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Recommend me a "general hand saw"

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Forum topic by trhoppe posted 12-20-2018 04:20 PM 598 views 2 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trhoppe

9 posts in 260 days


12-20-2018 04:20 PM

I currently have a hack saw and a coping saw. I need to buy my first “real” hand saw.

I’ve been looking at YouTube videos and it seems that the Japanese pole saws are pretty good and versatile. I use a Corona pull saw to break down firewood for camping, and I vastly prefer it to push saws.

The use for these will be to finish up some jointery, flush cut dowels, etc, replace my jig saw for short straight cuts, and general things that I’m not even realizing yet.

I was looking at this, 1-2 combo:

Rip and crosscuts: https://www.amazon.com/Gyokucho-770-3600-Razor-Ryoba-Blade/dp/B000CEF5HM
Flush cuts: https://www.amazon.com/Gyokucho-Razorsaw-Cutting-Double-Handle/dp/B001Y50BTK

$36 all in, and seems to be able to accomplish anything that I can’t with my power tools.

Any reason I should get something else?


7 replies so far

View maxyedor's profile

maxyedor

24 posts in 775 days


#1 posted 12-20-2018 06:30 PM

I’m a big fan of Suizan saws, they’re a tiny bit more than the typical low budget Japanese saws, but they last a lot longer in my experience. I have this one https://www.amazon.com/SUIZAN-Japanese-Ryoba-Double-Edge/dp/B01MU9XB1W/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1545330363&sr=1-1&keywords=suizan as my general purpose, do everything saw. I also have, and love their dovetail saw, it’s a bit spendier at $45, but it’s a dream to cut small parts and of course dovetails with.

For a flush-cut, I’m not picky, I use it so infrequently that my $6 “Japanese style flush saw” from Harbor Freight has been holding up just fine for a couple years.

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mramseyISU

574 posts in 1996 days


#2 posted 12-20-2018 07:42 PM

Your budget for a hand saw would determine what you end up getting. Getting a pulse hardend saw from HD would do a lot of the same stuff those Japanese saw will do. You can go get one of those for under $20.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-15-in-Handsaw-DWHT20544L/202985585

On the other end of the spectrum you could go buy a really nice handsaw from Lie-Nielsen or TFWW in the $200 range if you want to go crazy.
https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/BT-HSAW.XX/BT&C__Hardware_Store_Saw
https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/panel-saws/panel-saws-panel-saw-crosscut-?node=4149

-- Trust me I'm an engineer.

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

667 posts in 361 days


#3 posted 12-21-2018 05:50 AM

I use a hacksaw for cutting dowels, or shorter cuts. less chance of tear out if I’m cutting by hand. handles are available to only hold one end of the hacksaw blade for longer cuts. I do have a assortment of cross-cut and pull saws also. Depends what I want to cut by hand. if I don’t use the different power equipment.

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CaptainKlutz

1624 posts in 1945 days


#4 posted 12-21-2018 07:37 AM

I was shopping for hand saws and found classic dilemma. Spend a fortune on LN or LV hand saw, buy an old hand saw and learn to restore it, or buy Japanese pull saw.

Local wood working shop that sells several types of Japanese saws recommended the Tajima JPR saw over the conventional styles already posted above. Primary reason was replacement blades are easy to get and cheap (dirt cheap $12-$15). Tajima offers several different lengths, TPI, and even thin kerf blades. Also offer conventional long handle, short straight handle, or angled grip handle in plastic and aluminum (which I splurged and bought). I use the 265mm 16TPI blade most, cuts anything thick, thin, and dovetails. Amazing the difference compared to junk hand saws at the BORG these days.

Blades seem to last forever in conventional hardwoods. Only when cutting dovetails in abrasive woods do I even think I might need a new blade. :) Few replacement blades I needed have been due operator error, like dropping hunk of cast iron on saw blade forgot was laying on bench.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

301 posts in 534 days


#5 posted 12-21-2018 10:36 AM


I currently have a hack saw and a coping saw. I need to buy my first “real” hand saw.

I ve been looking at YouTube videos and it seems that the Japanese pole saws are pretty good and versatile. I use a Corona pull saw to break down firewood for camping, and I vastly prefer it to push saws.

The use for these will be to finish up some jointery, flush cut dowels, etc, replace my jig saw for short straight cuts, and general things that I m not even realizing yet.

I was looking at this, 1-2 combo:

Rip and crosscuts: https://www.amazon.com/Gyokucho-770-3600-Razor-Ryoba-Blade/dp/B000CEF5HM
Flush cuts: https://www.amazon.com/Gyokucho-Razorsaw-Cutting-Double-Handle/dp/B001Y50BTK

$36 all in, and seems to be able to accomplish anything that I can t with my power tools.

Any reason I should get something else?

- trhoppe

I love those Japanese saws… The only thing I see wrong with what you listed, is the price. $36 is too cheap..

I’m not familiar with that particular brand, but I would expect to pay at least 30-40 for just one good saw. And it’s well worth it… I would look for “just one” at that price, instead of two. It’s all about the quality of the steel..

For most of the stuff you said you want to do with it, you might consider just buying a dovetail saw.. But the Japan saws are better for flush cutting dowels really close.

-- ~Jim

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

301 posts in 534 days


#6 posted 12-21-2018 10:43 AM

...for making really clean, super-precise cuts, on small pieces, these saws are hard to beat… at ANY price..

https://www.amazon.com/Xacto-X75300-Precision-Razor-Saw/dp/B00004Z2U4/ref=sr_1_6?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1545388870&sr=1-6&keywords=exacto+razor+saw

-- ~Jim

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

301 posts in 534 days


#7 posted 12-21-2018 10:54 AM

...but this kind of “Japan Saw” is super versatile.

It can cut trim quick and clean, and it will run right through a 2X4 pretty fast too… you can even rip with it..

A dovetail saw is easier to use for super-precise cuts; but, with some skill, there ain’t nothin that this kind of saw can’t do well.

-- ~Jim

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