Best Handsaws for Trouble-Free Cutting

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 18, 2017
Handsaws have been used by woodworkers for ages and remain in demand until now. Here is our review of best manual saws, so make your choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Blade length
Teeth Per Inch
Blade type
Type of wood
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The handle protects your knuckles from hitting against the wood.

CONS

The model is heavy.

OUR VERDICT

The long blade of this saw allows faster and easier cutting and comes with a replacement blade for hard materials such as metal.

detailed parameters
Blade length

30"

Teeth Per Inch

23

Blade type

Replaceable

Type of wood

Green wood

Extras

Ergo handle with knuckle protector, Made of lightweight, high quality steel tubing, High impact orange enamel paint protects from rust and corrosion

Weight

30.5 oz

Warranty

Limited lifetime warranty

PROS

The saw makes smooth cuts and is nice for woodworking.

CONS

Has a clumsy handle.

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to the double blade, this Japanese hand saw can be used for both lengthwise and crosswise cutting to ensure that the job is done in a fast and quality way. Moreover, you won't have to sharpen the blade often.

detailed parameters
Blade length

9-1/2"

Teeth Per Inch

10 / 7

Blade type

Replacement (Double Edge)

Type of wood

Hardwood

Extras

Ideal for fine work relating to furniture and cabinet-making, unique in that they cut on the pull stroke, gives the woodworker a degree of control and accuracy, very sharp edge and exceedingly thin kerf

Weight

5.6 oz

Warranty

Limited Lifetime Warranty

PROS

The gear-lock prevents the saw from collapsing and ensures the safety of use.

CONS

Has a short blade.

OUR VERDICT

This folding handsaw is an excellent choice for outings and picnics. It takes up a little space owing to its compactness and allows cutting lots of twigs for fire.

detailed parameters
Blade length

8"

Teeth Per Inch

9

Blade type

Non-replaceable

Type of wood

Hardwood

Extras

Triple cut teeth hardened, Durable carbon steel blade, Lock-in blade for safety, Ergonomic, slip-resistant comfort grip handle

Weight

10 oz

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

PROS

The saw cuts quickly and easily thanks to the wide tooth pitch.

CONS

The cut produced is pretty rough.

OUR VERDICT

We recommend everyone who wishes to have a dependable tool for high-accuracy cuts buying this saw.

detailed parameters
Blade length

15"

Teeth Per Inch

8

Blade type

Non-replaceable

Type of wood

All kinds of wood

Extras

SharpTooth™ Saw Technology, Induction-hardened teeth, Thick, ergonomically designed grip

Weight

17.4 oz

Warranty

Limited lifetime warranty

PROS

The long handle allows holding the saw with both hands and sawing through thick boughs.

CONS

The saw in not suitable for cutting boards.

OUR VERDICT

Thanks to its curved blade, this saw quickly cuts large branches and deadwood. Despite the coarse tooth pitch, you can cut quickly with the saw.

detailed parameters
Blade length

10"

Teeth Per Inch

6

Blade type

Replaceable

Type of wood

Small to medium branches

Extras

3-Sided razor teeth, Impulse-hardened teeth, Curved-blade design

Weight

~ 10 oz.

Warranty

Lifetime warranty

What is a Manual Saw

Perhaps everyone has ever sawn dead tree branches or wooden boards. Today, we have electric chainsaws and gas сhainsaws for performing tough cutting jobs. However, the easier cutting tasks are still performed with manual saws which are among the oldest tools.

The designs of manual saws and their blades have been changing and improving over time. As a result, we have saws for lengthwise and cross cutting, saws with replaceable and non-replaceable blades, saws for hardwood and softwood, etc. In this review, we will give you a guide for choosing a saw that suits your needs.

If you need to prune high trees in your backyard, you can pick a step ladder and chop dead branches with one of our saws quickly and easily.

