Different Types of Saws and Their Uses (with Pictures)

By | March 28, 2023

Finding that perfect saw for a particular task can turn confusing if you are unsure what to look for. But it is essential to use the perfect saw when looking to perform a task to achieve an efficient outcome.

This piece of content sheds light on a few of the types of saws available on the market and the uses into which these tools can best be put to. In this article, I will review the most common saw types and the best and top-rated saw models.

Below you will see a quick draft of what we are going to discuss.

In need of a powerful tool to help with your carpentry or other work? You can find the best saw models quite easily online, and that too, with a vast array to choose from.

Brands range from Black & Decker to Hitachi to DEWALT. Other brands such as SKIL, Milwaukee, Dremel, and Rockwell make some excellent choices.

The popularity of each brand is reflected in their ratings from users and spots in best-selling product lists.

Hand Saws

Hand saws are a staple in every workshop. They’re perfect for small jobs and situations where power tools aren’t necessary. Let’s dive into the four common types of hand saws and explore their features, pros, cons, and use cases.

Traditional Hand Saw

In my experience, a traditional hand saw is a must-have in any DIYer’s toolbox. It’s versatile, easy to use, and perfect for simple cuts on wood. Its main drawback is the manual effort required, but that’s also part of its charm!

  • Pros
    • Affordable
    • Easy to use
    • Suitable for various wood-cutting tasks
  • Cons
    • Manual effort required
    • Limited precision compared to power saws

Use Cases

  • Cutting lumber
  • Trimming branches
  • Basic woodworking projects

Comparison Table: Popular Hand Saw Models

Model Blade Length Teeth per Inch Price Range
Stanley FatMax 20-045 15 inches 9 TPI $
Irwin 2011200 20 inches 8 TPI $
Bahco 244-22-U7/8-HP 22 inches 7 TPI $$


When I need precision and control, I turn to the backsaw. It has a reinforced back for added stability, which makes it ideal for creating precise, straight cuts, like when you’re cutting joints or molding.

  • Pros
    • Precise cutting
    • Reinforced back for stability
    • Suitable for detailed woodworking tasks
  • Cons
    • Limited cutting depth
    • Not ideal for cutting thick materials

Use Cases

  • Dovetail joints
  • Tenon joints
  • Cutting molding and trim

Comparison Table: Popular Backsaw Models

Model Blade Length Teeth per Inch Price Range
Veritas Dovetail Saw 14 inches 14 TPI $$$
Crown FLINN1 10 inches 16 TPI $$
Stanley 20-221 10 inches 13 TPI $

Coping Saw

The coping saw is my go-to for intricate cuts and curves. Its thin, flexible blade allows for precise maneuvering, making it perfect for cutting intricate shapes in wood, like those found in crown molding or scrollwork.

  • Pros
    • Ideal for cutting curves
    • Thin, flexible blade
    • Great for detailed woodworking
  • Cons
    • Requires practice for precise cuts
    • Limited cutting depth

Use Cases

  • Cutting intricate shapes in wood
  • Coping joints in trim and molding
  • Scrollwork and decorative cuts

Comparison Table: Popular Coping Saw Models

Model Blade Length Teeth per Inch Price Range
Robert Larson 540-2000 6.5 inches 15 TPI $$
Olson Saw SF63510 6.5 inches 15 TPI $
Bahco 301 6.5 inches 14 TPI $


The hacksaw is a versatile and indispensable tool in my workshop. It’s designed for cutting metal, but it can also tackle plastic and even wood with the right blade. Its adjustable frame accommodates various blade lengths, making it quite versatile.

  • Pros
    • Cuts a variety of materials (metal, plastic, wood)
    • Adjustable frame for different blade lengths
    • Replaceable blades for various applications
  • Cons
    • Limited cutting depth
    • Can be tiring for extended use

Use Cases

  • Cutting metal pipes and rods
  • Trimming PVC or plastic pipes
  • Cutting small pieces of wood

Comparison Table: Popular Hacksaw Models

Model Blade Length Teeth per Inch Price Range
Stanley 15-113 12 inches 24 TPI $
Lenox Tools 12132-HT50 12 inches 24 TPI $$
Klein Tools 702-12 12 inches 24 TPI $$

Now that we’ve covered hand saws, in the following sections, we’ll explore power saws, specialty saws, and how to choose the right saw for your project. With this knowledge, you’ll be well-equipped to select the perfect saw for any task you face in your workshop.

