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Different Types of Power Saws and When to Use Them

With so many different power saws on the market, it can be overwhelming to try and find the best tools for whatever job you’re currently working on. Each type of power saw has its own unique characteristics, and the more familiar you are with each of them the more equipped you’ll be to choose the best tool for the job.

Types of Power Saws

To help you become a power saw expert, here are some of the most popular types of power saws and the best situations to use them for.

  • Miter Saws

Festool Kapex KS 120 Sliding Compound Miter Saw

When you’re faced with a lot of wood or lumber that needs to be cut, there are multiple tools that can adequately handle the job, but few are as qualified and efficient as the miter saw.  

Miter saws have their blades mounted on a swinging arm that can pivot left and right in order to make precise cuts at a variety of angles. They’re often used for making crown molding, picture frames, door frames,  and window casings, but their versatility means they can be useful for all kinds of projects.

For example, the Festool Kapex KS 120 is one of the most advanced sliding compound miter saws on the market right now. It features adjustable dual lasers, that show exactly the kerf of your blade,  micro adjusts bevels, a trenching feature for cutting dados, and the ability to cut 6” crown on a 10” miter saw.

It’s uniquely engineered to be lightweight and compact and is ideal for trim work and precision cutting. When paired with a Festool CT Dust Extractor, it will keep your workspace or the home of the customer almost dust free, meaning you won’t be forced to set up the miter saw outside to make cuts anymore.

  • Circular Saws

Festool TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw

When it comes to doing simpler or everyday woodworking projects, a circular saw is usually your best bet. It’s more flexible than a table saw, and its easy portability means you can make straight, angled, or leveled cuts without needing to haul an entire table around.

Some of the best models available include the Festool HK 55 EBQ and the TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut. These two models offer incredibly precise cuts, and their easy mobility means you can bring them with you wherever the job takes you. They also come equipped with simple angle adjustment guide rails, which go a long way towards making sure that every cut you make is precise and straight.

  • Chainsaws

chainsaw on top of a fallen tree trunk

A chainsaw is a powerhouse of a tool. It’s not something you use for every project, but for outdoor undertakings like toppling trees or landscaping, a chainsaw is a great option. It’s fairly straightforward to use and can cut through lots of materials without many problems.

There are two basic models of the chainsaw for you to pick from: the gas-powered and the electric. If you plan to use it on a fairly regular basis, investing in the higher quality gas-powered saw will likely be worth your while.

If you expect that you’ll be using a chainsaw for seasonal work, then the electric option will be your best bet. It’s a cheaper model, but is easier to manage than its gas-based alternative and still packs quite a punch.

  • Jigsaws

Jigsaw

For precision cutting, you won’t find many options better than the jigsaw. Jigsaws use a thin, razor-sharp blade that rapidly moves back-and-forth in order to allow for circular cuts and other curved patterns. All you have to do is guide the blade in whatever shape or pattern you want, and voila! While this can be a tricky saw to use if you’re unfamiliar with it, its versatility and ability to cut through wood, metals, plastics, and ceramics means the jigsaw is a helpful tool to have on hand for any project.

The Festool Carvex PSB 420 EBQ is one of the better models on the market right now and comes with multiple baseplates to help you cut through a wide range of materials. The all-new Adjustable Angle Base accessory and rotary adjusting knob mean you can set-up and cut at just the right angle every time, and the minimal vibration means you don’t have to trade speed for comfort.

A Saw For Every Job

Whether you’re a professional renovator building a new kitchen, cleaning up your yard after a storm, or working on a personal project in your garage, there’s always going to be a power saw right for the job. Each of the saws outlined here can be used in a variety of contexts, and when you educate yourself on what makes each of them unique, you’ll not only make the job easier but also dramatically improve the quality of the finished product.

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