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Getting to Know your Hacksaw from your Chainsaw

Getting to Know your Hacksaw from your Chainsaw

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Humankind has been using tools for as long as we’ve roamed the earth. Some of the most primitive tools were simply pieces of rock, carved into spear-like shapes. These were used for basic things such as cutting wood and hunting. Over time, these tools adapted and became more advanced and with specific uses.
Some of the ancient tools that have been discovered around the world include very sharp flakes of stone, hammer stones, and more advanced tools such as stone axes with wooden handles.

The advancement of technology

Over the past 50 years or so, the type of tools that you can find in your local DIY stores cover a huge variety. There are now tools that have been developed for very specific uses. Take the humble saw for instance. Back in the day, it was a strong metal blade with sharp teeth that was used for cutting wood.
Today, if you visit a local hardware store, you’ll find there are a huge range of different saws, each having a specific purpose. From handheld saws to power saws, there is something for all types of user and the job they need to carry out.

The basic saws that all DIYers should know

When it comes to DIY projects, there is a range of basic tools that everyone should have, with many that should at least be known about, regardless of whether you own them or not. A good DIYer will have a full range of tools, and be in a position to carry out most work around the home.
There are at least five different saws that everyone should be aware of. If you are on the lookout for a saw, such as a reciprocating saw, then click here to check out an extensive comparison of the different options you’ll find available today.

Classic Handsaw

This is the classic saw that everyone knows of, and is what most will picture when asked to think of a saw. It has a strong handle, usually made out of wood, but you’ll also find options with strong plastic or metal. The blade is a large one, usually around a meter in length, though you can find shorter ones, with sharp angled teeth.
This type of saw is one that relies purely on muscle work and is mostly for cutting wood. There are times when a power saw or a circular saw are unable to completely cut through a piece of wood, and the handsaw is often used to get through the final furlong.

Reciprocating Saw

Also known as a recip saw or sabre saw, this is a handheld saw that is frequently used in demolition work, and is used to cut away materials that you’ll often find around windows and doors. When knocking down a wall, it usually takes a lot of work to rip out all of the old fittings, and crowbars and hammers are often limited in the amount of work they can do.
This is where a reciprocating saw comes in hand, and with its variety of different blades, it can cut through a range of materials such as metal, plasterboard and of course wood.


This is another handheld saw, similar to the classic handsaw, but one that is small in size, and usually comes with shorter blades of between 10 to 12 inches. These blades are held tightly in place at each end with screw nuts. Different blades come with differently positioned teeth, which can help cut through different metals, such as soft or thin metal.
They also come with a tension nut, which is great when you need to increase the taunt of the blade to make sawing a little easier. Hacksaws are best used for cutting metal, such as piping, and are a vital part of the toolkit of all DIYers, as well as plumbers.

Circular Saw

A circular saw is one that most carpenters will own and use on a regular basis. It can cut straight lines though all types of wood, as well as having the ability to switch blades to allow it to cut through concrete.
You’ll most likely have seen a circular saw being used by workers who are digging up roads of pavements. Masonry blades are what are used when cutting through concentrate with wood blades are the ones used for various types of timber.


This is a very popular saw, especially for people that do a lot of work with wood and need to be able to quickly and easily cut it, especially if it needs to be cut in specific shapes.
As with a circular saw, a jigsaw can be used to cut straight lines, but it also has the advantage of cutting curves – something a circular saw can’t do. You can get standard or reverse blades for a jigsaw which cut through wood differently, either on the upstroke or backstroke.


The final saw that we will mention is the famous chainsaw. This is a powerful tool that was designed to cut trees, and is available in a variety of styles and sizes. The guide bar, which is what the sharp teeth rotate around, is usually 14 inches in length when used for basic cutting and pruning of trees. For lumberjacks, the guide bar can reach up to 36 inches in length.
Most chainsaws are fuel operated, meaning that they can be taken into more remote areas and used for felling trees. They are one of the most dangerous types of saw and are extremely powerful. If you are planning on purchasing one, then it’s very important that you read through the operating instructions to understand the features and how it works, as well as making sure that you are wearing all of the necessary protective gear such as face goggles.

Some final thoughts

Saws are one of the most important tools, and have been with us through many years. They come in all sizes and with varying uses, whether it’s to cut metal, wood or concrete. They range in power and performance, and though not everyone will need to own each type of drill, it’s important to know the differences between them and what they are best used for.


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