Power Saws

Power saws are essential for any serious DIYer or professional woodworker. They provide speed, precision, and versatility that hand saws simply can’t match. In this section, we’ll explore seven popular power saws, their pros, cons, use cases, and comparison tables for three popular models of each type.


A jigsaw is a handheld saw used for detailed and very delicate tasks. It features a blade measuring between three and four inches in length and a width of between 1/4 and 3/8 inches. The blade, which sticks out at the base of the saw, sits on the wood to be cut and slides on its surface, moving up and down as it cuts the wood on the upstroke. Jigsaws are commonly used when trying to cut irregular shapes into plywood and other engineered wood product. However, the blade is usually very fragile and can bend easily, compromising its ability to cut accurately. This type of saws is also not suited for cutting very fast.

I can’t praise the jigsaw enough. Its ability to cut curves, straight lines, and plunge cuts makes it one of the most versatile power saws out there. Plus, it’s lightweight and easy to handle, which is perfect for beginners.

  • Pros
    • Versatile cutting capabilities
    • Lightweight and easy to handle
    • Great for beginners
  • Cons
    • Can be difficult to achieve perfectly straight cuts
    • Limited cutting capacity compared to other saws

Use Cases

  • Cutting curves and intricate shapes
  • Straight and plunge cuts
  • Cutting various materials like wood, metal, and plastic

Comparison Table: Popular Jigsaw Models

Model Power Source Strokes per Minute Price Range
Bosch JS470E Corded 500-3100 SPM $$
DeWalt DCS335B Cordless 0-3000 SPM $$
Black+Decker BDEJS600C Corded 800-3000 SPM $

Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a lifesaver when it comes to demolition work. I’ve used mine to cut through wood, metal, and even masonry. It’s not the most precise tool, but its power and ability to handle rough cuts make it indispensable for certain jobs.

  • Pros
    • Powerful cutting capabilities
    • Ideal for demolition work
    • Cuts various materials, including masonry
  • Cons
    • Not suitable for precision cuts
    • Can be challenging to control

Use Cases

  • Demolition work
  • Cutting through wood, metal, and masonry
  • Pruning trees and cutting branches

Comparison Table: Popular Reciprocating Saw Models

Model Power Source Strokes per Minute Price Range
DeWalt DWE305 Corded 0-2900 SPM $$
Milwaukee 6519-31 Corded 0-3000 SPM $$
Ryobi P515

Miter Saws

Miter saws have 10-inch and 12-inch blades circular in nature and similar to those found on table saws. Since their blades come with more teeth, these saws make a smoother cut than circular saws. They are the saws of choice when looking to miter cut wood trim for cabinetry and crown molding accurately or to finish carpentry work. It has to be noted that these saws come in different varieties, each with its own cutting style. For example, miter or straight crosscuts can be made in wood molding with a basic miter saw. A sliding miter saw can make a more extended miter cut, being mounted on rails. In contrast, compound angles can be cut with a compound miter saw. It is worthy of note also that these saws are not helpful when working with steel, though. Here I have reviewed the Dewalt DW715 and Dewalt DW716 miter saws.

For accurate, angled cuts, I always turn to my miter saw. It’s perfect for trim work and creating picture frames. While it’s not as versatile as some other saws, its precision and ease of use more than make up for it.

  • Pros
    • Precise angled cuts
    • Easy to use
    • Great for trim work and framing
  • Cons
    • Limited versatility
    • Bulky and less portable

Use Cases

  • Cutting trim and molding
  • Creating picture frames
  • Cutting framing lumber

Comparison Table: Popular Miter Saw Models

Model Blade Diameter Power Source Price Range
DeWalt DWS779 12 inches Corded $$$
Hitachi C10FCH2 10 inches Corded $$
Bosch GCM12SD 12 inches Corded $$$

Scroll Saws

Dewalt DW788 scroll saw These are highly popular among artists and hobbyists. Scroll saws are very useful in cutting different types of shapes. A scroll saw has a slender blade, which is mounted between a platform and an arm. Almost all shapes can be cut with these saws by moving the wood material to be cut around the platform compared to the blade. Scroll saws can make intricate curves that cannot be made with other types of saws and accurately, too. They are also safer than most other saws.

The scroll saw is the ultimate tool for intricate, detailed work. It’s perfect for creating wooden puzzles, ornaments, and delicate fretwork. It’s not the most versatile saw, but for those who enjoy fine woodworking, it’s a must-have.

