Types of Saws And Their Uses

The WoodWork Zone reviews all products independently. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Saws come in all shapes and sizes. Some saws are designed for specific purposes, while others can be used for various jobs. The size and type of the saw will determine what cuts you can make with it and how much effort is required to use it. There are many types of saws, including crosscut, rip cut, dovetail, chisel tooth, and dado blade saws. 

This blog post will cover some general information on the different types of saws, so you know which one to choose when working on your next DIY project!

Types Of Hand Saws

1. Hand saw

WilFiks 16” Pro Hand Saw, Perfect for Sawing, Trimming, Gardening, Pruning & Cutting Wood, Drywall, Plastic Pipes & More, Razor Sharp Blade, Comfortable Ergonomic Non-Slip Handle

A hand saw, also known as a “panels saw,” is a tool used in carpentry to make cuts in wood into different shapes. Many types of hand saws exist with different types of blades. The shape, size, and blade type can change depending on the cuts they want to make. This is an ideal tool for woodworking and chopping large pieces of timber.

Best For:

A hand saw is best for cutting wood by hand, and it is a manual power tool for cutting wood, metals, and other materials. When it comes to general sawing around the house, handsaws are ideal. Because of their large blades, these tools are unsuitable for sawing curves or intricate shapes. You should consider purchasing a specialty saw if you wish to make this type of cut.

Highlighted Feature:

A hand saw is cheap, easy to use, and can replace blades.

Our Recommendation: WilFiks 16” Pro Hand Saw

2. Hacksaw

LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw, 12-inch (12132HT50), Blue

A hacksaw is a type of saw that cuts on the upstroke and downstroke. The teeth are angled in such a way as to allow for this motion and give an efficient cut. Unlike other types of saws, the blades in hacksaws can be removed or attached with ease.

Best For:

These saws are best used for cutting metal or plastic tubing, pipes, bolts, screws, wire mesh, or sheet metals. Hacksaws also make great tools when working with electronics as they do not cause sparking like other types of saws might. Hacksaws can come equipped with their own tool to easily remove blades or replaceable blades that adjust in size for whatever material you are using. They also work well without any attachments for more precise cutting.

Highlighted Feature:

Hacksaws can cut through materials faster and more precisely than other types of saws. They also come as a complete tool with their own blade storage space, or they can come with replaceable blades that are easy to change out, making them very versatile in their uses. Hacksaws are generally inexpensive and are made from durable materials such as steel which is why they tend to last for long periods if properly taken care of.

Our Recommendation: LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw

3. Back Saw

GreatNeck BSB14 12 Inch Mitre Box with 14 Inch Back Saw, Reinforced Steel Back Saw for Accurate Cutting, Preset 45 Degree and 90 Degree Cuts, Saw with Box

A backsaw is a type of saw that has a stiffening rib on the edge opposite the cutting edge. This allows it to cut with both push and pull strokes without bending or buckling.

Best For:

Back saws are best used for general woodworking, especially when cutting joints in stock timber. They also work well for dovetailing and can be used as a substitute for dovetail saws if you don’t have one handy. A backsaw consists of either single blade types (with teeth on only one side) that allow easier cuts along the grain or double-sided types, which give cleaner crosscut but require more skill to use safely.

Highlighted Feature:

A backsaw has a stiffening rib which prevents buckling and binding while in use. Its blade is shorter and narrower than the handsaws. The smaller blade combined with the brass or steel reinforcement provides enhanced control.

Our Recommendation: GreatNeck BSB14 12 Inch Mitre Box with 14 Inch Back Saw

4. Coping Saw

OLSON SAW SF63510 Coping Saw Frame Deluxe Coping Frame/End Screw, Original

A coping saw is a type of hand saw generally used to cut thin pieces of wood, plastic, or metal. Coping saw blades are very thin – only about 0.13 millimeters thick – and usually have fine teeth on both sides for cutting with the grain in either direction. The coping saw was invented by T H Walker in 1822. It consists of a metal frame that holds a blade under tension between two wooden handles.

Best For:

They can be especially useful when working with curved lines, but they do always produce smooth results and require more attention to detail than other types of saws.

Highlighted Feature:

The coping saw consists of thin blades, so it can cut through wood with very tight curves or awkward shapes much more easily and precisely than other types of saws. This makes the coping saw a great tool for cutting intricate designs, particularly when working on projects that have many small details in them. Also, since the blade is usually made out of metal, you should be prepared for extra sharp edges once you are finished making cuts.

