30 Types of Saws Every Beginner Woodworker Should Know

Woodworking has always been a unique industry because of the involvement of tools and machines. It does not matter if we talk about the lathes or different types of woods; everything would seem unique and different if you dive deep into their details. The same scenario goes for the saws as there are literally many types of saws available that can be used while woodworking.

If you really think that only a single saw can get all the things done, then you might be wrong. There are certain types of saws available in the woodworking industry that are designed for specific purposes. If you don’t know what those saws are and what they are used for, then let me give you an extensive and brief overview of each critical saw you would need in your woodworking career.

Categorizing Two Different Types Of Saws!

Are there only two different types of saws? Definitely not! But we will have to categorize the two different handling or working styles of saws to make them easier to understand. Let’s have a look at what those two different handling or working styles are:

  • Handsaws: Just like the name suggests, handsaws are the saws that require effort from one’s hands. They do not operate from any other source but the hands of the woodworkers. And do not forget that you might have to use extensive force in order to use the handsaws effectively and cut through the wood efficiently.
  • Power Saws: Power Saws are saws that have built-in machinery and motor in them. That specific motor helps the power saws to run their blade and cut through the wood. Power saws are usually very efficient and do not require any type of external force to get things done with ease.

These are the only two categories of saws you can find on the internet. Now we will break down the different types of saws in each category so that it would be easier for you to understand.

Types Of Handsaws For Woodworking

I have made sure to include all the crucial handsaws in this list, so take a look and understand the working of each one!

1. Standard Handsaws

hand saws

This is one of the most common types of handsaws, and you might have actually used it for real because of its standard use in the woodworking industry. This type of handsaw is also called a universal saw because of its multi-purpose. But if we take a look at its actual and recommended use, you should only use it to cut raw wood pieces.

Most of the standard hand saws come with gapped teeth, which make it easier for the users to cut through the wood effectively. But as it is a handsaw, you might have to go all out with your strength if you are working on a very big project.

2. Bow Saws

bow saw

If you have ever seen a bow, you would definitely understand how a bow saw would look like. Just like the bows, the bow saws come with a slim and sleek handle at the back. One thing to actually note down here is that the handles of the bow saws are usually very light and can break into two pieces if you force them too much.

So the best way to use the bow saws is to cut small pieces of wood through them. The small pieces can be bushes, rails of woods, and other similar things if you want to work without any problems. The best thing about bow saws is that they are really stable because of the connectivity from both ends. That particular connectivity offers the bow saws the best sturdiness while working.

3. Crosscut Saws

crosscut saw

Crosscut saws are unique and different saws from the usual ones because of their designs. Instead of just one handle, crosscut saws come with two handles. One handle is attached to one end, and the other one is attached to the top of the blade to make it even sturdier and stable. If we talk about the use of crosscut sows, they are usually used on any wood that requires crosscutting.

To use the crosscut saws properly; the woodworker has to use both hands along with full power to make it work. People still use the crosscut saws with one hand, but then there would be no difference between a crosscut saw and a standard handsaw.

4. Fine Saws

fine saw

Fine saws usually look like a butcher’s saw because of their rectangular shape. Fine saws are generally not used to cut down the big pieces of wood, but they are usually used to refine the edges. If you have come up with a design with your woodworking skills and want to shape the edges, then you would definitely want to get your hands on a fine saw to get the things done. Fine saws do not only produce precise results, but they are actually more reliable and better to be used on small projects and cutting edges.

5. Coping Saws

coping saw

You can call coping saw the relative of bow saw as both of them come with a very narrow blade. Narrow blade means that these saws cannot be used with big chunks of wood as it will become impossible to cut through them with such a narrow blade.

For that reason, coping saws are usually used for the finishing of the projects. There can be cases when you would have to cut through a small piece when you have ended the project. In that case, you would not require a big saw; instead, you can simply opt for a coping saw that would help you cut through small pieces or edges without any troubles.

