Power saws are quite intimidating, not only because of the danger they pose if used improperly, but because of the various categories and sub-categories available. In this brief article post, I’m going to go over the different types of power saws that are available on the market today.
Table saws are basically a stationary circular saw blade that spins at very high speeds. In order to cut wood using a table saw, the operator needs to push the wood into the blade. Very simple, but also very effective. Table saws are used in a broad range of woodworking applications, from cutting wood, fiberboard, plywood, and MDF to cutting plastic and even softer metals.
Circular saws are handheld power tools equipped with a rotating blade that you can push across your workpiece in order to cut it. In other words, the workpiece is the stationary element, and not the saw. Circular saws are recognized for their incredible versatility, as they’re capable of pulling off various types of cuts. They’re also highly portable and don’t require much storage space.
These specialized power saws consist of a pretty large circular blade that’s fixed on a swing arm and a miter saw table to which the workpiece is fixed. Simply, bring the arm down onto the piece in order to start cutting it. Miter saws are perfect for making miter cuts, crosscuts, and bevel cuts on various different materials, including wood, plywood, plastic, and other soft materials.
Radial Arm Saws
A radial arm saw is the total opposite of a table saw where the blade is attached to a mobile arm instead of the cutting table. You place the workpiece on the cutting table and move the revolving blade in a straight line along the piece to cut it. This type of saw is capable of making all kinds of cuts. However, this type of is a thing of the past now and is replaced by the safer miter saws.
Chop saws are composed of an abrasive rotating disc attached to a swing arm that’s fed onto a stationary workpiece. The difference between chops saws and miter saws is that the former will use an abrasive disc to cut the workpiece, whereas the latter will use a toothed blade. This type of saw is excellent for making cross-cuts and cutting angles on rugged materials like metal.
These are handheld power saws featured in cordless and corded variants. With this type of saw, the blade is pushed forward then pulled back. The same movement is repeated rapidly. This is a motion that’s capable of cutting through various materials from wood to bricks and tiles.
Band saws are pretty unique in the sense that the blade is basically a continuous band of metal that flaunts teeth on one side. This band of metal is installed between two revolving wheels. It’s available in two variants: vertical band saw and horizontal band saw. It’s ideal for long lumbar.
Featuring two wheels that influence the motion of a continuous band of metal, scroll saws pretty similar to band saws. However, scroll saws are intended for more accurate cutting, which makes them a better fit than band saws when it comes to making intricate patterns or cuts on wood.
Simply put, panel saws are the larger cousins of table saws. However, the blade on a panel saw moves along the track in order to cut the workpiece. The primary purpose of panel saws is to cut large panels into small selections. Panel saws are available in two types: vertical and horizontal.
This is a type of power saw that’s intended to make rip cuts, which are cuts made parallel to the grain of the wood. Rip saws are heavy-duty units that can cut through a lot of lumber in minimal time. Rip saws are very broad and include other types of power saws, including circular saws.
Track saws are variants of circular saws, with the primary difference being that there’s an added metal track secured to improve accuracy and stability. Also known as plunge-cut saws, Track saws feature a riving knife behind the blade that helps eliminate kickback.
Compared to the rest of the power saws on the list, flooring saws are the most uncommon. That doesn’t mean that they’re not useful, though. As the name implies, flooring saws are intended to help users cut flooring. These units tend to be quite compact and extremely easy to use.
Standard table or circular saws can’t cut ceramic tiles in an exemplary way because of the hard and brittle nature of tiles. And that’s where tile saws come in! As the name implies, this is a type of saw that’s designed to help you cut through various tiles, including glass and ceramic tiles.
Jigsaws are quite similar to reciprocating saws, but with a couple of differences. Firstly, jigsaws feature a downward-aimed blade. Secondly, a jigsaw can be utilized to create both straight and non-straight cuts. You can use a jigsaw to cut wood, plastic, tiles, metal, and many more.
Almost everyone is familiar with chainsaws, if not from personal experience then from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies. It’s a type of saw that employs chains of linked teeth to cut a broad range of materials. It’s not the most accurate power saw, but it’s super fast and effective.
There you have it! The 15 different types of power saws available today. Hopefully, you’ve found this guide helpful on your quest for the ideal type of power saw for your shop. Please feel free to let us know if you have any questions with regard to the topic of this article.