Rip hand saws with teeth of different lengths

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Brett posted 05-04-2011 06:50 PM 1441 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2682 days

05-04-2011 06:50 PM

While out rust hunting, I saw a saw (I did, I did) with teeth of different lengths. In other words, the tooth length altered from long to short to long to short.

It seems like the shorter teeth would never contact the wood. What’s the purpose of a tooth pattern like this?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

5 replies so far

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2779 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 01:15 PM

Nobody else wants to guess ? OK, I’ll try.
I’d take a look at the set of the teeth, the amount they stick out each side of the blade, ..perhaps..
it was a design to have the long teeth make the actual cut, with the shorter ones doing cleanup ? Seems to me I’ve seen some Japanese style saws that have the teeth short and long ?

Next ?

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3711 days

#2 posted 05-25-2011 05:57 AM

I seem to remember way back when the world was still black and white (at least that’s what I tell my kids) that felling saws had teeth of different lengths. I believe the shorter teeth weren’t really for cutting but for clearing the kerf of sawdust in the green wood. Perhaps the shorter teeth on this saw serve the same purpose.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3786 days

#3 posted 05-26-2011 03:56 AM

The cut is started using either the front or back end of the blade. Easier to start a kerf with shorter teeth, and then get aggressive with the longer ones in the main area of the blade used during a normal stroke. Not uncommon sharpening pattern for those who did a lot of ripping.


-- Go

View gdpifer's profile


47 posts in 2679 days

#4 posted 05-26-2011 05:09 AM

When I was learning to sharpen handsaws I actually created some saws with alternating long and short teeth. All teeth set one way are sharpened on the filing machine and then all the teeth set the opposite way are filed. If one isn’t watching he can file deeper and harder on one set of teeth than the other, thus creating one long and then one short tooth. As was said the long teeth do the cutting and since they are all set the same way it is difficult to cut a straight line. The goal in sharpening the teeth was to have all the same length. To test after filing a few teeth on the second set, I would stop the filer and lay a flat washer across the teeth. There was enough set that if the teeth were the same lenth the washer would balance. If one set of teeth were longer the washer would either not balance or would set at an angle. Maybe this may explain the saw you say you saw.

-- Garry, Kentucky

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#5 posted 05-26-2011 06:46 AM

Teeth become irregular with regular sharpening. If the saw-filer was lazy,
he didn’t “joint” the saw often. It does take more time to joint the
saw and then file the “high” teeth sharp again, so that’s why many
guys were lazy about it. The performance of the saw suffers, of course,
but it’s a creeping decline, adding to the temptation to forgo jointing
the teeth.

Some saws have deeper gullets between some of the teeth, but with
the teeth points being, ideally, in line.

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