How Does an Oscillating Saw Work?

Written by camille gray
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How Does an Oscillating Saw Work?
An oscillating saw is an economical addition to any toolbox. (detail of industrial saw for furniture industry image by Tomo Jesenicnik from

An oscillating saw, also referred to as a reciprocating saw, is a cutting tool used in a variety of residential and commercial building applications.

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The blade of an oscillating saw moves forward and backwards, allowing more precision especially for jobs requiring more detailed craftsmanship. The blades, which vary in size from 2 to 12 inches, are used to cut most metal and wood products.


Oscillating saws range in price, size, speed, power and functionality. Portable saws are lighter and less powerful than most heavy duty corded models. Most saws are equipped with variable speed control to ensure safety and accuracy.


While an oscillating saw is considered an integral tool for any craftsman, it is not recommended for daily use or for large jobs such as cutting 2 by 4's or heavy metals. This tool is better suited for cutting drywall, plaster and lightweight metals.

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