What Features to Compare

Type

Choosing a saw, you need to decide on its type. In general, one can single out a few types: bow saws, folding saws, pruning saws, Japanese saws, two-handled saws, and ordinary handsaws. Bow saws are designed for cutting wood, metal and plastics thanks to changeable blades. As their blades are narrow and may break if pushed hard these saws are quite fragile. On the other hand, they make cleaner cuts thanks to small teeth and fine pitch. A folding saw may be an excellent assistant in a forest or on a picnic and is handy owing to its compact size which gives it the edge over other saws. Pruning saws are helpful for cutting branches over your head thanks to their curved blades. As for Japanese saws, they are great because of their double-edged blades with different tooth pitches. Finally, handsaws are the most widespread and feature wide blade and large grip. Handsaws are used merely for cutting wood and derivative products. Two-handled saws are the enlarged versions of common manual saws but used for cutting log or even trees.

Blade length and teeth

When you determine the type of your handsaw, we recommend considering the length of its blade. The longer the blade, the faster the sawing. As for the blade teeth, the things are a bit trickier. The size and number of teeth vary depending on a saw type. The tooth pitch is usually specified in the saw description and is stated in teeth per inch or TPI. The smaller the pitch, the cleaner the cut. For example, bow saws employ fine-toothed blades to provide a minimum resistance and a smooth cut. Regarding other saws, they feature larger teeth and differ in the tooth pitch and blade length. If you need to cut rough pieces, consider a saw with 6-8 TPI. 10 PTI saws are better for sawing machined workpieces producing high accuracy and smooth cuts.

Convenience

Like any hand tool, a handsaw should be light and the weight is the main criterion of its convenience. It is obvious that a heavy saw is hard to use. As a user, you also need to pay attention to the ability of the blade to be replaced as it may be easier to replace the blade than sharpen it when it gets blunt. However, some saws come with tempered blades, which last a few times longer than their conventional peers. Then again, such blades may cost as much as a whole new saw, so the choice is up to you. The last important aspect is that you need to know the material of the saw handle. Plastic would be the best pick as it is weather-resistant unlike wood and remains intact and sturdy for a long time. Meanwhile, a wooden handle is stiffer than plastic and it will hardly break apart if you drop the saw accidentally. The saws with wooden handles are heavier, so take that into account.

Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw

Versatile Saw

Bahco is the company that has been engaged in the business of making professional grade tools for more than 130 years. Keeping this in mind, we just could not omit including this bow saw by Bahco in our review. It is made in the form of a frame of a high-class steel, so you don't need to worry about its hardness. Since this model is a bow saw, it offers a replaceable blade advantage. The saw is practical for workshops that specialize in cutting wood, metal and even plastic. By using blades with different tooth pitch, you'll be able to cut piping, plywood or plastic piece of any structure.

Review of Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw

Careful Cut

The saw's blade is 30" long and 3/4" wide. In general, the blade travel is pretty long and allows faster and easier cutting. Considering the type of the blade included, the tool is aimed at cutting fresh wood. Hence, if you deal with wood processing and crafting, this saw will help you stock up on workpieces. The saw blade has a Raker tooth set, i.e. one tooth bent to the right, another to the left, and the next one is straight. Therefore, the saw is suitable for cross-cutting and provides straight and accurate cuts thanks to its fine-pitch blade.

Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw in the use

Easy and Fast Change

As for convenience features, we want to highlight the ergonomically shaped handle. It is made of heavy-duty plastic and is fairly large and hence offers a comfortable grip for long use. The handle features the hand guard to protect your knuckles from accidental bumping against a workpiece. We should note that the saw's frame is covered with the special paint that protects it from rusting. Moreover, the coating is shockproof, so it won't peel and crack if you drop the saw down by accident. Nevertheless, we consider the quick-change blade to be the main pro of this saw. By turning the tensioning handle anticlockwise, you can loosen and remove the blade safely. After mounting the new blade, you need to turn the control clockwise and continue working.

Generally speaking, this Bahco handsaw can be helpful to carpenters who need to cut fresh wood smoothly and change blades for cutting various materials.

Detailed review of Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw

Smart Protection

The saw comes with the protective blade sheath for damage-free transportation. So, you'll be able to carry the tool anywhere without removing the blade. For more safety, you can keep the saw in the sheath with blade teeth directed inwards.

Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw
Bahco Hand Ergo Bow Saw
 

GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw

Dual Edge

Now it's time to try the handsaw by Ryoba. This is a specialized model typically used in Japan. The main convenience the tool provides is the doubled edge blade with different numbers of teeth for performing different tasks. For example, fiberboards or chipboards require careful cutting, which this saw is able to provide. Moreover, this model can saw hardwood and is an apt tool for implementing projects with accurate cuts. Having tested the saw more thoroughly, we found out that the blade can be unscrewed from the handle, thus you can easily replace it when it becomes dull. Using the saw, we established that it brilliantly copes with slender pieces. This is nice for day-to-day cutting tasks that involve sawing the bulk material off your workpieces in up to 1/25"-thick layers.

Review of GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw Japanese Hand Saw

Cut Fast and Neat

The blade of this Japanese handsaw is 9-1/2" long. One of its edges is 10 TPI and is intended for transversal cutting. The other edge accommodates teeth at 7 TPI and is more suitable for lengthwise cutting. Speaking in general, this model can be used for cutting medium-depth pieces for furniture or decor elements that usually involve dovetail jointing. Thus, you will easily make cross and lengthwise cuts for joints using this saw instead of a router or other tools. What is more, a large number of teeth provides a smooth and fast cutting. As experience shown, the Gyokucho can split a 2х2" slat within a half-minute without you putting major efforts into it.

GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw Japanese Hand Saw in the use

Pull, Not Push

When testing this handsaw, probably the first feature that we noticed was a convenient handle attached to its wide blade. Our experience of using this model showed that the cutting is easy as the saw does not require efforts on the push stroke, which is typical for Japanese handsaws. Using this saw, the cutting occurs mainly when you pull it, which is more natural for the muscles of your arms than pushing. With such a method, you'll get flush and direct cut and the blade will move along the cut easily. Wait, that's not all... We found that the blade teeth are hardened, hence you can't sharpen them. Though, the blade is not that easy to blunt and can be easily replaced when necessary.

Considering the above facts, we can recommend the Gyokucho to those who often handle medium-sized pieces and don't need a long blade.

Detailed review of GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw Japanese Hand Saw

Unusual Handle

We'd like to point out that the handle of this tool is quite long, 14-3/8". Moreover, it is wound with a special cord that creates a ribbed surface and provides a firm grip.

GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw Japanese Hand Saw application

GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw
GYOKUCHO Double Edge Razor Saw
 

Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw

Indispensable on Picnics

The next item in our review is one of folding handsaws by Home Planet Gear called EverSaw 8.0. The saw consists of the handle, blade and locking mechanism that allows you to collapse and unfold the saw. This model is effective for any tasks ranging from such home use applications as cutting tree branches near your house to outdoor use on picnics. The outdoor applications are where rather than anywhere else the compact size of the model makes it a greatly convenient tool among many camping accessories. Thanks to the foldable design, the blade can be folded its teeth inward, hence you can store the saw amid clothes and camping utensils safely. In our opinion, this model is best for outdoor activities like small picnics and longtime travels. The EverSaw will help you cut twigs for a campfire and enjoy having a great time outside.

Review of Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw

Saws Quickly and Lasts Long

Reviewing the blade of this saw, we'd like to comment that it's made of a hard carbon steel that delivers durability together with flexibility. When giving a closer look at the blade we see that its teeth are hardened, so they can be used for a long time before getting blunt. As for the size, the blade is 8" long and the entire saw length is 17" with 9-1/2" length when folded. Another important parameter worth noting is 9 TPI teeth distance that allows for an accurate cutting. We found that the saw is able to cut a 2-1/2 - 3" branch within 20 seconds, which is a decent performance.

Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw in the use

Cuts Branches and Makes Fire?

Using this handsaw, we figured out it has a feature, which may come in handy for campers. The matter is that the blade's spine (unsharpened edge) can be efficiently used for making fire. You can scratch a ferrocerium rod against the spine and get pretty large sparks. Along with that feature, we would like to pay credit to the incredible compactness of this saw when folded up. Such a small saw can easily fit into a knapsack or toolbox in the trunk of your car. The EverSaw won't be a hindrance to you but may come in handy anytime. Also, we'd like to mention the comfortable rubber-coated handle providing a firm and confident grip. Our experience showed that the blade is not changeable, so you'll have to buy another saw when this one loses sharpness. The good news is that the blade has long-lasting tempered teeth that are worth their price, the performance of which will definitely make you want to buy the same model again!

The features of this folding handsaw make it very useful for outdoorsmen who often go on picnics.

