Paragraph 78. There are a great many kinds of saws, each of which is constructed for some sort of special work. It is not necessary that you should learn all about the different kinds of saws; however, there are a few points regarding the more common ones with which you should become familiar.

The ordinary hand saws, or panel saws, as they are sometimes called, are in most common use, and for that reason you will need to know about them. Hand saws are divided into two general classes, those that cut in the direction of the grain, called rip saws, and those that cut across the grain, known as cross-cutting saws. The principal distinguishing feature between the two classes of saws is the shape of the teeth, each having the teeth so shaped and filed as to perform its particular work most satisfactorily.

A mistake frequently made by beginners is that of attempting to use a rip saw for cross cutting purposes. On account of the shape of its teeth and the angle at which they are filed, a rip saw will not do satisfactory work in cutting across the grain of wood. You will understand this better after studying the illustration and the discussion which follows, and also making some practical experiments in the shop.

The cross-cutting saw is sometimes taken for ripping purposes. This is not such a bad mistake, for a cross-cutting saw will do fairly good work in the direction of the grain, although it will not cut so rapidly as the rip saw. In ripping material which is very knotty or cross grained a cross-cutting saw will often give very excellent results. On account of its being so necessary for you to select a saw which is fitted for the particular work which you expect to do, you must be able to distinguish between the cross-cutting and rip saws.