Lie-Nielsen 15ppi Rip Carcass Saw

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Review by carguy460 posted 03-25-2013 02:28 PM 11846 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lie-Nielsen 15ppi Rip Carcass Saw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

For over a year I’ve been searching for a few decent backsaws I could use for dovetails, tenons, etc. I quickly found that the vintage route was not going to turn anything up as quickly as I wanted, so I figured I would see about buying my first brand new woodworking tool.

After quite a bit of research, I settled on Lie-Nielsen. I seriously contemplated the Veritas saws as they seemed to have good reviews and were half the price, but I just couldn’t get past the look of the saws. I know, dumb reason to disqualify a tool, but I have found that part of the hand-tool experience (for me anyway) is in the look and the feel of the tools I use. Hence, the beautiful LN decision.

I went with the Carcass saw filed rip because I didn’t have the budget – ok, I didn’t have the guts to ask the wife for the budget – for 2 saws, and I knew that dovetails AND tenons were in my future, so I decided on the slightly bigger cut capacity of the carcass.

Enough about the decision making process. Lets talk about the tool. I ordered the saw at a Lie-Nielsen event in KC, and it was shipped to me by the promised date. Unfortunately, the saw got stuck in a pretty heavy snowstorm that hit the Northeast, so delivery was delayed by a day – that’s not LN’s fault, so no complaints there.

Upon receiving the saw I immediately noticed the care in packaging. A box inside of a box, stuffed with old newspapers as packing material. The saw was wrapped in butcher paper, as well as a corrosion-inhibiting paper.
Excellent packaging. 5 stars for that alone!

Take note – I am a complete amateur at sawing, and have a heck of a time sawing to a line, starting the saw, etc…None of that was evident when I grabbed a piece of pine and started sawing with this saw. Even with my lack of skill, I was able to start the cut easily, and once the saw was started it tore into the pine like it was butter, ignoring my shoddy form and refusing to cut anything other than a straight line.

The saw is amazingly sharp, and is an absolute joy to use. The beautiful curly maple handle, brass spine, and polished plate all combine to please the eye. The handle fit my hand like a glove, and the weight and balance of it all makes it hard to set the saw down. Even my wife thought it was a work of art!

After about 3 days sawing into everything I could find, I tried dovetails…yeah, they are freaking hard to execute, but the sawing part – surprisingly easy with this saw.

I even gave this thing a go at some “long” (7”) rip cuts in VERY dry white oak:

For a rank amateur with absolutely no skill, experience, or knowledge, I rate this saw as the best experience I’ve had with a tool so far. Clean cuts, straight cuts, easy to start, a joy to hold, and beautiful. I will be purchasing a crosscut joinery saw soon, and the decision will be easy for me now – I will definitely buy Lie-Nielsen again!

I highly recommend this saw for anyone – especially amateurs. Worth every penny!

-- Jason K

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3223 days

12 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


8947 posts in 3465 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 03:01 PM

You’re wise to purchase quality. Thanks for the excellent review.

Nice looking dovetails BTW.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3486 days

#2 posted 03-25-2013 03:09 PM

Nice looking saw, glad you are happy with the purchase.

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3223 days

#3 posted 03-25-2013 03:23 PM

Thanks Shane, waho6o9. I’m happy with it for sure! As a beginner, I’m glad I didn’t get a lesser quality saw because its results may have discouraged me from the craft…thats something I fear constantly, that I’ll get discouraged and give up this journey.

And thanks for the nod on the dovetails…I was happy with them since they were my first, but they are far from where I want them!

-- Jason K

View Don W's profile

Don W

19728 posts in 3455 days

#4 posted 03-25-2013 04:12 PM

Nice review Jason, and with dovetails like that, I’m not buying the whole “no skills” thing.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Richforever's profile


757 posts in 4608 days

#5 posted 03-25-2013 05:55 PM

I agree. There is nothing like the look and feel of a great tool. I use the carcase saw filed for cross-cuts plus the dovetail saw. They are my “buddies”.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View TDog's profile


235 posts in 3118 days

#6 posted 03-26-2013 04:08 AM

Great saw! my first saw was the LN dovetail saw. I am getting another LN saw soon. A tenon saw 16” hopefully, just got a deal on a Stanley brace today, going to handwork for fun and better family time aithout machine noise!
Happy sawing,...Nice dovetails keep it up

-- "So many little time..." Psalm 23

View Ken90712's profile


17909 posts in 4077 days

#7 posted 03-26-2013 08:41 AM

Great revie and hard to argue the Quality from LN. Love there stuff and would love to have all there tools in the shop. LOL Well done and congrats on learing dovtails.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View felkadelic's profile


220 posts in 3428 days

#8 posted 03-26-2013 03:03 PM

TDog, that 16” tenon saw is a WONDERFUL saw. I picked up one at the Seattle hand tool event recently and it cuts like butter.

View chrisstef's profile


18113 posts in 3894 days

#9 posted 03-26-2013 03:04 PM

I second what Don has to say about the no skills. Those tails are good lookin even if ya did cut em in a 2×4 ;)

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View clafollett's profile


114 posts in 3543 days

#10 posted 03-27-2013 01:22 AM

Great post carguy! I’ve been reviewing backsaw’s myself and would really love to get my hands on a BadAxe saw but am having a hard time coughing up that kinda dough. I’m glad to see you found this to be comfortable since this one is also on my short list.

I too am also an amateur hand tool guy so its good to hear you’ve found this tool to help make up for your lack of skill.

Good job on your first hand cut dovetails BTW! They look great! :)

-- Don't mind me, I'm just soaking up knowledge

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3223 days

#11 posted 03-27-2013 01:29 AM

TDog – let us know when you get the tenon saw! That saw is on my list, right after a crosscut carcass saw! And good call leaning towards the hand tool side of things…I agree with the family-friendly aspect of it, noise wise and safety wise!

Ken – thanks for the kind words! LN is definitely top of the line stuff, I’m proud to own a small piece of their lineup.

Don, Stef, and everyone else – thanks for the dovetail props, but yall are just full of it…that set of tails is awful, and the only reason they look somewhat OK is because the pic is from my Crackberry…poor photography hides a multitude of sins…

P.S. Stef, those tails were cut from the finest 1×12 painted shelf scraps I could find…No 2×4’s were harmed, though a plane or two may have been harmed removing latex paint from the old shelves…

-- Jason K

View carguy460's profile


807 posts in 3223 days

#12 posted 03-27-2013 01:38 AM

Clafollett – Bad Axe saws did cross my mind during my saw hunt, and I am confident that they are quality saws worth every penny. I may purchase one in the future, but for now I am sold on the LN quality and customer service.

Good luck with your hand tool journey, and let us know what tool you decide on!

-- Jason K

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