Do you know when the backsaw was first invented?
The answer is: somewhere around the 1680’s.
So, when a tool can survive through three centuries and still manages to hold a rather strong market, there must be something special about it. And, there is.
The backsaw is a deceptively simple tool that can take your woodworking and other crafting activities to a truly powerful level. You can use it to perform tricky crafting like tenon and dovetail cuts or saw through a thick piece of lug.
Oh, and did we mention that through all of these processes you’ll be safe from a wildly swinging saw-blade as it’ll be locked in place by a strong metal back?
Now that you got a glimpse of the power and efficacy of using a backsaw, let’s open the curtain for the full view.
Top 5 Back Saws Reviews
1. Stanley, Black & Decker Saw Storage Mitre Box with Backsaw 19-800
Stanley puts in an extra spark to the normal marketing strategies of selling backsaws by adding a meter storage in the package.
The storage is made from a non-transparent, thermoplastic polymer known as ABS plastic. It is immune to corrosion and humidity, has a highly adaptive chemical structure, and resists strong impacts. The box also comes with an integrated pocket for storing smaller items like screws, lock-lids, etc.
The saw is 12-inches long, putting it in the category of Carcass saws. It weighs only 1.5 pounds, making it light enough to use with less physical effort and increased portability.
As mentioned previously, it comes with a meter box which allows you to achieve 45 and 90-degree angle cuts. It is also possible to make 22.5-degree cuts of octagonal formation.
The product is designed in a spacious manner. This innovative design allows for a smooth and fast cutting experience, lets leftover chips drop off without complicacy, and makes a swift wash-up easy for keeping the toolset always fresh.
The back is made of hardened stainless steel for increasing safety and balance.
The handle is inwardly curved in a practically effective style and offers a square-dotted grip for comfort and traction. The integration point where the blade meets the handle has a two-screw installation with plastic guards, elevating the collective structural strength. The sloped handle locks onto the cutting table, providing you better stability.
A single-push button pressed with one finger propels the saw outward from the mitre storage. The storage base has fastener holes which helps you set the saw securely on the working table. The storage system is compatible with all (12×14)-inch Stanley manufactured backsaws and panel saws.
- Adds a thermoplastic meter storage to store the blade and make angle cuts.
- Equipped with the “single-push button” technology.
- Allows you to make 45, 90, and 22.5-degree angle cuts with precision.
- Provides an ergonomic handle with a square-dotted grip for comfort.
- The storage base has fastener holes for using the saw securely and stably.
2. SUIZAN, Dozuki Dovetail Pull Saw for Woodworking D-003
Let’s enter the exotic land of pull-style Japanese backsaws.
The saw is engineered in a “pulling-mechanism” instead of the western push style. Thus, instead of pushing through the material which would require going against the surface’s traction, you can use the traction to your advantage by pulling the saw. This results in a faster workflow with less effort.
Made from premium grade Japanese steel, possibly “Tamahagane”, the blade yields strength that’s unmatched by any other backsaws in the market. The high amount of carbon in the steel makes the product durable and perfect to survive strong impacts.
Generally, Japanese backsaws are lighter and sharper than western productions. Thus, you can chop through logs at precise angles with a faster speed. We also found that it has a narrow kerf and a higher TPI than most of its competitors. This combination further increases sharpness of the saw.
However, they tend to be a bit brittle. Though, on the bright side, the edge stays cleaner than regular models. The product’s setup is re-usable and provides an easy removal feature.
If you’re a professional looking for a new style or a beginner wanting to try something out of the norm, this product can be a great starter. The unique traits of the saw let you pull off sawing jobs with such cadence that would shock your friends and coworkers.
Manufactured exclusively in Sanjō, Niigata, Suizan puts into play their century-old experience of craftsmanship executed by master crafters. With a user base of more than 5OK customers, the saw is used to produce a variety of products from traditional woodworking like furniture-making to crafting violas and guitars.
- Uses a “pulling-mechanism” to create a faster workflow with less effort.
- Combination of a narrow kerf and higher TPI provides superior sharpness.
- Applies century-old experience, executed by master crafters for production.
- Produced and assembled exclusively in the Sanjō city of Niigata prefecture.
- Allows you to replace blades smoothly with an easy-removal feature.
3. Robert Larson, Two Cherries Brass Back Dovetail Saw 520-6020
This backsaw is designed for customers who value detail and finery in sawing above all else.
