View Full Version : What is a buzz saw?

Jamie Buxton
11-13-2014, 7:09 PM
I know lots of different kinds of saws -- table, band, rip, crosscut, chain, pull, jig, hack, band, circular, track, and so on. But what's a buzz saw?

Rod Sheridan
11-13-2014, 7:20 PM
What I know as a buzz saw is the circular saw mounted on a tractor to cut firewood to length.

My FIL has one, cuts a lot faster than a chain saw..............Rod.

Bruce Page
11-13-2014, 7:35 PM
Not very fast. Dull blade?


Ole Anderson
11-13-2014, 8:02 PM
I remember in the 1960's my grandfather going down the road to help a neighbor cut up some long logs (at least 20 footers IRRC) using a buzz saw. Seemed faster than this one, not a chug-chug JD either. Bonus was that the neighbor's wife just pulled some fresh bread out of the wood fired oven, and with fresh butter, treated us to some of the best bread I can remember.

Jamie Buxton
11-13-2014, 8:11 PM
So why is it called a buzz saw? I found some other videos on youtube about this kind of tractor-mounted saw, and the saw blade was screaming just like any other circular saw blade. Did some folks run them so slowly that they buzzed instead of screaming?

Chris Padilla
11-13-2014, 8:12 PM
I heard those saws called widow makers. :)

Bill Bukovec
11-13-2014, 8:56 PM
I spent many Saturdays as a teenager cutting logs with a saw mounted on the front end of a Farmall H. I didn't think about it at the time, but it was dangerous. At the end of the day, my whole body was buzzing.

Peter Kelly
11-13-2014, 9:29 PM

Jon Nuckles
11-14-2014, 12:11 AM
I think if you go back a lot of years, a buzz-saw was a handheld, unguarded circular saw used to cut firewood. Robert Frost wrote a poem, 'Out, Out-', about a boy using one who cut off his hand and died. Upon further reflection, maybe my idea of a buzz-saw is just what I pictured when I read the poem. Never mind!

David Weaver
11-14-2014, 12:17 AM
Not very fast. Dull blade?


Yeah, dull. Problem with them was that you use them about two times a year after you have a big pile of logs that aren't too wide to lift onto the table of the saws. The rest of the year, the buzzsaw sits somewhere that it can rust.

We had one at my grandparents' when I was a kid, and it was a big family. When the grandparents needed wood, the sons would get together and fell a bunch of standing dead trees on their land and bring them in for the buzz saw. If the wood was solid and not punky, it would bog down an old oliver 66 because the whole saw was a rust bucket.

I thought it was neat.

I wonder now what the four or five sons with chainsaws who showed up could do just bucking the wood. It'd probably be done faster.

Not many of those saws are sharp and rust free, and they get used on wood covered with who knows what. No clue if things were different 75 years ago when someone might've given them the attention they needed to cut easily (and coated them with used motor oil after use).

Harry Hagan
11-14-2014, 3:59 PM
Wile E. Coyote tangled with a buzz saw occasionally when he was chasing The Road Runner.

300246 300247

The brand was Acme.

Bill McNiel
11-15-2014, 10:08 PM
Marshawn Lynch with the ball, the Goal Line in sight and the game on the line.

Jim Matthews
11-15-2014, 10:15 PM
My kids with a shared pizza.

Bert Kemp
11-16-2014, 1:02 AM
I cut and split all my own firewood for over 20 years always used a chainsaw. Much faster and somewhat safer .

Larry Edgerton
11-16-2014, 7:21 AM
That buzz saw is a poor representation. It is indeed dull, extremely dull, and the saw is not being run at the proper speed. I have owned a pto driven buzz saw and although it would not pass any government safety standards, so what. Used with a modicum of common sense it is no less safe than a chain saw. There are very few teeth and it does not take long to sharpen the blade, no more than a chain saw blade. Most do sit and rust but there is so much set on the teeth that it is not a big concern. Old timers rubbed animal fat on them to keep the rust down, I used Petroleum Jelly.

They are much faster than a chain saw when used properly and kept sharp. It will cut through a stick of hardwood about like a chop saw will cut a spf 2x4. Two guys works better, and a stack of lengths can be turned into firewood in a hurry. They are still in use in my neighborhood, and I have thought of getting another one as I again have a tractor.


Justin Ludwig
11-16-2014, 12:04 PM
This is a Buzzsaw:


He was a relentless killing machine who's real passion was ice sculpture.

julian abram
11-18-2014, 6:35 PM
I heard those saws called widow makers. :)

My grandfather was killed Christmas Day 1925 operating one of these. His clothing got caught in the belt, slung him head first into a building. My mother was 13 at the time, Christmas days were always a sad time for her.