25 Types of Saws (Detailed Infographic)

Do you want to know the different types of saws

Fantastic stuff, you are in the right place.

In this ToolsGaloreHQ.com guide, I will show you: 

  1. What each saw is best used for
  2. Detailed infographic
  3. Origins of each saw
  4. And So Much More
Different types of saws
types of saws

Breakdown Of The Different Types of Saws

In the infographic above we presented the different types of saws, now we will present them in a bit more detail providing you with unique insights on each of the different types of saws. 

1. Hand Saw

This is a staple within many woodworkers tool boxes. It is a manual tool designed for cutting wood, fiberglass, drywall or wood.

The hand saw has an illustrious history and evidence exists of handsaws from 1500 B.C in ancient Egypt & Ur in ancient Mesopotamia. The simplicity of this tool makes it very versatile in a wide range of different situations.

2. Hack Saw

This tool is another one of the handheld tools, it’s a small toothed saw. It is best used for cutting into brackets, metal pipes and various types of rods. The origin of the Hack Saw is also very interesting.

It has a long history but the improvements of efficiency and longevity are often accredited to Max Flower-Nash during the 1800’s. The contributions made helped elevate the hack saw’s profile.

3. Cross Cut Saw

The cross cut saw is a specialized version of a hand saw designed to cut through wood against the grain. The history of this tool, is that it came into widespread usage in Europe during the mid 15th century  

4. Folding Saw

The folding saw is another that has a long history. It is an all-round multipurpose tool designed for the outdoors and campers. It is specifically used to prune branches and clear bushes. The creation of the folding saw is often accredited to Marvin O. Smith (US Patent 266 650) in 1882.

circular saw

5. Japanese Saw

This saw is unique amongst all other hand held saws because, you only cut on the pull stroke. The reason this is the case is to allow the blade to be straighter, thinner and in some instances 70 – 75% thinner than other typical handheld blades.

It is perfect for woodworking and the first instance of such as saw was discovered in ancient Japanese tombs during the Kofun Period between 250 – 535 AD.  

Read More:>>> Simple Ways To Sharpen Circular Saw

6. Fret Saw

This saw is best used in instance that require very intricate cuts. This is especially true if the space to make the cut is tight and high degrees of maneuverability is required.

It was invented in the mid-16th century.

7. Veneer Saw

This saw is used to cut veneers. These are usually about 5mm thin sheets of wood that you would find peeled off from logs. The peeling off the log is done by a veneer cutting machine.

The invention and creation of this tool coincides with the invention of the first veneer factory, which opened in Germany in 1854.

8. Back Saw

This tool is best designed for making precise woodcuts. The stiffening rib on the rear edge helps with stability.

The origins of this tool can be dated back to the period of the Roman Empire, in which a back saw was discovered at Mount Auxois which at the time was a Gaulish camp.

9. Drywall Saw

This saw is best for cutting drywall down to various sizes. It’s origins tie in with the creation of drywall in the 1916. It is also used for creating small-sized holes in drywall for installation purposes.

10. Bone Saw

This saw is quite interesting as the name suggests – it is designed to cut through bone. There are many different styles and shapes.  Interestingly, the bone saw was invented by a Scottish surgeon Benjamin Bell during the 18th Century.

best worm drive saw


11. Rip Cut Saw

It’s a hand held saw that can be used for a variety of applications. However it is best used for creating rip cuts through wood stock. Worth noting as well that it was initially referred to as an OGA (a big saw). The Rip Cut saw was introduced during the mid Muromachi period in the 15th century.

Read More:>>> Learn How To Rip Cut Through Narrow Boards

12. Wire Saw

The wire saw is great for cutting silicon carbide, sapphire, wood, rock and all types of ceramic. Due to it’s compact design, you can easily store it in your bag, and it’s an awesome tool for outdoor enthusiasts.

It was invented by Leonardo Gigli in 1894.

