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What are Some Different Kinds of Saws?

A man using a chain saw.
Miter saws are often used to cut crown molding and make furniture.
The narrow blade of a bandsaw is useful for cutting curves and shapes.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2014
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Saws are one of the most common tools in use today. Dating back to a time that is beyond recorded history, saws are commonly used in any activity that involves sectioning softer materials by using a harder material that is shaped with an abrasive edge. Saws some in a variety of sizes and shapes today, and can be powered by all sorts of different means. There are hand saws as well as saws that are powered by electricity, natural gas, steam power and even water.

The most basic of all saws is the hand saw. Simple in design, this saw offers a blade with a serrated edge and a handle that makes it possible for the operator to use manual action to move the blade back and forth. Smaller hand saws are ideal for cutting through thin trunks on young trees, or engaging in some sort of woodwork using thinner sections of wood. Some hand saws are equipped with blades that will cut through thin sections of metal without becoming dull.

Perhaps the most commonly recognized of all hand saws is the crosscut saw. Saws of this type are usually around two feet in length, and sport a series of teeth on the blade portion. Persons who work with wood planking have traditionally used a manual crosscut saw, although it is more common for many builders to make use of an electrically powered saw for large jobs.

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Chain saws are also very commonly used today. While still hand held, the chain saw features a sharp chain mechanism that turns along a guide to create a cutting motion. This means the operator does not have to utilize back and forth movements in order to cut into a substance. The chain saw is normally powered either with gasoline or electricity, making it easy to use to cut down trees and similar tasks.

The bandsaw is another example of a saw driven by electrical, steam, or water power. A bandsaw sports a circular blade that revolves in a manner similar to a wheel. Often, the bandsaw is fixed into a frame, allowing wood and other materials to be moved against the revolving saw to effect the cut. However, portable models of the bandsaw are also available.

For detail work in creating furniture or crown molding, a miter saw is often utilized. Miter saws are available in manual versions as well as electric powered models. The design of the saw makes it possible to make specific cuts that make it possible to achieve a flush match on various sections that go into the construction project. A miter saw can be used to create anything from a picture frame to crown molding and baseboards that fit together perfectly.

There are many more types of saws currently in use today. Many of them are designed for very specific applications, while others are intended for more general use. A wide range of saws is usually available at hardware stores, building supply houses, and some larger discount retail chains.

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