Throughout North America in the 1800s, a one-man crosscut saw was a handy tool to have as it was perfect for cutting down small-diameter trees and for chopping firewood. The timber was essential for personal use, as well as for building the emerging railroad system. Featuring large, deeply cut teeth, the one-man saw is still in use today, but the two-man crosscut saw is better suited for felling big trees and sawing timber. It has wooden handles on either end, attached to steel sockets, so that two people can grip the saw and pull in turn. The two-man crosscut saw has a symmetrical and flat-ground design, which means that the thickness of the metal is uniform throughout the saw. The one-man crosscut saw cuts primarily on the push stroke but if the teeth are cut well, it can also cut a little on the pull stroke. The two-man crosscut saw can cut on each stroke, so it cuts faster than a one-man saw. Additionally, you can cut trees with larger diameters using a two-man crosscut saw.
Although using a chain saw is the fastest way to cut up firewood, both you and and your neighbors may dislike the noise and smell that chain saws create, especially in quiet, rural areas. Two-man saws are quieter and can facilitate an effective upper-body workout for both you and a friend (a hidden benefit). Crosscut saws are also lighter in weight and more flexible than chain saws. Most importantly, the teeth of the crosscut saw are designed to slice cleanly across the wood grain. They don’t tear up the wood, like chain saws tend to do. Crosscut saws have one to two teeth per inch (2.5 centimeters) and score the wood before cutting through it.