The classic wood saw a full solid hand saw, belongs to the most basic tool used universally by all do-it-yourselfers. One of its qualities being its versatility and ease of use.
Nowadays many of the saws that were once widely used in the past have in most places become completely fallen in disuse. Like for example the long crosscut saw, once globally used for the cutting of thick trunks, has been uniformly replaced with the chainsaw. Only in the most isolated places, where there’s a lack of resources, you might nowadays find the long crosscut saw still being used.
But even though mechanical and electric versions of the regular classic handsaw have emerged, as for example, the electric saber saw, it hasn’t succeeded in making them obsolete.
On the contrary, the classic hand saw stays widely in use for a multitude of reasons and is easily available no matter where in the world.
One, because of its inherent great versatility, being able to be used independently of available energy sources. Secondly, the light weight combined with a cordless experience offers you the freedom of movement and the ability to work in the most challenging spaces and appliances.
Thirdly, the vast array of saws available for each job at hand. From small Japanese saws to large curved saws. You’ll be able to find the right blade for the job at hand. Lastly, its low entry price makes it an essential tool accessible to all.
The hand saw is a large saw suitable for cutting many materials from wood, PVC, and foam to plaster and similar materials.
Best Hand Saws Comparison Table
|1. Stanley Fatmax 0-20-255″ Pro in Change Rough Hand Saw, Multi-Colour, 550 mm
|2. Stanley 20-047 20-Inch Blade Length x 12 Points Per Inch FatMax Saw with Blade Armor Coating
|3. BAHCO 2600-16-XT11-HP 16 Inch Ergo Superior Handsaw with XT Toothing
|4. BAHCO PC-24-TIM 24 Inch Professional Cut Timber Saw
|5. IRWIN Tools MARATHON 2011204 20-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw (2011204)
|6. CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)
|7. GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw – Hardwood Handle
|8. DEWALT DWHT20545L 20-Inch Standard Panel Saw
|9. IRWIN Tools Universal Handsaw, 15-Inch (1773465)
|10. Stanley 15-087 20-Inch, 8-Point Contractor Grade Short Cut Handsaw
It is equipped with a single handle connected to a free, non-tensioned blade. Its length is commonly between 475 mm (19 inches) and 550 mm (22 inches). The blade board must be reasonably flexible, with sufficient length and thickness. The handle of the handsaw has a simple and effective design.
Wooden handles, though very pretty, are no longer used that much anymore, because they have the tendency to become slippery when being handled with sweaty hands. Furthermore, after being used continuously over long periods of time they
might even cause skin lesions.
Therefore, we generally advise picking a handsaw with preferably an ergonomically designed handle. Your hands will thank you for that decision. Especially considering the amount of work you might most probably perform as a professional woodcrafter.
And if available, we also encourage you to look for a handle covered with a non-slip layer for a good grip even when working with sweaty hands. This is especially advisable if you’re the kind of person who generally doesn’t like to work with gloves on.
The qualities required for a good grip :
- Unbreakable handle that protects against possible injuries
- Ergonomic handle that fits the shape of the hand. These characteristics are specified when applicable
- Non-slip handle to avoid accidents when used with sweaty hands. These handles can be made of different materials and in bi-components
- Rounded handle to avoid injuries due to sharp edges
Quality of the Steel:
Several qualities of the steel are included to manufacture the blade. The steel in which the blade is made is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a handsaw.
The steel must be:
Consistent, to guarantee a perfect cut
Rigid, to avoid bending. Flexing blades result in curved cuts
Coated, to prevent corrosion and improving the sliding movement. Some coatings available:
- Black coating for protection against rust
- Teflon coating to promote the sliding of the blade against the wood
Also choosing the right saw teeth is very important. The shape and size of the teeth of the handsaw are of decisive importance. The shape of the teeth is crucial for the efficient sawing of the material of your choice. As a general rule, the smaller the teeth, the more precise the cut. The rougher the teeth, the faster it will cut through materials.
