What are Different Types of Saws and Their Respective Use in 2021

Sawing means cutting or dividing an object with the help of a saw. A saw is a tool that consists of a blade or a disk with teeth (saw teeth) and is used to cut various materials (wood, plastic, aluminum, steel, etc.) according to the arrangement and composition of said teeth. It can be manual or electric.

Due to the teeth’ shape, almost all saws cut in only one direction, producing a perfect cut on one side and a not so ideal cut on the other. The right side is where the tooth attacks, and the wrong side where the tooth comes out, as it breaks the material when it comes out. 

To lessen it as much as possible, you can place masking tape on the bad side’s cut line. This dramatically improves the quality of the cut by preventing the tape from tearing the edge.

The teeth of the saw blades are angled sideways alternately (set) so that the groove or notch that they open when sawing is slightly wider than the blade itself, thus preventing the saw from jamming. 

If you are someone who is new to this world and all these types of saws, carpentry terms and facts are new for you then keep on reading. This article is written just for you. 

Types of Saws

Saws can be divided into a lot of different categories. For example, just the types of saws for cutting wood are numerous. So, for your ease, I have divided saws into two types, manual and electric. Once you learn about the types of saws carpentry experts deal with only then you can learn how to use woodworking tools. So, this is like the first step for you. Down below is a list of types of saws along with a concise description for each. 

Manual Saws

The history of woodworking saws dates back more than 4000 years. Over time, materials and designs have been improved, and specialization has emerged according to the type of cut (fast, straight, curved, precision, etc.). But all saws are based on the same thing: a blade with pointed teeth that act like little knives and cut the wood little by little.

Next, we are going to see the most used manual saws in DIY.

Frame Saw

Types of Saws

It is the forerunner of modern saws, and its design has hardly changed since the Middle Ages due to its smooth operation. It consists of a kind of articulated H in which the saw blade is located in the lower part and a rope in the upper part. The saw blade tightens as the upper cord winds up.

Universal Saw

Types of Saws

The universal saw is made up of a long, flexible metal blade filled with cutting teeth and a handle for a perfect grip. Although the blade is adjustable, due to its generous width, it is indicated for straight cuts. There are specialized saws for log cutting, solid wood cutting, or manufactured board cutting.

Point saws

Types of Saws

Point saws also called slotting saws, are the type of saws with a narrow blade. Hence, they are called point saws. This saw is characterized by its thin blade and is suitable for curved and straight cuts and making internal cuts. 

Rib saws 

rib saw

Point saws also called slotting saws, are the type of saws with a narrow blade. Hence, they are called point saws. This saw is characterized by its thin blade and is suitable for curved and straight cuts and making internal cuts. 

Marquetry saw

Types of Saws

They consist of a metal arch with a handle that holds an excellent saw blade taut. The arch comes in various shapes and depths. Saw blades or hacksaw blades come in multiple thicknesses and shapes for straight cuts and cuts with more or less pronounced curves. 

Due to the blade’s narrowness, it cannot be sharpened and must be replaced every time it becomes dull or broken. They are widely used for complicated cutouts of narrow boards, usually plywood.

Veneer saw

Types of Saws

The edge saw is used in conjunction with the metal ruler for straight cutting of wood veneers. It has a blade with teeth without setting on both edges. In this case, it is not necessary to establish the teeth as the cut is not deep at all (just a few millimeters).

Bow saws

bow saw

A bow saw, also called fret saws or hacksaw is the traditional type of saw, made up of a saw bow, the saw blade, and a handle. They are available in different sizes and shapes depending on the use that we will give them and are usually used for cutting wood or metal.

The bow saws’ blades are changeable since, due to the narrowness of the saw blade, it cannot be sharpened and must be changed every time it becomes dull or broken.

Hand miter saws

Manual miter saw

A manual miter saw is a type of saw that allows us to make cuts by hand at an angle. This is possible thanks to a miter insert that acts as a guide to set the angle and make the cut by hand using the saw.

2. Electric Saws

Using the right machine, we can make perfect cuts with ease. The only requirement is to have the device in excellent condition (sharp saw) and have the necessary technique. The great advantage of electric carpentry saws is that they allow you to save time, by reducing labor in the cutting phase. Also, the result will generally be more accurate than using hand saws, unless you have great control of technique and high-quality tools.

