Saw Buying Guide
Purchasing a saw can be a great investment that has the potential to make your life easier. The ability to quickly cut objects down to measured lengths can expedite home remodeling projects. Unfortunately, it can also be a daunting task that requires research. The type of saw you purchase will be dependent upon your needs, and the wrong saw can not only be a poor investment, it can slow down work. Here is a look some of the most common types of saws and how they are used.
Band Saw –
Band saws utilize a loop saw blade which is placed upon wheels. The wheels turn, causing the band to move in a continuous direction, allowing for rounded cuts and a nice, neat finish. They typically cut slower than other saw types, making them less ideal for quick rough work.
Circular Saw –
The term “circular saw” historically referred to any saw with a circular disc-shaped blade. Today, however, it usually refers to small hand-held electric saws that feature the same disc-shaped blade. These saws are great for cutting framing lumber such as 2x4s.
Reciprocating Saw –
This generally refers to any saw which uses a back-and-forth motion, such as a jigsaw. Reciprocating saws are great tools for getting fast rough cuts but generally don’t provide the smooth finish that a circular saw does.
As you can see, each saw has its own specific purpose, and while some can be used for a multitude of applications, there isn’t a one-saw-fits-all. Once you have determined what type of cutting you are most likely to be doing, you can begin looking into which type of saw you will need.
While each saw has a different intended function, many offer some of the same great features, regardless of what type of saw they are. There are many things a first-time user should look for when searching for a new saw. Always do research, and pay attention to positive saw reviews as well as negative ones. While negative reviews don’t always review the product itself, it allows would-be buyers to see if there are consistent issues with the product they are researching, ensuring that they are getting the best saw for their money. Don’t always trust saws with the best reviews; ensure that there is a high volume of reviews as well. A saw with a 5-star rating could have one 5-star review and no other feedback. Do your homework.
The best saws have many similar features regardless of whether it is a band, circular, or reciprocating saw. Many high-quality saws will have a laser guide that projects a line of ride light on the cutting surface, showing the user exactly where the blade will go. In addition, many also feature an LED work light that keeps the blade area well lit, increasing visibility. Both of these are great features to look for as they can increase accuracy when cutting.
You will also need to decide whether or not you want a cordless model. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Cordless saws are battery-operated and can go virtually anywhere without the need for an extension cord. Unfortunately, batteries do die, and if you don’t have a spare, work will stop while you wait for your saw to recharge. Corded models don’t have the freedom to roam that battery-powered models do, but they tend to have more power, and you don’t have to rely on a battery. The best way to make this decision is to determine if the mobility of a cordless tool is something you need. If your saw will generally be used in the same area over and over again, save a little money and get the plug-in version.
Now you are armed with a basic understanding of what to look for when purchasing your new saw. Remember not to rely on the saw with the best reviews, but the saw with the highest number of great reviews, and make sure to check the negative feedback; it is a great way to discover design flaws. Happy shopping!