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Hand Saw Buying Guide

Hand saws are specialized tools. Use the information below to find right one for your project.

Hand Saw.

Hand Saw Types

Type Uses / Features Example
Rip
  • Use for woodcutting with the wood grain
  • Usually 24 inches to 26 inches long with 4 to 7 teeth per inch (TPI)
  • Cuts very aggressively and leave slightly rough edge
 Rip Saw.
Cross-
Cut
  • Use for woodcutting across the wood grain
  • Usually 24 inches to 26 inches long with 8 to 11 TPI
  • Doesn't cut as aggressively as rip saws but leaves a much smoother edge
 Cross-Cut Saw.
Panel
(Short Cut or
Box Saw)
  • Use for woodcutting across the wood grain
  • Usually shorter than regular cross cut saws, for easy portability
 Panel Saw.
Coping
  • Use for fine woodcutting, coping moulding joints
  • Has deep steel tension frames and very thin blades to make intricate cuts at extreme angles
 Coping Saw.
Back
  • Use for fine woodcutting, moulding and trim
  • Has a rigid piece along the back to prevent the saw from kinking during use
 Back Saw.
Pull
  • Use for fine woodcutting, moulding and trim
  • Cuts on the pull stroke to give greater control and eliminates the possibility of the saw kinking in the kerf
 Pull Saw.
Dovetail
  • Use for wood joint cutting
  • Has a rigid back like a backsaw, but is usually smaller and has finer teeth
 Dovetail Saw.
Keyhole
  • Use for circle and curve cutting in wood
  • Has very thin, pointed blade for cutting small, tight-radius curves and holes
 Keyhole Saw.
Compass
  • Use for circle and curve cutting in wood
  • Has longer, coarser blade than a keyhole saw for slightly heavier work, such as cutting holes in subflooring for plumbing or electrical wiring
 Compasss Saw.
Drywall
  • Use for cutting wallboard, gypsum and backing board
  • Resembles a compass saw but has coarser teeth for cutting through wallboard quickly
 Drywall Saw.
Hacksaw
  • Use for cutting metal
  • Has very fine teeth and thin blades, held under tension in a steel frame
 Hacksaw.
Door
Jamb
  • Use to create clearance for flooring under door jambs and other obstacles
  • Rear handle is offset to allow the blade to cut close to the floor
 Door Jamb Saw.
Laminate
  • Use for cutting moulding and plastic pipe
  • Front of blade is rounded to start plunge cuts
 Laminate Saw.

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