Woodworking has become a very prevalent profession and past-time activity over the past few years, and there’s a lot to know about them now. Thus, we’ve taken our time to research the different types of saws out on the market, and we’re here to give you all the information. It will help to know what the perfect saw is for a specific job, and you’ll be able to get the best output with the least amount of effort.
So, let’s take a deep dive into the world of saws, and you’ll be able to know which types of saws are the best for you and the job you have!
27 Different Types of Power Saws
While hand saws were the starting types of saws for woodworking, power saws have become a more important tool to have in a woodworker’s arsenal these days. Not only do they come with perks that allow the user to be benefited, but they are much easier to maneuver and require a lot less effort to actually use.
Miter saws have become one of the most important tools for a woodworker. If you’re looking to achieve clean angled cuts, these are the go to types of saws. They come with an entire kit to help ensure you get the best cuts, and the higher the quality of your miter saw, the more versatility you’ll receive in terms of angling your blade. Miter saws come in three different types:
- Standard Miter Saw
A standard miter saw is the most basic version of the tool, and they help you achieve the miter cut. This allows you to tilt the saw, and get the desired angle you need to get the right cut.
- Compound Miter Saw
A compound miter saw comes with the abilities of a standard miter saw, but also includes a bevel gauge, and this allows you to make bevel cuts. The bevel gauge lets you tilt the blade at specific angles, and the higher tier saws will even have built-in stops for the most common angles, making your job easier.
Compound miter saws even include two types. One is a single bevel and the other is a dual bevel miter saw. The single bevel allows you to tilt your blade on either the left or right side with freedom, whereas the dual bevel allows you to tilt your blade on either side of the saw.
- Sliding Miter Saw
The sliding miter saw is the most advanced when it comes to this type tool. It allows you to have the freedom and versatility as both of the already mentioned miter saws, but you’ll also have the ability to slide your blade forward. This not only allows you bigger cuts, but a better finish since you won’t have to reposition your piece of wood at all.
Chainsaws don’t really need an introduction as everyone is aware of what they look and sound like. From the time of their inception, they’ve been used by both home owners and professionals for cutting down trees. Over the years, they have been improved further and further, and they come in three different types:
- Gas Powered Chainsaw
These were the original products, and till this day, they are the most powerful types of chainsaw in general. The gas powered chainsaws require you to have a gas mixture used as fuel, which can be a bit tedious. However, you’ll be able to cut down larger trees with a lot more ease.
- Electric Corded Chainsaw
These chainsaws are much more advanced and as the name says it, are electric. You won’t require any additional fuel for them, which comes as a huge plus when using such powerful tools. However, with these tools, you’ll be confined to a power socket, and this might limit the distance of your work.
- Electric Cordless Chainsaw
With many DIY enthusiasts indulging themselves in the usage of chainsaws, the market now also has chainsaws that are wireless. These run on batteries, and are extremely convenient. You can easily carry them around, the higher quality models come with the ability to run for a long period of time. They unfortunately lack the power that gas powered chainsaws can provide with ease.
A circular saw is one of the most convenient tools to carry around when getting into any woodworking. These tools are the most useful for making cross cuts or rip cuts into your desired wood piece. The best thing about this type of saw is the fact that you can change the blade to ensure you get the best cuts for various types of materials. A very important factor for their blades are the teeth per inch, and number of teeth on the blades.
Table saws are present in almost every workstation as they are the one of the best tools for making repeated cuts. They are usually very powerful and include a circular saw in the middle, and they also have fences on the sides to help make these cuts easier and efficient. There are five different types of table saws out there:
1. Cabinet Table Saw
This is the most powerful type of table saw out there, and they are also some of the most heavy duty in terms of their build. They do very well for large tasks, and even end up being the most expensive among the different types.
2. Contractor Table Saw
A contractor table saw is basically a more portable and affordable version of the cabinet table saw. They are still very powerful and can take up large jobs, but they are built with the idea of a contractor being able to easily move it around for their tasks. They have built-in wheels at the bottom to make this easier.
3. Hybrid Table Saw
The hybrid table saw is a blend of both the contractor and cabinet table saw. It has the price range of a contractor table saw but, but has the feel and build of a cabinet table saw.
4. Portable Table Saw
These table saws are built to be portable and easily carried from one jobsite to another. They lack the accuracy and precision guaranteed by the heavier models, but they are much cheaper and are still quite powerful for their lightweight and compact size.
