With the wide variety of saw options available in your neighborhood hardware store, making sure you are choosing the right saw for the job can be a challenge. Depending on what you goal is for the particular cut, having the right saw can be critical. If you are completing a home improvement project and you are not certain which saw is best, consider the following pieces of information to help guide your decision.
The Kind of Cut
The first consideration should include the kind of cut you will be making. For example, the tool that is most appropriate for a straight cut may not be capable of making a curved cut. In cases where a straight cut is the goal, a table saw may be the best option. Circular saws and chop saws can also provide straight cuts, while miter saws can be ideal for cutting angles. The best portable bandsaw you can afford may be the ideal solution when you are looking to re-saw lumber as the thinness of the blade limits the amount of wood waste that is created through the cutting process. A band-saw is also appropriate for cutting curves as needed.
The Material Being Cut
It is important to note that not all materials should be treated the same way when you are looking to cut them. For example, while a piece of wood can be cut in a variety of ways with limited restrictions, working with glass, tile or metal will require specialty equipment. Not only as there certain saw blades designed to better handle these materials, it may also require the use of a wet saw to help keep the surface temperature of the tile or glass down while also controlling the amount of dust that ends up in the air.
The Accuracy Required
If you are only looking to cut something simple, like chopping up fire wood, using a woodshop saw is generally unnecessary. In a case like that, a simple axe, handsaw, or chainsaw is likely all that would be required. In contrast, when cutting the angles in crown modeling for corners, accuracy is much more important. Similarly, a jigsaw or scroll saw can help make very controlled cuts even when you must change direction as the cut progresses.
While not everyone has the option of having every tool available at their disposal, taking the time to understand which options are best for your project can help you determine if you need to add a piece of equipment before you begin. If you are going to be doing a particular project over the long-term, or anticipate needing a similar function for future projects, it may be wise to invest in your own piece of equipment. This allows you to have it at your disposal whenever it is required, and can be cheaper than repeatedly renting the same tools over and over.
In contrast, if you only anticipate needing a particular tool for a few days, it may be more cost effective to rent one from your local hardware or tool rental store. This can give you access to high quality tools without having to commit to purchasing one for a short-term need. Even if you do rent equipment, you may be responsible for purchasing your own saw blades, especially when a particular tool can be used on multiple materials with a simple blade change.