For most people a saw is a saw, a serrated blade with a handle. Like a steak knife but bigger. And a power saw is a big spinning blade of immanent death, dismemberment and saw dust. Crime dramas and horror movies aside, saws are varied and useful tools ideal for many purposes and materials. So the question is really which saw do I need?
There are different saws?
Saws come in variety of shapes and sizes both powered and unpowered. Hand saws have been around for thousands of years and despite the invention of power saws are still very valuable in the modern toolbox. They are categorised by the shape of the blade and the handle and most importantly by the shape and number of teeth on the blade. They are largely cheaper than their motorised cousins and are, obviously, loadshedding friendly.
Power saws are divided into portable and stationary types and further into the way that the blade moves. Most power saws have changeable blades so you can adjust them to various different materials and situations.
What about stuff that isn’t wood?
Which saw is suitable for which material depends largely on the hardness of the blade and the number and shape of the teeth on it. In power saw it also depends on the power of the motor and the action of the blade. You’d be surprised at the number of materials that are suitable for saw cutting. It’s not just the wood we all think of when we think of saws.
So what now?
If you would like a quick reference guide on saws and their uses have a look at the Garage Tool Advisor. It comes with pictures and descriptions of many saws both hand and powered. If you would like a little more detailed information about the uses and relative skill levels for different saws, visit Sawshub. They also have in depth guides for the major saw types for more in-depth reading. As always you ask us at Rex Hardware for advice.
Saws are surprisingly fascinating and their basic design has changes very little in millennia. Yet there is a great deal of engineering in their design. Figuring out which saw or saws you should have in your toolbox is a worthy quest. Here are some projects where a saw might get handy.
Go on, get cutting.
Photo by Bobby Rodriguezz on Unsplash