What Hand Saws do I need? And Proper Storage Options?

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Forum topic by laxbograt posted 12-14-2011 07:03 PM 5054 views 1 time favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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76 posts in 2390 days

12-14-2011 07:03 PM

Hi All,

Lately I seem to have a greater desire to get back to using primarily hand tools, planes, spokeshaves, chisels, etc… I am not really sure why I just got my 5hp Delta Unisaw up and running, sorry for the blatant tool gloat. I suspect it has something to due with the fact that I always think that there is a higher level of craftsmanship and pride from using hand tools, also I tend to not be sleeping a lot lately and it would be able to do something without waking up everyone in the neighborhood.

So I have realized I have no quality hand saws. Currently I have a decent flexible Japanese style flush cut saw, a Gentleman’s saw which is kind of dull, and a cheap fat max coping saw.

So have at it what do i need.

I have been looking at the LN Progressive tooth pattern dovetail saw, it is soooo nice looking, but other than that I am open for suggestions.

Rookie Woodworker

30 replies so far

View Dan's profile


3630 posts in 2844 days

#1 posted 12-14-2011 07:15 PM

It depends on what kind of cuts you want to do with hand saws. I would probably start with a good tenon saw and a dovetail saw… From there you can get just about any larger handsaw to fit your wants/needs…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View laxbograt's profile


76 posts in 2390 days

#2 posted 12-14-2011 08:40 PM

My apologies cr1,

I am looking for a set of saws for basic small projects, boxes, getting mid size lumber to usable size etc… Also I would like to be able to cut joints, dovetails, tenons etc.. I am not building an arch.


View michelletwo's profile


2727 posts in 2979 days

#3 posted 12-14-2011 08:51 PM

If you like the japanese pull type, check out the Japan Woodworker store. lots of choices there. i love them. I also love the LN saws. don’t think you can go wrong with either type

View Loren's profile (online now)


10250 posts in 3611 days

#4 posted 12-14-2011 09:49 PM

Make a bow saw with 10-12 tpi in a rip pattern. A 22” butcher
saw is easily refiled to this profile. These saws are amazing
for cutting dovetails and tenon cheeks.

A decent dozuki is good to have for cutting tenon shoulders
and small dovetail type rip cuts, but is a tiresome tool to use
for larger rip cuts. I recommend the Gyocucho saws with
the rattan handles.

View laxbograt's profile


76 posts in 2390 days

#5 posted 12-14-2011 10:20 PM

Thanks everyone. Loren your post are always so detailed.

View funchuck's profile


119 posts in 3021 days

#6 posted 12-14-2011 11:08 PM

This is what I did:

Veritas Dovetail saw
Veritas Carcass saw (xcut)
LN Tenon saw (rip)
Pax Panel Saw (rip)
Japanese Ryoba from borg – I only use the xcut side, the rip side sucks. I use this saw in place of a xcut panel saw (which I don’t have yet), but I plan to replace with a xcut panel saw someday.

This setup lets me do anything so far.

-- Charles from California

View andrewr79's profile


36 posts in 2315 days

#7 posted 12-18-2011 11:13 AM

I’ve hunted the local markets and junk shops to assemble a working set. For the work you mention I’d be starting with just two saws – a 14 inch tenon (12tpi crosscut) for the delicate work (cutting joints, dovetails, mitres) and a crosscut panel saw, try for somewhere between 8-11tpi. The panel saw size is a little more manageable than the full size saws so is a good place to start. It will handle most of your larger work. Add a ripsaw later if you want to resaw stock.

I’ve been lucky enough to find a lot of old Disston’s locally, some going for as little as $0.50AU, and have restored them (see here if interested in how). It’s been worth the effort, I’ve got high quality saws at a fraction of the cost of a decent new one and leant a heap about them in the process, including sharpening which is a vital skill to have. Might be worth doing the same and seeing what treasures the local markets have on offer.

-- Visit my blog @ to see what I've been up to

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2348 days

#8 posted 12-18-2011 10:40 PM

I would say to get started, get a Dovetail saw (rip), Carcass saw (rip or Crosscut, depending what you want to do with it…if lots of tenons, get rip), and some sort of panel or spineless hand saw for breaking down large boards.

