The most important element regarding any kind of woodworking job is a handsaw. Picking up the perfect handsaw as per the purpose is the key to the perfection for any kind of project. It is often quite a challenge to select the best hand saw which will fit finely for your purpose. There are plenty of hand saw types in the market and picking up the right one will save your time, money and also ensure you the finest touch of finishing. Safety is always a prior issue here. Only knowing the effective use of multiple types of handsaws can make you a skilled and successful woodworking genius.
For you here is a handsaw buying guide including a list of the best handsaws in 2019. It will help you to determine both the utility and cost-margin to pick the perfect ones for your toolbox.
So, here we present you 10 best hand saws for cutting wood...
The Best Handsaws of 2019
For the finest type of finishing and speed working with any type of wood grain japanese handsaws are the best choice to pick. This double edge razorsaw is a son of a gun in the realm of handsaws. The double edge blade has a rip-cut shape on one side and a crosscut shape on the other. With this, you will get such an accuracy and precision that will even eliminate the essence to use a chisel to make the finishes. It takes a very light touch and requires nearly zero downward pressure to start the cuts with the pull strokes.
Great for cutting tenons. It allows working at the occasional awkward angles for the reflexive blade. It is multiple times sharper than the typical push-stroke saws. This lovely piece of hand tool will give you the best experience of sawing with your maple, oak, teak and any other exotic type hardwood.
This is another multi-purpose handsaw produced by Gyokucho, the best brand for pull stroke handsaws. This one has also made its prominence for providing finest miter, cross, tenon and especially the dovetail cuts. For making beautiful piece joineries it is a must-have handsaw. It has single-edged blade that got a spine on the other edge to provide the blade with more rigidity and prevent the flexing of the blade which makes the cut more straight and accurate. Like the Ryoba the stainless steel blade has long lasting sharpness and are replaceable.
The kerf from it is extremely thin. It cuts faster than the other dovetail dozukis available in the market. It is much easier to saw the ripped parts in joinery than the standard crosscut pattern on most Dozukis. Got a beautiful, long fiber handle that can align with your forearm keeping the saw straight on the line. It can be your best choice for working on the creepy parts of your maple, oak or balsa.
One of the best handsaws for cutting both across and with the grain. It provides fast, exceptionally clean cuts through a fine line with very limited kerfs. Generally, it is sold as a carpentry saw, it is also a gem for both professional and DIY woodworking. It cuts smoothly through all types of wood. It has a natural flex for flush cutting, baseboard trimming, and molding. Also comes in 12 inches blade length available in Amazon.
When you are out of use, you have choices both to replace the twist two style blade or resharpen the teeth. The gripping is marvelous. The pistol style comfortable handle ensures pleasant sawing even in the hotter days while working with sweating hands. Takes a bit time to befriend your hand but once done, it’s a great pull-stroke saw for working in special angles as well.
This rip-cut hand saw is a monster of speed cutting that chews through wood like a beaver on steroids. You will surely be a wise to give it a shot as it is really a cheap one and it won’t let you down. Just the thing is that you won’t expect a fine-finish cut from it as the blade you can see is a much thicker one, a ‘Fat-max’. You have to remain a bit conscious if you don’t want to see the blade angling away from the end-point. However, you don’t need to climb with a chainsaw anymore to get your oak or cedar branch if it’s within 10 to 12 inches.
The finely crafted handle is lovingly wrapped in supple rubber, to prevent slippage and blisters. Along with various types of woods it works excellent with PVCs. Even it is often recommended as more time-efficient than a chainsaw. This hand saw does its job flawlessly without excessive bending or flexing getting through anything you want to cut straight. You can also get a 20 inch Fat Max if you are in need to cut your logs in larger.
Think of cutting a wood pole just as thick as your mail-box pole in just about five minutes. Yes! This is why Irwin stands as an iconic brand for handsaws. Basically, it is a crosscut type handsaw with fine starter teeth at the front which makes possible to start cut even from the oddest angles with impressive accuracy. This saw touches nearly the speed of a 60 volt sawzall once you get into the bigger teeth. It is perfect to deal with stuffs like 2x2s and also big enough to take a good bite from a 4X4.
The rubber-clad wood handle ensures a good griping. Can be recommended both for professional and weekend warriors to perform trail work, bushwhacking, overlanding. It can become a darling to use for your scaffolding. Very much handy to carry in your backpack. cuts provided by the saw are really rough.
