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The Different Types of Saws | Content Injection

There are many different types of saws available on the market today. Each saw fills out a particular need and will be the perfect saw for a particular job. In most cases, the shape of a saw and the shape and count of the teeth will determine how the saw is intended to be used. In this article, we will provide you with information about what saws are, how they are used, what they are used for, as well as the different types of saws that you might find in a DIY store today.

What is a Saw?

A saw is a hand tool which is used for cutting wood or other tough or hard materials. Saws usually have a long, thin serrated blade and are operated through a backward and forward motion. There are many different types of saws in today’s modern world. There are saws for cutting all different types of material. These come in all different shapes depending on their use. Some are sharper than others and some are even powered by electricity.

The Different Types of Saws

There are many different types of saws which are all designed for different purposes. Below, we highlight some of the most popular types of saws and what they are most commonly used for.

Hand Saws

Hand saws have evolved over time to fill out many different cutting styles and niches. Many saws are for general purposes, however, some types of saws are designed for specific jobs.

No tool collection is complete without some kind of hand saw. Although many people will only buy tools that are specific to their needs, at some point, most people will require the use of a saw.

There are a number of different types of hand saw and below we will outline some of the most popular ones.

different types of saws

Back Saw

A back saw tends to be quite short and has a narrow blade on it which is reinforced along its upper edge. This is where the name back saw comes from. Back saws are most commonly used with miter boxes and other things which require a very consistent and fine, straight cut. A back saw may also be named a tenon saw or a miter saw. This depends on the saw design, the region, and the intended use of the saw.

Bow Saw

A bow saw is a type of crosscut saw. These tend to be used outdoors more than indoors. The blade on a bow saw tends to be quite long and contains numerous crosscut teeth. These teeth are designed specifically to remove material while pushing and pulling. Bow saws are most commonly used for pruning, cutting logs, trimming trees, but can also be used for other rough cuts too.

Coping Saw

A coping saw has a narrow, thin blade and is ideal doe scrolling, trim work, and all other types of cutting which require very precise and intricate cuts. These saws can be used to cut a wide variety of different types of material. They can be found in the toolkits of many different tradesmen including plumbers, carpenters, and furniture makers.

Crosscut Saw

Crosscut saws are specifically designed for rough cutting wood. It has a comparatively thick blade which contains large, beveled teeth. A traditional two-man crosscut saw will have a handle on each side and is designed to be used by two people at the same time, one on either end. These large saws are great for cutting across the grain of timber. There are also one-man crosscut saws which are perfect for rough cutting lumber or trimming branches or limbs of trees. A crosscut saw is a great companion for taking on a camping trip or on a job site.

Fret Saw

A fret saw most closely resembles a coping saw. It has a long, thin blade which makes it perfect for intricate cuts. It has a larger, longer frame which allows for it to cut further away from the outer edges. However, the blade on a fret saw cannot be rotated, and so this results in more intricate scrollwork become much more difficult.


A hacksaw is the perfect saw for cutting tubing and pipes. This is one of the most common of the different types of saws. These saws are both lightweight and versatile and are able to cut through many different types of materials including plastic, wood, metal and many other materials. Hacksaws have material-specific blades which have a tooth count ranging from around 18 to 32 per inch.

Japanese Saw

A Japanese saw has just a single handle and a protruding strong, thin blade for cutting. This type of saw is very precise and comes with the advantage of being able to reach places in which other saws struggle to reach. There are three different types of Japanese saw. These are; dozuki, kataba, and ryoba. Each of these types of Japanese saw are great for cutting both hard and soft kinds of wood with precision.

Keyhole Saw

A keyhole saw is a rounded handled saw which has a single protruding blade coming out of the top of the handle. A keyhole blade is used for rough cutting circles or patterns. These types of saws are perfect for performing tasks on drywall, especially when the job at hand involves removing or replacing a specific small section. A keyhole saw is a great alternative to powered tools when the interior of the wall prevents the use of such powered tools.

Pruning Saw

A pruning saw will usually have a 13-15 inch blade which is in a curved shape. This blade protrudes from a single pistol grip style of handle. The blade on this type of saw is wide and has coarse teeth which are able to cut both ways, making the job much quicker. A pruning saw is most commonly found in a homeowners own toolkit, however, they are also often used by lawn services, landscapers, and tree surgeons.

Rip Cut Saw

A rip cut saw is often simply referred to as a hand saw. A rip cut saw is the must-have tool for framing. It doesn’t have many teeth per inch, however, each of the teeth that it does have are sharpened into a point, and are designed for removing wood. Anyone who works with wood will own at least one rip cut saw, and these will often be of various lengths for each different job.

Veneer Saw

A veneer saw is a highly specialized saw. It is designed with a very short blade with double edges and this blade has around thirteen teeth per inch. It is specifically designed to be used for precision veneer work. The shortness of the blade prevents this saw from being readily adapted for the majority of other cutting tasks, and so that is why it is a very specialized type of saw.

Wallboard Saw

Wallboard saws look relatively similar to a keyhole saw in their design. They have a generally shorter, wider blade and contain fewer teeth per inch. They also very often come in a double-edged design. A wallboard saw is designed specifically for puncturing through drywall or paneling. It is often used to create starter holes which can then be taken over afterward by a power tool.

Power Saws

Although many power saws do replicate the uses of various hand saws, many are also adapted for their own specific uses. For example, a radial arm saw expands upon the capabilities of a circular saw and a miter saw, however, it does not totally duplicate the capabilities. Power saws tend to fall into three primary categories. These are: circular blade, continuous band, and reciprocating blade.

Below is a list of the most popular types of power saw and their many uses.

