Photo: Plamen Petkov


Sure, it's easy to pull the trigger on a circular saw to cut wood in two. But it's safer, quieter, and cheaper to pick up a handsaw and slide it back and forth through the work. Traditional handsaws, with thick blades and ­sturdy teeth that cut on the push stroke, still come in handy for cutting posts too fat for a circ saw, notching stair stringers, or making any cut where a ­power tool would be unwieldy or unsafe.

These days, handsaws are ­either heirlooms or disposable. Heirlooms have carved-wood handles, long blades of tough spring steel, and teeth that can be resharpened. Less ­expensive ­disposables use the latest technology: composite handles, low-friction blade coatings, and heat-hardened teeth to chew through wood faster and longer. But once they're dull, the saw is toast. We'll show you both types, to help make your next cuts quick, clean, and easy.
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