Different Types of Saws & Their Uses (with Pictures)

Any woodworking project cannot be complete without a saw. In other words, a saw is the most popular or vital tool in the woodworking field.

Different types of saws are available on the market, which saw do you have back in your workshop? A jigsaw? Maybe you have a crosscut saw. Whichever it is, you must attest that it is very valuable equipment in your arsenal. But did you know that there are over 20 types of saws out there? You probably haven’t heard of some.

Luckily, we will be covering some of them in this article. Let’s explore them together, shall we?

Categories of Saws

Different Types of Saws

Different Types of Saws

Before we go deep into the multiple saw types, let’s shorten them for a better understanding. Generally, saws are divided into

Two Major Categories

  1. Handsaws (manual). 
  2. Power saws (automatic).

Handsaws are saws that are handheld and they rely on the effort and power of the operator for them to cut through the workpiece. They are operated manually.

Power saws are also handheld, but they run on a motor that requires less of the operator’s effort and power. You will push them to cut or trim the workpiece, or you will push the workpiece towards the blade of the power saw.

All Different Types of Saws & Their Uses

Now, let’s go deeper with them;

Category 1: Hand Saws

These are also called panel saws, and they come in different types. Here are the types of handsaws that you should know about;

1. Back Saw or Tenon Saws

(Click the Photo to See more)

This saw comes short in size, and it features a narrow blade reinforced along the upper edge. They are mostly used along with miter boxes or if the workpiece requires a fine and straight consistent cut.

It's Activity

  1. To make straight cuts.
  2. To cut straight in large pieces of sheet-wood.
  3. To crosscut for sawing plywood by It's fine tooth.
  4. To cut small pieces of wood.
  5. To cut small pieces of most joints.

2. Hacksaw

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You probably already know about the hacksaw. This saw is best suited for cutting tubing and pipes. Thanks to their lightweight and overall versatility, the hacksaw can cut through almost any material. You just have to use the right blade, which is easily changeable.

It's Activity

  1. Made for cutting metal.
  2. Also cut various other materials.
  3. Can cut plastic and wood.
  4. Example plumbers, plastic pipe & plastic

3. Veneer Saw

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This one comes with a short dual-edged blade that features 13TPI (teeth per inch). Specifically, this saw is used for precision veneer work.

It's Activity

  1. To cut hardwood veneer.
  2. Curved blade ensure precision work.
  3. It helps to cut flush with a surface.
  4. To cut pieces of wood into different shapes easily.

4. Pole Saw or Pole Runner

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(See our pick for best cordless pole saw)

This saw features an extendable pole that can reach up to 16 feet based on the model of the saw. It comes with a 6 or 8-inch blade that is specifically used for tree pruning. Today, you can find gas or electric-powered pole saw.

It's Activity

  1. To Clearing Brush .
  2. Can Pruning trees.
  3. To clear out undergrowth and other ground cover.
  4. Helps to remove dead, dying, or obstructing branches.
  • Types of Pole Saws

  1. Cordless pole saw
  2. Gas pole saw
  3. Electric pole saw
  4. Manual pole saw
  5. Rip-Cut Saw or Hand Saw

A rip cut saw is mostly used for framing projects. It comes with less TPI, but every tooth on the blade is sharp enough to easily eat through wood.

5. Keyhole Saw

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(See our pick for best hole saw kit)

This saw comes with a round handle, along with a blade that extends from the top of the handle. Usually, it is used for making patterns or circles in wood pieces. They are mostly used for drywall, mostly if only a small part is needed to be replaced or removed.

It's Activity

  1. Cuts small, various building materials.
  2. Helps to cut interior circles.
  3. Cuts up to 50% faster than traditional tooth.
  4. Use with wood, plastic & drywall.

6. Wallboard Saw

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This saw comes with an almost similar design to a keyhole saw, but they are shorter in length with a wide blade and fewer TPI. Too often, the wallboard saw will come in a double-edge option. The design of a wallboard saw allows it to puncture through drywall and paneling. Mostly, this saw will be used to make starter holes for power tools.