  • Pros
    • Ideal for intricate, detailed work
    • Allows for extremely precise cuts
    • Quiet operation
  • Cons
    • Limited versatility
    • Can be challenging to change blades

Use Cases

  • Creating wooden puzzles and ornaments
  • Delicate fretwork and inlays
  • Cutting thin materials like veneers and plywood

Comparison Table: Popular Scroll Saw Models

Model Throat Depth Power Source Price Range
DeWalt DW788 20 inches Corded $$$
WEN 3921 16 inches Corded $
Delta 40-694 20 inches Corded $$

With this comprehensive guide to various types of saws, you’ll be well-equipped to select the perfect saw for any project you face in your workshop. Whether it’s a simple hand saw for basic cuts or a powerful table saw for more complex tasks, understanding the pros, cons, and use cases of each saw type will help you make an informed decision that suits your needs.

Circular Saws

The circular saw is a powerful, portable option that’s perfect for making quick, straight cuts. I love using it for cutting plywood, framing lumber, and even trimming decking boards. It takes some practice to master, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate its speed and convenience.

These are portable saws featuring circular blades that are usually between 7 inches and 14 inches in diameter. However, there are offerings with smaller diameters. A circular saw is commonly used by woodworkers for rough framing. This type of saw is straightforward and fast to use when cutting through dimensional and engineered sheet lumber. There are two common designs of circular saws. The more common of the two, which have the blade aligned with the motor shaft, involves using a pair of gears to transmit power to the blade from the motor shaft. The second, “worm drive,” design has the shaft of the motor aligned with the saw. The second design is more powerful and precise, although it is noticeably heavier. One drawback of circular saws is that they are not ideal for detailed finishing work.

  • Pros
    • Portable and versatile
    • Fast, straight cuts
    • Suitable for various materials
  • Cons
    • Can be difficult to make precise cuts
    • Requires practice for accurate cutting

Use Cases

  • Cutting plywood and framing lumber
  • Trimming decking boards
  • Crosscutting and ripping boards

Comparison Table: Popular Circular Saw Models

Model Blade Diameter Power Source Price Range
DeWalt DWE575SB 7.25 inches Corded $$
Makita 5007MG 7.25 inches Corded $$
Milwaukee M18 2630-20 6.5 inches Cordless $$

Table Saws

From Benchtop to Cabinet table saw, all kinds of table saws can be found at Amazon.com with a huge variety of offers. These home improvement power tools are there to make your lives easier. No need to worry about making space for these hi-tech machines either, as some of these are also foldable. If you’re looking for nothing less than the best, try out the DEWALT DWE7491RS 10-Inch Jobsite Table saw with a 32-1/2-Inch Rip Capacity and Rolling Stand. However, if you want them at a more wallet-friendly price, Hitachi and Rockwell have an excellent range of table saws. Bosch is a better mid-range choice with their prices for amazing mid-range products. Keter, Genesis, and Skil provide quality table saws as well. Finally, Woodtek has a great new hybrid table saw model for a more professional and innovative product.

The table saw is the heart of my workshop. It’s perfect for making precise, long cuts and ripping boards to width. Its main downside is its size and weight, so it’s not very portable, but its accuracy and power are unmatched.

  • Pros
    • Precise, long cuts
    • Ideal for ripping boards
    • Powerful and accurate
  • Cons
    • Bulky and less portable
    • Can be dangerous if not used properly

Use Cases

  • Ripping boards to width
  • Cutting sheet materials
  • Making crosscuts and dado cuts

Comparison Table: Popular Table Saw Models

Model Power Source Rip Capacity Price Range
DeWalt DWE7491RS Corded 32-1/2 inches $$$
Bosch 4100-10 Corded 25 inches $$
SawStop PCS175-TGP236 Corded 36 inches $$$$

Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a lifesaver when it comes to demolition work. I’ve used mine to cut through wood, metal, and even masonry. It’s not the most precise tool, but its power and ability to handle rough cuts make it indispensable for certain jobs.