But since the differences in the size of the teeth are not always necessarily recognizable to the eye, it is good to know how to read what is indicated on the saw blade:
- Blades with 7 to 9 teeth per inch are called “coarse-toothed”
- Blades with more than 10 teeth per inch are called “fine-toothed”
Types of materials to be cut according to the size of the teeth
Here is a table of the sawing capacities of the different materials according to the selected teeth:
|Materials||COARSE TOOTHING||FINE TOOTHING|
Several forms of toothing used on the blade of handsaws:
The teeth of these self-propelled saws can have different shapes, each with its own qualities:
- Angled teeth for sawing in the lengthwise direction
- Straight or isosceles shaped teeth. Which is ideal for very thick wood
- Hardened teeth that cannot be sharpened
- XT toothing (or similar) has ground angles that make it ideal for comfortable sawing
- GT toothing (or similar) reinforces the efficiency of the cut, the angles being ground on three sides
- UT (or similar) toothing is more resistant to wear
Hand Saws and their necessary maintenance
The hand saw, like any tool, must be regularly maintained to last:
- Clean the blade by removing all traces of residue, especially the wood resin
- Remember to lubricate the blade with oil
- Hang your blade when you store it
- Put a protector on your blade
- Sharpen your blade when necessary.
Here are several hand saws to look over and find the one that best suits your needs.
Our Best Hand Saws for 2020 Reviews and Comparisons
1. Stanley 20-047 20-Inch Blade Length x 12 Points Per Inch FatMax Saw with Blade Armor Coating
This is an extremely popular saw, earned through high manufacturing quality and advanced technologies applied to the coating. This together guarantees unrivaled sawing pleasure. This product includes a limited lifetime warranty to finish it off.
- Blade armor composite coating protects the blade
- The blade is thicker than conventional saws for straighter cuts with less flexing
- Sharptooth, 3 cutting surfaces that cut faster than conventional hand saws
- Teeth that are Induction-hardened are sharper for longer than standard teeth.
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
What We Like About Stanley 20-047 20-Inch Blade Length x 12 Points Per Inch FatMax Saw with Blade Armor Coating
The Stanley 20-047 FatMax deserves its excellent feedback. The coating on the blade coating is quite durable. Also, the non-stick surface used in their high tech formula really does work, as we did not feel any grab in the wood even when we got past 30% of the wood.
What We Don’t Like About Stanley 20-047 20-Inch Blade Length x 12 Points Per Inch FatMax Saw with Blade Armor Coating
But we didn’t get as smooth of a cut as we expected. So if you’re expecting smooth cuts, look elsewhere. The set on these teeth is too wide for that. On the other hand, it cut quickly and didn’t bend. All of this is achieved thanks to the wide set of teeth.
- Supremely smooth and quick action, thanks to its good teeth
- Corrosion-resistant, thanks to its superior coating
- Rough finish
- Lack of precision
2. BAHCO 2600-16-XT11-HP 16 Inch Ergo Superior Handsaw with XT Toothing
This 16 inch Ergo Superior handsaw is designed with XT toothing (11 teeth per inch) with a fine cut type. The thicker than conventional blade combined with the hardened HardPoint teeth result in less power needed and fewer vibrations. This also provides high precision and straight cuts while maintaining good stability.
- Thicker blade with HardPoint teeth
- High precision and straight cuts
- Two-component ergonomic handle
- Included tooth protector
What We Like About BAHCO 2600-16-XT11-HP 16 Inch Ergo Superior Handsaw with XT Toothing
This saw is one of the best hand saws we’ve used in years. It’s compact and therefore fits in tight spaces. The blade’s stiffness is perfect for cutting a straight line with precision without flexing. Slices effortless through the wood. We highly recommend this saw!
- Well made and sturdy
- Very sharp
- Cuts fast and straight, without flexing
- The only con is that since they use almost magically engineered teeth, which last for very long, these are practically impossible to be resharpened.
3. BAHCO PC-24-TIM 24 Inch Professional Cut Timber Saw
Another professional product from BAHCO.
