Welcome back on my Blog! 

With this article you’ll begin the practical work

In fact at the end of the post you will be able to know the tools and methods of wood cutting most common that are carried out in Woodworking . 

As soon as you finish reading this post you have to begin to practice in cutting boards, planks, and panels if you want to have good results. 

The practice is essential! 

When one starts from a semi-finished product ,  cutting is one of the first operations for the realization of a wooden object. 

After choosing the species or artificial wood best suited to your project, in fact, you will need to prepare the pieces to be assembled. 

Of course, before you start cutting you must already have in mind all the sizes and shapes of the pieces that you need. 

And you also got to know how to joint it

After that, it’s time to decide the cutting mode.


cut wood

There are two main categories of wood cutting:

1. Cutting with hand tools

2. Cutting with electrical tools


Now I analyze what are the specific tools for hand cutting and how to use it:

  1. Classic Saw
  2. Frame Saw
  3. Bow Saw
  4. Back Saw
  5. Compass Saw
  6. Fret Saw


cut wood

As seen in the article about basic tools , the Saw is one of the tools representing the Woodworker . 

It has a trapezoid-shaped blade with a toothing which varies depending on the cutting to be carried out. 

In fact, as we shall see in all the tools described below, when we make a cut we must see clearly what type of teeth is mounted on the tool. 

Usually woodworkers use blades with many teeth smaller for more precise cuts . 

As a result, the blades with a lower number of teeth are used for the coarser cuts . 

The Saw however, is used for both small and precise cuts that for the cutting of larger pieces . 

With the aid of special guides it is also possible to make inclined cuts at 30 ° or 45 °.



cut wood

The frame saw is another classic tool of traditional joinery .

This is suggested by the form itself!

As for the first Saw the blade is interchangeable , so you can choose the type of teeth according to the type of cut that you need.

Looking at the picture above you have noticed that the saw has the blade in the lower part, a wooden bar at the center and a rope on the upper side. 

The rope is used to adjust the tension of the blade.

In modern Frame Saws instead of the rope there is a threaded rod or a steel cable.


cut wood

The Bow Saw is formed by a bow made of metal tubular, the blade anchored at both bow ends, and the handle.

This type of hand saw is used to very coarse cuts .

So it’s used just a  little in woodworking because it does not guarantee great precision.


cut wood

The Back Saw is used for precision cuts , especially on frames and small tables.

It’s called Back Saw because of the rigid back on top that makes it more precise because it prevents the bending of the blade.

The accuracy of the Back Saw is due obviously to the thick and thin teeth .

It is mainly used for angled cuts with the aid of special templates .


cut wood

The Compass Saw has a trapezoidal blade like a normal Saw , but thinner.

This allows to carry out also slightly shaped cuts,  using the thinnest part, and straight cuts using the large part near the handle.

The Compass Saw is used as a hand Jigsaw.


cut wood

The Fret Saw is formed by a “U” shaped frame  on which are mounted a very thin and flexible blade and the handle. 

Thanks to its extreme precision and lightness  is particularly suitable for small cuts or on very thin thicknesses . 

In fact is used a lot in the modelism, when they need to cut out shapes from balsa wood sheets.



Now I’ll show you the Electric tools for wood cutting.

They are certainly less tiring to use, but we must pay great care during the use because a minimum carelessness can cause irreparable damage to the fingers and other body parts.

Let’s see which these tools are:

  1. Chainsaw
  2. Hand Circular Saw
  3. Circular Bench Saw
  4. Band saw
  5. Miter Saw
  6. Jigsaw



Ok, the chainsaw is not just a joinery tool

Maybe it’s for Sawmill!

But I assure you that there are people with a lot of imagination and dexterity , that spectacularly use it to create wonderful wooden sculptures

As you can see, for example, on The Art of Wood .


cut wood

The Circular Hand Saw is used for straight or angled cuts.

This tool allows you to have a bit of precision and power in the cut without a great effort, but it needs a little attention during the use that is made by holding it with both hands. 

In fact, before starting the cut we will have to clamp the workpiece in the vise or to the work bench with clamps .

So important is the choice of the blade , which must be appropriate to the type of cut we are going to do. 

The main parameters to be assessed are as follows:

  • Hardness and type of wood
  • Accuracy of the cut
  • Cutting direction (along the grain, cross grain or oblique)

This is obviously a tip for all cutting tools use.

When you cut your pieces with Circular Saw , always remember to calculate the blade thickness (usually about 3 mm), otherwise at the end of work the measures will not be correct…

Remember that Woodworking is a precision job!

Usually this type of saw has a protective cap to prevent damage to those using it, but always remember to pay close attention and be very concentrated .

The blade depth, as well as the inclination, is adjustable.

