Saws are not a recent invention of course. For hundreds of years, mankind has trusted saws to help them in different works. From traditional handheld saws to large size table saws, the uses of saws are still a part of human life.
- 1 General Saw Uses
- 2 Saw Uses & Types
- 3 Hand Saws
- 4 Basic handsaw
- 5 Wallboard Saw
- 6 Pruning Saw
- 7 Keyhole Saw
- 8 Backsaw
- 9 Japanese Saw
- 10 Bow saw
- 11 Coping Saw
- 12 Fret Saw
- 13 Butcher Saw
- 14 Hacksaw
- 15 Veneer Saw
- 16 Crosscut Saw
- 17 Rip-cut Saw
- 18 Power Saws
- 19 Table Saw
- 20 Circular Saw
- 21 Miter Saw
- 22 Chop Saw
- 23 Radial Arm Saw
- 24 Chainsaw
- 25 Reciprocating Saw
- 26 Jigsaw
- 27 Band Saw
- 28 Scroll Saw
- 29 Some Important Things to Know
- 30 Saw blades
- 31 Types of saw blades & blade cuts
- 32 Rip blade
- 33 Crosscut blade
- 34 Ply tooth blade
- 35 Band saw blade
- 36 Strobe saw blade
- 37 Finishing blade
- 38 Dado blade
- 39 TPI (Teeth per Inch)
General Saw Uses
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear about saw has something to do with wood, right? That is correct but not quite. Saws have been in use for far too long as only a wood cutter. This is not the case now.
Saws are widely used in various fields of works. Though the main work is still considered to cut wood, saws have spread their wings in a variety of different works. There is no need to mention how saw uses are done in forestry.
Starting from small little work inside your home to large massive work on the outside world, saws have proved their worth. New and advanced saws are continuously arriving in our hands.
Earlier it was not possible to cut very hard materials. But later on, saws have been used to cut hard materials. There are special saw blades nowadays that allow users to cut through the harder materials like ceramic, metals, etc.
Got a nice home? You would probably not have such a nice home without the use of saws. In construction work, the use of various different saws is necessary.
These tools are remarkable at demolition works. The reciprocating saw specifically is known for its power and its ability to demolish stuff.
Other tool such as the chainsaw is used in gardening work. There are many saws available for doing important house works too.
Saw Uses & Types
No matter which saw you pick up, they will always fall under one of two categories. They will either be hand saw or power saw.
So, let’s discuss some handsaws first.
Hand saws have been around for too long to not get recognition. They are generally used for the same purpose as any other saws. In woodworking or carpentry, they are used to cut materials to pieces. And thus form different shapes. Here are some specific hand saws and their usage.
A basic handsaw is a traditional saw that we all learned about growing up. It definitely served its purpose very well back then. It is capable of cutting wood, but not so good at going through harder materials. Besides, you will only damage the saw if you try to cut hard materials with it.
Basic handsaw requires you to give a little more effort to cut through wood. Nonetheless, it is still very common among people who work a lot with wood.
This saw is a great one for doing little works at your home. It is a small tool that has a short blade. Moreover, the blade is usually wider. And also, the TPI is generally fewer. As a result, it gives smoother cuts.
It acts as the tool that opens up the way for the power tools to work. You can use it to puncture through any drywall.
When you are buying this saw, look for a blade that is hardened and tempered so that it has strength and more durability. Ground teeth will give faster cutting in drywall, wood and even plastic.
The Pruning saw is a great handsaw for gardening work. This saw uses coarse teeth to trim live shrubs as well as trees. It removes material faster when cutting because it is capable of cutting in both directions.
The blade is a bit curved. And the blade protrudes from a handle that is like a pistol.
Just like wallboard saw, a keyhole is also great at making small holes in wood or drywall. Also, it is a lot like the wallboard saw in appearance. For making circles and patterns, it is a pretty useful saw.