- Fine teeth, specially designed for cutting timber
- Three-sided grounded teeth provides consistency with all types of wood
- Comfortable two-component handle
What We Like About BAHCO PC-24-TIM 24 Inch Professional Cut Timber Saw
This modern saw rips through the wood so fast and efficiently that you’ll come to really appreciate the advances made in teeth design compared to old saw designs. It is also quite light, lies well in the hand, and is very sharp. These qualities combined make sawing bliss.
The teeth are not hardened, which might be for some a downside since they’ll need to be sharpened more often. But it also means that if you hit a nail while sawing, you don’t have to throw them away, but simply bend the teeth straight again and sharpen them with a needle file. This lengthens the lifetime of the saw considerably. We would even recommend buying another one for backup and just getting rid of all the rest. It’s that good.
What We Don’t Like About BAHCO PC-24-TIM 24 Inch Professional Cut Timber Saw
The length is really nice and the blade is sharp. But considering its length, the blade seems fairly thin. This causes the blade to flex when working on bigger pieces. Thus resulting in some curved shapes in the wood. Which you would then have to sand down or hand plane.
This is even more apparent with harder woods, like pine wood.
- Sharp, non-hardened teeth. These cut really efficiently and will guarantee many years of faithful work
- Light weight
- Comfortable to handle
- Non-hardened teeth mean they need to be sharpened earlier and more frequently
- Considering the length, the blade is on the thin side and gives sometimes too much flex, which may result in less than perfectly straight results
4. IRWIN Tools MARATHON 2011204 20-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw (2011204)
The IRWIN MARATHON ProTouch Standard Coarse-Cut Handsaw has its own proprietary tooth geometry, dubbed M2 Advanced, and Tri-Ground. Designed to give a quick and efficient cut. The trademark Taper-Pitch nose improves movement, visibility, and stability. Additionally, the Deep Gullets offer unrivaled fast chip removal. The saw provides an ergonomic ProTouch handle made out of durable materials and providing sublime comfort.
- Proprietary tooth geometry teeth for a quick and efficient cut
- Thought-through design which improves on its overall feel and use
- Deep Gullets provide swift chip removal
- Thick-Body Blade provides rigidity for straight cuts with more precision
- Comfort is given by the Ergonomic ProTouch handle
What We Like About IRWIN Tools MARATHON 2011204 20-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw (2011204)
If you’re looking for a rough cut saw that gets the job done efficiently and without jamming all the time, this is the one. This saw is considered among the best rough-cut saws on the market. It’s also a pretty tough saw, which will serve you for many years cutting through lots of wood while remaining sharp.
What We Don’t Like About IRWIN Tools MARATHON 2011204 20-inch ProTouch Coarse Cut Saw (2011204)
As we said, it cuts through wood like butter, even pine woods! But we still need to use WD40 or another similar lubricant to keep the pitch from building up. The other small issue we ran into is that it can be difficult to start the cut, especially on a round log. This is common on rough-cut saws, but once you get started, it’s unstoppable!
- A great every-day rough cut saw
- Tough, sharp teeth that will saw through even the hardest kinds of wood like butter for many years
- Durable construction
- Beautiful design incorporating wood and other materials giving perfect grip and comfort
- As with most rough cut saws, it may be for some a bit slow to start with
- The gradually accumulated build-up may interfere with its efficiency
5. CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)
If you’re looking for an affordable yet reliable saw, look no further! At this price-point, it almost has no competition.
- Thought-through tooth geometry for a fast and clean cut
- Hardened teeth through induction, which provide long lasting sharpness
- Ergonomically designed handle made out of bi-material, which gives not only control, but also great comfort
- The Handle offers a 45 degrees and 90 degrees square/mitre feature
- Full Lifetime Warranty
What We Like About CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)
If you’re looking for something affordable to take down these large branches and brambles in your backyard or any other quick project around the home, this saw will do the job.
It’s easy to use and VERY SHARP. Which is great, but be careful with your fingers! These excellent teeth combined with a tighter, finer spacing gives a very clean cut.
What We Don’t Like About CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 15-Inch (CMHT20880)
The paper sleeve this saw comes with to provide protection when stored isn’t durable at all. But even worse, they don’t even fully cover all of the teeth. The rest of the packaging isn’t too impressive as well. It came just being wrapped in some cheap bubble wrap. Together, this means that you can also easily cut yourself on those teeth while taking it out of the bubble wrap. So be careful, you’re warned.
