Best Value Dovetail saw

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Forum topic by tas121790 posted 09-22-2010 02:21 AM 12631 views 2 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 3042 days

09-22-2010 02:21 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dovetails saw

What is the best dovetail saw i can get as a beginner. I don’t want anything thats junk but I don’t want to spend (at this time) 100+. So what would the best value dovetail saw be?

Is crown any good?

6 replies so far

View swirt's profile


3555 posts in 3208 days

#1 posted 09-22-2010 03:20 AM

The crown is only good if you sharpen it rip. The best cheapest is the Zona Razor saw. In the review I compare it to a Crown. If you are looking for something more upscale, the veritas that looks like something Batman would carry gets some great reviews.

If you learn to sharpen (something you’ll have to do to any saw after a while…unless you pay someone to do it) then you can make a decent dovetail saw out of any old back saw that you can often find at garage sales or on craigslist. for very little money.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Praki's profile


201 posts in 4233 days

#2 posted 09-22-2010 05:30 AM

I am in the same boat as the OP. I find swirt’s suggestion of turning an old saw into a back saw. Is there any blog post or a video on how it is done?

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View swirt's profile


3555 posts in 3208 days

#3 posted 09-22-2010 05:52 AM

Just to clarify, you don’t turn a saw into a backsaw..that’s a lot of work… you find an old backsaw and tune it.

Here is a great video done by FineWoodworking. It shows exactly how to take an old dull backsaw and tune it for dovetails…. or a new inexpensive backsaw.

-- Galootish log blog,

View pastorglen's profile


267 posts in 2926 days

#4 posted 01-15-2011 07:53 PM

I was looking to upgrade to a better saw, but I didn’t want to spend a boat-load, either. So I decided to build it.

After looking at a variety of options, I ended up getting in touch with Wenzloff & Sons. They have kits, but they also let you build it to your specs. My kids gave me $50 toward the saw for Christmas, and I added the cost of shipping. I ordered two split-nut screws, a folded brass back, and a .020” blade, with the teeth already cut, but not sharpened. I made my own handle (which is pictured in my icon thingy) from a piece of scrap wood with some extra nice figure in it. The whole thing cost under $60, and I am absolutely delighted with the results. I plan to buy another one this week and make tenon saw. In the process I’ve learned how the saws are made, how to adjust them, and how to sharpen them. It was a great project that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in having a great saw for a fraction of the cost.

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View FreshPants's profile


10 posts in 3328 days

#5 posted 01-15-2011 08:02 PM

A lot of people seem to be happy with the Veritas Dovetail saw (via Lee Valley) and available for ~$65.
They’re sharp out of the box (unlike the Crown), they have a traditional-ish open tote (Crown is a Gent’s style straight handle no?), and have a nice weighty spine which helps aid in cutting. Definitely not junk.

I’ve not used one personally, but they come highly recommended and I’ve had very good success with all Veritas products.

View bigike's profile


4055 posts in 3525 days

#6 posted 01-15-2011 08:12 PM

I got the veritas dovetail saw and with practice i been getting better and better results on my hand cut dovetails. The first ones i cut were real bad if anyone saw the piece of wood i cut they would have taken all my wood working tools away, or really asked me if i did any woodworking at all. LOL : ) I think I’m gonna break and buy a lie nielsen saw though, i also have a couple Japanese saws and they work great too so this is a tough question cuz now you the saws that cut on the pull stroke and ones that cut on the push stroke and both give a very good clean cut with practice and are reasonably priced. I would say if you trying to do joinery get a japanese and an American and try them to see what fits you.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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