|Review by swirt||posted 08-21-2010 05:59 AM||10690 views||9 times favorited||8 comments|
- Zona Deluxe Universal Fine Kerf Razor Saw 24TPI (35-560)
- Brand: Zona | Category: Handsaws
This saw was recommended as a top tool for under $10 by Fine Woodworking Magazine, and is highly regarded by Christopher Schwarz from Popular Woodworking. Yes that was not a typo, this saw really costs less than $10 and it is Made in the USA.
The blade is only 0.01” thick so it feels pretty flimsy, but it also cuts the thinest of kerfs. With this saw you can actually split the pencil line with room to spare. The teeth cut on the pull stroke, the blade is 6.5” long and this deluxe version comes with a better handle than the ordinary version. It is worth the extra buck and a half to get the better handle. Just makes it easier to use. The teeth are not sharpenable and the blade is not replaceable, but at the price, it really doesn’t matter.
As far as more traditional dovetail saws go, this saw is shorter and has more teeth per inch, it is also lighter. I wanted to compare a few in an actual test to see how the Zona Deluxe Razor saw measures up.
The third picture above is a closeup view of a 1” thick piece of 30 year old air dried Oak. I made a 1” cut into it using three different dovetail saws. It is pretty easy to spot the crisp thin kerf left by the Zona saw. The Crown saw and my No Name Backsaw left kerfs much wider and more ragged, although they did it with far fewer strokes. To make these cuts, to 51 strokes with the Zona, 30 strokes with the Crown, and 9 strokes with my self-sharpened No Name backsaw.
The Zona is no speed demon, but it does cut accurately and straight. Even though it requires more strokes, the strokes are easier, nearly effortless. Also the number of strokes becomes more reasonable in other tests I did with 3/4” pine and 1/2” maple. The finish on the wood left by the saw is incredibly smooth so it can save some time in cleaning them up later. I would probably not choose the Zona saw for making large dovetails in thick stock unless the fit and appearance was something that had to be perfect. I would definitely reach for it when making dovetails in fine furniture or box making.
If you need more details and want to see more photos of the Dovetail saw shootout, including the results for pine, maple and the appearance of the sidewalls of the cut, you can get it all here
I like the saw. I like that it is still made in America and I like that you can get it for less than the cost of a couple of cups of coffee.
I gave it 4 stars due only to its lack of speed. I have no real faults with the tool.
-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com