Saws are common among carpenters, woodworkers and even homeowners who opt to do DIY projects in their homes. These tools are excellent in cutting materials to finish an output.
They come in different types, uses and functions but they are mainly designed to cut and trim materials depending on the need.
If you are looking for saws, you must know first how they differ and what each type could offer. In this post, we rundown some of the most common types of saws and if for some reasons you are interested, read on.
Related: Tips to Find the Best Compact Circular Saw
Types of Hand Saws
1. Back Saw
This type of Hand Saw is also known as miter saw or tenon saw and sometimes called dovetail saw because it is the perfect type for making a dovetail joint. They have a short blade and a strong support in their backs and have fine toothed blades.
Back saw is a must have for carpenters because it has a wider brace that provides accuracy and precision. Though wide brace means unable to pass through the cut, it is still popular among carpenters since it is easy to control.
2. Bone Saw
This type of hand saw is seen and best used outdoors. Unlike the back saw, it does not have a fine blade but large teeth, thus, used as a better material for cutting trees, logs, and general pruning.
Bone saw, though, serves only those purposes. Nonetheless, it is still a must buy saw because it can make the work easier when dealing with thicker logs.
3. Bow Cut Saw
A bow cut saw is a modern type of crosscut saw. It is a medium-sized hand tool that is most commonly used outdoors for pruning trees and cutting logs.
A bow cut saw has crosscut teeth that are able to remove sawdust while being pushed in and out. Their blades are fairly long and narrow, making them suitable for cutting thick sections of wood. They can also be used to make curved cuts.
4. Camping Saw
As the name suggests, camping saws are designed to use to build camping spaces. It is used to clear out trees, bushes and others that come along the way putting up your tents or anything that blocks the camping site.
Plus, it is lightweight that is why it is very ideal to have it around when needed. This type of saw is also best for use in chopping firewood, trimming branches or making a number of cuts of other things that are present in the camping area.
5. Carcass saw
The name already suggests that this one has a very sharp blade used for cleaving, scraping, and shaping. This type of saw is most known for the names “dovetail saw” or a “tenon saw” and the name carcass saw is the rarer name for it.
This one is described as a longer back saw with crosscut teeth used for cutting cleanly across the grain. It is best used primarily as a wood joint cutter and a great tool for defining edges.
6. Coping Saw
Just like back saw, this type also makes precision cuts, though a more ideal tool for furniture making because it has thinner blades. Because of this, they are best at trimming, scrolling and anything else that requires detail.
Coping saw is also a tool used not only by carpenters but also by plumbers and toymakers.
This type is also a must buy because aside from it being lightweight in nature, it also has a rotating blade which gives you a better control in the tightest spots. Coping or popularly known as specialist saw as it only functions on several types of small work.
7. Crosscut Saw
This one is popular for its two-handle feature for some wood workers because it makes them work fast and easy. Crosscut saws have thick, wide-toothed blades which are used mainly outdoors.
This is an ideal tool for cutting trees, trimming branches, cutting lumber and more. On the downside, it does not offer precision cutting like the other types.
8. Folding saw
Folding saw is probably the smallest saw known today. It is likened to an army knife which also has the ability to fold and that is very transportable whenever needed.
This is also a saw used in camping for being lightweight and for offering balanced cutting efficiency. It is also strong enough to cut off obstructions while in the outdoor site.
9. Fret Saw
This type is relatively the same as the coping saw and only differs on the blade feature which is not rotatable. This one is also specifically designed for wider projects and an ideal tool to complete a much more difficult woodwork.
The blades contain around 32 teeth per inch which make them a favorite tool for some carpenters as they provide a lot of precision and cut accuracy even in smaller details.
10. Hack Saw
This one is very popular among homeowners because they can cut through thin materials such as plastic or metal pipes and are best for overall household cutting jobs.
It has a thin blade with a high tooth count (typically between 18 and 32 teeth per inch), making it a multi-purpose saw. However, although it has thin blades, it does not guarantee a precise cut unlike other types.
11. Hole Saw
This type has a cylindrically shaped saw blade and is comes with different cutting teeth, slots, and sometimes a pilot drill and arbor to cut holes with larger diameters. They are popularly known in the electrical and plumbing world because of their high efficiency.
12. Japanese Saw
This type is popularly known because it is described as more accurate than a back saw. A Japanese saw consists of a strong narrow blade attached to a long thin handle.
This gives them greater reach and accuracy compared to other saw types. Another benefit of this type is it works both as a cleaner and a narrow cutter. It is mainly designed for small and precise jobs.
