What’s That Cut? Your Guide to Saws

Read time: 4 minutes

TL;DR

  • Saws are essential to almost every home DIY project, yet the type of saw you need depends on the project and materials you’re working with.
  • Hand saws, including miter box and bevel saws, are great for small pieces of wood, trim, molding and other small projects.
  • More advanced hand saws like the double bevel and compound saws can help get bigger jobs done faster.
  • Powered saws like a table saw and circular saw can make quick work of large, thick, or rotting slabs of wood. 
  • Visit your local Doug Ashy store for top-notch customer service and the quality materials and tools you need.

 

Saws are essential to almost every home improvement project. Yet the type of saw you need to use depends on the project you have at hand. In other words, a miter saw won’t do the job of a circular saw and vice versa. The handheld saw that’s present in many American garages won’t work, either. Thus, how do you select an appropriate saw for your project? Read on to understand how you can use the most appropriate saws, powered or manual, for the work you need to do.

Miter Box Saw

These types of saws have two components, that include a handsaw and box with slots that allow the cutting of specific angles, usually at 45 degrees and 90 degrees. The handsaw used in this process has teeth that cut against the grain of the wood. Because a miter box saw is powered by hand, it is often the go-to tool for DIYers that shy away from power tools. They are inexpensive and portable and also have the added advantage of minimizing the spread of sawdust.

Bevel Saws

These are also called compound miter saws. Their main purpose is to make precision cuts to allow easy framing, installation and molding of wooden pieces. Contemporary miter saws work on the same principle as miter box saws, but they also have the ability to accomplish more complex cuts. Bevel saws can also make slanted cuts. These are best for framing and finished carpentry jobs, particularly when the job involves complex angled cuts.

Double Bevel Saws

Double bevel saws are another version of compound miter saws. These allow you to make bevel cuts on both sides of a piece without having to flip it. They are useful for quickly making matching multiple cuts for pieces like crown molding. A double bevel saw will allow you to proceed much more quickly than if you are using a single bevel saw, however, they are not as accurate.

Compound Saws

Also called sliding miter saws, this type of saw will allow you to do everything that a bevel saw can do but on much bigger pieces of wood. The rails on the side of the saw are what allow you to use this tool on bigger pieces as you have the ability to slide the piece back and forth as you work. These are ideal for cutting logs and wider pieces of lumber for large projects.

Square Saw

Square saws are more commonly called quad saws, and in essence, they are closer to drills than saws. This item is essentially an attachment for your power drill that allows you to create square or rectangle shape openings in walls. Quadsaws are only useful for cutting through drywall. If you want to cut through plaster, you’ll need a different type of tool.

Table Saws

Table saws are useful for making rip cuts on 1x and 2x lumber, along with reducing the size of plywood. In addition to trimming a board to the proper width of your project, they may also be used to adjust thickness. Use a table saw on any tongue-and-groove project such as flooring or for parts for a cabinet face frame.

Circular Saws

Circular saws are extremely handy tools that can be used for almost any project. They come in worm-drive or sidewinder models and are good at making long, accurate cuts. Sidewinders are generally lighter in weight. Circular saws are good choices for restoration projects as they can make easier work of cross-cutting and ripping apart old, damaged framing, floorboards and other rotted wood. Make sure that you selected the right depth for such projects so you don’t damage adjoining carpentry. They are also great for trimming door bottoms and stiles.

Picking the right saw and equipment for a DIY project can be tricky. Doug Ashy’s experienced staff can help you find the best tools and materials for the job with a smiling face, so come see us at any one of our locations in Acadiana today.

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