Although circular saws and jigsaws are now being used for many DIY cutting operations, the handsaw still remains an essential piece of kit. Most modern handsaws have hardpoint teeth requiring no sharpening or setting. The smoothness of the cut is dictated by the number of teeth per inch (TPI) the blade has; the more teeth per inch the smoother the cut.
In the past three different saws were needed for different cutting operations: a cross-cut saw was needed to cut across the grain; a ripsaw to cut with the grain; and a panel saw was required for cutting large sheet materials. Thankfully most modern handsaws are designed to perform all three functions.
Silverline Tri-cut Toolbox Saw
A smaller saw with a shorter blade than the other saws tested making it ideal for carrying in a toolbox. There are 7 TPI but the length of the blade is only 350mm compared to a standard handsaw blade length of 550mm. This makes the stroke shorter and therefore requires a little more work to use. The teeth are triple ground which allows the saw to cut on both the forward and back stroke. Impressive for its size, giving a good clean cut.
RRP £4.82 inc VAT
Silverline Teflon Tri-cut Saw
The grip was soft and comfortable allowing excellent control. The Tri-cut Expert Saw was easy to use and produced a clean cut in hard and soft wood. The blade is Teflon coated for low friction and the teeth have been triple ground, which cut on both the forward and reverse stroke for fast, accurate cutting. This is a good all-round handsaw that performed well in the test. Silverline’s Tri-cut Expert Saw with 7 TPI is supplied in a pack of two saws, making this an extremely good value product.
RRP £11.89 (for a pack of two saws) inc VAT
Carl Kammerling Sabretooth Saw
An excellent first fix saw which started sweetly on the first stroke and delivered a very smooth cutting action. The rigid 1mm blade has triple edge, diamond ground, hardpoint teeth that cut on the forward and reverse stroke for rapid cutting. Ergonomically designed, the Sabretooth saw has a nice fat grip that afforded superb handling and control. This saw sliced through the test materials and had the fastest cutting action of all the saws tested. The saw tested had 7 TPI but there is an 11 TPI model for finer cutting.
RRP £11.85 inc VAT
Spear & Jackson Predator Laser Guided Saw
Part of Spear & Jackson’s Predator range, the laser guided saw will be seen as the most innovative of the saws tested. By pressing a small button on top of the grip a laser beam is projected onto the timber along the cutting line. Although this may be of assistance to the novice DIYer, personally I found it a little distracting when cutting a length of timber. The laser guidance did prove beneficial, however, when cutting coarse timber that is difficult to mark with a pencil and when making complex angled cuts. The blade has 10 TPI and Spear & Jackson’s reliable cutting efficiency was clearly evident in the cleanness of the cut.
Bahco Baracuda 244+ Saw
Bahco’s Barracuda 244+ combines a good grip with a rigid steel blade. This universal saw has 7 TPI and is designed for cross cutting and rip cutting and can be used on both hard and soft wood, as well as hardboard and chipboard. I found the hardened teeth cut through the test materials quickly and efficiently with the blade moving smoothly through the timber, producing a reasonably smooth finish. This saw is slightly more expensive than the other saws tested, but it’s well worth the money.
RRP £15.33 inc VAT
Draper 550mm Soft Grip Super Cut Handsaw
Another good all round saw that performed well in the test, and very competitively priced. The Draper Expert Saw is a straight back saw with a hardened and tempered polished high carbon steel blade. This saw has a triple edged, hardened tooth design with 7 TPI. The soft grip felt very comfortable in the hand and the handle features 45° and 90° cutting angles. Personally I found the blade slightly whippy but this didn’t affect the saw’s cutting performance and it delivered a smooth finish.
RRP £6.89 inc VAT