You might be into woodworking, or you simply need to equip your workshop with cutting tools. In such a case, you need to find the right saws for your workshop.
There are many saw types in the market; however, you do not need to get all of them at once. You need the essentials only. It is why we have come up with this in-depth guide of the best saws you should consider getting for yourself.
We look at both hand saws and electric saws. There are times you might need a hand saw while other times an electric saw might be necessary. Let us check them out below.
22 Different Types of Hand Saws Every DIYer Should Know
If you enjoy woodworking, then you understand that having the best hand saw is crucial. A hand saw might be a simple tool, but it comes with many applications and benefits. It all comes down to how you use it.
Keep in mind that you are likely to come across different hand saws other than the normal hand saw. This is because different saws are designed to help you accomplish certain tasks. As such, using the right saw will help you accomplish your goals faster and efficiently.
So, you might now be intrigued to check out the different hand saws. Let us check them out below to understand where best to use each one of them.
1. Hand Saw
When you think of a hand saw, this is the most common type to come to mind. It is also one that you encounter most of the time as it is designed for general cutting applications.
A hand saw would have a wedge-shaped blade with a pistol grip handle. The design makes it possible to handle different cutting scenarios.
If you are thinking of going big into woodworking, this will be the first saw to buy. Make sure to take the time to check out several options available, especially in terms of size and blade design.
Depending on the type that you choose, some can be versatile. This means they can cut through plastic pipes, plywood, wallboard, and more.
2. Crosscut Saw
When you get to a crosscut saw, you are ready to handle more projects. Well, this saw type is for cutting the wood perpendicular to the wood grain.
It is likely to be confused with a rip saw, which cuts parallel to the wood grain. So, make sure you choose the right one for the job at hand.
A crosscut saw cuts during the push stroke. This is the same as what you get with most Western saws.
The saw is also available in many sizes. For accurate woodworking, consider using a small crosscut saw. The larger models are good for coarse woodworks.
3. Bow Saw
The name of the saw can give you an idea of what to expect in terms of shape. Yes, this saw looks like a bow with a blade attached to it.
The bow saw is ideal for cutting wood, especially while camping. Thus, it is the perfect choice for those who need to cut green or wet wood.
Other than cutting wood, it can still be used in gardens. Gardeners will use this saw for cutting or pruning the tree branches. It is advisable to use the saw on branches not more than 6 inches in thickness.
The saw can also deliver on both straight and curved cuts, making it a versatile option for many.
4. Folding Saw
Folding saws are good for everyone who feels they might need to cut something while on the move. The folding capability means that they take up less space and can be easily portable.
This type of saw is common among campers and trekkers. They find it ideal for sawing, chopping, or other applications while they are enjoying the outdoors.
This saw will not be the most powerful. You might have to make a lot more passes before it can cut the wood or anything you need to cut. People love it simply for its portable nature. It is advisable to use it only for small tasks, or else it might take you too long to get a task accomplished.
5. Rip Cut Saw
It is often confused with a crosscut saw. However, this one is meant to cut wood parallel to its grain. The crosscut saw cuts perpendicular to the wood grain.
The two look alike, but you can notice the differences when you look closely. The rip saw teeth are angled backward at an angle of 8 degrees. The crosscut teeth, on the other hand, are angled at 15 degrees.
The rip-cut saw can still work as a chisel to remove anything running against it. Some use it as a knife to cut fibers from the wood.
Most rip cuts saws have 5 teeth per inch, while the cross-cut saws would have twice the number.
6. Bone Saw
If you ever want to cut through bones, then you go for the bone saw. Yes, the name of the saw gives you an idea of where you can use it.
Such saws will be common in butcheries or among hunters who might want to cut through whatever they hunt. Anyone who goes hunting would have it as part of the hunting gear.
These saws are often made of stainless steel material. This type of material is good to ensure the saw does not corrode after coming into contact with animal blood.
The chances are you have come across a hacksaw before. This saw is famous for cutting through tubing and pipes. It is quite effective at doing its job, and that is why more people opt for it.
The hacksaw is lightweight and versatile. It is why you can find it is a necessary tool in most homes and workshops.
Materials it can cut through include metal, wood, plastic, and others.
The hacksaw blades have a tooth count ranging from 18 to 32 per inch. So, you can choose the right one depending on what you need to cut.
8. Wire Saw
As the name suggests, this type of saw uses a stiff wire or cable for cutting through different materials. You are likely to find such a saw mostly in laboratories.
