Saws are very useful tools for cutting materials in construction. They were traditionally used for cutting wood but have branched out to cut almost any material you can imagine. But how does one know what type of saw they need?
Since there are so many different types of saws, it can be useful to have a guide on hand for every different type of saw that you are interested in. After all, why do your own research when you can have it all in one place?
What Are Different Types Of Saws Used For?
When you hear the word “saw” in terms of tools, what do you imagine? A hand saw? A chainsaw? Or maybe a traditional two-man log-cutting saw? Each type of saw is used for something different, usually pertaining to wood.
But wood isn’t the only thing that saws are good for. Though most materials other than wood are too dense for most saw blades, some saws are made to cut metal and more. If you’re looking for wood-cutting tools only, then you may not necessarily need a saw.
Other wood cutting tools are even safer than most types of saws. But having a good saw or two around is very useful. However, don’t use an electric saw for the first time by yourself as they can be very dangerous.
Saw For Cutting Wood
Most saws are used for cutting wood. That doesn’t mean they can’t cut other things, but it does mean that there aren’t many saws you can’t use for wood cutting. That was their original purpose after all.
Saws were originally made of flint, obsidian, seashells, and shark teeth because these were durable materials that were easy to serrate. It wasn’t until Egyptians began experimenting with copper that metal saws were created.
But these were found in tombs dating back to 3000 B.C. so copper saws have been around a very long time. Soon after, they were made of iron and bronze, a stronger version of the saw similar to what we know today.
The uses for these saws were indeed to cut wood but also more sinister reasons as well. After A.D. rolled around, the saw’s primary use was for cutting wood, however, and that has been the primary use ever since.
Different Types Of Saws
There are many different types of saws, all with different purposes. Here is a list of just about every different type of saw on the market so you can learn what you need to know about each one before committing.
A hand saw is a traditional one-handed saw that is the classic shape you would imagine a saw to be. They are designed for cutting down raw wood, like tree limbs, and pre-cut wood like thin lumber.
Good Hand Saw: WilFiks 16” Pro Hand Saw
A back saw is a smooth saw with tiny teeth that can be used to create angles in wood with one hand. They are often used to create joints or grooves in the wood. Back saws are more accurate than hand saws.
Good Back Saw: GreatNeck 14 Inch 16 TPI
A fine saw is very similar to a backsaw but it is smaller. Most fine saws look like knives and can be used to cut small, precise grooves or angles. They are often used to cut dowels or angles for wood joints when woodworking.
Good Fine Saw: ZONA – ZON35-550 35-550 Fine Razor Saw
Bow saws are primarily used for cutting tree limbs and branches, oftentimes logs as well. They are around the same size as a hand saw but with a tiny blade. There are two different types of bow saws. Those for green wood and those for dry wood.
Good Bow Saw: Bahco 10-30-51 30-Inch Ergo Bow Saw
Coping saws look like bow saws but have a square body. They are precise saws used for finishing work. This type of saw can be used as a sharp piece of thread to make distinct, round cuts in small pieces of wood.
Good Coping Saw: IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw
A crosscut saw is a large hand saw that can be purchased for one person or two people to use. The blade is usually thick and to be used on wood that is too hard to cut with a typical hand saw or back saw.
Good Crosscut Saw: Lynx 4′ One Man Crosscut Saw
Yes, there is a Japanese saw and it is a great one to add to your toolkit. They have fine teeth and cut wood on the pull rather than the push like a traditional European saw. Japanese teeth are for fine wood.
Good Japanese Saw: SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw 9.5 Inch
The hacksaw is a lightweight saw that isn’t generally a wood-cutting saw but instead is made to cut PVC pipe and lightweight metals. It is easy to use and can cut the pipe at any angle. This tool is a must for toolkits.
Good Hacksaw: CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 12-Inch Hacksaw
A jab saw may not look like a saw at all, but it serves a unique purpose. It is also known as an alligator or keyhole saw and is used to cut small shapes in wood, drywall, and other thin materials that are hard to shape.
Good Jab Saw: IRWIN Tools ProTouch Drywall/Jab Saw
A veneer saw isn’t necessary for all tool kits, but it is the primary non-electric saw used for cutting veneers in wood. Veneers are thin strips or layers of wood used to conserve wood and as paneling for other materials.
Good Veneer Saw: Kunz Veneer Saw
A pruning saw is made for just that. Pruning. It is a small, thin saw used to prune small trees and bushes with hard-to-reach branches. Pruning saws are necessary if you do much pruning because of their convenience.
Good Pruning Saw: Corona RS 7265D RazorTOOTH Folding Pruning Saw
Electric Circular Saw
Also called a Skil saw due to the brand with the most popular circular saw, this type of saw is irreplaceable. It is the best saw for cutting plywood and lumber in a straight line but doesn’t work well for curves.
Good Circular Saw: SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide
A jigsaw is all you truly need to pair with an electric circular saw. Because a jigsaw can cut angles, shapes, and curves. It is easy to control if you have experience with one and can cut an array of materials.
Good Jigsaw: BLACK+DECKER Jig Saw
A plunge saw is a type of mobile and versatile circular saw. It is small, compact, easy to use, and can be battery-powered. It doesn’t replace a standard circular saw, but it is a great addition when you can’t use the standard.
Good Plunge Saw: WORX WX523L 20V 3-3/8″ Max Lithium-Ion Plunge Circular Saw
A lopper saw is a type of chainsaw that is used for cutting branches. It works as clippers and a mini chainsaw. So it is designed for a simple purpose, which means it is a specialty item and not a necessity.
Good Lopper Saw: BLACK+DECKER Lopper Chain Saw
The reciprocating saw is a versatile saw that can be used like a pruning saw, jigsaw, and more. It can replace many different types of saws and has many advantages due to its size and different blades it can use.
Good Reciprocating Saw: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Reciprocating Saw
A chainsaw is one of the oldest and most traditional types of electric saws. However, it is also quite dangerous, despite using a chain to cut things. If you are new to chainsaws, then a mini chainsaw is a great option.
Good Chainsaw: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Chainsaw
Electric Circular Table Saw
A circular table saw is a type of circular saw that you can mount on a table to cut straight lines. It works just like any circular saw only you don’t have to hold it up. It can be places flat and there are often special tables made for them.
Good Table Saw: PowerSmart Circular Saw
A band saw is an amazing type of saw that can cut very complex shapes into wood. There are many different ribbon blades that can be attached and they work like lasers to cut designs into the wood.
Good Band Saw: WEN 3959 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw
A miter saw is a table saw that has its own stationary platform. This platform allows you to cut wood on it while the blade fits into the platform, so it won’t harm the surface that it sets on. This is a must for workshops.
Good Miter Saw: DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw
A scroll saw is like a band saw because it allows you to cut fine designs in fine materials with great personal control. The sawdust is usually blown away so that you can see the line you are cutting at all times.
Good Scroll Saw: WEN 3922 16-inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
A panel saw is a large mounted saw that can cut large amounts of just about anything. The saw is expensive and isn’t found in most private homes but are used in warehouses and workshops everywhere.
Good Panel Saw: Milwaukee Panel Saw
A tile saw is a specialty saw that uses water and a blade to safely cut tile without chipping it. Since tile is difficult to cut any other way, a tile saw is a good thing to have on hand if you plan on laying tile very often.
Good Tile Saw: SKIL 3540-02 7-Inch Wet Tile Saw