Saw recommendation for cutting tenons

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Forum topic by bbasiaga posted 03-05-2016 01:37 AM 563 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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732 posts in 1419 days

03-05-2016 01:37 AM

I’m looking for a good starter saw for cutting tenons. I mainly work with 3/4” material, and in widths less than 4”. I see that Veritas has some carcass saws for $80 each. I was hoping to get in to something for less than that, and ideally something dual purpose enough to do the rip and crosscut parts of the tenon.

Any recommendations? I don’t want to jump in with $150 of stuff for something I’m not sure I’m going to do a lot, or like doing enough that I don’t revert back to power tools. Any decent starter saws out there that are decent multitaskers?


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

8 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


6475 posts in 1574 days

#1 posted 03-05-2016 01:50 AM

You can always just buy a rip carcass saw and not the crosscut for now. Then you’re in for only $80. If you scribe your crosscut lines a bit more than normal, you shouldn’t have much trouble with tearout.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View eflanders's profile


84 posts in 1274 days

#2 posted 03-05-2016 02:05 AM

You may want to try a Japanese saw in combination with a sharp chisel. Based on what you’ve said, this will fit your budget easily and with the material thicknesses and widths you have given.

View pintodeluxe's profile


4827 posts in 2237 days

#3 posted 03-05-2016 02:08 AM

This is what I have been using, although probably not what you were going for.

Sure cuts clean through tenons though.

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

View lepelerin's profile


471 posts in 1749 days

#4 posted 03-05-2016 02:24 AM

you could get something similar to this amazing Japanese saw.

View bbasiaga's profile


732 posts in 1419 days

#5 posted 03-05-2016 04:43 PM

Thanks. I was looking at those Japanese saws, but they have so many options I got confused. A little more research and it gets clearer. Seems like I’d need to go with one of their spined versions to make sure the cut didn’t drift too much to make a usable tenon without lots of cleanup. I’m not opposed to that. Seems like I might still be able to get a decent deal.

You can always just buy a rip carcass saw and not the crosscut for now. Then you re in for only $80. If you scribe your crosscut lines a bit more than normal, you shouldn t have much trouble with tearout.

- jmartel

I thought about this as well. I saw a couple of videos where guys scribed the cut line, then chiseled back to to it so the saw started down from the level of the finished shoulder. If that works reliably, it might be a good place to start with either a western or Japanese rip saw.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View chrisstef's profile


15486 posts in 2430 days

#6 posted 03-05-2016 04:51 PM

Those veritas are good bang for your buck. Probably the best on the market for that money. Theyll cut 90% of your joinery. Dovetails, tenons, and paired with a bench hook, finish cuts.

-- "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 rwe2156's profile


2126 posts in 904 days

#7 posted 03-06-2016 10:27 AM

You need a good quality tenon saw so you’ll have to bite the bullet. But you don’t need a $200 saw, based on the molded spine saw I already posses, I would expect the LV tenon saw to be of equal function.

The scoring method you describes is pretty standard technique in fine ww’ing. ;-) but you still need a Xcut saw IMO.
The Japanese saws are very very nice, but slightly diff techniques for use. Good ones not that cheap, either.

I think a carcase Xcut saw + a rip tenon saw would be a good combo.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bearkatwood's profile


1175 posts in 435 days

#8 posted 03-06-2016 01:41 PM

You could get a good gent saw for pretty cheep and they work O.K. a Japanese pull saw would work as well, but you would miss out on the backsaw feel. You could find an oldy but a goodie at a thrift store and sharpen it up. If you are kinda handy you could make your own for cheaper that the Veritas, I think a 14” would run you around 50 for all the parts and then you make the handle. They are a lot of fun to build. If you are interested you can order the parts here at BlackBurn Tools
Hope that helped.

-- Brian Noel

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