A really nice saw and great value, good way to get into pull saws

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Review by Mainiac Matt posted 01-22-2014 04:30 PM 3945 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
A really nice saw and great value,  good way to get into pull saws No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

After watching with great interest the enthusiasm out there for Japanese pull saws I decided I’d like to try one. But I was quickly overwhelmed by the variety, terminology and prices.

The Shark saws looked interesting, but I was turned off by the plastic handles and thought they would be a disappointment….... boy was I wrong.

When given an Amazon gift card back in 2012, I saw I had two Shark saws in my wish list and came back to the idea. For the low price, I figured I couldn’t be too disappointed.

If I have my terminology correct, this saw falls into the Dozuki category, as it has a back.

The blade is really thin and I thought it would surely soon get bent. But WOW! it sure makes a whisper thin kerf.

For me, having the back made getting used to the whole pull saw idea a lot easier. I actually place the blade and start the cut with a push stroke and then pull away with that initial scratch to guide me. It takes some getting used to, but the cut is VERY fine, and yet the saw cuts quite aggressively.

The saw is intended for cross cutting, but for short cuts, it also does pretty darn well with the grain (though it’s certainly not the tool for ripping a board).

I’m certainly not any kind of Galoot master (I’ve never hand cut dovetails, though I’m itching to try). And my only real point of comparison is a Crown Gentleman’s Saw (with the flip handle). The Shark cuts finer and faster than the Crown, hands down. And though my shop and woodworking revolves mainly around power tools, when I need a fine and precise cut, or I just want to make a quick cut without firing up the DC, I reach for this saw first.

Two years later and I never did bend the blade as feared.

I also have the double sided Shark Ryoba style saw. And though I found this saw quite a bit harder to get the hang off, using the Dozuki style with the back has helped me get the technique.

So if you’re thinking about “turning Japanese” (old Bowie tune :^) or simply want a good, inexpensive fine cut hand saw, I think you’ll be very happy with this one.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Mainiac Matt

7568 posts in 2205 days

10 comments so far

View lightcs1776's profile


4184 posts in 1530 days

#1 posted 01-22-2014 04:34 PM

Excellent timing. I’m looking to find a reasonably priced saw for dovetails. I’ll have to check out Amazon’s pricing.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

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Mainiac Matt

7568 posts in 2205 days

#2 posted 01-22-2014 04:43 PM

I’m interested in hearing from somebody who’s used both the Dozuki and gentleman’s style saws to cut dovetails and see what they have to say.

There’s a Two Cherries gentleman’s saw on Amazon for about the same price…. choosing between them would be a tough call.

I have several Crown hand tools (squares, marking gages, sliding T-bevel, and gents saw) and I’m pretty disillusioned with the brand. Nice looking, but the square isn’t square, the T-bevel thumb screw doesn’t flip down, the making gage has pins instead of blades, an the gent saw blade is bent. I think they sell on the “English quality” marketing bit…. but don’t deliver a top shelf product.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View b2rtch's profile


4847 posts in 2925 days

#3 posted 01-22-2014 05:23 PM

I have these saws also bought on Amazon and I love them.
Harbor Freight also this kind of saw and they quite good.

I specially like this one from HF.

-- Bert

View Holt's profile


193 posts in 2505 days

#4 posted 01-22-2014 05:49 PM

I’ve got the double sided model and it has gotten me out of jams on several occasions. I’m beginning to think the thing will never get dull. It’s always in my bundle when I troop off to fix something around the house.

And I think the song is by the Vapors, off the New Clear Daze album, not Bowie The lead singer does sound a little like Bowie from the Ziggy Stardust era…

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

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Mainiac Matt

7568 posts in 2205 days

#5 posted 01-22-2014 08:01 PM

the vapors it is....

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

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Steve Diogo

89 posts in 1469 days

#6 posted 01-22-2014 09:28 PM

A Shark 2-sided was my first hand saw. Since then I’ve added a number of vintage and new western saws, including the Crown Gent and, most recently, a new Veritas fine-tooth dovetail (which I LOVE). I’ve spent a lot of the past few months learning and practicing proper technique with all of these saws and have improved to the point where I can cut dovetails consistently (took probably 50 failed attempts) and rip a three foot board to the line using an overhand hold. Long way to get to my point, which is that I still love that Shark and reach for it when I am more concerned with getting the cut done than with finessing my technique. Like Holt, it’s gotten me out of a few jams. I haven’t tried a dozuki, but it’s on my list.

Matt, my first 50 failed attempts and first successful dovetail was with the Crown Gent. It’s doable, but a true dovetail saw puts the experience in a different league all together… much easier, more predictable and more fun. Anyone who is thinking dovetails should consider the Veritas. At $60 (Woodcraft), it’s not cheap, but it’s nowhere near as expensive as LN $(125) or Rob Cossman ($250) or others that are even more. I can’t imagine they are that much better.


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Mainiac Matt

7568 posts in 2205 days

#7 posted 01-22-2014 09:53 PM

Thanks for the reply Steve…. do you use the 14, 16 or 20 TPI Veritas?

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Josh122's profile


13 posts in 1481 days

#8 posted 01-22-2014 11:44 PM

I’ve used the Shark in this review for dovetails while making small boxes in 3/8” red oak and poplar and this thing did great. I actually suggested it for my brother who didn’t have a ton of money to spend but wanted something decent for crosscuts and dovetails. I’ve made dovetails with mine in pine up to 1”, and had no problems at all. I thought about sending mine to him, but I keep grabbing it, and it just doesn’t want to leave my shop.

I also have to give a shout out to the Ryobas from HF and another from Vaughn (one of the BORGs sells this brand). Both have been great saws.

Personally I like my self-sharpened/restored antique western saws for dovetails and tenons now, but for dimensioned crosscuts and rips, I keep finding myself grabbing the Ryobas.

-- Josh Yuma, AZ

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Steve Diogo

89 posts in 1469 days

#9 posted 01-23-2014 05:31 AM

Matt, I have the 20.


View jonnybone's profile


30 posts in 2750 days

#10 posted 02-19-2014 06:45 AM

You should try out the 18” big boy….it cuts workbenches in half.

-- Everyday Woodworking is saving my life.

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