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Old 07-23-2010, 07:32 AM
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Default Hand Saws

I am getting ready to buy my first couple of hand saws less a dovetail saw because I have one already. I am new to the hobby and want to start off with hand tools so I need a some recommendations on saws. I would also like to know if people prefer Japanese or Western saws. Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

Whoo Hooo, I'll give ya my thoughts, though this is a big subject.

I personally like the western style saw. I would like to say because I am more accurate on a push vs pull motion, but I find the saw easier to use and control due to the weight of the saw. My hands tend to shake just a bit and the light weight of the Japanese saws tend to cause me issues. I also just find the push motion more natural.

The above is 100% personal taste. On the flip side I prefer to use Japanese saws when doing trim and using soft wood like pine. No idea why other than it just feels right.

I ordered my saw from Mark over at Bad Axe: Bad Axe Tool Works - Services and Tools for the Discriminating Woodworker

There are many good brands around at that price point, Adria, Lie Nielsen, Gramercy, Wentzel and Sons(sp).. I have used the Lie Nielsen and Gramercy saws and liked then when I did try them. I have not used either enough to say that one is "better". I have not personally used an Andrew Lunn, but I have heard nothing but good things.

If you can, try out all of the saws before you spend your bucks. I found I like a saw more based on handle and weight than I did based on the kerf of the blade or the cut of the teeth.

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Old 07-23-2010, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

I like the push saw when I have to go through wood quickly and don't want to set up a power saw, the pull saw when I have to be accurate on smaller cuts.

I find that with the pull saw I can do fine adjustment and choose which side of scribe lines I want to cut on. The cut doesn't go terribly quickly, but I get a smoother result. I don't use hand saws all that often, so I just went to Woodcraft got one of the ones with rip teeth on one side and crosscut teeth on the other. Nothing terribly fancy.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

Japanese pull saws, woo hoo.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

Oh, one more thing on the pull saw: A neighbor kid, a third grader, knocks on the door occasionally and asks if I can help him build this or that thing, or blow something up, or what-have-you.

In fact, there's the parts to a wind turbine generator cluttering up my workbench right now that I need to harass him about, except that he's out of town.

Anyway, the first time we needed to cut something by hand I pulled out the push saw, and it bounced all over the place and he was having trouble getting it started, so I handed him the pull saw, and even though the blade is way thinner he was able to nail the cut exactly where he wanted to, and had less problems with the blade flexing on the push. So if you've got kids in your shop, even though the Japanese pull saws seem like they're a lot more fragile, I'm pretty sure the kids will find 'em easier to use.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

Having no idea what kind of price range you're looking at:
Never even seen a Bad Axe, but no doubt they are good. Tried a LN. Very nice. Bought a clutch of Adrias, which I really like well. They are, dare I say, addictive? I dunno. First time in my life I wanted to cut things by hand that I could have cut by machine, was getting those saws. All 3 are worth inspection.
If your tastes are a little less stout $, you might get lucky and find a nice old Disston or something at a sale or flea market. Finding someone who knows how to properly sharpen and set the teeth makes those very usable saws.
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: Hand Saws

If you are cutting dovetails, Glen-Drake makes a really nice saw with a graduated tooth pattern. I don't have one, but I will probably get one sometime. They come with either one or two handles. They are not shown in the online catalog, but when you order tools from them, they send a DVD which shows it. You can call for a price.

Products

I have a few things they make and they are very high quality.

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