Saws minimum acceptable level...

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Forum topic by drpdrp posted 03-10-2014 01:21 PM 907 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 2068 days

03-10-2014 01:21 PM

Okay so like pretty much everything else in my shop my saw is a pull saw from HFT.

I decided to handcut a dovetail this morning and was feeling like it was probably not the ideal tool. Mostly that was because it seemed dull- not sure on the goodness of its type…

Anyway, figured I would ask for some thoughts here.

I will buy one or two saws. What saws and what price point is reasonable? Is pretty much anything at a box store going to be worlds better than what I find at HFT? Do I need to drop a hundred bucks per saw? (I almost certainly won’t do that btw)

Talk to me wizards!

3 replies so far

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 2407 days

#1 posted 03-14-2014 07:36 PM

Sorry your post seems to have gotten lost in the crowd…

short answer is yes any saw from any store will likely be better than any harbor freight saw.

for large breaking down of boards, I have Stanley sharptooth hand saw…$20-25 at Lowe’s.

before I got a Veritas dovetail saw on sale for $45…i got a cheap Stanley yellow plastic mitre box that came with the black handled backsaw…it worked decently well.

you can also find some cheap pull saws at big box stores, but I’ve never tried those.

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

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4148 days

#2 posted 03-14-2014 08:34 PM

I have been using the Bakuma 300mm pull saw as my go-to saw for everything for the past few years. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It looks like Woodcraft is currently carrying the 250mm version, which is fine, but the extra two inches is nice.

This thing cuts fast enough that I’ll use it for ripping plywood (the two of us who have been the core of the winning team at the Bodega Bay Wooden Boat Challenge, built a plywood boat in 3 hours using hand tools, for the past 3 years both use it), can be finessed into cutting dovetails, costs $30, replacement blades cost $15, and is awesome.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View ErikF's profile


615 posts in 2267 days

#3 posted 03-14-2014 10:42 PM

I started out using a pull saw for cutting dovetails and have since moved on to using a western style saw. I didn’t like how thin the blades are on pull saws (at least the one I have) and had issues with the blade drifting in the cut. I’m not saying I never cut a straight line with it but it is a lot easier with a western style saw in my opinion. Keep an eye out on ebay…lots of quality old saws are sold on there, just look for one that has been sharpened.

-- Power to the people.

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