What are the Different Types of Saws?

Types of Saws – The average person wouldn’t care about why there are different types of saws, but if you are interested in this kind of subject, not to mention that you are in the woodworking industry, chances are you really know about the saws that you are using.

Types of Saws

There is a reason why there are different types of saws available in the industry and below are information on what each of these saw types is used for.

1. Hand Saw

As the name suggests, it is a type of saw that you use by hand – doing it manually. It is considered the most reliable and iconic of all the wood saws in the market and when it was first introduced into the woodworking business, it has certainly changed how the world constructs things.

They are also helpful in reminding you that you are really out of shape when you are just cutting a simple 2 x 4. The hand saws have definitely evolved in order to fill in various cutting styles and niches. A number of the saws you see today are for general purpose use like the traditional hand saw as described in the intro. The others are specifically designed for the particular application like the keyhole saw.

A tool collection is not complete unless you have at least 1 of each of the hand saws mentioned. The practical craftsmen will only go for the tools that will fit their needs or patterns in making projects, such as trimming or framing.

Back Saw

The back saw is a short saw that has a narrow blade wherein it is reinforced on the upper edge, which is why it got its name.

They are commonly utilized with the miter boxes and many other applications wherein it needs consistent straight and fine cut.

Back saws may even also be referred to as tenon saws or miter saws, depending on its design, region and intended purpose.

Bow Saw

This is another crosscut saw type, wherein it is widely used outdoors at home than the inside. It utilizes a long blade that has a number of crosscut teeth which is designed for removing material while the user pulls and pushes the tool.

The bow saws are commonly used for cutting logs, pruning and trimming trees, although they can be used for rough cuts, too.

Coping Saw

This saw type has a thin and narrow blade. The coping saw is used ideally for trimming, scrolling, and any cutting techniques wherein it requires intricate cuts and precision, and even to cut a wide array of materials and they can be found inside toolkits of plumbers and carpenters, even among furniture and toy makers.

Crosscut Saw

This is designed in rough cutting wood, which comes with a thick blade and large beveled teeth.

The traditional two-man crosscut saws, popularly known as felling saws, come with a handle on both ends, which are meant to be utilized by 2 people to cut in a perpendicular manner through the timber’s grain.

The more common crosscut saw, which is designed for one man to use, is a great tool to trimming branches or limbs, rough cutting lumber and even makes a fascinating saw to bring along at a campsite or job site.

Fret Saw

This is the saw that closely resembles the coping saw; it uses a thin and long blade widely used for intricate cuts. This comes with a larger and longer frame, allowing to cut farther from its outer edges.

However, the blade can’t be rotated, thus resulting in a more difficult and tedious task in cutting positions especially when performing very intricate scrollwork.


The hacksaw is perfect to use for tubing and cutting pipes. They are also one of the most common types of saws.

Versatile and lightweight, they can cut through plastic, metal, wood and many other materials that make use material-specific blades that has a tooth count between 18 and 32 per inch.

Japanese Saw

This saw type is created with a single handle and has a protruding thin yet very strong cutting blade.

This saw type is more precise compared to the back saw and comes with a great advantage because it is capable of reaching places that not any other saw types can reach.

This saw is available in 3 different types, which are the kataba, ryoba and dozuki. They can be utilized in cutting soft and hard woods with equal precision.

Keyhole Saw

This saw type is best described with a single blade and round handle, with the former protruding from the handle itself. The keyhole saw is widely used in rough patterns or cut circles.

This saw type can be very indispensable for the drywall, especially if a small section is required to be replaced or removed or when the wall’s interior prevents the use of any powered tools.

Pruning Saw

This saw type usually comes with a 13 inch to 15 inches curved blade, wherein it protrudes from the handle that looks like that of a pistol.

The blade comes with a wide and coarse teeth wherein it is capable of cutting in both directions so that it can remove material faster.

Pruning saws are commonly found in a household toolkit, but they are also used by landscapers, lawn services, and tree surgeons.

Rip Cut Saw

types of saws - Rip cut Saw

This saw type is also known as the “hand saw”, wherein it rips cut saw style is a must for framing. It comes in a couple of teeth per inch, yet each tooth is sharpened at a point as it is designed to remove wood.

Any person that works with wood will have one or two of this saw type and most of the time-varying in lengths.

Veneer Saw

This is another specialized saw wherein it is created with a double-edged, short blade with thirteen teeth per inch.

This is specifically used for precision veneer jobs and its short blade prevents the work from getting adapted in most of the cutting tasks.

Wallboard Saw

This looks so much like the keyhole saw, but this one generally comes in a wider and shorter blade and has lesser teeth per inch. It sometimes comes with a double-edged variety.

This is designed in puncturing through drywall or paneling and is mostly used in creating starter holes for the power tools.

2. Power Saw

Instead of duplicating different handheld saw types, the powered saws is the evolution of the ones mentioned above in order to fill up niches of its own. The powered saws are categorized into 3 groups – the Circular Blade, Reciprocating Blade and the Continuous Band.

Stationary Band Saw

This is a floor-standing powered saw wherein it utilizes huge pulleys below and above its cutting table in order to move the continuous band with its fine teeth to cut most materials.

This tool is perfect for the most intricate cutting curves into the wood, including cutting through tubes, PVCs and piping, however, they are limited to a certain depth only be a couple of inches.

Portable Band Saw

This is the portable version of the stationary band saw, wherein it is able to accomplish most of the jobs that it can do as well.

This becomes more limited as what you can actually cut with it, usually offered up to 3 to 4 inches diameter pipes. It takes more effort in making straight cuts, but this is still an invaluable tool for metalworkers, welders, and plumbers.

Chain Saw

types of saws - chainsaw

Everybody knows this because it is always mentioned whenever it comes to cutting dead trees. Chainsaw makes use of a chain link that has numerous ripping teeth.

While they are designed uniquely, they still fall under the band saws category. They can become an essential tool for homeowners, although it totally depends on the region.

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Chop Saw

This is one of the biggest portable versions under the circular saw category. The chop saw is made of both masonry and metal cutting versions.

The concrete cutting type usually comes with a connection tot he water line in order to reduce the dust while it is cutting.

Both chop saw types make use of the toothless blades that are created with special abrasives, which is designed that way for particular materials to be cut.

Circular Saw

This saw type is oftentimes referred to as the buzz saw or Skilsaw; this makes use of a toothed blade, usually between 7 1/4 and 9in diameter.

This is the most common among the powered saw types, and it accepts blades that are able to cut through different types of metal, wood, masonry, plastic and many more.


This powered saw is handheld, comes with a fine-toothed and short blade that moves down and up according to its variable speeds. This is one of the few saw types designed specifically for cutting curves and all other non-straight lines. This comes available with a long cord and the cordless version.

There are more powered saw types to be mentioned, but the ones above are the most common.

See Also : Electric vs Gas Chainsaw