A single blade protrudes from the wood or sometimes plastic handle. Though its work is similar to the wallboard, it is still more widely used.
There are different blades that can be attached to the keyhole handle. The blades vary in width, length, and TPI.
A backsaw is a comparatively small saw that is great for woodworking. It has got a rectangular-shaped blade with a handle that is of plastic or hardwood. The blade is narrow and opposite to the teeth, there is metal reinforced back edge which allows the blade to stay straight and not bend while cutting.
Backsaws are generally used with miter boxes and in other works, for example, the works which require better precision and straighter cuts.
The backsaw end is stiff and this stiffness gives you more control and precision in cutting.
Sometimes, you might hear the backsaw being referred to as miter saw or tenon saw too. This is mainly because of the design more than anything else.
There is a reason it is specifically called Japanese. It is different from the western saws.
There are some fundamental differences. The western cuts on the push stroke where the Japanese one cuts on the pull stroke. This is done with teeth that are reversed. The western ones have a pistol-like handle for gripping. But, the Japanese one has a much straight handle for users to grip onto. The straighter handle allows helps to cut in pull stroke.
The blade is thin and pretty strong. Its blade allows for great precision and some might argue that the precision is better than the backsaw even.
For cutting soft and harder woods, this saw uses its thin strong blade. In addition to its precision, it is also a good addition if you want to cut in places where many other saws cannot reach.
It is a type of crosscut saw. It is used for cutting logs, living branches, trimming trees, etc. In addition to these, it can also be used to make different rough cuts.
As the name suggests, it is shaped like a bow. The blade is rather very long. For crosscutting, there are plenty of teeth present.
Furthermore, it is really easy to use the bow saw to cut materials. This is because of the fact that it is capable of cutting on both the push and pull stroke. This makes it better for you to cut through the materials with ease and with less effort.
Straight cuts, as well as curved cuts, are two most common works that the bow saw is used for.
The coping saw uses a thin narrow blade for making precise and intricate cuts. In addition to precision, it is useful for making curved cuts.
The thin blade is stretched on a metal frame and this makes it a better curve cutter. Even though it is not as good at fretwork as a fret saw, it can still get the job done.
The coping saw is a favorite one for the furniture makers.
A fret saw looks very much like the coping saw. If looked closely, the blades of a fret saw are much thinner than the coping saw. Fine turns are better done with this saw.
The thinner blade also allows better intricate cuts than the coping saw. Furthermore, it cuts finer because of its longer and larger frame.
And of course, it is a master at fretworks. It is another good addition for the furniture makers.
The appearance of this saw is a lot like a bow. But, the application is totally different.
It has a very strong blade that cuts through with authority. The blade is made especially for cutting heavy meats and hard bones.
You might have already guessed it that this saw is used widely in slaughter houses by professional butchers and chefs mainly.
No, the saw does not hack any computers, I am sorry to say! But, it is pretty popular saw that most people use. It is shaped like a bow with its handle more like in vertical.
The hacksaw is not that heavy and can work on a variety of fields. For example, it is great for cutting pipes. Also, it can cut through a variety of different materials like metal, plastic, and of course, wood.
A DIY worker’s saw collection will always be unfulfilled without the hacksaw.
It is a specialized saw that is designed with a short double edged-blade. The blade is short and so allows you to work in small areas where most saws are useless. Furthermore, it is excellent for precision in veneer works.
The cross-cut saw is a great tool to have for rough cuts. The blade is very thick and the teeth are largely beveled.
It is useful for rough cutting lumber across their grain. Trimming limbs or branches are also something that it is good at doing.
There is a type of cross-cut saw which is used by two men called felling saw. It has handles on both ends for two people to get a grip.
This is another handsaw which is very popular among DIY workers. It looks a lot like the cross-cut saw. But, their application could not be any different.
It is used to cut materials along the grain. And there are not many tools better than the rip-saw when it comes to the framework.
Hand saws are irreplaceable when it comes to woodworking. You just need to know about their proper saw uses. And then you can use them effectively.
