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Which pull saw for Christmas?

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glenfield2

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I’m thinking a Japanese pull saw would be a good thing to put on my Christmas list (better than socks!). But what sort?
I’m afraid I’m a power saw person - table saw and chop saw - but a hand saw would be useful for cross cutting smaller pieces and hopefully improve my accuracy. At the moment I own a small single sided pull saw for trimming plugs etc.
No super-costly suggestions please or I’ll still get socks.
 

Woodernhift

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If you don‘t have much experience of Japanese saws I would get an inexpensive one to practice with. You need a gentle touch don’t push the saw back into the wood for the next cut with any force or you may bend the saw. Let the saw cut its own way through the wood don’t apply much downward pressure. A cheap saw will give you ok results but don’t expect too much from it. Once you’re comfortable get a decent saw set such as the gyokucho professional dozuki set from Workshop Heaven good saws that will give you good results.
 

Sideways

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Gyokucho brand. Decent quality machine made.
A kataba and/or a 0.3mm sun child dozuki (back saw)
 

Ollie78

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Gyokucho are good as noted above, the Axminster ones are gyokucho re branded.
Z saw are pretty good.
If you want pure sawing luxury see if you can get a handmade one. I have one and it's another level of sharp.
The problem is they are made from hardened plate rather than being impulse hardened teeth and are quite delicate.

Ollie
 

glenfield2

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If you don‘t have much experience of Japanese saws I would get an inexpensive one to practice with. You need a gentle touch don’t push the saw back into the wood for the next cut with any force or you may bend the saw. Let the saw cut its own way through the wood don’t apply much downward pressure. A cheap saw will give you ok results but don’t expect too much from it. Once you’re comfortable get a decent saw set such as the gyokucho professional dozuki set from Workshop Heaven good saws that will give you good results.
I’ve used various cheap ones from Aldi which were good up to a point. Something better than them but not as costly as a £100 set would be ideal.
 

D_W

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Don't overspend. The gyochuko and z saws that are 50 to 60 bucks here are about a third of that in japan. I've ordered replacement blades from Japan for around 5 bucks each. Individual blades including a shipping charge in Japan are only about 8 bucks. They somehow get marked to the moon before they're retailed here.

Gyochuko and z are your best bet for decent saws, though.
 

D_W

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The company site shows a large selection, but no Z8 and several 265 options. Which ones are you recommending?


"cross 250"- note, if you look at the picture, there's an "8" on the saw. They used to be listed as "Z8" and may still be.

or "Cross 265" - same thing, the plate itself says 265. Some will say @265 - there are two different tooth sizes for that saw, but they are only slightly different.

The 265 is more useful for universal use (cutting small and large), but a little trickier for a beginner to start.

Too much cross cutting with the smaller toothed 8 saw (like cutting larger boards instead of just joints, etc) and that saw will become too slow for general use (but those are really easy to start because of the small teeth).

If I were a beginner, I would spring for one of each (one handle would cover both) to see what the preference may be.

Those blades are generally $15-$25 in the US, depending on who the retailer is.

I see no difference in quality between Z and gyochuko, but there is a difference in styles available.
 

Gant

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I bought a Shokunin from Axminster and was impressed. It cuts quickly through hardwood. It’s double edged for rip and cross cut, and yes it makes a difference, and has a narrow kerf. They have gone up quite a bit in the last year, but they’re still not that expensive. I will buy another blade for this when it dulls.

 

Ollie78

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These are Gyokucho, it's stamped on them.

Ollie
 

profchris

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The thread originator talks of cross cutting and improved accuracy. Much depends on what he is cutting, and what kind of accuracy he is looking for.

This is my experience:

A dozuki (backsaw) can be super accurate. But not ideal for long cuts or deep stock.

A katana (no back) can cope with wide and deep stock, but not quite as accurate.

Both can be very accurate though, to within say 0.2mm of a knifed line depending on the user.

Japanese saws work nicely in softwood and softer hardwoods if not too thick. For oak I'd only use mine on 6mm boards or thinner - a Western saw will perform better on deeper oak and is less likely to lose a tooth.
 

