LumberJocks

Comparison of two inexpensive dovetail saws

  • Advertise with us
Review by CharlesA posted 04-03-2015 11:53 PM 4930 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Comparison of two inexpensive dovetail saws Comparison of two inexpensive dovetail saws No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I am not a dovetail saw expert—this review reflects my experience with the Zona dovetail saw and the Crown Gents saw as I’ve been learning to hand cut dovetails.

I’ve had the Crown Gents saw for a couple of years and picked up the Zona saw this week.

The Zona saw is a U.S. made, very inexpensive saw.

The fit and finish on the Zona is not too impressive. Compared to the Gents saw, the Zona saw cuts a little slower—that wasn’t too notable on 1/2” plywood or 3/4 cherry, but I tried on 1” walnut and the Crown definitely cut faster—so for most applications, not that much different. However, the Zona cut a slightly thinner cut and one that was much cleaner. The Crown leaves a fuzz on the far side of the dovetail cut—the Zona leaves none.

So, for less than $11 delivered (if you’re a prime Amazon customer), this is a nice hand tool for cutting dovetails. Someday maybe I’ll get to try a Lie-Neilson or Veritas to see how they compare. I wouldn’t get it sharpened given the price—replace when necessary. I’ll knock it a bit for fit and finish, but give it a strong 4 stars for value.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson




View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3334 posts in 1884 days



10 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5737 posts in 2899 days


#1 posted 04-04-2015 12:39 AM

I have the Crown Gents saw, and I don’t care for the handle. I haven’t mastered the fine are of hand cut dovetails yet, but it works fine for cutting a notch now and then.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3334 posts in 1884 days


#2 posted 04-04-2015 02:06 AM

The handle on the Zona is very similar. If I stay with hand cutting dovetails, I’ll probably get the veritas. I’m intrigued by the Japanese saws as well—they generally have straight handles as well, but longer.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View Andre's profile

Andre

1963 posts in 1892 days


#3 posted 04-04-2015 03:16 PM

Started with a Zona saw, I flattened one side as a reference and for alignment. Have switched to a Japanese saw and will never go back. Will use a Crown saw or my Vertias 15tpi for thicker work. Comes down to what you like, what works and what you can afford!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3812 posts in 2047 days


#4 posted 04-04-2015 05:50 PM

Charles thanks for the review and comparison. I have one of the Crown gents saws and I can’t get used to the gents handle either. I’ve been meaning to replace the handle with an traditional open style handle as a few LJs have done with good results.
Here’s Airframer’s here:
Click for details

View Julian's profile

Julian

1358 posts in 2776 days


#5 posted 04-04-2015 11:30 PM

I’ve used the Crown gents saw for a few years. It cuts much better once I sharpened the teeth.

-- Julian

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3334 posts in 1884 days


#6 posted 04-05-2015 12:13 AM

Sharpening teeth that small is not enticing to me.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View AESamuel's profile

AESamuel

84 posts in 1309 days


#7 posted 04-05-2015 09:08 AM

I have the zona and while it does cut ok once sharpened, I find it almost always binds in the kerf before I’ve reached the bottom of my dovetail cut. Increasing the set may help but then you won’t get as thin a kerf and I don’t have a setting tool anyway!

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3334 posts in 1884 days


#8 posted 04-05-2015 01:55 PM

I’ve been using the David Barron Dovetail Guide, and that helps me get started straight. I have had it bind from time to time, but not too bad.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117179 posts in 3663 days


#9 posted 04-05-2015 02:16 PM

Thanks for the reviews Charles.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View AESamuel's profile

AESamuel

84 posts in 1309 days


#10 posted 04-16-2015 08:28 PM

Just thought I’d say – I got a setting tool today and since increasing the set the zona works great. I might add an open style handle at a later date but for now I’m more than happy – even with an increased set the kerf you get is tiny!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com