A beam cutter can be one of two things. It can be a device attached to a circular saw to transform it into something that can cut through beams or large pieces of wood while still ensuring that the cuts are true, whether at an angle or straight. A beam cutter can also be a saw attachment that allows a person to take a round log and turn it into a flat-sided beam. This is accomplished by shaving off the rounded edges to make a quadrilateral with all angles being 90 degrees.
The difference between a beam cutter and a chainsaw for cuts simply dividing beams is the large guide on one side of the blade. It is attached to a circular saw so it can be placed on top of the wood to keep the cut straight. When you set this guide to a particular angle, it guarantees the chain will complete the cut at that angle. This can be crucial when dealing with a roof, stairs, or anything that might benefit from a straight, 90° angle.
Beam cutters that turn trees into beams can be used if a contractor or woodcarver has access to raw materials. It can be less expensive to utilize such wood if a limited number of beams is needed or if there happens to be a plethora of trees available for use. Lumberyards have the ability to create beams from trees in mass quantities using industrial equipment.
Contractors tend to have beam cutters so they can make beams or straight cuts in the middle of a project. Whether it is a beam maker or a splicer, it is a useful tool to have when a contractor is in the middle of a project and doesn't want to stop and wait for another lumber order to come in. This tool also is often utilized to make beams for hard-to-fit areas.
Beam cutters can be purchased at most hardware stores. Even if the store does not keep such things in stock, they can usually be ordered through the store's suppliers. A beam cutter is fairly commonplace, though it's not a piece of equipment that has to be replaced often. A beam cutter can have a long life if used properly, much like a regular chainsaw. The chain must be regularly oiled and serviced but can last a long time.