D_W

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Experience with a kataba will eliminate errors (But some of that experience is in correcting a saw if the saw is aiding a wayward cut with uneven set or a couple of teeth that have bent a bit out of line).

I vaguely recall starting off mostly with japanese saws and using them for everything as I was dropping power tools, but it was necessary to begin sharpening often and little in japanese saws will rip with a disston rip saw (the only saw I had that was in the ballpark was a custom saw that cost $800 and the teeth looked more western than japanese - I tried it, it was good - I could still outrip it with a disston and it made its way around the states until someone who was interested in trying it wanted to buy it).

That said, I've seen nothing in what are essentially hardware store saws that is similar to that (and had rip katabas and ryobas as big as 330mm). I have a mid size japanese rip saw and two maebiki now (they're cheap if you just get them directly from japan's version of ebay - not so much when sold to westerners, especially if sold by westerners to westerners).

My recommendation above for the Z265 is based on the fact that it's pretty much like the finer saws, but slightly bigger with teeth about 50% more coarse. if straightness is an issue for someone in a crosscut with a kataba, they should focus cutting more across the board (shallower angle) until they get a better feel, and focus on slower rhythm with small adjustments rather than fast saw, check, fast saw more, oops, turn around and come from the other side.

Once you get bigger and faster than the Z265 (@300 and @335, etc), the teeth become aggressive and it's easy for a beginner to lose control of the saw and skip out of the cut into clean territory, spoiling a board in some cases.

All of these saws are essentially home center priced tools in japan, and are intended to be used briskly and pitched (which we would do if they were actually $5 each here). They can all be sharpened pretty easily with a feather-shaped diamond file if one only uses it to ride the very top facet. It's possible to make them at least as sharp as new in about 5 minutes.
 

glenfield2

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The thread originator talks of cross cutting and improved accuracy. Much depends on what he is cutting, and what kind of accuracy he is looking for.

I hate to admit but I have great difficulty hand sawing straight! My verticals just drift off course. (Maybe it’s because I’m a weird mix of left and right handed). I find accuracy easier using pull rather than push saws.
I will probably mainly use a pull saw on smaller dimension soft and hardwoods and as for accuracy, anything that gives me a fighting chance of getting the cut where I marked the pencil line.
 

mikej460

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D_W

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I hate to admit but I have great difficulty hand sawing straight! My verticals just drift off course. (Maybe it’s because I’m a weird mix of left and right handed). I find accuracy easier using pull rather than push saws.
I will probably mainly use a pull saw on smaller dimension soft and hardwoods and as for accuracy, anything that gives me a fighting chance of getting the cut where I marked the pencil line.

Everyone goes through it. The only thing that really solves it easily is repetition - I had the same problem and don't remember where it went away because I resolved to plane out the error and keep it on the wrong side of the line. Over time, it goes away (it's less effort to saw in a way that doesn't cause twist and over time you'll end up doing whatever is the least effort).
 

baldkev

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I hate to admit but I have great difficulty hand sawing straight!

If youve got some time on your hands over xmas, try this.

Get a new saw. An irwin/ jack like this will do nicely.
The reason for the new saw is that it shouldn't have any damage to the teeth, so the set should be right.

Get some timber, anything nail free will be ok, but some 4x2 would be great. Use a square and mark off 2 faces, 1" in from the end. Set the timber on a bench or at a height that you feel comfortable with. Clamp if thats easier for you.
Now you are going to cut to the lines, then mark an inch in and repeat.... lots and lots of times!! Its important to focus on your body movement. I put my index finger along the handle ( probably out of habit ), dont grip it too tight, you dont need to strangle the saw. You want your sawblade and forearm to be in a straight line with your shoulder and elbow and those two joints are the bit that move.

After a lot of cuts muscle memory should start kicking in and you will relax into it.
I was put in from of a stack of hardwood as an apprentice, but the time i had squared it all up i was pretty good 👍
 
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