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Band Saw (Stationary)

A stationary band saw is a tall, floor-standing type of saw which uses large pulleys that exist above and below the table. These pulleys move a continuous band which has fine teeth on it to cut through a large variety of different materials. Band saws are the perfect choice for when you need to cut precise and intricate carves into wood. They are also perfect for cutting through piping, tubes, and PVC, however, they only have a depth of just a few inches. It is possible to resaw using a band saw by standing the board on its edge and then carefully ripping it with a fence. To perform this kind of task, you most definitely need to have patience as it is a very intricate job.

Band Saw (Portable)

This is a small, portable version of the stationary band saw. It can do most of the same jobs as the stationary version but has the advantage of portability so can be easily transported to the job site. Of course, there are limitations in place on what you can cut with a portable band saw. You can usually cut up three to four-inch diameter pipes. It also takes more effort to cut straight lines as there is not the support of the bench. However, a portable band saw can be an invaluable tool for many tradesmen including welders, metalworkers, and plumbers.

Chain Saw

As the name may suggest, a chain saw uses a linked chain which has numerous teeth attached to it. These teeth are specially designed for each job and are specific for ripping through certain materials. Although chainsaws are unique in their design, they do fall into the category of band saws. A chainsaw is most commonly used for performing work on trees and is often an essential tool for homeowners depending on what region you live in.

Chop Saw

A chop saw is one of the largest and most portable versions of a circular saw. Chop saws tend to be manufactured in both masonry and metal cutting varieties. The concrete cutting saw usually includes a connection to attached a water line so that dust can be reduced while using the cutter. Both of the different types of chop saw use toothless blades which are manufactured with specialized abrasives that are designed for the materials in which you intend to cut. A chop saw is also known as being a concrete saw, abrasive saw, or a cut-off saw.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is often called a buzz saw or may be better known by the popular brand name of Skilsaw. These types of saws use a blade which contains teeth that are typically around seven and nine inches in diameter. This saw is the most common type of power saw, and the blade can be changed so that it can cut many different materials including wood, plastic, masonry, metal, and many more materials.

Compound Miter Saw

A compound miter saw is used to make straight, compound, and miter cuts. Instead of pivoting up and down as a miter saw does, the blade on a compound miter saw is mounted to an arm which can be adjusted for when you’re dealing with more complex angles. This is perfect for when performing scrollwork and trim. A compound miter saw is one of the best time-saving saws for when you need to trim out windows or add crown molding.

Flooring Saw

As the name of this saw suggests, a flooring saw is a portable unit which is used for re-sawing flooring. This includes hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring, laminate flooring, or engineered flooring. It is used to saw the flooring into the right fit for the room in which it is being placed. This is a fairly specialized saw which replaces the need for a miter saw, table saw, or any other accessories that you may need for performing flooring cuts. The biggest advantage of a flooring saw is its portability. You won’t need to spend a lot of time moving materials from different areas when putting in flooring if you use a flooring saw.


A jigsaw is a handheld type of saw which has a fine-toothed blade. The blade on this saw moves up and down at variable speeds depending on the speed you need for the job. This saw is specifically designed for performing cuts in a curved shape or for performing cuts which aren’t in a straight line. The best kinds of jigsaws come with long cords or even sometimes can be found in a cordless option.

Miter Saw

A miter saw is one of the very few saws which is designed specifically to mimic the uses of a typical hand saw. It is perfect for performing jobs which require cuts in a precise measurement or angle. A simple miter saw can pivot up to forty-five degrees both ways. These saws can be used with tables when cutting longer mitered ends.

Radial Arm Saw

This type of saw includes a motor and blade which sits on an arm that extends over a cutting table. The arm on this saw allows for making identical cuts, miter cuts, and many other different types of cut. Depending on the manufacturer of the saw, some radial arm saw blades can be exchanged with circular saw blades. However, it is important to acknowledge the recommended speed of the blade spin as many radial arm saws spin at a very fast rate.

Reciprocating Saw

Similar to the jigsaw, this type of saw has a blade which moves backward and forwards rather quickly. A reciprocating saw is often referred to as a Sawzall, which were the original manufacturers of this variety of saw. These saws are best used for cutting wood, tubing, and plastics. They are also often used for cutting wood joints, or beneath walls as the blade on this saw can cut into nails as well as wood. This is an invaluable tool for when you’re performing demolition work.

Rotary Saw

A rotary saw has a fixed blade and also has a small screwdriver-style handle. These saws are used for many different types of job including construction and crafts. They are ideal for cutting into walls for repairs as needed. Similar to a keyhole saw, a rotary saw is also an essential tool for paneling, drywall, and many other small cutting tasks.

Scroll Saw

Scroll saws tend to be operated with either a reciprocating blade, a band, or a continuous blade. They are very similar to coping saws in that they are designed for intricate scrollwork. They are also great for cutting specific patterns or spiral lines. Scroll saws have the added benefit of a table in which the material can be laid on during the cutting period. This provides a lot of precision as the cuts can be rotated precisely to achieve the desired details. This saw excels in cutting curves with edges.

Table Saw

A table saw blade tends to be a bit larger than that of a circular saw, and usually consists of a high-speed motor which is mounted underneath a flat table. The blade rises inwards and outwards from the table bed to adjust the depth of the cut. A table saw is perfect for performing various different rip cuts or for preparing a large number of identically cut pieces. Table saws can accept masonry and metal blades, however, it is important to ensure that the blade design matches the rpm of the motor.

Types of Saws: Conclusion

Now that you know the different types of saws, it will be easier for you to choose which one to purchase depending of the type of work you need the saw for. We hope that this article has been informative enough for you to make the right decision. Have you ever used a saw before? Which type of saws do you find most useful? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below this article.