Various hand saws: applications and care

Good equipment is important for the hobby workshop. One of the most commonly used tools is probably the saw. At the same time, the hand saw is the tool that often causes most questions. The variety of saws can quickly overwhelm you. We clarify which saw is suitable for which application and in which the individual saws differ. You will also find tips on handling and care – so that your saw will be preserved for a long time.

The most common hand saws and their use

A hand saw is the universal saw that must not be missing in any household. Especially now in the colder season it is one of the most used tools. With a handsaw not only trees can be cleared out, also the Christmas tree can be felled easily with a hand saw. The big problem that many craftsmen have – the saw is in many cases dull.

This is partly due to the often poor care and on the other to the low quality. With many cheap saws, the saw blades often can not be changed. Once the saw is dull, it can not be rescued. Since a saw is a much used tool, it is also an ideal Christmas present for hobby handyman. The home improvement shop has high quality saw blades and spare saw blades in its range. In addition, the shop offers currently appropriate to the season discount campaigns. In the following, you will find out which hand saw is suitable for which area of ​​use and in which the individual saws differ:


The foxtail is probably the best known type of hand saw. He is always the first choice for rough sawing. The foxtail is known for fast but not necessarily the most accurate results. A foxtail usually has a universal saw blade, which is especially suitable for woodwork. The versions can have a saw blade length of 35- 50 cm. High-quality brands also offer special models for left-handers. In addition, you can replace the saw blades with higher-priced foxtail saws. A foxtail is used in the following areas:

  • Sawing boards, squared timbers and miter cuts
  • With carbide-tipped saw blade also suitable for other materials such as aerated concrete blocks


The hacksaw is very versatile in its use thanks to the variable saw blades. She works fast and effectively. The saw blade is clamped by a hacksaw. The quick release lever allows you to correct the blade tension at any time. The sometimes very fine saw blades allow fine cuts and reduce the Zerspannungsarbeit. The limit of the hacksaw lies in its bracket itself – thicker materials than the distance between the saw blade and the bracket can not be cut. Hacksaws and their application:

  • Jigsaw for woodworking: allows both straight and oblique cuts and is therefore also used for arts and crafts
  • Hand hacksaw for metalworking: is heavier than a jigsaw and is suitable for slitting and cutting through metal
  • Hand hacksaw with fewer teeth for plastics processing: suitable for working with all plastics

Japanese saw

Japanese saws are also becoming increasingly popular on the European market. A Japanese saw is a train saw. Since the saw works exclusively on tension and does not bend, the Japanese saw allows the use of very fine up to 0.3 mm thick saw blades. The Japanese saw, in contrast to many European saws is very handy and lightweight. The teeth are significantly harder than other types of saws and can therefore be sharpened only very bad. But it does not have to, if used properly, because the saw blades are very sharp. The Japanese saw is sensitive to pressure. If it is pressed too much during the turn, the teeth may break off. The following Japan saw models are suitable for home use:

  • Dozuki: The Dozuki saw is suitable for beginners who are looking for a saw for cross sections.The saw allows very thin cuts from 0.5 mm cutting width.
  • Ryoba: Has a double gearing for a diverse use. Trapezoidal toothing is suitable for cross sections, while the triangular toothing is used for deeper longitudinal cuts.

Sawing must be learned – proper handling for straight cuts

Who does not know – odd cuts with a handsaw. Precise cuts are not only possible with electric saws. You only need the right technique:

  1. Just mark at which point you want to saw.
  2. Proper posture: The wrists should not be buckled. The handle of the saw has as far as possible an anti-slip coating, so that sufficient support is provided.
  3. With the exception of the Japanese saw, a slight pressure is applied at the beginning. Once the beginning has been made, the pressure in the direction of impact can be increased and relaxed in the direction of pull.
  4. Tip: After a start has been made, a small screwdriver can be used as a splitting aid at the top of the slot. This keeps the slot slightly further apart, thus preventing the saw from getting stuck.

To see exactly how to saw beveled edges with a Japanese saw, see this video:

Care for a long stop

For the preservation of the saw blade, saws require not only the correct handling but also regular care. The saw should be cleaned after each use of wood, plastic or metal scraps. For a little spirit can be used. If the saw blade is wet, it must be dried well before storage to avoid possible rust. The saw blade is rubbed with an oilcloth for better sliding. If you do not need the saw for a long period of time, it is important to use a saw blade guard that protects the saw blade from dirt and moisture. The saw hang you upside down. Before hanging, you must release this tension on saws that work with tension. Otherwise, the saw blade could be forgiven.

Once the saw blade has become dull, it can be resharpened. Sharpening services are no longer available in many regions, but this can easily be done online at The saw blade is sent in and after a few days you hold the freshly sharpened saw blade back in your hands. However, sharpening is not allowed for Japanese saws