various materials that a reciprocating saw cuts through with callout details of the saw blades that work best for each of them
Photo: Michael Chini/Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Which Blade When: the Tale of the Teeth

Wood
3 to 10 tpi. Large teeth, and the deep gullets between them, slice through wood efficiently.
Shown: Ax, from $19 for five; Milwaukee

Wood with nails
6 to 10 tpi. Small teeth won't chip when they hit metal, but the alternating deep gullets help them chew wood.
Shown: 656G, from $20 for five; Lenox Tools

Metal
10 to 24 tpi. Small teeth leave a clean cut. The blades are wide to stop wobble and thin to reduce heat buildup.
Shown: Torch, from $16 for five; Milwaukee

All-purpose
6 to 10 tpi. Similar to blades for wood with nails, they're extra thick for added durability.
Shown: Wrecker, from $17 for five; Milwaukee

Tip: "Keep fresh blades handy, especially when you're cutting through nails. I'll go through 12 blades a day during a major demo."
—Tom Silva, TOH General Contractor
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