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Hand saws


  • 2 types:
    • Junior hacksaw, 6" blades
    • Other one, 12" blades & other sizes

Mitre Saw

  • Wood is clamped to the base
  • Frame guides saw blade, keeping it at the chosen angle
  • Small captive handsaw of some type cuts the timber
  • Quite different to the electric mitre saw

Floorboard Saw

  • Has additional teeth on the top side in an arc near the end
  • Can saw into floorboards in situ

Toolbox Saw

  • Shorter version of jack saw
  • Fits in toolboxes

Jack Saw

  • General purpose building saw
  • Cuts timber, aerated concrete

Bow Saw

  • Sawing tree branches
  • The coarse peg teeth usually used cut on both strokes


Coping Saw

Crosscut Saw


  • Cut on the pull stroke
  • Blade thinner than pushsaws
  • Less effort for given progress than pushsaws


Japanese Saw

Keyhole Saw

  • Very narrow blade

Tenon Saw

Two-man saw

  • aka pit saw
  • Long slightly curved blade with a handle on each end
  • Double the sawing power
  • Very long stroke

Wire saw

  • Flexible wire with a handle on each end
  • Mostly used for veterinary uses (bones, horns)
  • Exceptionally good access properties for difficult cuts
  • Not expensive
  • You wont get them from DIY suppliers

Power Saws


  • Low cutting speed
  • Can cut curves
  • Steer by rotating the saw, never push sideways
  • Quality varies greatly
  • Cheap & midrange jigsaws:
    • Performance generally anything from patchy to dire
    • Blades wander & bend badly
    • Cost of ruined wood over the lifetime of a cheap or midrange jigsaw is likely to exceed the cost of a better saw
    • Not possible to cut a straight line using a guide fence, as they need regular direction correction
  • Good jigsaws:
    • Constrain the blade with rollers
    • Can cut straight lines
    • Much less prone to blade bending, but not immune
  • Various types of blade available:
    • Coarse, medium, fine
    • Blades for wood, metal, plastic, leather, paper products
    • Flush cutting
    • Knife
    • Grit
    • Varying pitch

Circular saw

  • Fast cutting
  • Cuts straight lines only
  • Good general purpose DIY saw
  • Riving knife prevents kickback
  • Blades with high number of teeth can produce very smooth cuts
  • Normally supplied with a guide fence
  • Depth of cut and angle can be preset
  • Max possible cutting depth is less with angled cuts

Mitre Saw etc

  • aka compound mitre saw:
  • Circular saw blade
  • Cutting head swivels to cut at various angles
  • Cutting head tilts to give cuts angled in 2 axes
  • Plastic bases found on budget machines bend slightly under force, misaligning cuts.
  • Pushing the saw can violently shatter the fence with some budget machines

Sliding Mitre saw

Mitre saw with cutting head that slides to cut wider timber


  • Mitre saw with a sawhead that flips over to give either a mitre saw or benchsaw

Chop Saw

  • Look somewhat like mitre saws, but with no angle adjustments
  • Cuts at precisely 90 degrees
  • Workpiece clamp included
  • Abrasive grit blade usually used
  • Primarily used on metalwork

Scroll Saw

  • Vibrating blade can be touched without injury
  • Modern version of fretsaw

Spiral saw

  • eg Rotozip
  • Can plunge eolid materials then drill in any direction
  • Can not withstand a lot of side force
  • Die grinders can use 1/8" spiral saw blades, but such thin blades are not robust
  • Spiral saws taking 1/8" blades may also take die grinder accessories - check speed ratings

Table saw

  • Circular blade
  • Fast feed rate
  • Plastic or wood pushers are used to keep hands away from blade


  • Coarse, fine and omnidirectional blades available

Handheld Bandsaw

  • A miniature hand held version of a band saw
  • No idea about its strengths and weaknesses, anyone used one?

Tile saw

  • Miniature table saw with diamond grit tile blade
  • Water cooled blade
  • Replacing the blade might allow it to do other jobs too

Reciprocating saw

  • Powered version of jack saw or hacksaw


  • Relatively high risk saw
  • Protective clothing is wise
  • Basic training is wise
  • Correct type of oil important
  • Blade should not contact soil

To Do

Plywood saw Rip saw Saw set

See Also

Wiki Contents

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