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.
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 WoodCenter:
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