A bone saw is a type of saw which has been designed to cut through bone. There are a number of different styles of bone saw available, along with bone cutters such as snips and shears. Saws for cutting through bone are sold through manufacturers of surgical and autopsy equipment for use in health professions, and through restaurant suppliers for use in cooking and butchery.
When it comes to saws for use in surgery, there are a number of designs for a surgeon to choose from, depending on what type of procedure is being performed. The Stryker saw, for example, is an oscillating saw which will easily cut through bone, but will not damage the skin. A Gigli saw consists of wire strands that are used to cut bone, while a sternal saw is similar to a jigsaw, and is used to cut open the sternum to gain access to the chest cavity.
Small hand saws are also available for cutting bone. In all cases, a bone saw used in surgery is designed to be sterilized between uses. These saws are very tough, with hard edges which hold their sharpness, as surgeons want to work with sharp tools to ensure crisp, even cuts which will minimize damage to the patient. Whether a bone saw is being used in an amputation or a craniotomy, it is important to avoid damage caused by the saw, and to select a saw which will be appropriate for the job.
While using a bone saw in surgery or in autopsy, full face protection must be worn. Face protection includes a mask which covers the mask and nose along with eye protection. This prevents people from inhaling bone dust or incurring eye damage as a result of flying bone chips. Masks are usually worn anyway in these settings to avoid cross contamination, but eye protection is not always standard and it is important to make sure that it is supplied for safety.
In the world of butchery and cooking, a bone saw is simply a sturdy saw which can be used to cut through bone when butchering cuts and preparing meat for cooking. In this case, the ability to clean the saw well between uses to prevent cross-contamination is desired, but the saw does not have to withstand the tough chemicals and autoclaves used in medicine. Home cooks may opt to keep a set of bone shears for tasks such as cutting through the breastbones of chickens, but they usually do not need bone saws because their meat has been appropriately butchered beforehand.