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What Is A Hand Saw – Best Types Reviewed




What is a handsaw

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Hand saws are a valuable tool in any craftsman’s workshop; they offer the versatility to work with whatever material you’re cutting through. Choosing the right one for your project is essential, as each type of hand saw comes with its own unique shape, number and arrangement of teeth – making them effective at different tasks.


Selecting the right hand saw can make all the difference. From professional woodworking to enthusiastic DIY-ers, everyone needs their toolbox equipped with a versatile and powerful hand saw that is tailored to fit whatever task they may have in mind. Pinpoint what you need by considering factors like blade shape, teeth count and even tooth contour – don’t let just any hand saw ruin your progress.


This article will teach you everything you need to know about what is a hand saw, including what they are used for, the available types, and how to use them.


Hand Saw: The Basics

What is a handsaw

A hand saw is a tool that is used for cutting wood. It consists of a blade with sharp teeth attached to a handle. The blade is held in place by a pin or screw that goes through the blade’s center. The handle is usually made of wood but can also be metal or plastic.


The hand saw is operated by holding the handle in one hand and using the other hand to push and pull the blade through the wood. 


This tool is one of the oldest pieces of equipment humans have used to cut wood. It is believed that the first-hand saws were made over two million years ago.


The hand saw has been used throughout history for various purposes, such as building houses, making furniture, and even carving sculptures. Today, the hand saw is still a popular tool that many people use for various projects.


There are two main types of cuts: rip cut and cross cut. Rip cuts are used to cut along the length of the wood grain, while cross cuts are used to cut across the grain.


When cutting wood, it is essential to use the correct type of saw for the job. Using the wrong kind of saw can result in a poor cut or even damage to the wood.


Different Cutting Wood Hand Saws


There are many different hand saws, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Thinner blades are great for precise cuts, while thicker blades can handle more rigid materials.


Fine teeth are ideal for making clean cuts, but fewer teeth can be better for cutting through tougher materials. Each type is designed for different kinds of cuts.


Rip Saw


A rip saw is designed for cutting wood parallel to the grain. It has very few teeth, usually between 4 to 10 per inch, and is used for rough cutting.


The teeth are angled so that they cut on the upstroke and downstroke. This gives the saw a very aggressive cutting action and helps to prevent it from getting stuck in the wood.


Crosscut Saws


As the name suggests, a cross-cut saw is designed to cut across the wood grain. The saw has large teeth that can easily cut through rough wood.


Crosscut saws are available in both the push and pull strokes. It has handles at both ends, making it easy for two people to use the saw simultaneously. These saws are great for cutting lumber or trimming branches.




A hacksaw has a thin, narrow blade that is ideal for cutting metal. The sharp teeth on the hacksaw make it easy to cut through metal pipes, rods, or other objects.


The small size of the hacksaw makes it easy to maneuver and helps to make precise cuts. The teeth are also designed to prevent the blade from getting stuck in the metal.


Bow Saws


Bow Saws are the perfect tool for making quick, precise cuts in wood. They are ideal for cutting dowels, molding, trimming, and other small pieces of wood.


The blade of a bow saw is held in place by a metal frame, which allows the blade to be easily removed and replaced.


It has crosscut teeth set at an angle, making it easy to cut through both hard and softwood. While bow saws are typically used for smaller projects, they can also be used for larger tasks such as cutting tree branches and limbs.


The blade is not as strong as a chainsaw; it is essential to use a bow saw with caution.


Fret Saw


The fret saw is one of the most versatile tools in a woodworker’s arsenal. Most fret saws have a deep throat that allows them to easily clean-cut curves and other complex shapes.


A clamping mechanism holds the blade in place, and the saw can be rotated to make a straight cut at any angle.


Wallboard Saw


A wallboard saw is designed for cutting through drywall or plasterboard. It has a long, thin blade with sharp teeth that make it easy to cut through the material.


The blade is also curved, which helps to prevent the saw from getting stuck in the wall.


Wallboard saws are ideal for making holes in electrical outlets, switches, or fixtures. They can also be used to cut through insulation or to create openings for windows and doors.


Japanese Saw

Japanese saw

Japanese saws are push-stroke saws. This means the blade is pushed away from the user rather than pulled toward them.


This unique cutting action lends itself to several advantages, the most notable of which is precision and control. Another advantage of push-stroke saws is that they are much less likely to bind than pull-stroke saws.


The blade is constantly pushed in a straight line rather than being pulled at an angle. This makes them much easier to use and results in fewer mistakes.


Keyhole Saw


A keyhole saw, also called a pad saw or drywall saw, is a very versatile and handy tool. It can be used for everything from cutting holes in drywall for electrical outlets to cutting intricate shapes out of wood or metal.


Most keyhole saws have a blade about 5-10 inches long and can be swapped out for different sizes and shapes depending on the project.


The most common type of keyhole saw has a straight blade, but there are also versions with curved edges for more precision cutting.


Veneer Saw


A veneer saw is a handy tool for anyone who needs to quickly and smoothly cut hardwood veneers. It is also helpful for making clean cuts in other materials such as melamine, Formica, and plywood. Veneer saws come in various sizes and styles to suit any need.


