Glen Drake - Dovetail saw (Rating: 5)

Kevin Drake of Glen-Drake Toolworks has been touring with the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool events. They visited Austin in January 2011 and after lurking and listening then finally trying one of their dovetail saw I decided to get one.


From their web site: "There are no teeth at the front of the blade and no teeth at the back of the blade. This means the saw works more like a power saw works, it moves before and after each cut. You accelerate into each cut and relax at the end of the cut. The variable pitch (16 TPI down to 12 TPI and back out to 16 TPI) also means that you are ramping into and out of the coarsest part of the cut. The blade is .015" with .005" set for a kerf of .020". Blades are replaceable and can be returned to us for sharpening ($15 sharpening fee). The handle is angled so that when your arm is level the blade is level. The handle can also be easily replaced. Just turn your own handle and transfer the hardware."

My take: It takes a bit of getting used to the long and slightly angled handle, but the angle really lets you feel what angle you're cutting. It makes it a lot more obvious when you're not cutting straight down.

When you start moving the saw, you get some speed going before it starts actually cutting. I've got decent technique with my $22 Woodcraft whatever dovetail saw, but using a longer stroke with this extra "oomph" behind it means I get less deflection from teeth binding up, wobble etc. You can tell you're cutting straight with a longer stroke too.

As with any of the more expensive dovetail saws, it's properly sharpened and ready to go right out of the box.

As might be guessed from the fact that they've they're traveling with the Lie-Nielsen folks, they've got a top notch product. Kevin was very nice and If you have a chance to see the Glen-Drake Toolworks folks at a show or somewhere, do it!