Once Archimedes said, “Give me a long enough level along with a fulcrum on which it can be placed, and I can move the entire world with it.”. This particular insight displays the power of machines in human world while it also sheds limelight on the importance of tools in day to day life. Saws have been used by humans for thousands and thousands of years now, branching out as different types used in a different niche. They are differentiated from each other based on time, materials and technology, etc. The most appropriate saw tends to give the maximum output given that it is compatible with the material that has to be cut.
Today, someone who’s involved in woodworking or any other type of working must have a complete tool collection with a wide range of saws coming from the handsaws to the hacksaws with a specialised number of table saws as well. There are many cutting tools apart from the saws, but saws are the basic tools that come first in the list. These tools might not be used outside the trades for which they are developed for, while the saws can be used for anything and everything.
Additionally, the saws that are being listed here are regionally prominent and hence are named after the regions in which they are most used and in some of the cases, it’s the shape, the teeth count, the size of the saws that determine the titles. Here, have a look!
Most of the saws that are in use are divided into two types:
- Hand Saws
- Power Saws
The Hand Saws, which are the basic form of saws have evolved into many other cutting styles and niches. Most of the saws are used for general purposes like the traditional saws while rest of the saws listed are specifically used for various applications, for example, the keyhole saw. There ain’t a tool collection which is complete with any of the hand saws listed here, and if you’re working artisans with experience who is looking forward to enhancing in the same, you can purchase these tools which might come handy for individual projects, uses, patterns and phenomena.
1. Back Saw
The first type of saw that comes in the list of hand saws is the back saw. A relatively shorter saw, back saw comes with a narrower blade which is strongly reinforced to the upper edge which led to the development of the name. The back saws are sometimes also known as tenon saws, or the miter saws gave their design, the region in which they are used and the purpose for which they are used for.
"The back saws are mostly used together with miter boxes and in various applications that require straight, consistent and fine cuts."
2. Miter Saw
A miter saw is a type of back saw which is manual and is used for non-mechanical operations (in the case of hand saws). The miter saw allows to make both right angle crosscuts and also the 45° cuts as well. The blade embedded in a miter saw is usually around 30 inches which is why they are usually referred as larger backsaws.
"It is usually suspended on the rollers that are a part of a metal guide, and they work with a miter box."
3. Tenon Saw
The second type of backsaws which are mostly used are the tenon saws, simply known as the medium sized backsaws. The tenon saws are relatively smaller in size when compared to the miter saws with a blade length of 16 inches or less.
"They have a similar functionality like the Miter saws but are often used to make squares, cut peg components, form tenons and also to craft the tenon and mortise required for the tenon joints."
4. Crosscut Saw
A crosscut saw, also known as the thwart saw is a saw which is designed to cut perpendicular cuts across the wooden grains. These saws come in different sizes ranging from small to large with teeth arranged quite close to giving a fine work when used in woodworking projects. There are saws with larger teeth, specially designed for coarse projects like log bucking and those saws can also be used as power tools.
The cutting edge of the teeth in these saws is alternately angled allowing the saw, on the whole, to act like both like a cutter and a knife that slices through the wood, unlike the rip saw which just tears the wood along the wooden grain acting as a chisel. Some of the crosscut saws contain specially designed teeth known as rakers which are given to clean the wooden cut strips straight from the kerf. These saws have relatively larger teeth than the general rip saws.
5. Bow Saw
The modern bow saws are the metal framed saws which are in the shape of bows with a wider blade. These saws are also known as Finn Saws, Buck Saws or the Swede Saws. The thin blades in the bow saw are held in the tension force by a frame as a toothed blade which is suspended in between two handles known as cheeks.
"Used as a rough tool for multiple projects, a bow saw can crosscut any wood up to six inches in diameter. Traditionally, the bow saws are the woodworking tools which are used to make both the straight and the curved cuts."
6. Coping Saw
Coping Saw, a known type of the hand saw is used to create intricate shapes and cutouts out of the wood in the complicated woodworking shapes. Coping Saws are mostly used by the carpenters or by people who are associated with carpentry. The blades of the coping saws are thicker and are used for coarse cuttings, but they can also cut slighter bends if the work demands including the circles.
"The Coping Saws are used to cut different sizes of mouldings for the miter joints. They are also occasionally used to form fretwork when the fretsaws are not used particularly when you are working with thin materials."
7. Hack Saw
The Hack Saws come in two different versions: the hand saw version and the power version as well. Most of the hand saw versions come with a C-frame that holds the cutting blade with tension. However, the hack saws are not very commonly available, but you can always use the blades with other blade holders and use them for making longer cuts in metal sheets.
