Even though the power saws offer a convenient tool for woodworking projects, there are the times where they produce too much power, are too inconvenient or unwieldy for the cutting job. In most cases, the power-driven saws do not offer enough precision. For these situations, the hand saw is usually the preferable alternative for these tasks.
Just because they require muscle power does not mean they should be difficult to work with. In fact, when chosen correctly, and maintained well the hand saw offers a number of advantages and can be pleasurable to work with. Even though a hand saw is a tool that appears pretty straightforward, there are few details to consider before you choose one.
The Size Of The Teeth
The teeth-per-centimeter or inch provides the largest influence on the cutting ability of the hand saw. The larger teeth and lower TPI are more suitable for the softer materials, while the smaller teeth with a higher TPI are suited for the harder materials. The coarse blades that feature a 2 to 8 TPI are suitable for ripping the softer woods with a grain. The medium blades that feature a 10 to 20 TPI are suitable for crosscutting and materials classified as moderately hard. The finer blades for hand sawing with 20 to 30 TPI are useful for extremely precise cuts and harder materials.
The bigger teeth are designed to cut faster, and they remove more of the material with every pass, and in some cases more than should have been cut. If you are finding it difficult to start a cut or to get the hand saw through the material, it is advisable to use the blades with higher tooth counts. Trying to pull or push a coarser saw through harder materials will damage the saw and wear your strength out. Keep in mind that the coarser blades are designed for rougher cuts. When you require a smoother finish, use the finer blades, even though it will take more time to cut.
The orientation and shape associated with the teeth will also determine what and how they cut. For hand sawing there are 2 common layouts, which includes the crosscut and rip. The crosscut saw is used for cutting across the woodgrain. They feature pointy, narrow blades with sharp alternating edges. These teeth work similar to small knives that cut along each side of a kerf. The crosscut saw usually cut in the pull and push part of strokes, but cut better when used in 1 direction, dependent on their angle.
The rip saws are used to cut along the wood’s grain. These hand saws feature coarser teeth compared to the crosscut saws, while only their bottom edges are sharp. These saws act like small chisels which chip-away at the wood during the hand sawing process. The also only work in a single direction in either a pull or push, dependent on the saw.
Below are a few advantages of hand sawing:
1. Easy To Transport
Most of the hand saws are significantly lighter and smaller in comparison to the powered saws and they do not need electricity cables in order to operate. This means it is a simple task to move your saw from one area or location to another.
There are even smaller versions of the general-purpose hand saws, known as tool-box saws. These tools are compact enough to fit into a toolbox, which means you always have a saw with you wherever you may go.
The manual saws are a lot lighter when compared to the powered version, which means you can use them for hand sawing projects in awkward areas like over your head or when you need to get under a woodworking project.
3. Convenient In Places Where There Is No Power Outlet Available
Because the hand saws are solely powered by your effort, they do not need a rechargeable-battery or a power cable.
4. Lower Risks
Power saws have the ability to cut very fast and with force. This means it is easy to make a mistake or lose control of a powered device when you do not have enough experience in handling one of these tools. With the hand sawing projects, you are in control of the saw and you have the ability to reduce risks to yourself and the material that you are working on.