Tools have been part of human civilisation for a long time now. Since the Mesolithic and prehistoric periods, tools such as flint saws have been used to cut through things. Whilst their primary use is long gone, their purpose and use have stayed to this day. It’s been thousands of years since these ancient hand tools have first been used and every single one of them has lead to the development of today’s powered saws. When compared to hand tools, power tools are a fairly new invention.
It wasn’t long after the discovery of electricity that the first powered tools were made including saws. Throughout the decades, power tools were improved upon until a grand upgrade happened. This was the introduction of the cordless power tool in 1961. This changed the way people used power tools in general as it meant fewer restrictions and a lot more versatility at the job site.
What Are Power Saws Used for?
As a portable mechanical machine, a power saw is used for both industrial and DIY projects. No matter which industry you’re in or what you want to make in your garage, you can buy power saws to cut through wood, plastic, metal, tiles and even bricks. While metal can be cut with other types of power tools, there are power saws specifically designed to cut metal.
Types of Cordless Power Saws
If you’re wondering how do I choose a power saw, you should keep in mind that there are different models. Some are better suited for cutting through metal and bricks and others are better for cutting wood and plastic.
Circular saws have a tooth or an abrasive disc that chops materials and they can be used to cut wood, plastic, and even metal. If you want to make fast and straight cuts, circular saws are the way to go.
Reciprocating saws are the second most used power saws. They cut with a push and pull motion of the blade and resemble a jigsaw when using larger blades. People buy power saws of this kind when demolishing or remodelling as reciprocating saws have a variable speed motor. They can cut through copper, aluminium, cast iron, and steel.
A jigsaw has a reciprocating saw blade and a sole plate used for its bevelling function. This allows you to cut at 45° angles which are done to make mitre joints. Jigsaws can cut through various materials and make straight cuts, plunge cuts, bevel cuts, and curved lines.
Mitre saws or also known as power mitre boxes are cordless saws that can make accurate crosscuts. These are mainly stationary due to their size but you can still move them from one site to another, they’re just a lot heavier.
The cut depth or the length of the stroke is the distance of the blade covers. This determines how deep of a cut you can make often expressed in millimetres. The deeper the cut a saw can make, the slower it is since the blade needs to be able to cover a lot more distance.
There are different blades ideal for different cuts and workpieces. You shouldn’t use the same blade for hardwood and metal or plastic and bricks. The difference between blades is in their teeth count and positioning. The more teeth a blade has the finer of a cut you’ll be able to make and vice versa. One thing is for certain though, TCT (tungsten carbide tipped) blades cut faster and last longer than steel blades.
Action & Extraction
Pendulum action is what gives a blade the back and forth travel alongside its up and down motion. If you get a power saw with an adjustable pendulum action then you’ll be able to control the cut more precisely by setting the speed of the blade. This often results in a better finish. Extraction is as important as the action of the saw’s blade. In this case, the extraction of dust is what you should look for. By being able to collect dust out of your way, a power saw will make cutting a workpiece far easier and make for a cleaner work environment.
Speed & Input
Different speeds will affect cuts differently and higher speeds will make for straighter cuts and affect the finish in a good way. Lower speeds will make cutting through thick materials easier but will affect the finish in a negative way. This is where you should get a cordless saw with variable speeds as it gives you a lot more versatility over the cuts you make on your workpiece.
Strokes per minute are what manufacturers refer to the speed of the blade going up and down. The higher that number, the faster the blade moves and the faster it can cut through a material.