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What is a Crosscut Saw?

Crosscut Teeth in comparison to Rip Teeth

When working with wood, you may find yourself pining through the different types of tools available and wondering what is a crosscut saw?

 

In short, a crosscut saw is designed for cutting wood across the grain. The teeth of crosscut saws are aligned differently to rip saw teeth in that the angles alternate. This design allows for crosscut saws to cut through the wood like a knife regardless of the direction of the grain.

 

Crosscut saws typically have smaller teeth that are closer together than rip saws, with some designs including additional teeth called ‘rakers’ which help to clear out debris as you cut.

What is a Crosscut Saw used for?

There are many different uses for a crosscut saw when it comes to woodworking, with a range of different crosscut saw sizes available depending on the task at hand.

 

Small crosscut saws have intricate teeth and are suitable for small woodworking tasks such as fine woodworking projects such as furniture building, whilst larger crosscut saws are used for tasks such as arborist work like logging or cutting lumber. 

Crosscut hand saw teeth angles

How to use a Crosscut Saw?

A common rule of thumb in the woodworking world is to measure twice and cut once, and cutting with the crosscut saw is no different. To begin, identify the correct measurement where you wish to cut your wood and clearly mark by drawing a line. Next, ensure that the wood is held in place either by a weighted object or a clamp to prevent movement whilst cutting.

 

Now it’s time to make the cut! Place the central teeth of the saw down on the line you have marked out and push down against the wood with a short stroking movement in order to begin the cut.

Crosscut Saw making a cut through wood.

After the cut has been initiated, begin pulling and pushing the saw against the wood in order to make your cut. It is important that during this step you take your time in order to keep your cut along the marked line you created to make a clean cut.

 

Finally, when coming to the end of your cut it is really important that you have control over the wood as if it is not held firmly in place the wood may splinter.

 

There you have it, a clean-cut made with a crosscut saw! Remember, when completing any type of woodworking or DIY projects at home or in a workshop you should always consider your personal safety first.

 

At Wonkee Donkee, we recommend that you should wear the appropriate PPE such as gloves and goggles before completing any cuts with a crosscut saw. You should also remember that a crosscut saws teeth are extremely sharp so take care when using and ensure it is stored away safely when not in use.

How to Sharpen a Crosscut Saw?

Using a file to sharpen a crosscut saw

As with any saw or blade, prolonged use will result in the need to sharpen the teeth to maintain the efficiency of the handsaw. There are several options that you can take in order to do this so at Wonkee Donkee we thought we would walk you through them.

 

The first option is to get a professional to do it. Sharpening the teeth of a crosscut saw can be a very delicate and intricate task that requires not only skill but also a reasonable amount of time if you don’t know what you are doing. Professional saw sharpeners are relatively cheap in comparison to bing new handsaws or spending a lot of your own time trying to resharpen the teeth.

 

The second option is to purchase a high-quality saw sharpening tool and have a go yourself. There are many great tutorial videos that exist on the internet along with guides on the best techniques on how to sharpen the teeth of a crosscut saw. We advise that if you follow these guides you should always read the safety instructions first and make sure you wear the appropriate personal safety equipment.

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