With all the different tools and gadgets on offer, browsing the DIY section can be one of the most confusing (and stressful!) shopping experiences ever. At Wilko, we know you just want to get what you need, get out and get the job done, so we’ve put together a handy tool guide to help you do just that.
Today we’re talking…
Will your saw cut it?
When choosing a saw there are a few things you will need take in to account, these include: the type of material you need to cut, the type of cut you want (rough vs. fine, straight vs. curved) and how quickly you want to get that job done. Once you have answered these questions, you can begin looking for a saw with the exact features you require for the job you need to do. Below, we’ll give you the basic info you need to get savvy about saws.
Toolbox and Hand Saws
If you didn’t have a definitive answer to the above and you’re just looking for an all-purpose tool for general DIY jobs around the house then a Toolbox Saw is a really good choice. Basically a small hand saw, a Toolbox Saw will fit nicely in to your toolbox and can tackle most household tasks including cutting timber, MDF and plasterboard (amongst other manmade materials) . A bigger Hand Saw will also do the job, and may get jobs done faster, but will need to be stored in a large tool chest or hung on a wall in your garage or shed out of reach of children. However, this shouldn’t be a problem as we’ve got loads of storage solutions to choose from.
Before you pick a hand or toolbox saw, always check that its TPI (Teeth per Inch) is suitable for the type of cut you need: more teeth will give you a smoother cut and less teeth will give you a rougher one. The same types of saw come with different TPI so it’s important to check before you buy.
Hacksaws are fine-tooth saws designed for cutting through household metals and plastics such as tubing or pipes. A hacksaw blade is held in a bow frame with adjustable tension, allowing you greater control over the cut. These blades are removable which means you can replace them as necessary without having to buy a whole new saw and, as they come in different TPI, it’s handy to be able to change them. Hacksaws also come in ‘Junior’ (smaller) sizes or ‘Close Quarter’ models for work in more confined spaces, while some hacksaws even feature adjustable frames to accommodate different lengths of blade.
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Coping Saws are designed for curved cuts such as cut-out or external detail in woodworking or carpentry. Using a similar frame to the Hacksaw, Coping Saw blades can be easily removed, passed through a drilled hole and re-attached to begin cutting in the centre of a piece of wood. The blades can be adjusted to a desired angle, whilst the positioning of the handle allows for the saw itself to be easily rotated during a cut, making both gentle and sharper curves possible. Although this type of saw is for finer work, TPI will still vary so, (again!) be sure to check.
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Tenon Saws are ideal for cutting through hardwoods and mouldings, and, as the name suggests, are specifically designed to cut wood ‘tenons’ (a type of interlocking joint). Tenon Saws (usually somewhere around 13 TPI) deliver a finer, more precise cut and feature a stiffened blade with either cross-cut teeth for cutting against the grain or rip-filed teeth to cut with it. This type of saw is very handy for woodworking and is often used with a ‘mitre block’ – a small box with precisely-angled guide slots for the blade to follow.
Bow Saws are large and shaped like an Archer’s bow with a slim blade suspended in a metal frame. These are great for cutting through thick wood and untreated timber which makes them ideal for work outdoors such as pruning the garden or felling small trees. Bow Saws are a rough tool and will have a lower TPI because of the tough jobs they do.
Whatever tasks you’ve got on your list, make sure you’re careful and take the right safety precautions – remember to always read the product instructions and manufacturer’s advice before you start. It can also be helpful to read up on handy hints and tips (from credible sources!) beforehand as these can save both time and effort – and it never hurts to have the DIY expert in your life on-hand just in case!