What Is A Bow Saw Used For?

What Is A Bow Saw Used For

Just like its name suggests, a bow saw is characterized by a drawn bow shape of its frame and a long straight blade. It tends to be reasonably lightweight due to the hollow metal frame holding the thin blade under tension.

Cutting wood with this saw is rough but quick, making it a perfect choice for free exercise and doing constructive work at the same time. Reading this article to the end is important for a better understanding of what is a bow saw used for.

While a chain saw can perform similar tasks, it’s proved to be challenging to assemble and use. Unlike a bow saw, a chain saw requires mixing up gas and oil, ensuring enough lubricant in the tank, using protective gear, keeping the blade tension in check, and more. Thanks to a bow saw you get to enjoy the sound of a thin blade cutting through logs while keeping your muscles fit at the same time.

What Is Bow Saw Used For?

Bow saws are still handy despite having more advanced saws today. Some of the uses include:

Felling Trees

Bow saws are designed for cutting down trees. Despite its bow shape, it can still cut deeper before the frame comes into contact with the tree. However, this tool lacks the power of its own. It requires a great amount of energy from an individual. This explains the reason it cannot penetrate bigger trees.

Therefore, evaluate any tree before you start cutting with a bow saw. Ensure the tree is in the right size for the saw to penetrate. Also, do some assessments when feeling a tree to ensure it doesn’t fall on top of anything. Besides, the tree should not get stuck on nearby branches.

Since it takes human effort to use the bow, patience is the key here. Take it slow at the beginning and gradually increase the speed as the saw gets deeper.

Making Logs

Bow saws are having large teeth with deep gullets, making them ideal for sizing up logs. Due to the sharp teeth per inch, it perfectly cuts and removes more material. However, the design of the saw blade does not allow for a smooth finish.


You can use a bow saw to make firewood. The hard-pointed blade can perfectly create small-sized firewood. Besides, you require less effort to make small firewood.

Reasons for Using Bow Saw

I understand that many people no longer see the usefulness of a bow saw, particularly with the introduction of more advanced saws. However, a bow saw offers more than their imaginations.


This saw is compact and lightweight. With a large handle to support the blade, there are minimal chances of the hand slipping out. In addition, the saw gives you more control, unlike a powered saw.

Impeccably fast!

With enough effort input, the saw accomplishes its task within a short time. Yes, it is true the saw offers rough cuts. However, this can be an added advantage when you need to complete some projects without considering the smoothness of the finish.

Effective and Safe

The saw does more than various perfect tasks. The closed design keeps users safe, unlike the current power tools, such as a band saw. For instance, there are no risks of kickbacks.

Features of the Bow Saw 

A bow saw features simple and unelaborate characteristics. It’s user-friendly within nothing complicated. This makes it ideal for anyone to use it. Some of the features include:

The Frame

As we said earlier, a bow saw is made of a metal frame. This frame consists of high-quality oval steel to keep the blade in contact. It takes the shape of the letter C. For better grip, you can alternatively hold the frame when cutting through wood. Also, there are models with a triangular frame that gives extra force during cutting but restricts movement.


There are various models of bow saws with different handles. Each has its own advantages and offers different ways to grip. Typically, a bow saw comes with a pistol grip handle. It’s common on saws with larger blades and serves to protect your fingers during cutting. With its closed nature, there are fewer chances of the fingers slipping out.

Some models come with no handle. The only option is to use the frame for a grip. This is the most comfortable type to work with. There are other handles, such as the D-ring. It’s also a good option, only that it slips when cutting through the edge.


This forms the main part of a bow saw. The blade is straight and can be removed from its frame. It’s designed to cut quickly, making it convenient for rough cuts. There are two main types of blades:

Peg tooth blade

The teeth on this type of blade are triangular-shaped. Their design allows for cutting dry wood and not wet wood. They are arranged in groups of three and have a bigger gap in between. Generally, they cut both on the forward and backward strokes.

Peg and raker tooth blade

This is completely the opposite of a peg tooth handle. The blade is designed to cut through wet wood and does a good job. The arrangement of the pegs is divided into 4 groups followed by one raker. The four teeth take the shape of a triangle, while the raker looks like a regular tooth split into two. The four teeth help slice out the whole while the rakers help in chipping wood.

This type of teeth is excellent when cutting wet wood due to the help of the rakers. The chippings may end up clogging up the saw teeth during sawing. However, the blade has large gullets on each side, which allows for waste collection.

How to Use a Bow Saw? 

Bow saws make it easier to cut through wood. However, using them appropriately and safely is crucial for attaining success. If you’re a beginner, the guide below gives simple steps to get started:

Check on the saw

Check on the saw before you start cutting. Examine if the blade is sharp enough to make a cut. Also, ensure the tension holding the blade and the frame is intact.

Hold the saw tightly. 

Tightly hold the saw and rest the blade against the material. The angle of the blade towards the material shouldn’t be a bother here.

Pull or push

Push or pull the blade across the wood. Once you make the first long cut, start to build up speed and maintain a steady sawing rhythm. Once you are through with the first cut, you can progressively speed.

This a video tutorial by Jack Raven Bushcraft

How to use a bow saw

Final Verdict

That is it! Simple and easy! Unlike modern saws, bow saws do accomplish a lot without exposing users to serious risks. They are the perfect tools for applications where speed is more important than a smooth cut.  So, enjoy to the beat of a sharp blade eating through the wood while staying out of harm’s way.

Most importantly, you need to visit the website to get more information about what is a bow saw used for to avoid operation inconveniences.