A coping saw is a type of handsaw used for intricate work such as cutting out shapes from the center of a piece of wood. With the right blade, a coping saw can also be used to cut metal and tile. The saw got its name from the cope, which is a fancy type of cut used in finish carpentry.
A coping saw is shaped like a large C with a handle coming off the end. The blade runs across the open end of the C and can be adjusted for tension and rigidity. You can unhook one end of the saw blade and run it through a hole in the center of your wood before hooking it back on. That way, you can start your cut in the middle of the piece. Thin blades allow users to create delicate cuts in a variety of directions. However, like most saws, coping saw blades typically only have teeth on one side of the blade. Spiral coping saw blades are specialized blades with teeth all around to allow for 360-degree cutting abilities. A coping saw fitted with a spiral blade is used the same way as a regular coping saw blade, except that you don't have to readjust the position of the saw to change cutting directions. Like other coping saw blades, spiral coping saw blades are available in a variety of tooth sizes.
When using a coping saw, it's imperative that you keep your free hand out of the way to avoid any accidental injuries. Also, discard any dull blades and stick to new, sharp ones. If you use a dull blade, you'll find yourself using more force, thereby increasing the likelihood of a slip. Since coping saws are designed for intricate work, they're meant to be used on thin materials, typically no more than an inch thick.