5. Jobsite Table Saw
These table saws are quite powerful and are much more reasonable in terms of price. They are also quite portable and can end up being the easiest table saw to use among all of them.
If you’re looking to do small tasks in and around the house, a jigsaw is a great tool. It can be easily maneuvered to help you cut very specific designs and will ensure you get a clean finish on your work. They are quite lightweight as well, and are very good when working with thin boards. They are also known as “saber saws”.
A reciprocating saw is mostly used in construction. It is basically a type of saw that has the function of a jigsaw, but comes placed on a handle, and this allows it to work on vertical planes as well. A reciprocating saw is capable of handling heavy duty tasks, and works with a forward and backward action.
Band saws are quite different compared to the other saws you would have seen till now. They are very quiet in how they operate, and this acts as a big plus to those who work in quiet areas. The band saw blades are also different, as they are a long loop of metal that are driven over multiple wheels. While they may not be the best for crosscuts or rip cuts, the lack of fear for any kickback has made these saws very popular.
The name of the scroll saw comes in its use of making scrollwork and other intricate designs. The scroll saw has variable speeds and can make very precise and intricate cuts in any material, making this perfect for graceful work. One interesting fact about this type of saw is that it uses the reciprocating blade, and this further helps its aim of achieving delicate finishes with each cut.
Gas/Electric Pole Saw
While chainsaws are great for cutting down trees, it can be hard to reach some trees while carrying one. That’s when a gas or electric pole saw can be very useful, as they can help you reach, maneuver and cut in places that can be hard to get to. Depending on the quality and models of these saws, you can find extensions ranging from 8 to 15 feet in length.
Rotary saws primarily became useful among medical and fire rescue contexts due to the spiral cuts they provide. However, they are also very useful for DIY enthusiasts because of how easily they can cut through drywall. They also don’t require a hole being present beforehand to make a cut, making them even more handy.
Flooring saws have a very specific use which shines through from the name. They’re used to specifically do flooring jobs, and can be very handy in worksites. They have a mix of the capabilities of both table saws and miter saws. Flooring saws come equipped with hard rubber bottoms to help protect your floor, and they also provide you with good stability when working with them. While they are great for flooring jobs, they aren’t the most accurate, especially when compared to dedicated saws for specific jobs.
Chop saws move only up and down in direction which differentiates them from saws like the miter saw, which provide you with an angled cut. Since they are not as versatile and powerful as miter saws, you’ll mostly find these present in dedicated shops, rather than with hobbyists.
Track saws are a very modernised version of the circular saw which is handheld. They run on a rail which helps guide the blade for a very specific cut which has the depth determined from beforehand. They also allow for very deep cuts, which make them popular among many woodworkers out there. The rail is also quite long, helping to cut large pieces of wood with ease.
Straight Flush Saw
The straight flush saw is another specialized version of the manual circular saw, and this comes with a mounting point that allows you to make cuts with a zero clearance style. They use their blade to make adjacent cuts on various objects, and with help from the mounting point, you’ll have less to clean up, as you’ll come out of it with clean cuts.
Toe Kick Saw
Toe kick saws are a very specific genre of saws, and they have a very specific task. They help make flush cuts to achieve the perfect finish, and are mostly used for making flush cuts under cabinets. These allow you to remove the bottom of the cabinets without having to take apart the whole system itself. With such a specific job for this saw with its specialized blade, it might be in your best interest to just acquire one temporarily if required.
Masonry saws come with a few other different names; slab saw, concrete saw and road saw. They are built to go through heavy duty tasks, and come fitted with a diamond blade for that purpose. Due to these heavy duty tasks, people often apply water to the blade to reduce the dust flying about and also to cool the blade down.
Tile saws are built specifically for one purpose, and outside of that they are pretty useless. However, there are also wet tile saws which have a built-in water system to help keep the saw cool and running smoothly. They are used by professionals whenever setting down tiles, and they provide very clean and accurate cuts with their circular blade.
Radial Arm Saw
Radial arm saws used to be the go-to tool for providing clean and accurate cuts when they were first invented. However, miter saws soon replaced them since the radial arm saws were quite dangerous to operate. They come with a long horizontal arm which was mounted on a circular saw, and were quite good at providing the desired cuts. While they are old, they are still being produced till date, but no one really favors them much anymore.
