Vertical play in reciprocating saw blade OK?

Recently bought new Metabo HPT CR13VST reciprocating saw. Have not used yet. Easy to mount supplied 7.5" long blade. No horizontal play when I try pushing / pulling blade away from / into saw body. But mounted blade has some vertical play. In other words, when I push / pull mounted blade up / down, blade rotates around hole at base of blade. The tip moves 5-6 mm (about 0.2 inches). That translates to about 1.5 degrees. Only the blade rotates. Tried some other blades. Same thing, has vertical play.

In my Makita JR3000V reciprocating saw, have had years, the blade is rigidly held, no vertical play. The Makita saw has a bolt, hex wrench tightens, totally clamps down on blade. In contrast, Metabo has quick release mechanism, no bolt, instead a pin fits into hole, lets blade rotate a little. Was inconvenient and slow to mount blade in the Makita saw, but not a big deal. The blade was rigidly held, saw works great, blade clamp will last forever (not so sure about Metabo mechanism). The downside of Makita saw was it could not accommodate wider blades, the blade hit against the housing.

Questions: Normal for mounted blade to have some vertical play? Does your reciprocating saw have similar vertical play and not cause any problems? Might the vertical play be a problem when Metabo saw functions in orbital mode? Or when blade is in a gap looking for nails to cut?


Having received no replies, I took a few reciprocating saw blades to a big box store, and inserted them into an assortment of reciprocating saws. Every saw had a quick release mechanism, with a variety of designs. And every saw had vertical play, some more than others, but none a lot.

My conclusion is that it is normal for the mounted blade to have some vertical play. My guess is that the vertical play is not a problem, and I will be happy with the new saw. However, I’m glad that I still also have my old Makita JR3000V with a bolt, and no vertical play.

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If you want something done right, do it yourself. :slight_smile: I would think any new saw would have very tight bearings/bushings in the shaft, and the slack is only in the blade mount. I suppose there is so much variation in the saws, that the blade manufacturers must make the blade mounting slots, tabs, and pin hole with lots of clearance. Just .5mm clearance can make the blade seem awfully loose, so it may not be as sloppy as it seems. Having said that, looseness in the blade mount can cause the saw mounting slot and pin wear quickly. I have never seen one fail, so maybe it’s not a real problem. Merry Christmas to all!

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Thanks for responding. Just to clarify: Yes, the shafts were very solid in every saw I examined. All the slack was in the blade mounts. The blade inserts into a slot, and one pin holds the blade in place. The blade does not fit perfectly into the slot, so the blade rotates slightly around the pin. As you say, the manufacturers must leave a little clearance.

Whether it is a problem or not, I have no idea. It’s not how I would design a blade holder. For example, if there were two holes, the blade could not wiggle. My guess is that one hole was satisfactory when the saws used bolts. Now, in the interests of convenience (a good thing), we get a quick release mechanism that allows vertical play (either neutral or bad, cannot be good). In any case, all the ones I saw had a quick release mechanism, so apparently no choice.

I recently bought the exact same model Metabo off Amazon and upon testing it out this morning, wondered the same thing about the vertical play in the blade. After doing a quick internet search I happened across this thread. Thanks for doing the in-store research. I was about to head down the same route. The test cuts I made this morning were with a Diablo 9” carbide tipped general use blade. That particular blade had noticeably more vertical play than the Metabo blade supplied in the kit. I was curious how the Metabo has generally held up for you? And if you have discovered any particular brand of blades that fit the saw the best? One minor complaint I have (having only used this saw this morning) was that the tool’s plug does not fit snugly into any of my extension cords or even directly into the wall plug. It’s extremely easy for it to disconnect just enough to kill the power.