14 Types Of Woodworking Saws- Carpentry & Woodworking Tools Guide

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It is not possible to complete any woodworking without a saw. There are countless different types of woodworking saws that we use to cut wood. Saws have been used since ancient times. Today, there are so many different types depending on their material and what they need to cut.

One of the salient features of a saw is the number of teeth and the type of teeth that it has. The work for which a saw is intended is usually dependent on the kind of teeth it has.

Some saws that are used in woodworking can also be used on other materials like iron and steel. Other saws, however, can only be used for cutting wood.

Table saw
Table saw. Image Credit: Patrick Fitzgerald

Different Types Of Woodworking Saws

In this article, we discuss the various types of woodworking saws that are available. Here, we present two categories of saws – hand saws, and electric saws. So, here goes…

A. Hand Saws

Wood Hand Saw

GreatNeck N2610 - 26 Inch 10 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw - Hardwood Handle
GreatNeck Wood Hand Saw. See on Amazon.

This is the basic saw that you will find as a part of any woodworking toolbox. The blade of a woodworking hand saw is harder than the wood it cuts but is not hardened steel. Because this saw does not give you a very accurate cut, you need to exercise a bit of skill to get it to cut straight.

Japanese Saw

SUIZAN Japanese Hand Saw 6 Inch Dozuki Dovetail Pull Saw for Woodworking
Suizan Japanese Saw. See on Amazon.

There is a variety of shapes and sizes available in Japanese saws. The unique feature of a Japanese saw is that it cuts in the pull stroke rather than while pushing. It results in a more accurate cut and moreover, it takes less effort to pull while cutting than pushing. The extremely-thin Japanese saw blades give you a much thinner kerf as well.


Spear & Jackson 9540B-91 Traditional Brass Back Tenon Saw, 10" x 15", Brown/Silver
Spear & Jackson Back Saw. See on Amazon.

The back-saw has a thick spine across the top. It helps to make the blade stable and gives it adequate support all along with the cut. This enables you to have complete control even while sawing through a piece of thick wood.

Fret Saw

Knew Concepts 5" Woodworker Fret Saw with Screw Tension
Knew Concepts Fret Saw. See on Amazon.

A fret saw is a bow saw with a fragile blade. It helps to cut angled or curved cuts in light wood. Due to the thin blade, you get complete control on the cut. However, you cannot use a fret saw to cut thick wood.

Coping Saw

Irwin 2014400 6-1/2" Pro-Touch Coping Saw
Irwin Coping Saw. See on Amazon.

If you have to cut tight curves in light wood, what you need is a coping saw. Perhaps not as versatile as a fret saw, the coping saw allows you to handle wood cutting in a more flexible fashion.

Wallboard Saw

Goldblatt Jab Saw - 6-inch Drywall Wallboard Saw, Soft Grip Handle, 8-TPI Bi-metal Blade
Goldblatt Wallboard Saw. See on Amazon.

A wallboard saw helps us to cut holes in walls made of board. With a round handle, and the blade, shaped like a carving knife, has fine teeth. You can make holes for electric outlets with a wallboard saw.


CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 12-Inch Hacksaw (CMHT20138)
Craftsman Hacksaw. See on Amazon.

A hacksaw consists of a handle with a bow-shaped frame. It has a thin, removable blade at the mouth of the frame. Although we primarily use a hacksaw for cutting metal, it is quite handy for cutting wood when you need a smooth and straight cut. The fine teeth of a hacksaw provide a smooth and thin kerf.

Keyhole Saw

Klein Tools 31737 Drywall Saw, Folding Jab Saw / Utility Saw with Lockback at 180 and 125 Degrees and Tether Hole
Klein Tools Keyhole Saw. See on Amazon.

A keyhole saw consists of a wooden handle shaped like the butt of a gun with a dagger-like, pointed blade. The blade performs two functions. Firstly, it can poke a hole in thin wood, like boards of false ceilings and walls. Then, it helps you saw a small hole in the light wood. The fine teeth help to avoid ripping chunks out of the board. This saw cannot be used to cut thick wood.

B. Electric Saws

Circular Saw

SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide
Skil Circular Saw. See on Amazon.

This saw does the job of a wooden hand saw, only, much faster. It consists of a circular blade attached to the shaft of an electric motor. The circular saw is fixed to a base has a handle on the top. When switched on, the entire assembly slides up and down the workpiece, cutting the wood with the spinning circular blade.

Table Saw

Bosch Power Tools 4100-10 Tablesaw - 10 Inch Jobsite Table Saw with 25 Inch Cutting Capacity and Portable Folding Table Stand
Bosch Table Saw. See on Amazon.

A table saw consists of a circular cutting blade driven by a motor and fixed on a frame. The bottom of the frame has a fixing mechanism that holds the workpiece to be cut. A lever enables us to move the circular blade downwards to cut the workpiece.

Reciprocating Saw

Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
Skil Reciprocating Saw. See on Amazon.

This handheld saw can be best described as an electric hacksaw. You fit a short, hacksaw-like blade into the holding mechanism in front of the machine. Once you switch on the device, the saw moves in a reciprocating, back and forth action, which enables you to poke a hole in a thin board. You will find a reciprocating saw extremely useful while cutting in hard-to-reach spots with limited access.

Miter Saw

DEWALT Sliding Compound Miter Saw, 12-Inch (DWS779)
DeWalt Miter Saw. See on Amazon.

We use a miter saw to make angled cuts. It is a circular saw with a provision for cutting at an angle. You will find it indispensable for building a window frame. Miter saws offer several additional features, which add to the cost of the machine. But you will these added features worth the added expense.

Jig Saw

PORTER-CABLE Orbital Jig Saw, 6.0-Amp (PCE345)
Porter-Cable Jig Saw. See on Amazon.

When you have to cut thin wood in different shapes and curves, it is a jigsaw that will do your job. You can move this handheld machine along the curved lines of a cutout to create perfect shapes in thin wood as the blade moves back and forth like somewhat like a reciprocating saw.

Band Saw

Milwaukee 2429-20 Cordless Sub Compact Band Saw
Milwaukee Compact Band Saw. See on Amazon.

Like a jigsaw, the band saw has a fragile blade, and you can cut sharp curves and shapes with it. The difference is that the band saw consists of a band of steel containing teeth and which rotates on wheels. You can use a band saw to make different types of shapes and cuts in wood.


You will probably be quite amazed at the different types of woodworking saws that are available. It is definitely something to wonder at! But, once you understand the purpose of each type of saw, you will also be aware of the importance of using the correct one for the job at hand. If you want to work at maximum efficiency, you need suitable tools.

We hope that this information helps you to get the best out of whatever woodworking projects that you have in hand. Having a vast collection of tools only has some meaning if you know how to use all of them. This information will definitely help you to get there.

Featured Image: John Loo