It’s true what they say, you need the right tools for the job. This is true for DIY projects and professional contractors alike. But knowing what is the “right” tool for the job is not always easy. When you walk into a home improvement store, you might see tons of varieties of the same type of tools. This could not be more true when you are looking for a power saw.
Power saws are useful tools, but you may not know which one is best for you. That is why we have put together this guide to let you know about the many types of power saws. Each type of power saw has different jobs that it is well-suited for. If you’re a beginner, this will hopefully be a great place to start learning about what type of saw is best for you to use.
In general, power saws have either rotating blades, reciprocating blades, or circulating blades.
Circular saws are generally handheld and portable. They are a familiar sight in DIY workshops and on professional construction sights. They can be either corded or battery-powered, and are usually used for crosscutting wooden boards. Different saw blades can be attached for different materials, and the saw can usually be used to make long rip cuts and up to 45 degree bevel cuts.
Miter saws are used to make angled crosscuts on wooden beams or other materials. They can be adjusted for different cutting angles because they can be rotated both horizontally and vertically. These angled cuts, called miters, are great for people who are woodworking and making crown molding, trim, or making frames.
Just like the name says, these saws come up from under a fixed table. The blade can be adjusted to cut edges, make rip cuts or crosscuts, or even for cutting dados. The stability of the table allows for a straight cut, making this type of saw a familiar sight in woodworking shops.
Masonry saws, sometimes called “concrete saws”, are used to cut asphalt and concrete and are similar in concept to a circular saw. Unlike their smaller cousins, masonry saws use diamond blades and sometimes even gasoline engines to cut through material. Usually owned by professionals who do concrete driveway or asphalt work, weekend warriors can usually rent these saws if they have a project of their own.
Due to their specialized nature, chop saws are rarely seen outside of professional settings. They look similar to a miter saw except that, instead of a blade, they are fixed with an abrasive disc that is used to cut through brick, metal, iron pipes, or other hard material.
Panes saws are used to make precision cuts on large panels of material, such as plywood. When the sheet or panel is secured, a rotating blade can be used to cut both horizontally and vertically while mounted on a carriage.
A tile saw, like the name suggests, is used to cut tile, ceramic, and sometimes even glass. The saw is sometimes called a “wet saw” because it uses a water cooling system to control temperature and keep dust from flying through the air. For this reason, you must always fill the reservoir of water prior to using a tile saw.
Track saws have a rotating blade that can slide either forward or back along a fixed track. The track can be placed on a cut line and lined up easily. Then, the saw can be fixed to the track and slid along its length to make an even and straight cut. They can be much more precise than a free-hand circular saw, while also being much more portable than a table saw.
Reciprocating blade saws have blades that move back and forth in one direction.
Reciprocating saws can be used to cut through very tough material, such as tile or pipe, as long as they are fitted with the proper blade. Because there are so powerful, they are often used for demolition work. But they can also be used for remodeling or even trimming tree branches. Because many are battery-powered, they can be a convenient tool for homeowners and DIY buffs.
Jig saws are designed with a thin blade that can be used to cut sharp curves as well as straight lines. They can be fixed with different blades to cut through all sorts of material, such as wood, metal, plastic, and even tile. Plus, if you can make a starter hole in the interior of a panel, you can use a jigsaw’s thin blade to start from that point rather than having to cut all the way from the edge.
Circulating blade saws feed a thin band through a circuit.
Band saws are equipped with rip fences to make wood thinner and miter gauges for accurate cuts. Band saws are handheld and used around construction sites to cut through a variety of materials, such as pipes, wood, and metal. They are very good for crosscuts.
Scroll saws have very thin bands used by woodworkers to make precise cuts. Because the saw is fixed, the woodworker can manipulate the piece of wood to carve precise or ornate cuts. People use scroll saws to make jigsaw puzzles, art, and wooden toys in their workshops.
Now, we hope that you have a good working knowledge of some of the main types of power saws that you can find on the market. Whether you want to make intricate or accurate cuts, or you just need to chop something, you can find the one that is right for you.