Power saws

Power saws are designed for cutting materials down to size for construction, cutting through materials in demolition work or can also be used in craft work. They take the effort out of what was once an arduous manual task. They’re so easy to use, although some operator skill is required for cutting very straight lines or intricate shapes. Saws come in many shapes and sizes, and many are designed for a limited number of purposes. Therefore, making the right choice is essential to getting the results you’re after.

If you need to cut down trees, lop branches or make firewood, we suggest visiting our Chainsaws page to find which one is right for your outdoor task.

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When it comes to DIY there are many different power saws for cutting different materials in different ways. Explore the range.

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What to consider

A Ryobi circular saw and a Ryobi jigsaw being used to demonstrate different types of cuts

Type of cut

Many hand-held power saws, like circular saws, only allow for straight cuts. So knowing what type of cut you need to make will be key in choosing the right saw. Jigsaws and reciprocating saws will allow you to cut curves but getting a really straight line with these is a challenge. Bench or table saws are designed to ‘rip’ timber in straight lines, while mitre saws are made for delivering accurate angled cuts. Band saws and other specialised woodworking saws give more flexibility for intricate cuts in timber.

Ryobi saws being used to cut three different types of materials

Type of material

There is a saw to cut just about any material, from wood, metal, PVC and other plastics through to tiles and masonry. Often, you may need to buy different blades to get the best result. However, not every saw type is suitable for all materials. For instance, recip saws are typically used in demolition work and can be fitted with a variety of blades to suit the material they’re cutting through. Jigsaws, too, can be fitted with different blades for different jobs. However, circular saws are basically for cutting through timber.

A Ryobi jigsaw being used to cut through metal

Thickness of material

With the exception of reciprocating saws, all other types of saws are limited by their blade size and/or the design of the tool which controls their depth of cut. The ‘cut capacity’ of the tool will tell you how thick a material you can cut. For thicker material, you may be able to make a cut on one side and simply flip over the working piece and make a cut through from the other side.

Planks of freshly cut wood

Type of cutting

Some saws can make finer cuts than others by how they work. But some saws can provide different levels of finishes depending on the blade used. As a guide, blades with more teeth will deliver a cleaner cut but take longer to make. While blades with fewer teeth get the job done quicker but rougher.


Ryobi brushless motor

Brushless motors

Saws that feature electronic brushless motors deliver the added benefit of significantly increased power, reliability and increased battery run times when compared to standard brushed motor models – so these are great for the tough jobs.

Changing the blade on a Ryobi reciprocating saw

Tool-free changes

Tool-free changes allows the user to change accessories, like blades, quickly and easily without the needs for tools like spanners or screwdrivers. This feature is usually found on jigsaws and reciprocating saws.