Hand Tools Archive 2008
I have had mixed results with the fret saw, and I have broken a good many blades and especially on hickory and purple heart. Hard maple is not as bad, but I still was breaking more blades than I liked.
Joel has coping saw blades in .018", and they give you the best of both worlds. They give you a blade that is thin enough to fit between most all dovetail kerfs, and they allow you to turn the blade in the handle so you don't have to bend the blades on the end so you can get the fret saw turned enough sideways to position it correctly to cut the waste out.
Since getting those .018" coping saw blades from Joel, I'm not sure I have used my fret saw since. All of our mileage varies.