What are Hand Saws Used For?

Hand saws are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you’re a woodworking enthusiast, a DIY craftsman, or someone who loves pruning trees in the garden, hand saws are essential tools for many applications.

In woodworking, hand saws are used to cut wood and logs, make intricate curved cuts, and shape various materials. They provide the precision and control needed to achieve the desired results in your woodworking projects.

When it comes to pruning trees and shrubs, hand saws are invaluable. They allow you to make clean cuts and remove unwanted branches, maintaining the health and aesthetics of your garden.

If you’re into crafting, hand saws can be used for detailed projects that require precision cuts. Whether you’re working on a small wooden sculpture, a jewelry box, or any other intricate craft, a hand saw can help you achieve the level of detail you desire.

From professional tradespeople to enthusiastic DIYers, hand saws are indispensable tools that help bring ideas to life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hand saws are versatile tools used in woodworking, pruning trees, and crafting.
  • They provide precision cuts and control for various applications.
  • Hand saws are essential for both professional tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts.
  • They are indispensable tools for bringing ideas to life in projects of all sizes.

Buying Guide for Hand Saws

When it comes to buying hand saws, there are several important considerations to keep in mind. These considerations will help you choose the right hand saw for your specific needs and ensure that you make a smart buying decision. Here are some key factors to consider:

Application and Frequency of Use

Think about the application of the hand saw and how frequently you will be using it. Are you a professional tradesperson who will be using the saw regularly, or are you a casual DIY enthusiast? The answer to this question will help determine the level of durability and quality you require.


Consider the materials you will be cutting with the hand saw. Different hand saws are designed for specific materials, such as hardwood, softwood, chipboard, plywood, or MDF. Ensure that the hand saw you choose is appropriate for the materials you will be working with to achieve optimal results.

Durability and Comfort

Look for a hand saw that is made from durable materials, such as hardened steel. A high-quality blade will ensure longevity and consistent performance. Additionally, a comfortable handle is essential for reducing friction and providing a comfortable grip during prolonged use.

Saw Length and Teeth

The length of the hand saw and the number of teeth on the blade are important factors to consider. Longer saws can make longer cuts, while saws with more teeth per inch provide a smoother finish. Assess your needs and the type of cuts you will be making to determine the appropriate length and tooth count for your hand saw.

To help you understand these considerations better, take a look at the table below that summarizes the important points:

Consideration Key Points
Application and Frequency of Use Are you a professional tradesperson or a casual DIY enthusiast? Consider the level of durability and quality required.
Materials Choose a hand saw designed for the specific materials you will be working with, such as hardwood, softwood, chipboard, plywood, or MDF.
Durability and Comfort Look for a hand saw made from durable materials, such as hardened steel, and with a comfortable handle to reduce friction.
Saw Length and Teeth Determine the appropriate length and tooth count based on the type of cuts you will be making.

buying hand saws

Different Types of Hand Saws and Their Uses

There are several types of hand saws available, each with its own specific uses. Let’s explore some of the most common ones:

Coping Saw

A coping saw is a versatile tool that can cut through a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, ceramic, and non-ferrous metals. It is particularly useful for making intricate curved cuts, such as those required for detailed woodworking or craft projects.

Bow Saw

A bow saw is designed for fast and aggressive cutting. It is commonly used for cutting tree branches and logs, making it a popular tool for gardening, landscaping, and outdoor projects. The bow shape of the saw allows for efficient cutting while providing stability and control.

Tenon Saw

A tenon saw is used for making straight and precise smaller cuts in both hard and soft wood. It is commonly used in joinery and carpentry work, where accuracy and clean cuts are essential. The saw’s fine teeth and rigid back make it ideal for intricate woodworking tasks.

Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is primarily designed for rough cuts in tree branches and shrubs. It has a coarser tooth structure and is capable of cutting through thicker branches with ease. Whether you are an arborist or a homeowner maintaining your garden, a pruning saw is an indispensable tool.

Universal Hand Saw

A universal hand saw is a versatile tool suitable for various applications. This type of hand saw is great for general-purpose sawing of wood and can handle a wide range of tasks, from cutting lumber to crafting projects. It is an essential tool for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts.

Top Brands for Hand Saws

When it comes to hand saws, there are several top brands that consistently deliver quality and performance. Two notable brands in the hand saw industry are Bahco and Irwin.

Bahco: Bahco is synonymous with excellence, offering a wide range of hand saws designed for various applications. With a reputation for precision and durability, Bahco hand saws are trusted by professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. From general-purpose saws to specialized options, Bahco provides reliable tools that meet the demands of different cutting tasks. Their commitment to design and innovation has made them a top choice among woodworkers and tradespeople.

