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21 Different Types of Saws & Their Uses – Which is Right For You?

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Different types of saws

Using a basic saw isn’t all that complicated. You draw a blade, usually one with teeth, across an object to cut it. Some saws cut wood, some cut metal, some even cut bone. Some saws are intended to make rough cuts quickly, while other saw blades are designed so that you can finesse and shape what it is that you’re cutting. There’s a different saw design for every purpose you can imagine.

First, we will go over hand saws and then electric saws. Let’s go!

14 Different Types of Hand Saws

There are a few saws that you can likely find in just about every home. These are tools that are generally used to just cut materials into pieces. While you might need something with additional capabilities, these saws have a place in everyone’s tool inventory.

1. Hand saw

A basic handsaw is a staple for home toolboxes. With a basic handsaw, you can cut wood or fiberglass. It’s not a precision tool though; if you need to cut something to specifications you’ll need to upgrade your inventory. If you just need to cut the odd log, however, it’ll do that work nicely. Most of these types of saws are meant for woodworking, but some of them can also cut other material such as drywall and bone.

Hand saw

2. Hack-saw

If you need to cut something harder than wood, you’ll need to go with a hacksaw. Most people associate these with cutting metal. But if you need to, say, cut a frozen bone, the hacksaw will be your saw of choice.


3. Crosscut saw

Better known as a lumberjack saw, this two-person saw is ideal for cutting large logs into smaller pieces for moving. If you get this tool, make sure you keep the teeth sharp; hardwood trees can quickly dull them, increasing your work time.

Crosscut saw

4. Pruning saw

Sometimes you can find pruning saws mounted to the end of poles for working on tree limbs, but as a hand tool, it’s great for reaching low-hanging branches or a line of dense vines. You can replicate this type of work with certain chainsaws, but a hand tool offers precise results.

Pruning saw

5. Bow saw

The closed-loop of the bow saw ensures quick and efficient cuts through dense wood, especially with a sharp blade.

Bow saw

6. Camping saw

When you go camping, space and weight are premium assets. This is where a camping saw comes in handy. This type of saw is small and lightweight, which means that it will not be a burden to carry. Do consider that the size of the wood you’ll be able to cut, will be limited by the size of your saw. That said, large logs usually produce smaller limbs and branches that you’ll have access to.

Camping saw

7. Japanese saw

Unlike traditional Western saws that rely on the pull, these unique saws rely on the push strike. Their small, sharp teeth can move quickly through wood, but the size of the wood you can work with is limited by the hardened spine at the top of the blade.

Japanese saw

8. Fret saw

The fret saw’s thin blade and high back make it ideal for making angled or curved cuts in thin pieces of wood. Don’t try using this saw on anything dense or thick; this is best for paneling or thin plywood.

Fret saw

9. Back-saw

The thick spine along the top of the backsaw means that the blade is stable and well supported for the entire cut. In other words, you’ll maintain control throughout the entire process because the blade won’t bend halfway through a piece of dense wood.


10. Veneer saw

Veneer saws are for small, fast work. Their blade size gives them a very limited range, but within that range, they can work quickly and deliver very smooth results. Just make sure that you keep the teeth clean of debris.

Veneer saw

11. Coping saw

Like the fret saw, the coping saw is intended to cut tight curves in light wood and molding. It isn’t quite as capable of tight cuts as the fret, but it can tackle wood that’s a touch more substantial.

Coping saw

12. Keyhole saw

With a dagger-like point on the front of the blade, the keyhole saw is designed to poke through soft materials like drywall and paneling so that it can cut larger holes. This isn’t a precision saw, but it can create a rough starting point for another tool with better accuracy.

Keyhole saw

13. Wallboard saw

Designed specifically for cutting drywall, the wallboard saw is about creating holes for things like electrical outlets and utility plugs. It’s sharp enough to not rip chunks out of the drywall as it cuts through it, but it’s not stiff enough for use on wood beyond paneling.

Wallboard saw

14. Bone saw

Very few homeowners need a bone saw for DIY purposes. If you love to cook, however, having one might come in handy for cutting through bones to make great stock. A bone saw might also work well if you have materials as hard as bone to cut for crafting.

Bone saw

7 Different Types of Electric Saws

The electric motor and the saw blade are, in the world of tools, just about a perfect marriage. Power saws can guarantee nearly uniform results without inflicting as much wear and tear on the person operating them. If you have work that requires accurate cuts, you’ll want to use one of these types of power saws.

1. Chain saw

Property owners with a lot of trees probably have a chainsaw in the shed. The range of chainsaws available on the market is as varied as the jobs you might need them for. If you are in the market for one of these, we suggest doing some research to figure out which chainsaw is right for you.


2. Circular saw

A circular saw is the power tool version of the handsaw. It can run on electricity, which makes it consistently powerful, but the cord limits its range. Or it can run on batteries, which make it portable, but the juice can run out quickly.

Circular saw

3. Miter saw

Miter saws are designed for making angled cuts. If you’re building a window frame, it’s an essential tool. These benchtop saws can come loaded with all kinds of great features, so if you don’t mind spending a little extra you can really maximize your potential return on investment.


4. Table saw

A table saw is a cutting blade held in place to make precise, exacting straight cuts. The table on either side, along with the wide-legged stand, create a stable environment for you to work on big pieces of wood. It cuts from the bottom, so push blocks for safety are always a good idea.

Table saw

5. Jigsaw

Designed to cut curves and details, the jigsaw has a thin blade that can be tracked around a cutout so you get exactly the design you want. Be prepared to swap out the saw’s thin blades and don’t ask it to do any heavy work.


6. Reciprocating saw

Reciprocating saws mimic the back-and-forth action of a basic handsaw motion, with the added benefit that the blade has a sharp point on the front so that you can poke a hole in paneling or drywall. It’s not a precise tool, but it has its uses.

Reciprocating saw

7. Band saw

A band saw is kind of like a jigsaw connected to a table. This design enables precisely angled, and even circular, cuts. Don’t stress the thin saw blades with thick planks though, because they aren’t designed to take a lot of punishment.

Band saw