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Many of us in the fire service are getting back to the basics and this post will dive into Sawzall / reciprocating saw operations.  I’ve included a bit of history, pictures, and some tips that will hopefully help contain your emotions prior to throwing this valuable tool to the side.  Don’t be fooled, it takes practice to rip through the side of a bus, rear of a semi-tractor cab, or building construction materials quickly.   


I include this section primarily because I remember wondering why some people said sawzall, while others said reciprocating saw.  After the explanation, I will use the term sawzall throughout the remainder of the post simply because sawzall is 9 letters shorter to type.

The reciprocating saw came into fashion by the Milwaukee Tool Company. The company patented the name “Sawzall” in 1951.  Billed as the first portable electric hacksaw, the design has gone on by other tool companies under the name reciprocating saw.  Hence, the interchangeable name used by many of us.  Read on.


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