Irwin: Irwin is another leading brand known for its exceptional hand saws. Their dedication to craftsmanship and attention to detail is evident in the quality of their products. Irwin specializes in producing top-notch tenon saws that excel in performance and durability. Whether on a worksite or for everyday cutting, Irwin hand saws deliver consistent results and make any task more manageable. Professionals appreciate the reliability and precision offered by Irwin tools in their projects.

Both Bahco and Irwin are renowned for their commitment to quality, design, and performance. By choosing hand saws from these trusted brands, you can be confident in the reliability and effectiveness of your tools during woodworking projects, site work, or everyday cutting tasks.

Hand Saw Care Guide

To ensure the maximum lifespan of your hand saw and keep it in good condition, regular care is essential. Follow these tips to maintain and care for your hand saw:

  1. Store your hand saw in a sheltered, moisture-free area to prevent rusting. Moisture can damage the blade and affect its performance.
  2. Keep your hand saw dry when not in use. Wipe off any moisture or debris before storing it to prevent the growth of rust.
  3. Inspect the wood you are cutting for any nails or metal that could dull the saw blade. Remove any obstructions before making your cuts.
  4. Avoid cutting into metal with your hand saw, as it can quickly blunt the teeth. If you need to cut through metal, consider using a different tool specifically designed for that purpose.

Proper care and maintenance will keep your hand saw sharp and extend its lifespan, allowing it to perform at its best. Regularly inspect your hand saw for any signs of damage or wear, and address any issues promptly to ensure optimal performance.

Remember, a well-maintained hand saw is a reliable tool that will serve you well in various cutting tasks.

Preventing Rust

Rust is a common problem for hand saws, but with the right preventive measures, you can keep your saw rust-free. Here are some additional tips:

  • Apply a thin layer of oil or rust preventative spray on the blade and teeth to protect against rust formation.
  • Consider using a storage case or sheath to provide an extra layer of protection for your hand saw.
  • Periodically inspect your hand saw for any signs of rust. If you spot any, clean the affected areas with a rust remover and apply a rust inhibitor to prevent further rusting.

By implementing these preventative measures, you can ensure that your hand saw stays in excellent condition, free from rust, and ready for use whenever you need it.

Preventing rust on hand saws

Hand Saw Care Tips Benefits
Store in a moisture-free area Prevents rusting
Keep it dry when not in use Avoids moisture buildup
Inspect wood for obstructions Preserves blade sharpness
Avoid cutting into metal Prevents teeth dulling
Apply rust preventative treatment Protects against rust formation

Hand Saw Tips and Tricks

Here are some hand saw tips and tricks to help you use your hand saw effectively and safely:

1. Wear Safety Glasses and Maintain Distance

Always prioritize safety when using a hand saw. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any debris that may be produced during cutting. Also, ensure there is a reasonable distance between yourself and others to avoid accidents.

2. Proper Alignment and Body Positioning

Aligning your body correctly in relation to the tool is crucial for accurate cuts. Maintain a comfortable and stable stance, with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Position yourself so that you have good control over the saw and can maintain a steady cutting motion.

3. Let the Saw Do the Work

Avoid applying excessive force while using a hand saw. Instead, let the saw’s sharp teeth and proper positioning do the work for you. Push the saw forward smoothly and let the cutting action of the teeth and the weight of the saw blade create the desired cut.

4. Use Long Strokes for Smooth Cuts

When making cuts with a hand saw, try to use long, fluid strokes. This will help you achieve a smoother finish and prevent the saw blade from getting stuck in the material. Using short, choppy strokes can lead to a rough and uneven cut.

5. Correcting Veering Off Track

If you find yourself veering off track while sawing, don’t panic. Bring the saw back to where you initially started drifting and reposition yourself. Take a moment to realign and readjust your grip, then continue cutting with precision.

6. Practice for Straight and Accurate Cuts

Perfecting your hand saw technique takes practice. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the tool and practice making straight and accurate cuts. As you gain more experience, your cutting skills will improve, resulting in cleaner and more precise cuts.


Hand Saws for Different Materials

Different materials require specific hand saws to achieve cleaner and more precise cuts. Here are some recommended hand saws for different materials:

Cutting Wood:

  • Coping Saw: Ideal for making intricate curved cuts.
  • Crosscut Saw: Suitable for general-purpose sawing of wood.
  • Rip Saw: Great for making long, straight cuts with the wood grain.

Cutting Metal:

  • Keyhole Saw: Designed for cutting through metal with ease.
  • Hacksaw: Provides precise cutting of metal materials.

Cutting Drywall:

  • Keyhole Saw: Perfect for cutting drywall quickly and accurately.
  • Wallboard Saw: Designed specifically for cutting through drywall.

