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Different Types of Saws and Their Uses (with pictures)

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 22, 2024

A home workshop is a cool place to have. However, your home workshop won’t be efficient if you don’t have the best tool in it. There are a number of different tools that your home workshop should be equipped with.

One such tool is the saw. Saws are used for wooden projects and have been essential tools for a very long time. They can also be used for metal works. Even so, their basic use is to cut materials by sawing.

In this post, I will give you the different types of saws and their uses. At the end of this post, I hope you will be able to choose the right saw for your use.

The saw you choose should depend on the project you want and what you expect to achieve. Let’s take a look at some of the best types of saws that we have today. We will also look at some examples that fall under these saw types.  Let’s dig in.

The List of Different Types of Saws 

We have set up this post in a logical way so that you find it easy to follow. We have assorted the saws in a way that you can easily understand their uses and their types. There is no better saw tool than the next. We just want to make your work easy.

With that said, there are very many saws that we can use. However, all these saws can be easily categorized into two major types namely:

Hand Saws

Hand saws are non-powered saws. They are designed for cutting but operate by the handheld option. The saws also operate manually. We will look at different types of hand saws before we look at the next category.

Powered Saws

Powered saws are mechanically powered. They have a source of power that pushes them to either cut or trim. Many types of electric saws fall within the category. Powered saws are some of the easiest to use saws now.

Let’s break down the different types of power saws that fall in every saw category for an easy understanding. Let’s start with hand saws before proceeding to powered saws.

Different Types of Hand Saws

Different Types of hand saws

Hand saws are also known as panel saws. In other sectors, they have also been called the fish saws. In this category, we are going to look at the saws designed for hand use. They are also saws that are operated manually. Here are the types of hand saws that fall into this category.

Coping Saw

Using a Coping Saw

Coping saw is a type of hand saw that makes both external and internal cuts. It falls in the bow saw category.

The saw comes with a thin blade. The blade is made out of steel alloy. It is positioned and stretched between a steel frame and locks on both ends for a perfect attachment. This saw works on a pull stroke and comes with teeth that face downwards.

The best part of a coping saw is its ability to cut through a hole or even a cutout. You can do that by removing the saw’s blade and then stringing it through the wooden hole or cutout.

Coping saws are used to cut wooden moldings. You can also use it to cut through the aluminum pipework.

Hack Saw

Hack Saw

The other saw types that fall in this category are the hack saw. This handheld saw is specifically designed for cutting metals.

It operates by manual push. You will have to push the saw manually back and forth through the metallic material.

It is almost like a coping saw. However, it has a fine-toothed blade. The blade is also positioned with its teeth facing upward or even downward.

This saw also has a C-shaped frame. The frame will secure the blade in its place while you cut the material. Make sure that you position the material that you are cutting in a vise.

This saw’s blade typically measures anywhere between 10 to 12 inches. But that depends purely on the manufacturer or the model.

Other Types of Hand Saws

Finally, the other different types of hand saws that we have also include the following options too.

Rip-Cut Saw

Rip Cut Saw

The rip-cut saw will taper down to some virtual point at its very end. This design handheld saw enables to move easily within the wood as you cut.

Rip-Cut Saw has fewer teeth compared to the next saw that I will talk about. This makes it better for precision cuts.

Crosscut Saw

Crosscut Saw

This is the conventional saw that everyone knows. The crosscut saw is designed to make the best cuts on even rougher wooded surfaces.

The crosscut saw has larger teeth compared to the other traditional handsaws. The blade is also thick. This saw is also called the bucking saw in some other quarters. In the area that I come from, it is also called the felling saw.

NOTE: There are other hand saws too. They include the bow saw, pruning saw, fret saw, and veneer saw. Other less common saws that fall in the same category include, Japanese saw, keyhole saw, and back saw.

Different Types of Power Saws

Next, our categories are these types of electrical saws that we are going to look at. They fall within the best power saw types and use specific power sources to cut through materials.