Detailed review of Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw

Convenient Handling

Cutting to the chase, the saw is designed and manufactured so to provide a convenient use and you can even hitch it to your belt or a backpack by the perforated handle. Thus, you can cut deadwood and carry it with both hands while carrying the saw hooked to your belt.

Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw
Home Planet Gear Folding Hand Saw
 

Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw

Quality Above All

The Stanley company needs no presentation and its products proved to be of high quality and dependability while being sold worldwide. For our review, we decided to pick a handsaw of FATMAX series by this company, which includes the most durable models. The saw has an ordinary design and you are very likely to see similar models in almost every house, shop or worksite. The saw consists of a rugged blade and the handle composed of two materials. The handle features the wooden base coated with plastic and rubber covers. The saw blade is quite wide hence it isn't prone to bending yet is supple enough for a comfortable cutting. In general, the Fatmax tools are efficient and serve for a long time, so this saw may be the one you look for.

Review of Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw

5 Times Longer

The blade of this saw is 15" long and it's enough for household use. Cutting a wooden bar or a bough is a moment’s work with this saw. We've learnt that the saw teeth had undergone the tempering and could stay keen up to 5 times longer comparing to the untreated ones. We would like to inform you that the saw has a Raker tooth positioned at 9 TPI. Hence, the blade cuts with minimum resistance and the cutting is efficient and fast. Overall, the saw allows cutting thick branches, bars, slats and other wooden items and may be a great assistant when implementing your construction projects and doing occasional domestic jobs. However, need to note that the long pitch and smallness of the saw teeth results in reduced quality of cuts, therefore, the saw is barely suitable for precision cuts.

Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw in the use

Reduces Hands Fatigue

When figuring out how convenient this handsaw is, we experienced its high sawing speed and great comfort. These benefits are provided by the handle and its rubber cover. After taking this saw in your hands,  you'll soon feel the model convenience and firmness of grip it provides. Moreover, during the use, your palm presses the supple rubber pad, which minimizes muscle fatigue. Finally, it is worth noting that there is a hole in the blade that allows hanging the saw on the wall. In such a way, you can compactly and safely store the tool.

This Stanley model is a needful assistant for any householder or handyman who values the build quality and comfortable use of tools.

Detailed review of Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw

Handle Instead of a Ruler

The saw's handle turned out very convenient mostly because it offered a pretty useful attribute. The saw's handle has guides to measure 90° and 45° cutting angles. So, if you need to cut a piece wood at one of these angles, align the saw with the piece and trace a line along the relevant guide. That's all, no rulers and set squares are needed.

Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw
Stanley Fat Max Hand Saw
 

Corona RS 7265D

The Saw That Differs from the Rest

As it is easy to see, the saw stands out for its curved blade. This blade shape is its main benefit, in particular for cutting branches. Why branches? The answer is simple. The curved blade allows comfortable cutting above your shoulder. When you cut a branch over the head with this saw, you get a straight cut with the branch nodding lower as you cut deeper and at some point, it cracks and drops off sooner than you have sawed it though. On the contrary, when you do the same with a straight blade saw, you get a side cut so you need to cut through the entire branch. As for the saw design, it is rather simple and includes the bent blade and the sturdy plastic handle. However, the most important thing is that the saw is foldable and features the locking button between the blade and handle.

Review of Corona RS 7265D Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw Curved Blade

Best Pick for a Picnic

Let us give a detailed impression on the saw blade. First of all, we'd like to note that the blade is 10" long and features three-sided teeth. As the blade is quite long, it has many teeth placed at 6 TPI density. Owing to this, you can cut roughly but quickly with the saw, which is great for cutting branches. In addition, the teeth are hardened, hence they remain sharp longer than unhardened ones. Considering the mentioned features, we can confidently state that curved blade saws are best assistants for hikes. Being on a picnic or in the woods, it's nice to have a compact saw that easily cuts branches over your head.

Corona RS 7265D Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw Curved Blade in the use

Following the Curve

As for convenience of use of this handsaw, we think that its large handle is one of its main advantages. To start with, the handle shape follows the shape of the blade, thus making the saw curved along the full length. Secondly, the handle is made of plastic and is coated with rubber at the bottom. Thus, the grip is firm and comfortable and your hand won't be exhausted after a long saw use. We also paid attention to the hooked end of the handle. This curve was designed to prevent the handle from slipping out of your palm, which may occur when you relax the grip on the handle with the blade getting stuck.