Cold saws are mainly used to cut metal. Their blades are made specifically to resist heating due to the heavy friction they go through, and the saw also has a slower RPM (rotation per minute) in general. What’s handy is that they both come in stationary and handheld models.
Abrasive saws are quite versatile saws that are primarily used for heavy duty tasks, as they cut through very hard materials with their circular blade. They are built with multiple versions, including handheld, which makes them even more versatile, especially for cutting through materials like cement.
Oscillating saws are quite versatile in what they do. They are very versatile and can cut through objects in very compact areas. These saws can also be fitted with multiple types of blades, and this allows them to cut through a variety of materials that range from wood to cement. They are also very lightweight, which makes them even more useful. Unfortunately they are not well equipped to deal with heavy duty tasks.
Panel saws are one of the biggest saws out there in terms of size. They also have a very niche requirement, which is to cut panels into your desired sizes. With them having such a specific task and being so large, they are most commonly found in woodworking shops.
Chain Beam Saw
Chain beam saw is another type of saw that has a very specific task. They are a blend of a downward facing chainsaw mixed with a circular saw. While they come in at a more expensive price compared to others, they offer lumber workers a lot of ease when it comes to cutting up large wooden beams.
Diamond Blade Wall Cutter
Diamond blade wall cutter saws are mostly used for cutting through walls and helping the user place electrical cables. Since they are tasked with going through walls, they often use the blades used in abrasive saws to help grind through hard materials such as cement.
The jamb saw is another tool that is extremely specific in its task, same as the toe kick saw. It is used to cut underneath your door and remove any additional molding to ensure your flooring is placed in flush with the door. This is also best acquired when you need it for the specific job.
The biscuit joiner is in charge of cutting perpendicular cuts in between two pieces of wood on their opposite edges. After this, a wooden piece is added, known as a ‘biscuit’ and the saw comes with a built-in glue gun, which glues the pieces together, creating the joint. This joint is very strong and makes this saw quite valuable for these jobs.
Electric Hand Saw
An electric hand saw is basically the motorized version of the traditional hand saw. However, this saw does not come with any additional benefits that make it a significant upgrade. Rather, it becomes quite hard to use this tool, and it really isn’t favorable among woodworkers.
20 Different Types of Handsaws
While the motorized tools may be new and fresh in the market, the traditional tools are still just as valuable for woodworking. On that note, let’s take a look at all the different types out there on the market now!
Hand saws are one of the most traditional saws out there. They have a long flexible blade, and are made to cut for a prolonged period of time. They also come with different assortments of teeth, based on the type of cuts you want. For cross cuts, you have cross cut teeth, which cut across the grain of the wood piece, and hand saws are also useful cutting joints with them. You can also make rip cuts with a specific set of teeth, which cut with the grain. You’ll also be able to find hand saws with a dual arrangement, that are suited for making both of these cuts.
Cross Cut Saw
Cross cut saws are the best choice for cutting planks to size or making joints. They require two people to operate and are built to have a leading edge that is built to make precise cuts. The teeth are also placed in to allow the sawdust to fall down as the blade passes through.
Pruning saws are the non-motorized version of the gas/electric pole saw, and are designed to cut down tree limbs and vines. They are quite easy to maneuver and come with a higher number of teeth per inch than any saw within a similar size. This assortment of teeth and the curved design of both the handle and the blade make the pruning saw a very handy tool when used for cutting any shrubbery or trees.
Hacksaws have a bent handle, with two ends holding the blade in between. The blade is extremely hard and they are primarily designed to cut metal.
Bow saws have a similar design to the hack saw, but without the handle. These hand saws are meant to cut through thick pieces of wood, and have an assortment of blades in between each end, making sure they deliver a clean and smooth cut.
Folding saws are useful around the house for pruning, but they are also very effective when out in the wilderness or for camping. The assortment of the teeth in the blades allows for this saw type to make quick work of small branches. There are mainly two different styles for a folding saw:
- Pruning Style
The blade can be folded into the handle, making it very convenient to carry around.
- Folding Bow Style
The folding bow style saws can be locked into position to form the style shown in the picture above. They are very lightweight and can be easily taken about.
This style is especially convenient for camping, however, you can find specific versions that are made for campers. They are optimized for occasions that arise during camping, and are foldable to increase portability.
