Different Types of Saws With Their In-depth Usage And Limitations

For any sort of wooden projects, you need a saw. In fact, you will need a variety of them depending on your projects. To meet your needs, there are different types of saws.

Professional or hobbyist, you must learn all about saw types to determine which one will serve your purpose most. In this in-depth article, I have discussed all types of saw. Hopefully, you will find yours in here too.

Most Common Saws Types For Wood & Metal Work

Let’s discuss them in detail now.

Major Types of Saws With Their Usages

woodcutting saw

  • Pole Saw

When you need to trim or prune high tree branches, you need a pole saw. They are nothing like other common saws. All the pole saws are attached to the telescoping pole handles.

Remove the telescoping handles and the shaft to make it a regular saw. There are many types of pole saw as well. But the most common types are manual and electric pole saws, cordless and gas pole saws, and so on.

If you need to learn more about it, here is a detailed guide on pole saw.

  • Hand Saws

The user provides the force to make it work. It is not powered by electricity or a battery. Probably the most common and almost all households have it. If not for your home, you will need it for your garden.

Suitable for smaller jobs, not for any bigger task. Also, it takes a longer time to finish the task and you will be tiresome.

They are inexpensive and highly portable. You can carry it wherever you like. Takes a little space for storage as well.

  • Scroll saw

With the foot pedaling system, it can cut your wood just like the way you want. When you need to draw spiral lines or you need any decorative works on your woodwork, this saw is your ultimate solution.

No matter how stylish the pattern you need, this will get it done.

  • Bow Saw

With lots of crosscut teeth, the blade is really long. To cut logs, trim trees, or just pruning, bow saw comes in handy. It’s just another type of crosscut show and you use it outdoors only.

  • Hack Saw

Another kind of hand saw. To cut metals, you must need a hack saw. Thanks to its thin blade. The length is usually 10 to 12 inches and this measurement depends largely on the brands.

Apart from metal, you can cut thick plastic too. The frame of it is C-shape. When you cut any materials, that frame secures the blade in its place. Usually, you will find 18 to 32 teeth per inch.

With its fine-toothed blade, it is specifically designed to cut metals. Nothing automatic. You have to manually push it. To cut any metal, you must push it back and forth through it.

  • Chainsaw


When you need to cut big lumbers, you must use a gas-powered chainsaw where the engine is either electronic or gasoline-powered. Not just big woods, you can cut the entire trees too. Of course, it’s handheld but it’s totally mechanical.

The moving chain has several teeth and as the chain rotates – the teeth cut the wood. With greater force and power, a chain saw slice through the woods.

There is an in-built clutch so that you can position the chain properly and it protects the engine from overheating. The clutch also protects you from the kickbacks of the engine.

Generally, these chainsaws use gasoline to run and that’s why they are insanely powerful. But it has some problems like smoke and so on. Another kind has an electric motor and they have greater power too.

  • Circular Saw

Another electric saw and it is very popular. For building projects, you need the circular saw that requires a hands-on approach. Meaning, you have to manually push it to cut the material you want. Since they are handheld, they are lightweight too.

It is portable as well, that’s why most people like it a lot because they can take it anywhere they like. It has a round blade and it rotates because of its electronic motor when you cut anything.

Such circular saw come in a lot of verities. But the most common types are corded/cordless, sidewinder, and worm drive circular saw.

  • Band Saw

band saw

Also known as the nimble saw. You can’t move it around when installed. That’s why they are called stationary power saw. You can cut different types of materials with the band saw. Thanks to its interchangeable blades.

When you must have your straight and curved cuts precise and accurate, you should use the band saw. You can have your jigsaw shape as well.

Just feed the long blade any material you want to cut. And you have to manually feed the materials. Some of the most popular band saws are meat and wood band saw, Horizontal/Vertical band saw. There is even a benchtop band saw as well.

  • Jigsaw

Each jigsaw has an electric motor to power it up. With up to 45 degrees of beveling technique, it’s ideal to cut a variety of materials when you need flawless curves. That’s what has made it great to cut hard to reach areas.

When you need details woodwork and that has to precise, jigsaws play the most important role. Your material will determine the thickness of the jigsaw blade.

For harder materials, you need thicker blades. Such thicker blades can cut ceramic tile, metal, concrete, countertops, and carpet too.

  • Miter Saw

They come with circular blades and very handy to make precise angled cuts. When the joints of your woodwork need perfect fitting, you need a miter saw.

The blade is usually made of carbon steel. Besides, the blade is coated for your better cutting experience. That’s what makes the long-lasting and convenient.