In general, this Corona handsaw is great for woodcutters seeking a convenient and practicable tool to keep it readily accessible.

Detailed review of Corona RS 7265D Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw Curved Blade

Smart Solution

The handle of this model features the perforation that allows you to hang the tool on a nail or hitch it to your backpack. You can also tie the saw to your wrist to prevent the tool from falling to the ground.

Corona RS 7265D Razor Tooth Folding Pruning Saw Curved Blade application

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


Corona RS 7265D
Corona RS 7265D
 

Infographics

Comparison of Handsaws for Trouble-Free Cutting

FAQ:

Q: How to sharpen a handsaw?

A: The procedure of sharpening a handsaw includes 3 steps. It begins with teeth jointing or filing so that they are of the same height. Then, the teeth need to be bent through a correct angle. This ensures a straight blade cut and a free blade run in the kerf. The setting involves bending the teeth by turns to the left and right sides of the blade centerline. The final step is the sharpening itself, typically with a file.

Q: How to cut with a handsaw right?

A: Mark the cutting line. Remember the centuries-old rule of carpentry: measure twice, cut once. Measure out the distance to at least two points on the cut you want to make (twice of course) and draw a line between them. The line will act as a guide to help you get a straight cut. Then make the starting cut. When you make the first cut, use your thumb or the thumb knuckle of the hand holding the wood as a guide to ensure you cut along the traced line.

Q: How to maintain a handsaw?

1. Store your tool in a damp-free toolbox. Storing your handsaw in a moisture-free box is vital for preventing it from corroding. Check the seal on your toolbox, especially if you often leave it outdoors or keep it in a humid environment. You can also prevent moisture accumulation in your toolbox by keeping charcoal or silica gel packets on each shelf or tray.

2. Lubricate the blade regularly. After each use, lubricate the saw blade with paste wax or WD-40 before storing. You can spread the WD-40 on the blade with a piece of cloth and leave it for several minutes. The paste wax should be wiped off after about 10 minutes of soaking into the blade. Both the wax and WD-40 will help to keep the rust off your blade.

3. Oil the handle. Maintain the handle by regularly covering it with boiled linseed oil, especially if the handle is scratched and dry. Use a cotton cloth to rub the oil in. If the handle is rusty or messy, detach the handle from the blade and clean the area around the blade-handle juncture as rust and dirt mostly build up there. Remove dirt and rust with a razor blade and steel wool. If you need to remove dried paint, we recommend scrubbing it with a steel wool soaked in white spirit. After the cleaning of the tool finish the oiling procedure by applying the boiled linseed oil.

4. In case of blade rust, remove it with a razor. If you regularly wax or oil the saw blade and keep it in a dry place, there is a very little chance the blade will get rusted. However, rust may accumulate over time. To remove the rust from the saw blade, first, detach the blade from the handle. Scrape off the rust stains with a razor blade, paying close attention to the area where it inserts into the handle. Scrape the blade thoroughly lengthwise, not widthwise. When scraping the rust off hold the razor at a low angle to avoid leaving scratches on the blade metal.

5. Remove the remains of rust from the saw blade with a sandpaper. To remove the rust remains sand the blade with 320-grit sandpaper. Before sanding the blade, apply a little white spirit to it. It is recommended to perform sanding movements along the length of the blade. After the sanding is finished remove dirt and rust particles and mineral spirits with a paper towel. Finish the maintenance procedure by waxing or oiling the blade as specified above.


Sources:

1. How to Choose the Right Saw for Your ProjectHome Depot.

2. Hand Saw Buying GuideLowe's.

3. Steve Hoefer An Introduction to Hand SawsBoing Boing. Dec 3, 2014.

4. The right hand saw will lend a helping hand around the houseYellow Pages.

5. How to Choose HandsawsThis Old House Ventures.

6. Hand saw, Wikipedia. March 2, 2017.

7. Hand Saws: Types and Safety Precautions, DoItYourself.com.

8. Steve Hoefer An Introduction to Hand Saws, Boing Boing. December 3, 2014.

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Publish Date: 2017-06-01 15:19:08