Whether you're a DIY enthusiast or a seasoned professional, the landscape of reciprocating saw blades (commonly known by the brand name SawZall saw blades) is changing. Diablo has made some really cool advancements, but that often leaves a lot of questions about which blades to buy. Choosing the best Diablo reciprocating saw blade can help you and your team get the best speed, performance and longevity from these accessories.
So it's just a matter of whether you plan to cut wood or metal, right? We put both to the test extensively in our best cordless reciprocating saw head-to-head article.
Oh my friend, there is so much more talking these days. So buckle up and let’s take a look at the best Diablo reciprocating saw blades for cutting wood, metal, and mixed presentation jobs.
Diablo bi-metal reciprocating saw blades are less expensive than their carbide counterparts, but they don't last nearly as long. When you consider bimetals vs. carbides, it's not just the price tag. Carbide blades typically last dozens of times longer than bimetal blades, so the cost per cut is actually much cheaper with carbide Sawzall blades.
In terms of cutting speed, sharp bi-metal blades are hard to beat in clean wood. However, if you run into any nails, it will go round very quickly. Since the Diablo now has such a comprehensive line of carbide saw blades, carbide has finally become the professional's best reciprocating saw blade for almost any job. If you're a DIYer and just need to do a little cutting, bimetal is still a valid option. Keep in mind that if you're going to be making multiple cuts involving metal, it's almost always better to buy carbide blades.
Best Diablo Reciprocating Saw Blades for Clean Wood Cutting
Diablo Carbide Trim and Clean Wood
Wood is easier to cut than metal. You can use a very aggressive tooth count so the high stroke rate of the reciprocating saw can rip it. Generally speaking, the fewer teeth, the better the speed. For that, we like the Diablo Carbide Tip Trimming and Cleaning Wood Blades.
When cutting clean wood, you can choose the most aggressive tooth count – as low as 3 TPI (teeth per inch). The aggressive tooth geometry ensues, chewing through wood faster than any other blade.
Besides helping with the lighter parts of presentation work, it's also a beast when it comes to pruning or pruning shrubs and trees. You can leave your chainsaw in the shed to do many jobs that are too tough for your hedge trimmer. Need to cut the root of filth? This is your blade.
Best Diablo Reciprocating Saw Blades for Studded Wood
Diablo Demo Demon Carbide
For most presentation applications, the wood blades you turn to are models with embedded nails. The number of teeth is increased more to the 6 – 8 range, the purpose is to prevent nails from entering the esophagus and tearing out the teeth. Saw blades like the Diablo Demo Demon Carbide Reciprocating Saw Blade use a variable TPI configuration for optimum performance and longevity.
These blades do a great job with both cutting speed and durability. You pay more than bimetal, but you spend less time changing blades and dealing with broken teeth and burning metal.
Diablo Kobelco Demon Carbide Thin Metal
Metal cutting is very different from wood cutting. You need a higher tooth count to cut through metal without tearing out the teeth. The variable tooth design gives you an advantage in wood but a disadvantage in metal. There, a symmetrical configuration works better. Bi-metal blades usually don't last very long, and you might forget about the significant advances made in stainless steel.
In the long run, carbide is once again the king of cutting performance and durability. For this reason, we recommend the Diablo Steel Demon Carbide Thin Metal Blade.
For thinner metals like EMT, less than 3/16" or 1/8", you'll typically use bi-metal blades. For the most part, this is the domain of electricians and plumbers. The high tooth count (usually around 20 TPI) of the thin metal blade gives you a cleaner cut. This TPI level used to be a bimetal only application because you couldn't join welded or brazed individual carbide teeth at this level. However, Diablo has just released a thin metal reciprocating saw blade that uses a carbide strip ground into the saw teeth.
For infrequent use, the Diablo Thin Metal Bi-Metal Blade should do just fine, and save you some money.
Diablo Kobelco Demon Carbide Medium Metal
Metal of medium thickness (1/16" – 1/8") falls into the middle ground, where a lot of demo work (and some plumbing) takes place. The best Diablo reciprocating saw blades for medium metal cutting are in the 10 TPI range. If you're making more than the occasional cut, by all means use carbide. Fpr professionals looking for a reliable and durable saw blade, the Diablo Steel Demon Carbide Medium Metal Reciprocating Saw Blade definitely fit the bill.
Diablo Kobelco Demon Amped Carbide Thick Metal
While Diablo continues to sell the standard Steel Demon blades, we like the enhanced performance and durability of the Diablo Steel Demon Amped Carbide thick metal blades. While not cheap, they offer incredible life and cutting speed in cast iron pipe and even stainless steel pipe.
Before this, thick metals like cast iron often required a torch to cut effectively. Diamond blades are next – but they take a long time and cost a fortune. A dedicated thick metal Sawzall blade drops the tooth count into the 8 TPI range – similar to what you'd find on a carbide wood blade.
While the TPIs may be similar, the geometry of the teeth is very different when passing through these thicker metals. As a harder metal compound, carbide cuts faster than other options. For these applications thicker than 1/8 inch, don't even consider bimetal. At best, it takes a long time or multiple blades to get through it. At worst, you're just rubbing the grooves on the pipe.
Price is the only downside. Diablo Steel Demon Amped carbide thick metal reciprocating saw blades cost $15 to $20 each.
Best Multipurpose Diablo Reciprocating Saw Blade
Diablo Universal Carbide
A Sawzall blade that works great on both wood and metal is a pipe dream, right? no longer. Thanks to the magic (or rather, physics) of carbide, the Diablo has a universal reciprocating saw blade. This one comes in a 6/9 TPI configuration and covers wood and metal blades.
You're actually better off with wood with wood blades and metal with metal blades. However, if you want to keep a pack of blades handy for emergencies, these are good options.
Best Diablo Reciprocating Saw Blades for Fiber Cement, Masonry, and Fiberglass
Diablo Diamond Grit
Another major class of reciprocating saw blades is diamond grit. Bosch, Lenox, Milwaukee, Imperial, and Diablo make these. They can be used on a variety of materials, especially fiber cement, masonry and rigid fiberglass. I've used them for the past few years to cut black pipe out of some difficult places.
These were also the first choice for the toughest metal applications before the advent of carbide thick metal inserts. Diamond grit Sawzall blades do not have teeth that cut material, but abrasives. Small diamond deposits help to grind away metal or material. Due to the availability of carbide, the Diablo now only produces a 9-inch diamond-grit blade.
Hopefully this has given you a good idea of the best Diablo reciprocating saw blades to use when cutting various materials. While bi-metal blades are cheap, carbide teeth are hard to beat when cutting metal or in any situation involving nails, presentations, or encountering multiple materials.
Having said that, since this is a "best" Diablo Reciprocating Saw (SawZall) saw blade article, we are focusing on carbide solutions. If you don't need to do a lot of cutting, bimetal may be better for a variety of applications. And, of course, if you're cutting clean wood (no nails), bi-metal might even make those cuts faster due to the thinner blade cut.