Some are smaller in size, making them good for campers. So, always check the type of wire saw first before buying.
The large wire saw type is used mostly for cutting fragile crystals and other substances with better precision.
It is also common in the quarrying and mining industry. This is where large blocks of materials have to be produced with excellent accuracy.
9. Razor Saw
A razor saw is a small saw ideal for any small projects you might have in the workshop. Most people use this saw type for model making.
Model making needs a saw that can deliver a smooth finish. Luckily, this one has up to 40 teeth per inch. The result will always be a smooth finish for any project.
It is worth pointing out that the saw would be ideal for softwood cutting. It will also have additional disposable blades for handling a lot more projects.
10. Manual Pole Saw
You can also find it being called a pole runner saw in some other materials.
This saw has an extendable pole to help it have more reach. On average, such saws can extend from 7 to 16 feet or more. It comes down to the model you pick.
The cutting end has six to eight teeth per inch. This blade design and the number of teeth per inch make it ideal for pruning trees.
It is worth noting that you can also get a powered pole saw. This allows for more efficiency and cutting speed if you have a large area to cut.
11. Pruning Saw
As the name suggests, this will be a great saw for your garden. Its design allows for quick and easy pruning of trees and shrubs in the garden.
The design features a curved blade attached to a curved handle. This type of design makes it easier for you to access the hard-to-reach branches. Mostly this would be in the dense growing trees.
The pruning saws would have more teeth per inch than most similar-sized saws. This makes them ideal for smaller pruning jobs.
12. Veneer Saw
Are you having a problem cutting hardwood veneer? If that is the case, consider the veneer saw. You can easily identify it due to its short blade of around 4 inches. It also has 13 teeth per inch.
The best part about this saw type is that it can cut using both edges. The next time you are looking to do some veneer work, then this should be your top choice.
Veneer wood might be really thin, but a knife cannot go through it. You need such a saw to help with accurately cutting the wood with ease.
13. Wallboard Saw
At first glance, you might confuse it with keyhole saws. The difference between the two is that wallboard saws will have a shorter and wider blade.
Also, the wallboard blades will be double-edged, making them more versatile.
As for the application, the name of the saw gives it away. You are likely to find them mostly being used to punch holes into paneling or drywalls.
Another difference between it and the keyhole saw is that it would have fewer teeth. Such a design makes the saw ideal for rough cuts.
14. Japanese Saw
You are likely to find other resources calling it “dozuki” saws. This type of saw is an ideal choice for Japanese carpentry and woodworking projects.
The saw is designed to cut during the pull stroke. This is different from the Western saws that cut during the push stroke. Cutting during the pull stroke can be more efficient in specific applications. It also leaves you with a thinner cut width.
The common downside of this saw type is that it cannot cut hardwood. For hardwood, you may want to consider the western saws.
15. Back Saw
This is another great choice for a hand saw. One thing that makes it stand out is the stiffening rib on its upper side. This rib is essential so that the blade will not bend when pushing it through the wood.
Its stiff construction makes it a good choice for those who want more precise cutting than other types of saws. You will also achieve better control when using this saw type.
This saw type is ideal for making accurate cuts for joinery and cabinetry applications because of its accuracy.
The downside of this saw is that it cannot cut as deep as other saws. This is because of its rib on the upper side.
16. Carcass Saw
The carcass, in this case, is the cabinet framework and not the animal carcass.
A carcass saw features a stiff blade important for improving its accuracy and precision. You would not have a hard time cutting across the wood grain using this type of saw. This is possible thanks to having crosscut filed teeth.
It is a specialized saw meant mostly for handling small work compared to other similar saws such as the tenon saw. Well, if you use it correctly, you will end up with precise cuts.
17. Coping Saw
This is another popular hand saw to own. It has a simple look that also makes it simple to use for various applications.
The saw has a thin blade on a D-shaped frame that is hard to confuse with any other saw type.
Because of design and construction, the coping saw is ideal for cutting through metal and wood. The best part is that you can remove the blade, pass it through a hole, and attach it to the other side of the frame. This allows for cutting different profiles with ease.
Coping saws are good for cutting curves, joining, fashion dovetails, and moldings. Even though it might not be the most precise saw, it is highly versatile.
18. Jab Saw
You will liken its look to a swordfish. Even though it is a narrow saw, it is quite the versatile option that many people love getting for various projects.
