crosscut, rip, and hybrid saws
Plamen Petkov Photo:
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Features to Consider

Blade length: The longer the saw the more work gets done with each stroke and the longer you can go without tiring. Shorter is better for small, quick jobs, and for portability.

Handle: Comfort is key—you want ample room for your fingers and no hard edges that would raise blisters.

Shown, left: The top edge of the 26-inch blade on this English-made Pax saw is thinner than the toothed edge, to reduce friction as it cuts. The blade also has a curved back for better balance. To speed the cut, the toothed edge has a slight bow, or breast, that compensates for an arm's natural sawing motion. 4½ tpi, about $110; Tools for Working Wood

Center: This reproduction of a 19th-century tool, from famed U.S. saw maker Henry Disston, has a 20-inch blade made from high-carbon Swedish spring steel, a hard yet resilient metal. The handle fits only three fingers comfortably; the index finger is meant to rest on the side of the handle for better blade control. 9 tpi, about $265; Wenzloff & Sons

Each hardened tooth on the 15-inch Fat Max has three knife-sharp edges for fast rips and crosscuts. A Teflon-like coating on the blade reduces friction and repels rust. Rubber over lightweight aluminum makes for a comfortable handle. 9 tpi, about $20; Stanley

Ask TOH users about Hand Tools

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