6. Back Saws

back saws

Back saws again come with a rectangular shape and look quite similar to the fine saws. But do remember that both of them have their own uses, and you cannot actually use any of them for one another’s. These specific types of saws can be hard to use at first, but as soon as one gets a grip of them, it becomes easier.

So make sure not to put too much pressure at the start when you are using the back saw; once you have cut through the upper part, you can use your strength to cut the wood.

7. Hacksaws


You cannot really expect every saw to be a big saw that could cut through every wood without any effort. There are certain saws that are made for light work and finishing. Hacksaws are one of the types that are made for cutting through shallow metals or simple pipes. The hacksaws are really lightweight and do not require extensive strength to use them. But this does not actually mean that their blades are not sharp. The blade of a hacksaw is sharpened precisely so that it could go through any type of metal or plastic pipe.

8. Japanese Saws

japanese saws

If you are actually familiar with the Japanese culture, then you would definitely understand why this saw is so tiny and looks like a shaving blade. Japanese saws are specifically designed to process the woods. If you want to remove a particular layer from your wood piece, you can simply use a Japanese saw and remove it without even applying many efforts.

Japanese saws can be used on different types of woods, and you will probably not have to face problems while using them with different types. But the thing is, you should know how to handle it correctly, or you would mess the whole thing up.

9. Jab Saws

jab saws

Jab saws are usually the same in size as the Japanese saws, but when it comes to the structure and design of a jab saw, they are pretty different. Jab saws look like sharp knives, but they are skinny and slim. The common use of the jab saws is to insert them in the holes in the walls or the woods to make the whole even bigger or simply cut it.

In some scenarios, big saws cannot be used to cut, and that is where the jab saws arrive to save the day. So you can surely keep this saw in mind whenever you get stuck with a small hole.

10. Pruning Saws

Pruning Saws

The pruning saw might seem different to you than all of the other types of saws, and the only reason behind it is that the pruning saws are curved rather than straight. Yes, you read that right! Pruning saws come with a curved shape so that the woodworkers can use them in a particular direction without worrying about cutting at the wrong angles. This is the most common use of a pruning saw, and you can also use it whenever you want precise and accurate cuttings in your projects.

11. Two-Man Saws

two man saw

Until or unless you have extraordinary big hands, you can use the two-man saws singlehandedly. The Two man saws are designed to be used by two woodworkers just like their name suggests. So do not try to use it single handedly, or else you can create consequences for yourself.

These types of saws are specifically used to cut vast and thick chunks of wood. There are two handles given at each end of the saw so that both of the woodworkers can handle it conveniently. Other than that, Two man saws are rarely used inside because of their enormous size and requirements.

12. Veneer Saws

veneer saw

If you have ever seen a plaster tool from which the plaster is done, you will understand how Veneer saw works. It comes with a simple plate along with the blades on it so that it could cut through the wood ease. Do note that veneer saws are very occasionally used, and you might also have to get a ruler to use them properly. Aside from that, you should also know how to measure with the combination of a ruler, and a veneer saw so that you can cut precisely what you want and nothing else.

13. Drywall Saws

drywall saw

Drywall saws look exactly like the jab saws, and that is why most people confuse these saws with jabs saws. If we talk about the working of the drywall saws, their working is quite similar to jab saws too. Woodworkers usually use it to make shallow holes in the drywall. Other than that, there is no significant use of drywall saws.

14. Fret Saws


If you are looking for something through which you can work really neatly, then you should definitely check out fretsaws. Fretsaws are used for very intense work where great attention to detail is required so that everything could go smoothly. Fretsaws come with a very short blade and a big frame so that consistency could be created while working.

Types Of Power Saws

We have now discussed almost every type of crucial hand saw that you would require while woodworking, and now it is time to have a look at some efficient and time-saving saws!

