Gents vs. Traditional dovetail saws

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 08-17-2012 12:44 PM 6112 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 1802 days

08-17-2012 12:44 PM

Veritas now has 2 Gents saws for $49 each, one rip, one crosscut…in addition to their much-acclaimed Dovetail saw ($65) and carcass saws ($69).

So here’s my question…Is there anyone, who given the option and only a $15 price difference, who would actually choose the straight-handled gents saw over the tradtional handled dovetail saw?

I could see someone choosing the $20 Crown gents saw over a traditional dovetail saw based only on price, but does anyone actually prefer the straight handle?

Is there any reason to buy both?

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

8 replies so far

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 2669 days

#1 posted 08-17-2012 02:01 PM

I think it’s just preference over hand position and control of the tool. What your used to and what your comfortable with. Nice to have the options.

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2416 days

#2 posted 08-17-2012 02:04 PM

Some people feel that they have an easier time keeping the pistol grip saws plumb. I think it is just a matter of what you learned with and makes you feel comfortable. I honestly don’t see much advantage to the pistol grip saws. I just use the little gent’s saws. The little Zona saws cut just fine and for the price, they are hard to beat.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Loren's profile


8158 posts in 3066 days

#3 posted 08-17-2012 02:55 PM

Well, those are push-cut saws and the pistol grip
handle helps with the pushing.

One advantage of the straight handled saws they have
not length of cut limit, so you can use them to saw
long grooves because the handle doesn’t get in the
way. Not that you’d want to saw and chisel your
dados, but you can.

Also, check the TPI of the saws you are comparing.
Are they the same saws in all respects besides the handles?

View Josh Williams's profile

Josh Williams

13 posts in 630 days

#4 posted 02-24-2015 06:35 PM

Looking for some help. My eyes are bleeding from looking at and my Google-fu isn’t turning up any answers. My dad gave me an armful of old saws that I had no idea he had. I have not cleaned up the blade yet, but I believe this one is a Disston No. 7. or No. 12 (straight back with a nib). However, I can’t find the handle anywhere.

The medallion dates to 1896-1917. The nut pattern looks similar to the No. 7, but it looks closer to the Keystone No. 705.

Any help is appreciated. I’ll be looking tonight for an blade etch.

-- "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly" - G. K. Chesterton

View summerfi's profile


3258 posts in 1105 days

#5 posted 02-24-2015 06:44 PM

Josh, your question would probably get more responses in the saw thread. In short, that’s not an original handle for a Disston No. 7. Someone has replaced the handle with one from some other saw.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View Josh Williams's profile

Josh Williams

13 posts in 630 days

#6 posted 02-24-2015 07:01 PM

Crap, sorry, I had two tabs open. I thought I was replying on the saw thread. Thanks.

-- "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly" - G. K. Chesterton

View bobro's profile


308 posts in 728 days

#7 posted 02-24-2015 11:24 PM

Pushing the saw down is great for speed, but in my opinion, for accuracy it’s more about pushing the saw forward, with downward pressure hardly more than the weight of the saw. If that makes sense- it’s easy to feel but hard to describe. There’s probably a correct term for what I’m trying to describe.

And with a closed or pistol type handle, your index finger is pointing, but alongside, while with a gents saw with your index finger on top, it’s like it’s pointing straight IN to the point where the metal is meeting the wood, so you have great control on tiny things. Also hard to explain, haha!

So a gents saw is great for fine joinery, IMO.

Didn’t know that Veritas has one, at an affordable pirce, thanks for bringing it up!

-- Lao Ma: You are so full of anger and hatred. Xena: Everybody's gotta be full of something.

View rwe2156's profile


2110 posts in 899 days

#8 posted 02-25-2015 04:27 PM

I recently bought the set from LV.
Up till then I always used a gents saw for dovetails.
I have to say these are nice saws for the money.
Still getting used to the handle…....

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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