When it comes to woodworking, there is one class of tool which is essential for completing any project – saws.
There are both manual and power saws which come in a range of types, shapes and sizes and which meet all kinds of needs and suit different purposes. Here, we take a look at the different types of saws on the market today and what you can use each for so that you can choose the ones that are right for you and your own preferred projects.
Before we begin on the power tools, let’s take a look at manual saws first. Most woodworkers will have at least one of these in their tool box ready for use. Versatile and convenient, manual saws are easy to use and are a lot less frightening for amateur DIY enthusiasts to use. Here are some of the key types.
The most basic form of saw, even people who don’t do DIY probably have one of these in their home somewhere. If any wood saw could be said to have had a key role in the world, the handsaw is the one. Ideal for just cutting through any old piece of wood, they are simple to use but take a huge amount of manual effort, which isn’t great if you’re out of practice and unfit.
A different kind of handsaw, the hacksaw has a blade that is more fine-toothed and which is tensioned tightly into a C frame. Most commonly used in the cutting of plastics and metals, it is an exceptionally sharp tool which is a lot lighter and easier to use than a standard handsaw. If you’re using one for cutting aluminum always ensure that you clean the blade very carefully since it gums up when used on soft metals.
There is a larger family of manual pull saws which are known as Japanese Saws. They all have thin blades which feature rip teeth on one side and crosscut teeth on the other. This type of saw is perfect for making cutting dese woods a breeze since you can use the crosscut teeth to begin the guide path and then finish off the cut using the edge with the rip teeth. Of all the types of Japanese Saw, the Ryoba model is probably most useful.
A popular kind of manual saws among artists, this is a useful cutting tool that is very simple and consists of only a thin blade which is tensioned into a C shape frame which can use interchangeable blades when working with wood or metal. A coping saw is capable of cutting a tight radius, but this isn’t its top feature. The most useful thing that you can do with a coping saw is being able to take off the blade then thread it through a hole which has already been drilled so you can cut an inside profile.
If you’re a more enthusiastic DIY user, a keen woodworker or a professional, you’ll almost certainly need the following types of power saw. All are extremely quick at accomplishing cuts and are highly powerful, but they also have the potential to be dangerous when not used properly.
A reciprocating saw or jigsaw is ideal for cutting customized shapes from plywood. Literally able to cut out jigsaw pieces thanks to its maneuverability, a jigsaw can cut an amazing array of shapes with ease, however it is totally useless when cutting a straight line since the blade drifts very easily even when it is handled by an expert.
You can choose from two kinds of electrical circular saw – a sidewinder or worm drive. Worm drive saws have sufficient torque to enable them to cut easily through concrete and wet lumber since the placement of the blade which is behind its handle reduces any kickback while the left side positioned blade ensures you can easily see the cutting line when you’re right handed. A sidewinder model, on the other hand, has a motor which is directly attached onto the blade, is lighter weight but has less torque too.
There is an extensive list of tasks that you can complete using a table saw and they are one of the most versatile tools in your workshop. Perfect for bevelling, mitering, crosscutting and ripped, table saws are incredibly flexible but they are usually very large, heavy and difficult to move around.
Maybe the top saw when it comes to cutting through wood and metal, a band saw offers tons of cutting power while also being very quiet running. You can use this easily in your garage or shed without having to worry about disturbing your neighbors. Very versatile and suitable for use in a wide range of projects, band saws aren’t easy to use when cutting a straight line since, like a jigsaw, they drift easily when not paying enough attention to your cut line.
Cutting corners is a breeze using a miter saw. You can buy a handheld version which is paired up with a miter box that has guides fitted for 90 degree and 45 degree cutting, or electric versions such as compound miters. These are perfect when you want to cut a custom angle, and they are best used for trim work and molding.
These haven’t been around in the DIY enthusiast’s toolbox for long, but in the medical feel they’ve been used for years. With a vibrating blade, they can make very precise cuts in limited spaces and are great for small and intricate projects.
Whichever type of saw you’re using, remember that woodworking safety is always paramount. When using any kind of power tool, always ensure that you are using the correct safety equipment including eye protection and appropriate clothing to ensure that you don’t accidentally get injured. Remember that saws can easily cut through bones and flesh if used incorrectly!
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