I'm building a lot of primitive shelves out of roof battens. Normally I'd use a handsaw like this for the job:

enter image description here

The battens are 2.5m x 50mm x 25mm.

What kind of handheld powertool would replace this handsaw optimally? It doesn't have to be extremely accurate. The shelves look something like this and we need to cut the battens on the go wherever necessary without much pre-planning:

enter image description here

  • 1
    A miter saw would be very quick for cutting them to length. If you need to cut them in-place as you're buiding, then a reciprocating saw, jigsaw, or oscillating multi-tool should do the job.
    – rob
    Dec 16, 2018 at 21:31
  • 5
    Can I ask why you want a power saw to cut these? Doing it with a handsaw is often more convenient and with a good saw not slow at all — I'd expect to get through softwood of that cross-section in under 10 strokes, possibly as few as 5-6, without any particular effort needed.
    – Graphus
    Dec 17, 2018 at 7:30
  • @Graphus Indeed I will most likely stick to the handsaw. Since I am getting a lot of cordless tools anyway I just want to calculate the battens into the equation and prioritize certain tools over others. For a shelf project we are planning 400 battens at least. Shouldn't be a problem though with the handsaw you're right...
    – AzulShiva
    Dec 18, 2018 at 10:15
  • @rob The reciprocating saw and an oscillating multi-tool seem like they are up to the job indeed. I was thinking of an angle grinder when I wrote this post. Dunno how safe that would be.
    – AzulShiva
    Dec 18, 2018 at 10:20

1 Answer 1


You'll want a mitre saw. Or possibly even a cordless jigsaw would do the job

  • 1
    This was flagged by the site as "low quality" due to length. I agree with the answer so I left it, but you should probably include a short description of what a miter saw is and why it would be the preferred tool. Also, I'd mention a circular saw as an option too. Dec 17, 2018 at 17:04
  • I'd considered a cordless circle saw, but I've not used one personally so couldn't comment. It'd probably work ok if the batterns aren't too thick
    – Sirex
    Dec 17, 2018 at 17:20
  • This is one of those few cases where a mini circular saw would come in handy.
    – user5572
    Dec 17, 2018 at 20:13
  • 1
    There is no space for stationary saws. I have both a circle saw and a jigsaw and they are a pain to cut battens with. It's 10 times easier to use the handsaw.
    – AzulShiva
    Dec 18, 2018 at 10:12
  • Well I got a mitre saw now. Should have listened to you, works like a charm. Love wood battons even more now.
    – AzulShiva
    Oct 10, 2020 at 10:06

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