Different Types of electric saws

Next, we are going to see the most common types of electric saws.

Jigsaw:

Types of saws

The jigsaw is a very versatile and essential tool for anyone who does DIY with wood. They cut all kinds of wood and plastics. If the jigsaw is electronic, using the appropriate saw blade, you can also cut metals, porous cement, brick, plasterboard, ceramic, glass, methacrylate, cardboard, rubber. 

It makes straight, curved, and inclined cuts (tilting the base). Handling is very straight forward and it is a very safe machine. Its operation is based on a small saw blade that goes up and down alternately and that is what produces the cut. 

An advantage of electric jigsaws is that they are very economical saws. In fact, they are the cheapest, compared to other hand-held power saws like circular or saber saws.

Some jigsaws include a blowing feature that clears the sawdust from the cutting line, making it easier for you to follow the line. In addition, those with a pendulum motion function move more easily through the wood.

The jigsaw is also known as a reciprocating electric saw, due to the movement of its blade. And speaking of reciprocating saws, another that also has this movement is the saber saw.

Want to know more about jigsaw? Read about what is a jigsaw tool here.

Saber saw

Types of saws

The saber saw, or reciprocating saw is a type of power tool that resembles an electric wood saw, so to speak. That is, it also has an elongated format and also cuts the wood based on the longitudinal runs of its serrated blade, which is generally longer than that of the jigsaw.

It is a very versatile saw that allows it to do some tasks that no other saw is capable of.

In addition, these saws can not only cut wood, but also cut metal, plasterboard, metal, plastics, or even ceramic. For this, the corresponding type of sheet for each material must be fixed on its head.

Here are some of the advantages of electric saber saws:

  1. They are very useful for cutting elements that are flush with the wall
  2. Like a jigsaw, they can also cut curves relatively easily
  3. They can be used as an alternative to the chainsaw in gardening

Combined saw

Types of saws

The combined electric saw combines the functionality of a saber saw and jigsaw in a single tool. There are several types of combination saws, but generally, their design is based on a pivot that allows you to change the orientation of your saw blade.

To be truly effective, they must be compatible with both types of blades.

Circular saw 

Circular saw

The circular saw is indicated to make large longitudinal cuts. They cut solid wood, rigid fiberboard, chipboard, or carpenter. With electronic control, they even cut aluminum and plastics. They have a parallel guide to make cuts parallel to the edge of a board, and they can also make bevel cuts by tilting the base. 

It can be made stationary by placing it face down on the appropriate workbench. It is a machine that requires some experience and, above all, a lot of care and respect when using it.

The circular saws are the best electric saws for straight cuts in melamine boards, plywood, pressed fibers (MDF, OSB), and so on. I should clarify that although they are called circular, this refers to the disk, and they do not allow curved cuts in wood, which differentiates them from the reciprocals.

As with all other electric saws, there are a wide variety of discs for the circular saw, depending on the type of material to be cut.

Soft pine woodcuts well with almost any type of disc, even those with few teeth. On the other hand, to cut melamine boards, a disc with a smaller separation between two consecutive teeth is required, that is, with more teeth on the perimeter. Otherwise, it is very easy for the melamine to chip.

Electric hand saw

Electric saws are types of hand saws structurally similar to the electric chainsaw, but they do not have a chain, but rather work by the reciprocal movement of their tooth blade.

Although this electric saw is very versatile in carpentry and is designed for sawing wood, it also serves to:

  • Cutting plasterboard (plasterboard)
  • Cutting aerated concrete (porous concrete)
  • Cut plastics
  • Cutting insulation materials: extruded (XPS) and expanded polystyrene (EPS), rigid rock wool panels, acoustic insulation, etc.

Professional electric saws have a torsion-resistant bar and an auxiliary handle that allows them to be held like a chainsaw. In fact, there are also those who use them in gardening, for example, to clean palm leaves. However, if resinous green woods are cut, it can make it difficult to move the blade.

This type of saw is more used in countries such as Germany, since other types of insulators predominate in the architecture of their homes, such as wood fiber panels, a material that cuts very well with this type of tool.

Oscillating multi-tool saws

Types of saws

Multi-tool saws, also called oscillating multi-tools, are a special type of power saws that allow you to make cuts that you cannot make with any other type of saw. Oscillating tools are extremely versatile for both DIY and professional use.