The good thing is you can swap the circular blade with the table saw. Yes, it’s electric and very safe to use. Learn how to unlock a miter saw easily.

  • Table Saw

table saw

For any sort of tabletop woodcutting, you need a table saw. Set the piece of your wood on the table and push it towards the blade of the saw. And you cut the wood piece as per your need. Very convenient!

Using it is highly flexible too. You can adjust the depth of the blade as per your applications.

Notice, unlike other saw types, you don’t have to push the saw here. Instead, you will push the material towards it to get the job done.

  • Wet-Tile Saws

To cut the tiles, you use the wet-tile saw. So, that’s what you need when you work on your floor. You can’t do any tiling works without it. Reliable and they are in use for a very long time.

  • Rip-Cut Saw

If you have a wood parallel to the grain, you will be needing a rip-cut saw. In fact, most people own this who deals with wood all the time. It’s versatile and perfect for many jobs.

Unlike other types of saws like a crosscut saw, it has a few teeth but they are very sharp. When they work, the sharp teeth can remove chips of wood that will remind you of a couple of chisels working together simultaneously.

  • Crosscut Saw

crosscut sawAlso known as bucking saw or felling saw. For even but rough woods, you need a crosscut saw. With its beveled teeth and thick blade, it’s highly effective to cut rough woods.

The 1-man crosscut saw is the somewhat conventional type and you may probably have it if you are a DIY enthusiast. You mainly use it to cut rough lumber or trim branches.

But only the professional use the 2-man crosscut saws where two people are required to operate it.

Whereas most common saws have tiny teeth, it has larger teeth in comparison with them. The blade is thicker than most traditional saws as well.

  • Sawzall

You may know it as reciprocating saws. They are very tiny in size and normally used for metal or woodwork. With the back and forth motion of the saw, it can cut both woods and metals.

There are several types of them as well as a portable reciprocating saw with many usages, Corded or Cordless reciprocating saw.

  • Fret Saw

It may look like a coping saw, but the blade is long and really thin. For most intricate cuts on your projects, you need the fret saw. But let me assure you, it’s a tough job since you can’t rotate the blade.

Sometimes, cutting from the outer edges is difficult. Since the fret saw has a long and large frame, it can cut in these situations.

  • Veneer Saw

Veneer Saw

As the name suggests, you need it for your veneer work. The specialized saw has a double-edged short blade and in each inch, there are 13 teeth! So, for precise veneer work, they are second to none.

  • Abrasive Saw

It’s not your traditional saws with a toothed wheel. Rather, it comes with an abrasive disk and highly effective to grind through hard materials like metal and concrete.

There are various types of abrasive saws like the walk-behind, tabletop, and handheld. Highly suitable for demolition site jobs.

  • Chain Beam Saw

Think of a downward-mounted chainsaw and a handheld chain saw. Only then you get the picture of a chain beam saw. These saws make the jobs of log builders and the timber framers a lot easier and more efficient.

Of course, they are very expensive. But professionals get them to cut big wooden beams accurately and efficiently.

  • Jamb Saw

Usually, people don’t buy those saws. Rather they rent them. If you need to cut a small section of your door jamb, a jamb saw is your ultimate tool. Many people call it the undercut saw as well.

  • Back Saw

Some people call it a dovetail saw as well. When you need to make some dovetail joints, it requires accuracy and precision. Only a dovetail or back saw can ensure that.

With narrow blades and fine teeth, it can give you the exact cut requires to make your dovetail joints. The good thing about a backsaw is that you don’t need to apply a lot of force to have your cuts smooth.

  • Japanese Saw

With a thin cutting blade, a Japanese saw can offer a more precise cut than a backsaw. It comes with a single handle and the thin blade can reach places where many other saws can’t reach.

There are 3 types of Japanese Saw: ryoba, dozuki, and kataba. All of them can cut through hard and softwood with equal precision.

  • Reciprocating Saw

The blade moves back and forth and that’s the reason people call it a reciprocating saw. So, it can basically cut through anything. In the demolition remodeling industry, people use it extensively.

It’s another kind of hand-held saw to cut wood and plastic. There are both corded or cordless versions available. If you need, you can find it’s mini version as well.

  • Flooring Saw

Every contractor uses this saw a lot. Being portable, a contractor can bring it anywhere to perform flooring jobs.

You can make any cuts for your flooring tasks. It works perfectly on any flooring material like bamboo, hardwood, or even laminate.

  • Chop Saw

It’s another kind of specialized circular saw. When you need to make smooth rectangular and square cuts, a chop saw will be a great choice. Apart from straight cuts, it can make angles too.

The reason it is popular simply because it can cut through the toughest materials like metal and masonry.