Perhaps, the only downside to this type of saw is its availability in the global market. Right now, distribution is still just concentrated in Japan and it would be rare to find one in major stores.
13. Keyhole Saw
This one looks like a dagger with a keyhole in it. It comes with a thin blade with a point at the edge and a single handle on the opposite edge which are expert at making small circles and patterns.
Using this type of hand saw is perfect for cutting small holes and cuts. It is also perfect for drywalls that need shaping. Keyhole saw is a specialist saw which is only used for small, detailed work.
14. Manual Pole Saw
This type is best used to reach places that are not within the access of the hand. When you need to cut down branches, prune or make the leaves in shape, this one is the perfect tool for you.
It offers lots of balance and control for stable cutting. However, it could be one of the hardest saws to work with if you lose control over the tool. It could also be dangerous for the untrained hands.
15. Pocket chainsaw
Just like the folding saw, pocket chainsaw is best found on a survival kit because it is very small, thus, handy. Also likened to the chainsaw but smaller in size.
This is designed mainly to chop down a small tree, cut some branches, or deal with a fallen log. It is not as powerful as the typical chainsaw but it does get the job done so it is still a good investment.
16. Pruning Saw
This type is a landscaper’s friend specifically used in the garden. Using this tool is time efficient since it makes your work as quick and easy means of pruning trees and large shrubs.
It has a curved blade usually 13 to 15 inches long and has a handle similar to a pistol grip. Its main upside is that it can cut both ways.
Like other types, it is better used on smaller and shorter branches which are within reach. When planning to buy this type, know that it only works for gardeners and nothing more.
Related: Two Pruning Mistakes Commonly Practiced with Ornamental Trees
17. Razor Saw
This type is commonly used by hobbyists, notably model aircraft, model boat, and model rail-road enthusiasts.
Razor saws can come up with different blades in various numbers of teeth indicating how fine it can cut. They are used to cut wood, plastic or metal, toy furniture, soft plastic and other soft materials.
It is perhaps one of the most accessible saws in the market not only for its functions but also because of their affordability. The only downside to this is that it is more vulnerable to damages than others.
18. Rip-Cut Saw
This is the most common tool found in a carpenter’s tool bag as it can be used for almost all types of woodwork.
Though designed primarily to cut wood parallel to the grain, it is still the main tool brought by carpenters even those who lack experience because it has a blade with extremely large teeth excellent in cutting frames and providing classic shapes and design.
Compared to other types, this one is considered to be classified under a generic tool rather than a specialized one.
19. Veneer Saw
This one is usually found on a professional woodworker tool kit. It consists of a rounded handle with a short, double-edged blade. Each cutting edge has around 13 teeth per inch.
As the name suggests, this one is the perfect tool designed for cutting hardwood veneers, laminates, and plastics. Given their size, they are only useful for working on small areas, but they give high end output as a result.
20. Wallboard Saw
This type is similar to keyhole saws only that it is shorter and has fatter, shorter blades and fewer teeth per inch. Given its name, it is mainly used to cut holes in wallboard.
Though it can have single and double blade options, it is still not as versatile as the keyhole saw.
Types of Power Saws
21. Abrasive Saw
Abrasive saw are also known for the names metal cut-off saws or metal chop saws. As such, this type is mainly designed to cut metals. As the term suggests, this one got an abrasive friction disc rather than a toothed blade as a means of cutting the material.
It is known to be expensive and high maintenance. As tough as it looks like, abrasive saws are used for heavy-duty projects such as cutting through tougher materials such as concrete or metal.
22. Band Saw (Portable)
Unlike stationary band saw, this one is portable and known to be a carpenter and contractor’s favorite because it is very ideal to use this tool on-site.
Portable band saw can do everything a stationary band saw can but through smaller materials. Specifically, it can cut pipes, tubes, and other materials in horizontal or vertical fashion.
Its downside would be the fact that it can only cut a couple of inches deep. All band saws use abrasion to make their incisions.
23. Band Saw (Stationary)
Given its name, it is already given away how bulky and heavyweight this type is. This type is heavy in nature, thus, the stationary in its name.
It is used in place and best for intricate shapes and curves and can serve almost various materials like tubes, piping, and PVC. Band saw is a cabinet-style saw and popular for resawing as its common use.
24. Biscuit Joiner
As the name suggests, biscuit joiner is used to bind two wood materials together. It uses a circular saw blade to make holes in the opposite edges of two wood pieces.
It is not known to many since wood glue is more popular but it is slowly gaining the interest of wood workers thanks to their strength and the durability of their output.
Using this tool provides easier and time efficient work but when using it, always remember that it needs precise sizes for two woods to join together. This tool is not advisable for beginners.