Our Recommendation: OLSON SAW SF63510 Coping Saw

5. Bow Saw

GreatNeck 15550 12 Inch Combination Bow and Hack Saw, Hacksaw for Metal, Bow Saws for Trees, Hacksaw and Blades, Small Hacksaw for Wood, Best Hacksaw

A bow saw is a type of frame saw that consists of a metal frame and one or more blades. The blade(s) are curved so that they can be pulled through the wood rather than pushed. This allows for better control over the cutting line and less effort on the user’s part.

Best For:

They are excellent when working with large, bulky types of wood, but they will bind if you try cutting smaller types of wood, such as dowels and pieces of lath with it.

Highlighted Feature:

Bow saws have an increased level of control due to their curved blades, which allow them to cut around curves much more easily than other types of saws. They also require very little effort on the user’s part due to their pull-style movement. Bow saws are excellent choices when you need to make curved cuts and large types of cuts with a lot of bulk behind them.

Our Recommendation: GreatNeck 15550 12 Inch Combination Bow and Hack Saw

6. Crosscut Saw

GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 12 TPI Crosscut Saw, Hardwood Handle, Wood and Tree Saw Hand Saw

A crosscut saw is a type of saw that has small teeth and is designed to cut across a grain of wood. It can be either a hand tool or a power tool. They have blades between two feet (610 millimeters) long, but there are also longer types available for specialized applications. A crosscut saw might also be called a “gentleman’s saw” because it was easier to handle than earlier types of saws used for similar purposes.

Best For:

Crosscut saws are best suited for general-purpose cutting such as cutting down types of lumber, plywood, roof singling, or even types of molding when on larger projects. They work well for types of wood that have a coarse grain or types of wood with many knots.

Highlighted Feature:

Because they are easy to handle, crosscut saws are great for beginners and/or people who may be less experienced in woodworking. Despite its ease of use, this type of saw is also hard-wearing and can cut through tough types of materials without getting damaged. Additionally, crosscut saws are excellent choices for cutting any type of lumber because the fine teeth on the blade make smooth cuts that leave less roughness on the surface than other types of blades might leave behind. You will find that crosscuts do not even require sharpening very often, if at all, before requiring a replacement.

Our Recommendation: GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Crosscut Saw

7. Japanese Saw

SUIZAN Japanese Hand Saw 9.5 Inch Dozuki Dovetail Pull Saw for Woodworking

Japanese saw uses a pull stroke when cutting, unlike most other saws used in woodworking and Japanese carpentry. According to the claim, cutting on the pull stroke is more efficient and results in a narrower cut.

Best For:

As one of the most versatile tools used by Japanese carpenters, the Japanese saw combines two specialized functions into one. Japanese saw blades are equipped with two sets of teeth and are designed for crosscutting wood and ripping through the timber. When used on larger joinery, such as ripping boards to the desired width and cutting them to length, a Ryoba saw is useful for ripping them to length and cutting them to size.

Highlighted Features:

Amateurs will have a much easier time cutting wood the Japanese way. The blade may be steered more with your fingertips than with the heel of your hand because you use your fingertips. You could also attribute it to the teeth in your mouth, which are so sharp they make cutting so easy. The silky-smooth surfaces those teeth leave behind can be appreciated even by the most ardent push-cutter.

Our Recommendation: SUIZAN Japanese Hand Saw 9.5 Inch

Also Read: Best Japanese Pull Saw

8. Veneer Saw

Two Cherries 520-2200 Veneer Cutter

A veneer saw is a type of saw with a thin, flexible blade designed to cut types of wood that are only a few types of millimeters thick. These types of blades are also used for types of work where lots types of very delicate materials need to be cut – for example, when creating marquetry designs or working with types of metals.

Best For:

Veneer saws can have either rigid or flexible blades, and the most common rigid types feature double-edged teeth. Flexible options usually have one bent handle, making it easier to hold down longer pieces while cutting them. The thinness and flexibility allow these blades to cut through thicker types of wood and other sturdy but very fragile materials. This is because the blade will not jam when you are cutting through the edges that may be warped or with unusual shapes that need to be cut cleanly and smoothly.

Highlighted Feature:

These saws have thin blades, which makes them ideal for projects where a lot of very delicate materials must be cut. Veneer saws are especially great for marquetry work. Veneer saws also feature teeth ranging from about one millimeter (0.04 inches) to six millimeters (about 0.2 inches). If you need to cut through denser types of woods, you will need a veneer saw with longer teeth.

