East vs West

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Forum topic by Gwjames posted 02-26-2015 02:14 PM 666 views 1 time favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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88 posts in 1312 days

02-26-2015 02:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tip

So I am starting to move from all power tools to wanting to build some items with nothing but hand tools…
to learn about different hand tools I decided a forum for western saws vs eastern saws would be a great read.

so all of the traditional woodworkers chime in. let me know if you prefer a western back saw or saws from the east like the ryoba… thanks jocks

2 replies so far

View HornedWoodwork's profile


222 posts in 1212 days

#1 posted 02-26-2015 04:21 PM

I use both and find them both capable of excellence in certain tasks. I attribute this to design as well as my familiarity with the tool. Basically whatever tool I learned to do the task with is my preferred. I think I reach for my European style saws more often because I like the feel of them more. I grew up gripping the handles of western saws, I’m used to the “hang” of these saws and I learned to cut square with them. My Japanese saws like the ryoba came along when I found my Western saw was deficient in some way and the Eastern saw was superior. I liked the flexibility of the ryoba and that it could cut both rip and cross on the reversible blade, so I reach for that when I don’t want perfectly straight and square cuts, when cutting off dowels, and when working on large timbers which I need to crawl around on.

The back cutting saws are easier to learn to cut with, but I feel the speed and accuracy of the push cutting Western saws is superior. As for versatility I feel that most of my Western saws are useful for many tasks while I reach for my Japanese saws only when I need to cut a very specific way. I suppose this is also an indication of when/how I learned as well.

When it comes to hands-only projects I tend to stick with western planes, chisels, and saws, mostly because that’s what I have an know.

-- Talent, brilliance, and humility are my virtues.

View jmartel's profile


7891 posts in 2148 days

#2 posted 02-26-2015 04:23 PM

I’ve found that I prefer western style push saws.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

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