This is a perfect one if you are low with the budget to buy a saw. This is a cool piece that has teeth moving like flash and smashing like Hulk. The saw is able to cut with both pull and push strokes. But it is not a recommended tool for furniture making. Much controllable and perfect for cutting plywood, tree limbs or softwood dried or green. Has a perfect thickness to length ratio to prevent buckling on the compression downstroke.
You guess what! It goes through 2x4's like they were just something like styrofoam. There’s a perfect comfort with the grip while wearing gloves. Besides woodworking it can also accompany you in your hunting and camping trips fitting in your 26” toolbox.
Well, you will definitely need one or more frame saws in your toolbox while working in your wood projects where the spaces are much narrower and tighter. Hacksaws meet these needs i in a good way.
This is a great one for professionals. It is named 5 in 1 cause it is designed in a way that you can configure it in five different styles according to your purpose. Detaching the front head you can customize it as
- i) a low profile saw, you just have to reattach the main blade.
- ii) a pistol-grip jab saw, using it with the included jab blade
iii) a long reach saw, you just have to attach the main hacksaw blade into the yellow frame with a bolt.
- iv) a 45 degree saw detaching the blade and moving it to the other position.
Solid and well-built. You won’t face the hassle of bending of the blade which is a common problem while sawing with a hacksaw. Comfortable, spacious grips to hold while wearing gloves. Very suitable for both standard and flush cuts. You’ll never regret to have it in your toolbox.
This is a cool looking hacksaw that has got the highest tension rating for the frame to be compared with other handsaws available in the market. There is a slot in the end to use the saw as a jab saw or extended hacksaw and use reciprocal blades for other various work. Lenox have added a more than enough adjustment range to allow the blade to be removed easily by hand.The tightening bolt is larger in diameter, the nut is actually a threaded hole through a 1/2" cylinder that is integral to the tightening mechanism, so the pressure is spread over a much larger number of threads.
Has an extremely rigid and strong frame. The rubberized handles allow for confident handling, both in wet and cold environments. It’s a bit heavier than usual hacksaws so you can use the weight of the saw to cut rather than using a lot of down pressure.
The best regular coping saw in the market for cutting your trims or using to remove the waste-woods made in hand-cut dovetails. The steel quality of the blade is very much consistent and sturdy. It takes only 12 to 14 strokes to remove waste from the regular dovetails. It is often suggested by the woodworking tool experts to replace the flat washers on both blade connections with lock washers.
It is versatile enough for using both in amateur and professional projects. The blade can be tensioned at both ends and can be turned 360-degrees so that it can go with the hard angles properly. Works both with push and pull strokes. The beautiful hardwood handle provides a great sort of gripping.
This is another piece that gives you a good experience with your flush and trim cuts. The tension is adjusted by simply turning the handle. The blade moves towards freely to any angle. Most importantly this model works with standard coping saw blades with pins, which means you’ll always be able to find a replacement when your blade is out of use. Its a mini dozuki, the blade is thin and delicate that cuts with a pull-stroke.
Provides a great sort of control with the wooden handle. You’ll have to keep a watch as the blade tends to follow the grain. Rigid enough to not to be bending over the places you use it. Despite the complaints on the longevity of blades, this one is also a highly recommended saw to meet up your needs.
Buying Guide & FAQ
Here we tried to enlist the handsaws which can meet your various utilities. But you have to fix your saw according to your purpose considering your wood and the places you have to cut. Here is a guideline regarding the facts you should be concerned before buying a saw.
The foremost concern regarding a saw before buying is its teeth. The type of tooth shape and tooth count per inch (or centimeter) determine its cutting ability.
Large hand saw teeth cut quickly through the wood by the length but leave a rough surface. Small hand saw teeth provide fine and accurate cuts, but are not practical for cutting long lengths or widths.
The number of teeth per inch are expressed as “points per inch” (ppi) or “teeth per inch” (tpi) which is usually stamped into the saw plate. The number of tooth per inch can be customized while sharpening. It has to be kept in mind that coarse blades with 2-8 TPI and bigger teeth are good for ripping softwoods with the grain. For crosscutting and moderately hard materials there are medium blades with 10-20 TPI. Fine blades with 20-30 TPI are for very hard materials and precise cuts.
