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6 Best Hand Saws (2021 Review)

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The best hand saws should feature a rigid high quality carbon steel blade that stays on the cut line and doesn’t bend or buckle. The blade should feature a lacquer coating for both weather resistance and reduced friction when cutting. Blades can be as long as 550mm (22”) – the longer the blade, the longer and more efficient the stroke.

Teeth should be induction hardened, tempered, and razor sharp. Ideally they should be precision ground on three surfaces, so they cut on both on the push and pull strokes.

Heavy duty first fix saws typically feature 7 TPI for rough cuts through timber, whilst finer second fix saws with 11-14 TPI are used for cutting laminate, composite, MDF and plastics.

Check the hand saw comes with a blade sheath to protect both its teeth and your hands when you pick it up.

An ergonomic handle is an extremely important feature of the hand saw. Ideally it should be both screwed and welded to the blade. The handle should be constructed from a rubberised plastic that provides a soft comfortable grip to help keep your hand straight when cutting. Most handles are shaped to mark out 90° and 45° angles.  

Whether you’re looking for a heavy duty or fine-toothed hand saw, I’ve done the hard work for you. I’ve put together the best hand saws on the market right now. Read on to see what I found out…

What is the Best Hand Saw For You?

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Comparing the Best Hand Saws

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Type
  • Blade
  • Handle
  • Handle Fixing
  • Blade TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Hand Saws

STANLEY 515289 FatMax Heavy-Duty First Fix HandsawSTANLEY 515289 FatMax Heavy-Duty First Fix Handsaw

Best first fix hand saw

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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STANLEY 515289 FatMax Heavy-Duty First Fix Handsaw Review

Specifications

  • Type: First Fix
  • Blade: 550mm / 22"
  • Handle: Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing: Screwed and welded
  • Blade TPI: 7
  • Hardened Teeth: Yes

Tool brands don’t come any bigger than STANLEY, and their FatMax range push the limits of what professional tools are capable of. The 515289 heavy-duty handsaw is a first fix beast. Featuring a massive blade length and almost indestructible handle, there’s a reason why tradespeople reach for this saw.

Ideal for fast and rough cutting through timber, the 7 TPI blade is incredibly aggressive. Each tooth has been precision ground on three surfaces, which means it’s razor sharp, and it even cuts on the backstroke! It’ll make short work of hard and soft woods, so long as you’re not looking for a perfect finish.

The handle is made from a sturdy but comfortable bi-material construction. It’s not just screwed onto the blade but is also welded. It’s what you’d expect from the FatMax line of tools. It’s big, it’s chunky and it should last for ages whether you’re in the shed or on the jobsite.

Pros

  • The 22”/550 mm blade is massive. The longer the blade, the longer the maximum stroke you can work up. With the right technique, this saw cuts as fast as a power tool!
  • The bi-material handle is comfortable whether you’re bare handed or wearing gloves. The handle opening is big enough for my large hands wearing thick leather work gloves.
  • With a handle that’s welded as well as screwed on, you shouldn’t need to worry about it falling off! Compared with the Blaupunkt HS600, it’s much more secure.

Cons

  • Several users have complained that this saw blunts too quickly. Even with huge triple-ground teeth, if you hit a nail, it’s going to stop cutting so well.
  • Don’t expect to use this heavy-duty saw for fine joinery. It’s an aggressive tool for first fix and cutting through large timbers. It doesn’t leave the cleanest finish.
  • I would love to see how well this saw would cut with a Teflon coating. Compared with the Blaupunkt HS600, it will probably bind up more inside timbers.
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Blaupunkt HS600 Series First Fix Hand SawBlaupunkt HS600 Series First Fix Hand Saw

Best hand saw with teflon coating

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Blaupunkt HS600 Series First Fix Hand Saw Review

Specifications

  • Type: First Fix
  • Blade: 500mm / 20"
  • Handle: Rubber grip
  • Handle Fixing: Screwed
  • Blade TPI: 7
  • Hardened Teeth: Yes

Probably more famous for their car radios, Blaupunkt, the brand with the blue dot, also make a range of quality hand and power tools. The HS600 series first fix hand saw is a technological marvel. Coated with space-age Teflon it should zip through whatever wood gets in its way.

This is another first fix saw that makes use of 7 TPI for an uncompromising cutting force that is also wonderfully easy to handle. The large blade is black, thanks to a Teflon coating, that like your frying pan at home, is completely non-stick. As the old saying goes, you need to let the tool do the work.

The blade sings through all sorts of timber, ply, and laminate thanks to hardpoint teeth and a comfy rubber grip handle. Like most modern handsaws, you can use the shape of the handle to mark out 90° and 45° angles, but the tricks don’t stop there. Along the top edge of the blade is a 300 mm ruler, which makes it one of the best hand saws for carpenters on the job.

