In the present paper, the reciprocating sawing process is analyzed, and a model for linear cutting rate is developed. The resulting model is based on an orthogonal approximation of cutting at individual teeth and accounts for elastic and plastic indentation. Cutting rates obtained from an instrumented sawing fixture show good agreement with predicted results for the range of conditions considered. Cutting rate was found to be proportional to thrust force and reciprocating rate though this behavior is influenced by edge radius and flow stress at higher levels. While it was not possible to decouple the effect of pitch and blade set, it was confirmed that coarser pitch blades do provide higher cutting rates.