It's Activity

  1. To cut drywall, wood, plywood.
  2. Steel blade for strength while cutting.
  3. Cutting job will go smoother.

7. Crosscut Saw

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This is another common type of handsaw that comes with a fairly thick blade with large and beveled teeth. They are specifically used to rough cut wood pieces. Back in the days, a 2-man crosscut saw was used for felling trees. It had a handle on both ends and was designed to be used by two people.

It's Activity

  1. Cuts wood perpendicular to wood grain.
  2. Helpful for woodworking or large for coarse work.
  3. More convenient to use than a chainsaw.

8. Pruning Saw

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(See our pick for best pruning saw)

This type of saw will come with a blade of around 15 inches, which extends from the handle. The blade is wide with coarse teeth that can cut in either direction. They are mostly used for landscaping.

It's Activity

  1. To cut lumber.
  2. To trim live shrubs and trees
  3. It's curved blade hooks/digs-in to the wood.
  4. Helps to cut over your head/below your waist.

9. Japanese Saw

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This one comes with a single handle and a thin cutting blade that extends out. The Japanese Saw can reach places most saws can’t. They are used to cut both soft and hardwood perfectly.

It's Activity

  1. Cuts on the pull stroke.
  2. For deep and long cuts.
  3. For clean and fast cut.
  4. Best for flush cuts.

10. Coping Saw

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A coping saw features a thin and narrow blade that allows it to be used for scrolling, trimming or any other project that needs intricate and precise cuts.

It's Activity

  1. To cut intricate external shapes.
  2. For interior cut-outs in woodworking/carpentry.
  3. Hel[s to cut moldings easily.
  4. To cut through material.
  5. Sometimes Cuts metal or stone.

11. Fret Saw

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This one almost looks like a coping saw, but the blade is thin and long. The frame is longer and larger than a coping saw. It is also used for making intricate cuts.

It's Activity

  1. For intricate cutting work.
  2. Able to cut much tighter radii & more delicate work.
  3. Can cut Perspex, MDF and plywood.

12. Bow Saw

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The bow saw comes with a long blade with several crosscut teeth, which makes it ideal for cutting logs, pruning, or trimming trees. It can also be used to making other rough cuts.

It's Activity

  1. For cross-cutting branches or firewood.
  2. Can cut small trees.
  3. For cutting logs, living branches/treated wood.

Category 2: Power Saws

Power saws are more of an advanced version of hand saws. They are meant to make work easier by enhancing the efficiency and delivery of woodworking projects. With power saws, they can either be electric or gas-powered. There are also so many different types of saws available. Electric power saws can be cordless (battery-powered) or corded (electricity-powered).

Here are the common types of chain saws;

13. Chain Saw

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(See our pick for best cordless electric chainsaw)

This type of power saw comes with a chain that is linked with several ripping teeth. A chain saw is in the same category of band saws, and they are mostly used for felling trees. They can also be used to cut massive logs.

It's Activity

  1. Use for tree felling, limbing, bucking, pruning.
  2. Harvesting of the firewood.
  3. For cutting concrete during construction.
  4. For cutting ice.
  5. Cutting firebreaks in fire suppression.

Our related articles

  1. Best Chainsaw Under $200 list.

14. Circular Saw or Buzz Saw/Skilsaw

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This is another popular type of power saw, which was made popular by the brand, Skilsaw hence the name. They come with a toothed blade that is around 7.25-inch to 9-inch in diameter. A circular saw can be used with blades that can rip through masonry, plastic, metal, wood, or any other material.

It's Activity

  1. Helps to cut wood, masonry, plastic/metal.
  2. For hand-held or mounted to a machine.
  3. Cuts in a straight line on pieces of lumber
  4. Surely a helpful addition to the toolkit of DIYers.
  • Circular saws come in various categories including the following;

  1. Cordless circular saw. (See our pick for best Cordless circular saw)
  2. Corded circular saw. (See our pick for best Corded circular saw)
  3. Worm drive circular saw. (See our pick for best Worm drive saw)
  4. Compact/mini circular saw. (See our pick for best Compact circular saw)
  5. Hypoid circular saw.
  6. Cold saw circular saw.
  7. Abrasive saw circular saw.
  8. Cordwood saw circular saw.
  9. Sidewinder circular saw.

