Honestly now, do you switch saws?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 483 days ago 579 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


365 posts in 969 days

483 days ago

In the following cases….

1. Cutting out the side waste after using your dovetail (rip) saw to cut dovetails,

2. Cutting shoulders of tenons after using your tenon (rip) saw to cut the cheeks,

Do you put down your rip saw and pick up a cross-cut saw for this type of work, or just use the saw that’s already in your hand?


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

8 replies so far

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1523 posts in 1059 days

#1 posted 483 days ago

I change saws, mine are expensive and sharpening them seems to me a real PITA. The longer I can use them without sharpening the better.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

132 posts in 501 days

#2 posted 482 days ago

Sometimes. Depends on which side of the bed I got up on.

-- Ron in Kokomo

View nwbusa's profile


1016 posts in 870 days

#3 posted 482 days ago

I change saws. Although I know of at least one saw manufacturer that sells a “hybrid” backsaw that’s supposed to be a do-it-all kind of saw.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

83 posts in 870 days

#4 posted 482 days ago

90% of the time I switch, like Jorge G. I don’t want to have to sharpen them more than they have to and the tool for the job just works better, and why not? I like putting all my tools to work!

-- Chris, Long Island,

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile


876 posts in 694 days

#5 posted 482 days ago

Most of the time, unless I’m really feeling lazy, I do… My rip saws don’t crosscut well.

Both types do what they are designed to do noticeably better than the other. I did not notice this until I had good saws, properly sharpened.

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

View sikrap's profile


985 posts in 1943 days

#6 posted 482 days ago

Like Barry, I didn’t notice a difference in the way they cut until I had them properly sharpened. I do switch now. I need all the help I can get and using the right saw definitely gives me a better cut.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Loren's profile


7156 posts in 2232 days

#7 posted 482 days ago

I don’t cut tenons by hand.

Dovetails I cut with a bowsaw to rip. I notch out the outside
corners of the tail board with a chisel in the gauged line
and cut them off with a dozuki, then pare if needed.

That’s for fine work. I seldom cut dovetails in a hurry.

There’s a way to do it with a bowsaw with a 1/4” blade
twisted 90 degrees to cut out the waste. Frank
Klausz was said to whip them out this way for
shipping crates.


View paratrooper34's profile


760 posts in 1536 days

#8 posted 482 days ago

Yup, I switch saws. The cuts made by a rip saw on cross grain are unacceptable to me. I figure they made them to cut a certain way, I use them that way.

-- Mike

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