  • Rotary Saw

To make holes on any material like the drywall, a rotating-powered rotary saw is highly effective. You can use the same for paneling and other small cutting jobs just like a keyhole saw.

  • Camping Saw

For wild camping, you need many kinds of survival tools. A camping saw may come in handy! You will need it to prune a pesky tree near your camp side.

Or you may need to cut some firewood to keep you warm. Many people call it backpacking saw as well.

Since you need to carry it while hiking, it usually very lightweight and compact in size.

  • Keyhole Saw

keyhole saw

Many people call it drywall saw. But it is also called jab saw, pad saw, or even an alligator saw!

When you need to cut curves, circles, holes, and frets into your drywall, you need a keyhole saw. People call it a keyhole saw because the long and narrow point of the saw can fit into a keyhole.

It’s lightweight for easy handling and carrying and the handle has a rounded shape for a comfortable grip.

  • Compass Saw

If you need to make some twisted incisions, you need a compass saw. These are ideal in such situations where any other types of saws can’t reach. It can cut through drywall, plastic, wood, and what not?

Along with a pistol-like handle, it comes with a thin and long blade. Just like any keyhole saw, it has a narrow design at the tip.

  • Razor Saw

As the name suggests, when you need a clean cut – you need a razor saw. When the wood is very soft and you can’t take the chance of ripping it up, a razor saw is a must.

Not just softwood, you need this to cut any kind of soft materials including soft plastics. So, if you are a hobbyist – you will love this. Many jewelers and people love to make model figures.

It comes with a fine razor blade instead of jagged teeth available in traditional saws. Also, there are various sizes too.

  • Carcass Saw

Carcass Saw

To have your smooth crosscuts quickly to have your great crosscut pattern, it is second to none.

It comes with a lot of sharp teeth per inch (14 points per inch). And the blade of a carcass saw is very thick and large so that you can cut across the grain & edges of a dado and Tenon shoulders easily.

  • Masonry Saw

If you are familiar with a concrete saw, then you already know what it does. When you need to work on brick, asphalt, or concrete – you can use a masonry saw. They are specifically designed to work on such building materials. They are usually larger in size. So, if you need to deal with a larger material, it will be a good choice. But the problem is that it’s not so portable due to the huge size.

  • Tile Saw

When you need to cut tile and building materials like stone, ceramic, or porcelain – you need a tile saw. They are popular to cut those materials because it leaves smooth edges.

Since leaving a smooth edge is a crucial part, you need to wet the materials you are cutting and the saw itself before you start cutting. The wetting just prevents any damage to the materials and the saw itself.

  • Radial Arm Saw

Until the introduction of the miter saw, people used to use a radial arm saw to make angled cuts.

When a circular saw is placed on a horizontal arm, it becomes a radial arm saw. The cool part was that the arm slides to make it convenient to cut materials. So, you could have your intricate cuts smooth too.

  • Oscillating Saw

Normally, it does not come in a standalone form. Usually, an oscillating saw is a part of a multi-faced multi-tool. And it performs like any oscillating fan where the blade moves back and forth to trim pipes and wood.

When you get this saw, it will come with tools for polishing and sanding as well.

  • Panel Saw

When you need to make specific shapes for your projects, you need a panel saw. It offers excellent edging! So, you can use it in cabinet making, sigh making, and other similar tasks.

You don’t need to feed the edges manually. That’s how it gets the job done efficiently.

  • Coping Saw

From carpenters to plumbers, a coping saw is ideal and popular to many people to cut a wide variety of materials.

To get the precision and intricate cuts, you need a thin narrow blade in your saw. A coping saw exactly offers that! It’s just perfect for all of your trimming and scrolling work.

  • Pruning Saw

If you are a homeowner, you should have a pruning saw. Every tree surgeon, landscaper, and lawn service provider has them.

From the name, you can guess what it does, right? Usually, they have 13-15 inches’ blade. The blade is wide as well.

With the coarse teeth of the blade, it can cut both back and forth to get the job done faster.

  • Wallboard Saw

Sometimes, you need to make a starter hole to use your other powered tools. A wallboard saw can make those starter holes for you. It’s designed to make such punctures through drywall and panels.

It looks a lot like a keyhole saw with a wide but short blade with fewer teeth per inch.

  • Track Saw

You may know it as a plunging saw. It’s the perfect blend of a circular and table saw. You can attach it to a long gliding rail to give it some added capabilities.

As it resembles a circular saw, it’s portable as well.

Last Words

Apart from whatever I have discussed so far, there are other different types of saws. In the near future, I will add more and more saw types in this article for sure.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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