The japanese saw is created much more differently than traditional blades. They cut the wood on the pull stroke rather than the push. This allows for the blades to be exceptionally thin, and they also help in minimizing the tear in the wood when being used. The japanese saw is one of many among their arsenal of saws.
The name fret saw can also be interchanged with ‘scroll saw’, as the one we’ve seen before already. Fret saws are made for extremely intricate cutting work, and have an average of 32 teeth per inch. While this makes them more accurate, it also makes them fragile.
Veneer saws are made for quick work, and they can produce extremely clean and square cuts when used properly. Even though they don’t have the highest length in terms of cutting capabilities, they can provide extremely accurate cuts within their working limit. When used with a straight edge, they can even provide perfect cuts for butt-joining matched veneers.
Back saws are another type which are built extremely well for precision work. They have a fine set of teeth and come with relatively thin blades that help with this precision. They also come with a length of steel or brass attached on the top of the blade. This helps to hold the blade down from bending when in use, and also requires the user to apply less pressure during work. Back saws come with multiple styles and can be altered in various ways.
A coping saw is similar to a couple of other types of saws we’ve already seen on the list. One such similarity for the coping saw is its design, in that the blade is held in between a metal frame. These usually measure on average to about 6 inches long, and a coping saw will usually have about 15 to 17 teeth per inch. With how narrow the blades are, coping saws have to be replaced once the blades become dull.
A wallboard saw comes with a long thin blade that has teeth on both sides of the blade. This allows for the saw to cut through without any initial pilot hole, just like the rotary saw. With the intensity of the work for these saws, you can look to find tempered or hardened blades to increase the longevity of their use.
The keyhole saw is also known as the drywall saw, pad saw or jab saw and has the shape of a dagger. This creates cuts which are very similar to the jigsaw, and is mostly used for cutting in small or irregular shapes. You can find them with either a retractable or fixed blade, whichever you like best.
The bone saw has a very fitting name as it is used for, and you guessed it, cutting through bones. This is mainly used by hunters who catch animals like deer or other big game. This saw is also known as the ‘butcher’s saw’ and the handheld version looks very similar to the hack saw. The best thing to do with these is to acquire one with a stainless steel blade to avoid corrosion from the constant contact with animal blood.
A wire saw is very similar to an abrasive saw or a reciprocating saw, based on how they actually do the cutting. They are quite lightweight, but using them can be quite a task, as they take a while to make even small cuts. It’s very important to ensure you get one with high quality handles, otherwise your hands will not feel great afterwards.
Rip Cut Saw
You’ve guessed it, a rip cut saw is specialized for making rip cuts. They cut along the grain of the wood piece you’re cutting and are easily capable of making cuts with each push and pull. You’ll also notice that the blade comes with a flat tooth edge. A rip cut saw that comes with a tapered end is much better for use, as you’ll be reducing the friction that occurs during your work.
Despite its name, the carcass saw is actually in reference to cabinets, unlike how the bone saw was named. These saws come with cross cut teeth, and help you cut across the grain of the wood piece. However, they are not built to handle large or heavy duty tasks, but are specifically built for smaller ones.
Razor saws are another type of saws that use cross cut teeth and specialize in cutting across the grain of wood pieces. However, razor saws are built for cutting through soft wood, and are actually used by hobbyists and train enthusiasts. With how easily they can be maneuvered, they allow for small and intricate work.
Manual Pole Saw
As you can guess, this is the manual version of the gas or electric pole saw. While this focuses on achieving the same work as the motorized version, the manual version is much harder to use and can be a workout in itself! However, they are still very usable in allowing you to reach tight and compact areas.
Designed slightly similarly to the wire saw, pocket chainsaws are a slightly altered version of regular chainsaws, but with two handles. This is an extremely lightweight and portable saw compared to the normal chainsaw. They are also different from wire saws in that they use teeth instead of friction to cut.
With the number of manual and power saws on the market today, it can be hard to learn and find out the perfect types of saws for you. However, we hope we’ve done the job for you today, and helped you come a bit closer to making the right choice for you! Always keep the important factors in your mind when you’re making the choice to buy a saw. Do you need good angled cuts, or a higher tooth per inch? The choice is yours, and the options are plentiful!
Hey there, my name’s Braden Smith and all my lifeI’ve been passionate about woodworking. As such, I spent more time learning about and experimenting with power tools. Over time, I learned to help spread my knowledge by articulating my words thanks to my academic knowledge in the English Language as well.