Is there such thing as a Wide Kerf Hand Saw?

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Forum topic by ReadABook posted 11-08-2013 04:20 PM 7390 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 3004 days

11-08-2013 04:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hand saw wide kerf

Hello Lumber Jocks

I have a somewhat esoteric question to ask you all: Is there such thing as a wide kerf hand saw?

I know there there are wide kerf circular saws, but what about hand saws? I’ve been looking around online and cannot find anything about it.

For some context, I teach woodworking workshops to kids and having a wide kerf hand saw would be the best thing ever for a project I want to teach. Unfortunately, I cannot let my middle schoolers use a table or circular saw so we are stuck with hand saws.

I actually just made two of my own “wide kerf hand saws” by taking a generic Husky tool box saw with a wooden handle and sawing out the center to fit two blades. It works great but I need a bunch and economically and time wise, its not the most efficient.

Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you so much!


31 replies so far

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 4036 days

#1 posted 11-08-2013 05:36 PM

Why not reset the teeth to make the cut a bit wider giving you a wider kerf so the blade body wikk bind less.

-- See pictures on Flickr -[email protected]/ And visit my Facebook page -

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 3727 days

#2 posted 11-08-2013 06:30 PM

Don’t think I can help, except to say even at 1/8” thick, it would be really hard to push through wood…so I suspect you won’t find anything thicker…

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View chrisstef's profile


18140 posts in 4349 days

#3 posted 11-08-2013 06:33 PM

You could re-set the teeth to as wide as a saw set would allow but outside of that I don’t think there was ever a hand saw made with an extra thick plate. Basically – what MT said.

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

View TobyC's profile


580 posts in 3218 days

#4 posted 11-08-2013 06:47 PM

Tell us exactly what you are doing and how wide “wide” is, so we have something to work with in answering your question.

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 4018 days

#5 posted 11-08-2013 07:03 PM

Resetting the teeth to make a wider kerf should be any harder than 2 saws in one handle. It takes a certain amount of power to remove 1/8 inch of wood no matter what you use to remove it.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3304 days

#6 posted 11-08-2013 07:20 PM

The problem with adding more set is the saw is going to wander more in the cut. I agree it would help a lot if you can tell us more about what you’re trying to do. Usually there’s an alternate solution someone can come up with.

View Don W's profile

Don W

20295 posts in 3910 days

#7 posted 11-08-2013 10:12 PM

Just for some education for us rednecks, why would you “need” a wide kerf on a project? What is the goal?

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

View ReadABook's profile


5 posts in 3004 days

#8 posted 11-08-2013 10:49 PM

Hey everyone

Thank you so much for all the responses!

To give you more information about the project, we are building simplified clones of the CubeBot.

Its a posable wooden robot that has holes drilled though it and all the limbs and parts are connected with elastic chords. The tension from the elastic and the notches in the wood allow the robot to be put in different poses. Its basically a very fancy version of a simple wood toy I have seen around but still dont know the name of.

I taught this project over the summer and it was super fun for all the kids but the notch cutting process was the biggest problem. You can see a simple photo walk through of our “WoodBots” here. To create the notches, I had the kids just make multiple cuts with a normal hand saw and then file, rip, or cut out the excess stuff in the middle. While all of the kids loved the project, a lot of the notches were just simple not functional.

My goal in finding/making a wide kerf hand saw is to streamline this process so that its just one cut and as accurate as possible. I am working with even younger kids now, 5th and 6th graders, so the only power tools we are using are drills.

To respond to some of your comments:

Mike and chrisstef: I am sorry but I am not sure what you mean when you say reset the teeth.

Tim: I agree with you on the wander but luckily what they are cutting is the end of a 3/4” square dowel so Im hopeful that because its a relatively quick and simple cut, it wont wander too much. And really, even if it does wander a little, it will probably come out better than the last time we did this.

Grandpa: I figured out today that you are right! It is a little difficult, which is my primary concern for this method for younger kids.

Now that you know my goal and context, if there are any ideas you have on how to do this, I am all ears.

And once again, thank you so much for the responses! Active message boards like these are why I <3 the internet.


View bondogaposis's profile


6105 posts in 3694 days

#9 posted 11-08-2013 10:54 PM

I don’t think 1/8” is really feasible for a handsaw think how thick and heavy the blade would have to be. Your double saw blade is probably the best you can do other than making 2 separate cuts. I think if the “dado handsaw” was feasible it would exist somewhere and is precisely why the plow plane was invented.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View darinS's profile


716 posts in 4210 days

#10 posted 11-08-2013 11:01 PM

My first thought was maybe using a router plane. However, on a 3/4” piece of wood, I doubt it would be very stable.

Could you cut down each side of your notch and then use a coping say to take out the middle? You could always file or sand to get the notch to the proper depth and/or width.

There are other ways as well using power tools, but since you are doing this with kids, I figured you wanted to stay with hand tools. Safety thing you know.

-- Rule 7 - Always be specific when you lie

View firefighterontheside's profile


21557 posts in 3199 days

#11 posted 11-08-2013 11:02 PM

Maybe what you should use is a very fine kerf saw and make two cuts that are close together and then knock out the wood that’s left between the two.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View TobyC's profile


580 posts in 3218 days

#12 posted 11-08-2013 11:11 PM

Square rasp.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1387 posts in 3056 days

#13 posted 11-08-2013 11:32 PM

How about someting like number 4 in this picture?
It says that it is awailable 1/8” wide. I suppose this is the closest you get to a hand saw that wide..

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View rum's profile


148 posts in 3929 days

#14 posted 11-08-2013 11:51 PM

Still not sure how wide you really need it?

I’ve done similar up to maybe 1/4” by stacking hacksaw blades. Some of the hacksaws I have have longer pins so you can stack a lot on them – but they’re all older don’t know about any new ones.

View Danpaddles's profile


588 posts in 3655 days

#15 posted 11-09-2013 12:41 AM

What about making the kerf cut on the edge of full boards on your table saw when the little crumb suckers are not around, and let the kids cut off the individual pieces, from that board?

Could you get away with a handheld power jig saw? Make a holding fixture for the small pieces, do it right and the blade would be completely buried. Or make a fixture that mostly surrounds the work piece, then run the little pieces into a well guarded band saw?

Or- mount a jig saw upside down, sorta like a router in a table, then let your well designed, guided fixture hold the parts while the little beggars find other ways to main themselves.

Sorry if I am offending the kids. By this time on a Friday, I am just about kidded out!

-- Dan V. in Indy

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