Along with stone, clay and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood. The development of civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill in working these materials.
Hand saw blades are usually sharpened to two different tooth configurations, “Rip” and “Cross Cut”. You can change any saw’s tooth shape with saw sharpening tools. There is also a hybrid hand saw tooth configuration that is in between a Rip and Cross-cut shape, called a “Sash” tooth configuration, which is useful if you can only afford one hand saw…but it’s not as proficient at either ripping or cross-cutting). Here are some tooth shape diagrams:
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Gripping the hand saw is effortless and easy to control even when you are working with hard wood as the thick plastic handle has an ergonomically designed rubber grip which is comfortable to hold and helps to reduce any slipping. A versatile hand saw, it can be used for DIY renovations or carpentry jobs as the back of the saw can be used to mark 45 and 90-degree angles for quick and easy measuring.
So just make the decision: either spend $125 (pretty affordable) for a sharp and sexy new dovetail saw or spend $50-$200 on a vintage dovetail saw that will require sharpening and likely rust removal. I typically advocate buying antique woodworking hand tools, but in the case of back saws I prefer new Lie-Nielsen saws. I don’t currently see the progressive pitch saws on Lie-Nielsen’s website, but you can always call them and ask them to file one like that for you. But the normal dovetail saw will work great.
Have you considered picking up woodworking? No? Now might be the time to consider it! There are so many things that you can make for a fraction of the price you can buy them for, not to mention you can customize everything you make. Woodwork projects also make great gifts and you can tell everyone that you made it by hand! What is better than that?
There are two types of electric circular saws, the worm drive and the sidewinder. The worm drive saw has enough torque to cut through wet lumber and concrete. The behind-the-blade handle placement reduces kickback, and the blade’s left-side position makes it easy to see your cut line if you’re right-handed. The sidewinder’s motor, attached directly to the blade, weighs less but also has less torque.