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Hand Saws

When it comes to woodworking and carpentry, hand saws are indispensable tools. Whether you're a professional or a DIY enthusiast, having a reliable hand saw can make all the difference in your projects. In this review, we'll present the best hand saws of 2023, highlighting their features, pros, and cons. This comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision when purchasing a hand saw for your needs.

Types of Hand Saws

There are several types of hand saws available, each designed for a specific purpose. Here are the most common types:

  • Rip Saw: A rip saw is designed for cutting wood along the grain. It has large, sharp teeth that remove material quickly and efficiently. The teeth are usually filed to a chisel-like edge, making it easy to start a cut.
  • Crosscut Saw: A crosscut saw is designed for cutting wood across the grain. It has smaller, more closely spaced teeth than a rip saw, which makes it more suitable for finer cuts. The teeth are filed with a knife-like edge, allowing them to slice through the wood fibers more cleanly.
  • Backsaw: A backsaw is a type of hand saw with a stiffening rib on the edge opposite the cutting edge. This makes the saw more stable and allows for more precise cuts. Backsaws are often used for woodworking tasks like dovetail joints and tenons.
  • Hacksaw: A hacksaw is designed for cutting metal and has a thin, flexible blade with very fine teeth. The frame of a hacksaw is adjustable to accommodate different blade lengths.
  • Coping Saw: A coping saw is a type of hand saw with a thin, narrow blade that is used for cutting curves and intricate shapes in wood. The blade is held in a U-shaped frame and can be rotated to allow for cutting in any direction.
  • Japanese Saw: Japanese saws are known for their thin, flexible blades and often have two cutting edges: one for ripping and one for crosscutting. They are designed for pull-strokes, which makes them more precise and easier to control.

Top 5 Hand Saw Picks:

1. Stanley FatMax 20-045 15-Inch Hand Saw

Stanley FatMax 20-045


  • Sharp, durable teeth
  • Comfortable grip
  • Easy to start cuts
  • Suitable for a variety of materials


  • Some users report difficulty with very fine cuts
  • Blade may be too flexible for some tasks

The Stanley FatMax 20-045 hand saw is a popular choice among professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. Its 15-inch blade features induction-hardened teeth that remain sharp up to five times longer than standard saw teeth. The ergonomic grip ensures comfort during prolonged use, and the 45° and 90° angle guides make it easy to achieve accurate cuts.

2. Irwin 2011200 Marathon 15-Inch Coarse Cut Saw

Irwin 2011200 Marathon 15-Inch Coarse Cut Saw


  • Aggressive cutting action
  • Sturdy, durable blade
  • Comfortable grip
  • Suitable for cutting wood, plastic, and composite materials


  • Not ideal for very fine cuts
  • May require greater effort for some users

The Irwin 2011200 Marathon Coarse Cut Saw is designed for fast, efficient cutting. Its M2 tooth technology and 8 TPI configuration make it ideal for cutting through a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, and composites. The thick body blade prevents bending and increases durability, while the ProTouch grip ensures comfort during use.

3. Bahco 2600-22-XT-HP 22-Inch Ergo Handsaw System

Bahco 2600-22-XT-HP 22-Inch Ergo Handsaw System


  • Superior cutting performance
  • Comfortable, ergonomic grip
  • Easy blade changes
  • Ideal for cutting wood and plastic


  • Higher price point
  • May be too long for some users

The Bahco 2600-22-XT-HP Ergo Handsaw System is designed for professional use, featuring a 22-inch blade with XT toothing for superior cutting performance. The ergonomically designed handle with a two-component grip provides comfort and control, while the quick-release blade change system allows for easy blade replacement. This saw is ideal for cutting wood and plastic, but its larger size may not suit all users.

4. Japanese Ryoba Double Edge Saw

Japanese Ryoba Double Edge Saw


  • Versatile cutting options
  • Sharp, durable teeth
  • Ideal for fine woodworking tasks
  • Traditional design favored by many woodworkers


  • May be challenging for beginners to use effectively
  • Replacement blades can be expensive

The Japanese Ryoba Double Edge Saw is a versatile hand saw that features both crosscut and rip teeth on a single, double-sided blade. Its impulse-hardened teeth remain sharp and durable, making it ideal for fine woodworking tasks. While the traditional design is favored by many woodworking enthusiasts, it may be challenging for beginners to use effectively.

