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Saws Buying Guide

Stationary and portable saws make DIY projects easier. But you have to make sure you’re getting the right saw, for the right situation.

 

There are many options available when it comes to which saw you should get for your workroom. Any Do-It-Yourselfer you ask will have a different answer. But it all depends on what you’ll be using it for. Are you building a deck? Or are small crafts more your speed? Maybe you’ll be using your saw for a little bit of everything. As long as you do the research, chances are you’ll get a saw that will give you many years of use.

Portable Saws

Circular Saws

Circular saws are versatile cutting tools that will come in handy both for DIYers and seasoned professionals, and every skill level in between. They are a general-purpose saw with many uses. They are, in essence, a portable version of a table saw or mitre saw with the ability to cut through a number of materials and thicknesses. Circular saws are ideal for both straight cuts and cross cuts. The blade can be adjusted to cut at different depths and beveling to allow you to cut at different angles and the saw's base plate can be adjusted to make angled cuts.

There are many different sizes of circular saws available, but the most common (and most useful for most situations) is the 7¼” version. The inch measurement that you will see is the diameter of the blade, not the size of the actual saw. Circular saws are now available in both corded and cordless versions.

Reciprocating Saws

A reciprocating saw is a handheld saw that is traditionally used for rough cutting and for demolition-type tasks because it can cut through rebar or support beams. They are also great in plumbing situations for cutting pipes. The main difference between reciprocating saws and other saws is that the blades sit horizontally as opposed to vertically. A reciprocating saw is ideal for hard-to-reach areas due to its low-profile nature (compared to other handheld power saws). It’s also handy for use in yardwork as heavy-duty pruners for extra-thick branches that need to be shorn.

Reciprocating saw blades are interchangeable and each has its own specific (or general) usage. They can be made of a number of materials, and feature lengths up to 12”. Blades with more “teeth” are traditionally used for cutting metals, whereas fewer teeth are for cutting wood.

Jigsaw/Orbital Saws

A jigsaw is a versatile cutting tool that features a vertical blade that moves up and down and gives you the cutting power and flexibility to tackle a number of DIY construction tasks and even many craft applications. The outward-facing teeth allow you to move the saw in either a straight or curved line as well as crosscuts, ripping, beveling and plunge cuts. A jigsaw can also be used on a variety of materials, including wood, some metals, plastic, tile and drywall.

All jigsaws are capable of handling a variety of materials, situations and types of cuts, but they may offer features that make them ideally-suited for specific jobs. For instance, the long, slim blades that jigsaws feature are ideal for delicate wood cuts.