Hand Saw Buying Guide

Looking to purchase a hand saw for cutting wood? Whether you’re a homeowner looking to build shelves, erect a fence, or prune tall trees and shrubs, there are many different types of hand saws that can help you out. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right hand saw for your specific needs. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve created this handy hand saw buying guide.

In this guide, we’ll cover the different types of hand saws available on the market, how they work, and what they are best used for. By the end of this guide, you should have a better understanding of which hand saw is right for you.

Woodworking Hand Saw Characteristics

Before jumping into the hand saw buyer’s guide, there are four hand saw characteristics that are important to understand, which I’ll cover below:

  • Hand Saw Type,
  • Hand Saw Tooth Shape,
  • Hand Saw Tooth Count,
  • Parts of Hand Saws.

Types of hand saws

1. Rip hand saws: Rip hand saws are designed for cutting along the grain of wood. They have a relatively thin blade with teeth that are spaced further apart. This allows them to make quick, clean cuts without damaging the wood.

2. Crosscut hand saws: Crosscut hand saws are designed for cutting across the grain of wood. They have a wider blade with teeth that are spaced more closely together. This allows them to make smooth, accurate cuts without splintering the wood.

3. Coping hand saws: Coping hand saws are typically used for making intricate cuts on molding and trim. They have a very thin, flexible blade that can be easily maneuver around tight corners.

4. Back hand saws: Back hand saws are designed for making cuts in confined spaces. They have a shorter blade with teeth that are spaced further apart. This allows them to make quick, clean cuts without damaging the surrounding material.

5. Japanese hand saws: Japanese hand saws are typically used for making very fine, detailed cuts. They have a very thin blade with teeth that are spaced very closely together. This allows them to make precise, clean cuts without damaging the surrounding material.


The shape and design of a hand saw tooth is an important consideration when choosing and sharpening your blades. There are two main tooth configurations, Rip and Cross Cut, which are designed for different types of cutting tasks. For example, the Rip configuration is ideal for cutting with the grain of the wood, while the Cross Cut configuration is well suited for cutting across the grain or across irregular surfaces. Additionally, there is a third tooth shape known as Sash. While less common than RIP and Cross Cut styles, Sash teeth are useful if you only have one hand saw in your toolbox, as they offer some of the best features of both Rip and Cross Cut teeth. Ultimately, it is important to choose a tooth shape based on what type of work you will be using your hand saw for most often. Whether you need to make rip cuts or cross cuts with precision and efficiency, picking the right hand saw tooth configuration can make all the difference.


When it comes to hand saws, the number of teeth per inch (or points per inch) is an important factor to consider. Large teeth will allow you to cut through wood quickly, but the surface will be rough. Small teeth, on the other hand, will provide a finer and more accurate cut but are not practical for cutting long lengths or widths. When selecting a hand saw for a particular purpose, it is also important to note that rip and cross-cut teeth vary in size. In general, rip teeth are larger than cross-cut teeth. The number of teeth per inch are usually expressed as “points per inch” (ppi) or “teeth per inch” (tpi) and the number is usually stamped into the saw plate. PPI is determined by counting from one point to another, and TPI is determined by counting full teeth. PPI is a more common method for tooth count.


There are three main parts to a hand saw: the blade, the handle, and theTang. The blade is the business end of the saw and does all the cutting. It’s held in place by the handle, which is attached to it via the tang. The tang is a narrow strip of metal that runs along the back of the blade and fits into a slot in the handle.


Hand saw blades are made from high-carbon steel or tungsten-carbide-tipped (TCT) steel. High-carbon steel is soft, so it’s easy to sharpen, but it doesn’t hold an edge for very long and is susceptible to rust. TCT steel is much harder, so it holds its edge longer, but it’s more difficult to sharpen.

Hand saws come in a variety of blade sizes and tooth profiles. The size of the blade determines how thick of a piece of wood you can cut, while the tooth profile affects how the blade cuts through wood. Some common tooth profiles include crosscut, rip, and raker teeth.


Handles are usually made from wood or plastic, though some high-end hand saws also have handles that are coated with a non-slip rubber material to improve grip. The handle is used to guide the blade and provide leverage when cutting.


Tangs are the metal strips that attach the blade to the handle. Full-tang hand saws are the strongest type, as they have tangs that extend the full length of the handle. Half-tang hand saws are not as strong, but they’re lighter and usually less expensive.

If you’re looking for a hand saw that can handle wood cutting tasks with ease, a hand saw with a high-carbon steel blade and an ergonomic handle is your best bet. For precise, controlled cuts, look for hand saws with TCT blades and comfortable, non-slip handles. Whatever type of hand saw you choose, be sure to always use proper safety precautions when cutting wood.

