Cutting Hand ToolsCutting Hand Tools

Cutting hand tools are a common requirement in home improvement projects. Many simple hand tools cut wood and other materials by using physical force for undertaking such tasks. A handsaw is the most frequently used tool for cutting wood, There are different kinds of handsaws to be used depending on type of cutting job.

Ripsaws, big solid hand saws with teeth are designed to cut along the grain of wood. While crosscut saws have teeth designed to make cuts perpendicular to the grain of the wood while maintaining a clean cut. Bow saws have long thin blades connected by bowed metal frames allowing it to cut through. Coping saws are small and used for detailed wood cutting.

Axes used for splitting wood are used as an alternative to chainsaws for felling trees or chopping firewood. They come in many different shapes and sizes. Some axes have only one blade, while others have blades on both sides. Small hand axes are called hatchets. A maul may also be used to chop wood and having a broader and heavier head with a sharp edge makes for a nice tool.

Hedge trimmers are a type of hand tool used to cut small branches. Looking like large pliers with two long handles they are useful for cutting pieces of wood that can fit within their jaws. Chisels are sharp metal tools used along with a hammer to cut, split or shave wood. A chisel is basically a metal wedge that can be driven powerfully by using a hammer.

Modern cutting hand tools make it possible to cut through stone and tile. It may not be your everyday project and would require some amount of expertise. Drills, hammers and cutting tools make it quite daunting. A set of stone and tile cutting tools include coring and hammer drills, grinders, and a variety of saws.

Most wood cutting tools have at least one bevel. This is the sloping surface coming off the edge. But it's more than just a sloping surface. It's actually a cutting angle. With the bevel supporting a specific cutting angle, it determines how the tool can be used. Experienced people know about bevels and how they affect cutting efficiency.

The cutting angle of your carving tool or length of the bevel determines the strength of the wood you cut. The greater the cutting angle the steeper and shorter the bevel. If you're going to cut soft woods, you'll want a small cutting angle on your tool's edge. If you're going to cut hard woods, you'll want a large cutting angle on your tool's edge.
An important point to remember is the size of the cutting angle on the edge that determines how much control you'll have when cutting. When you know the fundamentals of how cutting angles on beveled edges affect cutting efficiency you will learn all about any cutting tool you hold in your hand. You will thus avoid simple mistakes and become a skilled cutting tool user.
by David H. Urmann
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