Pros

  • The Teflon coating really works to help the blade push through timber. The last thing you want when you’re mid cut, is for the blade to bind up. It’s almost impossible with this saw.
  • If you’re like me, you’re always losing your tape measure on site. The 300 mm ruler printed on the saw blade here will get you out of a jam if it happens again.
  • The 20”/500 mm blade length is plenty long enough to work through heavy timbers. With precision-ground three edge teeth, it even helps you to cut on the backstroke.

Cons

  • Compared with the welded and screwed handle on the STANLEY FatMax heavy-duty saw, this one is just screwed on. It’s likely to work itself loose over time.
  • A Teflon coating is great, until it wears off! I don’t know how long the coating would last with heavy use or against super hard woods like Iroko or walnut.
  • Blaupunkt market this as a “general purpose” saw. I’m not sure that 7 TPI is going to be fine enough for anything other than aggressive first fix work. I doubt it’s ideal for joinery.
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Draper 82194 Venom First Fix Double Ground Hand SawDraper 82194 Venom First Fix Double Ground Hand Saw

Best budget hand saw

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.3333333333333
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Draper 82194 Venom First Fix Double Ground Hand Saw Review

Specifications

  • Type: First Fix
  • Blade: 500mm / 20"
  • Handle: Soft grip
  • Handle Fixing: Welded
  • Blade TPI: 7
  • Hardened Teeth: Yes

One of the best known British tool firms, Draper make an incredibly huge range of tools for DIYers and professionals alike. The 82194 Venom First Fix Hand Saw is big, aggressive, and surprisingly good value for money.

Boasting a 7 TPI blade with hardened and tempered teeth, the blade is lacquer coated for weather resistance and reduced friction when cutting. The blade is 1 mm thick for rigidity and made from quality high carbon SK5 steel. All this together means you’re holding a very capable and extremely durable hand saw.

I’m a big fan of the ergonomic handle as well. Constructed from a soft grip rubberised plastic, it’s very comfortable to hold and helps to keep your hand straight when cutting. It might be the most comfortable handle on a hand saw that I’ve tried out so far.

Pros

  • If you’re on a bit of a budget, this saw offers extremely good performance without breaking the bank. Compared with the STANLEY FatMax heavy-duty, it’s an absolute bargain!
  • The blade sheath has a rubber strip that will keep the teeth safe. It’s also a good way to protect your hands when you pick it up.
  • Plenty of users have praised this saw for its aggressive cutting design and ability to help you cut straight lines. It’s one of the best hand saws for DIYers looking to work fast.

Cons

  • In comparison with the Blaupunky HS600, the teeth on this saw are only double ground. They’re a little less aggressive and don’t have the triple cutting action on both strokes.
  • As you’d expect from a first fix saw with 7 TPI, you get a pretty rough cut. This isn’t the correct saw for fine cabinet making or marquetry.
  • Compared with the STANLEY FatMax 515289, the blade is 2” shorter. Coming in at 20”/500 mm blade length, your stroke length can’t be quite as long.
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Spear & Jackson Predator B9814 Second Fix Toolbox SawSpear & Jackson Predator B9814 Second Fix Toolbox Saw

Best hand saw with 14TPI

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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Spear & Jackson Predator B9814 Second Fix Toolbox Saw Review

Specifications

  • Type: Second Fix
  • Blade: 406mm / 16"
  • Handle: Suregrip soft feel
  • Handle Fixing: Screwed and welded
  • Blade TPI: 14
  • Hardened Teeth: No

It’s hard to find a business with a longer history than Spear & Jackson. Founded all the way back in 1760, they’re still one of Sheffield’s biggest success stories. With an enormous range of quality hand tools, the B9814 Predator Toolbox Saw is one of the best second fix hand saws that you can get.

With an impressive 14 TPI across its 14”/356 mm length, it has small but razor sharp fast cutting teeth that work on both the push and pull stroke. With a 0.91 mm thickness, it’s not going to bend and buckle when you’re trying to make your cuts. The shorter length but higher tooth count mean you’ve got a saw that’s easy to transport around, but still leaves a silky smooth finish for your second fix work.

Spear & Jackson have used their patented Suregrip soft feel handle on this saw, which promises to minimise hand fatigue and cut down on vibrations that can make you wander off the cut line. Not only has it been screwed and welded on for improved durability, but the soft grip section extends forward from the handle to give you a solid finger guide as well. It’s an excellent saw that belongs in any DIYers toolkit.

Pros

  • The 14” hardened and tempered steel blade uses hard pointed teeth and boasts Spear & Jackson’s patented Duralife technology to extend the useful life of the blade.
  • The teeth have been ground with what’s known as fleam. It basically means that the individual teeth have been cut at an angle to slice the wood finely on the push and pull stroke.
  • You can use the front side of the handle to measure out both 90° and 45° angles. Simply push the saw handle up to the edge of the timber and mark along the spine of the saw.

