Saws are versatile tools you need in your household. These pieces come in handy when you practice a range of home care activities, including fixing parts of the house, making furniture, and even subsistence agriculture.

Many of us are already familiar with saws, and it’s not surprising, considering how purposeful they are. However, not everyone understands that there are different types of saws for different purposes.

If you walk down to a tool store to request useful tools, you will be given the perfect saw to use for your project. But what if you end up buying different kinds of tools for a project? How do you know which saw is which, or if you even needed them in the first place?

For this reason, we will be discussing the different kinds of saws and their purposes.

Types of Saws and Their Uses

1. Basic Handsaw

How To Understand Different Types Of Saws, Benefits, & Uses

Hand saws are essential pieces of hardware for any well-stocked toolbox. They are commonly used tools for general home improvement and maintenance projects. Most handsaws are finely toothed and quite flexible. This tool is the most common kind of saws, and it is used for cutting timber.

2. Hacksaw


Hacksaws feature a c-frame which holds a slender, finely-toothed blade. The handle is attached to the frame and has some gap between the blade’s tip and the handle’s end. This tool is used to cut plastic and metals. When using hacksaws to cut soft metals like aluminum, one should be careful not to let it gum up on the metal.

3. Japanese saws

Japanese saws

Japanese saws come with pull saws with thinner blades that have rip teeth on one side and crosscut teeth on the other. These tools are used to cut dense wood, as the crosscut edge is used to first make a path on the wood before the rip teeth are introduced to cut the remaining material off. One of the most common styles of Japanese saws is the Ryoba style.

4. Coping saw

Coping saw

Coping saws are similar to hack saws, only that the frame is more defined as ‘C’ with a straight, long protruding handle at the end of the frame. The blade is also thinner and interchangeable to suit different purposes, either for metal or plastic. Coping saws are popular amongst artists to cut tight radiuses and fit into small holes for cutting inside profiles.

5. Jigsaw or reciprocating saw

Jigsaw or reciprocating saw

A jigsaw is relatively bigger and more complex than most saw types. It consists of a sturdy, durable body with its blade hanging outside its body. Reciprocating saws are mostly used to cut precise lines through materials like polycarbonate and wood sheets. They are usually placed on a support and unmoved while pieces of materials are cut to precision without stress.

6. Circular saws

Circular saws

Electric circular saws are of two types; the sidewinder and the worm drive saw. Both types are very similar in sturdiness and functions but slightly different from each other. The worm drive saw is bigger and strong enough to split concrete and wet lumber. 

This heavy-duty machine features a robust, circular blade, and a handle fastened behind the blade to reduce kickback. The blade is positioned to the left to allow right-handed handlers to see the cut line easily. On the other hand, the sidewinder has its motor attached to the blade directly. And as such, it weighs less and delivers less torque.

7. Table saw

Table saw

As the name implies, a table saw is fixed as a massive, heavy-duty machine usually found in construction shops and factories. This tool is capable of crosscutting, ripping, beveling, and mitering all at a spot. This machine has many limitations since it is heavy and not easy to transport.

8. Band saw

A band saw has an overall body that looks like the letter “C” with a lower endplate. It is quite sturdy but more portable than the table saw. Band saws are mostly used for cutting both wood and metal, and it runs very quietly. One could use a band saw indoors for heavy projects without disturbing the neighbors.

9. Miter saw

Miter saw

A miter saw comes in both electric and handheld versions, used for cutting corners. Handheld miters come with a miter box with guides for cutting at 45° and 90°. Electric versions, such as the compound miter, are designed to cut out custom angles, useful in trim work and molding.

Oscillating saw

Oscillating saws are not as old as the basic handsaw. But in the past few years, they have gained recognition for their versatility at home and even in hospitals. Yes, surgeons usually use specific designs of this tool to cut bones and flesh after sterilizing them. And as the name implies, the blade vibrates to cut through precise angles in limited spaces. You probably got this tool last Christmas in a stocking, and although it is a beautiful present, if you aren’t careful, it may cut you.

How To Preserve Saws

You probably have some old, rusty saws lying in your basement or storage that you hardly visit in months.

Apart from saws being rusty in abandoned conditions, your saw can also depreciate quickly with inadequate care, even if you use it frequently. So, how do you care for your saws to make them last longer?

  1. Dry-clean your saws before and after every use to keep off dust, moisture, and other factors that contribute to rust.
  2. Keep saws indoors, away from sun, rain, and irregular weather conditions.
  3. Sharpen your blades from time to time to preserve their edges.
  4. Oil your saws regularly.
  5. Keep your blades in a cool, dry place, and avoid moisture.

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Keeping a saw at home can seem very natural; you almost forget to take care of it or attach any importance to where you leave it.

Most people don’t even know that there are different kinds of saws for different purposes, so they assume you could use a handsaw to cut anything, whether metal, wood, plastic, or cardboard.

Hence, to make your saws last longer and remain useful for a long time, you should understand the different types of saws and their respective purposes.


  1. Pat and Mike Murray. Makezine. Hack, Jig, Miter, and Cope: 10 Types of Saws and Their Uses. 2016. [] Accessed: 7th of November, 2020.