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Power Saw Technical Information

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Basics of...Power Saws

Chop: Used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece. Abrasive chop saws, for cutting extremely hard or thin material, use an abrasive wheel that wears away slowly during the cutting process. Dry cut chop saws, specifically used for cutting metal, utilize a carbide toothed blade that makes a clean, fast cut requiring no prep work after cutting. Both saws are typically used in metal- cutting applications.

Circular: Portable saws for fast, straight cuts. Wood-cutting circular saws are designated by blade diameter with larger diameters providing deeper cuts. Metal-cutting circular saws are designed with gearing needed to cut metal while still incorporating necessary safety features. There are two types of circular saws: top handle saws, which have a more conventional design and application and worm saws, which are commonly used for framing applications as they provide a higher torque than the conventional top handle models.

Hack: Powered by an electric motor or connected to a stationary engine. Most hacksaws are immovable saws, although some portable models exist. Stationary models usually have a mechanism to lift up the saw blade on the return stroke and might have a coolant pump to prevent blade overheating.

Jig: Utilizes a reciprocating motion to cut (based on the blade selection) a variety of soft or hard materials. Ideal for cutting radius curves such as stenciled designs or custom shapes into wood, metal or other material allowing for a more artistic use than saws that cut in straight lines.

Miter: Used for woodworking projects where accuracy of cuts are required. Common uses include framing operations and the cutting of molding. Miter saws are designed to complete multiple cuts, such as cross, miter, bevel or compound cuts in wood, based on application. Some saws feature larger blades and sliding rails for increased material cutting capacity in applications such as cutting stair risers and larger crown moldings. A miter saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto a workpiece in a short controlled motion.

Panel: Ideal for cutting large sheets into sized parts. Panel saws typically fall into two categories, vertical, which use less space, and horizontal. They are typically used to cut plywood, melamine, aluminum or plastic sheets.

Portable Band: For cutting metal accurately and quickly. The saw blades constantly engage the material and leave a clean, burr-free cut. Band saws can be used for metalworking or for cutting a variety of other materials and are particularly useful for cutting irregular or curved shapes while still producing straight cuts.

Reciprocating: A type of saw in which the cutting action is achieved through a push/pull reciprocating motion of the blade and is able to cut a wide variety of materials based on blade selection. Ideal for construction/demolition, metal cutting or nail-embedded wood cutting. Versatility is based on the many accessory options available. Features include variable speed controls and the inclusion of an orbital action which allows the blade to move in an oval pattern which increases speed in wood cutting applications.

Scroll: Designed to create tight and intricate radius cuts in wood. The saw utilizes a reciprocating action, along with thin blades, to create curves with edges. A large, flat base allows for precise curves and provides a secure work surface to turn the material. An advantage is that the blade can be removed and placed into a pre-drilled starting point, allowing for cuts within surface boundaries.

Spiral: Uses a rotary-spinning motion to make precise cuts in a wide variety of difficult-to-cut material, from drywall to ceramic tiles. Originally designed for making precise, clean cut-outs in drywall, it was discovered that a myriad of materials could easily be cut with this saw.

Note: Please utilize all safety considerations when operating these types of tools.