25. Chain Beam Saw
This type looks like a combination of a circular saw and a downward chainsaw. This is a timber framer and log builders love this because it saves a lot of time.
It is one of the most in demand types of saws in the market because of the demand for its speed in making woodwork outputs. It is, however, expensive.
Probably the most known for cutting trees and the go-to tool of forestry workers, chainsaw is then considered the most powerful saw compared to other types.
It works by spinning a chain link around a protruding arm at speed. And because it has a ripping tooth, it is not ideal as a precision tool.
Chainsaws come with various power sources, including gas engines which is the most popular type. It also comes with battery and corded electric types. In spite of its multipurpose nature, be careful in using this if you do not have enough knowledge to use it.
27. Chop Saw
This type is also known as the abrasive saw, concrete saw and cut-off saw. It is also considered portable but is larger than a standard circular saw. It consists of a toothless spinning disc mounted on a support arm and best used to cut metal and masonry.
It is also popular for its waterline connection which reduces dust in concrete cutting and has interchangeable blades. Because of these commendable features, this one is known for its expensive replacement blades.
28. Circular Saw
This type is described to be smaller than a chop saw. It has a spinning toothed blade. Like chop saw, it has interchangeable blades which can serve wood, metal, plastic, and masonry and is portable too. Nonetheless, it cuts in one direction only. The demand over this saw is high so you would readily find it in the market.
29. Cold saw
Cold saw are a metal cutting device and is best known for its special feature– the ability to stay cold even for hours of use.
It has a rotating blade that is made of steel or iron that is best in cutting many different shapes, including rods, tubes, and extrusions. Also, cold saws have double prolonged teeth to cut metals.
30. Compound Miter Saw
Similar to hyped-up miter saw, compound miter saw is a carpenter and contractor’s favorite. It is very portable and can be mounted to a table or stand which is very ideal for on-site work.
Compound Miter saw is also considered versatile because it caters to almost all types of materials in complex cuts.
It works for scroll work, trims, crown moldings, window, and door frames. The only downside is that it is only limited to cutting small materials.
31. Concrete Saw
This one is considered to be one of the most heavy-duty tools because it can cut even the thickest slab of concrete. It comes with a circular blade that is often used in road works, landscaping projects and other heavy work.
Working with a concrete saw requires a lot of attention since it produces a lot of dust, so make sure that you are clothed with protective gears when using this one.
32. Domino Joiner
Domino is one of the more expensive types of saws. It is quite similar to the biscuit joiner but this one is a lot more useful since it can also help you cut mortises.
It also helps in reaching hard to cut areas. Though this tool allows you to finish work better and faster, the problem is really its price.
33. Flooring Saw
As the name suggests, flooring saw is best designed to aid any flooring work including hardwood, laminate and bamboo. It is also portable and best used on-site.
When you lack a jigsaw and miter saw, or circular saw, this one is probably the best alternative. This one is highly recommended to buy but know that it serves one purpose only, thus, it is not practical if you are not a professional who just wants to have one.
34. Gas or Electric Pole Saw
Pole saws make pruning easier and it comes in two types: the gas and electric pole saw. Gas pole saw is stronger, cutting at 8-inches diameter but noisier while electric pole saws can only cut through branches of up to 2-5-inches diameter. in diameter. However, in terms of its price, it is cheaper but needs regular maintenance.
35. Jamb Saw
This type is also known as the mechanical gizmo or an undercut saw. They are mainly designed to remove the bottom of door casings. They are handy and used mostly for wood, laminate, and cork flooring type of installations.
It also comes with the manual and electric type. Jamb saws are popular but are not used regularly as it is hard to own one because of its price. Given the hard work plus the cleanliness of the output when finished, it is very expensive that one can opt to rent rather than buy.
A jigsaw is a handheld power tool that is used for either curved or straight lines. Unlike other saws, this one is also one of the quiet tools. Jigsaws are popular among carpenters especially in plywood use.
It has a downward blade supported by an upper handle which may come in a corded and cordless variety. For jigsaws, one can purchase thicker blades to cater to more work like cutting through metal, tile, and ceramic. This tool is also useful for home woodworking households.
37. Masonry saw
A masonry saw is very similar to a concrete saw. The masonry saw is specifically designed to work on large building materials, such as concrete, brick, and asphalt.
It is large enough to tackle the largest pieces of materials. It can be somewhat impractical to transport at times because of its size.
38. Miter Saw
This type of saw is similar to circular saws which have a circular blade that can be pulled downwards to operate and cut. Miter saws are also portable and are specifically designed to make accurate miter and bevel cuts.
