6 Types of Electric Saws You Cannot Ignore

You cannot ignore the importance of an electric hand saw for your DIY construction, renovation, or carpentry projects. There are plenty of options available on the market that might leave you overwhelmed for choice. But before investing in one, you should understand the different types of electric saws and their uses.

1. Band Saw

Band saws are designed as a power saw with a stationary table setup. This type of power tool comes complete with a long, sharp saw blade with a long band of toothed metal that moves uninterruptedly between two rotating wheels.  A band saw is ideal for lumbering and cutting through wood and metal. It has the advantage of uniform cutting due to the even distribution of tooth load. Another advantage is that it can be used to create irregular or curved shapes. The blade comes in a variety of sizes and tooth pitches, making it a highly versatile machine that can cut a variety of materials.

You have two options in band saws – portable and fixed. If you need to move the saw from one site to another, a portable unit is a better choice. Vertical band saws dominate the woodworking industry and are ideal for cutting through long lumber. A vertical unit can crosscut to size the board. Additionally, it is possible to make miter cuts. On the other hand, a horizontal band saw is an important tool in the metalworking industry, with the advantage of faster and higher productivity.

what is a band saw

2. Chainsaw

As the name suggests, it uses a rotating chain of sharp teeth for the purpose of cutting and trimming, and shaping hedges. This is one of the most versatile and powerful tools available.

Although a chainsaw can cut through different types of materials, it is particularly useful in woodcutting. A chainsaw is a fast way of cutting through piles of wood in a short period of time.

There are electric and gas-powered chainsaws, which are more powerful and efficient than the former. But one disadvantage of working with gas models is that they are louder and heavier than their electric counterparts.

what are chain saw uses

The electric saw for home use does not pull hard and is, therefore, easy to control with a firm grip. In order to avoid chainsaw injury risk, avoid the kickback zone, which is the upper half of the tip. There are some types of electric hand saws that are equipped with a chain brake to stop the chain in the event of a kickback. Wearing the right protective gear is the first step to avoiding any risk of injury.

3. Mitre Saw

A mitre saw is designed to make accurate crosscuts in wood. It is ideal for carpentry and primarily used in wood carving but can cut through different types of metal and plastic. Though it resembles a chop saw, this type of electric saw can make straight and precise cuts. There are sliding mitre saw types that can pull the arm forward and easily cut through wider materials. Easy and safe to use, a mitre saw serves different cutting purposes, from cross-cutting to angled cuts.  

what is a mitre saw

A single compound miter saw is a piece of equipment in which the axis can be tilted in one direction.  There is a double bevel miter saw in which the axis tilts left and right. The sliding compound miter saw comes with a sliding rail system to cut wider workpieces.

A power mitre saw is simple to use and operate. It is recommended to wear safety glasses when working on an electric hand saw.

4. Reciprocating Saw

Make demolition and construction easier with a reciprocating saw. The handheld saw is primarily used on vertical surfaces in the construction and demolition industry. It is the ultimate remodeling tool that works on the basis of a push-and-pull motion. A reciprocating saw comes with a large blade that resembles a jigsaw and cuts through different materials. This type of saw comes with a handle-oriented blade that makes it easier to use comfortably on vertical surfaces.

how does a reciprocating saw work

There are different designs on the market that range in speed, power, and features. One strong feature of a reciprocating saw is its use in an orbital action that involves oscillating the traversed reciprocation perpendicular to the motion of the cut. When that happens, the blade moves in an oval pattern. This feature makes it particularly important in woodcutting and remodeling.

A reciprocating saw does not work as a fine crafting piece of equipment. It is named a reciprocating saw due to the back-and-forth cutting stroke of its saw blade. Unlike blades of other types of electric saws, the reciprocating saw blade is easy to maneuver into tight spaces, making it ideal for situations where other saws might not work effectively. It is easier to control as well.

However, it is important to choose the right blade for a reciprocating saw. A fine-tooth blade is ideal for cutting through metal pipes. A coarse blade makes it easier to cut through wood. When it comes to picking the best saw blade to cut through plaster, use the coarsest-tooth blade. For cutting stone and tiles, go for toothless blades that come with a tungsten carbide coat.

One big advantage is that this type of saw blade is not destructible; rather, it can be reused.

5. Table saw

You cannot ignore a table saw in a woodworking or carpentry job. The simple piece of equipment comes with a circular electric saw blade that rotates at a high speed while remaining stationary. There is some room for customization, especially with regards to the blade, which can be changed to accommodate different cutting tasks.

A table saw cuts through wood and plywood efficiently and quickly. It can also cut through plastic, soft metal, and medium-density fiberboard. A table saw can rip wide boards and easily cut at an angle.

table saw uses

One disadvantage of a table saw is that it takes up a lot of space. It is not ideal for resawing or miter cuts. Table saws can be dangerous unless you wear safety glasses or hearing protection. Experts recommend using a blade guard with a table saw and properly adjusting the equipment.

Some of the uses of table saw include cutting sheets of plastic, plywood, and fiberboard.  It is one of the power tools to make rabbets and dadoes in wood.

6. Track Saw

A track saw is a circular saw meant for ripping boards and cutting trim. A track saw makes it easier to make splinter-free cuts across different panels. It works like a plunge saw, with the ultimate control in the hands of the user in cutting through wood or subflooring.

Also referred to as plunge-cut saws, track saws produce a smooth cutting action, moving forward or backward. There is no sideways or jerk movement, producing perfectly straight cuts. A track saw is one of those electric saws that are ideal for cutting much wider boards and long miter cuts than a typical saw blade. The depth of cut is relatively easy to control with a track saw that is portable, which makes it easier to move between job sites. It is safe to carry around.

track saw function

One disadvantage is that a track saw is not ideal for milling operations to create rabbets and dados. Unlike a circular saw, there is no clumsy blade guard in a track saw.  It is designed to be smooth and precise without any ragged edges. One huge advantage of this type of electric saw and its uses is that its sticky rubber strips don’t slip and you don’t need to waste time clamping down the track. There is an efficient dust collection system that does its job very well. With a track saw, you will need to align the track with your marks before preparing for cutting. There is a plastic edge that shows exactly where the blade saw will cut. It’s easy to operate and use without any test cuts or double checks. You can use a track saw to make large cuts in a little space. It does not require infeed or outfeed space.

Irrespective of the angle length or steepness, a track saw gives an accurate miter. Another disadvantage of a track saw is that it lacks a built-in miter gauge, which means it is not easier to set up miter cuts.

A track saw gives you the advantage of single-stage plywood cutting. That means you don’t need to rough-cut with a circular saw or make finish cuts.  The first cuts will be final.

What Should You Choose?

No matter what type of electric saws you use, it is always important to read the user’s manual carefully. All user manuals advise users on wearing protection while working on a saw and unplugging the saw when changing the blade. Some saw types have lines that indicate the danger zones, advising users to keep fingers at a distance of 6 inches from the blade’s route. Keep it a distance when the blade is spinning and wait for it to come to a halt before lifting it.

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Ravneet Kaur

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A dynamic and seasoned Tech Enthusiast Writer, Alex Rivera specializes in reviewing the latest gadgets and emerging tech trends. With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from MIT and a Master's in Journalism from Northwestern University, Alex expertly bridges the gap between complex technology and engaging storytelling. His work is prominently featured in TechRadar Pro, Digital Trends, and Android Authority.