In this guide we’ll look at the best Japanese saws.
We’ve compared construction material, handle comfort, teeth per inch and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Japanese Saw?
More Detailed Japanese Saw Reviews
Z-Saw H-150 Dozuki ultra-fine crosscut saw Review
This “Kitsutsuki” or “Woodpecker” Pull Saw made by Z-Saw, is one of the best Japanese tools in the UK. It is the ultimate of cross cutting tools. Made in Japan to precise engineering standards, the 0.3 mm blade is capable of cutting a really fine kerf for bench joinery.
The cuts you can make with this pull saw are impressive, and it leaves a surface that feels like it’s just been planed. The high TPI and stiff steel spine both contribute to laser-like accuracy that produces excellent cuts in even hard woods.
The wrapped handle is as you would expect from the best Japanese saw, it perfectly suits the pull stroke method of cutting. The confidence this Japanese pull saw gives you when attempting difficult joinery is immediate, and should last a long time in the right hands.
Augusta Ryoba 44021 240 AMA Japanese Saw Review
Augusta are a German tool manufacturer with an excellent reputation for quality saws and axes. This Ryoba double sided saw is the last one you’ll ever need for rip and cross cutting. The best Japanese pull saw features a coarse side and a fine side for ultimate versatility.
The traditional bast handle is comfortable and adds to the authentic feel of this ryoba saw. The flexible blade with straight set teeth is designed to cut flush with the timber surface, and we thought it did a really good job on dowelling.
The blade is super fine and leaves a narrow kerf, which makes this an excellent pull saw for cutting small dovetails with a bit of practise.
Con:P B25320 Japanese Pull Saw Review
The Con:P Pull Saw we tested really felt like a high-quality tool, and we were pleasantly surprised for a pull saw at this price point. The SK-5 steel blade is slightly thicker at 0.6 mm and less flexible than some on this list, but it’s the best Japanese pull saw for the money by far.
The teeth are razor sharp and aggressive enough to cross cut hard timbers without tearing, and the handle is comfortable. We liked the handle because the angle of it was half way between a traditional Japanese saw and a contemporary Western saw. It felt like the best of both worlds, and should decrease wrist ache after long use.
Like the other Japanese pull saws on the list, you can swap out the blades quite easily, so this could be the best Japanese pruning saw if you didn’t mind cutting green wood with it.
Roamwild Japanese Double Edge Pullsaw Review
The Roamwild Multi Pull Saw Pro is a futuristic take on the best Japanese pull saw traditions. It’s packed with useful features not found on other saws, like a handy nail puller and hammer in the base of the handle.
Made in Japan, it can easily cut woods, plastics and other sheet materials with the rough blade on the bottom, and even has a second blade in the ryoba style on the top of the blade. By holding the handle upside down, you can make fine cuts and get into hard-to-reach areas with the wedge end of the saw.
Another feature we like is the inbuilt thumb rest. Anyone who does a lot of work with a pull saw knows that extending your thumb along the spine helps to keep it square when cutting, so this was an excellent innovation to include.
And we’re sure the included ruler and 45/90° angle guide features will come in handy along the way.
Gyokucho 1151 Double Edged Flush Cutting Saw Review
Gyokucho are an authentic Japanese razor saw maker with a fantastic reputation for their impulse hardened blades. The 1151 double edged flush cutting saw that we tried out felt solid and accurate for such a light tool.
The fixed kugihiki style blade is riveted to the handle so there won’t be any chance of wobble, and the 0.3 mm blade is flexible enough to flush cut dowels in awkward places, using just a finger to hold the blade in place.
The teeth on the Gyokucho saw have no set, so they won’t scratch surfaces, but the rough side is aggressive enough for heavier work in the best Japanese pull saw style. Overall, this Gyokucho saw is professional grade with just a few less refinements than something many times its price.
Japanese Saw Buyer’s Guide
The Japanese are well known for their fine woodworking skills and a tradition for exacting manufacturing standards. A Japanese saw such as the Roamwild Multi Pull Saw Pro is a perfect tool for fine joinery, with thin, flexible saw blades and a cutting action that works on the pull stroke.
Types of Japanese Saw
Kataba The classic and best Japanese saw, characterised by a pull stroke cut and straight handle. The handle like that on the Augusta Ryoba 4402 is traditionally spiral wrapped in natural fibres, or bast
Ryoba A double-edged saw with coarse teeth for rip cuts and fine teeth for cross cuts
Dozuki An ultra-fine tenon cutting saw with a stiff spine for making straight cuts and accurate joints
Kugihiki A flexible blade for flush cutting tenons. The blade can be bent to cut along the surface of the wood without marking it.
The best Japanese pruning saw like the Con:P B25320 and the Gyokucho 1151 or any other pull saw is made with a steel blade. Japan is famed its their steel manufacturing, and the steel of choice for everything from tools to weapons is SK-5. It’s hard enough to cut the toughest woods, but flexible enough to flush cut effectively.
How do you use a Japanese pull saw?
The only thing to really get your head round is that the best Japanese saws cut on the pull stroke rather than the push. This can take some getting used to, but it should reduce the chance of blade wobble.
Start by clamping the workpiece firmly, and mark the cuts appropriately. Start cutting with short strokes until the teeth begin to cut. For the best results, aim for long and smooth strokes.
We enjoyed testing out some of the best Japanese pull saws available right now, and would happily keep them all, but we have to choose a winner. The Z-Saw Dozuki has the perfect blend of traditional Japanese styling with modern quality control. The ultra-fine 0.3 mm blade was incredibly accurate, and should give you a lifetime of the thinnest kerfs known to woodwork.