Honestly now, do you switch saws?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 03-15-2013 07:46 PM 955 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2382 days

03-15-2013 07:46 PM

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.

1537 posts in 2473 days

#1 posted 03-15-2013 07:51 PM

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

133 posts in 1914 days

#2 posted 03-15-2013 08:13 PM

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

-- Ron in Kokomo

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2284 days

#3 posted 03-15-2013 08:30 PM

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

93 posts in 2283 days

#4 posted 03-15-2013 08:37 PM

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 OggieOglethorpe's profile


1276 posts in 2108 days

#5 posted 03-15-2013 09:03 PM

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.

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 3357 days

#6 posted 03-16-2013 03:31 AM

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 (online now)


10390 posts in 3645 days

#7 posted 03-16-2013 03:56 AM

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


915 posts in 2949 days

#8 posted 03-16-2013 08:44 AM

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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