There is a multitude of reasons why you should consider using an electric-powered hand saw over a traditional option when working around the home, doing some carpentry or DIY or simply cutting logs in the garden. Believe us when we say that once you've used an electric saw, you'll never want to go back to sawing wood by hand again.
We've put together a list of the best electric hand saws available in the UK from trusted brands such as Black + Decker, Bosch and DeWalt, including cordless styles, jigsaws and circular saws suitable for beginners. Take a look at these great options on Amazon and Argos; you won't have to worry about throwing out your elbow toiling away at something that can be done in a fraction of the time.
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If you couldn't guess from the name, multifunction saws are general-purpose tools that are an excellent choice if you're looking to replace that rusting old hand saw that's been sitting in your tool bag for years. They're great at cutting wood for fires, or to rough length, as well as cutting unruly branches from a tree.
Precision isn't their greatest strength, however, so if you're looking for a particularly straight cut or something curved with more finesse, there are better options out there for specific tasks. Very much a jack of all trades but master of none.
There's nothing better than a circular saw for cutting professional quality straight cuts in wood or sheet materials. They are also extremely versatile as they can be used freehand or on a table.
Bear in mind that, more than most others, circular saws can come in a wide range of sizes that may not be compatible with each other, with larger blades being better suited to thicker materials.
Circular saws can also be mistaken for mitre saws, which differ in the fact that the blade is positioned on a pivoting, hinge-like mechanism that allows for a downward straight cut. These are fixed to a surface, so make sure you don't confuse the two due to the circular blade designs!
Rather than hammer and risk bent nails and damaging your straight pieces of wood use a nail gun for ease and precision.
The reciprocating saw, or sabre saw, is best suited for heavy-duty work as it will have no problem cutting through metal piping, brickwork or any woodwork that has its fair share of nails.
The blade has an oscillating motion, meaning that it moves up and down as well as in and out, so just make sure to hold on with both hands as these are usually the most powerful hand saws on the market.
Another plus is that, due to their high power, they are great for working in hard-to-reach areas such as tight spaces or overhead. However, they're far from the most precise option available, often leaving rough edges. If you're looking for quick cuts through strong materials, such as when ripping out a bathroom or demolishing a wall, this is the choice for you.
Featuring the thinnest blades of all the saws mentioned in this article, jigsaws are designed to be able to accurately cut any shape. Unlike the others, you're even able to drill into the middle of a piece of wood to cut a pattern, making them a must-have for any carpenters looking to make intricate furniture, toys or of course, jigsaw puzzles.
You'll need a steady hand and a flat surface to work on, however, and they aren't suitable for cutting long straight lines. If you take it slow, plan out your design, and cut carefully, a jigsaw will be your best friend, but if you're after something to quickly cut large amounts of lumber, you should look elsewhere.
Check out the 10 best sandpapers for wood in the UK to smooth and finish off that beautifully cut piece.
When choosing an electric hand saw, one of the key decisions is whether to opt for a cordless or mains-powered machine. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, and certain types of saw lend themselves to being battery-powered while others work better as corded, mains-powered choices.
Cordless saws are obviously much more portable and are a convenient choice if you're moving from space to space a lot. They're also great for areas where extension cords don't easily reach, such as in a garden or atop scaffolding or a ladder. You are, however, limited by their battery capacity and extra batteries can be expensive and bulky.
Mains-powered saws can be more powerful making tougher materials easier to cut without the worry of running out of battery. Unfortunately, most cables that come with power tools do tend to be on the short side. Many people don't find this to be a problem when using a jigsaw at a workbench, but if you're working away from a plug socket, it could become a bit frustrating.
The type of blade is incredibly important when deciding on the right saw, but the options included shouldn't sway you too heavily one way or the other as replacements are incredibly easy to come by and change. Obviously, you won't be able to attach a circular blade to a jigsaw, but swapping the included blades out for a different size is no hassle.
Some saws may come with one blade, a range, or even none. You may have to account for the extra expense of additional blades, but it shouldn't put you off the saw itself even if extras are a nice touch. The reality is that you'll have to change blades at some point anyway as they wear down, though this depends on how often they're used and what's being cut.
