How to Choose a Handsaw

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Duration: 4:03

Char doesn’t exclusively use hand tools, but she likes having them around for certain applications. In many cases she can grab a handsaw and make the cuts she needs in a lot less them than it would take to set up, plug in and use a power tool. So, what handsaws does Char like and use the most? These two saws make the cut.

Great for cutting plugs flush

Char’s first go-to saw is a Japanese Kugihiki Saw. With 15 tpi (teeth per inch) it provides a very fine cut. The blade is extremely flexible so, in tight quarters, you can easily keep the blade flush with the surface while you bend the blade to get the handle in a more manageable position. With its high tooth count and fine cut this saw is best used for crosscuts.

For general purpose work

Char likes a Ryoba saw for general use in her shop. It includes crosscut teeth (15 tpi) and rip teeth (9 tpi) on a single handle. So, one saw, two applications.

Cut on the pull stroke

Japanese pull saws vary from western saws in that they cut on the pull stroke instead of the push stroke. This allows the blade to have a thinner kerf, so it takes less oomph to move it through the cut.

Want to learn more about doing your woodworking with hand tools? Check out our full assortment of hand-tool-related articles and videos.

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2 Responses to “How to Choose a Handsaw”

  1. Gary Coyne
    Gary Coyne

    Great video, and a quick comment: A friend of mine once told me about the time a saw maker told him: “you just bought the entire saw; why not use the entire saw?” (Making tiny back-and-forth saw cuts do not speed things up and are more likely to cause scratches, even with a no-kerf saw blade.)

    Thanks for the video

  2. Brian Nystrom
    Brian Nystrom

    Japanese pull saws are extremely sharp when new and cut very quickly. The saws in the video appear to be really dull.