Our Recommendation: Two Cherries 520-2200 Veneer Cutter

Different Types Of Electric Power Saws

1. Circular Saw

CRAFTSMAN 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp (CMES510)

Electric circular saws can be hand-held or can be attached to a stand. They have small, high-speed types of blades that make deep types of cuts through types of soft materials. The motor in the types of saws is usually electric because they don’t require very much power, and the blade does not need to rotate quickly either.

Best For:

Electric Circular Saw is usually hand-held, although models exist that you attach to a stand if necessary (although not as common). The blades on electric types of circular saws are small and rotate at high speeds, which makes it easier for you to make deep cuts in soft material quickly. Electric power is typically required because the motor does not require much power, and the blade does not have to rotate often.

Highlighted Feature:

Electric circular saws are usually hand-held and have small blades that rotate quickly at high speeds – this makes cutting through soft material very easy. The electric motors used in electric circular saws are usually very lightweight and don’t require a lot of power, making these power tools good for projects where you need to move them around a lot. Electric circular saws also make cutting along patterns easier since depth can be adjusted, unlike most other saws with fixed depths.

Our Recommendation: CRAFTSMAN 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Also Read: Best Circular Saw Blades for Plywood

2. Jigsaw

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Jig Saw, Tool Only (DCS334B)

Jigsaw is a handheld type of power saw that can make curved or straight-cut patterns. It is a versatile power saw and can be used in many types of projects, including creating woodcraft, cutting curves, boards, and even renovation projects.

Best For:

Jigsaws are handheld power tools that make them great choices for crafts where you’ll need to move the saw around a lot. They also are perfect for making intricate patterns when combined with special jigsaw blades that can cut through metal sheeting, plywood, laminates, and other dense materials. Additionally, they’re great for renovating jobs since the blade can be adjustable to different angles (up to about 45 degrees. The blades come in various types or sizes, including shapes that are thick or thin blades that allow you to make types of curved cuts.

Highlighted Feature:

The jigsaw is a powerful handheld and versatile tool in nature – curves can be cut with a jigsaw only because it is portable and multifunctional. These are a must-have for woodworkers who want faster results with a coping saw. In addition to cutting wood of various thicknesses and densities, jigsaws also cut steel, fiberglass, and drywall when fitted with the right blade. Jigsaw becomes more versatile in the workshop and is more valuable.

Our Recommendation: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Jig Saw

Also Read: Best Cordless Jigsaw

3. Plunge saw

Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2" Plunge Circular Saw Kit, with Stackable Tool case and 55" Guide Rail, Blue

Plunge saw is a powerful tool that can be used to cut intricate types of patterns similar to a jigsaw. The plunge saws are very similar to jigsaws in nature, but they have one main difference – when in use, the plunge saw slides along a rail. This rail usually has a guide track that keeps the blade at an angle to create cuts. Since it’s slid along, you’ll need to hold the plunge saw firmly while in use.

Best For:

Plunge saws are best to use for cutting hobs, sinks, and worktops that will require you to cut a straight line.  

Highlighted Feature:

Plunge saws are heavy-duty tools with a guide rail – this means that it slides along as it cut, so you’ll need to hold the plunge saw firmly while in use. A plunge saw is more sophisticated and accurate than a circular saw with a blade that spins and cuts. This blade is not retractable, as with a circular saw, and is exposed by plunging the handle to a predetermined depth instead of retracting the guard. A circular saw is frequently thought to be enough for making plunge cuts by tradespeople. Moreover, although many circular saws lack riving knives, they cannot make plunge cuts; therefore, a circular saw does not offer the clean, accurate cut that a plunge saw can.

Our Recommendation: Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2 Inch Plunge Circular Saw Kit

4. Alligator Saw

WORX WG307 JawSaw 5 Amp Electric Chainsaw, 9.5" L x 11" W x 61" H, Orange (Renewed)

Alligator Saw is a type of saw with a teeth formation that allows for types of hard materials to break apart. These types of saws can be used for cutting types of metals, types of alloys, types of steel rods, and even types of bricks. The types of hardness can be adjusted based on the intended purpose.

Best For:

It’s best to use an alligator saw when working on heavy-duty projects where you may need to cut types of hard materials. An alligator saw is your new best friend if you need to cut wood, plasterboard, plastic, or aerated concrete smoothly and precisely. Suitable for DIYers, carpenters, or tradespeople who like to get their hands dirty around the house. Although it can be used to cut trees or large trees.

Highlighted Feature:

Alligator saws do not generally cut down trees but can cut their limbs down. Landscapers and yard cleaners will find it indispensable in most yards. It is similar to a chainsaw but differs in cutting actions and power sources. Alligator saws are lightweight, making them easy to handle and hold.