5. Shark Corp 10-2312 12-Inch Carpentry Saw

Shark Corp 10-2312 12-Inch Carpentry Saw


  • Smooth, precise cuts
  • Fast cutting action
  • Comfortable grip
  • Suitable for a variety of materials


  • Blade may be too flexible for some tasks
  • Not ideal for very coarse cuts

The Shark Corp 10-2312 Carpentry Saw is designed for smooth, precise cuts with minimal effort. Its 14 TPI configuration and three cutting edges per tooth provide fast cutting action, while the pull stroke cutting design adds control. The ergonomic grip ensures comfortable use, making this saw suitable for cutting various materials, including wood, plastic, and drywall.

Key Features to Look for in a Hand Saw

When choosing a hand saw, consider the following features:

  • Blade Material:The most common blade materials are high-carbon steel and high-speed steel. High-carbon steel is more flexible and less likely to break, while high-speed steel is more durable and retains its sharpness longer.
  • Blade Length: The length of the blade affects the depth of the cut and the saw's overall manageability. Longer blades can make deeper cuts, but they may be more difficult to control. Choose a blade length that suits your needs and comfort level.
  • Tooth Configuration: The tooth configuration affects the cutting speed and the quality of the cut. Coarser teeth remove material quickly but leave a rougher finish, while finer teeth make slower cuts but leave a smoother finish.
  • Handle Design: A comfortable handle is essential for extended use. Look for ergonomically designed handles that fit your hand well and reduce fatigue.
  • Blade Tensioning Mechanism: Some hand saws have adjustable blade tension, allowing you to tighten or loosen the blade as needed. This can help extend the life of the blade and improve cutting performance.

How to Maintain Your Hand Saw

Proper maintenance is crucial to keep your hand saw in good working condition. Follow these steps to maintain your saw:

  • Cleaning: After each use, clean the blade with a brush to remove any dust, dirt, or debris. Use a dry cloth to wipe off any residual moisture and prevent rust.
  • Rust Prevention: To protect your saw from rust, apply a light coat of oil or a rust-preventative spray to the blade. Store the saw in a dry, cool place away from moisture.
  • Sharpening: When the saw becomes dull, it's time to sharpen the teeth. Use a file or a sharpening stone to hone the blade, following the existing bevel and tooth configuration. For best results, consider having your saw professionally sharpened.
  • Tooth Set: If the saw is binding during cuts, the teeth may need to be re-set. Use a saw set tool to adjust the angle of the teeth, ensuring they are evenly spaced and bent in alternating directions. Consult the manufacturer's guidelines for the recommended tooth set for your specific saw.

Safety Tips for Using a Hand Saw

Follow these safety tips to ensure safe and efficient use of your hand saw:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris, and consider wearing gloves to improve grip and protect your hands.
  • Secure Your Workpiece: Clamp or secure your workpiece to a stable surface to prevent it from moving while cutting.
    Proper Body Positioning: Stand to the side of the cutting path, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your body weight evenly distributed.
  • Cutting Technique: Apply steady, even pressure during cutting, and use the full length of the saw blade for smoother, more efficient cuts.
  • Keep the Blade Sharp: A sharp blade is not only more efficient but also safer, as it requires less force to make cuts and is less likely to bind or slip.
  • Inspect Your Saw: Regularly inspect your saw for damage, such as cracked handles, loose fasteners, or bent teeth, and address any issues before using the saw.


Selecting the right hand saw depends on your specific needs, personal preferences, and budget. The Stanley FatMax 20-045, Irwin 2011200 Marathon, Bahco 2600-22-XT-HP, Japanese Ryoba Double Edge Saw, and Shark Corp 10-2312 are all excellent choices, each providing distinct features and benefits.

For general-purpose cutting tasks, the Stanley FatMax 20-045 and Irwin 2011200 Marathon are reliable options. The Bahco 2600-22-XT-HP offers superior performance for professional use, while the Japanese Ryoba Double Edge Saw is perfect for fine woodworking tasks. Lastly, the Shark Corp 10-2312 is versatile and suitable for a variety of materials.

Consider your specific requirements, preferences, and budget when choosing the best hand saw for your needs. No matter which one you select, investing in a high-quality hand saw will undoubtedly improve your woodworking and carpentry projects.