Tools you have to have: Japanese Saw

Posted: August 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Blog, Resource | Tags: | Comments Off on Tools you have to have: Japanese Saw

It’s good, nay, neccessary to have the right tool for the job. If you have to do lots of different things it is therefore good to have the right tool for lots of different jobs. All the more so if you want to keep your toolkit small & light. In New York it is expensive and inefficient to go to the job site every day with a truck full of tools. Generally you load in all your relevant tools and materials with a crew and then take public transportation most of the other days. Often though you may have a small job where you need just a small bag of hand tools and a drill set.

Even if you don’t think you’ll need to cut any wood, you never know. Or you know you will but just don’t want to lug a saw with you. So The Japanese Pullsaw is a great thing to have in the bag. As opposed to standard American handsaws, Japanese saws cut on the pull stroke. This means that the blade can be incredibly thin, since they do not need the stiffness required for a push cut. Also, the blades easily are removable from the handle which makes for very easy storage in even a small tool bag.

There are many varieties of Japanese hand saws, but the two most common are the zuki and the Ryôba:

Dozuki Saw: A backsaw that is useful for precise cuts because of its stiffening rib on the back. Great to have in the shop to do all those hand-cut dovetails. Disadvantage is the depth of cuts are limited.

Ryoba Saw: A double-sided saw with a cross-cutting blade on one side & ripping blade on the other. This is my preference. The cross-cutting blade is incredibly sharp and can cut through a 2×4 in just a few strokes. Add it to a miter box & you have an easy way to cut a few small trim pieces if you don’t want the fuss & dust of a chop-saw.