"A finely designed toothed saw, principally made; the hack saw is mostly used to cut the metal objects. Apart from that, a hack saw is also used to cut other materials like wood and plastic for example, by the electricians and the plumbers to cut the plastic conduit and the plastic pipes as well."
8. Fret Saw
The Fret Saw is used to make tight curves into the materials and is used for the same works just like the coping saw. The fretsaw is much capable and much workable when compared to other saws especially when we are talking about delicate works. The fretsaw has a different appearance, and the reason behind this is the depth of the frame that holds the blade. The blade of the fretsaw is only five inches with a frame of 20 inches making the tool appear weird and out of the proportion. When compared with the coping saw, the fret saw has blades which are shallower and are extremely fine.
9. Japanese Saw
Japanese Saw is named after the saws that are widely used in Japan that have a strong and protruding blade and single handle. The Japanese Saws are available in three types known as Ryoba, Dozuki and Kataba and all of them can be used to cut both soft and hard kinds of wood with the same functionality and accuracy.
"This saw shows more precision when it comes to the cutting than the other type of saws and has more advantage of reaching places because of the design. The saw can be used to make cuts at places where other saws can’t reach."
10. Pruning Saw
Pruning Saw is one of the rarest saws with a perfect design. They often have blades that are 15 inches and less and are curvy in shape. The saw contains a protruding handle that has a pistol grip handle. The blade embedded is relatively wider and has coarse teeth which give the saw, the ability to make faster cuts in both the directions especially when you’re removing the material.
"Pruning saws are most used in every homeowner’s toolkit and apart from that, can be found by landscapers, tree surgeons are people who are involved in lawn services."
11. Keyhole Saw
Described the best as a saw with a round handle and with a wider blade that protrudes from the top side of the handle, the Keyhole Saw is used best for making irregular cuts. The Keyhole Saw is rough to use, and one can make shapeless, rough and different cuts with patterns, circles and shapes.
"Keyholes saws can also be indispensable saws and can be used to work with drywalls especially when sections that are small in size are to be replaced, removed and are painted."
12. Rip Saw
The term ‘Hand Saw’ is most used just to refer the Rip Saws which came first into existence. These saws are mostly known for the framing, and they have relatively lesser teeth when it comes to the inch. Each of the tooth in this saw has a sharp point that is designed in order to remove the wood from the wooden grain. A woodworker would love to have a rip saw, and anyone who works with wood will love to have different types of saws with adjustable lengths and different shapes.
13. Wallboard Saw
Similar to the Keyhole saws, the Wallboard saws are used for the same purpose. The saws usually have a wider and a shorter blade with few teeth per every inch of the saw. The saws come with double edges and also the single edges as well. The wallboard saws are designed for punctures, panels and for holes in the drywalls as well.
14. Veneer Saw
Veneer Saw is another highly professional and specialised saw used for various projects. These saws contain around 13-15 teeth per inch are employed by many of the woodworking professionals who work with veneers. The shorter blade in the veneer saws prevents it from using for other cutting projects and tasks.
"The Veneer Saws work very well with the veneers and are designed with double edge shorter blades that are extremely precise."
If you are someone who is tired of using the hand saws or don’t have to patience to deal with the hand saws, the evolved, and the amusing power saws are designed to rescue you. While most of the hand saws are duplicated, the power saws evolved to fill the same niche as mentioned above. For example, as there is a handheld miter saw; there is a miter power saw as well that has a higher functionality.
Similarly, a radial saw expands on the functionality of the circular saw, and the miter saw as well but is not an imitation of any of the either. The power saws come in many categories while they can be categorised into three major types, Circular Blade, Continous Band and the Reciprocating Blade.
1. Band Saw (Stationary)
The floor standing, traditional Band Saw has pulleys on the top from which the saw is projected with a cutting table. The continuous band can be moved along the fine teeth in order to make cuts.
"Band Saws are perfect to use to make curves in the wood as well as PVC materials, pipes and tubes but the cutting depth is limited to different inches with different materials."
2. Band Saw (Portable)
The portable version of the Band Saw is a smaller and simple version of the stationary band saw. It has the same capability to establish the same projects as the stationary band saw. But because of the light weight, it is portable and can be taken to the site or the garage. When compared, these kind of saws are limited and requires more effort and strength to make straight cuts. However, this tool is handy for the metalworkers, welders and especially the plumbers.
3. Radial Arm Saw
By placing both the blade and the motor on a radial arm, this saw can extend on the cutting table. However, depending on the manufacturer, the radial arm blades might be interchangeable with circular blades given the recommended spin speed and design as well.
'The Radial Arm Saw allows us to make straight cuts, curve cuts, miter cuts and also many identical cuts."
4. Compound Miter Saw
If you want to work with a Miter Saw with an enhanced functionality, and as one that works as if it is on steroids, then you have come to the right place. A compound miter saw is one of those saws that can save time and effort even when you perform tough tasks like crown moulding.
