All powered saws even cordless versions should be treated with the respect and caution that they deserve, they may appear harmless and in most cases are but a moments distraction could result in loosing a finger or limb easily! As with all other electrical tools there are hundreds of manufacturers and varying prices starting at less than £10.00 to over £500.00. You have to decide which price tool fits your purpose, personally I always buy the best tools that I can afford even if it means missing out on something else.

Alligator saw

alligator saw

Alligator saws are used for cutting wood, plastic, lightweight block and drywall.

These saws have two blades which move in opposite directions which prevents the piece being cut from moving. These saws are not very common as better alternatives exist

Band saw

band saw

Band saws are normally used for cutting out intricate shapes in wood or plastic and are often used to cut complex shapes such as jigsaw puzzles.

Bench saw or Table saw

table saw

Bench saws or Table saws are used for cutting all types of wood or plastic with the correct blade. These saws are especially good for cutting large sheets accurately as the fence alongside the blade ensures a constant cut. Some of these machines are huge and have massive motors which will cut almost anything.

Most of these machines enable you to be able to cut on an angle which can be very useful for doing mitres etc. Whilst a saw like this is good for long cuts it is not very good for short cuts and so a chop saw or compound mitre saw is preferred for short cuts.

Circular saw

circular saw

Hand held circular saws are very popular and are mainly used for long straight cuts. Cutting a circle or curve is impossible with a circular saw. The blade normally can be tilted to one side for cutting mitres and the depth is normally adjustable, this makes lifting floorboards easy as you simply adjust the blade to the correct depth so that any pipes or cables beneath the floor will not be cut and then cut the floor board out.

Special blades are available for cutting wood with nails in. If cutting kitchen worktops be sure to cut the worktop upside down as the blade will chip the laminate!

How to use a circular saw safely


Compound mitre saw

compound mitre saw

Compound mitre saws although bulky to move around are very useful. The saw pictured above is the daddy of them all. These saws are simply excellent for cross cutting timber. The blade can be set to cut complicated roofing angles and can cut 12 inch timber with ease. If you are looking to mitre deep skirting boards this machine will do them for fun! 

Cheap makes of compound mitre saw often struggle cutting thick timber and often the blade will burn on the way through.

Flip over saw

flip over saw

Flip over saws are a combination of a table saw and a mitre saw, these are often seen on building sites and are a very useful piece of kit. The ability to rip and cross cut on the same machine is much appreciated by professional joiners. The cost of such a machine means it is probably out of the question for the DIY enthusiast to purchase but if money is no object one of these would be very useful..

Jig saw

jig saw

A good quality jig saw is without a doubt the most versatile saw that you will ever use. These are great for cutting out intricate shapes and are very good for cutting out spaces in Kitchen worktops for Hobs and sinks. Poor quality ones vibrate tremendously and make cutting straight almost impossible, the blade also tends to wander from side to side producing angled cuts! Good quality ones have many features including variable speed and orbital action which makes cutting thick pieces of wood easy. I once tried one of the models with a scrolling feature on but it was almost impossible to move it!

Reciprocating saw

reciprocating saw

Reciprocating saws are often referred to as demolition saws referred to as demolition saws, these are a very useful piece of kit and can make the hardest of jobs seem like child's play. These saws will cut through wood that is nailed to other pieces of wood and will not stop for anything, they will cut thick pieces of wood with ease and with the correct blade can easily cut through metal, once you have used one of these you will love it!


Dewalt 18v reciprocating saw review