Our Recommendation: Worx WG307 5 Amp JawSaw Electric Chainsaw

5. Reciprocating saw

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Compact Reciprocating Saw, 5.0-Amp Hour, Cordless (DCS367P1)

Reciprocating saws are types of hand-held power tools which can easily cut through metal, wood, and any hardened types of materials. The blades come in various shapes or sizes, thin or thick, that allows you to make curved cuts. Reciprocating Saw is powered by an electric type of motor. This blade moves quickly back and forth, allowing you to make different kinds of cuts.

Best For:

Reciprocating types of saws are best used for cutting different kinds of iron or metal rods and pipes. This saw is also good for renovation projects. This saw can also be used in metal sheeting, tree branch cutting, framework work, construction work, and piping.

Highlighted Feature:

Reciprocal saws can be used to cut in straight lines and curved lines. A reciprocating saw has the benefit of being compact. Comparatively to other saw types, it makes access to different materials easy. Therefore, this saw can cut metal and wooden surfaces. Reciprocal saws are also compatible with most blade types.

Our Recommendation: DEWALT 20V MAX XR Compact Reciprocating Saw

6. Chain Saw

Makita XCU04PT1 36V (18V X2) LXT Brushless 16" Chain Saw Kit with 4 Batteries (5.0Ah)

A chain saw is a power saw with teeth linked together to form a continuous chain. It can cut through thick wood materials easily because of its powerful engine. The engine is powered by gas or electricity, which causes the bar to move quickly. Gas chainsaws offer power and mobility. Chainsaws are powered by a gasoline crank with a pull-start, and their engines run on gasoline and oil. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-mixed fuel. For smaller projects – trimming, pruning, and cutting – electric chainsaws are right for you. A gas chainsaw is noisier, harder to start, and requires more maintenance than an electric saw. These range from corded to cordless.

Best For:

Chain saws are best for cutting huge branches types of trees, pruning trees, and clearing brush.   You can also clear debris or grass types in your garden areas.

Highlighted Features:

The advantages of chainsaws lie in their speed. Chainsaws certainly allow you to spend an entire day cutting through trees. A handsaw wouldn’t allow that, but a handsaw certainly would.

Our Recommendation: Makita XCU04PT1 (36V) LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless (5.0Ah) 18V X2 16″ Chain Saw Kit

Types Of Electric Bench Power Saws

1. Electric Circular Table Saw

A table saw is a versatile saw that makes accurate cuts. This type of saw comes with different types of blades, which can make straight cuts, cross-cuts, and rip cuts. The size of blades can be changed according to project needs. The blade of the table saw rotates on a spindle and can be raised or lowered. Workpieces are pushed past the blade to make cuts. Compared to handheld circular saws, a table saw can make long, straight, rip cuts (along the wood grain) and crosscuts (across the wood grain) much more quickly and accurately.

Best for:

A table saw is good for cutting large wood projects such as decks, shelves, and cabinets. Using a table saw will greatly reduce your project time and improve accuracy.

Highlighted Feature:

Cutting is more accurate with table saws than circular saws, and they can cut large pieces of material better than miter saws, whether wood, plastic, or aluminum sheeting. They are also capable of much higher rip cuts.

Our Recommendation: Makita 2705X1 10-Inch Contractor Table Saw

Also Read: Best Cabinet Table Saw

2. Band saw

WEN 3959 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw

A band saw is used to cut wood or any type of metal. This machine is powered by an electric motor; the blade is attached to the lower types of end types of the unit. The blade runs on wheels, and it moves types of a circular motion to make types of cuttings. The wheels on bandsaws may rotate non-stop on the same plane. By feeding it what you want to cut. In addition to cutting wood and plastic with a bandsaw, it can also be used to cut metal.

Best for:

Due to the bandsaw’s versatility, it can be used for various types of purposes. These types include:

  • Cutting types materials like metal, wood, or plastic
  • Making curves and shapes out types of certain types of material like metal, wood, or plastic
  • For making bevel cuts on certain types of material like metal, wood, or types plastic

Highlighted Feature:

Band saws are a great way to cut irregular shapes, which are often difficult to achieve with other saws. Because it’s upright, you can reorient your wood easily to make the desired cuts from any direction. Moreover, this versatility means they can repurpose wood well.