- Sharp, durable teeth
- Comfort and precision giving straight, clean cuts
- Full Lifetime Warranty
- The through induction hardened teeth aren’t easily sharpened and might break when hitting a nail
- Poor packaging
6. GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw – Hardwood Handle
Even though we said in the intro that in general, we discourage buying saws with handles made out of wood, as they may deteriorate and cause aches over time. But since every rule has its exception, this one is certainly the exception.
With over a century of know-how, GreatNeck crafts a gorgeous classic wooden handle combined with a durable and sharp blade made out of high carbon steel for extra longevity. This is further topped off with a limited lifetime warranty on all its saws.
- Gorgeous crafted wooden handle for that classic look & feel
- Precision set high carbon steel blade, guaranteeing a long lasting and sharp blade
- Made in the USA
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
What We Like About GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw – Hardwood Handle
This is a gorgeous classic looking cross-cut saw that features an aggressive tooth pattern. Starting out with this saw is fairly easy and it eats through the wood quite smoothly. It feels like a quality made tool in your hand and the blade is made of a thick sheet of steel that holds true much easier than some of the cheaper hand saws. It simply is a great classic saw! The saw is also easy to maintain and re-sharpen.
What We Don’t Like About GreatNeck N2610 – 26 Inch 12 TPI Cross Cut Hand Saw – Hardwood Handle
It’s a good saw for the money but we were a little disappointed when it came to the speed of it’s otherwise smooth performance. This becomes very apparent when comparing to more expensive saws with more thought-through blade patterns. Also after working for many hours we wished for a more comfortable handle…
- Great classic looks
- Decent blade that starts off easily and progresses smoothly
- Affordable and maintainable
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- Bit of a slow performance, especially when compared to more modern competitors
- Handle has great looks, but when much work is needed its comfort underperforms
7. DEWALT DWHT20545L 20-Inch Standard Panel Saw
According to the manufacturer, the DEWALT Standard Panel Saws uses three cutting surfaces to cut up to 50% faster than regular handsaws. Their blades are made up of induction-hardened teeth that stay sharp for much longer. Also, they feature a proprietary coating on their blades under the name ToughCoat. This provides an overall smoother cut and enhanced longevity to the blade.
- Three cutting surfaces for a faster cutting performance
- Induction hardened teeth that stay sharp for longer
- Proprietary coating on their blades provide longevity and faster, smoother operation
What We Like About DEWALT DWHT20545L 20-Inch Standard Panel Saw
As advertised, this saw does indeed saw fairly fast through the wood. What we also remarked is that it’s a relatively lightweight saw, with its handle made out of rigid aluminum. The coating holds up too and provides a smooth, fast experience
What We Don’t Like About DEWALT DWHT20545L 20-Inch Standard Panel Saw
The only negative point we could clearly find is the prevalent flex in the blade when cutting big pieces of lumber
- Fast cutting performance
- Hardened teeth are though enough to withstand nails
- Smooth action
- Since the teeth are hardened, they might be difficult to impossible to be sharpened
- Apparent “flex” in blade
8. IRWIN Tools Universal Handsaw, 15-Inch (1773465)
This saw features triple-ground teeth, which should theoretically improve the speed performance three-fold.
Its distinctive tapered-pitch nose improves visibility, movement, and adds stability. The blade is manufactured out of a thick sheet that is furthermore coated with a water-based lacquer coating to help deliver faster and more precise cuts.
Also, the handle hasn’t been overlooked and gives a comfortable grip. The handle is made from high-density resin and molded into an ergonomic shape providing lessened hand fatigue.
- Triple ground teethe for faster cutting
- Thought-through design for overall performance improvement
- Lacquer coating for added smoothness and speed
- Ergonomic handle
What We Like About IRWIN Tools Universal Handsaw, 15-Inch (1773465)
This saw is definitely well made, balanced, and offers a nice comfortable handle. The teeth are razor sharp and made of nice heavy gauge steel. This saw will not bend at all and therefore provide nice clean cuts. We were also impressed with how fast it cuts through almost any material. The teeth are properly hardened, which we like because it stays sharper for much longer.
