When you go to start a workshop, whether, for personal use around the house or as a
profession, you may be blown away by all the different types of saws. To simplify it, start by
covering the basics. With these 6 basic saws, you can complete almost anything, and as you
specialize you can add to your arsenal of saws to use.
The miter saw, also known as a chop saw, is an extremely versatile tool that can be used for
many projects. Its strength comes from its ability to make clean cuts at specific angles. If you
need to add crown molding to a room or build a deck, it’s the perfect tool. All of your standard
cuts will be held to a 90-degree angle so your projects will look clean. Cutting a perfect 45 for a
joint will be easy. Bevel cuts to fit almost any situation. The only downsides to miter saws are
the cut window and the portability.
A circular saw is like the utility player of finish cuts. The strength of the circular saw comes from
its portability. You take the saw to the cut. Crosscuts and rips are easy with this saw. If you are
building a deck or a fence, you can cut accurately enough with the aid of a square or a chalk
line. For more precision, such as building furniture or remodeling projects, use a rip fence or a
rail to keep your cut straight. While you will not want to replace your miter saw and table saw
with this useful tool, it’s a great middle of the road tool between those two staple saws.
The rip masters. Making long, straight cuts out of plywood or ripping a board down by width, this
is the saw you need. While the cut can be made with a circular saw, this saw cuts significantly
more accurately since the saw and guide or fence are mounted together on a table. Where a
miter saw is limited to the length of cut that can be made, the table saw is limited by the width of
the table but can cut infinitely long.
The jigsaw uses a skinny blade that reciprocates up and down to make intricate cuts. The slide
that the saw rides on as it cuts allows the cut to be made with relative control and keeps the
blade at 90 degrees so the cut will look clean, with the exception of the ripped edges from the
reciprocating. With a little sanding, the edges can be cleaned up and you can achieve great
results using this saw. The issue is it would be next to impossible to compete with a circular
saw, miter saw, or table saw for straightness.
Band saws work by having a large continuous band with saw teeth pulled by two wheels. The
thin blade makes cutting curves easy and clean, especially with a table to work on. Larger
blades can be used to rip wood and make straight cuts. You can even get blades that are
excellent for cutting other materials such as steel or aluminum. In these cases, the long blade
helps keep the teeth from getting hot and destroyed and the table takes the force of the blade
so all you have to do is guide the cut.
The reciprocating saw is commonly referred to as a Sawzall. While technically this is a model
name by Milwaukee, it comes from the ability of this saw to cut everything. Get a variety pack of
blades and you will be equipped to cut through large chunks of metal, prune tree limbs, cut pipe,
or cut through wood that is full of nails and screws.