Aside from the common rip cut saw, there are more than 15 different types of hand saws for woodworkers. Discover how these hand saws differ and their unique uses in this guide.
15 types of hand saws
Do you know that there’s a type of hand saw for every project? Here are the many types and their special uses.
Another name for a back saw is a dovetail saw as these are commonly used for creating dovetail joints. Back saws come with very fine teeth and smooth blades which creates very precise cuts and patterns. You can see that there is a piece of metal attached to its top as this improves control.
Bone saws are made of stainless steel and are used for cutting bones and thick pieces of cartilage. This type of hand saw is used by butchers and those in the meat industry. Bone saws can cut through animal carcasses and will never corrode even when exposed to blood and other chemicals.
Bow Cut Saw
The bow cut saw has a modern design that’s used to cut trees, prune branches, and cut logs. Bow cut saws are medium-sized with crosscut teeth and can remove dust as you drive it through the wood. The bow cut saw blades are long and narrow which makes them perfect for cutting through thick parts of wood and for making curved cuts.
Although there are many kinds of camping saws with different features and designs these saws are mainly used for rough camping activities. These hand saws are versatile and can cut through all kinds of materials. Camping saws are very lightweight and compact and thus, you can take these anywhere. Some saws can fold away when not in use and can cut firewood, branches, and other wilderness tasks.
The coping saw also has a blade held by a tension frame. This saw is very useful in creating curved cuts and making coping joints instead of cutting miter joints. Coping saws have narrow blades with 15 to 17 teeth/inch blades. These are lightweight and are mostly 6 inches long.
The crosscut saw is for rough cutting wood like removing branches or removing bits of lumber. Crosscut saws have large teeth and a thick blade so it’s very durable when used on hardwood. Some crosscut saws are for one-person use while some have two handles for two-people use. Crosscut saws with two handles are called lumberjack saws and are great for backpacking and camping.
A fret saw is for intricate woodworking tasks. The name of the saw came from “freter” a French word for lattice as this is a saw intended for latticework. This saw has 32 teeth/inch and thus it’s precise and can create lovely patterns. But because of its design, it’s fragile and can easily bend.
A hack saw is one of the most common types of hand saws and was initially used to cut metal. It has a very thin blade and will cut metal pipes and thick plastics. It may be used to cut wood but doing so can damage the blade. Hack saws come with fine-toothed blades held by a C-frame with 18 to 32 teeth/inch.
Japanese saws come with a very strong yet narrow blade that’s attached to a long handle. This kind of saw works by cutting as it pulls compared to regular saws that cut through a push movement. This is why Japanese saws can produce a cleaner cut and will also help you cut more precisely.
Keyhole saws are shaped like a dagger with a pointed end and a single handle. Also known as a jab saw, it has a sharp point so that it can stab through drywall and then saw away. The thin blade may look flimsy but it allows the saw to make intricate cutting moves. Keyhole saws come in retractable and fixed-blade types.
A pruning saw is designed to cut trees, shrubs, and other greenery. It’s quick and sharp with a single handle and a curved blade. Because of this design, it can easily move through trees and shrubs to cut it.
The rip cut saw is the most common type of hand saw. It is very versatile and will work on almost all types of cutting tasks. A rip-cut saw can work on wood even when parallel to its grain. It has very few teeth/ inch but each tooth is very sharp and can eat up wood chips as it grabs.
To cut hardwood veneer wood you need a veneer saw. This type of saw has a double edge and a small yet curved blade up to 4 inches long. Veneer saws are used in small areas. It has 13 teeth/ inch and thus can cut through veneer for intricate flooring work. This saw can cut square edges precisely to assemble butt joints on matching veneer pieces.
A wallboard saw is drywall saw that looks like keyhole saws. The difference between the two is the wallboard saw has shorter yet wider and stronger blades. Drywall saws have blades with a double edge and very sharp teeth. You’ll notice a pointed nose which works best for creating holes on panels and drywall. It has a fewer number of teeth/inch and thus works best for creating rough saw cuts.
Handheld Power Saws
There are updated hand saws that are wired or wireless (battery-powered). Some examples are band saws, chainsaws, circular saws, compound miter saws, jigsaws, miter saws, reciprocating saws, table saws, and many more. These power hand saws are available in different wattages and come with different attachments.
There are many types of hand saws but there’s only one that’s right for your project. Find the right-hand saw that matches your needs and your budget and you’ll work seamlessly no matter what project you’re working on.