Hand Saw selection

I'm primarily a power tool user, but am becoming more interested in hand tools. I had a pull saw that I picked up from HD last year, but some the teeth sheared off, and I didn't replace the blade. I'm interested now in getting a decent quality handsaw to have as a sort of all purpose saw. I'd like to use it to work on my hand cut dovetail skill, and for other jointery work. Does anyone have any suggestions of a specific type or saw I might consider? Thanks
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Lee Nelson Handsaw about $60. very good for Dovtail but not for ripping. You could find it in their web site or Lee Valley. Max
Doug wrote:

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Doug wrote:

The thing is that there are two basic types of hand saw: rip and cross cut, based on how the teeth are shaped. For example, you'd use a crosscut saw for tenon shoulder cuts, and a rip saw for the cheeks. Dovetailing calls for a rip tooth. To further complicate matters, there are also Western and Japanese style saws (each having the same rip/crosscut divide.) Japanese saws cut on the pull stroke, so the blades can be very thin because they aren't going to bind. The thinness means less material is being removed, which also makes them faster. Western saws cut on the push stroke and are prone to binding, but the teeth are usually big enough that you can resharpen them yourself if you want. So I'd look around here: http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&cat=1&pB884 and let us know if anything catches your eye.
Or, since handsaws are one of those "don't make em like they used to" things, you could look at getting used saws. Diston is probably the brand to go for here, for western-style saws.
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This is technically correct, but for small joints you don't need or want a fast rip saw, you want a fine clean cut which means more tpi (teeth per inch) and normally one cross cut tenon saw for all the cuts on dovetails or tenons. If you want a quicker cut you can use a standard hand saw on for instance the not seen cuts of the tenon.

I have a number of old tools in daily professional use, but not saws. Sharpness is what you need above all else, and saw sharpening is a drag. Do it for fun by all means but if you want to do joinery a good quality hard-point throw away saw will do the job. Currently I am using Stanley Jet-Cut tenon saws which are excellent but for visible dovetails you will want finer than their 11tpi. I also use Spear & Jackson Predator hand-saws which are good - a bit stiffer in the blade than most - but for carpentry rather than cabinet work.
Tim W
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On Thu, 07 Dec 2006 16:41:45 -0500, Gordon Airporte wrote:

The Japanese _do_ still make them like they used to but you pay accordingly.
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I'd recommend a Dozuki "Z" saw - Fine Woodworking gave it highest honors in a recent test of japanese-style saws (very thin blade, cuts on pull stroke). Among the ones with crosscut style teeth, it was one of the better ones at ripping. Good for dovetailing and most kinds of fine-scale work. I got one recently and I'm very happy with it. Available at Woodcraft and Rockler - last I knew, it was on sale for $30 at Woodcraft. I'd also recommend getting a catalog from japanwoodworker.com - their website isn't that great, but the catalog is fun and has a bunch of japanese-style saws of various sizes, rip and crosscut, single-edged (dozuki) and double-edged (ryoba), etc. Enjoy, Andy
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Andy wrote:

I'll second that. I've got one and it works great. Also, replacement blades are also available from the above-mentioned sources. For larger work, a ryoba with xcut on one side and rip on the other is also a good saw.
For western saws, go old, at least 60-70 years old. Disston is a good brand, but my favorite is the Atkins "silver steel" saws. Harder to find, but they don't rust like the Disstons, so older ones are usually in better shape.
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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<snip>

Or buy really good new. I have Adria and Lie Nielsen backsaws, and like them a lot. $130ish each, but worth it.
The Handtools forum at www.woodcentral.com has lots of folks, including many makers of the tools, in daily discussions. Generally interesting to read.
Patriarch
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Oh, I get the Japan Woodworker catalog - I know what's up :-) And of course there's Lie Nielson, but these might be a bit much for someone who doesn't have a lot of experience and doesn't know just how much he enjoys using handsaws... Having looked at the catalog, JW does have a number of saws >$40.
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On Fri, 08 Dec 2006 02:21:56 -0500, Gordon Airporte wrote:

And apparently they're pretty good, at least if the test in the last Fine Woodworking is to be believed. Woodcraft has the Dozuki Z on sale for under 30 bucks. I'm going to be going past there today, might stop in and pick one up if they still have any.
FWIW, the Fine Woodworking test included some saws that were made by hand by master craftsmen and the cheapies apparently worked as well or better. Of course the Japanese are reputed to know a thing or two about making sharp edges on steel.
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J. Clarke wrote: > FWIW, the Fine Woodworking test included some saws that were made by hand

As romantic as it is, I'm skeptical that a hand-sharpened Japanese saw could work as well as (or better than) machine filed teeth. And it looks like Fine Woodworking confirmed it.
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On Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:29:49 -0500, Gordon Airporte wrote:

One way or another I picked up a Dozuki Z at Woodcraft today, haven't had a chance to play with it much yet, but it did zip through a piece of sassafras far faster than I expected and the cut quality was about the same as a Bosch jigsaw on the no-orbit setting with the good blades, which is to say that it was smooth to the touch but not quite to the standard of a WWII.
Never used a Japanese handsaw before--wish I'd known that they were as good as they are.
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It's hard to beat an old Disston and Sons saw. I have several and love them.
But, I know how to sharpen them and tune them up so they work. If you can find someone who will do that, or are willing to learn, you'll be amazed how quickly you can saw through wood, and how easily.
Old Guy

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Doug wrote:

Have a look at the PAX hand saws. They have been made in Sheffield,England since 1776. They still make them like they used too...
<URL:http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Session_ID eef8c3f22ff6456c1514d9c9549586&Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=PZ-PAXTEN.XX&Category_Code=TMQ> <URL:http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Session_ID eef8c3f22ff6456c1514d9c9549586&Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=PZ-HS303.XX&Category_Code=TMQ>
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