Are expensive tenon saws worth it?

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Sideways

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Just throwing it out there.
My sister in law wanted to make herselves some bookshelves. Negligible woodworking experience or skill but keen to DIY.
I showed her how to use it and sent her away with a japanese kataba saw.
She made many cuts with this and was happy with her completed project.
They are very different to use from a push saw and I think they are easier for a beginner. I prefer them.
Wherever you buy it, Gyokucho brand saws are decent quality / value, machine made blades. Replaceable.

Workshop Heaven stock them and Axminsters Shogun (?) Shokunin (?) range were just rebadged Gyokucho last time I looked at one (though that might change whenever they want to).

Try it, if it doesn't work, sell it on and the experiment won't have cost much.
 

Rich C

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Tenon saws don't flex readily. They've got a stiff spine. Therefore I don't understand the assertion/ instruction/ claim.
I too thought it was an odd piece of advice. If your tenon saw is flexing then it's broken and will probably need replacing (or some serious work to repair).
 

AndyT

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Mike, I think you might need to look at some of the rubbish that is out there at the very bottom of the market.
If neither the maker nor the user knows that the back is needed to stiffen the saw, the market is open for a flimsy saw shaped object with a strip of tinfoil where the back should be. I think the warning is about those.
If you stop for a coffee break, see the ever-sensible Mitch Peacock trying to get decent results out of the sort of disposable saw now available.

 
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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi,

This is my first post. ......

So I wondered about getting a tenon saw ........

So my simple question is, can somebody recommend a decent (tenon?) saw for making straight cuts across wood 300mm (ish) high, that makes straight cuts, is easy to use, doesn't require sharpening and is safe for a muppet such as myself to get the hang of and use. I'm drowning under data and need to get some air. Oh, and are the Veritas saws worth it? I happen to have an antique centre down the road which seems to have a lot of older tools in, never bothered before, but are they worth looking at?

Many thanks

Rob

Hi Rob

Welcome to the forum.

For cutting across a 300mm board, you do not want a tenon saw. You do not want a dovetail saw. And especially you do not want a hardpoint saw .... unless you are after rough cuts. You want a crosscut saw.

For the least amount of money PLUS the finest finish, get a Japanese Ryoba saw. The shorter 210mm long version will likely provide the most control for you.

These saws cut on the pull, and leave a fine finish. They can be tricky to use without breaking teeth, but there is a way to saw accurately as well as securely - use a fence to guide the saw.

This is not a Ryoba saw - it is an Azebiki - which is also used for crosscutting (but here it is for a stopped dado/housing). It is the fence which I want you to take note of ...

HarlequinsidetableFine%20dados_html_fe7ad8a.jpg


It is possible to saw without a fence (use a chisel wall), but I recommend a Ryoba and fence for you.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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clogs

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I'd say u can do worse than buy Swedish Bahco or Sandvic for starting out.....
Better than average......
not for u but guidence, If I start a big'ish job fitting out I always buy a new one.......
along with all the kit I take a good handsaw is an asset....
the only Japanese saw I've managed to use was a wreck....so can't say anything but would like to see one at work before buying.....
just keep doing ur best is all I can offer.....it will eventually come to u.....it's just practice....
for some it takes years tho.....
 

Nelly111s

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If you have a local tool store, ask them about a saw sharpening service (I have two places locally I can use). You could then buy an "old" saw and get it sharpened for you for the first go, so you know what it will perform like.
 

hughcollier

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This has been a really interesting and informative thread!

I have a question... What is the difference between the teeth on a cheap "disposable" saw as mentioned in some post above and a more expensive saw that is able to be sharpened? I suppose another way to ask the question would be: how do you know if it's worth the bother of attempting to sharpen a saw or not in the first place?
 

Cabinetman

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Going back to what I said a couple of pages back, as I understand it, a Veritas tenon saw has an unusual set of teeth that are nearly impossible to sharpen.
The question is, has anybody on here sharpened a Veritas tenon saw as it was set up originally ?
 

Ttrees

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Cosman has a variable tooth or progressive pitch filed on his saws, and takes
them back for re-sharpening.
I can't say if I remember a particular video that demonstrates this, but likely a video exists.
I imagine it might take some getting used to, if your intending to not only sharpen the saw once or twice, but from a maintenance perspective, a reliable way to keep that profile.
The term crowding might give some hints regarding how to avoid a gap in-between the two different profiles.
Crowding means you have to bias the pressure to get/keep the points where you want.

