How To Saw More Successfully

Ensure the best possible results with these hints for more successful sawing.

Last edited: 10/29/2020
Knew Concepts Saws

Understanding how to saw metal more efficiently and effectively will help save you time and frustration at the bench. Follow the tips and tricks below to make your next sawing job easier and faster.

Choosing a Blade Size

Choosing the right saw blade size is both an art and a science. Use our Saw Blade Sizing Chart below and these tips to pick the right blade every time. Saw blades come in standard sizes from 8/0 (pronounced "eight aught") to 8. The size of blade you use is determined by the gauge of metal you are cutting.

A size 8 blade is the thickest blade available and has the fewest teeth per inch. A size 8/0 blade is the thinnest blade and has the most teeth per inch.

  • You may want to use a blade that is a few sizes thinner than the recommendation if you are cutting intricate shapes.
  • If you use too fine of a blade, it can be difficult to control, making it hard to cut a straight line and time-consuming to complete a cut. If you notice these things happening, switch to a thicker blade.
  • A saw blade works best when there are at least two teeth within the thickness of the metal you are cutting.
  • Using too large of a blade can leave you with a jagged cut that requires more filing or sanding to clean up.

Saw Blade Sizing Chart

Blade sizing chart

Drilling for Piercing

Drilling for Piercing

When you are piercing a piece of metal in order to insert a saw blade and saw out a shape, it's important to know which size drill bit corresponds to the size of blade you are using. Use the chart to help you decide which drill bit you need.

Blade size chart

Installing a Blade

There are a few things you need to know before installing a saw blade in your saw frame.

  • Make sure the teeth are pointing down and out. Saw blade orientation diagram
  • Make sure the blade is taught. It should make a nice "ping" sound when you pluck it. If it isn't taught, it will not cut properly and is more likely to break. Saw tension diagram

Sawing Techniques and Tips

  • Make sure the blade is vertical at all times. The frame should be held at a right angle to your body, and you should saw in a straight up-and-down motion. Don't angle or tilt the blade.
  • Use long, even strokes, not short, choppy ones.
  • Move the piece, not the saw. For example, if you're sawing a circle, turn the material into the saw instead of trying to maneuver the saw around the material.
  • Keep your grip light. The sawing motion should come from your elbow, not your wrist.
  • To prolong the life of your blades, always use a lubricant such as BurLife.
  • Always wear eye protection. Saw blades break often and can cause serious injury.