How To Disassemble A Reciprocating Saw

If you’re like me, you use your reciprocating saw for all sorts of projects – from cutting through wood and metal to demolition work. But sometimes, it’s necessary to take the saw apart for cleaning or maintenance. If you own a reciprocating saw, then you know that it’s one of the most versatile tools in your toolbox, but it can be tricky to take apart and reassemble.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how to disassemble your reciprocating saw so that you can clean and maintain it. I’ll also provide some tips on how to disassemble a reciprocating saw properly.

Safety Measures To Follow When Taking Apart A Reciprocating Saw

  • Wear safety glasses and gloves
  • Disengage the trigger on the handle so that it can’t accidentally start while you’re working on disassembling it.
  • Unplug the tool from the power source before taking out its parts. As we mentioned earlier, some of these parts include a blade and a stud lock nut which are both dangerous if they come loose during use. Also, never remove rod bolts or bolts located near the motor without first detaching the power cord from the tool to prevent electric shock or fire hazards due to the living current running through exposed wires.
  • Have all your required tools ready to make things easier for yourself when working with an electric tool.
  • The blade should be facing away from you when taking apart or reassembling your saw to avoid injury.

How To Disassemble A Reciprocating Saw

Now that we know what a reciprocating saw is and what its uses are, let’s talk about disassembling it. Before disassembling your saw, check for any cracks in the body of the tool or in the blade holder. Also, examine if there are any parts that have come loose or worn out. If there are any broken pieces, then don’t try taking them apart yourself unless you’re an expert, have a professional do it for you.

Steps To Disassemble A Reciprocating Saw:

Step 1: The Blade And Holder Assembly

Our first step is to remove the blade and holder assembly. Turn off the saw before doing this.

Step 2: Loosen, But Don’t Remove

The next step is very important because if you don’t do it correctly then nothing else will work. Loosen, But Don’t Remove the set screw located under the body of your tool to disengage the pivot lock which secures the upper arm in place. Make sure that when removing any part, you push it towards its stationary counterpart (the rod or stud). This will ensure that all parts glide smoothly out of their slots so nothing gets damaged.  

Using a socket, move the locking sleeve down toward its stationary partner (which is usually also called a locking sleeve) to free up the cutting head assembly. Before moving on, make sure that you remove any fasteners (like bolts or screws) holding the blade and holder assembly in place.

Step 3: Push Components

Before removing the components from their slots, push them toward their stationary parts as we mentioned earlier to avoid damaging anything.

Lift the entire upper arm upwards and out of its lower slot then pull it back slowly to disengage the arm completely. To finish with this step, simply remove any remaining pieces like studs and set screws that may be left behind. Never use a hammer during disassembling because you might end up causing irreparable damage to your tool!  

Step 4: Separate The Components

For the next step of how to disassemble a reciprocating saw, you’ll have to move on by separating each of its components from one another.

Take out the blade and holder assembly from the clamps keeping them in place by lifting it up and moving it towards its stationary counterpart to disengage any fasteners that might be holding it in place. After doing this step, simply remove by pulling back slightly on the components so they come out of their mounting slots and set everything aside for now.

Step 5: Take Apart

Now you’ve reached a point where we can actually discuss how to take apart a reciprocating saw! With your tool disassembled into five main parts (upper arm, lower arm, handle, motor housing & blade carrier), we’ll cover what steps you need to take to properly clean and grease each part afterward.

Different Parts Of A Reciprocating Saw And Their Functions

Below are the different parts of the reciprocating saw and their functions:

Blade And Holder Assembly

As the name implies, this is where you’ll be installing or removing blades for use on your machine. It also secures the lower arm of your tool in place while working which holds it firmly in place while you’re cutting. The blade holder assembly has also been known to come with built-in features like depth gauges, LED lights & miter gauges (for more accurate measurements).  

Lower Arm

Also called the feed lever arm, this is responsible for turning the blade left or right when working. It also performs the pivot function which is what allows up and down movement to take place.

Upper Arm

This part holds the entire blade and holder assembly in place when working. This is one of the main components that you’ll be taking out when disassembling a reciprocating saw because it’s also responsible for keeping the lower arm from moving around unless this piece has been loosened or moved upwards first.

The Handle

The handle might not necessarily be an essential component of your tool but it does make gripping easier which makes your job more comfortable while using it.  

Motor Housing

Also known as the body, this houses important parts like gears, switches, cords, and power sources. A motor housing can come with built-in power sources like batteries or standard plugs.

