Hand Tools

I'd buy...
Response To:
Tenon Saw suggestion?? ()

David Weaver
..a pair of saws from england that have good teeth (and are advertised as being straight and undamaged) and a good spine.

Sell the one you like least of the two (it won't cost much and your odds are a lot better).

The disston 4 and copies of it would be a second choice for me.

The bonus of the english saws is that the steel is sometimes a bit softer (but only a little bit) and you can sometimes file one 10 or 15 times with a single file (which means if you don't need to do tooth reshaping, you may be using the same file for a very long time).

The boutique market chases the idea of harder and harder teeth, but it's a trade off with file life for very little more tooth life (and the promise of using a kind of dull saw for a long time to avoid sharpening).

avoid any saws that have broken teeth, no matter how nice. The chance of the teeth breaking when you set them goes up exponentially if there's already a broken tooth on the plate.

(by going to england, I mean through an English tool dealer or buying on ebay.co.uk. A nice brass backed tenon saw over there will sell for about $40-$75 (the high end for something almost perfect) and shipping can be a bit expensive, but I think net of all if you keep one saw and look for a week or two before buying, you'll be kitted with what you want for about $75.

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