Do You Know Basic Saws and Their Different Uses?

If you’re working in a warehouse, you may have to use a saw as well as other tools occasionally. All saws cut and trim material, of course, ranging from plastic to wood to metal. But you may hear people in the warehouse, including your supervisors and coworkers, call them by many different names. Names can also vary by region. It’s important to know the names of basic saws in your area and their uses.   

The key thing to remember is that every saw falls into one of two basic categories: hand saws and power saws. Hand saws are hand-held and hand-operated. Power saws are electric and usually mounted on a table or workbench, although smaller versions are made to be portable.   

Generally, hand saws are used for small jobs, such as cutting plastic or wood tubing to a specified length. Power saws are used for larger, more difficult jobs.   

With all saws, observe best practices for safety. All saws have sharp teeth that can cause severe injury. Power saws can catch pieces of clothing if you aren’t careful, and even hand saws can be dangerous if they’re dropped or used improperly. Wear protective glasses so that debris from the material being cut doesn’t get into your eyes.  

Here’s a review of basic saws and their uses.   


Rip-Cut Saw (Hand Saw)  

A rip cut saw is a very standard tool in almost any work that needs material cut into pieces or trimmed. Many people call it a hand saw rather than a rip cut saw, although hand saw is better applied to category than individual type. It’s a basic all-purpose saw, and can be used to cut tubing, heavy tape, wood, and plastic.  


A hacksaw is a specialized hand saw. It is lightweight and can have more teeth than a standard hand saw (up to 32 teeth per inch). They look very different than rip cuts; hacksaws are shaped like a square, with the blade on the bottom. Hacksaws are lightweight and can be easily carried. Hacksaws are used to cut metal, plastic, wood, pipes, frames, and other materials.  


Power saws are usually focused on special uses rather than all-purpose functions like a rip cut. Many have specialized blades to cut wood, masonry, tubing, or metal.   

Circular Saw

Circular saws, often referred to as buzz saws, are the most common type of power saw. The blades are smaller, up to 9 inches in diameter. Circular saws can cut almost any type of material, including plastic, wood, metal, and masonry.  

Band Saw

Band saws are large free-standing saws with pulleys and a work station. The pulleys move material through the saw. Band saws can cut most materials, including piping, and PVC.   

Portable Band Saw  

Band saws also come in a portable model, which can be carried long distances. They are smaller than free-standing models and generally limited to cutting small diameter objects, such as pipes or pallets.  

If You’re Looking for a Warehouse Position

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