How To Lubricate A Reciprocating Saw – Step by Step

A reciprocating saw is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of tasks, from demolition to carpentry. However, if it’s not properly lubricated, the saw can become difficult to operate and may even result in damage. If you don’t lubricate it regularly, the saw will eventually become less effective and could even break.

In this article, I’ll show you how to lubricate a reciprocating saw using some simple tools and supplies. Follow these simple steps and your reciprocating saw will be running like new in no time!

When To Lubricate A Reciprocating Saw

If you use your saw frequently, you may need to lubricate it regularly. If not, the saw will start to seize up and become difficult to operate. Eventually, the moving parts in the machine may become damaged.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to lubricate your reciprocating saw anywhere between 5-10 times per year or after 50 hours of operation. You can tell that it’s time for some lubrication when the action becomes difficult or impossible due to friction between moving parts.

What You Will Need

There are only 3 supplies needed to successfully lubricate your reciprocating saw: ½ ounce of bar oil or 6 ounces can of 3-in-1 oil, a clean rag, and a small container.

Since you will be spraying the bar oil directly onto the internal components of your saw, it should be easy to find. It’s often sold at home improvement stores or hardware stores in large containers.

If you prefer, you can also purchase smaller quantities from online retailers or other sources that sell a variety of tools and accessories. The last thing you need is a clean rag to wipe away any excess lubricant after using the machine.

How To Lubricate A Reciprocating Saw

Let’s start by removing the saw blade. This step is required to access the internal components of the tool that need lubricating.

After removing the blade, you will then want to locate the oil reservoir, which should be just beneath it. It may be labeled as such on your specific model, so check for any words or symbols about oil.

If there are no markings, simply look at where fluids would normally exit from underneath a car or another vehicle and you’ll find what you’re looking for. If there is no opening, wedge your finger inside and you should feel around until you press up against some sharp metal pieces. That’s where the oil enters into your reciprocating saw.

Remove 5-6 ounces of bar oil (or half an ounce of 3-in-1 oil) and pour it directly into the reservoir. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t add too much, or else it can drip down into the motor and cause problems.

Next, put the saw blade back in place and close the saw’s guard. Then, turn on your machine and let it run for a couple of minutes (until oil starts dripping out). Be careful not to apply any pressure with your hand while letting it run. Doing this should allow enough lubricant to seep down into all moving parts so they operate smoothly again.

When finished, simply wipe away any excess fluid from the outside of the tool with a clean rag.

How To Lubricate The Blade Of A Reciprocating Saw

There are two ways to lubricate the blade of your reciprocating saw. The first way is recommended if you do not use it that often. All you have to do is remove the blade, pour a few drops of bar oil onto it, and wipe away any excess fluid with a clean rag.

If you use your tool on an infrequent basis or prefer reaching for a can of spray-on lubricant, remove the blade as instructed above and apply 3-4 sprays to all moving parts inside the casing. Then, put your saw back together and turn it on for about 30 minutes. This method should distribute enough lubrication throughout the machine so that everything operates smoothly again.

Benefits Of Lubricating A Reciprocating Saw

So, why should you regularly lubricate your reciprocating saw? The best reason is that doing so will prevent your tool from wearing out or becoming damaged. For example, if its parts aren’t properly lubed and a high level of friction builds up between the piston and blade, it could cause a hole to form in one or both pieces.

Also, bolts may come loose while using the saw if they aren’t kept tight enough. Therefore,  a general “lube job” can help to prevent a lot of these issues from occurring.

Other benefits include:

  • Decreased risk of injury while using machine
  • Reduced noise levels
  • Improved lifespan for reciprocating saw

Tips For Safe And Effective Use Of A Reciprocating Saw

As with any power tool, using a reciprocating saw safely is key to preventing accidents and getting the most out of your machine. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using your reciprocating saw.
  • Wear goggles and other protective gear while sawing, as flying debris could cause injury.
  • Make sure the blade is properly installed and secured before use.
  • Keep fingers clear of the blade at all times – even when the saw is not in operation.
  • Do not force the blade through the material it’s not meant to cut – this can cause damage to the saw.


All in all, lubricating your reciprocating saw is a pretty simple process. You can either do it yourself or take it to a professional. By following the tips I’ve outlined and using quality lubricants, you should be able to keep your saw running smoothly for years to come. Have you tried any of these methods before? Let us know how they worked for you!


Q: Why should I avoid using WD-40 on my reciprocating saw?

A: In some cases, users have been tempted to reach for the familiar green and yellow spray (WD-40) due to its prevalence in many do-it-yourself households. Most people know that it’s a great lubricant for loosening squeaky hinges and other sticky metal pieces, but it shouldn’t be used on this or any power tool.

The primary reason is that it will attract debris over time, which could cause serious damage. It could also get sprayed onto an electrical part of your saw, which could cause it to short circuit (and start a fire).

Q: Why isn’t oil being distributed from the reservoir into the moving parts?

A: Check to make sure that both ends of your bar oil are tightly secured. This will prevent it from leaking out as you’re working with the saw. If there is still no sign of fluid, it may be time to purchase a new supply.

Q: Why is my reciprocating saw making a grinding noise?

A: If you notice this, it could mean there is something wrong inside its main housing (such as a loose or broken part). You should remove and inspect all components until you find the problem piece(s) and correct them accordingly. Then, reassemble your tool and lubricate it per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q: Are there any other ways to lubricate a reciprocating saw?

A: Yes, they include the use of special oils along with penetrating oil spray designed specifically for power tools. You can easily find both products at most hardware stores or home improvement stores. Just be sure to read the instructions on each product before use.

Q: Do you need to oil a reciprocating saw?

A: Yes, it’s absolutely necessary to lubricate a reciprocating saw. It helps prevent the blade from overheating and reduces wear on all internal components. However, you’ll want to make sure that your tool is receiving enough oil (and not debris) after every use.

Q: How often should I lubricate my reciprocating saw?

A: It is said that every time you use your saw, it should be lubricated. As this will prevent damage to the machine’s components and make it work more efficiently.

Comments are closed.