A handsaw is the most versatile saw to work with among all the kind of the saws. It is the best tool to cut any shapes and size in woods. Power tools run on electricity or battery. And they are used for larger projects of woods. They are automated machines. So they cut very quickly which can be very dangerous for anybody. Especially if you are not skilled and experienced enough in using power tools then it is extremely dangerous for you. So, a handsaw is the very perfect tool for you if you are a woodworker. If you know how to use a hand saw properly then you will be able to make cuts on any types of woods. Sometimes a hand saw also can be used to cut some other materials other than wood.
Types of handsaws
Handsaws differ according to their shape, size, and functions. A brief introduction to some of the handsaw is given below.
The saw with which we can cut across the wood grain is called crosscut saw. The teeth of the crosscut saw angled backward and have a beveled edge. Its teeth are designed in such a way so that it can cut on both pull and push strokes. And these teeth are also smaller than that of the ripsaw.
These are the saws with which we can cut along the wood grains. The teeth of ripsaws cannot cut in both pull and push strokes. They only cut in push strokes. And their teeth are also not angled backward and nor are they beveled. Its teeth are altered in sidewise making them ideal for ripping apart wood as chips on every single stroke.
These saws have very thin blades. These are best for cutting designs and curves and intricate shapes in wood. If you are willing to cut from inside a workpiece then this is the best saw for you to use. You just have to drill a hole in the wood and then detach the blade from the saw and put it inside through the hole and then reattach the saw with the blade.
Backsaws has a thick metal rib opposite to the cutting edge to allow you a better controlled and more accurate cutting. You can use backsaw for making precise cuts on your workpiece.
Keyhole saws are thin, long, narrow saws for making small cuts. They can be used to make small cuts floors and ceiling or cutting in pipes etc.
Coping saw backsaw and keyhole saw are special saws for special tasks. For general use, we use crosscut saw and ripsaw.
Cutting with a handsaw
Marking the cutline
Every saw use has a rule for cutting. “Measure twice, cut once”. This is to ensure that the worker cuts accurately and make his project error free. So the first thing to do will be to mark the workpiece correctly. You can use measuring tape and carpenters square to measure and mark your cutline correctly.
You can use pencils or markers to mark the line.
To ensure an accurate cut with any kind of saw, a comfortable setup is very important. Clamping is the best option here for you. Not only it will prevent the saw from moving around, but it will also help you to make your cut clean and avoid any injury.
When you are done marking and clamping, you are now ready to start cutting. The first thing to know before start cutting is to know that you have to start your cut, not on the marked line. Always start cutting away from the marked line at the scrap side. Having a bit long wood is never a problem. But having a short wood is a major and an unfixable one. You can sand the excess wood later and have the perfect length you wanted. So it is wiser to cut from the line on the waste side of the wood.
Then, you can use your thumb or the knuckle of your thumb of the hand which you are using to hold the workpiece as a guide for the saw blade.
Now, when you are starting to cut through the workpiece, cut a little kerf first. This kerf will later help you to position your saw correctly at the correct angle. To begin the kerf, the starting position is different in different types of saws. In a crosscut saw, you have to start cutting with the nearest teeth from the handle. And in case of a ripsaw, you have to start the cut with the farthest teeth from the handle of the saw.
The next important thing to know before cutting with a handsaw is that to angle the saw correctly. The correct angle for different handsaws is also different. If you have a crosscut saw, then the correct angle for you to cut will be 45o. And if you are using a ripsaw then the correct angle is 60o.
Rules during cutting
There are certain rules for holding the saw, you have to maintain. You have to grip the handle in such a way that the grip is not so tight and not so loose. If it is too tight then it will be difficult to move. And if it is too loose then it will be difficult to control the blade to keep it on the track.
You have to hold the saw handle with four fingers. The index finger should extend forward parallel to the saw blade. If you keep your index finger extended then, it will help you direct the saw blade on the right track.
While cutting with the saw, you have to keep your elbow near your body. You also have to keep your arm in such a way that it can move back and forth freely in a straight line.
To make cuts in a straight line, you can always take help from a 2×4. Using it while cutting will make your cuts along the straight line more accurate. To use it, you have to clamp it with your workpiece along the mark.
When your cut is mostly finished, at the vet end, exert less pressure with the saw so that the cut does not get splintered at the edge. Hold the piece you are about to cut off to prevent it from breaking at the edge and splintering the wood.
It is to say that the process of how to use a handsaw might be very easy, but still, you have to be skilled to work with it. To acquire that skill, you need to practice more and more. Try cutting every scrap wood you see within your sight. This will gain you more experience and mastery of your handsaw.