  • Pros
    • Powerful and versatile
    • Ideal for demolition work
    • Cuts through various materials
  • Cons
    • Limited precision
    • Can be challenging to control

Use Cases

  • Cutting through framing and drywall
  • Removing old plumbing and electrical components
  • Trimming tree branches

Comparison Table: Popular Reciprocating Saw Models

Model Power Source Strokes per Minute Price Range
DeWalt DWE305 Corded 0 – 2,900 SPM $$$
Milwaukee 6519-31 Corded 0 – 3,000 SPM $$
Ryobi P517 Cordless 0 – 2,900 SPM $$

Band Saw

When I need to make curved or irregular cuts, I rely on my band saw. Its continuous blade makes it ideal for cutting curves and resawing lumber. It may not be the first saw you buy, but once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

  • Pros
    • Ideal for curved and irregular cuts
    • Can resaw lumber
    • Suitable for various materials
  • Cons
    • Limited portability
    • Can be challenging for beginners

Use Cases

  • Cutting curves and irregular shapes
  • Resawing lumber
  • Cutting sheet materials and veneers

Comparison Table: Popular Band Saw Models

Model Throat Capacity Power Source Price Range
Rikon 10-305 9-5/8 inches Corded $$
Grizzly G0555LX 13-1/2 inches Corded $$$
WEN 3962 9-3/4 inches Corded $

Specialty Saws

In addition to the more common saws, there are a few specialty saws designed for specific tasks. These saws may not be as versatile as their counterparts, but they excel at the jobs they were made for.

Tile Saw

I’ve found that a tile saw is essential for cutting tiles without chipping or cracking them. Its water-cooled blade keeps the dust down and ensures a clean, precise cut. If you’re planning a tile project, it’s worth investing in or renting one.

  • Pros
    • Precise tile cuts
    • Water-cooled blade reduces dust
    • Helps prevent tile chipping and cracking
  • Cons
    • Limited to tile cutting
    • Can be messy due to water

Use Cases

  • Cutting ceramic, porcelain, or stone tiles
  • Bathroom or kitchen renovations

Comparison Table: Popular Tile Saw Models

Model Blade Diameter Power Source Price Range
DeWalt D24000S 10 inches Corded $$$
QEP 22650Q 7 inches Corded $
MK Diamond MK-370EXP 7 inches Corded $$

Chain Saw

For tackling trees and large branches, a chainsaw is indispensable. It’s powerful, efficient, and can make quick work of even the toughest jobs. Keep in mind that chainsaws can be dangerous, so always follow safety precautions and wear proper protective gear.

  • Pros
    • Powerful and efficient
    • Ideal for cutting trees and large branches
    • Available in gas, electric, and battery-powered models
  • Cons
    • Can be dangerous if not used properly
    • Requires regular maintenance

Use Cases

  • Tree trimming and removal
  • Cutting firewood
  • Clearing brush and overgrowth

Comparison Table: Popular Chain Saw Models

Model Power Source Bar Length Price Range
Husqvarna 460 Rancher Gas 20 inches $$$
DeWalt DCCS620P1 Battery 12 inches $$
Worx WG303.1 Electric 16 inches $

Oscillating Multi-Tool

While not strictly a saw, the oscillating multi-tool has become one of my favorite tools for its versatility. With a variety of attachments, it can cut through wood, metal, and even drywall. It’s perfect for tight spaces and detail work where other saws just can’t reach.

  • Pros
    • Extremely versatile with various attachments
    • Ideal for tight spaces and detail work
    • Can cut wood, metal, and drywall
  • Cons
    • Less powerful than dedicated saws
    • Can be less precise

Use Cases

  • Flush-cutting door casings
  • Cutting out drywall openings
  • Trimming wood and metal

Comparison Table: Popular Oscillating Multi-Tool Models

Model Power Source Oscillations Per Minute Price Range
DeWalt DCS355D1 Battery 0 – 20,000 $$$
Bosch GOP40-30C Corded 8,000 – 20,000 $$
Porter-Cable PCE605K Corded 10,000 – 22,000 $

Choosing the Right Saw for Your Project

To choose the right saw for your project, consider these factors:

  • Material: Different saws are designed for different materials. Be sure to choose a saw that’s suitable for the material you’re working with.
  • Precision: If your project requires precise, accurate cuts, opt for a saw that offers control and stability, like a miter or table saw.
  • Complexity: For intricate, detailed work, choose a saw that’s designed for curves and tight spaces, like a coping saw or jigsaw.
  • Budget: Consider the cost of the saw and any accessories you might need. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of replacement blades if you plan to use the saw frequently.

When making your decision, take the time to research and compare different saws. Ask for recommendations from friends or fellow DIYers, and read reviews to get a better idea of what to expect.


There’s a saw for every project, and knowing the differences between them can help you make the right choice for your needs. Whether you’re cutting wood, metal, or tile, there’s a saw that’s perfect for the job. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different saws, as each one has its unique advantages. Happy cutting!