the saw sharp and cutting efficiently. We will discuss how to do it the right way so you can do it yourself.

When Should You Change the Blade on Your Reciprocating Saw?

Knowing when your reciprocating saw blade should be changed will help you know how much longer it has, and what materials you can cut with it. You wouldn’t want to use a dulled blade to cut through hard metal material because this will only cause more damage to the teeth of the blade. But when should you change the blade of your reciprocating saw?

Well, this depends on how much you use the blade, whether it just needs to be sharpened, or if it is used up. Knowing the signs to look for will allow you to see when you need to get a new blade before you attempt to do another cutting job.

So, here are the signs to look for.

The first thing you should look at is the quality of your cuts. Even if the blade still looks sharp, there might be dull areas or slightly bent teeth that are causing your cuts to become less precise. This makes a big difference in your final product, and you don’t want that. If you ignore these signs, then you will see the quality of your work go downhill quickly.

If you can physically see that the teeth of the ends of the blade are not sharp anymore, this means you need to replace the blade too. You don’t want to keep using that blade, or else it will just continue to get dull and might even start to break off.

Another thing to keep in mind is that even if you have not used the blade in a while, storing the blade improperly could cause it to dull. If you see that the blade is not sharp when you take a quick look at it, then this is one you absolutely should not use.

Finally, if you begin to hear the blade making a louder sound, then this is a sign that the machine has to work harder to do the same job. This is a sure sign that you need to replace the blade before things get worse.

Reciprocating Saw Blades

How to Change a Reciprocating Saw Blade

Now that you know what things to watch out for, here’s a step-by-step look at how to actually get the job done.

Step 1: Unplug the Machine

You need to keep yourself safe during this process and the best way to do this is to unplug the machine so that it doesn’t accidentally power up while you are working. This is dangerous and could result in severe harm. So, make sure the machine is off and the plug is not connected.

If you are using a cordless saw, I recommend taking the battery out.

Step 2: Use PPE Equipment

You also need to protect your hands and body from being cut when replacing the blades. Handling sharp material can be difficult and you don’t want to cut yourself.

So, gloves, goggles, and other safety gear can protect you.

Step 3: Removing the Blade

Get the screwdriver that matches the screws on the saw and unscrew all of the screws that are holding onto the blade. Then, take the old blade out carefully and place it somewhere safe and out of the way.

After that, you can position the new blade properly and put the screws back.

Tighten the screws securely.

DeWalt, Craftsman, Makita, and Other Brands: Are There Any Differences?

Several major tool brands on the market are popular among consumers and professionals, and not everyone can tell the difference between them. Well, that is mainly because many brands often have a very similar design. Though some make their own tools, others use manufacturers to make it for them.

This could mean that many of them are very close in design, since they could possibly even be using the same manufacturer, and likely have one unique design element that differs from the others.

Because these designs are very similar, most of them have a similar method of changing the blade as well.

DeWalt Reciprocating Saw Blade Change

Can Reciprocating Saw Blades Be Sharpened?

If you keep your old saw blades and see that they are piling up, you don’t need to discard them. Instead, you can choose to sharpen the blades and reuse them.

Here is how you do it.

First, you need to secure the blade in a clamp. This will secure it for you so that it won’t move. Next, you will want to use a file to match the angle of each tooth and complete a few strokes to every tooth. Then, you will want to put the file in between the teeth and sharpen from that side as well.

You will continue this pattern until you have filed all of the teeth and each space in between them. However, you can also use a rotary tool for this job. These tools take off much more metal, so should only be used for practice until you get used to it.


Changing a reciprocating blade might seem like a tougher job than it is, and when you notice that you need to have a better blade, then doing the job yourself is a great way to keep working without a hitch.

So, look for the signs of dulling and try to file the teeth at the same angle, and you will be able to keep working on your project without having to stop.