There are two types of tooth shape for traditional back or panel saws:
- Rip Saw teeth: Rip Saw teeth cuts along the length of the wood’s grain. It scraps the wood away rather than slicing through it and pushes through the wood like a chisel to Rip it apart. Only bottom edges of the tooth are sharpened in it. It does not have an angled edge. It cuts on the push strokes with a cutting angle of 90 degrees. The teeth are comparatively larger in size.
- Cross-cut Saw teeth: Hand saws with Cross Cut teeth cut across the grain along the width. Here, the tooth is shaped like a knife blade. The alternating edges of the blade are sharpened here. It cleanly severs the wood grain, just as if you used a knife. crosscut teeth are angled on their inside edge. It cuts on both push and pull strokes as it has cutting angle of more than 90 degrees. The teeth are smaller in size.
- Hybrid Teeth: In modern days, different brand-manufacturers produce saws with teeth that can cut in any direction, both across and along the grain. These teeth are now pretty much standard on most hand saws, They come up with different variances like universal, general purpose, hybrid or carpentry saws. Together these types of saw teeth will serve the purpose of cutting fast, better finishes and saving space inside your toolbox.
2.Blade : Your sawing space and the finishing you want from your cut determine the thickness and length of your blade. when you need ample space and mighty arm throws for a random cut in your wood, you’ll need long blade. Short blades are for using in narrower spaces. Moreover, they are easy to carry in the tool box.
The cutting space in the wood created after sawing is called kerf. The sturdiness of the blade and the size of kerf in wood depends on the thickness of the blade. Thick blades are more sturdy and leave larger kerfs in the wood. Thin blades are flexible and leave thin kerfs. They tend to be used in the places where finer type of cuts are required. So, these blades are mostly short in length and often with a spine attached on the back to prevent the flexing. This is why they are called backsaws.
Bigger teeth cut faster and remove more material with each pass. So coarse blades containing them should never be tried on hardwoods.It can increase your hassle and cause damage to the saw. It’s better to try a blade with a higher tooth-count if you're having a hard time starting a cut or getting your saw through your material. Coarser blades also mean rougher cuts. For a smooth finish, a finer blade is always strongly recommended although it takes much more time.
The teeth also have a "set", which is the distance they stick out from the center of the blade. This makes the cut wider than the blade, which is important to resist the saw from binding in the cut. The width of this cut is called the "kerf". Most saw blades bend out each tooth in alternating directions to create the set, but very fine blades, like hacksaw blades, are simply wavy on the blade edge.
3.Handle: Handsaw handles mostly come up wood or plastic made. Plastic handled saws are comparatively less expensive and lightweight. You can use them in a rough manner. Wooden saw handles are heavier and expensive as they serve an aesthetic pleasure to the user. so, they are often chosen for working in private workshops. Usually there are three types of grips we see in saw handles:
- Closed Grip: These handles are seen in saws with larger blades. Created for aggressive and faster cutting with greater arm force. So, the back end is closed to prevent the slip-out of the hand of the user.
- Open Grip: These handles are designed for sawing in confined spaces with smaller blades. The ergonomics is to put less strain on users hand.
- Straight Grip: For cutting intricate and complex shapes you’ll need handle that can turn freely in your hand. Straight grip handles are designed for this purpose. Saws with this type of handle will not allow much force onto it but they are very appropriate for cutting curves.Saw handles can be welded with the blade or attached with screws. In case of the screws, sometimes they get loose as you work and you need to tighten them up. In welded ones you won’t face that but once you do, the handle is out of use.
- Before cutting any material you should check it carefully for any nails,screws or staples which may come into contact with and damage the blade of the saw while working.
- The cutting material must be checked well to make sure that there is no screws or nails into it. They will damage the saw blade if they come into contact with it.
- Concentrate most to put the force on holding your workpiece steady, Apply less downward pressure to the saw, let gravity and the saw do the work for you.
- Keep the blade perpendicular to your workpiece. Don’t let it twist.
- For straighter and smoother cuts, apply long and even strokes. This will also keep the blade lasting longer.
- Always use a miter box for completing a 45 of 90-degree angle.
- Clamp your work to keep it supported always, keep in mind not to cut anything lying behind the workpiece accidentally.
