How to cut concrete with a reciprocating saw

A reciprocating saw, also known as a Sawzall, is an excellent tool for cutting through concrete. However, there are a few things you need to know in order to make the most of this powerful tool.

In this blog post, we will go over the basics of using a reciprocating saw to cut through concrete, as well as some tips and tricks for getting the job done right.

So whether you’re a contractor who needs to cut through a concrete slab or just someone who wants to know how to use their reciprocating saw more effectively, read on for all the information you need.

How to cut concrete with a reciprocating saw step by step:

Here are some steps

Choose the blade

First, you need to choose the correct blades for your job. Reciprocating saw blades come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you don’t want to use a metal cutting blade when all you’re going to do is cut through wood. This will not only slow down your progress but also damage the blade unnecessarily.

It’s best if you have an idea of how much cutting needs to be done before you buy anything because different kinds/sizes of blades are designed for different kinds/sizes of jobs – there’s no point in buying a giant-sized Sawzall blade if all you need it for is cutting up some scrap lumber or drywall.

Check the blade and replace it if it is worn or damaged

If you happen to go through a lot of blades, this might be something worth investing in – a blade sharpener. If your blades are getting dull after just one use, then think about getting yourself a Sawzall blade sharpener which will help you save time and money in the long run because all you’ll need to do is pop out your old blade and pop in a new one.

Hold the saw correctly

When holding the saw, make sure that you hold onto both parts of the handle tightly. You can either purchase an over-molded grip for extra comfort or wrap some rubber/foam around each part of the handle to make it comfortable for you.

Remove the battery

It’s best to remove the battery when not using the Sawzall, or at least unplug it if this isn’t possible. If your batteries are fully charged and you’re just about to walk away from them, then try leaving them in place so that they can charge up while you’re out of the way. Some contractors jump on their saw every 5 minutes only to find that it doesn’t start because they forgot to take the battery(ies) out.

Don’t fight against already cut materials

When cutting through previously cut materials (i.e., rebar), make sure you don’t push too hard. You’ll either end up bending or breaking your blade or causing it to get caught and fling back at you.

Cut from the bottom up

When cutting through thick slabs of concrete, it’s best to begin from the bottom and slowly work your way up. This will prevent cracks or chips in the slab from running all the way up to its top surface when you’ve cut everything away that was holding it together. Plus this gives you a chance to stop if you see any problems before going right through the entire thing.  

Clean-up after use

As with any power tool, always clean after yourself when done using a reciprocating saw. Not only is this good for safety reasons (to avoid accidents), but it also prolongs the life of your blade(s). Just make sure that you let your blade(s) cool off before doing so, and always unplug them first.

Safety Tips:

Always wear safety goggles and gloves, as well as earmuffs if you’re working with a loud saw. Don’t forget to wear protective clothing – long sleeves and pants – to protect yourself from accidental cuts or debris/dust that are flying through the air.

Make sure your work area is clear of anyone else before starting (and unplug your saw if you’re working solo). Always make sure that there is no one nearby that may get caught in the blade or fly-back.

Never touch the tip of your blade after cutting through something – it will be very hot. Also, never use any part of your body to push against something while cutting, which could lead to falling debris/dust/heat hurting your eyes, face, or hands.

Before plugging in the saw, make sure both parts of the handle are tightly held by you and that the blade(s) is/are securely fastened. Never carry a plugged-in saw by its cord or yank on it while cutting because this could damage your cords, battery, and even the tool itself.


How do you adjust the depth of your cuts when working with concrete? 

If your cuts aren’t as deep as you would like them to be, it may be time to replace your blade(s). If this isn’t the case and all of your cuts seem shallow, then check out both ends of the blade to see if they are touching any materials.

Are there any special blades that work better on concrete? 

While all reciprocating saw blades are designed for cutting through a variety of materials, there are some that work exceptionally well with concrete.

These include: High-speed steel (HSS) blades known for their durability and performance

Bi-metal blades strong enough to be used on metal up to 1/2″ thick without bending or breaking

How long does a reciprocating saw blade last?

Generally, you can expect to get 1200-1600 cuts out of most saw blades. We have some tips for maximizing the lifespan of your blades, so check them out if you’d like to make your blade(s) last longer.

What are some tips for avoiding mistakes when cutting concrete with a reciprocating saw?  

There are plenty of mistakes that one can make when cutting through concrete (we’ve given a few examples). While we would never recommend learning from experience, there are some mistakes that will likely happen to you regardless. Here’s how to avoid them:

Make sure your blade(s) is/are securely fastened if it/they fall off or pops out while cutting, it/they could fly back and knock the saw right out of your hands.

Watch for falling debris allow yourself plenty of room to maneuver around the concrete slab, above and below it, in case any chucks come loose during the cutting process.

Make sure there’s no one nearby that may get caught in the blade even a stray long sleeve could get cut.

When cutting along a straight line, don’t just TALK yourself through it – you may become distracted or lose focus on what you’re doing next.


In this article, we showed you how to cut a cinder block with a reciprocating saw. The key is using the right blade and following these simple steps. Safety is always important when cutting any material, so make sure to use caution and wear the appropriate safety gear.

With the right tools and know-how, you can easily cut through a cinder block like butter. Have you tried this method yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

We hope that you found this information helpful and informative. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!