Cutting Plastic:

  • Fret Saw: Ideal for cutting intricate shapes in plastic materials.
  • Pull Saw: Suitable for precise cuts in various plastic materials.

Furniture Making:

  • Rip Saw: Used for cutting wood with the grain for furniture construction.
  • Crosscut Saw: Provides clean and accurate cuts for furniture making.

Having the right hand saw for the material you are working with ensures that you can achieve the desired results in your projects.

What Makes a Good Hand Saw

A good hand saw possesses several key qualities that contribute to its performance and usability. These qualities include sharp teeth, durable materials, and a comfortable handle.

Sharp Teeth

The most important quality of a good hand saw is its sharp teeth. Sharp teeth ensure effortless cutting, allowing you to make clean and precise cuts through various materials. Whether you’re working with wood, metal, or plastic, sharp teeth make the task easier and more efficient.

Durable Materials

Another essential quality of a good hand saw is its construction from durable materials. Look for a hand saw made from high-quality, durable materials such as hardened steel. A strong and sturdy blade material ensures longevity, reduces the risk of bending or breaking, and maintains cutting performance over time.

Comfortable Handle

A comfortable handle is vital for prolonged use and reduced fatigue. Look for a hand saw with an ergonomic handle that fits comfortably in your hand. A comfortable handle reduces friction, strain, and discomfort, allowing you to work for longer periods without discomfort. It enhances your grip and control, resulting in more accurate and precise cuts.


When selecting a hand saw, prioritize these qualities to ensure that you have a tool that meets your needs and delivers optimal performance. A good hand saw with sharp teeth, durable materials, and a comfortable handle will make your woodworking or DIY projects more enjoyable and successful.

Find the Right Hand Saw for Your Next Project

When it comes to choosing the right hand saw for your next project, it’s important to consider the specific task and material you’ll be working with. Different projects require different types of hand saws to achieve the best results. Whether you’re tackling woodworking, metalwork, drywall, or plastic, selecting the appropriate hand saw can make all the difference in the outcome of your work.

If you’re working with wood, there are various hand saws available for different types of cuts. A crosscut saw is ideal for making precise and smooth cuts across the grain, while a rip saw is designed for cutting with the grain. For more intricate and detailed work, a coping saw with its thin blade and fine teeth is the preferred choice.

When it comes to metalwork, a hacksaw or keyhole saw will be your go-to options. These saws are specifically designed to cut through metal effortlessly, allowing you to achieve clean and precise cuts.

For cutting drywall or plastic, a wallboard saw or a fret saw will make the job easier. These saws are designed to cut through these materials without causing damage or leaving rough edges.

It’s worth noting that some hand saws are versatile and can be used for multiple materials and projects. For example, a universal hand saw is suitable for general-purpose sawing and can handle various tasks.

Consider the type of cut you need to make for your project. Do you require rough cuts or more precise and delicate cuts? Different hand saws have varying tooth patterns and blade lengths, which affect the type of cuts they can make. Take the time to choose a hand saw that matches your specific requirements.

Additionally, pay attention to the features and specifications of the hand saw you’re considering. Look for durability and reliability, and check for comfortable handles that reduce fatigue during prolonged use.

Hand Saw Safety Tips

Safety is of utmost importance when using a hand saw. Follow these essential safety precautions to protect yourself and others while using a hand saw:

  1. Wear protective eyewear: Put on safety glasses or goggles to shield your eyes from debris that may be produced during cutting. This will prevent any potential eye injuries.
  2. Maintain a safe distance: Ensure there is a reasonable distance between yourself and others when using a hand saw. This reduces the risk of accidentally injuring someone nearby.
  3. Proper cutting techniques: Use the correct cutting techniques to prevent accidents. Always hold the hand saw firmly with both hands and maintain control over the saw throughout the entire cutting process.
  4. Well-lit work area: Ensure that the work area is well-lit to clearly see the cutting line and any potential hazards. Proper lighting minimizes the risk of accidents caused by insufficient visibility.
  5. Obstruction-free workspace: Clear the work area of any obstacles or clutter that may interfere with your movements while using the hand saw. This reduces the chances of accidents or accidental damage to the saw.
  6. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Read and adhere to all safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Familiarize yourself with the proper way to use the hand saw, including any safety features or precautions specific to the saw model.

Hand saws are versatile and indispensable tools for a variety of tasks. Whether you are working on a woodworking project, pruning trees in your garden, or engaging in DIY crafts, hand saws provide the precision cuts and flexibility you need.

It is important to choose the right hand saw for the job, considering the type of material you will be working with and the specific cuts you need to make. Proper care and maintenance, such as storing the saw in a dry area and checking for any metal debris, will help extend its lifespan.

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