How do hand saws work?

All hand saws work by using a blade to cut through wood. The blade is usually made of steel and has sharp teeth that are spaced out evenly along the edge. As you move the hand saw back and forth, the teeth of the blade will bite into the wood and create a cut.

The type of hand saw you use will determine how well it cuts through wood. For example, rip hand saws are designed for making quick, clean cuts along the grain of the wood. Crosscut hand saws are designed for making smooth, accurate cuts across the grain of the wood. And coping hand saws are typically used for making intricate cuts on molding and trim.

What are hand saws best used for?

Hand saws can be used for a variety of different tasks, including cutting wood, trimming branches, and even carving out intricate designs. The type of hand saw you use will depend on the specific task you need it for.

For example, if you’re looking to build shelves or erect a fence, a rip hand saw will work well. If you’re looking to make detailed cuts on molding and trim, a coping hand saw will be your best bet. And if you’re looking to cut through branches or carve out designs, a Japanese hand saw will be the ideal choice.

How to Choose Hand Saws for Wood Working

If you’re a homeowner who enjoys DIY projects and working with wood, then having the right hand saws can make your job much easier. But choosing the right hand saw for your specific needs can sometimes be challenging. There are many different types of hand saws available on the market, each with its own set of unique characteristics and specialties.

In order to help you choose the best hand saws for your working needs, here is a quick guide to the different types of hand saws available:

Hand saw

A low-cost, basic hand saw is a must-have tool in many workshops when cutting fiberglass, drywall, or wood. Because it is not a precise instrument, learning how to use a hand saw is simple. It’s great for timber working and cutting big pieces of wood instead of tiny sections.

Wallboard saw

A wallboard saw is a tool that cuts drywall and sheetrock. The device may be used to make holes for utility plugs, fixtures, pipes, and electrical outlets. It’s a precise instrument with a pointy tip that won’t pull large chunks of drywall away because of its sharp edge.

Pull saw

With plastic and laminated materials, a pull saw, or dovetail, cuts in between kerfs when utilizing this type of blade. A pull saw may make flush cuts and smooth incisions when the handle is positioned in line with the blade.

Coping saw

Know that a coping saw is comparable to a fret saw when learning how to use one. It may cut precise curvatures in molding installations and light wood carpentry work. The hand-held tool can also be used to form junction corners and edges. To operate in curved regions, it has a U-shaped frame with detachable blades.


Do you want to know how to use a hacksaw? With the ability to cut pipe, conduit, steel rods, strap, PVC, metal, cast-iron and bolts, it’s one of the most versatile tools available. The hacksaw is ideal for cutting metal that is harder than wood and makes an excellent solution for metal projects.

Crosscut saw

A crosscut is a type of rip cut, but it’s not the same as what you’d expect. Crosscuts are cuts made across the wood grain and can be either smooth or rough depending on how they’re finished. A crosscut saw is the greatest instrument for cutting across the grain (not to be confused with a circular saw). Its teeth.

Rip saw

When you want to make rough cuts, a rip saw, often known as a tooth saw, is an all-purpose woodworking instrument. The teeth alternate between left and right bends, functioning like a chisel when cutting along the grain. To produce a clean cut along the grain, use a rip saw that only cuts on the push stroke.

Bow saw

 A bow saw is a pruning saw that works well on thick wood. It’s a closed-loop tool for pruning trees, bushes, thick vines, and low branches. Know that using a bow saw is similar to using a crosscut saw for fine trimming because it’s an instrument with which you can cut trees.

Fret saw

When you’re searching for the ideal method to cut through thick wood or paneling, a fret saw’s thin blade and high back are exactly what you need. It may be used to make angled cuts in tiny pieces of wood.
Backsaw: A thick spine in a Backsaw dictates stability and rigidity, but its hard back also restricts depth. For special degree cutting and angles, use the saw with a miter box.

Japanese saw

The Japanese saw, unlike traditional hand saws, utilizes a push-strike motion with its tiny, sharp teeth. Wood of a smaller size is more appropriate for use with the equipment.

Keyhole saw

A keyhole tool is a keyhole saw with a dagger-like point on the tip of the blade to pierce through soft materials like as drywall and paneling. The saw can cut small shapes out of traced-out drywall, plywood, and wood. It may then create bigger holes by shaping them into precise cuts using another instrument.

Veneer saw

A veneer saw is great for little, time-consuming tasks that produce fast and smooth outcomes.

With a little bit of research and careful consideration, you can easily find the hand saws that will help you achieve your goals and complete your DIY projects with ease.

Chief Editor @AccureteToolsOnline (or, in plain English, I’m the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is helpful for our readers.

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