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Saws Buying Guide – Types of Cuts & Key Features

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


Types of Cuts & Key Features

Types of Cuts

Cross Cut

A simple 90° cut, typically across the grain of the wood.

Mitre Cut

An angle cut of 45°. Two mitre-cut pieces of wood put together creates a 90° corner between two cut pieces.

Bevel Cut

A cut along the thickness of the wood, not using a right angle (90°).

Compound Cut

A cut incorporating two different angles within the same cut that involves both a bevel and mitre cut. Often used for crown moulding.

Rip Cut

A rip cut is a cut made along the wood grain.

Key Features

RPM (Revolutions per minute)

The number of times an engine spins a full revolution in 60 seconds.

Amps (ampere)

The basic unit of household electric current. Used to express to power of a corded tool.


A unit of power equal to one joule per second. The amount of electric power in a cordless tool.

Horsepower (HP)

The power of an engine, equal to 746 watts.

Dust Removal

A way to ensure the dust created during the cutting process is kept to a minimum, usually due to a vacuum system extracting the dust.

Dado Blade

A dado blade is a type of blade, usually used with a table saw, which is used to cut grooves into a piece of wood.

Laser Guide

A guide shone onto your wood to ensure that you cut in a straight line.

No-load Speed

The speed measured when the electrical drive of a tool is running, but has no load or is not engaging in any work.

Throat Capacity

The distance between the saw's blade and frame, which determines the largest piece of wood you can safely cut.