How to Choose a Saw

While adding a new line of hand saws to our online store, I ran across an article about how to choose a saw.  It had some handy little tips, and some good information about what to look for when choosing a hand saw and how different components of the saw affect the cut. 

The article was written mostly in reference to Silky Saws, but there is still a lot of great information in it.  Enjoy!

How to choose a saw:

First decide what type of hand saw will best suite your application wether it be a folding saw, pistol saw, Pole saw, woodworking saw, or choppers.

Folding Saw:  Folding saws take up the least amount of storage for given cutting capacity and are ideal for storing in a toolbox, glove box, with camping gear, etc.  They are often used by professionals for occasional use throughout the day as opposed to continuous use. 

Pistol Saw:  Pistol saws need to be stored in a scabbard.  They are typically more durable than a folding saw becasue of the shaft of the blade runs all the way through the handle.

Pole Saw:  Great for use if you need to reach elevated limbs or reach through dense vegitation growth.  Heavier poles will be more sturdy and hold up better through any inadvertant bumps, but may be more tiring to use on longer jobs.

Woodworking saws:  woodworking saws are specially designed for the woodworking or construction market and typicallyhave finer teeth for dry wood and smoother finish cuts.

Choppers:  Choppers are not really intended for sawing, but can wedge their way into most wood and are great for clearing away green surface vegitation.

Select the type of blade you will need.  Longer blades, straight blades, and curved blades each have specific benefits for specific applications.

Blade type and length:

Longer blades will give you additional reach, have a larger cutting capacity, and are less likely to pull out of a cut.  Longer blades also allow for a longer stroke which can make for smoother cutting and is also more ergonomically friendly.

Short blades are typically a little less expensive, take up less room, and offer better control during the cut.

Curved blades cut on the pull stroke, therefore the curved blade slopes down and away from the user.  Curved blades are faster and more aggressive than a straight blade.

Straight blades are best suited for detail pruning and often used by aroborists.

Selecting teeth size:

Large teeth will cut faster and more aggressively, but will sometimes create vibration when cutting smaller limbs or dead, dry wood.  Finer teeth will not cut as fast, but give a smoother cut.  Finer teeth are better for woodworking applications where a smoother cut is more desirable.  Medium teeth offer a great compromise for speed and smooth cuts.

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