The product is a dovetail-style backsaw. Though specialized in producing dovetail cuts, it can be used for cutting any type of joints that require complex crafting. However, many users have reported this to be quite effective as an all-purpose backsaw too, which speaks of the versatility of the saw.
The 10-inch blade has 15 teeth per square inch, made from German-imported steel. It has a depth range of .023 to .025-inches and a .033-inch kerf. However, you can manipulate the kerf measurement by altering the pre-set angle of the teeth. The manufacturer pre-sharpens the blade for your convenience. You can also use a filer to sharp the cutting edge.
The saw can cut through a wide variety of woods, such as hardwood, oak, etc.
It has an oval wooden handle with a silver steel clamp at its top, following the classic dovetail-saw style. The handle narrows down towards the blade, creating a perfect ergonomic shape to pull off difficult cutting angles with spontaneity. The thickened steel clamp ensures safe attachment of the blade to the handle.
The opposite edge is covered by a heavy-gauge steel bracket to keep the cutting edge under control throughout the sawing process. It has a smooth golden finish that enmeshes flawlessly with the rest of the color scheme.
The “Two Cherry” logo, name of the parent company (Robert Larson Company, Inc.), the import country (Germany) of raw materials, and the place of assembly (San Francisco) is printed on the blade. The word “Professional Quality” is etched on the surface, giving the product an elevated sense of exclusivity.
- Engineered to execute dovetail and other complex cuts.
- Uses a steel bracket on the opposite edge to stop injuries from a jumpy blade.
- Kerf measurement can be changed by altering the pre-set angle of the teeth.
- Made with a specialized oval handle to achieve a perfect ergonomic shape.
- Includes a steel clamp to ensure safe attachment of the blade to the handle.
4. BAHCO, Prizecut Backsaw NP-12-TEN
BACHO introduces the future of backsaw design with this product.
Take a look at the handle for example. It is prepared from premium grade plastic and uses a tri-bolt design for connecting to the blade. With an ergonomically angled build and a padded grip, it saves your palms from blisters during long work hours.
The opposite edge is protected by a two-fold metal plate. Unlike double cutting-edged saws, it provides you safety from sudden swings of the blade. It also offers stability and the option to insert more power when necessary.
The 12-inch long blade has an astounding TPI count of 13. Examining the shape of the teeth, it seems like this is designed as a crosscut-teeth backsaw. That means, the blade cuts across the grain of the wooden surface, unlike a rip-teeth saw which would cut alongside the grain.
However, the company claims that the saw can be used as a rip-teeth backsaw as well since it’s designed with universal cutting teeth. Each tooth’s cutting point is toughened to provide durability and increase strength.
In our opinion, the saw truly shines in its ability to perform a significantly wide range of cuts. You can perform both complex, detailed cuts as well as go through medium-thick and heavy wooden materials using the same saw.
The designers have also included features that allow you to cut timbers and lugs with comparatively tiny diameters. The saw can function with a mitre guide as well.
Finally, a nifty little detail that we noticed: the blade has a hanging hole at its top end to increase user comfort. Sometimes it’s these small features that can make a product stand out amongst the competition.
- Provides an ergonomically angled handle with a padded grip.
- Features a hanging hole at the blade’s top end to increase user comfort.
- Equipped with universal-teeth to perform a significantly versatile type of cuts.
- Includes a 13 TPI blade to provide you the ultimate sharpness.
- The cutting point of each tooth is toughened for extra durability and strength.
5. Stanley, FatMax Back Saw 17-202
The Fatmax 17-202 offers great longevity while using one of the sharpest blades in the market. In the world of backsaws this is similar to a winning a jackpot, as these two features are quite hard to find in a single tool.
It follows the classic carcass backsaw design but with a modern spin. For example, the handle is made from industry-grade ABS plastic. It showcases a futuristic ergonomic design, a nicely rounded one finger grip, and a fully rubber padded interior with a patterned grip at the top. The yellow logo emerges beautifully from the black background, adding an aesthetic value to the product.
It’s a non-fractional, single piece handle. Thus, it enhances structural integrity. The blade is made from industry-grade stainless steel. Stanley uses 3 bolt-on screws to attach the 14-inch long blade securely to the handle, eliminating accidents caused by a faulty installation or loose attachment.
