Flush trim saw

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Forum topic by JoshuaS posted 04-09-2016 12:23 AM 1073 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 1059 days

04-09-2016 12:23 AM

This is my first woodworking project, a set of little desktop speakers. I’m using splined mitre joints, and am trying to flush trim the splines. I bought a Crown flush trim saw and tried it out today after watching a few youtube vids on the subject. The problem is the saw pulls away from the surface in my natural cutting position. If I flip the blade over, it cuts into the work. I used it to start ripping some pine and sure enough it pulls to the right. Is this common? Do flush trim saws need tuning? I don’t have a stone, but I do have a granite slab and wet/dry sandpaper. Recommendations?

10 replies so far

View Gerald Thompson's profile

Gerald Thompson

1142 posts in 2473 days

#1 posted 04-09-2016 01:05 AM

I have never had any luck with a flush trim saw. I always left marks on the work. I now use a paring chisel and it does a great job.
You Tube paring chisel and you can learn how to do it.

-- Jerry

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1692 days

#2 posted 04-09-2016 01:08 AM

Leave it a hair proud & sand everything flat.


-- Madmark -

View cabmaker's profile


1744 posts in 3048 days

#3 posted 04-09-2016 01:39 PM

Don’t overthink it…..unless you just want to spend the money. Hacksaw blade !

View JohnChung's profile


416 posts in 2313 days

#4 posted 04-09-2016 02:26 PM

If the saw is set correctly it will cut flush. With some minor planing. If the deflection is too great then the
saw set is not correct. I have not used a crown flush trim saw so I am not sure how to fix it.

I am hesitant in providing a solution at this point.

View abie's profile


880 posts in 4010 days

#5 posted 04-09-2016 02:37 PM

I use one from the hated HF and have an extra on hand
very nice and cheap
I use mine almost daily.

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1159 days

#6 posted 04-09-2016 11:26 PM


I do not have a flush trim saw, so I cannot say what might be going wrong. I follow cabmaker’s prescription. I use a hacksaw blade, removed from the saw’s frame (just the blade). I lay a thin scrap of wood or playing card on the surface next to the dowel or spline to be cut and on which the hack saw blade rests. A rag wrapped around one end makes a handle to protect my delicate hands. The hacksaw blade can be positioned to cut on the push or pull stroke, depending on how the blade is oriented. The problem with is approach is that it is a little slower than a more aggressive saw, but it is easy to get the cut started and it cuts fairly smoothly.

View JoshuaS's profile


15 posts in 1059 days

#7 posted 04-10-2016 05:00 AM

Thanks for all the great replies! I like the chisel idea best. Wish I’d invested in that versatile tool rather than this specialized gadget. Another lesson learned (I’m learning a lot thought this project).

That said, I’m still here with this saw. The teeth feel like they’re sticking out more on one side of the blade than the other, so I’ll probably pass that side over some fine sandpaper one or twice to knock those teeth down and (hopefully) affect a straighter cut.

View Tony_S's profile


953 posts in 3322 days

#8 posted 04-14-2016 09:18 AM

The teeth feel like they re sticking out more on one side of the blade than the other, so I ll probably pass that side over some fine sandpaper one or twice to knock those teeth down and (hopefully) affect a straighter cut.
- JoshuaS

The teeth are only set to one side on a flush cut saw so it doesn’t scratch the work surface. That’s why the cut will always rise up. One face of the saw should say “this side up”....that’s the face the teeth are set to.
If you sand the set from the teeth, there won’t be any blade clearance behind the teeth and the blade will bind and constantly get stuck during the cut.
That said….I’ve never used one that worked worth a shit. Time better spent learning how to use a sharp chisel. In most situations, it’s faster and does a better job.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Mike Throckmorton's profile

Mike Throckmorton

124 posts in 1903 days

#9 posted 04-14-2016 11:31 AM

Tom Hintz has a nice article on flush cut saws and their use

-- You are never complete, you just draw a line where done is and stop at that line.

View JoshuaS's profile


15 posts in 1059 days

#10 posted 04-14-2016 01:45 PM

The Crown saw doesn’t have an indicated “up” side. I made a few passes on wet 1000g paper until it cut straight (er). As you’d expect, it binds a little on deeper cuts, but they are flush and it doesn’t mar the surface. That said, I think this saw will see very little use after I get some chisels. Thanks for the informative discussion, all!


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