Chain saw

The chainsaw is for cutting the big lumbers. It will cut large wood pieces of wood including trees easily. It is a mechanically powered handheld saw.

The saw incorporates a set of teeth along a moving chain. The chain moves by rotating around a steel panel as you cut your wood.

As the chain rotates, it slices through the wood with very high power and an even greater force. Most of these saws use the gasoline engine to power the chain that has the teeth.

Some chainsaw models are also driven by an electric motor. However, the model that uses the engine option will offer greater power.

What You Should Know

To select the position of the chain, an inbuilt clutch is used. The use of the clutch also helps to protect the person operating the chainsaw the engine’s kickbacks.

In addition to that, the clutch also prevents the engine from overheating or from stalling inside the piece of wood that you are cutting.

The saw’s guide bar is made of steel alloy. Steel alloy makes is durable. It sits at approximately 40cm – 90 cm and gives the cut length of the chainsaw you are using.

Circular Saw

Circular Saw

The circular saw is for the projects that require a greater hands-on approach. There are different types of circular. Circular saws are used mostly in building projects.

It is relatively lightweight and comes with a handheld design. However, you must push the saw manually push to cut the material surface that you need.

How It Works

The circular saw makes use of a round blade. The blade rotates when you cut the material. Most people love this saw because you can take it to wherever you want to cut.

To use this type of handsaw, you need to be able to guide the saw all through the surface while you hold the material firmly.

The blade will then chip away the wood slowly and make the best cut on the surface. The blade does this while spinning. Thanks to the electric motor that gives these types of electric saws the power they need.

There are many types of circular saws. But the most popular circular saws names are here:

Band Saw

Band Saw

The bandsaw is a stationary power saw. This is one of the types of electric saws that you won’t be able to move around once they are installed.

This is a good example of a nimble saw, which will cut through a variety of materials using just interchangeable blades.

The saw has a long blade. The blade is used by feeding material into it manually. The band saw is one of the most accurate and precise cutting machines that you can find for curved and straight cuts.

It can also be used to cut a myriad of jigsaw shapes. Its long blade is equipped with varying degrees of saw teeth. The length of the blade is also determined by the size of your machine and the type of material you want to cut.

There are many types of bandsaws. But the most popular are here:



The jigsaw is a very powerful handheld type of power saws. A jigsaw cuts a variety of materials and has a beveling technique of up to 45 degrees.

Because of this ability, the jigsaw is best used for cutting out details. It is also best when you want to cut out areas that are hard to reach too.

How it Works

The jigsaw works by incorporating an electric motor to power up its system. The motor then powers up the blade, which cuts through the required surface.

A jigsaw’s blade is easy to power. Thanks to the blade’s thin structure. The blade can also be designed with varying teeth for every inch.

The type of material that you cut with a jigsaw blade will be determined by the thickness of the jigsaw blade. This saw is best for flawless curves.

NOTE: Thicker jigsaw blades will cut through harder materials. Some of the materials that they can cut through include:

  • Concrete
  • Carpet 
  • Countertops
  • Ceramic tile
  • Metal

Miter Saw

Miter Saw

The Miter Saw is best for making angled cuts. These types of electric saws come with circular blades. The blade is pulled down on the material that you will be cutting on. This mechanism of operation makes this saw safe for use.

One thing that you will love about the miter saw is its circular blade. The blade can be swapped with that of a table saw for much better flexibility.

The circular blade of a miter saw typically comes at either 10″ or 12″ size. It is made out of carbon steel and will last longer. The best miter saws have their blades coated for an easy cutting experience.

One thing that’s unique to this type of saw is the ability of the saw to dial in the angle of cut that you need. This makes the cuts from the miter saw extremely precise cuts. You can, therefore, use it for the joints that need perfect fitting.

How to Dial-In the Angle of Cut

The miter saw comes with a dial pad. The dial pad is calibrated in angles. You can use the pad to dial in your miter saw the degree of cut.

