A Quick Guide to Different Types of Saws

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Using the right saws can help get your project done faster and more accurately, so it is important to make the correct selection. But with so many to choose from, how do you know which one to use for your project?

Saws can range from simple hand-powered blades to high-speed electric machines and everything in between. Each saw category has several types, each with its own particular uses. Here, we break down the uses of the most common saws. 

Miter Saws

Named for their ability to create miters, a joint that requires high precision, miter saws are designed for angled cuts. However, they can also easily make straight cuts as well. This type of saw is most commonly used for trimming and molding. 


There are a few styles of miter saws, such as compound, sliding compound, basic, and cordless. Sliding compound miters are considered the best miter saws by the majority of carpenters, but they are much more sophisticated than the average homeowner needs.

Hand Saws

Hand saw is a broad category containing Fret, Crosscut, Rip-Cut, and more. As the name suggests, these saws are hand-powered with some sort of blade attached to a handle. Each style has a particular use, such as a veneer saw which is only used for cutting thin hardwood veneer. Other examples include:

  • Wallboard saw- perfect for cutting sheetrock and drywall
  • Keyhole saw- best tool for making small holes or cuts in softer surfaces such as drywall
  • Coping saw- great for making cuts in molding and other carpentry tasks

Hacksaws are one of the most versatile hand saws as they can be used on various metals, wood, and plastic.


Bandsaws are unique in their design. They have two wheels that continuously spin a flexible blade and a table to keep your material steady. Bandsaws can cut through wood, metal, plastic, and pipping, with the right blade, of course. In fact, their versatility makes them a favorite among craftsmen. 

Due to their design, bandsaws are a must-have tool for cutting irregular or organic shapes. Since the blade is secured in place in the middle of the table, it is easy to maneuver your material along the cut lines. 

Table Saws

If you need to make many long cuts, a table saw is the way to go. Many professionals rely on table saws for creating dadoes and rabbets because their design makes the process effortless.

The quality of the blade is more important to table saws than any other. Since table saws are primarily used for long, repetitive cuts, the blades can overheat. The metal will expand, and it can even warp. Most blades for table saws can handle denser materials such as plywood, but it is always a good idea to inspect your blade before turning on your saw. 

In a Nutshell

There is no one-size-fits-all saw for every project, but there is at least one saw for every type of cut you may need to make. On the bright side, whether you are a professional carpenter or a DIY homeowner, you can never go wrong with a handsaw. Handsaws are a staple in the world of woodwork. 

When considering which type of saw is best for you, think about the material you are working with and the size of your project. These are the two most influential factors. For example, not all saws can slice through metal and, while a Keyhole saw can cut through drywall, you would not want it to be the primary tool for a project. 

Our advice- carefully plan out all projects before purchasing any new equipment!

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