Types of Electric Saws & When You Need Each of Them

There is no universal saw that copes with absolutely every task. Sometimes it is tricky to figure out all the diversity and understand the purpose of a particular instrument.

I am here to help you with it. In this article, I have collected all the information about types of electric saws, their area of ​​application, and some essential features.

Many craftsmen like power tools because they are environmentally friendly and easy to maintain. After reading the article, you will be able to form your own opinion about each type and choose the right saw for your task.

Electric Hand Saws

Portable models are most common among customers who buy tools for home use. In most cases, the shape of a saw and the number and form of teeth determine how the instrument should be used.

Compact devices are convenient because you can carry them out in any place convenient for you. After all, it is not always possible to bring a workpiece to the workshop or garage. Besides, you often do not need the power that stationary models offer.

1. Circular saw

Circular saw

It is the most commonly used kind of all power hand saw types. This is a tool that is designed for large volumes of work; it is powerful and very productive. The device consists of an electric motor, saw blade, base plate, and protective housing.

With the help of circular saws, you can carry out construction and repair works both on a domestic and industrial scale. The versatility of such models is complemented with the opportunity to change blades depending on the materials.

Circular tools handle wood, laminates, and metal with ease. With their help, craftsmen perform oblique, longitudinal, and straight cuts that require high accuracy.

2. Track saw

Track saw Bosch

The so-called track (plunge) saw is a subtype of circular device. In general, they are similar, but the latter has a special attachment in the form of a metal rail or track.

This small but convenient add-on greatly facilitates the user’s work. It gives you much smoother cuts, which is especially important when working with large sheets of wood or metal.

With a track, you can measure the desired distance from the edge and make an even cut. True, if you have a good circular saw, you can make a DIY guide yourself.

3. Jigsaw


This small instrument has a fine-toothed blade that moves up and down (its speed can be adjusted to your needs). Such a tool is indispensable in the household, furniture making, and repair tasks.

Thanks to its incredible maneuverability, you can make curly cuts of any complexity. A jigsaw is relatively simple: a flat sole at the bottom of the body, a handle on the top, an engine inside the body, and a slider in the front part, where a blade is attached.

Since it is a very mobile device, it is better to choose it with a long cord or get a cordless (rechargeable) model.

4. Reciprocating saw

Reciprocating saw

In terms of functionality, a reciprocating saw can be compared with a jigsaw, and in terms of its operation, it resembles a hacksaw. The tool looks like a drill with a blade in front. Its main feature is a pendulum blade control mechanism.

Such a device moves the cutting blade in a reciprocating motion. It significantly reduces friction and heating of the tool, which increases its lifespan. A reciprocating saw is capable of working with metal, wood, aerated concrete, plastic, and brick.

As it is very powerful and efficient, it is well-suited for demolition work, cutting pipes, harvesting firewood, and cutting trees. True, the accuracy of a reciprocating saw is quite low, so it shouldn’t be used for delicate tasks.

5. Chainsaw

Chainsaw Hart

The working part of such a tool is a chain, which is closed in a ring. The chain and the guide bar, along which it moves, are removable. Thanks to their power, chainsaws are used exclusively for working with wood, as well as with its derivatives.

It copes well with firewood making, gardening, and carpentry work. For delicate and fine tasks, it is not at all suitable. Although most often users prefer gas models (primarily for their high performance), electric tools are also sold in stores. They are slightly inferior to gasoline ones in power; nevertheless, they are perfect for home use.

6. Pole chainsaw

Pole chainsaw

As the name implies, it is a variation of the previous type, but I still decided to make it a separate paragraph. By design, these devices look like chainsaws attached to long poles.

Of course, in this way, they represent a tool that has an extremely narrow field of application. They are used to trim tall trees. It is considered a safer method than standing on a wobbly stepladder and using a full-length chainsaw.

7. Flooring saw

Flooring saw

It is a portable device designed for sawing floor coverings. It is a pretty specialized tool that can replace a lot of different tools like a jigsaw, a table saw and other instruments needed for floor laying.

The fact that it is so compact and portable sets it apart from other devices suitable for cutting laminate flooring. You can take it to the room where you plan to lay the floor and cut the wood right on the spot.

This type of saw is primarily needed by professionals and construction workers who have to deal with large volumes of laminate flooring on a daily basis.

8. Wall chaser

Wall chaser

This is another narrowly professional type of saw that is used when carrying out electrical and plumbing works. Unlike circular saws, two discs move at once under the protective casing of this device.

It allows you to quickly make a gutter of the desired width in a concrete or brick wall or floor. If necessary, a similar procedure can be performed with other tools, so wall chasers are mainly used by specialists.

9. Multitool

Multitool ryobi

This type of saw is not often found among the average users, but the name speaks for itself, and with its help, you can perform completely different types of work. With a bit of skill, it can replace almost all kinds of saws.

Due to the large number of various attachments that are usually included, the oscillating multitool is suitable for cutting wood, ceramic tiles, metal and stone, grout removal, window repair, flooring, paint scraping, etc.

