In this guide we’ll look at the best hand saws.
We’ve compared hand saw type, construction, blade, handle and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Hand Saw?
More Detailed Hand Saw Reviews
Spear & Jackson Predator B9822 Universal Woodsaw Review
We think the Spear & Jackson Predator B9822 22″ Universal Woodsaw, is the best hand saw on the UK market due to its rigid 8 ppi (points per inch) blade, ergonomic grip and its rapid, clean cutting action.
This Spear and Jackson Universal Wood Saw is suitable for use with timber, hardwood, chipboard and MDF. The 22-inch 8 ppi blade cuts fast and clean even across the grain. The blade is nice and rigid which minimises vibration and whip. The hand saw has an ergonomic handle with a soft feel grip that is comfortable to use and reduces slippage even if your hands get warm and sweaty. The 22″ saw also features a handy 45 and 90-degree angle guide.
This is a handy multi-purpose saw that is small enough to fit in your toolbox and versatile enough for a range of wood cutting tasks. It also offers excellent value for money for a good quality hand saw.
This is a great multi-purpose hand saw for wood and composites that does a great job and is easy and comfortable to use.
Bahco 2600-22-Xt-Hp Handsaw Review
The Bahco 2600-22-Xt-Hp 22″ Handsaw is a good wood saw option as its stays sharp, has a nice thick blade and features a coating to reduce friction and prevent rust.
This hand saw is very easy to use as it has a thick blade to increase stability when cutting. The hand saw also has an anti-friction coating which makes sawing smoother and easier. In addition, the hardpoint XT teeth stay sharp even when used on tough materials. The handsaw is ideal for use on timber, chipboard, hardboard and even plastics. The 10 ppi blade gives a nice clean cut with a reasonably smooth finish. The saw also features a soft grip for comfortable non-slip use.
This wood hand saw is the ideal general purpose saw for most medium cutting tasks as it is easy and comfortable to use.
Irwin 880UN20 880 UN Universal Saw Review
This Irwin 880UN20 880 UN 20 inch Universal Saw is made from high-quality steel with a patented tooth grind that is designed to cut 25% faster.
This universal saw is very stable in use and it really does seem to cut faster than other similarly-sized saws. The handle is super comfortable, too. The C75 steel blade has a triple ground tooth design that improves efficiency with every stroke. The blade is also treated with a water based lacquer that provides superior resistance to rust and corrosion.
This universal saw takes the hard work out of cutting hardwoods.
Stanley 515289 FatMax Heavy-duty Handsaw Review
The Stanley 515289 FatMax 22″ Heavy-duty Handsaw has precision ground and induction hardened teeth as well as a comfortable bi-material handle.
This heavy duty hand saw has 3 sided precision set teeth that cut on both the forward and backstroke that increase cutting efficiency by 30%. The handsaw also has induction hardened teeth that stay sharp through a lot of use. The 7 tpi blade is ideal for tough jobs where fast cutting is desirable and a smooth finish is not required. The handsaw is perfect for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting logs, fence posts and railway sleepers. The handle is also comfortable to use over long periods of time.
This is a heavy duty handsaw that makes tough cutting easier and stays sharp for a long time.
Stanley STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut Handsaw Review
The Stanley STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut 22″ Handsaw with its 11 tpi blade is perfect for jobs where a finer finish is required.
This fine saw has 3 sided precision set teeth for improved cutting efficiency. These teeth offer razor sharp cutting edges at every stage of the stroke. The teeth are also induction hardened to help them stay sharper for longer. The blade has 11 teeth per inch to provide a neat finish. The bi-material handle is comfortable to use and doesn’t slip.
This fine saw offers clean cutting through materials where a neat finished is required such as cutting down doors or trimming wood to size for furniture or shelves.
Hand Saw Buyer’s Guide
Types of hand saw
There are three main types of hand saw – aka crosscut saw or rip saw – the universal hand saw, the heavy-duty hand saw and the fine hand saw. A heavy-duty hand saw for tough tasks such as cutting railway sleepers. The large teeth of heavy-duty hand saws power through materials more quickly and with less effort than fine-toothed hand saws. Use a fine hand saw when a neater finish is required, such as when cutting doors to size. For general DIY use however a universal hand saw like the Spear & Jackson Predator Saw or the Irwin 880UN20 880 Saw will give you a reasonably fine cut, but it may take longer to navigate tougher materials.
When choosing a hand saw look for a good quality blade with a protective coating to help it resist rust. Choose a hand saw with the appropriate tpi (teeth per inch) for the material you will be working with. For example, the Stanley 515289 FatMax Heavy-duty Handsaw has a 7 tpi blade, which is perfect for cutting thicker wood faster. The Stanley STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut, on the other hand, has an 11 teeth per inch blade, making it more ideal for smoother cuts. It is also a good idea to look for a handsaw with an ergonomic soft grip handle like the Bahco 2600-22-Xt-Hp Handsaw. This will prevent your hand from slipping, as well as making the saw more comfortable to use.
Handsaws are ideal for cutting wood including MDF, plywood and chipboard. Heavy-duty hand saws are ideal for cutting logs, large items such as railways sleepers and for making long cuts that would take too long with a finer hand saw. Most wood saws can be used to cut plastics or laminated wood such as kitchen worktops.
How do I keep my saw cuts straight?
When using a hand saw for cutting wood there are several tips that can help ensure you achieve a nice straight cut.
To prepare your cut work on a solid workbench or table. If the table wobbles or moves this is not only potentially dangerous but will also affect the straightness of your cut.
Secondly, secure the workpiece to the work bench with clamps. If the workpiece moves around as you are sawing the cut will not be accurate.
Thirdly, draw a line to follow. You can use a yardstick and a triangle to mark your line or use the angle on the handle of your wood saw and the back of the saw blade.
Now you are ready to begin your cut.
Keep you index finger on the side of the wood saw to give you more control. Your wrist, elbow and shoulder should be aligned with the blade. Begin by making two or three upward strokes with the hand saw until the teeth start to bite into the wood.
Now begin to make your cut.
If you are cutting with the grain hold the wood saw at a 60% angle. If you are cutting a cross cut, against the grain, then hold the wood saw at a 45% angle. Work the handsaw back and forward to cut the wood using the whole length of the blade. Do not force the blade, let the handsaw do the work for you. This will result in a neater cut. As you approach the end of the cut shorten your stroke to use only half the blade as this will prevent splintering or splitting.
How do I sharpen a hand saw?
Wearing thick work gloves, clean the blade of your rip saw with soapy water and a stiff brush and wipe it dry.
Hand saws can be sharpened with a taper file. A jaw set is also useful for resetting the teeth. You will also need a clamp to hold your rip or crosscut saw.
You can buy saw sharpening file sets quite easily. Then it just a matter of clamping your hand saw and filing all the teeth one way, then turning the hand saw to file them the other way.
Handsaws are great tool to have around the house for a variety of DIY and gardening projects. If you want a hand saw for general purpose projects we would recommend the Spear & Jackson Predator B9822 Universal Wood saw thanks to its rapid, clean cutting action and comfortable handle. For finer work, try the Stanley STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut Handsaw as it has a 11 tpi blade with precision ground and induction-hardened teeth.