How to tell if old hand saws are worth it?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by DavidTTU posted 07-06-2015 01:34 PM 646 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DavidTTU's profile


115 posts in 1060 days

07-06-2015 01:34 PM

These old Disston and Atkins saws cropped up on our CL this morning.

Can anyone give me an idea on what to look for with these saws?

Edit- whoops forgot the link.


6 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15491 posts in 2431 days

#1 posted 07-06-2015 02:33 PM

None of them look like theyre worth a ton of money but they could all certainly be users. A good way to take a look at the saw is to sight down the plate and check for obvious bends or kinks. They can all be worked out but those saws might not be worth the trouble. Check the tooth line for missing teeth. Snapped teeth could indicate a brittle plate. Id also check the shapes of the teeth. If they seem really odd, they probably are. Look for uniformity. In my opinion, they all appear to be 1950’s and up. Id shoot for $10 a piece.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View DavidTTU's profile


115 posts in 1060 days

#2 posted 07-06-2015 03:36 PM

Thanks for the great info.

View Pezking7p's profile


3097 posts in 1076 days

#3 posted 07-06-2015 03:59 PM


I’ve tried the vintage saw thing and I have to say, I got burned twice and then gave up. Both saws looked straight as an arrow, even in person at first glance, but they are both slightly warped and very difficult to use to make accurate cuts.

Unless you’re really into it for the heritage or the restoration I would skip vintage saws. Hope I don’t get lynched for saying so.

-- -Dan

View theoldfart's profile


7945 posts in 1875 days

#4 posted 07-06-2015 05:25 PM

^ gonna hang that guy! snicker

I’ve had excellent luck with vintage saws. It may be that I live in New England, there seems to be a boat load of quality used saws to be had from flea markets, tag sales, estate sales and the like. Stefs advice is sound. You may want to brush up on old saws, look at the web pages devoted to Simonds and Diston.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1851 days

#5 posted 07-06-2015 05:50 PM

Offer the seller $30 for all, while he hums and haws back away, this subtle body language will alert him to the fact that the deal is going away if he does not accept quick.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1386 days

#6 posted 07-06-2015 07:03 PM

Stef is right on in my opinion. I pay up to $5 for older saws that are better quality. Check the Disstonian institutes website to learn about how the medallions help you verify the age of the saws. I can’t remember when Atkins stopped selling saws, but you could google that and that would give you a decent indicator of the age for the Atkins saw.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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