• Cutting perpendicular to the grain is called crosscutting. Cutting parallel to the grain is called ripping.
A combination blade will do both.
• A saw is named for the diameter of the blade it uses. Ten-inch saws, shown here, will cut through a board
about 3 inches thick.
• Portable saws, like the ones shown here, are designed to transport easily to the job site on wheel stands.
Carpenters use them for both general carpentry and trim work. They cut through softwoods easily, but may
strain on thicker boards and hardwoods like oak or walnut.
• Stationary saws cost more but are more powerful. They weigh more and vibrate less. Because of the power
and weight, they'll handle bigger boards with more ease and will also make finer cuts more precisely.
• Expect to fine-tune all the settings when you first get your saw. The saw works best and is safer when
properly set up
• Some saws have built-in features, such as router tables or a sliding table that moves past the blade and
works like a giant miter gauge when crosscutting.
• Always use either the miter gauge or rip fence. Never make cuts without some sort of guide.
• A piece that gets caught between the rip fence and blade will kick back—fly back at you with
violent force. Never stand directly behind the blade.
• Never use the rip fence and miter gauge at the same time.
• Use the guards that come with the saw; wear safety glasses, hearing protection, and a dust mask.