I need to replace my decrepit, blunt rusty old handsaw. It only gets
light use for cutting the odd plank and the like. Looking at B&Q's
shelves though, I'm somewhat overwhelmed by the choice. Can someone
please advise what would be a good general purpose choice. Can one saw
do it all?
Umm... I have issues with hardpoint technology. The technique seems
limited to lots of teeth per inch and not much by way of set. They also
blunt at the first sight of a soft nail and can be over flexible:
flapping on the return stroke.
In dry, nail free timber they will all do the job provided you are not
expecting straight cuts.
I am currently using a BAHCO superior 22" in 7 tooth from Screwfix,
stiff blade and a touch short of 12 quid so not cheap. This has lasted
half a barn rebuild in indifferent Oak so far and still cutting OK.
There is still insufficient set to straighten a wandering cut and the
teeth don't clear moist sawdust but......
Set is the deviation of the tooth from the plane of the sawblade.
A sawblade that just has a simple ^^^^^ sort of profile cut out of the
blade will cut a slot of exactly the sawblades width.
If you push each alternate tooth up and down out of the page, then you
get a wider cut, which means that the back of the sawblade has a wider
slot to run in, and does not bind as easily.
This is usually a good thing.
Tim Lamb wrote:
The OP message that Tim Lamb stupidly snipped was asking for
information about the plethora of handsaws available these days.
If you want one for very occasional use get the Bacho described below
it is the best all around saw of its type.
There are jet cut ones with longer teeth that have much more blade area
and that tend to over react to the slightest bump and are as
susceptible to storage and transit handling as Jacksaws. But if you
just want it to remove wood-chip wallpaper -about the only thing I'd
ever use one for, they are ideal if you get a short one.
After use if you hang it up by the hole in the end of it, the Bahco
will last for years. Just give it the occasional spray with WD or
something after using on a wet surface.
The Bahco is an hard point. I agree with you about most other hard
points, the Jacks for instance, always come predesigned to run off the
line. They only set one tooth in something like 5 and that is the tooth
that sits on the rack bracket in the salesroom.
Tell me how you would get around a nail with an old fashioned saw.
I was just giving my current views on hardpoint saws rather than advice.
Re-sharpen or be a lot more careful.
I suppose my gripe is that bi-metal cutting blades are hardly new
technology and could perhaps be incorporated in a saw designed for long
life. The issue of tooth design and quality of setting/sharpening may
depend more on the target market and price than actual performance in
Nails are soft and a decent saw will cut them without too much damage.
If it's a big or a hard one, then remember you're sawing by hand here
and it's up to you to notice it and decide whether to plough on ahead
Modern screws OTOH are harder, and they really will chew up a saw.
I love the idea of a saw for a mere £12... I think my last handsaw
was about £70, and that's because I can't afford the Lie-Nielsen I'd
Having had a look on the shelves this lunch time, 7tpi would seem to be
quite an "aggresive" cut. Would I be loking at a higher tpi (say, 15)
for getting a really neat finish, albeit requiring extra elbow grease?
It's not a question of "aggressive", it's a question of tooth shape.
7tpi is probably a rip saw, with teeth shaped like chisels for ripping
along the grain. You're likely to get better use from a crosscut saw
with knife-shaped teeth, designed for going across the grain. Firstly
you probably are crosscutting more than ripping, and secondly you can
rip tolerably well with a crosscut, but you can't crosscut worth a damn
with a rip saw.
Get anything you like from Bahco, Skil, Jack or even B&Q and it will
serve you well until you probably stand on it one day and bend it.
Hardpoint teeth are probably the best option. Paying more for a plastic
coating is a good idea -- they don't work that much better than a good
clean and waxed saw, but they do resist rust better if left in the
If you're tempted to get a Japanese-style pull saw for accurate
carpentry, then you'll probably find them to be a little weird at first
but deliver much better results than you'd had from a tenon saw before.
However buy a "traditional" one with a wooden handle (Axminster or
Tilgear) rather than a "Shark" or "Bear" with a plastic handle. I
haven't yet seen a plastic handled Japanese saw that wasn't a rattling
Actually I'm using exactly the same one, after a Stanley jetcut - which
is now relegated to the jobs that may result in damaged saw-teeth. The
Stanley survived several years of diy and tree-pruning use, and
considering they never need attention beyond occassionaly waxing the
blade, I consider them excellent value.
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