15. Chainsaws


There is a common conception between the people that chainsaws are only used for cutting the trees. While it is partially true, it is partly wrong too. Chainsaws are used to cut literally anything larger and bigger that could not be cut with hands. That is why Chainsaws are powered by an extraordinary motor in them for easy cutting. Not only that, these types of saws use the chain mechanism. As soon as the motor starts rotating, the blades integrated within the chains start moving too to produce powerful cuts. There are different types of chainsaws available in the market; the only difference arrives in their mechanism, size, and working style.

You can also find some of the chainsaws powered by complete engines, but you will have to spend some extra (or more) bucks to get your hands on that type of chainsaw. But if you want even more efficiency, it will be worth it.

16. Circular Saws

circular saw

Circular saws are the saws that are used to cut through thin boards to make them apart. Circular saws simply use a round-shaped blade that is powered by a motor. Aside from cutting the boards and delicate woods, circular saws are also used for making precise and accurate lining cuts. As circular saws also come with support attached to them, it becomes easier for the woodworkers to use this saw precisely. Circular saws can easily make rip cuts, crosscuts, and miter cuts. Not only that, but the support attached to the saw also protects the woodworkers from severe accidents. So make sure to check this aspect whenever you are opting for a circular saw.

Other than that, there are different types of circular saws available that would allow you to make the cutting process efficient and accurate, depending on the situation. So make sure to get your hands on the one that could fulfill your needs.

17. Miter Saws

miter saw

Miter saws also come with circular blades, but their mechanism is a little bit different than the circular saws. Instead of offering casual support, miter saws offer a whole cut plate underneath the blade so that the angular cuts can be made. In fact, miter saws are used for making angular cuts because of their flexibility and moving abilities. The angles can be of variety and as per the preferences of the woodworker. You will have to decide by yourself which angle will work out best. Woodworkers can move the blade of the miter saw while working, and it will operate in any direction they want. But do know that there is a specific limit given to moving the saw, and that is why you will have to keep it in mind while working.

18. Jigsaws


Jigsaws are usually called all-in-one saws because of their work and abilities. Jigsaws come with a pencil blade instead of a big one or round one. That pencil blade does the whole work and does whatever you want to do with the wood. If we take a look at the uses of the jigsaws, then you can easily use them to cut different types of woods. But if you want to use it efficiently, you should use it for the curves, edges, and lines. You can use these saws for straight and curved cuts without getting into problems. Jigsaws are really easy to use, and they are also not that heavy like the other power saws; you can easily hold one for a long time without any hassles.

19. Hole Saws

hole saw

If you want to make a perfect hole in a wood piece, what will you do? You will definitely have to use something that could make a perfect hole for you without damaging your project. It is simply not possible with casual saws, and that is why hole saws are used. These types of saw come with a round-shaped saw along with a drill in the middle. As the drill pass through the wood, the saw makes its way through it and cuts the precise hole just as you want.

20. Plunge Saws

plunge saw

Plunge Saws are very rarely used in the woodworking industry because of their limited use. The only benefit of using plunge saws is that you can start cutting through the middle with the plunge saws, which can be challenging to do so with the other saws. These are used for very long and accurate cuts without facing the troubles with direction and precision.

21. Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating Saw

Just like its name, reciprocating saws are bigger than the usual power saws. Reciprocating saws have a robust mechanism inside them, but on the outside, they only offer a thin blade. But that blade is enough to make accurate cuts in big wood pieces. Reciprocating saws are only used for creating cuts in the woods, so if you require to make cuts on a regular basis, this saw will serve you well because of its easiness and accuracy.

22. Alligator Saws

alligator saw

If we compare the alligator saws with the chainsaws, we will not find much difference between the two. The only seeming difference between the two is that the alligator saw comes with a blade looking just like an alligator. Alligator saws are not usually as efficient as chain saws, but if you prefer the peace of mind over anything else, then you can buy an alligator saw. Aside from that, alligator saws tend to offer less vibration while working because of less efficiency.

