A tool with a toothed blade for cutting wood, powered mechanically (brush cutter, chainsaw, the band saws of sawmills etc.) or by hand. As the blade is passed across the wood the teeth reduce the wood in various ways, deepening the saw cut and allowing the waste to be carried out of the wood (instead of remaining in the cut to clog the saw). Hand saws have been used for thousands of years but only came into wide use in Europe in the 15thC, following advances in design (particularly of the teeth).

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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