Hand Saw Basics
Some might not give the humble handsaw much preference nowadays. But even with the advancements, the handsaw still remains a loyal and useful tool in a DIY’s arsenal.
There are many different types of handsaws available. Each has its own specifications. Some might rip well while another might get the crosscutting done pretty well. Here we are going to discuss some types of handsaws and their uses.
But before we get to the types, there are some basics that you need to know. So let us get these basic concepts clear first.
Application of Handsaw
Usually there are two kinds of handsaws you will find. One is for general purpose and the other for wood cutting. Your handsaw will provide good facility for doing work around the house.
Now handsaws are not that of a powerful saw. That is something you need to keep in mind. You can use it to cut wood but beware that the saw is able to go all the way with the cut.
If you start to cut hard materials then you will damage your saw.
Generally speaking, handsaws come with two kinds of teeth. It will have either crosscut teeth or it will have a rip teeth. The crosscut teeth are used to cut material across the grain. And the rip teeth are used to cut along the grain.
But with the advancing age we live in, there is another type. And that type actually has both rip and crosscut teeth available. You might hear them being called as ‘universal teeth’ saw.
Most handsaws cut on the push stroke. So when cutting any material, you need to apply more pressure on the push stroke. And when pulling back, you need to release pressure because the saw will not cut the material on the pull stroke. And pressuring too much will damage the blade.
But again with the rapid advancement in technology, you might find models that cut the material on both the push and the pull stroke.
TPI stands for teeth per inch. It is only a basic concept that any DIY worker should know. This concept is pretty straight forward to be honest. TPI determines the quickness and the roughness of a cut.
The fewer the teeth a blade has, the faster the cut is going to be. And less teeth also means rougher cut. The more the teeth a blade has, the smoother the cut is going to be with that blade. But more teeth will slower the pace of the cut.
This is a handy concept to remember. Because you will sometimes need to cut fast, and sometimes slow. At times you will need smooth cuts and another time you might need rough cuts. The TPI concept will help you to decide which work requires which blade.
Types of Handsaws & their use
The cross-cut saw is the saw that cuts wood across the grain. You will find this saw with a thick blade. It is a good saw for rough cuts. Also, there is a kind of cross-cut saw which is meant for dual users. These will have a handle on both ends so that both users can get a grip. These are also known as felling saws.
This is a handsaw that has proved its worth. It is almost a “must have” tool if you are into framing work. This saw typically cuts along the grain or parallel to the direction of the grain. The TPI of a rip-cut saw is relatively on the lesser side. When cutting with a rip-cut saw, each tooth acts as a chisel.
A keyhole saw is as simple as they come. It has single pistol grip handle with the blade coming out. The blade protrudes from the top of the handle. It is very useful for making holes softer woods. Also sometimes you may need to take out a small portion of drywall. For this task, there is none better than the keyhole hand saw.
The hacksaw is one of the most versatile handsaws out there. It is also one of the most common handsaws that many use. The blade of the hacksaw connects with the body and creates little loop. The handle is comfortable. It is also closed. This keeps the hand away from the blade’s reach. It is able to cut through metal, wood, plastic and even it is a perfect tool for cutting pipe. For cutting different material, the material-specific blade should be used.
It has got a very thin blade with a U-shaped frame. This is an excellent handsaw for making curved cuts. It is also pretty precise with its cuts. It can cut variety of materials like wood, plastic, metal. But again the material-specific blade should be selected.
The backsaw is one of those handsaws that allow you to cut with the push and pull strokes. It has got a long blade to go with its long bow-like handle. For rough cuts, it is a nice tool to have. Rather than staying inside, it is better to work outside with this tool. For works like trimming trees, cutting logs, etc. the backsaw is very useful.
A backsaw is a small handsaw with a narrow blade. This is a handy saw to have in your arsenal for cutting grooves in wood. In works or projects where you need to have fine and straight cuts, the backsaw is an excellent companion to have in those cases.
There are many other handsaws out there which can fulfill your needs. Many other handsaws like Japanese saw, wallboard saw, flush-cutting saw etc. Each has their own specifications.
The handsaws are most definitely not out dated at all. These are still as handy an advanced power tool. They have their own boundary of applications. Hand saws are used for different purposes and now you know. Your tool collection will always remain incomplete without the handsaw.