We humans have been using tools since the early ages, and for a species that started chipping rocks into spearheads, we’ve come a really long way. As early as the Neanderthal era, building just about anything revolved around hand tools. Nowadays we have a vast array of both hand and power tools, which make processes like metalworking, woodworking and construction very easy. One type of tools that have been used for centuries to shape objects and remove extra materials are the cutting tools.
In the industrial world, when it comes to cutting, the most basic tools are saws. They aren’t as simple as they seem, as there are multiple types and each of them can perform differently and is usually meant to cut specific materials. So when it comes to buying these cutting tools, there are a few types to choose from.
- Hacksaw – Unlike most other saws, hacksaws are typically hand operated. However, there are a few mechanical variants like power or electric hacksaws available as well. There are two basic types – panel and junior hacksaws. The panel hacksaws don’t feature a frame and are best suited for cutting sheet metal, while the junior hacksaws have an arched flame.
- Jigsaw – The jigsaws are one of the best types for cutting patterns and shapes. They’re also called sabre saws or bayonet saws by some manufacturers, and their ability to make detailed curved cuts makes them ideal for artistic work. Actually, they are the most artistic saws used for metalworking by far. However, mastering them is extremely hard, and making straight cuts with them is almost impossible.
- Abrasive Saw – These are also known as cut-off and metal chop saws. They’re one of the most essential cutting power tools used to cut metals and are generally table mounted. They use a vise-like action where the blade of the motor is attached to a pivoting arm on a fixed base. Abrasive saws are used to cut hard materials including all metals.
Besides saws, knives are another popular cutting tool. They’re usually small and multi-functional, and can be used by handymen, craftsmen, hobbyists, etc. There are a few popular types, but the most popular are the folding and utility knives.
- Folding Knife – These are versatile knife cutters that can safely be stored on belts, in aprons or pockets. They’re available in fixed blade and interchangeable models, and they’re best suited for light-duty cuts. The blade can be as small as 1-inch up to several inches, and in order to determine the best fit for you, consider how you’ll use it most.
- Utility Knife – These are made for workplaces, art rooms and even kitchens. They’re small and can cut through soft materials like Styrofoam, cardboard, foods and plastic packaging. Some types are designed to clean and gut fish. Just like the folding knives, they’re available in interchangeable and fixed blade models.