"Compound Miter Saws are used to form the compound, straight and also the miter cuts. Instead of making miter cuts by pivoting the blade up and down, the miter blade is instead mounted on a compound arm which will be adjusted for making complex angles including trimming, scrollwork and even the cuts."
5. Reciprocating Saw
Like the Jigsaw, the Reciprocating Saw contains a blade that can move both forward and backwards at a rapid pace. The Reciprocating saws are also known as Sawzalls in the market, the name given by the most prominent manufacturer of the same type of the saws. These saws are used for cutting wood, tubes, plastics, walls and also many joints as well. If you’re someone who is into woodworking, this saw is a mandatory tool for you.
6. Scroll Saw
The Scroll Saws can be operated either with a continuous band or with a reciprocating blade based on the design of the project. Very similar to the coping saws, the scroll saws are designed to work with patterns, spiral lines and for complicated scroll work. The scroll saws also come with tables on which the materials can be laid and then cut with precise detailing and accurate rotation.
7. Chop Saw
A widely accepted smaller and portable version of the Circular Saws, these saws are used to make masonry and metal cuttings. This saw, also known as the concrete cutting saw requires a water line connection to get rid of the dust while you’re working on a project. The Chop Saws are available in two major types, and both the types use blades which are toothless and blades that are made of abrasives which can score the cuts. Chop Saws are also sold as Abrasive Saws, Cut-off Saws or the Concrete Saws in the market.
8. Flooring Saw
Flooring saw, as the name speaks, is a movable unit which is used to re-saw the flooring including the laminate flooring, engineered flooring, bamboo flooring and the hardwood flooring as well. The portable factor is one of the major reasons, and indeed the USP for the Flooring saw as you don’t have to spend time in moving the materials from room to garage and garage to room while you deal with the flooring.
"This is a specialised saw that has the capability to replace the mitre saw, table saw and all the other power tools that are usually used for the flooring."
9. Table Saw
Table Saws are larger in size when compared to the circular saws. The table saws contain a high-speed motor installed on a flat table. Table saws can also be used to adjust the cut depths, and the embedded blade rises out of bed. The table saws are excruciatingly great for cutting a material into numerous identical species or even for rip cuts. Table Saws deal with masonry and metal blades, and the only thing that you have to take care is that the design matches with the motor speed.
10. Chain Saw
Most of the horror flicks use the chain saws as elements of horror. As the name says, the chainsaws are used to make sharper cuts. They usually use a linked chain that has various ripping teeth which seem brutal. The chainsaws are very different in design and appearance which is why if they have to be categorised, they fall under band saws. The chainsaws are most used for cutting wooden logs, for harder tree work and also by homeowners who love to build wooden DIY projects.
11. Rotary Saw
The Rotary saws have a screwdriver handle and a fixed blade of general size. They are used in many small scales, and also large scale projects coming from the handmade crafts and the construction projects as well.
"These saws are ideally used to make cuts in the wall and also for maintenance repairs. Similar to the keyhole saw a rotary tool is also used for panelling, for drywalls and for making myriads in the walls."
The Jigsaw is usually available in two different versions, the handheld version and the power version. Both the versions have the same functionality given the source of strength and power is different for each. This type of saw has shorter and finer teeth in the blade that moves up and down while making cuts at variable speeds depending on the type of cuts, you make. Jigsaws are one of very specially designed saws that are used to make curves, curvilinear lines and angular lines as well either cordless or even while using a cord.
13. Miter Saw
Exactly designed to mimic the hand version of the miter saw; this power miter saw is used ideally in order to trim, make cuts and also frame the works. The Miter saw can also be used for jobs that usually involved precise angular cuts and accurately measured cuts. A simple saw can even be pivoted to make right angular and also 45° cuts as well even in conjunctions and for forming longer mitered edges.
14. Circular Saw
As mentioned above, Circular saws are one of the most common saws that are used when people talk about the power saws. Referred as Buzz saws, most of the times or as Skill saws by some of the popular power tools manufacturing companies, Circular Saws are best when it comes to versatile projects. Circular Saws contain a blade with multiple teeth that are around 9-inch diameter and less. These saws are the most common saws, and they contain blades that are made of different materials like masonry, wood, plastic and even metal.
Wrapping up, there are tonnes and tonnes of saws that you might come across in the market and based on the usage and budget, you can purchase the one that suits your project the most. However, while using the saw, irrespective of the material that you use, there are certain guidelines that you have to follow when it comes to safety.
Make sure that you are taking adequate precautions while using either a handheld saw or the electric saw in order to prevent accidents. Start working with them to gain extra experience and additional confidence to get better at what you’re doing.