|Review by wch||posted 05-25-2010 07:26 AM||4077 views||1 time favorited||14 comments|
This is a Japanese-style pull saw, but with a nontraditional design: it has a western-style handle, and a plastic reinforcing spine. It’s precise, has a very fine kerf (0.017”) and tracks straight, thanks to the spine. I find that it’s easier to cut straight with this saw, compared to other Japanese saws that I’ve used which don’t have a spine.
I first found out about this saw from a post on the Popular Woodworking blog. This saw is quite inexpensive (about $20), and has a replaceable blade. Oddly, Irwin doesn’t actually sell any replacement blades, but this saw appears almost identical to the Sharksaw Finecut saw, and those blades should fit, though they’re only a couple dollars less than a complete saw with handle. For the price, I don’t think you can beat this saw, if you’re looking for a precision backsaw.
I prefer this design to the Japanese dozuki (backsaw) with a straight handle, because it’s a bit more comfortable for the way I use the saw—the traditional Japanese way of sawing places the wood much lower than we do here in the west, and the straight handle seems to be designed for that. It’s also easier for me to control the vertical tracking of the saw with this kind of handle.
One thing that was a little annoying was that the blade rattled a little bit against the spine because it wasn’t a tight fit along the whole length of the spine. I fixed this by putting a little masking tape along the back of the blade—it can be seen sticking out a little bit in the photo above.
The picture should give you an idea of what the cuts look like. Bear in mind that the wood is douglas fir, which is a bit splintery, and that I’m not particularly skilled at sawing. You can see in the photo above that my cuts aren’t spaced quite right and that they aren’t quite parallel, but they are straight.