Powered Hand Tools - Saws - Sabre, Jig and Reciprocating

On this page

What should you do before start cutting with powered hand saws?

Back to top
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles, or a face shield (with safety glasses or goggles).
  • Disconnect power supply before changing or adjusting blades.
  • Use lubricants when cutting metals.
  • Keep all cords clear of cutting area.
  • Position the saw beside the material before cutting and avoid entering the cut with a moving blade.
  • Make sure guards, if present, are installed and are working properly.

What should you do to work with powered hand saws safely?

Back to top
  • Hold reciprocating saw with both hands.
  • Remember sabre saws cut on the up stroke.
  • Secure and support stock as close as possible to the cutting line to avoid vibration.
  • Keep the base or shoe of the saw in firm contact with the stock being cut.
  • Select the correct blade for the material being cut and allow it to cut steadily. Do not force it. Clean and sharp blades operate best.
  • Set the blade to go no further than 0.32 to 0.64 cm (1/8 to 1/4 inch) deeper than the material being cut.
  • Do not start cutting until the saw reaches its full power.
  • Do not force a saw along or around a curve. Allow the machine to turn with ease.
  • Do not insert a blade into or withdraw a blade from a cut or lead hole while the blade is moving.
  • Do not put down a saw until the motor has stopped.
  • Do not reach under or around the stock being cut.
  • Maintain control of the saw always. Avoid cutting above shoulder height.

How should you start an external cut?

Back to top
  • Place the front of the shoe on the stock.
  • Make sure that the blade is not in contact with the material or the saw will stall when the motor starts.
  • Hold the saw firmly down against the material and switch the saw on.
  • Feed the blade slowly into the stock maintaining an even forward pressure.
Starting an External Cut

How should you start an inside cut?

Back to top
  • Drill a lead hole slightly larger than the saw blade. With the saw switched off, insert the blade in the hole until the shoe rests firmly on the stock.
  • Do not let the blade touch the stock until the saw has been switched on.
Starting an Inside Cut

Refer to Powered Hand Tools - Basic Safety for Electric Tools for general safety tips.

  • Fact sheet confirmed current: 2019-08-15
  • Fact sheet last revised: 2013-12-20