See a recent Schwartz recomendation here:

I actually have a $15 Stanley Sharptooth fine-finish saw that does have a decent wood handle, and it has been my primary saw for crosscuts, rips, and even breaking down sheet goods for over 4 years now. The hardenened teeth really last a while, and if they get dull or damaged, the saw is so cheap you can get another one. (but you can’t sharpen it).

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2318 days

#9 posted 12-18-2011 10:58 PM

I’m not gonna be so specific to brand here, but later I’ll tell you some of the brands I own and how I feel about them.

A coping saw
A riping saw
A mitre saw
Dovetail saw or Japanese equivalent (Dozuki)
a couple pull /cut off saws

I have no specialty woodworking stores in my area, the last one we had closed up about 3 years ago, so I either have to hunt online or go to the box stores, which is why I don’t own the Dozuki I want yet…

I can say that marples has a couple of really nice pull saws the blades are supposed to be replaceable but I’ve yet to see a replacement blade for them, and I’ve had 3 or so fo the 1” one sided pull saw (sheet rock is very rough on the teeth of those blades apperently)

I’ve had craftsman and buck brothers mitre saws and dovetail saws, but either my technique or the tools have kept me from getting the desired results.

Buck brothers Jack saws are nice, look cool, but often are limite in applicatin.

Coping saw, they’re tricky to master but once you do, they can make some cuts you thought too dificult easy.
For Coping saws it’s almost always been a buck brothers coping saw, they have a lifetime warranty after all. Just the blades need to be replaced from time to time, no big deal.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2441 days

#10 posted 12-18-2011 11:00 PM

I really like the Rob Cosman set of saws they are not cheep but they are the best out there. I love the way he has the teeth arranged . they are truly great saws and then of coarse you will need a regular crosscut saw a tenon saw and others you could easily spend as much on this saw collection as you did on the uni saw. Be sure to go to robs new tool site where he coaches you how to use hand tools it like boot camp for hand tools. you will be shocked at the prices that these saws cost but if you get the chance to see Rob You can decide what to buy when your at a show where he is or you can buy from his online store at . there is a link there to the hand tool school there is a free membership option. I can tell you what you learn will make you a better woodworker if you use hand tools or power tools the lessons are essential learning. I hope this helps you out

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Beninvt's profile


7 posts in 2653 days

#11 posted 12-19-2011 04:53 PM

This little bit on saws on Tommy’s site might help you make a decision:

Hope it helps!!!

View Bertha's profile


13521 posts in 2657 days

#12 posted 12-19-2011 05:03 PM

I think it all starts with whether you like Western saws or pull saws. I’ve got a collection of both and the Japanes pullsaw is clearly for me. I can’t even use a Western saw anymore with any effectiveness. If you like Western saws, I’d think you need 1) a rip, 2) a crosscut, 3) a tenon, and 4) a dovetail. Of course, that’s just general advice and may not be appropriate for your projects. There are guys here that are absolute masters at restoring and using saws. There are even saw sharpening videos. I think Paul Sellers is putting on a clinic in the near future. That might be worth checking out. Good luck!

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

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2915 days

#13 posted 12-20-2011 02:42 AM

I made the complete transition from power to hand saws in my shop. I splurged and went all out and purchased a complete set of LNs. While there are claims to who is the best and such, LNs reputation is backed up with the quality of their tools. Their saws are no exception. I purchased rip and crosscut panel and carcass saws, a tenon saw, and a dovetail saw. I have sawn a whole bunch of stuff with this set, meets just about every need I have. Build a saw bench or two, they will be come in handy. Also, I have a nice old Millers Falls miter box to handle accuracy and repeatability tasks. Sold my table saw about three weeks ago and don’t miss it at all.

Yes, there are cheaper ways to get all of the saws you would want in your arsenal, in fact I have restored a couple of saws (now have to sharpen them) that I got for a song. So I know with some work, you can get cheap. But my saw set cost way less than a nice table saw. And if properly cared for, will last my lifetime and become hand-me-downs to the family. Spend money and get nice tools.

-- Mike

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2441 days

#14 posted 12-22-2011 07:53 AM

i wonder why the originator of this thread has not commented on any of these fine answers. this bugs me when you ask a question i think you should thank the woodworkers that took the time to reply to your question.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View laxbograt's profile


76 posts in 2390 days

#15 posted 12-22-2011 05:24 PM

Sorry to offend you thedude50, I work for UPS and haven’t had a lot of extra time to post lately. I appreciate everyone’s input. I enjoy hearing everyone’s various opinions.


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