What Is A Bow Saw Used For?

The Bow Saw is a metal or wood-framed crosscut saw that resembles a bow in shape with the blade located where the bowstring would be. Traditional bow saws have a tension wire and modern have a metal frame. Its coarse, wide blade is ideal for cutting rough wood grain.

There are so many helpful options when it comes to saws for your project. Each tool has a specific purpose and function that separates it from the others. I’ve researched through the internet and put together a quick summary on the Bow Saw.

What is a bow saw used for?  In woodworking the bow saw is used for straight, curved and crosscuts but historically bow saws are used for cutting logs, timber, branches, firewood, shrubs, small trees, resawing and are generally safer to use than power tools.

Keep reading below to learn more about the bow saw and what it can be used for.

What Is A Bow Saw Used For?

The modern Bow Saw is a metal-framed crosscut saw that resembles a bow in shape with the blade located where the bowstring would be. Its coarse, wide blade is ideal for cutting rough wood grain.

The Bow Saw is, historically, one of the oldest styles of saws used in both ancient China and the Hellenistic period. While the definition of a Bow Saw is simply a saw blade suspended in a frame, the modern Bow Saw has an obvious handle formed in its bow shape.

There are many saws for many jobs. The most important question is often, which saw is best for which job. When working with branches or firewood, especially, a coarse wide blade is recommended. The Bow Saw is an ideal tool for these types of jobs.

What Does A Bow Saw Look Like?

A bow saw looks like a large frame saw with a long, curved blade. The blade is attached to the frame with a metal rod or strap, and the handle is usually made of wood.

Bow saws are typically used for cutting branches and logs, but they can also be used for other tasks such as cutting curves in wood or trimming tree branches.

How To Use A Bow Saw.

Bow Saws are primarily used for making crosscuts in rough, uncut wood.

To operate the saw, position your blade perpendicular to the surface you are cutting, take hold of the wood with your other hand, place teeth against the wood and begin to rake teeth back-and-forth across the wood’s surface. As with any handsaw, it’s best if you use long cutting strokes to allow more of the teeth to be involved in the cut. Using the entire cutting edge of the blade will help to conserve the blade’s edge and maximize the cutting potential of the blade.

Remember, take long, slow strokes and allow the blade to do its job, attempting the blade to move faster or cut deeper will often result in the blade becoming lodged in the wood. As always, wear your personal protective equipment (PPE).

How To Make A Wooden Bow Saw.


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What Is The Difference Between A Bow Saw And A Frame Saw?

A Bow Saw has a string or a tensioning device in the back and the middle beam is in compression. A Frame Saw has a frame that goes around the saw blade and the saw blade is in tension and the two beams on the outside are in compression. All bow saws are a frame saw but not all frame saws are a bow saw.

Hand Saw VS Bow Saw

When it comes to a hand saw vs a bow saw there are few things to keep in mind.

First is the size of the project, a hand saw works best for smaller projects while a bow saw can handle larger projects.

Second is the type of wood, for example if you are working with a hardwood then a hand saw will be better suited as it can make cleaner cuts.

Third is the amount of time you have, as a hand saw is quicker to set up and use than a bow saw.

And finally, the fourth consideration is the amount of space you have to work in, as a hand saw can be used in tighter spaces than a bow saw.

So when it comes down to it, there are four main considerations when choosing between a hand saw vs a bow saw: size, type of wood, time and space. Keep these in mind and you’ll be sure to choose the saw that’s best for your project.

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What Is The Best Bow Saw?

These are the best Modern Bow Saws.

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Woodworking Joke:

Harold sent the apprentice to the hardware store.

“Get me a metal vise.” he said, “One with a quick release button. Oh, and if they have wooden shims, pick up a dozen.”

The kid came back an hour later.

“Here you go, boss,” he said. “They did have shims, so I picked up a dozen vises.”

Kevin Nelson

I will always have a special place in my heart for woodworking. I have such fond memories working on projects with my parents on the weekends in the garage growing up. We built tables, shelves, a backyard shed, 10' base for a water slide into the pool, 2 story fort playhouse with a fire pole, and so much more. This woodworking blog allows me to write helpful articles so others can enjoy woodworking as much as we have.

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