Last month I started a new series, Power Tools 101 with my buddy Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof. A lot of you asked “which saw should I use?” pertaining to various projects. So that’s what we’re covering this month. There are virtually dozens of different saws on the market, but these listed are some of the ones that we personally use frequently and I feel like they are the best investment for DIY purposes. So let’s get to it!
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Jig saws are handy tools to use for lots of purposes – but they are best used for free hand cutting items that have intricate cuts. We use this Black and Decker Jig Saw with Smart Select. I’ve already shared how to use a jig saw – so be sure to check it out if you’ve never used one. You can use them to cut anything from metal to wood. You could use it for small straight cuts, but there are much better saws for that job.
For super, duper intricate spots, a scroll saw is your best bet. I use it to cut wood letters or to even to cut the eleventy billion bead board bird ornaments I made in my Etsy days.
See how detailed they are? Every one was specifically cut on a scroll saw because the thin blade can really get into every tiny nook and corner.
I’ve also tried this new saw, the Rockwell Blade Runner. It’s kind of like a jig saw and scroll saw in one. It can cut wood, metal, even plastic pipe. So if you’re investing in one, I’d definitely recommend it over a traditional scroll saw.
Table saws are best used to cut long lengths of wood, so think like cutting down a piece of plywood, or cutting the length of a 1×8 down to a 1×7. You can also use it to cut the width of pieces, but other saws are much better for that task if you have them. Table saws are definitely an investment, so if you think you’ll rarely ever use one, you’d be better off to buy a circular saw (which is much, much cheaper!)
Our very first Christmas together, my husband bought me a circular saw for Christmas. I know that sounds crazy but I’d been asking for one for years and no one ever thought I could handle it. When he bought me that saw, I knew we were going to be together forever – because he “got” me. It was the very first big girl power tool that I ever owned, and I used that thing until it finally gave up and stopped working. Circular saws are the work horse of a DIY’ers arsenal. You can use them to cut long lengths, short lengths, any angle. They work best for wood, but with the right blade can also cut metal or stone. For straight cuts, it’s the way to go.
Compound Miter Saw
After a skill saw and a jig saw, my next recommendation for new power tool users is always aCircular saws Personally, I look for one that slides (the non-sliders are cheaper but not as good) and I look for a 12 inch reach (10 inch is cheaper, too.) If you’re going to make such a big investment in a tool, why not add just a little more to your budget and get one that won’t outgrow your needs. Compound miter saw is what we use to cut boards for almost all our projects, including our DIY wood floors.
You can use it to cut angles for molding around doors & windows, cut small pieces of wood for projects (like the Mason Jar Centerpiece) and so much more. With the right blade you can cut metal, wood, basically anything.
There are tons of others out there, but these basic saws can cover 99.9% of all DIY projects you would need to do. The only exception is a tile saw, and let’s face it, that’s kind of self explanatory! So if you were wondering “which saw do I use?,” now you know!
Got questions? I’ll answer them in the comments below…