Most Popular 11 Types of Woodworking Hand Saws

There are many types of saw used in woodworking. Different types of woodworking hand saws are used for general handicrafts, such as crosscut saw for cutting across the wood, backsaw for cutting angles inside the wood, dovetail saw for making dovetail joints, compass saw for making for zigzag work on wooden planks, pit saw for cutting trees or logs, different types of saws for making small and delicate designs, patterns etc. 

General rules for using a hand saw: 

  • The saw should move as long as possible when moving back and forth. 
  • The saw should be at a fixed angle with the wood, not tilted to the left or right. 
  • It will move with pressure when moving forward, and there will be no pressure when pulling back. 
  • The number of strokes per minute with the saw depends on the type of saw and work. 
  • If you run too fast, your hands will suddenly become numb, and if you run too slowly, energy and time will be wasted. 
  • So the saw should be driven at a medium and reasonable speed. 
  • When hand sawing, if you give 35 to 45 strokes per minute, the wood will cut well. 
  • One stroke means walking 1 time forward and 1 time back. 
  • Before sawing, the wood has to be pre-measured by marking with a pencil or scribe, and the saw has to be carefully cut along the mark. 
  • Everyone starts with some difficulty when they start cutting. 
  • The first two strokes are guided with the left hand’s thumb, and the saw in the right hand is run very lightly towards the front, not the back! 
  • Then gradually running the saw became more comfortable and more manageable. 
  • After moving some distance to cut the wood, the saw naturally became jammed by the wood’s pressure on both sides. As a result, it is challenging to run a saw. 
  • You have to fasten a wooden nail inside the cut part to make a small gap and move the saw quickly. 
  • At the end of the cutting, the saw has to be run lightly and slowly, and arrangements have to be made to protect the chopped wood. Otherwise, the wood is likely to crack. 

Types of woodworking hand saws

The following are some common hand saws used in woodworking.

Crosscut hand saw
Crosscut hand saw

1. Crosscut hand saw:

This is the most widely used hand saw. It is 450 to 900 mm in (One and a half feet to three feet), and the tip is gradually narrower than the handle. 5 to 6 teeth per inch, the teeth placed or set opposite each other. The tooth’s edge is aligned with the saw blade at about 60 degrees angle, and the part of the tooth’s tip proceeds to cut wood.

The thickness of the toothed part is greater than the thickness of the original blade. Because the toothed part is thicker, the saw does not stick to the wood during cutting, and wood powder does not accumulate in the teeth. The cross-cut saw has to be driven at about 50 degrees angle with the wooden floor. This saw should be used for cutting across wood or planks.


Rip saw
Rip saw

2. Rip saw:

A rip saw is usually 400 to 600 mm. The apex becomes more prolonged and narrower in terms of the handle. The number of teeth per inch length is 5 to 6. The tooth’s tip (sharp edge) is at a right angle (90 degrees) with the saw blade. That is why all the front parts of the teeth are used for cutting wood. The file stays straight when sharpening, so the tooth craving is a lot like a chisel. The teeth are placed in the opposite direction to cut the wood well and smoothly.

Rip saws are suitable for cutting in favor of wood fibers. You can operate this saw at normal pressure with the wood at 60 degrees angle without excessive force. It is specially designed for making a rip cut (parallel to the direction of the wood grain). It is also used to cut boards and planks to length.


Backsaw

3. Backsaw:

The backsaw is 250 to 300 mm (10 “-14”) in length and 75 mm (3 “) wide. It is relatively small in size. Blades are bent in opposite directions, one after the other. This saw is convenient to use for cutting angles inside the wood such as cutting dovetails, miters, or tenons in cabinetry and joinery. This saw gives more precise cutting compared to other types of saws. Tenon, Razor, Dovetail, Sash, Mitre saws are one kind of backsaw.


