How to Change Blade on Chicago Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws play a significant role in such activities, along with its vast variety of blades designed to specifically cut each type of material.

That’s why knowing how to change the blade on a Chicago reciprocating saw is of utmost importance.

Reciprocating saw or as most people commonly call it Sawzall is an all-in-one tool that can surely be of big help to home DIY guys and even professional workers in the construction industry.

Blades are responsible for getting the cutting job done. It’s the one that cuts through the material.

You are advised to change the blade for every specific material that you will cut.

Steps to Change Blade on Chicago Reciprocating Saw:

Step 1: Unplug the Unit

This is one basic instruction but is the most important so you can secure your safety. Make sure that you unplug the cord of the reciprocating saw from the power source.

If you’re using a battery-powered Sawzall, you can remove the battery pack by clicking the switch to release the battery.

This is a must-do when you are pulling out or installing a new blade so that you won’t hurt yourself or worse– cut your fingers.

Basically, never change or put on a new blade while it is connected to power.

Step 2: Remove the Blade that is Current Attached

For you to be able to install your new blade, you must remove the blade that is currently in use.

Remember that each blade is designed for a specific use that’s why interchanging between blades is a must.

To do so, rotate that chuck counterclockwise and pull out the blade. When you have fully pulled out the blade, release the chuck.

Store the blade in a safe place like your toolbox and be careful that you won’t accidentally cut yourself with it.

Keep note that blades generate a massive amount of heat during use. If you intend to change your blade just after using the Sawzall, we suggest that you don’t change it right away.

Wait for a few minutes for it to cool down and pull out the blade with your gloves worn for additional protection.

Step 3: Choose a Blade

Choosing the right blade is really vital to keep you away from any consequences. Compromising your blade could lead it to damage such as bending and breaking.

Furthermore, this could also damage your reciprocating saw and can cause accidents that can be fatal. Here are the different types of blades for each specific material:

Protips that you should take note of when choosing the right blade length:

Choose a blade that’s 2″ to 3″ longer than the thickness or the width of the material you will cut. This will prevent the blade from wobbling.

Sawzall blade lengths vary from 3″ to 12″ with 6″ being commonly sold in the market.

Shorter blades are more precise and accurate. Longer blades are used to reach through deep dents and thicker landscapes.

  • Fine toothed blade- this is used to cut through metal pipes and nails
  • Coarse blade- this is specifically designed to cut through wood
  • Coarsest toothed blade- this will slash out your plasters
  • Toothless- this blade does not have teeth, unlike the other blades. However, with its tungsten carbide abrasive grit coating, this will surely cut stone, ceramic tile, and cast iron.
  • Nail-cutting wood blade- when you need to cut roof shingles and plywood that are embedded with nails, this one suits your needs

Step 4: Install the Blade

Just like how you opened the metal piece on the end of the source oh by rotating the chuck counterclockwise, do the same, so you can install the chosen blade.

Slide the blade into the slot with the teeth of the blade positioned downwards. Hold it down until you have fully inserted the blade.

Try to pull the blade and give it a little tug and wobble to check if it is totally inserted in the chuck and it does not pull out.

Step 5: Set and Plugin

Chicago Electric Reciprocating Saw also has a rotating body feature. You can rotate it up to a full 30 degrees for more comfortable use especially when you need to cut horizontally, vertically, or even diagonally without the need to contour your arms.

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1. Is Reciprocating Saw the Same as Sawzall?

Well, a reciprocating saw is a type of saw while Sawzall is a brand of reciprocating saw.

Technically, not all reciprocating saws are Sawzall but the answer to the question is a yes since the terms are interchangeable.

Milwaukee Power Tools Manufacturer registered the name Sawzall in 1951. It became so famous that whenever the word reciprocating saw is discussed, the name Sawzall almost always comes to mind.

Due to its popularity, people started using the term Sawzall for every reciprocating saw.

2. Can a Sawzall cut concrete?

The cutting ability of your reciprocating saw highly depends on the blade that you use. With that being said, your Sawzall can surely cut concrete when used with the proper blade.

Generally, there are two types of blades which are toothed blades and abrasive blades. Toothed blades are used to cut through soft materials like plastic and lumber.

When we talk about tough materials like concrete and stone, abrasive blades will surely do the thing.

3. Can I cut branches with a reciprocating saw?

A reciprocating saw is indeed a very versatile tool that can cut almost all types of materials. Cutting down tree branches can be very easy, especially when used with a pruning blade.

It works like a simple good old-fashioned hand-powered hacksaw. Thus, when used with the right kind of blade along with the push and pull blade movement, cutting down bushes and tree branches will be as easy as pie.


A reciprocating saw is indeed a very handy tool that every workspace must-have. Truly, it can cut almost any type of material.

It is ideal whether it’s for demolition purposes, cutting out construction pieces, or even pruning trees.

However, as we always state in this article, its effectiveness mostly boils down to its blades. As long as you use the right blade for it, it can surely deliver the cutting job for you in the safest way for a wide array of materials.

Having said that, it is really important to learn how to change the blade on a Chicago reciprocating saw so that you can use the right blade that is intended for the material that you will cut.

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