Notches in hands saws and plane irons

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Forum topic by Brett posted 05-06-2011 08:10 PM 1066 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2706 days

05-06-2011 08:10 PM

I bought two vintage saws recently that each had three little notches cut or filed into the top edge of the saw, just in front of the handle. I’ve also seen a vintage plane iron with three similar notches filed into it (on the side, near the top). Anybody know why this was done? Was it for identification reasons?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

6 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2716 days

#1 posted 05-06-2011 08:11 PM

I’ve always assumed it was just a craftsman’s mark to separate his tools from the others. Maybe it’s cryptic Mayan code. If you decipher, please share:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2698 days

#2 posted 05-07-2011 04:13 AM

These were factory. I have seen them too. Not sure what they represent but I am pretty sure they are not for indenity purposes unless it was for the craftsman that worked them during manufacture.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 05-14-2011 05:22 PM

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#4 posted 05-14-2011 06:13 PM

Actually, its there on purpose. You know when you buy a button down shirt, it often has spare buttons sewn in at the bottom so when you loose a button, you can simply clip one off the bottom and replace the missing button? Same with the saw. if you break a tooth off, then simply nip off that ‘spare tooth’ on the top and use it to replace the broken off tooth. Of all you hand-tool fanatics out there, you kill me with your lack of real world knowledge. :) Thank you, thank you very much.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4150 days

#5 posted 05-14-2011 06:45 PM

Depending on where and how they are placed on a saw, these are sometimes called “woodpecker teeth.” They are used to scratch a starting cut line.

-- 温故知新

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2698 days

#6 posted 05-14-2011 07:38 PM

Thank you Dennis. I haven’t lost any sleep over this but I like to learn interesting tidbits.

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