12 Different Types of Hand Saws Explained


Hand saws are useful, everyday tools perfect for various purposes from pruning green wood, cutting wood, logs, and even metal. Below are the types of handsaw that you can find at your local home improvement store.

Keyhole Saw

Also known as compass saw, a keyhole saw is perfect in cutting holes in wood and curves. Its blades are mounted on handle that is made of metal, wood or plastic and shaped like that of a hand gun. Keyhole saws have a cross tooth pattern with 10 to 12 teeth per inch. It is a push stroke handsaw.

Cross Cut Saw

A cross cut saw has wide alternating bevel teeth perfect for rough cutting on wood grains where tearing out is not important. Its saw blade ranges from 55 to 70-centimeters with 8 to 12 teeth per inch.

Panel Saw

Panel saws are perfect for cutting small pieces of wood. It is shorter compared to regular hand saws and is useful for its portability. Panel saw length can be as short as 46-centimeters with 8 to 12 teeth per inches.

Rip Cut Saw

A rip cut saw is an aggressive, push stroke handsaw with sharpened teeth top. Its saw length varies from 60 to 70-centimeters with 5 to 7 teeth per inch.

Back Saw

Back saws are used for molding, trimming and fine woodcutting. Back saws got its name from its reinforced upper edge made of brass or steel to prevent it from buckling during use. Its teeth are smaller compared to other types of hand saws grouped tightly together to achieve a fine cut. There are various subtypes of back saw like the mitre saw, dovetail saw, carcass saw, gents saw, and tenon Saw. Back saw blade size can range from 20 to 40-centimeters.

Wallboard Saw

Wallboard saws are push stroke handsaws perfect for puncturing through a wallboard or a plasterboard. It has a plastic or wooden handle with pointed blades with coarse teeth.

Flooring Saw

Flooring saws are perfect for mid-cutting when replacing floorboards. It is a push stroke hand saw with 12 to 15 teeth per inch.

Coping Saw

Coping saws are perfect for cutting intricate patterns on wood. It has a sprung steel frame with a wooden handle that can be turned to tighten the blade. A coping saw is a pull stroke hand saw.

Japanese Saw

Japanese saws are pull stroke saws made of very thin steel. It is known for its faster cutting power while producing less sawdust. A Japanese saw is also perfect for precision cutting on both hardwood and softwood. There are 3 major types of Japanese saw namely; dozuki, ryoba and kataba.


Hacks saws have fine, disposable blades held in tension by front and back pins. It is used in metal cutting such as thin tubing and drill rod with its 18 to 32 teeth per inch. Its finer blades can also cut through cables, wire ropes, light angle irons and channels. A hacksaw is a push stroke hand saw.

Bow Saw

Bow saws are push and pull handsaws with a round steel frame that is shape like a bow. It is generally used for cutting logs with its crosscut tooth pattern.

Pruning Saw

A pruning saw has a pistol grip with either curved or straight blades perfect for pruning and cutting green wood. It has a coarse teeth with a saw blade length ranging from 250 to 250-centimeters.