If you’re someone who does their best to fix appliances, leaky pipes and perform other home improvement projects before you pay a professional, you likely find your tool supply growing.
As you come across different projects, you’ll find each job is made easier by having the right tool for that job. You likely have a toolbox for plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and woodworking projects.
If you’re just getting your woodworking toolbox started, here are the 5 saws you need to perform almost any project. From wood rot to crown molding, fence building to furniture, and everything in between. While you can grow your arsenal over time, with some creativity and different jigs, these can almost do it all.
The table saw is likely the biggest saw you will own, but there are a lot of options that are relatively portable and storable. This saw is great for someone who wants to make long, straight, and accurate cuts. Perfect for projects where you can’t hide a wobbly edge.
Examples could be ripping a board to make a picture frame or parts for furniture. It’s also the perfect tool for cutting down plywood into more manageable pieces, say you want to make a storage box or you’re putting down subflooring in a shed you’re building.
In general, a table saw will be equipped with a blade from ripping, which means it performs best when it’s cutting with the grains of the board. When buying a table saw, consider the projects you see yourself doing.
The bigger saws cut more accurately but they are harder to move around so you need to find the saw that best fits your situation. Each saw will have its rip capacity, the distance between the fence and the saw blade. This represents how large of a board you can cut.
The depth of the cut will depend on the size of the saw blade, you may find blades from 8 to 12 inches in diameter. Check out the fence on the saw you are considering as well.
The nicer the fence, the more accurately you will be able to cut. And the last thing to consider is safety factors. You want your saw to have a guard, and kickback control.
In professional settings, you may even want to get a SawStop equipped saw which stops the blade if it contacts your skin.
A jigsaw is a small handheld tool that can take your projects to the next level. The small blade is perfect for cutting curves and intricate designs but will cut straight lines poorly.
Due to the reciprocating action of the blade, your cuts may be a little rough if you don’t use a blade with the appropriate teeth for the cut.
One perk to the design of the saw is that you can cut inside curves, for example, a donut hole, without violating the outside structure.
Simply drill a hole with your drill big enough to stick the blade into and start cutting. If you are building or repairing something around your home and need to cut an access hole or clearance for a pipe or electrical fitting, the jigsaw is your best friend.
If you are looking to make a jigsaw purchase, there are a few things to consider. Some saws can bevel to cut at an angle.
The larger the base on a jigsaw, the more accurately you will likely be able to cut but you may not be able to get the saw in places you need. There is also a wide variety of corded and battery-powered saws to think about where you will be using his tool.
A miter saw and table saw are circular saws that have a special mount to help control how they cut. The circular saw is more portable, and not as limited to cut size as its counterparts.
With the help of a chalk line, square, rail, or other straight lines that could act as a guide, you can achieve good straight cuts, but don’t expect the same results as a table saw or miter saw.
Also, since it’s so portable it’s perfect if you just need to make a single cut, say you are replacing a rotten board on a deck, or if you are cutting something you can’t move, such as the top of a fence. A circular saw has almost endless uses around the house.
When purchasing a circular saw, consider its cut depth and blade size, this can limit the uses if the blade is too small, but it also might make the tool easier to handle.
Also, make sure the saw can bevel to the angle you need. Similar to a jigsaw you will have options between corded and battery-powered saws.
The corded saw typically has a little more power but the portability of a battery-powered saw is hard to beat. And if you’re after something that’s a bit smaller and lighter, you might want to consider a trim saw instead.
The miter saw, or chop saw, is the master of cross-cutting. Taking length off of standard boards like 2x4s or 2x6s and maintaining a 90-degree angle is a piece of cake.
You can also cut the necessary bevels into crown molding or more intricate projects with a little bit of practice. This saw is found in almost every workshop thanks to its multitude of uses.
Cutting down boards for framing, decking, fencing, or anything else.
With a stop set up on the saw, it is also great for cutting a lot of boards the exact same length, such as fence slats. When shopping miter saws, consider the size boards you will be cutting. Cut depth is set by the saw blade and you can get a sliding miter saw for making wider cuts.
Almost all saws bevel but you can get a double bevel if you think you will need it. Some saws come equipped with lasers to make getting accurate cuts easier as well.
Larger tables for the saw make cutting large boards easier but will kill the portability of the saw.
Cutting pipe, metal, old bolts, screws, branches, or just about anything is doable with a reciprocating saw. It’s the perfect saw for demolition, such as preparing for a remodel of a room.
It can save you on some projects as well such as if you come across a rusty bolt that you can’t undo. With the right blade, it can cut any material.
A pruning blade is perfect for yard work and cleaning limbs. A bi-metal blade is great for cutting wood and metal and plastic.
I suggest buying an assortment of blades to have in your arsenal, you never know when you might need it.
Reciprocating saws are handheld and naturally portable, but you can get more portable with battery saws. Compare stroke length and speed to understand which saw will cut faster.
Whatever project you’re planning to work on with, there are variety of saw that will always fit for each of your masterpiece. Power up of imagination.