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Fret Saw vs Coping Saw

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Forum topic by MagicalMichael posted 05-21-2017 09:44 PM 901 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MagicalMichael

70 posts in 351 days


05-21-2017 09:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: blade

I’m confused. I own a coping saw, it’s OK. I have watched Rob Cosman wax enthusiastic about fret saws. When I look at fret saws they look a lot like coping saws. Looking at the Highland website I see they list coping saw blades but not fret saw blades. The Olsen web site doesn’t even distinguish between them, they just list the width & height of the blades. I know that fret saw blades are typically narrower but it also looks like you could put a coping saw blade into a fret saw & vice versa. I must be missing something here, what is it?

Michael

-- michael


7 replies so far

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Loren

9612 posts in 3483 days


#1 posted 05-21-2017 09:48 PM

Fret saws or jeweler’s saws use jaws that
just clamp the ends of the blade. Coping
saws generally have pins on the ends of
the blades so the blades have to be wider
to allow for the pins.

The thin blades used on fret saws break
easily. The advantage is the broken blades can
be re-clamped and still used. They may
be harder that coping saw blades, but in
any case they are useful for making refined
cuts in hard, brittle materials like shell.

A fret saw blade can cut a finer radius at
the bottom of a dovetail, eliminating a
little chisel work that would need to be
done if the bottom was sawn out with
a coping saw. It’s all a bunch of fuss,
using a fret saw, but they do make more
detailed cuts.

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WillieMcCoy

11 posts in 334 days


#2 posted 05-21-2017 11:31 PM

A fret-saw blade is also a scroll-saw blade. My narrowest fret-saw blade is about 1/16” which makes for turning some pretty tight corners. I’ve used both for cutting out dovetail waste. The technique is slightly different but the result is the same. Also takes the same amount of time.

The only advantage I’ve found in a fret-saw is cutting out extremely narrow (1/8”) pin sockets in dovetail boards. The narrower blade means I’m less likely to bruise a dovetail portion.

The advantage of a coping saw is that you can change the angle of the blade (a fret saw blade is fixed in the same angle as the saw’s backbone).

-- ...but down home they call me Slim

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MagicalMichael

70 posts in 351 days


#3 posted 05-22-2017 12:17 PM

Thanks for all the help. The “scroll” saw blade clears up my confusion.

Michael

-- michael

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TheFridge

8292 posts in 1321 days


#4 posted 05-22-2017 12:58 PM

My fret saws kerf is smaller than my dovetail saws kerf. It’s also 90 degrees to the kerf after one pull and ride the baseline a lot closer than I’d be comfortable with using a coping saw. It helps me save time chopping to the baseline.

I went through 4-5 coping saws before giving up on them.

Just my experience.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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UpstateNYdude

899 posts in 1818 days


#5 posted 05-22-2017 01:16 PM



My fret saws kerf is smaller than my dovetail saws kerf. It s also 90 degrees to the kerf after one pull and ride the baseline a lot closer than I d be comfortable with using a coping saw. It helps me save time chopping to the baseline.

I went through 4-5 coping saws before giving up on them.

Just my experience.

- TheFridge

Were any of them a Knew concepts?

-- Nick, “I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3078 days


#6 posted 05-24-2017 04:45 PM

A third type of saw is called a piercing saw. The coping saw and the fret saw both have fixed frames, while the piercing saw has an adjustable frame so blades of any length can be used.

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TheFridge

8292 posts in 1321 days


#7 posted 05-24-2017 04:55 PM


My fret saws kerf is smaller than my dovetail saws kerf. It s also 90 degrees to the kerf after one pull and ride the baseline a lot closer than I d be comfortable with using a coping saw. It helps me save time chopping to the baseline.

I went through 4-5 coping saws before giving up on them.

Just my experience.

- TheFridge

Were any of them a Knew concepts?

- UpstateNYdude

The coping saws no. The fret saw yes.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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