Last Updated on April 5, 2023
Anyone who has ever gone through the process of attempting to update, remove or otherwise cut into cast iron pipe, perhaps in an older home renovation, has at one time scratched their head and contemplated the best way to accomplish the task. Cast iron is an incredibly dense, thick metal and it is frequently used in older homes for sewage ventilation and drainage. Tying into this pipe entails a cut across 4-inches of the toughest stuff you’re likely to encounter. To accomplish the task, you’ll need much more than a basic metal reciprocating saw blade. You need the Lenox 8 Diamond Cast Iron reciprocating saw blade.
Typically, in the past you would run to your nearest tool rental store and pick up a snap cutter. This is a mechanical device (though companies are starting to come to market with battery-powered models) which gradually wears into a pipe using a series of cutters positioned inside of a chain. As you work the cutters around the circumference of the pipe, you gradually tighten (ratchet) the chain until the cutters cleanly snap the pipe. The rental for this tool is about $10-15/day, but a reciprocating saw blade is a much more convenient solution – and it doesn’t weight in at 25 pounds!
Lenox 8 Diamond Cast Iron Reciprocating Saw Blade Testing
In our test home, we ran into a cast iron vent pipe that we wanted to convert into 3-inch Schedule 40 PVC before venting it out a roof. The existing pipe had been broken off and would not fit comfortably into a modern rubber boot on the new architectural shingle roof. After looking at the project we decided to try out one of the new Lenox Diamond reciprocating saw blades that claim the ability to handle such a job and cut through cast iron cleanly.
In short, we took this as a personal challenge and an opportunity to use a new tool and method for cutting through this type of material.
We bought two of the Lenox 8 Diamond Cast Iron reciprocating saw blades, just in case, and loaded up the first into our Milwaukee M18 Sawzall reciprocating saw. Since we were replacing part of the roof and shoring up its internal structure to compensate for years of neglect, we actually had a nice opening with which to position ourselves to make the cut. Beginning at one side we started the Sawzall slowly and worked a good starting groove into the pipe before activating the saw at full speed. Once we were at full throttle we kept the saw perpendicular to the pipe and allowed the blade to do the work, refraining from any desire to rock the blade or otherwise keep it from making a level cut against the pipe. Vibration was easily managed and we never felt the blade binding up inside of the pipe, though we did accidentally pull it out a bit, causing it to slam up against the inside of the pipe and bend the blade somewhat. Re-straightening it with a pair of lineman’s pliers took care of this and we were quickly back to work. When we got nearer to the end of our cut, we held the pipe up with a gloved hand so as to ensure it didn’t collapse upon the blade, pinching it between the cast iron pieces. In about two minutes we completed the entire job and stared dumbfounded at a project that we had initially thought would have taken us a much longer time to conquer.
What further surprised us was the wear on the blade. From our initial glance there wasn’t much of any and we felt the Lenox 8 Diamond Cast Iron reciprocating saw blades could go several more rounds before it gave up the ghost.
This is a power tool accessory that no one who may encounter cast iron piping should be without. It will save you time and money, and the ~$16 price tag is a bargain for the convenience and performance this blade brings. Since it’s a universal reciprocating saw blade, we expect it to work just as well with corded models or just about any cordless brand available to consumers or pros. This is also the kind of accessory that will appeal to both homeowners and professionals alike, since it’s going to provide a great value for both. In a rare case of “we’re not sure how you can possibly improve upon this accessory”, we gave it perfect marks in both Performance and Value.