The saber saw can make smooth contour cuts with or across the grain.

For quickly cutting and shaping wood, plastic, and even metal, the saber saw is a versatile and handy tool.

What Is a Saber Saw

The powered saber saw uses a reciprocating motor to move a small saw blade up and down across the object to be cut. Blades available include those for wood (coarse or fine cut), metal, drywall/plaster, or plastic. Many saber saws come with an assortment of specialized blades, or they can be purchased individually for specific tasks. The handle includes a safety button and trigger switch. The blade holder has a blade lock. The shoe is a plate that keeps the blade at a specified distance from the work. A guide fence also is available for cutting straight lines.

How to Safely Use a Saber Saw

It is especially important to wear eye protection when operating an electric saber saw. To safely use a saber saw, select the blade appropriate to the job, firmly attach it in the blade holder with the blade lock, then adjust the shoe for proper height and bevel for the job. If necessary, cut a starting hole in the material and insert the blade.

When ready to cut, plug the saw into an electrical outlet, firmly hold the handle, align the blade near (not touching) the mark to be cut, press the safety switch, then press the trigger switch. Slowly follow the cut mark. When nearly done, make sure the end of the material being cut is held and will not splinter due to the unsupported weight. For safety, remember that the teeth are sharp and should not be placed on surfaces that they could damage.

How to Maintain a Saber Saw

Saber saws, or jigsaws, need periodic cleaning with an unused paintbrush or an air supply to remove sawdust. Dull or broken saber saw blades should be replaced.

Tools Related to the Saber Saw

Other useful saws include various handsaws, circular saws, and reciprocal saws. A saber saw with a handle on top to turn the blade while cutting is called a jigsaw.

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