The crosscut saw is used for cutting across the grain while the ripsaw is the one for cutting along the grain.
The Crosscut Saw
The crosscut saw is made for cutting across the grain of the wood. Its teeth are little knives set parallel, far apart enough to hold back the saw from binding. The crosscut saw does 25 per cent of its cutting on the upstroke and 75 per cent on the down stroke. A saw with coarse teeth cuts quicker than one with close teeth, and it is particularly suited for thick boards, since it doesn't clog as easily. Ablade having 7 to 8 points to the inch is acceptable for most home work. But if fine work or joinery must be done, 10 points an inch would do a finer job. The number of points is normally stamped on the heel of the blade. Small, fine-tooth crosscut saws, called panel saws, are used for exceedingly fine work. Blade lengths range from 20 to 28 inches, but for home carpentry a 26-inch blade would be the most satisfactory, unless a major project is to be attempted.
Ripsaws, utilized for cutting along the grain of the wood, will encounter less resistance and thus have bigger and fewer teeth than the crosscut—typically from 5 1/2 to 6 points to the inch. The teeth are slanted at almost 90 degrees so that wood fibers could be ripped as well as cut. For cutting thick stock, a coarser tooth is needed—for thin stock, a fine tooth. Because every tooth rips, no bevel is needed on the edge of the tooth, as it is on the crosscut saw. Carpenters liken the ripsaw with a row of chisels pushing forwards.