- Apply masking tape along both sides of your cut and run a utility knife over it before you saw. This will minimize splintering.
- Ensure that there are at least 3 saw teeth in contact with the workpiece while sawing.
- To minimize dust splintering you can apply masking tape along both sides of your cutting line and run a utility knife over it before you saw.
- Always cut on the side that has the waste material which won't be part of your final workpiece while you are cutting along a marked line.
- Hold the waste side of the cutting material properly to avoid binding. Otherwise, It also can take large chunks out of your workpiece and create a rough finish if don’t hold it properly.
What is a handsaw?
In woodworking and carpentry, hand saws, also known as "panel saws", are used to cut pieces of wood into different shapes. This is usually done in order to join the pieces together and carve a wooden object. They usually operate by having a series of sharp points of some substance that is harder than the wood being cut. The hand saw is a bit like a tenon saw, but with one flat, sharp edge.
Handsaws have been around for thousands of years. Egyptian hieroglyphics exist depicting ancient woodworkers sawing boards into pieces. Ancient bow saws have been found in Japan. The cut patterns on ancient boards may be observed sometimes to bear the unique cutting marks left by saw blades, particularly if the wood was not 'smoothed up' by some method. As for preservation of handsaws, twenty-four saws from eighteenth-century England are known to survive.
Source - Wikipedia
How to use the angle guide on a hand saw?
Some hand saws are designed so that you can mark out 45 or 90 degree angles using the handle and the back of the blade. You need to butt the saw handle up against the side of the material you want to mark. Holding the saw in place with one hand, through the back of the blade, mark out a straight line across your material for a 90 degree angle. For a 45 degree angle, use the angled edge of the blade nearest to the handle to mark out a straight line across your material. You’ll have the desired angle you want when you remove the saw.
How to prevent binding of the saw?
When sawing sometimes in the material either side of the cut get closed against the sides of the saw blade. It causes the blade stuck in the kirf. This is called binding of the saw blade. Binding usually happens while ripping a long board especially, if the wood is wet. A simple nail or any other kind of wedge can be used placing into the kerf to keep it open. For a very long ripping cut, move the nail along as you saw. Besides, you can lubricate the saw blade lightly with tool oil or beeswax before you begin work. This will help the blade to move more smoothly through the material.
What are the techniques to get an efficient cut?
Sawing techniques varies according to the type of your work, wood and handsaws. Still you can follow some general instructions given below.
1.Holding your saw properly is an essential part of sawing. For a proper grip, wrap your thumb and the last three fingers of your hand around the grip. This leaves your index finger pointed forward resting gently alongside your handle. You will need to maintain a firm yet gentle grip on
2.When you start your cut, begin to move the saw back and forth. Do this in a short three to four-inch path. Lower the teeth of the saw to the wood. This should only make a small scratch in the wood to start. Once you are ready to move the saw faster, it is wise to move your hand a few inches away. the saw at all times.
3.Use your non-dominant hand on the edge of the board. Make sure that your fingers are curled over the edge. With your fingers tight together, move the saw to the line you want to cut. Bring the saw to the touch plate where your index finger is bent. Your knuckle should be touching the plate above the teeth but do not run the teeth along your finger.
4.Maintain body position with a proper alignment with the saw. Allow the saw’s weight to do all the work and meanwhile, maintain the motion of your hand properly.
How you take care of a handsaw?
A proper maintenance can ensure the maximum efficiency of your handsaw. Here are some key facts to remind regarding the maintenance of your saw:
- To protect the blades and protect you from the blades either slit a length of garden hose, or visit the office supply store and get some slide bars for binding covers. These cheap U-channel plastic strips slip easily over smaller saw blades and help to keep them straight.
- Before you start sawing, sight down the blade to make sure it is straight, flat, and none of the teeth are bent too far from the center. Sharpen or replace dull or bent blades.
- Keep your saws clean and dry. Dirty blades are more likely to rust and bind. Most saws will stay rust free if you keep them clean in a climate-controlled area. Rust can be prevented by rubbing the blade with a light oil. But never put thick type of oil or wax on the blades used for fine woodworking. Thus, the oil can get inside the wood and cause blemishes.
- You can sharpen or set your blades up yourself, but it takes special tools and a lot of experience to do it right. Doing it wrong can ruin the blade. However, it is recommended to learn to resharpen the saw. It helps a lot.