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13 of the Best Types of Wood Cutting Tools

If you have been looking to expand your wood cutting tool collection, it’s hard to know where to begin. After all, there are a number of different types of wood cutters out there, and it seems like every single type of tool has its own specific use.

Wood Cutting Tools

In this review, we will take a look at the most common types of wood cutting tools that homeowners often invest in.

Must have wood cutting tools for home improvement projects:

1. Chainsaw

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What better place to start our list than with the chainsaw? Chainsaws might just be the most notorious of all wood cutting tools, and it is with good reason. A chainsaw is a type of portable electric saw that uses a set of teeth that rotate on a chain (hence its name).

A chainsaw is an effective wood cutting tool and is routinely used to cut lumber for the sake of trimming trees or procuring firewood. However, specialized chainsaws that can be used for the cutting of ice or even concrete are available.

Chainsaws have gained popularity thanks to their easy-to-use design, as well as their highly-applicable use. Many homeowners prefer to keep a chainsaw around to help with various do-it-yourself or creative projects.

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2. Hand Saw

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A hand saw is sometimes called a rip cut saw. They are most likely the type of saw that comes to mind when you try to envision one. Chances are, if you have done some kind of woodworking in the past, you have come across a hand saw, as they are commonly found in garages or workspaces.

Though they are most often used to cut wood, the hand saw is rather versatile and can come in handy within a variety of home improvement projects. Their portability is an additional advantage for anyone who has a need for a saw at more than one site.

As a hand saw is mechanical, it relies on arm strength in order to move efficiently. There is also somewhat of a technique involved, though this can easily be learned and adopted. Overall, a hand saw is a cost-effective option for anyone who has a need to cut wood.

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3. Japanese Saw

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A Japanese saw may be a stylish tool, but it has more going for it than just its looks. With sharp edges and a long easy-to-use handle, a Japanese saw is a type of pull saw that cuts wood by being pulled.

In fact, thanks to their simple design, Japanese saws have the capability to cut wood with a simple pull motion. This differs from more traditional hand saws, which requires a back and forth motion that can be quite labor intensive. For many tool enthusiasts, a Japanese wood saw is an important part of any complete collection due to its unique design and overall usability.

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4. Chisel

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A chisel is a type of tool that is more popular among woodworkers. However, aside from being used as an art tool, they also have a wide range of practical uses. A chisel is unique in its wood cutting ability in the way that it makes it possible to accomplish a very precise cut.

A chisel will have one distinct sharp edge that is used for cutting or carving. Some chisels are so strong that they can cut into a wide variety of materials, like stone or metal.
The handle of a chisel is generally made of metal or wood, though they can also be made of a grip-friendly material like rubber. A chisel works by being forced into a targeted area. Types of chisels can include a bevel edge chisel, a paring chisel, and a carving chisel.

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5. Router

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A router is a tool that works by hollowing out a material, most commonly wood. It can either be hand-powered or electrical, though the majority of routers on the market today will be electric. An electric router is considered to be an incredibly versatile woodworking tool thanks to its ability to produce precise cuts.

A router may be portable, or it may be embedded in a work bench or a work table. With a mounted router provides an inverted workflow that many find useful, where wood can be passed over the router itself, instead of passing the router being passed over the wood.

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6. Band Saw

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A band saw is a type of power saw that uses a sharp blade to cut material. It is unique for its positioning of the blade, which moves in a continuous motion between two or more wheels.

A band saw is useful in its ability to cut curves and shapes. Thanks to its design, it can cut through thick lumber with ease. Due to the high amount of tension that is produced by a bandsaw, users of this saw type can count on a very exact cut.

Modern band saws are all electrical — a hand-powered version would be considered an antique.

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7. Ax

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Despite what cultural depictions would suggest, an ax is not just for lumberjacks! Though it may be basic, there is a reason why an ax is an icon of woodworking, and that is because it is very, very useful.

Axes are most commonly used to split logs that are destined for wood bundles, but they can also be used to cut wood for a variety of purposes aside from the simple harvesting of timber.

Although you may not be able to get as much versatility out of an ax than the other tools on this list, they are still a handy tool to have around. Given that they also come at a low price, you can’t go wrong by having one in your tool shed.

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8. Circular Saw

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A circular saw is a popular choice among professional woodworkers, or owners who are taking on a large renovation project. They are used to cut wood in high volumes, though they can also be used to cut other materials such as brick or metal.

Conveniently, circular saws are often portable. They use a disc or a blade that rotates in a circular motion to provide a precise and powerful cut. Ever since their inception in the 19th century, circular saws have played an important part of renovation or construction projects.

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9. Tree Loppers

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Tree loppers, often simply known as loppers, are another example of a low-tech but highly functional wood cutting tool. They can be thought of as a giant form of scissors that are specially curved to be able to functionally cut tree branches and twigs. They are similar, but not identical to, pruning shears.

Tree loppers are generally not electrical and can instead be operated with two hands. They are designed with long handles that are intended to reach tall tree branches, and can even be available in a variety of sizes. Tree loppers are very easy to use, and are an inexpensive tool for your collection.

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10. Bow Saw

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True to its name, a bow saw is composed of a thin blade held in place by a metal frame in the shape of a bow. It is intended to be used for simple curved or straight cuts. It is likely that this tool has ancient origins in China.

Small and portable, a bow saw can be used for many around-the-house tasks such as the cutting of tree branches. However, unlike some of the high-tech options on this list, a bow saw does not offer a precise cut and can only be relied on for rough jobs.

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11. Pruning Saw

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Speaking of tree branches, if you find that most of your jobs around the house revolve around your foliage, it may be worth your while to invest in a pruning saw. A pruning saw is a type of apparatus that is designed for use on tree branches that have gone awry and need trimming.

Pruning saws work by using manual labor, although they are not particularly difficult to use. In fact, prune saws are an ideal choice for anyone who is new to power tools, as they can be less intimidating than something more robust like the chainsaw.

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12. Jigsaw

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No, we’re not talking about the puzzle — a jigsaw is a sophisticated tool that can cut beautiful straight lines and incisions. They are one of the easiest ways for anyone who is interested in construction projects to cut complicated lines through a variety of materials including laminate, metal, and of course, wood.

Another great thing about the jigsaw is that it offers you the ability to change out its blade, depending on the type of cut you are after and the type of material that you are performing the cut on.

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13. Plane

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A plane is a type of wood cutting tool that can shape wood to your desired effect. They are generally non-electrical and require a considerable amount of upper-body strength in order to operate.

When used effectively, planes can smooth down or flatten wood. They are often used on rough pieces of wood to polish them or reduce them to a desired size. In order to function, wood planes must be held with two hands and pushed away from the user across the top of the wood.

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So there you have it — the best wood cutting tools on the market. With these tools in your arsenal, there is no wood cutting project that will be outside of your scope.