How To Clean And Grease A Reciprocating Saw

Here is how you can clean and grease a reciprocating saw after disassembling:

Blade And Holder Assembly

Take the blade and holder assembly to a well-ventilated area then place it on top of an old rag to protect it from getting scratched or dirty. With that done, take out your can of compressed air then point its nozzle towards the openings you’ll be cleaning. You can also use a plastic card to scrape away any bits left behind by the blade or holder assembly.

After getting rid of any particles you can see, use a brush to sweep away any bits left behind. Be sure to inspect the barb thoroughly to determine if you should replace it at any point because it’s been worn down significantly. You’ll also want to clean out the teeth of your blades with an old toothbrush then wipe the surfaces down with a damp cloth.

Lower Arm

Since you’ve already removed this part, all you’ll have to do is use your can of compressed air to blow away any leftovers then wipe it down afterward. Make sure that you inspect the area where the feed lever arm and lower blade guard meet as well because this might need some attention as well to avoid any accidents from occurring.

Upper Arm

The upper arm and lower arm of your reciprocating saw should be regularly cleaned and lubricated so they move easily and freely.

The Handle

Handle gets dirty the most because it’s attached to your hand which accumulates sweat, hair, and other debris over time. Greasing this part will not only make it run smoothly but also last longer.    

After that, apply a thin coat, or even better, use electric grease (which comes in different colors for easy identification) on all moving parts such as gears, bearings, and bearing races. This ensures smooth operation by adequately lubricating these components every time you pull the trigger.

Motor Housing

After cleaning and greasing the parts we just went over, you can then turn your attention to the motor housing. All you have to do is take the cord off of it then use compressed air to clear away any leftovers before wiping it clean with a damp cloth.

With that done, wipe down your power source using an old cloth or rag to make sure it’s clean and dry because moist components can lead to corrosion which may prevent you from using your tool effectively.

How To Properly Reassemble A Reciprocating Saw

Once you’re done cleaning and greasing your saw, all that’s left to do is reassemble it.

Blade And Holder Assembly

Place your blade into the holder then take out both screws so you can attach them to one another. Make sure that not too much pressure is being exerted on the blade once everything has been assembled because this might cause damage or allow particles to pass through resulting in accidents.    

Lower Arm

Turn your attention back to your lower arm now by placing the feed lever assembly at the bottom followed by the lower blade guard which should be put over the top of it. Line up their grooves first before pushing down until it locks into place securely. Don’t forget to insert the pin for added protection then move on to the next one to do the same routine.

Upper Arm

In order to reattach the upper arm of your reciprocating saw, you’ll have to first line up its grooves with those on the lower arm before pushing it down until they click back into place securely. You can also reinsert its pin for added protection as well.

The Handle

Now that the upper arm is back in place, you can reassemble what’s left of your handle by first slipping the motor housing into the slots found on either side of it. After doing so, simply push down on one end until it locks into place securely.

Motor Housing

Fit the housing back on top of your tool by lining up its grooves first before pushing down until it locks in place. Use caution when doing this because too much pressure can destroy everything and will leave you with another trip to the store for replacement parts if something goes wrong.


Q: What is the difference between a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw?

A: A jigsaw is used for cutting curves while a reciprocating saw, as its name suggests, is used for cutting every possible shape in every possible direction thanks to its adjustable blade that can move up and down or side to side. Thus, it’s more versatile than a jigsaw.

Q: What tools are needed to disassemble a reciprocating saw?

A: We’ve already mentioned that the only necessary tool is a socket but other optional, helpful items that you can use are pliers, screwdrivers, and wrenches for easier handling of tougher nuts & bolts.

Q: How often should I lubricate my reciprocating saw?

A: Most experts recommend lubricating your reciprocating saw every time you use it for the best results and extended life of your tool.

Q: Is there a difference between electric and manual grease?

A: Yes, manual grease comes in stick-like form while electric grease can be found as either liquid or gel. Electric grease works better because it’s non-conductive whereas manual grease can leave unwanted stains on surfaces such as plastic and painted metal components. Therefore electricity is the optimum choice if you want to go green but still get quality results at the same time.

Q: What makes a reciprocating saw unique from other types of power tools?

A: Reciprocating saws are extremely portable and compact and can even be taken apart to make them even more compact. Some models also come with various types of blades for increased versatility and added protection when in use thanks to their safety guards that prevent accidents from happening.

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