23. Table Saws

table saw

A carpenter cannot actually be a carpenter if there is no table saw available for him to work. Table saws can literally be used for any carpentry work because of the vast space available. Table saws come with a big and sharp blade in the middle of the table, and there is wide space available on both sides of the table. Woodworkers can simply put the plank or any other type of wood on the table and cut it just as they want.

To use the table saws in the proper manner, users have to first adjust the saw on the table. Only then can they cut the wood with ease. There are several types of table saws that you can get and use in different ways. So do not forget to check which type you want and only then make your mind to buy it. But do note that table saws are considerably more extensive, and you would require a good amount of space for them to work properly.

24. Pole Saws

pole saw

Pole saws can be considered as one of the best inventions in the saws industry. Pole Saws work just like the chain saws, but the thing is, they can transform themselves into a long pole-type body. For instance, what would you actually do if you don’t have a ladder or you simply don’t want to risk your precious life by climbing on a tree? A pole saw will help you out as you can simply stand on the ground and cut or trim whatever you want.

25. Band Saws

band saw

If you don’t have any problem integrating your saw permanently in your workshop, then you can surely get your hands on a band saw. The band saw is one of the most potent saws you can find in the woodworking industry. That is why this type of saw cannot only be used for wood but many other different materials too. The band saw comes with a long blade and works just like a table saw. Instead of having a round-shaped blade, the band saw offers precise cuts through a long, slim, and powerful blade. You can use it to make straight and curve cuts in any type of material you want. This saw will definitely not disappoint you with its power, accuracy, and efficiency.

26. Radial Arm Saws

radial arm saw

Radial arm saws are not only used to cut wood pieces but are also used to cut other different materials too. Radial arm saws generally come with their own support, and they are used to make straight cuts and crosscuts. The guide is attached within these saws so that the workers can have precise and accurate cuts throughout their experience. Do note that the radial arm saws are extremely powerful and expensive, too, so until or unless you have high requirements and a massive budget, you might want to switch to any other type of saw.

27. Rotary Saws

rotary saws

The rotary saws look very similar to the drill machines. Rotary saws are usually very lightweight and easy to use because of their company size. If we talk about their use, then they are used to make accurate cuts within a very small space. Different types of bids can be attached to the rotary saws so that they can be used for different types of holes in the material.

28. Scroll Saws

scroll saw

If you are a woodworker who loves to make different unique designs as per your own preferences, then a scroll saw might help you out. Scroll saws are specifically benchtop saw that come with a very thin blade. That blade moves upward and downward to make precise cuts. Woodworkers can move the wood piece just as they want through the blade provided to make the designs just as they want. Not only that, but scroll saws are also used for inside cuts as the thin blade provided is really efficient to do so without offering any type of inaccuracy.

29. Oscillating Saws

Oscillating Saws

If you are looking to have a saw that could offer you all-in-one purpose, then oscillating saws might help you out. Oscillating saws are the saws that oscillate, either in the back and forth or upward and downward. The best thing about these saws is that they can support different types of attachments. You can use discs, woodworking blades, and different types of attachments as per your preferences. As they are handheld saws, they can be precise too. Woodworkers can easily make plunge and linear cuts with oscillating saws along with some other types, depending on the attachment they are using.

30. Flooring Saws

flooring saw

Flooring saws have a very specific use in the industry as they are only used for flooring. Flooring saws are used to cut flooring; it does not matter the material as they can work almost on all. Flooring saws help the users to make very accurate cuttings from different points. As they are used only for flooring, woodworkers can make straight cuts with them with accuracy as they also tend to reduce the chipping.

Final Verdict

These are the actual and most common types of saws, including the power saws and the handsaws. Now the only thing that is left for you to do is to check your preferences and see which saw you really need. It solely depends on your preferences and working style that you will have to go with a power saw, or your needs will be fulfilled by a handsaw.

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