Quiet Sawing Suggestions

If I don’t want to break out a manual saw, is there a particular type of saw out there that you would recommend for, for instance, cross cutting 2x4’s or 2x6’s? I’d love to be able to use my circular saw or miter saw, but they are loud as all heck. It would not necessarily need to be my go to saw or even meant for that particular job, but something that would just do the trick if I need a board or two cut when the kids are asleep. I suppose my reciprocating saw is a quieter but not necessarily quiet enough, but any other thoughts or suggestions on saws you use in those situations? Feel free to suggest types of saws or particular models if you have one in mind, even if not “made for” the job described.

My work schedule sanity and my sleeping kids thank you in advance.

Combine a universal motor, gear train spinning a circular steel plate with teeth encountering a piece of wood at a hellacious speed and you have the formula for lots of noise. Freud and others work to make “quieter” - but not quiet blades - and some table saws seem quieter than circular or miter saws - but not quiet. Sounds (pun intended) like you need to exercise your muscles and “break out” a quality hand saw.

1 Like

Have you tried a good panel saw? You might be surprised how well it tears through your 2x6. The saw below is an expensive saw, but there should be a less expensive alternative (unfortunately this is not in my wheelhouse).


1 Like

Bandsaws may be quieter than the other types, Rikon may be a good brand for quietness, but throat depth is a limiting factor. For a handsaw, you could try a good Japanese saw that cuts on the pull stroke for ease of cut. Here’s the Japan Woodworker site. They are now affiliated with Woodcraft who sometimes has good sales on some of the saws. https://www.japanwoodworker.com/

I have the Ryoba (not Ryobi ::wink:) saw and like it quite a bit. It’s not high-end but works for me. Both cross cutting and ripping.

Just for my own curiosity, I went looking for some kind of comparison of panel saws (high end vs. more affordable), and I found this video from Paul Sellers informative. FF through the part where he’s resharpening the teeth from crosscut to rip.


Funny that you mentioned the ryoba saw. RKA inspired me to look at hand saws, and I took a look at Japanese saws while at it, which are totally foreign to me, pun intended. I finally figured out it was a ryoba that I would likely need for this type of cutting, but I’m still trying to figure out the size. Based on the link, is the 300mm what you’d recommend? I was eyeing the 240mm before you sent that, which seemed middle of the road for size. Is the size related to how you are using it or more just what you’re comfortable with?

A jig saw is about the quietest small handheld power tool to cut wood, It can do a 2x4 with a long blade. Use a square and it’ll make a straight cut.

“A jig saw is about the quietest small handheld power tool to cut wood, It can do a 2x4 with a long blade. Use a square and it’ll make a straight cut.”

Maybe it will make a square cut - but not as precise as with a circular saw or crosscutting handsaw. The small thin blade of a jigsaw - even one well supported by bearings on a quality tool - can wander when it encounters variations in wood grain. This can be more pronounced when cutting thicker stock.

I would argue it depends alot on your speed and the quality of the saw and blade. I’ve not had issues with blade wander with my dewalt saw but I don’t run it full bore and I often don’t feed it fast. However I don’t often cut 2x4’s with it so there is that too. admittedly when I have cut 2x4’s with a jig saw I don’t use a scroll blade

I would think for the OP’s need if he has a quiet jig saw that might be his best option other than a quality fine tooth hand saw.

I would however suggest the opposite either a) rig up your machinery outside if possible or B) expend the money to put in some insulation materials between the kiddo room and the work room. you’d be surprised what a coat of ceiling texture on a flat wall will do for sound transmission as well as putting some extra insulation in the wall or other means. Even doubling up the drywall on the connecting wall is going to cut down some. Might be worth your sanity.

So, I’ll dust off my old Skill jigsaw and see how loud it is. That actually may be a really good suggestion in this case since the cuts don’t necessarily need to be that precise. I bought it a long time ago and used to be a lot cheaper by necessity on tools, so I’m curious as to how it compares to my higher expectations nowadays. I also ordered a ryoba saw to check it out, mainly because I can’t help myself and need little excuse to buy a new tool. Of course, the first step is admitting you have a tool problem.

Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.

You may find that you need to get used to the Ryoba. Western saws (push stroke) are often better used at sawhorse height with your free arm holding the work. Some users of long handled Japanese pull-stroke saws - place the work lower to the ground with their foot holding the work - but that is not necessary.


Here’s a good website with demos using a Japanese pull saw. He recommends a longer one than mine, a 12 inch blade, my blade’s about 9.5". He says he uses it every day, I use mine much less often, but am really glad to have it then. http://askwoodman.com/2010/11/25/best-japanese-hand-saws/ As Fred says, you need to learn a different technique. Woodcraft frequently has them on sale, so I’ve tried other styles, but I’d choose the double edged one as my first saw.

1 Like

I’ll just second, or third, the Japanese pull-saw idea. A good one is remarkably fast, and will leave a remarkably smooth cut face. They are possibly more delicate than Western-style saws, but how burly does a hand saw have to be?

If that isn’t an option, perhaps a good bow saw would be an option. The tension in the blade allows it to be thin, and therefore fast.

A jigsaw is the quietest of the power options, as other people have said. Be sure to get a stout, thick blade, so it doesn’t flex in the cut. I like Bosch jigsaws: smooth and powerful.

1 Like

I think I’d agree about using a jig saw, or at least giving it a try.