Compass saw

4. Compass Saw:

A compass saw is called a slender hand saw because its blade is very narrow and it is 300 to 850 mm (12 “-18”) in length; The number of teeth is 10 to 12 per inch. That means a larger blade and fewer teeth per inch. It can be fixed or retractable. This saw is quite convenient for smooth work, especially for zigzag work on wooden planks, cutting softer woods, plastic, drywall, and non-ferrous metals. It is used for making curved cuts where a larger saw would not fit.


Coping Saw
Coping Saw

5. Coping Saw:

It is a type of bow saw, more like a hacksaw. A coping saw is made by screwing a thin saw blade with a U-shaped frame (teeth pointing towards the handle). A thin hardened steel blade facilitates to change of the direction of the cut easily. You can remove the blades by unscrewing the handle. Also, You can change the frame by loosening the handle. These saws are used for cutting narrow and zigzag and designs. It is mostly used to cut moldings.


Knife or keyhole saw
Knife or keyhole saw

6. Knife or keyhole saw:

This saw is making by inserting a thin and hard blade directly with a sleeve. It is narrower than the compass saw. It is also called pad saw, alligator saw, jab saw or drywall saw. The blade can be fixed or retractable. The blade is fastened to the handle by one or two holding/thumb screws. The fixed-blade is cheaper than the retractable type. This saw is handy for small work, especially for cutting or finishing keyways or similar holes inside wood or planks, suitable for cutting extremely tight curves.


Turning saw
Turning saw

7. Turning saw:

It is also called a frame saw (a type of bow saw). A thin, strong blade attached to a special type of frame to make a turning saw. The rope on the opposite side of the blade is twisted with a twist-stick and held tight enough (pins hold the blade in the cheeks). The blade is 365 mm. (15 “) long and 15 teeth per inch. A turning saw is handy for fine work inside or outside wood. A big advantage of these saws is that the blades are relatively long and cut faster than other types of saws.


Dovetail saw
Dovetail saw

8. Dovetail saw:

This is also a small and slender saw. These saws usually have around 15-20 teeth per inch. It is a type of backsaws, smaller than tenon saws, designed for making fine work, such as joint-making, particularly dovetail joints (a type of wood joints), where two pieces of wood must fit together precisely. It works well in cross-cutting operations where an extremely neat finish is required.


Mitre box saw
Mitre box saw

9. Mitre box saw:

The mitre box is actually a jig that helps the saw cut wood at certain angles. The saw used here is similar to the backsaw. However, its blade is wider and longer, and the shape of the teeth is more delicate. This saw is more suitable for smooth work, angle cutting etc. The mitre box saw is used to cut at a certain angle and operate the saw. The box has different angles. As a result, it is possible to work at certain angles even with less skilled hands.


Hacksaw
Hacksaw

10. Hacksaw:

Hack saw is mostly used in iron and metal factories, but if necessary, wood can be cut easily. the frame and the blade are the two main parts of this saw. The frame is made of steel. It has two pins on each side. A screw is attached to the pin on one side to adjust the blade’s tension after attaching to the pin. The blade is 300 mm (12 “) long and 12.5 mm (0.5”) wide. The number of teeth is 14 to 32 per inch. Note that the smoothness and speed of the work depending on the number and thickness of teeth. A large number of teeth works for smooth cutting. The thicker teeth work for fast and rougher cutting.


11. Pit saw:

A pit saw is used to cut whole trees or large logs. Its size is quite large, and four people have to run holding it together. The saw is 2 meters (6.5 feet) long or more, 300 mm (20 “) wide at the base, and 150 mm (6”) at the apex.

The number of teeth is 10-12 per foot, i.e. 1 per inch. When cutting big trees in the garden, saws are run at the tree’s base with two people on each side. Eventually, the tree falls to the ground and is cut into large pieces or logs. The logs are then raised to a high level and tied to the platform. Two people on the scaffolding and two people on the ground using this pit saw to cut logs and extract different lumber sizes.

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