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Some saber saws specify their maximum cutting length -thickness of the block to cut- for wood (or metal, or tubes...). Most of them are in between 150 and 230 mm (6 to 9").

I indeed want to buy a saber saw to use it with these blades. There you can choose 300 mm and 450mm (12 and 18") blades.

I need that length to cut some very high density foam and cork (the foam is also similar in hardness to cork yoga blocks). But I can't see any saber saw that reaches that length in their maximum -I'm looking for the specifications for wood as they are always the longest they support.

Do I need a very special saber saw? Shall I keep looking for a higher maximum? Any suggestion about models or where to find it?

Many of them don't even specify this maximum. What does this maximum depend on?

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    Longer blades suggest you want stronger motors. For very long blades you may want a reciprocating saw instead ("sawzall" is the best known brand specializing in these). For foam you may want a completely different tool, though, ranging from hot knife to kitchen-sfyle electric carving knife to.... -- What kind of foam, how thick? – keshlam Aug 22 '16 at 21:40
  • I can see that the longer the blade, and the harder the stuff to cut, the stronger the motor. But I'm using it for foam (hard recycled 120 density one, yet softer than any wood). My pieces are near 40 cm (16") thick but I may cut them in half and glue them later so that I get 20 cm (8") ones if it is a better option. But the blades I linked to are specially made for foam, for a "saber saw" and have the length I need. They also look more like knifes than saws, so they look like the perfect tool if I could use them in a powerful but somewhat precise tool like a saber saw... – Martin Aug 22 '16 at 23:59
  • I tried electric kitchen knifes and they are OK for small pieces but there are none longer than 7" in Europe (also it is difficult to keep them straight and don't have much power). I've also tried hot wires like these: goo.gl/Fa3TSZ goo.gl/NSZV0W but didn't work with high density foams as mines. They are not exactly hot knifes; I haven't tried them - But judging by how poorly the hot wires worked, things like these goo.gl/kmxF4p or goo.gl/hPqJbo doesn't look like they'd do the job either - they are made for styrofoam (extremely low density), and are too short... – Martin Aug 23 '16 at 0:20
  • I'd seriously consider a handsaw, unless you are making curved cuts.As you say, it's just foam... With any power saw you are likely to have more trouble keeping the cut straight. – keshlam Aug 23 '16 at 0:35
  • Thanks keshlam. I indeed need to make some curves... And the density is almost like cork yoga blocks... – Martin Aug 23 '16 at 0:46
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Your eBay link is to a WILPU RWM 225 which their website calls a "reciprocating saw" blade. Based on their video on the 225 blade, this is for a tool that we (in the US, at least) would call a "Sawzall" (even if not made by Milwaukee) and looks like this:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51YPF%2BHR1vL._SL1500_.jpg
Image courtesy of Milwaukee.com

If you click the "Sawzall" link (above), you'll see that depth of cut isn't mentioned in the specifications. This is because it's an open ended cutting tool, and the only limit to the depth of cut is the length of the blade. The Milwaukee site does indicate a 1 1/8" cutting stroke, but that won't limit how long a blade it can push.

For your purposes, just about any "sawzall" (using the brand name as a generic term for reciprocating saw), will do the job to cut through your foam and cork. As an example, I've used my 18-volt battery powered "sawzall" (manufactured by a company who painted it yellow and black) with a 12 inch pruning blade similar to this:

https://www.northerntool.com/images/product/400x400/442/44299_400x400.jpg
courtesy of Northerntool.com

I've used it to cut limbs from downed trees, and to cut down dead trees in the yard. I've also used it (with appropriate blades) for demolition work and other general purpose, non-precision cutting. Probably not the most powerful tool made, most likely has less oomph than a corded tool would, but cuts like a champ until the battery dies. The good news is that I have several batteries, so I just plug in a freshly charged one and put the dead one on the charger.

Most likely, the biggest issue you'll have is getting your cuts to come out accurately with a tool like this.

However

If you really mean a saber saw (or jig saw), which looks like this:

https://www.zoro.com/makita-jigsaw-orbital-cutting-0-3000spm-jv0600k/i/G4928716/?gclid=COPuiurf2s4CFQwwaQodffkKrg&gclsrc=aw.ds#lightbox-Z0s5v0jcpEx_JPG
image from zoro.com

Then you would need something from WILPU* that is on this page of their site.

The advantage of the jig saw is that you'll get much better control over your cut, giving you a much more accurate cut. Also, jig saw blades are usually much narrower than the narrowest "Sawzall" blade, and will make much tighter curves. The drawback, is that I've never seen a jig/saber-saw blade that was 300-450mm long. This doesn't mean they don't exist, I've just never seen one (WILPU's catalog shows their longest jigsaw blade looks like it's 155mm - less than 1/2 what you need).


If you need the depth of cut, I'd suggest using the "Sawzall" blades you've linked with just about any reciprocating saw out there (caveat: you, generally, get what you pay for). I'd suggest cutting wide of your line, then sanding to bring it your final dimensions. (If you have plenty of spare material and time, you can practice cutting right to your line to learn the tool and get better control)

Alternate recommendation

Based on some of the comments on your question, you could try a hot-knife. You indicated that you'd tried a couple and found that they were either too short or didn't work well. A quick Google found these instructions (among others) at Instructables.com for a DIY hot knife foam cutter. The advantage of this is that you can make it as big as you need it. It also looks to have a variable power setting and quite a number of tips from readers on improving it, so you should be able to ramp it up to cut your foam. It's also cheap enough that if it doesn't really work you're not out that much cash.


* No specific recommendation of WILPU blades (or Milwaukee reciprocating saws or Makita jig saws). I simply went with the brand you linked to and the first images I liked when I Googled for the tools mentioned.

  • There may be a little linguistic difference here. In the UK, sawzall isn't used and sabre saw refers to something much meatier than a jigsaw (though often with a sole plate, and with a deeper blade than either a jigsaw or the sawzall/pruning blade you picture. – Chris H Aug 25 '16 at 21:11
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    @ChrisH, I did specify that was its general name in the US and link to our discussion about the difference between a saber (or sabre, if you prefer) saw and a jig saw. Seems the usage of the terms is somewhat dependent on generation and locale. Shall we simply agree that they're all terms for the variety motorized, hand-held reciprocating saws that clamp the blade at one end? – FreeMan Aug 26 '16 at 12:26

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