13. Electric Pole Saw

This saw is a power tool specifically used for trimming hard to reach branches and tree limbs. The initially origins of this tool are a combination of multiple different technologies. However a key patent US715232B since 2003 speaks to developments of the electric pole saw.

14. Chainsaw

The chainsaw is a classic and has existed for a long time. It is a very versatile power tool saw. It is used for cutting down branches, trees and large logs. Whenever using this tool be sure to use ear muffs and eye care protection. As the nature of the cut creates large debris.

15. Miter Saw

This table top saw is great for making a large variety of cuts. Especially angled cuts. It was initially invented by Ed Niehaus who was the chief engineer of the power tool division of Rockwell international in 1964.

16. Table Saw

This is a classic saw and one most wood workers and DIYers are very familiar with. This tool is extremely versatile and to a skilled workman it can be used to create cross cuts, rip cuts and dado cuts through wood.

It first appeared commercially in a catalog from W/F & John Barnes Co in 1885.

17. Circular Saw

It’s a very versatile handheld power tool saw, designed for making linear or curvilinear cuts at high precision on large pieces of wood, plastic, metal or masonry.

The origins of the circular saw can be traced back to a time when Samuel Miller was awarded the British Patent #1152 in 1777. This was considered the very first circular saw.

The tool has seen significant improvements since then but the core versatility remains the same.

18. Jigsaw

The Jigsaw is designed for making curved an intricate cuts in wood, plastic, sheet metal and ceramic tile.

The modern portable jigsaw was introduced in 1947 by Scintilla AG (which was later acquired by Bosch).

19. Reciprocating Saw

The reciprocating saw is another one of those saws that are used for very intricate cuts. It is also popularly used for demolition, salvaging and remodeling of wood, metal and PVC.

The modern tool as we know it was invented by the Milwaukee tool company in 1951.

20. Band Saw

This is a power tool saw that is great for curve cutting and straight cuts. It can also perform v or u shaped cuts. It was invented by William Newberry in 1808.

21. Scroll Saw

The scroll saw is perfect for creating intricate corner and curved cuts through wood working applications. It was originally invented by Mr M’Duff in 1829.

22. Tile Saw

A Wet Tile saw is the most versatile tile cutter available on the market. It can very easily cut through varying thicknesses of porcelain or ceramic tiles, safely and efficiently.

It utilizes the same mechanism as the table saw and hence has been prevalent since 1885.

23. Radial Arm Saw

This saw is there for cutting long pieces of stock material into the right lengths. It was originally invented by Raymond DeWalt in 1922.

24. Panel Saw

This is practically a large machine that is designed to cut very large panels of wood, medium density fiberboard and plywood. Given that there are two types of panels saws (horizontal and vertical), then practically still perform similar functions.

The machine was invented by Wilhelm Altendorp in 1906.

25. Oscillating Saw

This handheld power saw is used for a large variety of tasks and applications such as cutting, grinding, scraping, sanding and sawing.

Modern oscillating tools were developed by German manufacturers in 1967.

Some Interesting Facts On The Various Types Of Saws

Hope you enjoyed the list above, now that we are talking about various kinds and types of saws. Lets look at a few fun facts that I am sure you will find interesting.

FUN FACT #1: The jigsaw was invented by mistake

Someone who was working in the manufacture of sewing machines basically replaced the need with a long thin saw, and boom – that was the beginning of the jigsaw.

Read More:>>> Find High Quality Table Saws For Beginners

FUN FACT #2: Portable saw basically replaced the machete

A frustrated sugar cane harvester basically got fed up with hacking with a machete and investigated a better way to cut the cane. This led to the invention of the very first portable saw.

Final Thoughts On The Various Types Of Saws

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide. I had a lot of fun creating the infographic and the fun facts above. As you can see the saw has been part of our lives since humans have needed to cut through wood.

Over the years of course we have improved and created different variations of practically the same mechanism. Enjoy.

Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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