Pull Saw vs. Push Saw

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If you’ve looked closely at handsaws you’ve probalby noticed a difference in teeth. Some point toward the handle, some point away. This means that some cut on the pull stroke, some on the push stroke. We’re talking about Japanese saws versus Western saws. They both cut wood, but they each do it very differently. One requires a little more muscle than the other, and there are dramatic differences between the two when it comes to sharpening. Which one is best for your woodworking projects? Before making your buying decision, get some cutting edge advice from Tom.

Discussion
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4 Responses to “Pull Saw vs. Push Saw”
  1. Timothy

    Have to disagree, western saw generally cuts faster with a cleaner cut (your tear out in the video is hidden on the pull stroke saw) and is not a “throw away.” The fact that it can be sharpened means that the 4 minutes it takes with a good set of files equals a more ready to use saw since the Japanese saw will ultimately dull. The western style is also more comfortable to hold and use, which translates to control. I generally begin my kerf with an initial “pull stroke” which makes for less effort on the initial cutting stroke. A good quality western saw is a great pleasure to use. Also, incidentally I think a micrometer would show little blade thickness difference between that Lee Valley Veritas saw you were using and the Japanese saw.

    Reply
  2. Michael Kratky

    Perhaps so some time ago, but no longer; Lie-Nielsen, Lee Valley and especially Rob Cosman “western” saws are now like fine tuned Swiss watches and an absolute pleasure to use.

    Reply
  3. Daniel

    With my limited use of pull saws I have found that I have better control, especially when trying to hit a line exactly. I just feel more under control pulling towards me.

    Reply
  4. christopher

    I think its personal preference. I am a bit above a diy’r and have a couple of pull saws and I like them for specific tasks, then western style ones for other tasks. Thank for the video.

    Reply

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