In the solid wood cut you must set the blade at its maximum height , so that it protrudes as far as possible from the workpiece and doesn’t spoil the edges.

But when you have to cut artificial woods, the blade should protrude about 2/3 cm from the height of the piece. 

To achieve more straight cuts as possible you  can use a circular saw with a guide .


cut wood

The Circular Saw Bench is perhaps one of the most used tools in the modern joinery.

In fact it allows to realize extremely precise cuts and on pieces of different sizes.

It’s used, like the Circular Hand Saw , for straight or angled cuts, but in the case of the Bench Saw , we have several extra accessories that help us.

In fact they are usually equipped with a stop, a guide and other tools and adjustments that help you a lot in the processing phase. 

However, this tool can be very dangerous. 

You must pay close attention to how and where you place your hands:

  • Never put your hands in the direction of the blade while running accompany the piece you are cutting
  • Never stand frontally to the cut, but always laterally
  • Use a push stick to accompany the smaller pieces, both to safeguard fingers and to prevent it go back violently
  • Never push hardly pieces in the cutting direction, but gently accompany them and always pay maximum attention

As regards the height of the blade in the cutting phase the same holds true of Circular Hand Saw :

Even for the Bench Saw,  Blade full height for the cutting of solid wood and 2/3 cm higher than the workpiece to cut artificial woods.

BAND SAW cut wood

The Band Saw has a wide use in joinery mainly for shape cutting.

As the name implies, the blade of this cutting tool, is a steel tape notched (there are different types depending on the type of cut) that moves thanks to a motor with a system of bearings, belts and flywheels.

The amplitude of the blade determines the functionality: increasing the amplitude of the blade increases the possibility of making curved cuts.

The Belt Saw is equipped with a cast-iron plane with adjustable inclination that allows it to be extremely precise when cutting. This power requires different adjustments to be as accurate as possible, but when it will be setted you’ll have a very versatile and functional machine. 

MITER SAW cut wood

The Miter Saw is a bench tool equipped with circular blade, a mechanical arm and a supporting surface.

This tool is used especially for crosscutting or oblique cuts (it is possible to adjust the cutting angle).

It finds application especially in the cutting of strips, tablets, baseboards and parquet thanks to its precision and speed.


cut wood

The Jigsaw is another of the 15 tools to start that I advised you in a previous article (you should read it if you are a beginner).

In that article I was joking (but not too much) that the discovery of this tool had been enlightening for me.

In fact, the Jigsaw is useful for shaped cuts and allows to draw with the wood from a certain point of view.

A great cool!

Its name is due to the fact that the blade, projecting from the body, is located in the engine, it moves alternately up and down simulating the movement of a hand saw .

Use it on pieces of reduced thickness and firmly hold the panel you need to cut with the clamps , worrying to follow the traced draw.


cut wood

Setting the blade 

You probably have heard often, but what does Setting blade mean? 

It’s the way they teeth are inclined.

Usually in the blades for wood cut , the teeth are bended in the following way: one bended on a side respect to the body of the blade protrudes slightly to the right, one centered, one protrudes slightly to the left and so on…

Read the numbers on the disc 

The numbers that are usually writed on the disk blade for the circular saw indicate the diameter of the disc itself, the size of teeth and the number of teeth followed by T.

How many teeth do you need? 

Many small teeth for precise cuts crosscutting and oblique. 

Few large teeth for coarse cuts and rip cut.

Hang hand tools when not in use

When not using the tools for cutting by hand for several hours, hang them on a nail or something similar to prevent the bending of the blade. 

Otherwise it will not guarantee you more accuracy like the original tool.

The Japanese cut in reverse

Most Western handsaws  cut during thrust. 

The Japanese Saws  (see Dozuki , Ryoba Komane etc …) cut in the traction phase, when you pull. 

These tools, however, are not only used in the Land of the Rising Sun, but all around the world. 

In fact, thanks to their precision, find application for example in the realization of dovetail joints .

cut wood


If you have already read all the previous articles you’re ready to start!

I remind you once again that the use of cutting tools can be extremely dangerous.

Always Pay the utmost attention and follow my advice to minimize the risk.

This is also an Open Source page!

As the article about  Common Wood Species , that about  Artificial Woods  and the one about the Starting Tools this is also an Open Source content.

This means you can help me make it more accurate and precise as possible, enriching it with your tips and your knowledge.

How to contribute to the project? 


Just type the text you’d like to insert in the article in the comments below and I will provide to implement it in the Blog writing your name among the authors of the post!

As simple as that…

I remind you that to stay up to date on my articles and don’t miss the news you can  Subscribe to the newsletter  (top right) and follow my  Facebook page , my Instagram and my Pinterest .

Until next time!

The Wood Blogger

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