Tenon saw - is this saw a good buy

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Molynoox

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I want a saw for dovetail joints and mortise and tenon joints. Can I get away with just one saw for now?
I'm trying to slowly build up my tools so not wanting to go mad.

What about this one

Link

Thanks
 
A saw is as good as the steel of the plate and how well it’s been sharpened. The rest is IMO just marketing. Any old timer joiner worth his salt would have ‘adjusted’ the handle to be comfortable for him, so as long at its wood, you can make it fit your hand nicely.

I haven’t seen or ‘felt’ the Axminster saw, but see no reason why it’s not a good user. Thomas Flynn, one of the last UK maker of saws also does a saw in the price range.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/31183996...6&customid=C-nzUzwUAAAAeO2ZHLt7zWaJ-fEAAAAAAA
Spear and Jackson also make one

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spear-Jack...02&hvtargid=pla-423204218101&psc=1&th=1&psc=1
Again I haven’t personally handled them. My own opinion is that all the ‘cheaper’ saws need a little attention with a saw file as the set of the teeth will be wider than really necessary and it won’t be ‘sticky’ sharp.

The nice thing about Axminister if you visit their store is that you can try a high end saw, and get a feel of how a properly sharpened and set saw cuts. You can then use this ’feel’ to contrast ‘cheaper’ saws and your own saw sharpening.
 
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Yes, but the tpi is important in terms of quality of finish vs speed of cut. I would opt for the 15 tpi version as this will make it slower going and so more able to control the cut. Watch how Sellers does it watch the mirror image in the saw blade to ensure the blade is perpendicular to the work piece.
 
A saw is as good as the steel of the plate and how well it’s been sharpened. The rest is IMO just marketing. Any old timer joiner worth his salt would have ‘adjusted’ the handle to be comfortable for him, so as long at its wood, you can make it fit your hand nicely.

I haven’t seen or ‘felt’ the Axminster saw, but see no reason why it’s not a good user. Thomas Flynn, one of the last UK maker of saws also does a saw in the price range.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/31183996...6&customid=C-nzUzwUAAAAeO2ZHLt7zWaJ-fEAAAAAAA
Spear and Jackson also make one

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spear-Jack...02&hvtargid=pla-423204218101&psc=1&th=1&psc=1
Again I haven’t personally handled them. My own opinion is that all the ‘cheaper’ saws need a little attention with a saw file as the set of the teeth will be wider than really necessary and it won’t be ‘stick’ sharp.

The nice thing about Axminister if you visit their store is that you can try a high end saw, and get a feel of how a properly sharpened and set saw cuts. You can then use this ’feel’ to contrast ‘cheaper’ saws and your own saw sharpening.
Agreed the S&J saw has a wider set keef than my favourite sandvik saw or even a Wickes hardpoint tenon saw.
 
@mikej460 I don’t agree, the thickness of the stuff determines the minimum TPI required, if you have too high a TPI the gullets of the teeth become clogged and the saw will wander off line making it impossible for anyone to make the saw cut straight. As a beginner, you’re better off with a lower tooth count to avoid this. The biggest factor affecting the quality of the cut is the set of the teeth, firstly and again to make sawing easier you want the teeth set just a smidge wider than the plate thickness, this keeps the saw tracking correctly once the cut has been started. Secondly, the teeth need to be set accurately, such they they all have the same amount of bend outward. Any deviation between the teeth causes a ragged appearance to the wall of the stuff being cut.

Everyone has their way of making a cut straight a true, Paul has the method he teaches, it’s slow and I’ve never seen a professional using it, but Im sure they exist. The one I show people is for them to ensure that when sawing they align their head so they look down on the blade such that their eyes see either side of the saw equally, ie they look directly down on the back of the saw. This is done with the saw vertical before your start the cut, and then you keep your head still, locked in position. Your brain hates anything that’s not symmetrical, so it will without any effort attempt to keep the saw in this position without any need to worry. Just try moving your head before you start the cut so you see more of either side of the saw, you will cut at that angle, sloping away from the side your head sees more of. If you don’t believe me, try it.
 
