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Small Cabin Forum / Cabin Construction / Best SawZall Blades for demo work
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# Posted: 24 Mar 2023 14:55

I need to cut the roof off my cabin this spring. There is a flat roof section and a hip roof section. part of it is shingled and then was gone over with steel roofing. Trusses and all are going.

I was thinking I was going to dismantle it, but a friend said to just cut it into manageable pieces with a sawzall.

Been looking at the sawzall blades and have actually used the Milwaukee Ax carbide ones for another task. They cut wood with nails really good. Not sure what the asphalt shingles will do to the blade. I see 5 tpi is a standard for demo work, what about brands? Diablo, Lennox, Milwaukee, Harbor freight

Do you have a preference?

I'm not afraid of some harbor freight stuff, their 3 and 4.5 inch cutting wheels are great!

# Posted: 24 Mar 2023 18:12

Milwaukee Carbide Ax blades

# Posted: 24 Mar 2023 18:19

For me the low to mid-priced stuff has worked quite well, though I do try to only cut nails with a metal cutting blade and use a heavy tooth wood (9"?) in the recip-saw.
But, at the price of lumber I do a lot of dismantling rather than demo.....

# Posted: 24 Mar 2023 20:11

For shingles and sheething my preferred and tested method is a circular saw with a old dull blade. I have done the sawzall before and it sucks. Your really only useing a few teeth on that style blade so once 2-3 really go it's all you manualy pushing the sawzall through.

I would cut down the center of each bay and bend the now 16in side section over the one side of the rafter. Then hammer it off the now half pulled out nails. I have used this method and it has worked quite well.

# Posted: 25 Mar 2023 09:46

I found some Firefighter Demo Blades several years ago and those are seriously nasty blades that cut through anything ! They are NOT Cheap but I can tell you that they last a LONG time. They are thicker hardened steel with Carbide tips.

Have a look here: LS_SPECIALITY_RECIPRO_SAW_BLADES_7126/r8017943

I know there are Milwakee & DeWalt Blades like this as well as others so you may want to shop around.

Something to note, these are Demo Blades and as a result they cut fast and nasty and do not make nice clean cuts (8 to 12 TPI != Clean tidy cuts) but you'll be surprised at how fast you cut through "crap".

Hope it Helps, Good Luck.

# Posted: 3 Apr 2023 08:15

I’ve used the Diablo carbide tipped demo blades from Home Depot with much success, they make a sound when they hit nails, but they don’t slow down! As previous post says, not the cleanest cut.

# Posted: 10 Apr 2023 13:46

Thanks everyone.

I saw a special at HD and got 2 of the Milwaukee Ax carbides in 9" for the price of one. I paid $32 for 6. Then I found a five pack of the same blades in 5" at Amazon for $15. I bought a pack of them. They have a lower quality blade called AX too, I got the carbine ones.

Not sure the Hilti Firefighter blades are in my price range.

I actually used one of the 5" blades when cutting out walls and they are fantastic. Rip through wood with nails. I also bought a M18 Fuel Hackzall to go with my M18 Fuel sawzall. I used metal tooth blades in the sawzall and grab that when convenient for the wall nails.

The Hackzall is the second best handiest tool Milwaukee has. Much easier to grip, grab and use then a full sized SawZall. The best tool they have is the M12 Cutoff tool with 3" wheels. I buy the wheels at Harbor Freight, they last the longest for the price. I cut everything with that. No pulling exposed nails in the way, lop them off.

My experienced buddy also said to use a circular saw with cheap 24 tooth blades. I will try that too on the roof. He said use a powered circular saw, no use wearing out the expensive Milwaukee batteries recharging them multiple times per day on this project.

Rebuilding walls that are studded every 2 feet. Now making the studs every 16" and putting headers in on windows/doors - the exterior sheathing is staying on. Hip roof before, built in 1920 - no headers anywhere.

Thanks again. Gotta jack it up this weekend.

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