Table Saw

Table Saw

A table saw as the name suggests is a tabletop cutting type of electric saws. It allows you to set the wood piece that you want to cut on top of its worktable.

Once you have set the wood, you will push the wood towards the blade to cut it. This is unlike the circular saw where you will push the saw instead.

This saw is very flexible and comes with a stationary circular blade. The blade depth is easy to adjust thus giving you so many applications that allow you to rip wood, cut straight, and measure as you cut.

The cutting blade sits at the center of the table and simply extends upward when cutting through the wood.

There are many types of table saws that we can use. But the most popular types table saw list are here:

  • Benchtop
  • Jobsite
  • Compact
  • Hybrid
  • Contractor
  • Cabinet
  • Sliding 
  • Mini and micro

Wet-Tile saws

Wet-Tile Saws

Wet tile saws are used in flooring. They are used to cut vinyl tiles without chipping the edges. Wet tile saws have been used for a very long time. They are quite reliable too. They are among the set of high-quality tools and equipment for handling tiling works.

Pole Saws

Pole Saw

Pole saws unlike other common saws that we have seen are chainsaws that are attached to telescoping pole handles. A pole saw is used to prune or trim high tree branches. They can transform to chain saws for normal cutting when the shaft and telescoping handles are removed too. There are very many types of pole saw that we can use. But the most popular are here:

Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating Saw

Unlike chain saws, reciprocating saws are small in size. They are among the handheld Sawzall that are used for metal or woodwork. A reciprocating saw (also known by Sawzall) will use a back and forth motion known as ‘strokes’ to cut. It is this motion-cut that gives it its name of a reciprocating saw. Most popular types of reciprocating saws list are here:

  • Cordless Reciprocating Saw
  • Corded reciprocating saw
  • Portable Reciprocating Saw

Scroll Saw

scroll saw
A scroll saw unlike all these saws incorporates a reciprocating saw in its system. The saw is used to cut decorative and spiral lines. It can also be used to cut stylish patterns. The saw is designed to use a foot pedal as a mode of operation when the pedal is stepped on it triggers the reciprocating blade, which moves in an up and down movement to cut out the patterns.


Sawing has been a very important aspect of DIY projects, woodworking, and metal works. It is one way that you can cut your materials to size and another way to measure what you want to cut.

These saws that I have listed here are so many. Like you can see, they have different uses. Their way of operation also differs. Nonetheless, the most important thing is that you find a saw that suits your needs. Eventually, you will have the best results and a complete project to go with. This is simple and gives you an awesome experience with any type of saw that you choose. Now that you know the Different Types of Saws and Their Uses I hope you choose the right one.

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7 thoughts on “Different Types of Saws and Their Uses (with pictures)

  • Thanks for helping me learn more about saws! I’ve been seeing a lot of them while watching a documentary regarding woodworking and I got interested in how they work. The idea of being able to take it to wherever or whatever part I want to be cut is very interesting. My dad is interested in starting woodworking as a hobby and I should share these with him so he’d be aware of the tools available for cutting wood.

  • I really like this to the point explanation. keep helping people, also um expecting some safety tips while using different saws.

  • I’m quite surprised at your omission of the multitool or oscillating saw. They’re common and one of the most versatile of the power tool family.

    * also your comment questions say “Your Webiste” instead of website. Might want to get that corrected. 😉

  • Back in the 60s and 70s there were a few of the power operated saws that were named differently than they are today. What is shown as a jigsaw was called a sabre saw while what’s called a scroll saw was known as a jigsaw. There was also a tool that was mostly like what we called a sabre saw which had a handle/knob on top of the blade area which was able to steer the blade, this was called a scroll saw. The ability to steer the blade came in handy when working in areas where one couldn’t turn the whole saw due to some obstruction.

    Yes, I am an old man.

  • This is a well-thought article. This article helped me decide which power saw I should use on my woodworking projects.

  • This is a very articulate article. This helped me decide which power saw I should use on my DIY woodworking projects.

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