The power saws are more effective. They get the job done quicker and make it easier for us. These are nowadays used so vastly that knowledge about most of them is a must.
So, here are some of the popular power saws used today.
Table saw is the workhorse of power tools. There is no other saw that has the capability like the table saw. It works simply. The blade revolved at high speed and the user pushed material through the blade.
There are extra parts attached for safety as the table saw can be very unforgiving. It is used in woodworking. There are many jobs done with a table saw, for instance, cutting plywood.
You can use it to make different types of cuts like rip cut, crosscut, and even angled cuts. But, Safety is a serious issue whenever you use this saw.
A circular saw is like a mini table saw because it can do a table saw’s work. But, not as good as a table saw, it is still handy. The major benefit of the circular saw which table saw does not provide is the portability.
It is used to cut wood and soft materials. Also, you can use an appropriate blade to cut metal with it. It is a handheld power tool that has a rotating blade which cuts through the materials.
The miter saw make cuts at every angle other than 90 degrees. But with proper adjustments, 90 degree cuts can also be made.
Crosscuts, miter cuts, bevel cuts, compound cuts, all are done with the miter saw. In woodworking and carpentry, they are great at building furniture, cabinets, and frames too.
There are different types of miter saws. So, make sure that you buy the one which will suit the type of work you wish to do.
The chop saw in its appearance looks a lot like the miter saw. That is why many think that they are for the same purpose. But, they could not be further from the truth.
Chop saws serve a different purpose than the miter saw. Where miter saws are great at cutting through wood and making precise cuts, a chop saw can cut through metal, concrete, plastic, etc. Moreover, the chop saw is not so good at precision. Rather, it is great at cutting through hard materials which other saws are not capable of cutting through.
Radial Arm Saw
It is a unique power saw which is not like the other saws. The blade is attached to the table in most saws. But, with a radial arm saw, the blade is attached to a mobile arm.
The workpiece is held down on the table. Then the saw uses its blade to cut through. It can make different types of cuts including crosscut and compound cut.
If you have played the house of the dead then you know exactly what a chainsaw looks like. It is a good tool to cut wood faster. But, it does not provide much smooth cut.
A chainsaw is sometimes used in gardening too. But, its main purpose is to cut through big amounts of wood quick.
Reciprocating saw makes woodcutting a lot easy. This is because of the way the blade moves. It moves in push-pull motion that allows you to not move the saw that much. Rather, you are only to hold the saw in position and the blade will do the rest.
You can this saw with both cord and cordless. It is used for cutting through wood, tiles, PVC pipes, etc.
The motion of the blade of a jigsaw is exactly like a reciprocating saw. But, the blade points downwards unlike the reciprocating saw.
A jigsaw is a great tool for making non-straight cuts. Also, it has got a better precision level than the reciprocating saw. With the right type of blade in, you can cut through almost any material with a jigsaw.
A band saw could be stationary and also portable. The portable one is a lot smaller, but can do most of the work of a big stationary one. Moreover, their portability adds to your advantage.
Generally, band saws come in two models, horizontal and vertical. The vertical one is most used in woodworking. It is great for resawing. Consequently, horizontal ones are used in the metalworking industry. They work at a fast pace and as a result, they offer higher productivity.
The scroll saw is a perfect tool to use for accurate cutting. They are used much like the band saw in woodworking. In addition to its accuracy, it is also known for its silent cutting of material.
The scroll saw is a must for intricate cuts, jigsaw puzzle, designing, cutting patterns, etc.
Some Important Things to Know
Before you go and start using any saw, there are some things you need to know about them.
Blades are an inseparable part of saws. But what are the blades made of?
Well, it actually depends on a few factors. The main factor is the usage of that particular blade or saw. Keep in mind that different blades are used for different purposes. For example, there could be a blade that is made to cut wood type material. So, the blade will be made out of some specific ingredients so that it serves well its purpose .i.e. cut wood.
