How does a reciprocal air saw work?

Saws can be used for heavy-duty cutting, for gardening and for various home repairs. The kind of saw you need depends on the project and the material you need to cut. Handsaws run on elbow grease, and power saws are powerful electric tools that enable a quick, smooth, clean cut. A reciprocal air saw, also called a pneumatic reciprocating saw, is a power tool that uses an air compressor to generate the pneumatic motion that moves the cutting blade back and forth. Some reciprocal air saws even have a vibration-reducing mechanism, which is especially important for work in auto body shops. The air compressor can work on either electricity or gas, and because there is no electric motor, the device is lighter than an electrically powered reciprocating saw. Professional power tools work at 90 pounds per square inch (PSI), operating at about 5,000 strokes per minute, to easily cut even through sheet metal.

The reciprocal air saw is a versatile power tool. It can be used for demolition work, for heavy-duty work in an auto body shop to cut metal parts and steel pipes, to cut fiberglass, plastic and wood or for fine craft work. Different blades provide optimal cutting capability for various kinds of materials. Some reciprocal air saws have the added feature of an orbital action mechanism. This high-powered tool is good for extended use because it doesn't generate a lot of heat and is lightweight. Less effort is needed to do tough jobs. When you choose a reciprocal saw, make sure to look for an ergonomic, comfortable and stable grip.


Precautionary safety measures are important when using any tools or machinery. Make sure to wear goggles and protect your ears. Many reciprocal air saws have a special lock feature that prevents the tool from accidentally starting. They also have a rear exhaust that directs air away from the work area.