These saws are very compact in size, so they are convenient to work with even in narrow and hard-to-reach places.

Stationary Saws

Such devices are freestanding machines and tables. As a rule, they are more often acquired by professionals for large-scale tasks. They are designed to withstand large volumes of material and be used for extended periods of time.

Such tools do not overheat and are safe to use; however, they require more attentive care than compact household counterparts.

10. Miter saw

Miter saw

It is probably the second most common type of saw after circular ones. Moreover, they are similar in many ways. A miter saw is perfect for cutting wood or metal sheets and pipes or other jobs that require angle cuts or accurate measurements.

The miter saw blade can be rotated at any angle in both directions. Although such devices are considered portable since you can move them from place to place if necessary, you can’t operate holding them in your hands. They should be placed on a stable, level surface.

Also read: How to Unlock Miter Saw

11. Table saw

Table saw

A table saw is a freestanding machine for cutting large sheets of material. As the name implies, it looks like a table with a cutting disc protruding from a tabletop. When you use it, you move not the device itself but the material with which you work.

This type is ideal for working with long sheets of wood, plywood, chipboard, and even thin metal. Those who regularly manufacture identical parts for, for example, furniture, cannot do without it. With this saw, you can make both straight and angle cuts of different depths.

12. Metal cut-off saw

Metal cut-off saw

Metal cut-off (or chop) saws are also a type of circular device. Unlike miter tools, they are designed for cutting very rigid materials. They are used both in metalworking and for chopping stones, concrete, and bricks.

This instrument uses toothless blades made of special ultra-strong abrasives. The cutting tool goes from top to bottom and can only make straight cuts. I understand that not every DIYer needs to cut metal or concrete regularly, so this type of instrument is more suitable for professional use.

13. Radial arm saw

Radial arm saw

This saw stands out among many counterparts by its design. Its working head with a blade and motor is placed on a movable arm that is located directly above the cutting table.

With this tool, you can make angle and compound cuts, and more. It is suitable for joinery and construction work and can handle a variety of materials.

Although it is a fairly versatile tool, it is gradually being phased out by more convenient miter and table saws. However, I know some users who still prefer these devices.

14. Band saw

Band saw

It is a very unusual saw in its appearance and design. It looks like a bulky two-piece machine. The upper and lower halves have special pulley wheels that move along the table and move the cutting band. It has very fine teeth, so it can cut through almost all construction materials.

With this saw, you can make complex and curved cuts in wood, as well as cut pipes. The principle of its work is similar to jigsaws in many ways, although they are more efficient and productive.

You can get compact (portable) models in stores, but I do not see a special need for them. For large tasks, it is better to take a stationary band saw, and for small ones, get a jigsaw. By the way, such devices are often used in meatpacking factories for cutting meat on an industrial scale.

15. Scroll saw

Scroll saw

A scroll saw is one of the most useful types of electric saws for woodworking. These devices allow you to perform a wide variety of tasks: from making wooden puzzles to sophisticated furniture decorations.

Both jigsaws and scroll saws are suitable for cutting uneven lines, but the spiral one is the best choice for creating the most difficult cuts in wood, plastic, copper, and other materials. For achieving detailing and precise rotation, use a special table.

FAQ About Power Saw Types

Saws and hemp

In this section, I have answered some of my readers’ questions about power saws. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments below; I will be happy to answer them.

How many types of saws are there?

In my article, I have described 15 main kinds of electric saws. Of course, my list is not complete and definitive, as there are narrowly practical tools designed to work with specific materials. So, for example, there are tile saws, which are similar in design to miter saws (with some additions in the form of water supply).

What is a table saw used for?

It is a stationary tool that looks like a regular table, from which a blade protrudes. It is designed for ripping and cross-cutting a wide variety of materials (from wood to thin metal).

Its advantages include high performance and ease of use. At the same time, an operator should be extremely careful since table saws are considered one of the most dangerous.

What is the best electric saw for cutting wood?

It depends on which kind of woodwork you plan to do. For rough tasks, a chainsaw or chop saw is suitable. For more delicate cuts in wood sheets, use a circular, table, or miter saw. If you need to make a non-standard cut, it is better to use a jigsaw, reciprocating, or scroll saw.

Related posts:

Pick Your Tool Among Different Types of Power Saws

Some types of instruments are gradually being phased out and replaced by new, more sophisticated models. I am happy to follow new products, always ready to test something new, and share it with my readers. In this article, I have told you about all popular types of electric saws and their uses. I hope you can choose a suitable device for your workshop now.

Please tell me in the comments, which types of saws do you use the most? Which tools, in your opinion, should be in the workshop of every DIY craftsman?

Sean Chapman
Sean Chapman

“A good tool stays with you for many years and choosing carefully ensures the job is done right, your work is neat, and the tool is always a pleasure to use”

1 Comment
  1. This a great article. This will help me a lot with my woodworking projects.

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