Our Recommendation: WEN 3959 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw

3. Miter saw

DEWALT Miter Saw, Double-Bevel, Compound, 12-Inch, 15-Amp (DWS716)

A miter saw is a saw used for cutting crosscuts or miters in a workpiece by mounting the blade on the board. Most miter saws will have a compound type of cut, which allows the user to adjust angles with the handle. Miter saws are more portable because the average miter saw weighs between 50 and 60 pounds. Miter saw can be thrown in the back of a pickup or carried in the trunk. A miter saw can be made stationary by bolting it to an immobile countertop if you intend to work on all your woodworking projects in a workshop.

Best for:

Miter saws are best for cutting angles on wood or with different materials. This is a very common saw and has great versatility in cutting hard types of wood. Woodworkers and builders cannot live without miter saws. Their daily work requires them to use a miter saw. Using this tool, they can make ledges, gates, frames, boxes, and gates. 

Highlighted Feature:

The miter saw is the best choice for crosscutting because types its accuracy, low cost, and ability to make angled cuts at any angle up to 45°, both right and left.

Our Recommendation: DEWALT Miter Saw, Double-Bevel, Compound

4. Scroll Saw

DEWALT Scroll Saw, Variable-Speed, 1.3 Amp, 20-Inch (DW788)

A scroll saw is a small, electric, or pedal-operated saw used to shape wood, metal, and other materials. Due to its fine blade, it can cut more delicately and more easily than a power jigsaw or hand fretsaw. Similarly, it also allows you to pivot its table to create curves and edges.

Best for:

The scroll saw is versatile and used in wood, metal, and other materials. Scroll saws are good for making cuts on various shapes and curves. Used most commonly for cutting intricate shapes in many different material types, the scroll saw definitely stands out among any types of saw types.

Highlighted Feature:

Scroll saws are usually equipped with a flexible arm, fitted with a dust blower nozzle to keep the working area clear of dust, and a small light beam. A tilted table allows precise and easy cutting of angled lines. If you work with delicate materials or want to make intricate cuts, variable-speed support gives you even greater control.

Our Recommendation: DEWALT Scroll Saw, Variable-Speed, 1.3 Amp

5. Panel Saw

Powermatic 1510007 511 Vertical Panel Saw

Panel saws are machines that cut large sheets of wood, MDF, plywood, etc. It has a straight blade with a width of two inches, which cuts the boards perpendicular to each other at once. The wooden panel is sized by moving a circular saw blade across it. Panel saws types can be used in non-wood types materials like plastic and aluminum sheeting. Panel saws can be horizontal or vertical type. A horizontal panel saw is similar to a regular table saw; horizontal panel saws operate similarly. The material is fed into the rotating blade of a panel saw. As such, people who have been using a regular table saw will not experience problems with this power saw. A vertical panel saw is often used by professionals; it can produce two kinds of cuts, strip cutting and crosscut, by reposting the saw blade.

Best for:

Cutting wood panels with a panel table saw is both fast and accurate. Their use in commercial settings is for a reason. A panel saw is the most efficient tool if large sections of paneling need to be cut rapidly.

Highlighted Feature:

The panel saws are the most commonly used machine in the industry. Though this machine consumes a lot of power, it produces a high cutting quality. It is also very versatile and can be used in applications requiring high-quality products.

Our Recommendation: Powermatic 1510007 511 Vertical Panel Saw

6. Wet Tile Saw

PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw (PCE980)

A wet tile saw is a powerful tool that is used specifically for cutting materials such as ceramic, stone, marble, and porcelain. Wet Tile saws have a very thin blade on the top side that can be moved into an exposed position by pressing a footswitch. While you’re cutting tile with a wet saw, water sprays onto it from a pump. The tile remains cool and is less likely to crack. Due to its lack of teeth, the blade can be used for delicate materials.

Best for:

Whether you’re cutting ceramic or porcelain tiles, or stone tiles, a wet tile saw can make the job easier and safer. Using a wet tile saw is more reliable than a snap tile cutter since it produces smoother, more consistent cuts.

Highlighted Features:

With well-managed wet tile saws, you can cut many tiles cleanly and precisely within a short amount of time. Wet saws are good for cutting bevels, small shapes, odd angles, and straight lines.

Our Recommendation: PORTER-CABLE Wet Tile Saw 


The saw is one of the most versatile tools in a carpenter’s toolbox. Whether you’re cutting down trees or trimming boards, there are many different types of saws to choose from. We’ll explore the differences between these saws and how they can be used for carpentry purposes.

Contact us if you need help finding the right type of blade for your job! Our team will gladly answer any questions or concerns about using power tools safely at home or on-the-job site.

Other Recommendations:

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment



Subscribe to our weekly newsletter