One of the most popular hand tools, not only for construction work plumbing Y smithy, but also for everyone who uses materials such as plastic, drywall or even wood, it is the hacksaw (or saw bow). It is a tool Very practical that allows cuts to be made by means of a back and forth movement of the saw blade and it is especially suitable for relatively soft materials or small pieces in which the cut can be carried out with some ease. If we refer to the specific cut of the wood, the saw is the tool ubiquitous par excellence, also based on the back and forth movement.
However, when we have to carry out work on harder materials, or in which a large number of parts have to be handled, the use of the hacksaw or handsaw is no longer convenient, given the time and physical effort that it would take to carry out all of them. the cuts. Thus, in another article we have talked about how to choose the right saber saw for the job to be done, here we deal with its general questions, characteristics, etc.
For those cases, technology offers us power saws, whose first models were developed about 70 years ago. Said motor can be driven by electrical energy or by compressed air.
There are currently three types of power saws:
At DeMáquinasyHerramdamientos we have already dealt extensively with the circular saws for wood. We describe what they are and what they are for, and even provide tips on how to use them and how to choose circular saw blades.
Unlike the circular saws, the operation of the other two types of motor saw is based on the same reciprocating principle of tools manuals such as the hacksaw or handsaw. So much so that it is very common for both motorized saws to be recognized – and for many manufacturers to call them – with the same name, jigsaw, causing great confusion among users. However, although closely related, they are not “twins”, but two tools that fulfill different functions.
Here we also extensively develop the theme of jig saws. We saw what they are and how they are used, what safety measures we must use during their use, how to choose them and what are the blades for jigsaw.
As we can see in those notes, the jig saws are tools very versatile, capable of making precise curved, straight or miter cuts in a wide variety of materials such as iron, sheet metal, wood, plastic, aluminum, plaster and others. For this, the saw can receive different types of interchangeable blades depending on the material and the type of cut to be made, with an offer that includes saw blades for wood, steel, aluminum and other materials, and with cutting capacities that cover finishing. fine, coarse, etc.
However, if what we want is the cut that a hacksaw or hacksaw generally makes, that is, the exploded cut or disassembling parts, but quickly and effortlessly, then the tool what we need is the saber saw, also known as saber saw, reciprocating saw, reciprocating saw, multipurpose saw or electric handsaw.
The saber saw, so named precisely because the position of the blade resembles that of a saber, it is very similar to the jigsaw, since its operating principle (reciprocating) is identical to that of the jigsaw and can be equipped with a multitude of sheets for different materials. The main differences, however, are as follows:
- Blade position relative to tool: the blade is parallel to the motor of the tool, while in the saw jigsaw is perpendicular.
- Lack of a skid to guide the cut.
- They are usually larger than the jigsaw.
- They can be both electric and pneumatic.
Precisely according to the kind of energy they use, the current market offers us saber saws in three versions:
- Corded saber saws
- Cordless saber saws
- Pneumatic saber saws
Therefore, in this article we are going to know more details about the useful saber saws and for this, let’s start with its presentation.
Corded saber saws
The following figure is a corded saber saw showing its main components.
- On / off switch
- Lock knob
- Blade speed selector
- Saw blade
- Inserting the saw blades
- Shoe lock button
The saber saws of this type are designed exclusively for cutting wood, iron, non-ferrous metals and plastics, using the appropriate saw blade.
Are robust tools, but light (between 2.5 and 3.5 kg in weight) and depending on the model they have a consumption of 650-1100 W, a variable number of strokes between 0 and 3000 min-one, a stroke height of 20-29 mm, supports a maximum saw blade width of 1.4 mm and has the following depths of cut:
- Wood: 150-200 mm
- Iron / steel: 10-20 mm
Cordless saber saws
Slightly smaller and lighter than their wired peers, the wireless versions of the saber saws they are very suitable for DIY work, gardening and pruning of branches, as well as in workshops and construction sites. They are equipped with a powerful, fast and efficient motor, which guarantees a variable number of strokes between 0 and 2600 min.-one, a stroke height of 22 mm and that allows cuts with depths of up to 100 mm in wood and 6 mm in steel.
The great advantage of cordless saws is the possibility that some manufacturers offer to use universal batteries, that is, lithium battery interchangeable between different cordless tools provided by the same manufacturer, as shown in the video below, and that we can choose following the criteria that we detail in this article.
Pneumatic saber saws
As we have already pointed out, all pneumatic tools work with an air compressor which, in the case of the saber saws, is the source of energy to generate the reciprocating movement of the cutting blade. On the other hand, since they lack an electric motor, the tools Pneumatic are lighter than their electric counterparts. The pneumatic saber saws Professionals run at 90 psi and produce about 5,000 strokes per minute for easy cutting even through sheet metal.
Not only that. They can also be used in demolition work, heavy duty auto body shops to cut metal parts and steel pipe, to cut fiberglass, plastic and wood, or for craft work.
As with the electric versions, the pneumatic saber saws They accept different types of blade that provide optimal cutting capacity for various types of materials. They are also equipped with a rear air exhaust, which directs air away from the work area. Some even have the added feature of an orbital action mechanism and others incorporate a vibration reduction mechanism, which is especially important for body shop work.
Tips for using a saber saw
Regardless of the type of saber saw that we use, there are two very important factors to consider.
First of all, the correct blade selection It will guarantee us a quality work, at the same time that we will prolong the useful life of both the blade and the tool. Here we can consult a detailed report on the matter, which will help us to know the different blade models and what each one is used for. Bear in mind that the length of the blade should not be greater than what we need for the cut, and that to make curved cuts with a small radius we must choose a narrow blade.
Another key aspect is the safety in the use of the saber saw. Are tools They are very powerful and generate noise, vibrations, dust, material debris and even possible blade breakage. Therefore, it is essential to use hearing, eye and facial protection, as well as gloves to avoid accidents or injuries. We must always hold the tool by its handle and unplug it from the outlet whenever we are going to change the cutting blade.
On the other hand, kickback is a particularly common danger in saber saws. It happens when the blade hits a solid object behind which it is being cut, and it can be violent enough to cause us a jolt or even lose our balance if we are working on a ladder. To avoid kickback, let’s make sure we leave enough room for the blade before we start cutting and keep it at an angle to keep it away from obstructions.
What job is a saber saw best suited for?
From tasks as extreme and dissimilar as breaking car window glass in emergency rescues to processing animal meat by hunters with their prey, a saber saw has countless other applications more related to construction and spare parts in general. For example:
- Cutting tree limbs or wooden slats / beams
- Metal or plastic pipe cutting
- Flush cutting of walls and ceilings of plastic pipes, nails and metal profiles
- Cutting drywall boards or flush cutting misaligned studs in dry construction
Finally, to make sure we are using the motor saw that best suits our needs, let’s examine the following figure and select the right one. tool according to the work we want to do. In another article, we’ll delve into the topic of proper selection, as well as more safety rules.