@mikej460 I don’t agree, the thickness of the stuff determines the minimum TPI required, if you have too high a TPI the gullets of the teeth become clogged and the saw will wander off line making it impossible for anyone to make the saw cut straight. As a beginner, you’re better off with a lower tooth count to avoid this. The biggest factor affecting the quality of the cut is the set of the teeth, firstly and again to make sawing easier you want the teeth set just a smidge wider than the plate thickness, this keeps the saw tracking correctly once the cut has been started. Secondly, the teeth need to be set accurately, such they they all have the same amount of bend outward. Any deviation between the teeth causes a ragged appearance to the wall of the stuff being cut.

Everyone has their way of making a cut straight a true, Paul has the method he teaches, it’s slow and I’ve never seen a professional using it, but Im sure they exist. The one I show people is for them to ensure that when sawing they align their head so they look down on the blade such that their eyes see either side of the saw equally, ie they look directly down on the back of the saw. This is done with the saw vertical before your start the cut, and then you keep your head still, locked in position. Your brain hates anything that’s not symmetrical, so it will without any effort attempt to keep the saw in this position without any need to worry. Just try moving your head before you start the cut so you see more of either side of the saw, you will cut at that angle, sloping away from the side your head sees more of. If you don’t believe me, try it.
Good point, I didn't consider thickness but the higher tpi will slow the cut in thinner stock. I have so often in the past cut fast and wandered off the line.
 
I'm no expert, but my technique is to set the cut on the top face (horizontal) to a depth of a mm and then sight the cut in the vertical dimension?!
 
Good point, I didn't consider thickness but the higher tpi will slow the cut in thinner stock. I have so often in the past cut fast and wandered off the line.
There is a compromise, you need at least 3 teeth in the cut for the saw to cut smoothly, 4 is actually better. This determines the minimum TPI you need to cut the stuff, you can angle the saw to help gain an extra tooth in the cut. The comprise is in reality you want as lower TPI as you can for speed / saw dust removal whilst maintaining a smooth cut.

I detailed the TPI to select and why, and how to setup a saw in this thread

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/thread...and-re-teething-of-a-99p-saw-completed.98494/
 
I'm no expert, but my technique is to set the cut on the top face (horizontal) to a depth of a mm and then sight the cut in the vertical dimension?!
If it works for you, it’s a good method. Many ways to skin a cat as the saying goes.

A lot of the texts I’ve read often say to look down on the saw, but never divulge the reason why and what effect it has. It was my father that showed me the reason for it and how to cut straight to earn a living before the days of electric hand tools.
 
I use an old spear and jackson 14 tpi tenon saw, found on ebay, and I learnt how to sharpen it from watching some paul sellers videos. It's worth mentioning that veritas saw's seem very good for the money, I don't own one but have heard nothing but good things about them.
 
When I buy a tenon saw do I need to think about if it's a cross cut or a rip cut?
On the tpi thing I will just need to find an all rounder compromise.
 
When I buy a tenon saw do I need to think about if it's a cross cut or a rip cut?
On the tpi thing I will just need to find an all rounder compromise.

All my tenon and dovetail saws are sharpened rip, I did have one I sharpened to crosscut but that's used as a carcass saw not for tenons.
 
I use an old spear and jackson 14 tpi tenon saw, found on ebay, and I learnt how to sharpen it from watching some paul sellers videos. It's worth mentioning that veritas saw's seem very good for the money, I don't own one but have heard nothing but good things about them.
Yeah like this one, it does look good.
Doubles the budget though....
 
Veritas make a lovely saw, lighter than a typical traditional brass back tenon saw and with the blade glued in. Pistol grips look woubderful, but are more vulnerable to breaking should it drop off the bench…..which is inevitable.

You can use a tenon saw to cut dovetails, I usually do! The main difference between the two is the dovetail will have a narrower blade and often a higher TPI for cutting thin sections, typically say small drawer sides.
 
I have the Veritas DT saw, the Spear and Jackson (I reduced the set on this) and a couple of Japanese pullsaws. For DT, I use the pull saw every time.
I would take the advice offered earlier and visit a store and test out the various ones, buy which feels best to you.

Oh and @deema is correct - the Veritas pistol handles get damaged at nothing. i dropped mine onto the bench, not the floor, and the handle chipped.
 
you'll have to decide if you want to use a push or pull saw, for me it's a big deal, I don't like japanese saws for dovetailing personally and find I go off square and off the line much easier, I feel like I'm in control with a western push saw much more.
 
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