Ultimate Guide to the Types of Saws

With lots of cutting involved in metal works, woodworking, and DIY projects, a saw is one handy tool to own. It helps you in cutting and measuring a variety of materials.

They have been in use for more than thousands of years and are a great addition to your toolkit. However, many find it hard to pick the right one for themselves: new technologically innovative models show up now and then in the market. While all of these saws have something special in store for you, they might not fit your purpose of buying them. Therefore, it is incredibly essential to be familiar with their types to pick the one which suits your needs the best. Given the importance, let us have a look at all kinds of saws in detail in our ultimate guide to the types of saws.

Generally, saws belong in one of the two primary types: hand saws and powered saws.

Types of Hands Saws


Hand saws are non-powered, manual handy tools that require human-power to operate. Over time, they have evolved enormously to fit different cutting styles and niches. They are also known as panel saws and fish saws.

From traditional wooden hand saws to specialized saws like keyhole ones, there are several types of hand saws.

Back Saw

Back saws have a narrow, short blade. As the name indicates, they reinforce along the upper edge. They are great for straight, fine cuts. We highly recommend them for miter boxes.

Bow Saw

A bow saw is just like a crosscut saw for outdoor use in homes. It possesses a long blade that features several crosscut teeth. Bow saws are useful in designing materials that require pushing and pulling. We also recommend them for trimming trees, pruning, and cutting logs.

Coping Saw

Coping saws are ideal for intricate cuts requiring high-quality precision. Their narrow, thin blades make them an excellent choice for scrolling and trimming. You may use this kind for a variety of materials. From plumbers, toymakers, carpenters to furniture crafters, coping saws are an indispensable part of many’s toolkits.

Crosscut Saw

With a comparatively large and thick blade featuring beveled teeth, the crosscut saw is a brilliant choice if you work with wild woods or are planning a camping tour in the woods. From trimming branches or limbs to cutting rough lumber, a crosscut saw should be your ultimate choice if you want a manual saw. There are two types of crosscut saws: 1-man and 2-man crosscut, with the number referring to the required labor for operating. If you want to cut woods perpendicularly, we recommend the 2-man crosscut saw. It has a handle on two ends, allowing two people to cut through with ease.

Fret Saw

The fret saw resembles the coping saw. However, its blade is relatively longer and wider, allowing you to cut materials with an increased length. As the edge is non-rotatable, we do not recommend it if you want a saw for scrollwork.


With a blade characterized with 18 to 32 teeth per inch, hacksaws can cut through a variety of materials like metals to wood and plastics. They are an excellent choice for tubing and cutting of pipes. As a highly versatile and lightweight hand saw, this kind is a useful instrument for domestic toolkits. If you are a DIY enthusiast, look no further!

Keyhole Saw

Keyhole saws are specific in use: they have a round handle with a blade molded into one long protrusion. Buy them only if you need to cut circles or patterns. You may also use them for wall interiors.

Japanese Saw

This type of hand saw is an excellent pick for cutting even more precisely than a backsaw. Its thin blade allows it to reach places where other kinds fail to. You can further find three types of Japanese saws. We highly recommend it for softwood cuttings.

Hole Saw

If you wish to use saws for cutting big round holes, there is nothing better than a hole saw. Hole saws have varying blade materials: the best blades to pick are bi-metal for versatility and carbide for hard materials. With a drill attached, hole saws can be a bit difficult to operate for newbies.

Pruning Saw

Famous for its curved blade and pistol grip, pruning saws are useful for the fast removal of materials. They possess coarse teeth on blades. While professionals like landscapers use these a lot, pruning saws make a great addition to toolkits.

Rip-Cut Saw

More commonly known as hand saws, rip-cut saws have been designed especially for the removal of wood and framing. The blades of it feature lesser teeth.  Rip-cut saws are popular among carpenters and wood-workers.

Veneer Saw

With about 13 teeth per inch on a blade, a veneer saw is a handy double-edged specialized tool. As the name indicates, its existence serves for veneer work. However, it has a short blade and is not very versatile.

Wallboard Saw

Often confused with keyhole saws, wallboard saws possess wider and shorter blades. They also have fewer teeth per inch with lots of double-edged varieties in the market. Known for puncturing through drywalls or paneling, people often use them for the creation of starter holes before drilling.

Types of Powered Saws


Powered saws, as the name indicates, run mechanically with a source of power. Several electrical saws classify as powered saws. With the increased rate of technological advancements, high quality powered saws drop out now and then.

Powered saws are also easier to use as they do not require manual labor. However, with quality comes a price: powered saws are more expensive compared to hand saws. Coming in three primary classifications of Circular Blade, Continuous Band, and Reciprocating Blade, below are different types of powered saws you should know.

