A flexible pull saw, forged and sharpened by hand. Two cutting edges — one for rip cuts parallel to the grain, and the other for cross cuts against the grain. Made in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. (
This Japanese handmade double-edged saw is often found in professional wood workshops. With two edges on the blade, it can preform rip cuts with one side and cross cuts with the other. The sharp teeth chip into wood on the pull, allowing for clean, precise and quick cuts with less brute force.
Western saws cut on the push, requiring a stronger, sturdier tooth. This results in a much wider kerf (width of cut) than this Japanese pull saw, which keeps a straighter, smaller line, and a much sweeter finish.
The metal for this handmade saw is cut, forged, hardened with oil, and tempered, before being scraped to its final size. The teeth are ground roughly, and then filed to shape by hand. Each blade is inspected by the master blacksmith, and touched up with a hammer and an anvil if necessary.
Each blade is 180 mm long, with around 10 teeth per inch on the rip side, and 25 teeth per inch on the cross cut side. The kerf is 0.34 mm.
Store the saw in a dry place, and oil it occasionally to keep rust from marring their mirror-like finish. Keep the blade away from any metal or stone to prevent chipping teeth.
The thin blade of this saw is very flexible, so it's especially good with flush cuts (cutting against a flat surface). Because it cuts on the pull, the blade won't wobble as you saw through wood, the pulling action keeps it straight.
It may take some practice to get used to cutting with this saw. The key is to let the saw do the work rather than forcing the blade into the cut. It feels counter-intuitive on first use, but pays off in the long run with speed, precision and smoothness. With practice it becomes like an extension of the hand.
The teeth are so tough that the blade won't need replacing for a while, even with daily use. When it comes time, the teeth can be file-sharpened by an experienced blacksmith.
Designed and hand-forged in Miki City in Japan's Hyogo Prefecture, this saw is the brainchild of a second generation blacksmith who learned his skills at his father's elbow. The steel used to make it is over 2 mm thick. Forging, grinding, tempering and filing, brings the blade to a fine 0.5 mm by the time it's complete.
These saws were originally designed for use in the restoration of shrines and temples of historical importance, situations in which using a factory-manufactured one would be seen as a mark of disrespect.
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