Dewalt Reciprocating Saw Blade Change (5 Easy Steps!)

Dewalt is one of the most trusted brands in tools. They make some of the most durable equipment that lasts for years. One of their most popular tools is a reciprocating saw due to its versatility. Dewalt makes a number of different models of these saws.

Reciprocating saws are often used for demolition and remodeling. They are able to cut through a wide variety of materials such as wood, metal, PVC, nails, etc. With that being said their blades get dull relatively quick, especially when you use it as much as I do.

I will provide you with a step-by-step process on just how to change the blade on your Dewalt reciprocating saw. This can be used in most, if not all, Dewalt models. Luckily, you will not need any tools, just a new blade.

Of note, some people may refer to this tool as a sawzall. Dewalt technically does not make a “sawzall” as they call them all reciprocating saws.

Dewalt reciprocating saw blade change

To change the blade on a Dewalt reciprocating saw, you must first remove the battery. To do so, pull the blade clamp lever up and remove the old blade. Install the new blade in the direction you desire. Then push the blade clamp lever down to lock in place. Install battery and use your saw.

Dewalt reciprocating saw with blade.

Parts of reciprocating saw

Dewalt reciprocating saw with parts labeled.
  • A. Battery
  • B. Battery release button
  • C. Trigger switch
  • D. Blade clamp release lever

Step 1: Remove the power source

Dewalt makes some reciprocating saws that are electric and some that are battery powered. YOU MUST make sure the power source is disconnected before you change the blade.

If your saw is battery operated, use the battery release button to remove the battery. If yours is electric then unplug the cord from the outlet.

Removing battery from Dewalt reciprocating saw.

Before moving onto the next step, make sure you press the trigger to ensure there is no power to the saw.

Step 2: Pull blade clamp release lever

Pull the blade clamp release lever up in order to release the lock mechanism on the blade. You will need to hold this lever up as you move on to the next step.

Holding blade clamp release lever up on Dewalt reciprocating saw.

If you are installing a blade for the first time, skip the next step and jump to step 4!

Step 3: Remove old blade

Next, while continuing to hold the blade clamp release lever up, remove the old blade. It should slide right out with little to no resistance. If there is any resistance felt, you may not be holding the lever up high enough.

Dewalt reciprocating pictures one with blade clamp release lever up high enough and one with blade clamp release lever not high enough.

It is important to be very careful during this step as the blade is still sharp! It may be wise to wear a glove when removing the old blade. At the very least make sure you hold the blade on the side with no teeth. Once the blade is removed make sure to discard it in a safe place.

Arrow representing which direction pull in order to remove blade from Dewalt reciprocating saw.

Step 4: Install new blade

First, you will have to pick the appropriate blade for the job you are trying to do. There is a wide variety of companies that make blades out there. Make sure you do your research before buying blades.

The blade set that I have actually have a picture of the materials that they are used for. You can see the teeth on the blades vary.

Dewalt reciprocating saw blades labeled.

During this step, you will need to hold the blade clamp release lever up again.

Before installing, you will need to decide which direction you want the blade to face. This will depend on the type of reciprocating saw you have and the job you are doing.

Some Dewalt reciprocating saws allow you to install the blade in 4 different directions. Other versions only allow you to install in 2 directions.

I have a DCS380 that allows me to position the blade in 4 directions.

Dewalt reciprocating saw with blade shown in 4 different positions.

The DCS381 model allows you to install the blade in 2 directions.

Dewalt reciprocating saw with 2 different vertical blade potions.

To determine what saw version you have, I recommend that you refer to your owners manual. If you do not have a manual, there is a quick and easy way to determine. All you have to do is look at the blade clamp from head on.

In saws that allow 4 blade positions, there will be two seperate slots for the blade to go in. There is a vertical slot as well as a horizontal slot.

2 separate slots that allow 4 blade positions on Dewalt reciprocating saw.

In saws that allow 2 blade positions, there will only be a single slot that is vertical.

Dewalt reciprocating saw with single vertical blade position.

Once you have determined the saw that you have and the position you want the blade, it is time to install the blade. Hold the blade clamp release lever up and install the blade in the appropriate slot. Make sure to press the blade all the way in, you should reach a hard stop once it is in place.

Dewalt reciprocating saw with blade clamp locked and unlocked.

Again, when dealing with a blade make sure to be very careful. You can wear a glove or make sure you handle the blade on the side away from the teeth for safety.

Installing blade in Dewalt reciprocating saw.

Step 5: Push blade clamp release lever down

Once the blade is securely in place (cannot be pushed in any further), push the blade clamp release lever down. The lever should be flush with the hand grip of the saw. Lightly pull on the blade once it is locked, to ensure it is secure.

Once the blade is secure, install the battery and begin using your saw as desired.

Pushing blade lock lever down on Dewalt reciprocating saw.

I hope this helps you change the blade on your Dewalt reciprocating saw. If you run into any issues throughout the process, you can reach Dewalt at: 1-800-433-9258.

As always, keep in mind that most Dewalt products come with a 3-year limited warranty.

Conclusion

  • Step 1: Remove the power source
  • Step 2: Pull blade clamp release lever up
  • Step 3: Remove old blade
  • Step 4: Install new blade
  • Step 5: Push blade clamp release lever down

Did this help you change the blade on your Dewalt reciprocating saw? If so, please let me know in the comments section!

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’m a lefty and most instructions are for right handed people. I love that you didn’t specify which hand to hold items in. Also the photos of how to check if you have a two or four position saw and how to easily see if the blade is locked in place are extremely helpful. Exactly the way my day would have explained it to me if he was still around. Thank you!!

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