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PST 700 E Compact Jigsaw｜06033A0070
The Best Value Jigsaw That Doesn't Skimp on Quality
Black & Decker
Scorpion Multifunction Saw｜KS890ECN-GB
An Excellent All-Purpose Choice
The Best Value Circular Saw On the Market
The Full Jigsaw Package, With a Hard Carry Case
Great Value and Includes Plenty of Extras
Cordless XR Brushless Circular Saw｜DCS570N
A Premium Product That's Well Worth the Investment for Contractors
Brushless XR Compact Reciprocating Saw｜DCS367N
Strong, Durable and Able to Cut Through Almost Anything
Mini Circular Saw
Amazing for Niche Jobs and Thinner Materials
ONE+ Cordless Jigsaw｜R18JS-0
A Cordless Jigsaw That's Suitable for Many Environments
18V Reciprocating Saw｜DJR186Z
One for Heavy Duty Construction Jobs
If you're looking for a comfortable and compact jigsaw for woodworking and home projects and want to avoid paying a premium, then this offering from Bosch is the perfect choice. The handling is incredibly smooth thanks to Bosch's Low Vibration technology.
Coming with a free 2-year guarantee and a service where someone will collect, repair, and return your saw within 5 days, Bosch are confident in their reliable reputation. In short, this is cheap, reliable and will last you years.
If you're shopping for a versatile, all-purpose electric saw to have handy around the home, then you can't do much better than the Scorpion from the ever-reliable Black + Decker. Indeed, if you're only looking to buy one saw, then this is the one.
It comes with three blades and can be used for jigsaw-like precision cuts or quick and easy tree pruning depending on which blades are attached. You won't find anything as useful and versatile for under £50.
With a built-in laser guide and scale ruler, even beginners won't have any trouble cutting the straightest lines with this circular saw from Hychika. Plus, as it's able to reach speeds up to 4700 rpm, you can sail through wood, plastic or soft metals with ease.
The adjustable cutting depth and angle mean you'll be able to make any cuts you need. It even has a dust outlet for you to attach a vacuum to, making sure your workshop doesn't get covered in sawdust. Getting all this for around £50 represents some serious value for money.
You may have noticed that there's a Hychika option for each type of saw on our list, and that's simply because they represent the best value in terms of the saw quality as well as having plenty of extras. We especially like the laser guide for precision cuts.
Their jigsaw comes with a hard carry case for safe transport and storage and no less than six blades. If you're after a jigsaw that comes with all the bells and whistles, then this is the choice for you!
Usually, when looking at reciprocating saws, you have to worry about whether the blades are included and have to factor in the additional cost of battery packs and chargers. This Hychika saw, however, has everything you need.
Coming with two battery packs and four blades, two for wood and two for metal, you'll be ready to go as soon as it arrives in the post. The batteries are fully charged in an hour and having two handy means you won't run out of juice before the job is done.
You'll know instantly after seeing the price of this saw whether it's one for you or not. If you work in construction, woodworking or the like, then the 5500 rpm no-load speed and high torque motor are well worth the investment.
DeWalt make some of the highest performing cordless power tools on the market, but again, they don't include the battery packs in the price so you'll have to pick those up separately. While it will cost a little more, you shouldn't let that put you off one of the best cordless saws around.
The DeWalt XR Compact is one of the best options for overhead work, featuring a balanced central motor position that makes it easy to handle. The four-position blade clamp and small form factor allow you to access hard-to-reach areas without difficulty.
It is unclear whether this option comes with any included blades, but it is clear that it doesn't come with a battery. Don't worry though, this is standard practice for professional-grade tools and they are easy to pick up.
We'll say upfront that the Hychika is something of a niche product that's great for cutting lengths of thinner materials like some wood panels, flooring and such. You'll probably get some DIY use out of it too, but it isn't suitable for larger jobs.
It comes with plenty of additions, such as a portable carry case, a laser guide and three saws. The included dust extraction hose is an especially nice touch for keeping areas clean. At the end of the day, though, if you're looking for something versatile, your money is best spent elsewhere.
The Ryobi's robust construction means that it's at home in a variety of working environments, from DIY projects to kitchen and bathroom renovations. The adjustable base means you can cut at any angle up to 45 degrees, making it a great choice for precision cuts.
It's nice to have a cordless option for a jigsaw, but we're not sure it justifies the additional cost as, if you're making precision cuts on a saw table, odds are there's a power socket nearby. It's also worth noting that this option is available as both "body only" or with the blades and battery included.
The Makita reciprocating saw is an excellent choice for anyone undertaking any heavy-duty work in difficult areas. It's extremely powerful for such a lightweight, cordless saw, and the ergonomic handle is comfortable even when used overhead.
As this is aimed at serious construction and demolition work, it's not really suitable for general home use. It's also "body only", meaning that it doesn't come with any batteries or a charger, and it's unclear whether it comes with blades or not.
Written and researched by David Sexton
No. 1: Bosch｜PST 700 E Compact Jigsaw｜06033A0070
No. 2: Black & Decker｜Scorpion Multifunction Saw｜KS890ECN-GB
No. 3: Hychika｜Circular Saw
No. 4: Hychika｜Jigsaw
No. 5: Hychika ｜Reciprocating Saw
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