Can only get one saw: rip or crosscut

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Forum topic by JADobson posted 12-13-2012 03:52 PM 6941 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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741 posts in 1651 days

12-13-2012 03:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: handsaw rip cross question christmas

My wife decided she wanted to get me a saw for Christmas and told me to pick one. I don’t have either a crosscut or a rip saw so my question for you all is will one of these saws perform the task of the other saw better. That is: will a rip saw make crosscuts more efficiently than a crosscut saw will perform rip cuts? If you could only have one which would it be?

-- James

12 replies so far

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Bill White

4530 posts in 3500 days

#1 posted 12-13-2012 04:18 PM

Kinda like saying that your shoes will fit me.
I’d get a crosscut first.


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15673 posts in 2223 days

#2 posted 12-13-2012 04:24 PM

Well, there is a Japanese saw out there that does indeed do both. It has rip teeth on one side of the blade, and cross cut teeth on the other. Cuts on the pull stroke, and has a long, round handle on it. It does cut a thin kerf, as well.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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741 posts in 1651 days

#3 posted 12-13-2012 04:46 PM

I should also note that this will be a temporary arrangement. I’ll be getting the other saw as soon as I can afford it.

Bandit: Yes, I know about the Japanese saws but, and this might sound terribly vain, I don’t like the way they look. Haha, even writing that makes me feel bad, but there it is.

-- James

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903 posts in 2492 days

#4 posted 12-13-2012 04:46 PM

JADobson, before you decide, I think it may be beneficial for you to determine what you want to use a saw for? What tasks do you want to complete with the saw? Do you want one to perform occasional crosscuts to cut stock to length? Do you need to rip boards to size? Do you need a saw to cut joinery i.e. dovetails, tenons, etc? Deciding what tasks you need done will help to decide what saw will be best for you. If you have equal needs of all handsaw required tasks, I will echo Bandit and suggest a double sided Japanese saw which has both rip and crosscut teeth. While certainly not the “be all, end all”, it will definitely go a long way in different joinery tasks. But if you have more specialized uses in mind, that should determine what saw you might want to pick.

-- Mike

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3993 posts in 2511 days

#5 posted 12-13-2012 04:53 PM

This is a Jorgensen Pony Saw, sells for about $20, made in USA, and the handiest saw I have ever owned.

The teeth are cut like the Japanese saws and it cuts on the pull stroke, leaves a thin kerf.

I can cut a pressure treated 4×4 with this saw faster than with my Skil saw.

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741 posts in 1651 days

#6 posted 12-13-2012 04:57 PM

Thanks paratrooper, that’s kind of my problem. For what I want to do, I need both saws, and I am planning on getting both, but I have to get one first. So really my question is will a crosscut saw do a rip saws tasks better than a rip saw will do a crosscut? or vice versa?

-- James

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15673 posts in 2223 days

#7 posted 12-13-2012 04:59 PM

A rip will do cross cuts, but the results will be a bit rough looking. A crosscut will start a rip cut, will will tend to bind in the kerf. Best bet would be a high ppi count rip cut saw.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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741 posts in 1651 days

#8 posted 12-13-2012 05:05 PM

Thanks bandit. That’s what I was looking to know.

-- James

View Loren's profile


8446 posts in 3188 days

#9 posted 12-13-2012 05:13 PM

You can cut fine joinery like dovetails with a dozuki saw. Ripping
is slower, but the kerf is fine because the saws have very
little set.

At one time you could get western style back saws with
Japanese pattern blades from Garrett Wade. Dunno if they
still have them.

I use a bowsaw to cut joints.

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7410 posts in 2117 days

#10 posted 12-13-2012 05:25 PM

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1642 posts in 2524 days

#11 posted 12-13-2012 10:33 PM

I don’t know who will be sharpening these saws for you, but since you plan to buy quality hand saws. I would recommend buying the quality crosscut first. While waiting to buy a quality rip saw, you can buy a fairly decent crosscut at garage sales/ flea markets and have the teeth of the saw sharpened and set for a rip cut saw. About the only real difference of the 2 is the way their sharpened and set. Check out this link this guy explains how easily its done.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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Don W

18148 posts in 2108 days

#12 posted 12-13-2012 10:40 PM

What exactly do you plan to do with these saws? Are you talking panel saws? It may help give a better idea of what would be better first.

Also, how much work will you plan to do until the second saw comes?

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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