In this way, blades are made out of that type of element which will allow for better cut specific material. But in general, the saw blades are made from high carbon steel. It is used because of its immense resistance and strength.
Types of saw blades & blade cuts
Just as there are so many different saws, there are also different blades used in the different saws. While many are for general use, there exists some which are specifically for one particular saw.
So, here are some blades used in today’s saws.
Rip blades are used to cut material along or parallel to the direction of the grain. It is no stranger to any DIY workers. In fact, it is one of the most common types of blade used in saws. With a rip blade, it is easy to cut through material at a fast pace. The flaw is that the cut might not be as smooth as you would like.
Crosscut blades are used to cut material exactly at a right angle or perpendicular to the direction of the grain of the material. As far as popularity is concerned, this is not far behind the rip blade. Just ask any DIY workers, they will tell you. Even though they are not as fast but these are more precise and offer a smoother cut than the rip blade.
Ply tooth blade
A Ply tooth blade is such type of blade that is really more specific than general. The saw uses this blade mainly. It is a blade with numerous small teeth. One advantage of having many teeth is that it offers a cut with very little splinters. Now, that is very useful, right? It is great for cutting any plywood to pieces.
Band saw blade
This is another handy saw blade that produces very little splinters. The splinters might even be less than a circular saw blade. It has got teeth on one side. The reason that it produces so little waste is because of the thinner blade. This is also a blade that cuts at a slow pace. But, it drives away heat better than many other blades.
Strobe saw blade
This is another blade that is mostly used with a circular saw. Sometimes, you might encounter materials that jam your blade. The strobe saw blade is perfect for such circumstances. It has got a special type of cutters that will allow you to cut through with ease those materials which jam other types of blade.
Well, the name tells you the whole story, doesn’t it? Yes! The finishing blade is an excellent finisher. It has fine teeth which enables it to provide a very smooth or fine cut. This is an awesome blade to conceive for any DIY worker because woodworking demands finesse more often than not.
For making grooved cuts, a dado blade is popular among the DIY workers. Groove cuts are made so that the edge of another piece of material fits into the groove. This is done to make a joint.
There are two types of dado blade in general. The stacked dado blade consists of chipper blades, and they are between two dado blades. A stacked dado is mainly used for accuracy as they provide clean and highly accurate cuts for the user.
Then there is the adjustable dado blade. You can adjust the degree to which the blade wobbles sideways, and this provides you continuous variable groove widths (from lower to upper design limits of the dado). Adjustable dado blades are pretty fast-paced. And in addition to their quickness, they are also easy to use.
Just like humans are useless without some parts of their body, saws are also useless without its blade. In addition to the above-mentioned blades, similarly, there are other blades like the nail cutting blade, metal cutting blade, etc. All have their own specific and general implications. So, it is important that you know which blade is more suitable for which saw, and for which type of cut too.
TPI (Teeth per Inch)
The saw uses depend on various type of knowledge. We discussed the importance of knowing your saw blades. Now, let’s know one interesting feature about saw blade.
TPI is exactly what the elaborate term says. It is teeth per inch of your saw blade. How is it important? Well, it determines largely how a saw is going to cut. The pace, the finesse that a saw might have, depends a lot on the number of TPI it has.
How does TPI work? It is pretty simple really. The more the TPI a blade consists of, the better cut you will get. By better cut, I mean smoother and finer cuts with much less roughness. But, if you are looking to cut through material quickly without much accuracy then it is not good that you cut with the more TPI blade. You will get through the material at a quicker pace if you use a blade that has less number of TPI. But then, you will lose smoothness from your cut.
Knowing TPI rule is pretty essential if you wanna figure out the right kind of saw blade for the right cuts.
This writing is supposed to give you an introduction to many different saw uses. Although we have discussed different saw uses here, remember that there are even more saws that could be beneficial for you. So, decide your type of saw and start using them in proper fields.