What We Don’t Like About IRWIN Tools Universal Handsaw, 15-Inch (1773465)
But hardened teeth also means that they can’t be sharpened at all when needed, which means that you’ll have to replace it instead. Also we weren’t too impressed with the final “finish” of the cut. It left a pretty rough edge, which you’ll need to file down before you’ll be able to work with it.
- Solid construction
- Comfortable handle
- Razor sharp teeth, out of hardened heavy gauge steel
- Sharpening is out of the question, so it’s basically a disposable saw
- Rough “finish”
9. Stanley 15-087 20-Inch, 8-Point Contractor Grade Short Cut Handsaw
After hearing all the hype, we wanted to check another beautiful classic saw with a nice open handle made from hardwood. This saw features a 3 sided tooth design out of induction hardened steel with 8 teeth per inch.
- Gorgeously decorated hardwood handle
- Spacious opening of the handle
- 3 sided tooth design
- Induction hardened steel teeth
What We Like About Stanley 15-087 20-Inch, 8-Point Contractor Grade Short Cut Handsaw
Well, as we said earlier, we love the looks of a classic wooden handle, even though it might have its drawbacks for longer use. This one in particular has a very open design, which makes it ideal to be used with gloves on. Using this saw with gloves will not only provide more safety but will improve comfort too.
We also like the speed at which it cuts, once it gets moving. And with these hardened teeth, they’ll keep that speed for a long time to come.
What We Don’t Like About Stanley 15-087 20-Inch, 8-Point Contractor Grade Short Cut Handsaw
For more continuously, longer jobs we still recommend choosing a more ergonomic handle, especially without gloves. But if you’re someone who uses gloves all the time, this big open handle might be a match made in heaven!
The cutting takes some while to get to speed and leaves some rough edges too, due to the more aggressive coarser teeth design. Also, harden teeth mean they can’t be sharpened.
- Big open handle for the use with gloves
- Aggressive teeth eat up almost any material in no-time
- Reliable induction hardened teeth
- Non-ergonomic handle gives discomfort after a while, especially without gloves
- Start-up is a bit slow
- Rough “finish” on the edges of the wood
- Impossible to be sharpened
10. Stanley Fatmax 0-20-255″ Pro in Change Rough Hand Saw, Multi-Colour, 550 mm
This is a professional grade saw that features a superior ergonomic handle that’s made to last. The blades are interchangeable and the teeth have a distinctive teeth design combining rough and fine teeth. Of course, the blade has been properly hardened and coated too for professional performance.
- Ergonomic handle
- Special combined rough and fine teeth
- Hardened and coated
- Interchangeable blades
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
What We Like About Stanley Fatmax 0-20-255″ Pro in Change Rough Hand Saw, Multi-Colour, 550 mm
The handle is a joy to work with and made to last. This unique teeth design provides you with the speed of a rough cut saw with the clean finish of a fine cut saw. The blade is well coated and hardened ensuring it will keep performing as long as technically possible. On top of that, the blades are replaceable when the due time comes.
What We Don’t Like About Stanley Fatmax 0-20-255″ Pro in Change Rough Hand Saw, Multi-Colour, 550 mm
Well obviously, we didn’t like that this professional performance comes at a professional price…
- Comfortable, durable handle
- The advantages of a rough and fine cut saw in-one
- Professional grade coating and hardening
- Replaceable blades
- Limited Lifetime Warranty
- The price
No doubt, that if woodworking is your profession, you’ll want to choose the Stanley Fatmax 0-20-255″ Pro in Change Rough Hand Saw, Multi-Colour, 550 mm.
Since you’ll be putting loads of wood for a living, you’ll want the best comfort and speed. While minimizing the work and time needed to finish your work, like planing and sanding the edges.
Yes, it costs twice the price of many of its competitors, but in the long run, we believe it will be worth it. Especially considering its blades can be easily replaced for cheaper than buying a whole saw.