A jab saw is ideal for cutting curves, frets, and circles. Such capabilities allow for cutting in places where no other hacksaw type would do a good job.
The saw is also lightweight with a pistol grip. This makes it easier to use.
Jab saws are available in two types. There is one with a fixed blade, while the other type has a retractable blade. You might find the retractable models slightly more expensive.
19. Fret Saw
A fret saw is for when you have to make intricate cuts into the wood. A saw is still an excellent option for the tight curves.
Sometimes it can be confused for a coping saw. However, this one is better for those who want to make the tighter curves where a coping saw cannot handle.
A fret saw is still a good choice for deep frame cutting. This is because it would have a length of 10 to 12 inches and a blade with 32 teeth per inch on each side. Making those tighter cuts just got better.
20. Pocket Chainsaw
A pocket chainsaw is like taking the chain off a standard gas chainsaw and adding handles on both ends.
This type of saw is common among survivalists, just like the wire saw. They love it for being lightweight and compact. This helps them to cut some things while outdoors with ease.
They can be slightly heavier than wire saws, but their teeth make them faster and easier to use. Wire saws rely on friction to cut, while pocket chainsaws use teeth. It is easy to see that the teeth would be faster.
21. Fine Kerf Saw
A fine kerf saw is ideal when there is a need for less wasted wood and less sawdust production. That is why you would find it is suitable for thin strip ripping projects. Depending on the size of the blade, you can now rip the wood to the exact width.
The saw is commonly used when working on costlier or exotic woods. This is because you would not want a lot of wastage with such a type of wood.
22. Bear Saw
A bear saw is designed to cut during the pull stroke rather than during the push stroke. This makes it ideal for faster, accurate, and easier cutting. You will find it is a perfect saw for those who want to remove less material from a workpiece.
Most of them will have a tri-edge teeth design. The idea is to harden the teeth to help them retain their sharpness for longer.
Bear saws are also lightweight for portability. Some models can be disassembled for ease of storage too.
23 Different Types of Electric Saws for Your Woodworking Shop
The advancement in technology has many improvements in the tools that we use today. This also applies to saws. We now have electric saws in the market that help in accomplishing tasks faster than ever before.
Users also love electric saws as there is reduced fatigue compared to when you would be using a hand saw.
By now, you must be eager to see what is in store as the best electric saws. Let us check them out below.
The chances are you have come across a chainsaw before. These saws are good mostly for felling trees and cutting them into sizable chunks for carrying.
An electric chainsaw can be corded or cordless. A cordless model would run on batteries so that you can take it to different places even where there is no electricity.
The electric chainsaws will be good mostly for small job applications. If you need more brute power, go for the gas-powered chainsaws.
What direction do I fit the chain?
2. Lopper Saw
If you like to work in your garden, then you understand the importance of having loppers.
A lopper saw is just an electrified lopper important for reaching deep into the tree or hedge and prune it better. Since it is electric, it will help in efficiently pruning different plants. You can also cover a larger area within a short time compared to using the normal loppers.
3. Circular Saw
This is a handheld power saw with a toothed blade. The standard diameter of a circular saw is anywhere from 5.5 to 7.25 inches. So, always pick the right diameter, keeping in mind the size of the workpiece.
Its blade spins around an arbor maintaining the preselected speed when cutting the workpiece.
As much as they are mostly portable and handheld, some large models might be mounted to keep them stationary.
A circular saw is best for rough cutting of wood. However, you can fit special accessories so that it can successfully cut through plastic and non-ferrous metals.
Choosing The Right Saw Blade For Your Project
4. Miter Saw
A miter saw is a multifunction electric saw you can use for making crosscuts, bevel cuts, miter cuts, and compound cuts. It is so easy to see how such a saw is highly versatile. Keep in mind that you have to make a few adjustments to the miter saw before making the cuts.
Miter saws are often used for making wooden frames and molding in cases where you want high precision during different operations. The only thing you cannot do with a miter saw is to make rip cuts.
Types of Miter Saw Cuts
Types of Miter Saws and Which is Right for You
- Sliding Miter Saw
A sliding miter saw will have additional rails to help move the blade back and forth across the wood. This type of saw will give you a greater cutting depth than what you get with normal-sized miter saws. The sliding miter saws also have the capability to make compound cuts.
- Compound Miter Saw
Compound miter saws make it possible to make bevel cuts in addition to the metering ability. This is a nice feature, especially when working with crown molding or other trims that need to be installed on a wall.
