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R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

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  • R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

    My wife bought the R3030 Reciprocating Saw for pruning, after the sales people at Home Depot recommended the saw for that purpose. However, we noticed the manual says not to use it for pruning, and not to use pruning blades with it. I've seen many, many posts throughout the Internet from people saying they have used a reciprocating saw, including the R3030, for pruning. So, what's the deal? Why does Ridgid say not to use it for pruning? What are the dangers involved? How likely are they to occur? Should we ignore the warning in the manual and use it for pruning anyway?

  • #2
    Re: R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

    Sounds like the lawyers got involved again. IMO, it's nothing more than a disclaimer to cover their sit upons in case you get bonked on the head from a falling branch. I use my recip. saw all the time for pruning.
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      Re: R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

      Using the R3030 to prune a step better than using an electric carving knife to prune!

      The R3030 has a short stroke and for pruning you would prefer a longer stroke..This will offer more efficient and better quality cuts.

      Yes you can install a blade with 6 or so teeth for aggressive
      cutting/pruning but you will experience some other challenges.

      The tool is not ergonomically friendly for pruning.
      The tool is not designed for long operating times....Think about cutting a pipe, plastic, or copper or galvanized etc....

      Using this saw to even cut a 2x4 will be a tiring adventure.

      But people using tools for tasks they were never designed for has never been an issue, it happens all the time!

      So, try it and when you find you can do a better job with the "correct tool" remember,
      we told you so here.....

      Oh..please be safe!!!!!

      Cactus Man


      • #4
        Re: R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

        " after the sales people at Home Depot recommended the saw "

        You must have bought it at my HD. The guy in the tool Dept. is a retired postmaster who took a job at HD. Knows nothing about tools.


        • #5
          Re: R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

          I have the earlier model, R3000 Recip Saw and I have used it for pruning with no real problems. The key of course is to use a pruning blade and then properly set your expectations and then keep sharply in mind there a some safety issues.

          First off, the safety issues. A recip saw is a two-handed tool. Up on a ladder or reaching overhead, using two hands is probably not probable, or at least not convenient. The saw is certainly heavier than a manual pruning saw (I actually prefer a small bow saw). So trying to use it with only one hand can be dangerous as you pull the trigger and hold up the weight. If you've rested the blade on a limb and then cut through it, the weight of the saw will swing down with your arm and toward your lower body, most likely with the blade still moving..... NOT a good thing! So be careful.

          I find the recip more than adequate for taking down lower limbs that are only a couple of inches or so. Works well, but like using any power tool, you certainly need to know how to use the tool and you certainly need to make sure your body parts are well clear of the blade path, should you suddenly clear through branch... you don't want your foot or leg in the way of the advancing blade.

          I don't own a chain saw... talk about dangerous! I have used my recip to cut through four to six inches of branch on a fallen tree. While I do use a manual saw for most tree work, after awhile I confess it gets tiring and the recip was handy and I needed to get the damn tree out of my friends driveway. I cut fine, but it also really heats up too. When tools start to get hot, I stop using them.

          Also, if the cut binds on the blade, it will kick and the blade will bend... making it almost worthless to continue without a new blade.

          Bottom line, is Yes, you can use a recip saw... but as mentioned it's not the tool of choice. For the price of the recip saw, you could have purchase several bow saws... they cut much more efficiently and safely, albeit with muscle power. Good for the arms though.

          I hope this helps,



          • #6
            Re: R3030 Reciprocating Saw-Pruning?

            SAFETY has to come first for sure.

            If you can stand on the ground and not reach overhead, then you might get away with using a reciprocating saw with proper blade for limited pruning work. For working on a ladder like CWS I too prefer a bow saw. You can still get hurt but normally not as severely.

            If you just purchased the reciprocating saw and haven't used it and if you only planned to use it for tree pruning, I recommend returning it ASAP and then looking over in the garden tool area for bow saws and the like.