This is also considered best to use when producing crown moldings, picture frames, and door and window frames. This one is perfect for angled cuts.
39. Oscillating Saw
This one is considered one of the most adaptable power tools because of its interchangeable blade feature as well as it grinds, scrapes, files, sands, and gouges out filler and decorator’s caulk. Though it is easy to use, it is also hard to control given the short, thick handle.
40. Panel Saw
This one is known because it is known to be a cabinet makers and sign makers’ favorite as they are commonly used in producing road signs, cabinetmaking, and others, where cutting of large panels is needed.
Like the table saws, it cuts vertically and horizontally and works by either a sliding feed or by maneuvering the material towards the blade. However, it cannot make angled cuts.
41. Radial Arm Saw
This one is very similar to a miter saw or a chop saw but different in the depth of cut, cut capacity, versatility, and safety. Radial arm saw can cut thick woods while miter and chop saw are best in angled cutting.
This saw has a circular rotating blade attached to a support or arm that is put over the table it is attached to. This tool also has an interchangeable feature and can be moved at various angles allowing them to make straight cuts, miter cuts and compound cuts.
42. Reciprocating Saw
This saw is likened to a jigsaw since they have the same blade action and their motion can cut through wood, metal and nails. However, this one needs a lot of control and balanced handling because it is considered to be more aggressive.
A reciprocating saw can also be held freehand. Popular to window fitters and construction workers as it is an ideal tool for cutting through flooring and wood joints.
43. Rotary Saw
The rotary saw is a mechanized version of the keyhole saw. It has a small blade and handle likened to a drill. They are multi-purpose and can be used in construction, crafting or any small works at home.
Although they could cut various materials, this one is best used for specific cutting jobs especially for tubing and pipework.
44. Saber Saw
Saber saws are some of the most widely used saws. They are especially known for having a thin type of blade that can be used to cut through almost anything. However, this has only limited power and cannot work on heavy lumber.
Saber saws are known for their portability and have interchangeable blades that is why many woodworkers still use this tool for cutting.
45. Scroll Saw
This one is likened to jigsaw but provides more accurate output. Though it can be used stationarily, it produces a different kind of accuracy in cutting thin bits of materials.
Scroll saw has a blade that is attached to a band and is fixed to a table where you can put your materials while cutting. This one is best for toy making and requires professional knowledge to get the best output.
46. Straight Flush Saw
This one is known for its ability to do it all, compared to table saws. With different blades and brands, straight flush show is definitely a must have for a woodworker who wants easy and fast work to be done.
Used mainly to create straight cuts alongside posts, studs, headers, and more. It is also considered as the best saw because of its portability.
However, just like the other types of saws, it is very expensive upfront and gets more expensive depending on the blade and brand you are buying.
47. Table Saw
Called as the workhorse of the woodshop, this type looks like a typical table with a hole at the center where the blade lies. The blade emerges upward to cut a specific material.
What is very likable on this tool is that the blade can be adjusted to suit your cutting needs. Table saws can make rip-cuts, and handle large pieces of material and can also make angled cuts using a miter gauge.
This one is definitely a must have tool for cabinet makers and woodworkers. Table saws also come in different varieties which are the cabinet, contactor, hybrid, jobsite and portable.
48. Toe-kick Saw
This type is a specialty tool that is designed for a specific purpose only. It is a circular saw with an extended arbor on which the blade is mounted. Best used to cut tiles, vinyl and other subfloor materials under the kick space close to the cabinet base.
Technically, its main use is to cut flooring material without having to resort to moving cabinets, built-in-furniture. This is ideal to have in a carpenter’s kit but renting this tool is much more advisable given the price.
49. Track Saw
It is also known as the plunge saw. This one is a circular saw that is attached to a precision metal track. It is used for long rip cuts, cross cut, and angular cuts accurately but is mainly used in woodworking to slice down large boards into smaller rectangular sections.
50. Wet Tile Saw
These saws are designed specifically for cutting flooring or wall tiles without chipping or cracking them. This is very portable. Cutting works through its round blade that spins at a high speed and is pulled down over the tile to slice. This tool gives excellent accuracy and makes the job faster.
There are different types of saws and each comes in different designs and functions. It is imperative that you know how and when they are used for you to land on the best choice. While it is good to have more than just one type, invest in the one that you need the most. Be it for your job or for your needs at home, there is a saw that is made for that.
If you are not sure about how they work and which features you need, take a careful review of each type or take recommendations from professionals. With everything that we have covered here, you are now on your way to choosing the best type of saw for you.