Tom
 

hughcollier

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The cheap "disposable" saws have hardened teeth, and this shows up as being coloured bluey-black.

Thanks for the clarification. I will have to check my saws later although I'm fairly sure they'll have the hardened teeth as they are all pretty cheap. Good to know what to look out for though in any future car boot sales etc.
 

AJB Temple

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Going back to what I said a couple of pages back, as I understand it, a Veritas tenon saw has an unusual set of teeth that are nearly impossible to sharpen.
The question is, has anybody on here sharpened a Veritas tenon saw as it was set up originally ?
I use Veritas dovetail, carcass, cross cut and large carcass saws. They are perfectly OK to sharpen - never had a problem.
 

MikeG.

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Thanks for the clarification. I will have to check my saws later although I'm fairly sure they'll have the hardened teeth as they are all pretty cheap. Good to know what to look out for though in any future car boot sales etc.

The other thing to check for is plastic handles. If they have hardened teeth they will, as far as I know ALWAYS have a plastic handle. However, some non-hardened saws also have plastic handles. Quite a few, actually. So if you see a wooden handle you can be certain you have a sharpenable saw.
 

thomashenry

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Blimey. Either you're not using it enough, or you haven't realised that it's a bit blunter than you think (it does creep up on you slowly). I reckon I resharpen my main tenon saw 2 or 3 times a year, and I've got 4 others that share the sawing burden.

You probably use yours WAY more than me. Woodworking is something I sadly have very, very little time for, so dominated is my life by work and other obligations. I've done no woodworking since the Welsh Dresser build I made a thread on back in April/May, and little prospect of doing any more this year.
 

hughcollier

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The other thing to check for is plastic handles. If they have hardened teeth they will, as far as I know ALWAYS have a plastic handle. However, some non-hardened saws also have plastic handles. Quite a few, actually. So if you see a wooden handle you can be certain you have a sharpenable saw.

That’s a good tip thanks. Checked all my saws and unsurprisingly they all have hardened teeth!
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I think that you need to seriously avoid hard point saws for crosscutting if you are seeking a good finish. It really would not surprise me if the set was wide, and this will leave a wide kerf with a coarse finish. Everyone here keeps going on about rip filed saws. Am I the only one that sees a problem here for crosscutting a 300mm wide board? An inexpensive Japanese saw will perform superbly on the crosscut.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Spectric

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Hi all

I have seen what can be achieved with a tenon saw in the right hands and a good quality saw will upto a point help but the most important aspect is the person using it, no saw can deliver on its own and don't I know it. I am currently trying japanese saws and getting on well compared to previous but its the mindset of it cutting on the pull and not the push, reminds me of the french saying where a horse pulls the cart and does not push it.
 

heimlaga

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I use secondhand Sandvik 208 tennon saws which I have sharpened and fitted with more ergonomic handles. That is one of the cheapest ways of getting a tennon saw theese days.

There are two problems as far as I can see
1. Most tennon saws sold are not resharpenable. Many of them are right from the beginning sharpened to roughly the same standard as a beginner will produce with his first shapening. Then they are hardened so nothing can be done to remedy the shortcomings in the way tat a beginner would do with his second sharpening. Not a very good start for someone learning woodwork.

2. Most tennon saws sold have handles that either are incorrectly angled for a straight cut or has to be gripped with lots of force which makes it impossible to cut straight. Not a very good start either.

It is up to you at what point in your life you learn to sharpen saws so that you can find or make a handle that fits your hand and then stick to that saw for the rest of your life. However I strongly suggest that you should learn it some day. It is not that hard to learn sharpening but it will take some time and frustration to get there. However you will sooner or later need that skill in order to maintain that only saw that fits your hand and allows you to easily saw straight. Maybe it is not the right time now but it may be once your first saw has gotten dull ?
 

Paul alan

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I haven't tried the more expensive western-style tenon saws, but the mid-range os Japanese saws are a pleasure to use.
You can achieve good results with whatever saw you choose if you put the practice in.

Some nights I go in the shed and just square off a load of lines on some scrap and just start sawing.

I'm getting there!
 
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