Band Saw

Band saws are famous for their high-quality result in cuttings of tubes, piping, PVC, and curves in wood. While the precision of cuts is excellent, they are no deeper than 4-inches. If you enjoy DIY projects or have to resaw woods, this type of saw can be one good recommendation for you. However, you may struggle to cut straight.

Band saws come in two versions: stationary and portable. Both the versions offer the same functionality, with portable band saws being smaller in size. Usually, band saws possess continuous bands with fine teeth along the length. We do not recommend these if you need to do plumbing and welding.


With a continuous chain featuring sharp teeth, chainsaws are useful for tree cuttings. They also make handy tools for domestic toolkits. Even though chainsaws have a unique design, they classify as band saws. There are several chainsaws in the market with electrical power sources. We do not recommend these for newbies or children: they can be highly fatal if used unprofessionally and without care.

Chop Saw

Chops saw is a large-sized circular saw offering portability. It is available in both masonry and metal versions: they use toothless blades lined up with abrasives for cuts. If you think this kind is the right fit for you, you might want to have a look at our Top 5 Chop Saws.

Circular Saw

With a diameter ranging between 7 to 9 inches, circular saws possess a circular blade for cutting.

Circular saws have teeth along their circumference, allowing you to cut a variety of materials from plastics, glasses to metals. Also known by the name of buzz saws, many household toolkits are incomplete without these.

Flooring Saw

As the name shows, flooring saws resaw hardwood, engineered, bamboo, and laminated floors. It’s a specialized handy saw that can replace tables and miter saws.

We highly recommend this kind if you regularly have to work with floorings to even them out. The cherry on top? It is a relatively lightweight and portable unit.


With a finely toothed, short protrusion-like blade, a jigsaw is a handled one that moves vertically at varying speeds. Its ever-famous distinct design lets you seamlessly cut curvy lines. There are multiple jigsaws in the market to choose from: narrow down your search to long cord or cordless picks as they let you operate with ease.

Miter Saw

Do you require a saw for trimming and precisely measured cuts? Look no further, for miter saws are ideal powered saws for these purposes. Miter saws mimic a hand saw, pivoting up to 45 degrees to both sides of a 90-degree cut. You may use these for cutting lengthy, mitered ends with table saws.

Check out our Top 5 Cordless and Top 5 Electric Miter Saws.

Oscillating Saw

Oscillating saws, also known as oscillating tools, are well-designed instruments for your professional and domestic toolkits. They boast versatility like no other: they are suitable for all, from simple cuttings to work involving scraping, grinding, and removing caulk or grout.

With a body resembling grinders, an oscillating saw, as the name indicates, has a variable oscillating attachment.

Panel Saw

If you want to cut large panels, panel saws are available in the market with both vertical and horizontal alignments. Horizontally aligned panel saws have a powered sliding table to feed, while the vertical ones require manual work for the purpose. They are popular picks for industries that manufacture cabinet frameworks and signs.

Reciprocating Saw

Just like jigsaws, reciprocating saws have a blade moving back and forth at varying speeds. With a specialized blade structure, these are one great pick for cutting materials like plastics and woods. Carpenters often use it for nailing wooden joints. However, if you need a saw for demotion work, you might not appreciate this one-of-its-kind tool. You might want to check our Top 5 Electric Reciprocating Saws.

Rotary Saw

Rotary saws, also known as rotary tools, are useful accessories. They feature fixed blades with a handle like a screwdriver. From constructional purposes to crafting functions, rotary tools are ideal picks. Just like keyhole saws, these too are essential for paneling, drywall, and other cutting tasks with less workload.

Scroll Saw

Operating with continuous, reciprocating, and band blades, these work in similar ways to coping saws. They are a perfect choice for curating delicate and precise patterns like spiral lines or scrollwork. Unlike coping saws, there is an added benefit you enjoy with these: there is a table on which you can lie your object for working on it.

Scroll saws excel at creating curvy lines and patterns.

Table Saw

Table saws are brilliant picks for identical cuts and patterns. Bigger than one traditional circular saw, table saws feature high-quality precision cuts. It also offers a motor placed beneath a flat table base, allowing you to work on multiple materials with speed. The cherry on top? You can adjust the depth of your cuttings.

Where to Buy
Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw 4100-09 with Gravity-Rise Wheeled Stand; Portable Table Saw (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
Hitachi C10FCE2 15-Amp 10-inch Single Bevel Compound Miter Saw (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric Brake, 15-Amp (DWE575SB)
CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)

The Takeaway

With our ultimate guide to the types of saws, choose the one which fits your needs the best. Our top picks for general purposes include:

1. Bosch 10-Inch Worksite Table Saw

2. Hitachi C10FCE2 Compound Miter Saw

3. DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw


So why are you still waiting? Buy the one you need and boast a handy toolkit!