The best part is that most modern miter saws will have the compound feature as default.
- Compound Sliding Miter Saw
Now that we have looked at the different miters above, this one combines the best of both worlds. Having the rails helps to increase its cross-cut capacity, and the bevel helps in making compound cuts. As a result, you will end up with the flexibility of compound miters and the cutting depth of the sliding miter saw.
- Dual-Bevel Compound Sliding Miter Saw
For this type, you get a miter table, beveling capability, and sliding rails. The beveling capability is in both left and right directions. The left bevel eliminates the flipping of the material around to cut it. This is the main advantage as it saves you time and frustration.
It is also a good choice when working with moldings as it saves you the hassle of working on longer pieces of material.
Now that you know what each type can and cannot do, pick the right one depending on which projects you will handle the most.
5. Electric Concrete Saw
An electric concrete saw is ideal for cutting masonry, concrete, brick, tile, asphalt, and other solid materials. Depending on the task at hand, you can get different options available. Common options include hand-held, chop-saw models, and big walk-behind saws.
Because of the nature of the work they do, such saws are common in the construction industry.
6. Reciprocating Saw
The name of the saw is derived from its operation principle. It works by moving its blade back and forth in addition to pendulum actions of the same blade.
The saw has a shoe that is placed close to the workpiece you are cutting to extend the blade’s service life. Also, this makes the cutting process a lot more efficient.
A reciprocating saw is an indispensable tool for most professional builders. They are designed to cut through materials such as wood, plastic, composites, and metal.
The best part is you can use a single blade to cut through these different materials.
7. Table Saw
A table saw can sometimes be confused with a circular saw. However, the major difference between these two is the blade size. A table saw has a larger blade.
The blade is driven using a powerful motor mounted underneath the working table.
Also, the operation of the table saw is different from a circular saw. For a table saw, the material is pushed against the blade to cut it. As for the circular saw, you have to lower the blade to cut through the workpiece.
Most of them are stationary models. This makes them ideal for heavy-duty cutting.
This is a compact handheld saw whose short blade runs in a reciprocating motion when cutting. Because of this action, a jigsaw is best for making curved and other shaped cuts.
Due to its lightweight nature and compactness, a jigsaw is quite a versatile tool. That is why it is used for cutting through materials such as wood, plastics, ceramics, cement slabs, and non-ferrous metals.
As much as it can be compact, a jigsaw is still a powerful and efficient saw. You can easily use it on many projects without a problem.
9. Straight Flush Saw
You can say that a straight flush saw is a modern take on the classic circular saw. For its design, you will find it is great for making cuts directly adjacent to studs, posts, headers, and more.
Having a recessed mounting point for its circular blade allows for zero clearance cutting capability. This would eliminate the need for using a reciprocating saw for cleaning up the workpiece if you had used a traditional circular saw.
10. Toe-kick Saw
This can be termed as a niche handheld saw to own right now. It is a small and flush circular saw that helps you to cut under the toe-kick panels of most cabinets. As such, you can now easily remove the flooring without touching the cabinet.
This saw is so specific for its application. Therefore, it is better to rent one rather than buying.
11. Electric Hand Saw
Do you know the traditional hand saw? Well, now there is an electric version of it. The electric hand saw is for people who feel easily fatigued when using the traditional hand saw for various applications. It is nice that it exists, but most people might not find so much work for it when you have other powerful saws in the market.
You can use it mostly for light-duty cutting.
12. Scroll Saw
Scroll and band saws have a similar design; however, a scroll saw will be the best for the most intricate and delicate cuts. The best part is that it can handle different patterns you might have in mind.
Its working table is also good in terms of importing stability. The result is that you end up with more accuracy and precision when using this type of electric saw.
A scroll saw would be the right choice for working on wooden puzzles and still creating sophisticated furniture ornaments.
Universal Blade Number Chart
13. Electric Pole Saw
Its name is self-explanatory. For this type of saw, there is an electronic saw at the end of a regular pole.
Pole saws are good for those who love pruning their trees. With the use of a pole, you can reach even the tall hedges and trees for ease of pruning. It is easy to see why it would be a must-have saw for most homeowners.
A pole saw can still be useful for making holes or puncturing through panels to make starter holes for other power tools. So, it is quite a versatile saw to own also.