Considering the build, it’s a lightweight product with a mass of only 1.23-pounds. The overall dimension for all you detail enthusiasts is (1.32 x 6 x 18.38)- inches.
It can function both as a tenon and a dovetail-style saw. The product is compatible to use with a mitre guide. Most professionals report that the saw is particularly effective on certain woods like hardwood, plywood, mahogany, etc.
- Provides a classic Carcass backsaw design but with a modern twist.
- Can multifunction as tenon and dovetail-style saws.
- Includes a non-fractional, single piece handle to increase structural integrity.
- The 3 bolt-on screw design stops faulty installations and loose attachments.
- Offers a fully rubber padded interior for the handle to maximize user comfort.
Back Saws Buying Guide
- Style Of The Teeth
Most experts agree on primarily three types of saw teeth: rip-teeth that are shaped like chisels, crosscut-teeth that are shaped like triangles with knife endpoints, and universal-teeth that contains the combination of the first two teeth’s properties.
If you plan to cut alongside the grain, you’ll need a rip-teeth backsaw. If you want cut over/across the grain of a wooden or similar surface, you’ll need a crosscut-teeth backsaw. And if you desire to eat the cake and keep it at the same time, go for universal-teeth backsaws as they can cut across as well as in alignment with the grain.
The term “TPI” means teeth per inch. Generally speaking, a backsaw with a high TPI blade will provide you faster and smoother cuts.
We recommend you get a minimum 14 to 24 TPI blade equipped backsaw for detailed and complex cutting (e.g. dovetail, tenon, etc.). However, if you want to hollow out a log or lumber, an 8 to 12 TPI blade will be more effective.
- Construction Of The Handle
A high quality handle is indispensable to achieve a faster, safer, and comfortable sawing experience.
Thus, we recommend purchasing backsaws equipped with handles containing these 4 qualities:
- It should have a comfy grip. So, look for rubber/felt grip handles that are scientifically patterned to save your hands from blisters and rashes during long working sessions.
- The handle should have an ergonomic design that provides a secure grip, allows spontaneous movement, and adds safe, user friendly features like: one-finger push release, additional lips, etc.
- It should be manufactured from industry-grade materials like ABS plastic.
- It needs to be designed with either a dual/triple bolt-on system or a stainless steel metal clamp for a secure attachment of the blade to the handle.
- Quality Of The Back
The back is the defining part that separates a backsaw from a regular one. We recommend that you purchase a heat-treated and thickened stainless steel (type 304/305) back equipped backsaw.
This will prevent the blade from flapping during the sawing process, allowing you more balance, control, and ability to increase power without compromising safety. Also, make sure that the back is durable yet lightweight.
- Properties Of The Blade
Go for an induction-hardened stainless steel blade. This will significantly increase longevity of the saw.
Now, if you want the lightest and sharpest blades, you may find yourself leaning towards Japanese blades. However, the downside is they can be somewhat fragile and may require occasional replacements.
Western, or more specifically U.S.A made blades are usually heavier than Japanese ones. But, they are more durable and you can sharpen them with a compatible filer. Also, you can purchase western blades with a high TPI to make sure that you get the best possible sharpness out of your backsaw.
- Aligning Purpose And Saw Type
Backsaws come in a wide range of varieties. For example, Tenon, Dovetail, Carcass, etc. Each type has a unique length range (e.g. Dovetail backsaws are usually 8 to 10-inches long) and is used for different purposes.
If you want to craft tenons for mortises, then purchase a tenon saw. Along with making dovetail joints, the dovetail saw is an excellent choice for any type of complex cut that requires detailing and finery. However, if you want to go for an all-in-one backsaw we’d recommend purchasing a carcass backsaw.
- Experience Matters
Though many newly launched companies are putting out great backsaws, we believe it’s better to stay with the classics. That means, choose a manufacturer/company with a long held reputation for producing consistently high-quality backsaws.
The backsaw has all the qualities of a perfect tool: It offers a simple yet highly effective design, is easy to carry around for being lightweight, and can be used for a variety of purposes. That’s why, till this day, it ranks high among the list of favorite tools used for woodworking and similar crafting projects.
However, since there are many nuances involved in choosing the proper backsaw for your particular purpose (e.g. type of the saw, blade length and depth, TPI, country of origin, etc.), we wrote this short guide to simplify the process.
If you follow along with all the pointers we’ve provided, you’ll have no lack of confidence before making a purchase.