Bob Vila Radio: Handsaws

By Sarah Monzon & Bob Vila | Updated Aug 21, 2012 12:59 AM

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With all the great power saws available today, the lowly handsaw has kind of faded into the background. But there are still jobs that can’t be done without them, so it’s important to have the right ones in your tool box.



Listen to BOB VILA ON HANDSAWS, or read text below:

For fine work, angles and curves, nothing beats the super narrow blade of a good old-fashioned coping saw. We all know the common crosscut saw, used for making straight cuts across the grain.

Many pros have now turned to less bulky japanese backsaws or ‘toolbox’ saws that cut on the pull stroke and handle more like a cake knife than a traditional crosscut saw. These blades are thinner and more flexible, great for fine work like dovetailing. On some you can reverse the blade to get into tight spots. The fine teeth are super sharp and easy to damage if you hit a nail, and you can’t sharpen them yourself, but some have replaceable blades and interchangeable handles to suit your needs.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 60 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening—or reading—to Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

For more on handsaws, consider:

How To: Choose the Right Saw for the Job
The Essential Toolbox
Saw Blad Sharpening