Cons

  • A toolbox saw is ideal when space is at a premium, but a longer saw is much more efficient at cutting. Compared with the STANLEY FatMax fine cut, it’s going to be a lot slower.
  • Having 14 TPI is perfect for making precise cuts without causing tear out, but it’s not going to buzz through sleepers. If you’re looking for an all-round saw, this isn’t it.
  • Some users have complained about the saw getting blunt too quickly. It’s always an issue with second fix saws that have small and finely ground teeth.
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STANLEY STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut HandsawSTANLEY STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut Handsaw

Best second fix hand saw

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4.6666666666667
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STANLEY STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut Handsaw Review

Specifications

  • Type: Second Fix
  • Blade: 550mm / 22"
  • Handle: Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing: Screwed and welded
  • Blade TPI: 11
  • Hardened Teeth: Yes

Probably one of the first names you’ll think of when it comes to DIY tools is STANLEY. They make a gigantic range of hand tools, power tools and accessories of all kinds, and one of the best second fix hand saws I’ve had a chance to work with. The STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut is an enormously capable multi-material saw that won’t leave a jagged finish.

Hitting the sweet spot between blade length and number of teeth, this 22”/550 mm saw is long enough for a full cutting stroke and has 11 TPI, making it a fine cut saw that’s also a good all-rounder. The teeth have been triple-ground for an effective cut on the push and pull stroke, and are induction hardened for extra durability.

Anyone who has used the FatMax line of tools knows that there’s an emphasis on big, chunky grips. This saw doesn’t disappoint. The handle is made from bi-material rubberised plastic that is easy to hang on to and is big enough to accommodate big hands in work gloves. It’s not just screwed onto the blade either. STANLEY have gone for the belt and braces approach and welded it on as well. It’s one of the best second fix saws on the market right now.

Pros

  • Compared with the Spear & Jackson Predator, you get an extra 8” or nearly 200 mm more blade length. A longer cutting stroke makes for easier and faster cutting.
  • Even though it’s a long saw, the blade isn’t overly flexible. It’s not going to buckle or wave around too much, helping you to stay on the cut line without too much wrangling.
  • The teeth have been ground on three sides, which means you cut on the pull as well as the push stroke. The induction hardened teeth are rated to last for twice as long as the competition.

Cons

  • As some of the users have noted, this isn’t the fastest cutting saw you can buy. The 11TPI mean you get a clean finish, but they’re not heavy duty teeth for breezing through big timbers.
  • Compared with the Spear & Jackson Predator, this saw’s not going to fit into your toolbox. 22” is fine if you’ve got the space, but not everyone wants to lug around a huge saw.
  • Some users have complained about the width of the saw kerf. As a fine cut saw, the teeth should be set to a minimal splay, so it could be a quality control issue.
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HAUTMEC X-Sharp Second Fix Hand SawHAUTMEC X-Sharp Second Fix Hand Saw

Best budget second fix saw

Build Quality
Performance
Value for Money
Overall
4
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HAUTMEC X-Sharp Second Fix Hand Saw Review

Specifications

  • Type: Second Fix
  • Blade: 406mm / 16"
  • Handle: Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing: Screwed
  • Blade TPI: 11
  • Hardened Teeth: Yes

With an impressive range of moderately priced hand tools, it’s not hard to believe that HAUTMEC make one of the best budget second fix hand saws. The X-Sharp hand saw is another useful toolbox size saw that is lightweight and very capable.

Boasting a thick blade for better stability, a toolbox friendly 16”/400 mm blade length and 11 TPI, this is the best hand saw for getting into tight spots and out of problems. The blade has been polished as well as lacquered, which should help to reduce friction and get through timber that bit quicker.

I was really impressed by the quality of the handle on this saw. It’s a bi-material construction with plenty of grip and a lip on the top that holds the webbing of your hand nicely. It’s been screwed onto the handle and has plenty of room for large hands wearing gloves.

Pros

  • You’re not limited to just cutting through wood with this saw. The sharp teeth will make short work of laminate, composite, MDF and plastics as well.
  • I think that 11 TPI is the ideal tooth count for DIYers that want a clean second fix cut. It’s still robust enough to be a useful all-rounder saw if you don’t mind a bit of hard work.
  • The triple-ground teeth are set so you can make rip cuts as well as cross cuts. It will effectively cut on the pull stroke as well as the push stroke.

Cons

  • Compared with the STANLEY FatMax fine cut, the blade length on this saw is really short! Unless portability is your main priority, I would usually go for a longer blade saw.
  • Some users have complained that this saw doesn’t stay on the cut line as well compared with the Spear & Jackson Predator. It could be an issue with technique though.
  • At 454 g, this isn’t exactly a heavy saw. But in comparison with the Spear & Jackson Predator, it’s nearly 150 g heavier. If weight is a concern, this one’s a touch heavy.
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Hand Saw FAQs

How do I keep my saw cuts straight?

When using a hand saw for cutting wood use the following tips for 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 start the 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.

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 in order to 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.

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