14. Flooring Saw
A flooring saw is ideal for re-sawing floors so that you can fit them perfectly. Such a tool is ideal for working on laminated floors, hardwood floors, or bamboo floors. By the time you are done with the floors, they should look neat and elegant.
Unlike the other types of saws meant for floor finishing, this one is portable. As such, it should save you time when you need to use it for urgent applications.
15. Track Saw
A track saw has the edge over the other types of saws as it offers effortless, precise cuts. Many people find it a modified version of the regular circular saw. Well, it can do a lot more jobs that the circular saw would not manage to handle.
The track saw also features a specific guideline that helps it achieve the ultraprecise cuts. This helps it maintain a straight line and prevent any chances of an accident.
16. Masonry Saw
The masonry saw is for handling tough applications such as cutting large concrete blocks. This is why you will mostly find it in the construction sector.
Its pistol and trigger like grip make it easier to handle and use on different concrete blocks.
The type of teeth and blades are more significant than what you get with other electric saws. This is because the saw has to go through tough concrete.
The saw also features a deep gullet. This helps to carry the specks of dust with ease, leaving you with a cleaner workpiece.
17. Chop Saw
A chop saw is a heavy-duty saw that can cut into a hard surface with ease. It features an abrasive blade similar to a grinding wheel so that cutting can be easier. Most of the blades are 14 to 16 inches in diameter, depending on the saw size.
Because of construction and performance, the saw can cut through a wide range of materials. Some common examples are steel pipe, tile, asphalt, concrete, rebar, and more.
18. Jamb Saw
It is sometimes referred to as an undercut saw. This is another hyper-specialized saw used for cutting out small sections in a door molding or jamb.
This allows you to lay the flooring flush with the wall rather than having the jamb or molding in the way. As you can see, that is its only job, so it is best to rent it rather than own one.
19. Tile Saw
Looking at the saw’s name, it is easy to tell where you would use such a type of saw. This saw is mostly designed for cutting tile, glass, stone, porcelain, and marble.
Depending on the design, some allow for making angled, and square cuts into the tiles.
One thing that makes it a popular saw should be its portability. This means that you can move it to where it is most needed rather than transporting materials to it and back.
Modern models come with a water-feeding pump. This helps cool the cutting blade and reduce the dust and debris when cutting through tiles and other related materials.
20. Oscillating Saw
Thanks to the working principle, an oscillating saw can be tailored for grinding and sanding different surfaces in addition to cutting.
It works by using a side-to-side motion almost similar to vibration.
The saw can be available as a corded or cordless option. It depends on where best you want to use it.
Most of the time, the tool is great for flush cutting, removal of any rusty fittings in the house, or cutting the floor during the preparatory stages.
Many users also find it an ideal option for those hard-to-reach areas when working on a project.
21. Chain Beam Saw
The chain beam saw has an interesting design. When you first look at it, the saw has a combination of a handheld circular saw design and a downward-mounted chainsaw. This type of design makes it a great option for working on timber frames.
Log builders also find it ideal for handling their work more efficiently.
As much as a chain beam saw might be expensive, it offers unparalleled accuracy and performance for handling the big wooden beams.
22. Band saw
A band will have a sharp blade in the form of a continuous band stretch over two to three wheels. Such saws are great for intricate cutting of wood or even other materials such as metal or plastic.
You might have noticed them in the food industry. They are good for cutting meat where there is a need for more volume.
Just like other types of electric saws, you can get corded and cordless options. As much as cordless models can be good for portability, they have limited cutting capacity.
Another thing you will like about band saws is speed control. It allows the user to customize its speed depending on the material.
Choosing the Right Bandsaw Blade
Note: This chart offers guidelines for matching band saw blade thickness to minimum radii of contour cuts:
23. Rotary Saw
Rotary saws were first developed for making cut-outs in drywalls. However, with more improvements, this handheld saw can now handle a wide range of cutting tasks.
Other than cutting, a rotary saw can be used for sanding, sharpening, and many other light-duty cuttings.
The saw works by running its spiral bit in a twisting motion. This means that the cutting can be done in any direction.
There are various types of saws in the market, as you have seen from the guide above. It often comes down to what application you need to handle.
If you have an application that needs more power, then you need to opt for the electric saws. The common light-duty cutting applications can easily be handled by hand saws.
Also, some saws are better rented than buying. This is because they are not versatile. They often have just one application. Before investing in a type of saw, take a look at its applications to find if it is necessary to buy it.