What is an oscillating saw? This type of machine is not a reciprocating tool and neither is it a disk. It could be considered something in between. Its internal mechanism oscillates hundreds or thousands of times per minute and creates a movement similar to that of a car windshield, but much faster. Also, they are called multi-tool because their head allows you to attach different tools, which allows you to make deep grooves, cuts in narrow spaces, sanding, filing, etc.

What are oscillating multi-tools for? These mini power saws serve many tasks:

  • To carry out emptying operations in narrow spaces, for example, to install a lock
  • To cut the wooden frames of the interior doors when a new floor is installed on top of the old one (laminate flooring or parquet)
  • By equipping a sanding pad they can sand between interstices and narrow spaces
  • They are very useful as a saw, to make the casting of the mechanisms in laminated plasterboard (plasterboard)
  • They are also used for scratching: they do the same function as a spatula, but more effectively
  • With the right accessory, they can remove grout joints from bathroom and kitchen tiles
  • With a diamond cutting attachment, they can cut building materials, ceramics, and porcelain

Electric chainsaw

Electric Chain saw

This electric saw is a variant of the petrol engine counterpart tool. It is a very powerful but not very precise saw that cuts wood very quickly. The chainsaw is used mainly in gardening, to prune and fell trees, and also to chop the pruning.

However, within the carpentry and DIY sector, the electric chainsaw also has its utility. For example, in the construction of wooden structures for houses, it can be used to quickly cut those wooden beams that are embedded in the walls of the building and that do not require, therefore, great precision in the cut.

Like the gasoline one, the electric chainsaw includes a tank that you have to fill with oil for the chain lubrication system. They also include a tensioning screw to tension the chain and a quick safety brake that allows the blade to stop immediately in case of need.

Concerning gasoline, the great advantage of this tool is easier maintenance. As a drawback, there is the fact that it cannot be used in places where there is no electricity supply.

Stationary electric saws 

When the table cannot go to the tool, the tool goes to the table. This is the case of portable saws, which are what we have seen. Stationary saws are types of carpentry tools that are fixed in one place, generally a carpentry shop, garage, patio, and so on.

Generally, the precision and accuracy of the cut are superior on stationary saws.

Miter saws

Types of Saws

The miter saw is an electric cross-cut saw. It is not used to cut boards longitudinally, but in a direction perpendicular to the fibers of the wood. These power tools are so-called because they are used to cut pieces in miter. For example, for framing pictures or mirrors, or for cutting pieces of skirting boards and baseboards.

Like the electric circular saw, the miter saw has a saw blade with teeth. This disc is attached to a support that will tilt or even slide. When tilting, the blade lowers and cuts the piece of wood. To keep the wood from moving at the base while cutting, the miter saw usually includes a small adjustable jaw.

The limitation of the miter saw is that it cannot make longitudinal cuts, in these cases another electric saw is used, the bench saw.

Electric bench saw

Types of saws

The electric bench saw is an essential tool in any woodworking workshop. It is very useful for the handyman carpenter. This tool is also known as a table circular saw and is used to cut solid wood planks or processed wood boards with speed and precision.

The bench saw includes a parallel guide for making longitudinal cuts. It also has a graduated semicircle or protractor that runs across the table and allows for cross-cutting.

This electric saw is characterized by the fact that it includes a tilting mechanism that allows you to adjust the cutting angle of the blade. In addition, in most electric table saws the blade can be adjusted in height, with the same crank with which the inclination is adjusted. In short, these are the best types of saws for woodworking. 

The band saw

The band saw

A continuous, flexible steel blade with teeth guided through two pulleys is the cutting element in electric band saws.

The electric vertical band saw for wood includes an adjustable base for table support. It is a versatile cutting tool with which you can make different types of cuts in wood.

The band saw is less precise and leaves a worse finish than the disc saw. It can be used to obtain a first approximation of parts for further processing. For example, the electric band saw is very useful for splitting a wooden slat lengthwise.

Final words:

With this I conclude my list of different saws. I really do hope that it was beneficial for you. Now, you are well-educated about types of saws, how do they look and what are their uses. If you have any more types of power tools to add to this list, mention them in the comment section down below. I will love to read your feedback.

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