15. Chop Saw or concrete saw/abrasive saw/cut-off saw

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(See our pick for best metal cutting sawbest concrete Saw)

This is a type of circular saw that is made in both masonry and metal cutting versions. With the masonry cutting chop saws, they will come with a water line connection to minimize dust as it is cutting. All chop saws will come with toothless blades that come with special abrasives that will cut through the specific material.

It's Activity

  1. Helps Cutting lumber, decking, aluminum, molding. 
  2. It gives width and depth cooperate.
  3. Also non-ferrous metals.
  4. Mostly used for metal cutting.

16. Flooring Saw

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This is a portable power saw that is meant for re-sawing flooring of any material to fit. Thanks to its portability, the flooring saw allows you to have an easy time when cutting flooring. You don’t have to remove the materials from the floor.

It's Activity

  1. Cut flooring.
  2. It helps to make wood floor installation easier and faster.
  3. Sometime Alternative of miter saw/table saw.

17. Band Saw-Stationary

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A stationary band saw is tall in size and is meant to stand on the floor. It features large pulleys above and below the cutting table. These pulleys will move a continuous band with fine teeth to cut through different materials. They are best used for intricate cutting of curves into wood pieces, tubes, PVC, and piping. You can also use a band saw for re-sawing, but it needs some skills.

It's Activity

  1. For smoothest cuts.
  2. Other then wood, including metal.
  3. For re-sawing/ripping lumber into thinner slabs.
  4. For band saw.

18. Band Saw-Portable

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(See our pick for best portable band saw)

This is a portable version of the stationary unit, which comes smaller in size. It can deliver the same functions of a stationary band saw. However, they can only cut through pipes of 3-4 inches in diameter. Most metalworkers, welders, and plumbers can use it to make straight cuts too.

It's Activity

  1. For rip lumber.
  2. Also to crosscut short pieces.
  3. For Re-sawing/ripping lumber into thinner slabs.
  4. Creates cabriole legs.
  5. Cuts curve even in thick lumber.
  • Other types of band saws include the following;

  1. Horizontal band saw
  2. Meat band saw
  3. Benchtop band saw. (See our pick for best Benchtop bandsaw)
  4. Vertical band saw
  5. Wood band saw
  6. Jigsaw. (See our pick for Best jigsaw/ Best Cordless jigsaw)

This is a handheld power saw that comes with a short and fine-toothed blade that moves up and down at adjustable speeds. It is specifically designed for cutting non-straight lines and curves in wood pieces.

19. Compound Miter Saw

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(See our pick for best compound sliding miter saw)

This power saw is used for making straight, miter, and compound cuts on workpieces. Unlike the miter saw, the compound miter saw comes with a blade mounted on the arm that is adjustable if you want to make complex angles. They are the best for trimming out windows or adding crown molding.

It's Activity

  1. Can cut various angel wood.
  2. Cuts for crown moulding,
  3. Cuts picture frames,
  4. Cuts door frames & window casings

20. Panel Saw

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The panel saw comes with horizontal and vertical alignments. They are almost similar to table saws and are meant for cutting large panels. With the horizontal model, they come with a sliding feed table. On the other hand, a vertical model panel saw allows you to either have a blade moving through a stationary panel or feed the material to the blade.

Mostly, panel saws are used in sign making, cabinetmaking, and other similar projects.

It's Activity

  1. Cuts solid-wood, plywood, MDF.
  2. Also cuts laminates, plastic sheets & melamine sheet.
  3. Sometime cuts panel.
  4. Also Cuts profiles.

21. Oscillating Saw

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This type of saw looks almost like a grinder, but it features an oscillating attachment at the end. You can change the attachment based on your project. The saw can also be used for grinding, scraping, or removing grout.

It's Activity

  1. For cutting wood flooring,
  2. Cut wood, drywall, plastic, metal, and fiberglass.
  3. Cut Grind tile adhesive.
  4. Trim baseboards and wood flooring.
  5. Door jambs.

