What type of saw is right for my project?

Saws are essential tools used across a huge diversity of industries. Even when we focus on the saws used throughout the construction industry, we still find an extensive array of options. So, which saws are best for which projects?

In this article we’ll give an overview of some of the most common types of saw used in diverse aspects of construction projects and the differences between them. We will also examine saw design types and their functionality. Remember that Beaver Tool Hire stocks a wide range of saws for different applications, so don’t hesitate to get in touch for more information on the best saw for your project.

Understanding Your Project Needs

Before we go into the different types of saws, let’s take a moment to consider your project. Are you building a coffee table, retiling a bathroom or installing pipes for a heating system?

Different materials require different saw properties. Saws used for masonry, woodwork and metal cutting have distinct designs and characteristics tailored to the specific properties of each material. Here are the main saw types and their key characteristics:

  • Masonry Saws:
  • Type: Masonry saws are typically designed for cutting through hard materials such as bricks, concrete and stone.
  • Blade: The blades for masonry saws are abrasive and have a gritty texture. Diamond-tipped blades are common for cutting through tough masonry materials.
  • Power: These saws are often powered by electric motors or petrol engines.
  • Safety: Additional safety features to control dust are typically included, as cutting through brickwork or concrete can generate a significant amount of fine particles.
  • Woodworking Saws:
  • Type: Woodworking saws are used for cutting wood and come in various types for different purposes, including circular saws, jigsaws, mitre saws and sabre saws. This category also includes specialised timber saws such as plunge routers and biscuit jointers, used in furniture and cabinet making.
  • Blade: The blades for woodworking saws are designed with specific tooth configurations suitable for cutting wood efficiently. They may have fine teeth for smooth cuts or coarse teeth for rough cuts.
  • Power: Woodworking saws can be powered by mains electricity, battery or, in the case of some larger saws, by petrol engines.
  • Metal Cutting Saws:
  • Type: Saws designed for cutting metal include tools like angle grinders, chop saws, and reciprocating saws.
  • Blade: Metal cutting blades are typically made of high-speed steel or have carbide tips. Some metal cutting saws use abrasive wheels for cutting through tougher metals.
  • Power: Metal cutting saws can be powered by electricity or, in the case of portable tools, by battery. They are designed to handle the hardness and density of metal.
  • Blade Speed and Tooth Configuration
  • Masonry saws typically have abrasive blades and rely on the abrasive action to cut through hard materials.
  • Woodworking saws have blades with various tooth configurations based on the type of cut required, such as rip cuts or crosscuts.
  • Metal cutting saws need blades that can withstand the hardness of metal and often have finer teeth to produce cleaner cuts.

Safety Features:
Each type of saw may have specific safety features tailored to the hazards associated with cutting its respective material. For example, woodworking saws may have blade guards, while masonry saws may have dust control features.

It’s essential to choose the right saw for the specific material you are working with to ensure efficient and safe cutting. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and safety precautions for the specific saw you are using.

Exploring Different Types of Saws

Now that we have looked at saws classified by the materials they have been designed to work with, let’s examine different types of saw from the perspective of the tasks they have been designed to perform.

  • Circular Saws: You are probably familiar with circular saws. These handheld machines are fitted with a rotating blade and are designed to make straight cuts through materials such as plywood, MDF or framing timber. They are relatively easy to handle , catering to DIY enthusiasts at various skill levels.
    A good circular saw is the Hilti Nuron SC 30WR-22 Cordless Circular Saw, which has a cutting thickness of up to 70mm.
  • Jigsaws: For finer and more precise work, jigsaws prove to be the ideal tool. These saws incorporate a thin, reciprocating blade that moves up and down. Normally the speed of the blade is adjustable. Jigsaws can make deeper cuts than circular saws and are great for cutting curved or irregular shapes. These user-friendly saws are suitable for beginners and seasoned crafters, alike.
    The Hilti Nuron SJD6-22 Cordless Jigsaw is a popular machine that offers the freedom of movement that you may need in many projects.
  • Mitre Saws: These saws are used for cutting precise angles. With a fixed base and a rotating arm, they deliver accurate cuts with a rotating blade for framing and moulding projects. While mitre saws offer unparalleled precision, they do require some skill to operate effectively.
    The Dewalt Telescopic Mitre Saw is a safe and reliable option that incorporates additional features for making compound cuts.
  • Reciprocating Saws: Saws like Hilti Nuron SR6-22 Cordless Reciprocating Saw are great for demolition projects. With a back-and-forth, reciprocating blade motion, they are designed for cutting through tough materials. While demanding respect for their power, these saws are relatively straightforward to use, making them suitable for those tackling DIY renovation projects.
  • Table Saws: These large, stationary tools feature a flat table with a circular saw blade protruding from the centre. Perfect for larger woodworking projects, they offer accuracy and straight cuts with the material guided along a fence. Due to their size and power, they are suited to those with intermediate to advanced woodworking skills.
    The Dewalt Flip Over Combination Saw converts from a cross cut/mitre saw to a table saw, making it ideal for a wide range of tasks by giving you two tools in one.

Quick Guide for Choosing the Right Saw

With all of this information in mind, have a look at our recommendation for choosing the right saw, based on popular projects.

  1. Small Home Projects: Circular saws or jigsaws for versatile tasks such as cutting boards or crafting DIY designs.
  2. Fine Woodworking: Mitre saws for angled precision, table saws for straight edges in intricate projects.
  3. DIY Renovations: Circular saws for general cuts, reciprocating saws for demolition in large projects.

Choose Beaver Tool Hire for Professional Saw Hire

If you would like to hire a saw for your next project, speak to Beaver Tool Hire today. With branches in Chichester, Petersfield, Waterlooville, Portsmouth, Fareham, Winchester and our newest depot in Worthing we are conveniently located to provide leading tool hire services throughout Hampshire and West Sussex. Get in touch today on 01243 782510 to find out about the tool hire solutions for your project. Our friendly team is always happy to help.