Charles Whitfield, New Product Development Manager, C.K tools, cuts through the confusion around saw selection.
Depending on the nature of the trade, the majority of tradesmen will own at least one saw, usually a first fix, coarse saw for ripping through materials.
Joiners and woodworkers, however, will be in possession of a range of second fix saws with finer teeth to undertake more detailed and intricate jobs. But it isn’t quite as simple as selecting from two types of saws; in fact it’s quite the opposite, with a variety of teeth types and sets to choose from for a multitude of varying jobs. To demonstrate the myriad of tooth options, below is quick guide to selecting the right saw for the right job:
Cross cut teeth
Cross cut saw teeth are designed to cut across the wood grain. Sharpened to a needle point, each alternate tooth is set to the left and right, the teeth act as knife points to sever the wood fibres.
As the saw progresses through the wood, the points score two parallel grooves and the grain in between crumbles away as sawdust. Cross cut saws only cut on the push stroke, so are slow compared to more modern tooth designs.
The rip tooth profile is designed for cutting along the wood grain. If a rip saw is used for cutting across the grain, the chisel teeth will rip across the wood fibres and give a very rough finish. Rip saws only cut on the push stroke and are ideal for use with coarse timber.
This tooth configuration has been developed to offer a single saw that can cut both across and along the grain, plus offer cutting on both the push and pull stroke making it useful for all woods. Naturally a user has to carry far fewer saw types and benefits from faster cutting.
Sometimes also called straight teeth or peg teeth, they are designed for cutting across the grain and cut on both the push and pull stroke, Ideal for most timber cutting applications.
These are a hybrid range of tooth forms developed by differing brands to improve the cutting performance of their saws.
The C.K Sabretooth Trade saw uses a fast cut tooth configuration featuring three precision ground cutting edges. This tooth profile allows cutting on both push and pull strokes, across and along grain cutting and a cut with a narrow Kerf.
All saw teeth require a set to provide clearance of sawdust, but the amount of set is determined by the thickness of the blade and the material being cut. A thinner blade requires less set and it is usually found that cutting hard wood requires less set than when cutting softer wood.
It is very important that the amount of set is the same on both sides of the saw to ensure that the saw cuts in a straight line. If a saw has more set on one side, the cut will tend to veer away from the side with most set – this makes cutting a straight line very difficult and results in a poor finish.
Remember, the wider the set, the wider the cut, a wide cut means more wastage and, whilst this is not important in rough cutting, such as floorboards, it is very important when cutting fine quality wood. It is important, therefore, that saws are selected according to the manufacturers recommended applications.
Sabretooth Trade saws have the smallest set, giving the narrowest cut and least wastage. The saw also offers an extended working life thanks to its premium quality, SK5 alloy steel blade, and induction hardened ‘stay sharp’ hardpoint teeth, providing strength and longevity.
For more information on C.K Tools’ handsaws click here.