22. Rotary Saw

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This one comes with a fixed blade and a screwdriver-type handle that is small in size. They are usually used in construction projects. However, they are best in cutting into walls for repairs and access. You can also use the rotary saw for drywall or paneling.

It's Activity

  1. For spiral cut saw.
  2. For cutting accurate holes.
  3. To cut wood, plastic, fiberglass.

23. Miter Saw

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(See our pick for best cordless miter saw)

The miter saw is almost like a hand saw that is perfect for use in trimming or other projects that need accurate angle cuts or measurements. They can be used along with a table for cutting long mitered ends. For comfort while using miter saw you should add a miter saw stand. (See our pick for best portable miter saw stand).

It's Activity

  1. Cuts at a variety of angles.
  2. Pivots left/right to produce angled cuts
  3. Specialized to make angel cuts.
  4. Can cuts Wood, metal, plastics.

24. Radial Arm Saw

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With a radial arm saw, it comes with a motor and blade that are placed on an extended arm over the cutting table. This way, you can use it to make similar compound cuts, miter cuts, and more. Some radial arm saws allow you to use a circular saw blade on them.

It's Activity

  1. For crosscutting lumber.
  2. Cuts verity wood.
  3. Mostly cuts across the width of the wood.
  4. Can easily rip stock.

25. Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall

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The reciprocating saw comes with a blade that moves back and forth rapidly. The original manufacturer of reciprocating saws was Sawzall, the brand. Which is why they are also called a Sawzall. Mostly, they are used for cutting wood, plastic, and tubing. They can be used for cutting beneath wood or wall joints since their blades can easily cut through nail too.

It's Activity

  1. For wood, quick cuts.
  2. For Construction workers.
  3. For Emergency rescue services.
  4. Used by many window fitters.

Mostly, reciprocating saws are used for demolition work.

  • The common types of reciprocating saws include the following;

  1. Corded reciprocating saw (See our pick for best Corded reciprocating saw)
  2. Cordless reciprocating saw. (See our pick for best Cordless reciprocating saw)
  3. Portable reciprocating saw
  4. Track Saw or Plunging Saw. (See our pick for best Track Saw)
  5. Air reciprocating saw. (See our pick for best air reciprocating saw)

This saw can be attached to a long gliding rail, and it almost looks like a circular saw. They are highly portable and are used for making long and precise cuts in the woods.

26. Scroll Saw

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These saws can work with a band, reciprocating, or continuous blade and they look like a coping saw. They are used for making spiral lines, patterns, or intricate scrollwork.

It's Activity

  1. Cuts curves and joints.
  2. To cut dovetail joints.
  3. Nice tool for thicker intarsia projects.
  4. Ensures great accuracy.

27. Tile Saw

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(See our pick for best tile saw review)

This saw looks like a miter saw, and it is also called a wet saw. It features a diamond-coated blade and a water cooling system that allows you to cut through tiles with less dust and effort.

It's Activity

  1. To cut ceramic & porcelain tile.
  2. Cuts stone tile
  3. You can cut metal but not hard metal.

28. Table saw

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Table saw gives the most professional among all, especially this one for bulk amount of woodworking activities. People who are professional woodworker they must have to have one for each. For perfect cut its necessary to use Table Saw Miter Gauge. (See our pick for best Table Saw Miter Gauge).

It's Activity

  1. Can cuts Large panels.
  2. To cut sheet goods, such as plywood/MDF.
  3. Specialized for cutting wood.
  4. Can handle any kind of wood.
  • So many types of table saws out there include

  1. Compact, (See our pick for best beginner table saw)
  2. Benchtop, 
  3. Jobsite, 
  4. Contractor, (See our pick for best contractor table saw)
  5. Cabinet, 
  6. Sliding, 
  7. Mini/micro, 
  8. Hybrid table saws.

Our Related article

Final Verdict

So here is the different types of saws introduction and pictures, hope you got the idea about all the saws on the market.

Always ensure that you find a durable and fully functional saw that will perfectly handle your project. Before using it must ensure the safety precautions and learn the laws of using it. It will keep you safe and gives you acceptable result.

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