With its small, curved blade measuring 3 or 4 inches long, this type of saw can only be used in small areas.


Veneer saw teeth have 13 teeth per inch of blade, making them ideal for cutting tight curves. When used with a straight edge, it can create perfect butt joints for a flawless finish.


A veneer saw is a perfect tool if you need to do small, intricate work.


Coping Saw


The coping saw is similar to a fret saw. It consists of a fine, narrow blade set in a metal or plastic frame. A screw at the top of the frame holds the blade under tension.


The coping saw is used to cut small, intricate shapes in wood. It is also used to cut molding joints (coping) where two pieces of molding meet at an angle.


Related Article – Best Hand Saws for Cutting Logs


Why A Hand Saw Is The Best Tool For The Job


When it comes to saws, there is much debate over which type is the best. The circular saw and its variations are the best choices for many people.


Others argue that the hand saw is a better option, especially for specific tasks. If you’re trying to decide which type of saw to use for your next project, consider the following reasons.




One of the great things about hand saws is that they can be used for various projects. Whether you need to cut through wood, metal, or even plastic, a type of saw can handle the job. 


This versatility makes them a great tool to have on hand for both professional and DIY projects.


Improved Precision


When you’re using a power saw, it’s easy to make mistakes. But with a hand saw, you can take your time and be more precise. This is especially important if you’re working on a project that requires precision, such as building furniture.


Relatively Inexpensive


Another benefit of using a hand saw is that they are relatively inexpensive than table saws. They are more affordable when you compare them to power saws, such as circular saws, making them an excellent option for those on a budget.


Easy To Use


Another great thing about hand saws is that they are straightforward to use. Even if you have never used one before, you should be able to figure out how to use it easily. As a result, they are an excellent option for beginners in woodworking or DIY.


Safe To Use


Unlike power saws, which can be very dangerous, hand saws are much safer. You have more control over them, and they are less likely to cause serious injuries.




They offer easy portability compared to table saws. This means that you can take them wherever you go. Whether going to the job site or working in your garage on a specific task, you can easily take your saw.


They’re a great option for those who need to be able to take their tools with them on the go.


How To Use Hand Saws Like A Pro


Working with a hand saw can be very beneficial. You can always count on a hand saw to get the job done right. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using this tool:


  • Always use the correct type of hand saw for the job.


  • Pay attention to the instructions.


  • Don’t rush while you’re working.


  • Get a feel for the saw by practicing on scrap wood first.


  • Keep the blade clean and sharpened for best results.


  • Inspect the saw before each use to ensure it is in good working condition.


  • Use a miter box when making angled cuts for added accuracy.


  • Keep your elbow close to your side and use a smooth back-and-forth motion when sawing.


  • Do not force the blade through the material – let the saw’s weight do the work.


  • Start each cut by holding the saw at a 45-degree angle and lowering it down to the starting position.


  • Stability is essential when using a hand saw – keep a firm grip on the tool.


  • Be sure to oil the blade regularly to prevent rusting.


  • Store your hand saw in a dry place when not in use.


  • Wearing gloves can help protect your hands from blisters and calluses.




1. What are hand saws good for?


A quality handsaw is the key to quickly, safely and effectively executing jobs such as crosscutting moldings, cleaning out dovetails or flush cutting dowels and pegs. With a variety of blades available for working with both wood and other materials, you can find one that fits your specific project needs perfectly.


2. What is the difference between a hand saw and a back saw?


A backsaw is a hand saw with an added edge of control – it features a stiffening rib on the opposite side to its cutting blade, providing greater precision and agility while making cuts.


3. What are the two types of hand saws?


A hand saw is a must have for any workshop due to its ability to cut through fiberglass, drywall and wood. For more specific tasks like cutting sheetrock or drywall though, you’ll want to consider investing in a wallboard saw – the specialized tool designed specifically for these materials.


4. What can you cut with a hand saw?


With hand saws, the right tool for each job is key. Whether you’re cutting wood, drywall, metal or plastic – there’s a specific type of saw to get that perfect cut. And while they may vary in purpose and design – the technique used to operate them all remains consistent. So go ahead – grab your favorite blade and make those cuts accurately every time.


Final Thoughts on what is a hand saw


As you can see, there are many benefits to using a hand saw. Whether you’re a professional or a DIYer, you should have this tool in your arsenal.


Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be able to use your hand saw like a pro in no time.


About the author

4 responses to “What Is A Hand Saw – Best Types Reviewed”

  1. […] it can make a hole of the required size. Another factor that you need to figure out before buying a hand saw is the frequency of […]

  2. […] Ripsaws are commonly used in woodworking projects such as furniture making, cabinetry, and flooring installation. They can also be used to make straight cuts when building decks or fences. A ripsaw is an essential tool for any serious woodworker or DIYer because it makes quick work of tough jobs that would normally take much longer with other types of saws. […]

  3. […] sure you’re aware of where your hands are at all times when operating the saw and avoid reaching behind it or overhanging it unnecessarily during […]

  4. […] many metalworking projects, providing precision cuts in aluminum, brass, steel and copper. These hand saws can also be used to slice through a range of plastic materials like PVC or ABS when repairing water […]

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