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best-hand-saws

The UK's bestHand Saws2022 Review

What To Look For in a Hand Saw

The best hand saws should feature a rigid high-quality durable stainless 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 wood. 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, teeth should be precision ground on three surfaces, so they cut on both the push and pull strokes.

Heavy-duty first fix hand 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…

See the best Hand Saws below

Compare Hand Saws Here

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  • Our score
  • Best For
  • Type
  • Blade
  • Handle
  • Handle Fixing
  • Number of Teeth
  • Hardened Teeth

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Read Our Hand Saw Reviews

B002TYZMLC
5012095060543
Best hand saw with 14 TPI
Spear & Jackson Predator B9814 Second Fix Toolbox Saw
Top Pick

Best hand saw with 14 TPI

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.6666666666667
  • Type
    Second Fix
  • Blade
    406mm / 16"
  • Handle
    Suregrip soft feel
  • Handle Fixing
    Screwed and welded
  • Number of Teeth
    14 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    No
  • Our Review

    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 fine 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 straight 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 fine 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 Presch second fix saw on my list, it’s going to be slower.
    • Having 14 TPI is perfect for making precise straight 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 hand saws that have small and finely ground teeth.

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B01BQ81VR0
5010559821969
Best first fix hand saw
Draper 82196 Venom First Fix Double Ground 7 TPI Handsaw
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.3333333333333
  • Type
    First Fix
  • Blade
    550mm / 22"
  • Handle
    Soft grip
  • Handle Fixing
    Welded
  • Number of Teeth
    8 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    With more than a century of service, British tool firm Draper make all sorts of power tools, hand tools and safety gear as well. Their range of saws includes the mighty Venom 82196 first fix handsaw. With its 550 mm length and 1 mm thin blade it’s the perfect saw for getting through big pieces of timber quickly.

    The handle has been designed with a bi-material ergonomic soft grip section. It’s comfortable and has a textured surface on the front side to keep it stuck to your hand, even without gloves on. The saw blade itself is made from Japanese SK5 mid carbon steel, an ideal material for this type of tool.

    With a double ground set of teeth on the 7 TPI blade, the real benefit of this saw compared to other first fix ones is the extra length. Measuring 550 mm, you can get a longer stroke and push the saw through wood, plasterboard, and plastics quickly and efficiently.

    Pros

    • Draper have used a tough lacquer to coat the saw blade. It works in two ways; it helps stop the blade from rusting out and reduces friction during use for faster cuts.
    • The 8 TPI blade is incredibly sharp and aggressive, which makes it ideal for first fix work. It can chew through timber quickly thanks to the hardened and tempered blade.
    • Like most modern hand saws, you can use the front of the handle to make 90° and 45° marks. Team it up with a pencil and you’ve also got a handy layout tool in your hand.

    Cons

    • Compared with the triple ground teeth on the Irwin Universal Plus 880, this saw doesn’t cut on the backstroke. Even though it has aggressive teeth, they’re not as efficient.
    • The handle has a comfortable grip surface on it, but it’s a bit narrow if you’ve got large hands. It’s not such an issue if you’re wearing gloves, but a first fix saw can handle being a bit chunkier.
    • A 1 mm blade is rather thin blade for an aggressive saw like this. Several users have complained about too much flex, which can make the saw bind up in the workpiece.

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B000C79HPA
5706915052121
Best budget hand saw
Irwin Jack 880 Plus UN20 8 TPI Universal Panel Saw
  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.3333333333333
  • Type
    First Fix
  • Blade
    500mm / 20"
  • Handle
    Soft grip
  • Handle Fixing
    Welded
  • Number of Teeth
    8 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    Famous for their locking pliers, Irwin also makes a huge range of hand tools for professional tradespeople and DIYers as well. The Irwin Jack 880UN20 universal panel saw is an inexpensive and quality hand tool that is found just about everywhere on site and in workshops.

    Boasting one of the best saw handles in the business, it’s designed with the ideal angle to get your hand and arm in the right place for accurate and fast straight cuts. The patented ProTouch grip found on lots of Irwin hand tools has a soft surface for comfort and grip. It can really speed up your first fix work in both soft and hard woods, and the increased handle hole size makes it compatible with gloved hands.

    The 500 mm 8 TPI blade is made from German high carbon steel, and triple-ground teeth that cut on the pull as well as the push stroke. The blade isn’t too rigid or too flexible, allowing you to transfer maximum energy to the cutting surface. It’s a whole lot of saw for not a lot of money.

    Pros

    • The ProTouch soft grip makes this an easy saw to handle, even without gloves on. It reduces the chance of getting blisters and helps line your arm up with the saw for accuracy during the cutting process..
    • With an increased grip circumference compared to a lot of other hand saws, it feels like it’s built for hard work. This is even more welcome if you’ve got large hands like mine!
    • It’s quite amazing how Irwin manages to manufacture a quality saw like this for such a reasonable price. Once it eventually goes blunt, buying a new one isn’t going to bankrupt you.
    • The Irwin Jack Plus range of hand saws have uprated handle designs and thicker grips, and also feature colour coded handles. The orange handle is on the universal saw, the green is coarse, and the purple handle is found on the fine tooth saw blade.

    Cons

    • Don’t expect the earth from a saw that costs this much. It’s a first fix hand saw, so it’s not designed for fine work. It will leave a slightly wider kerf compared with the Presch 10035.
    • The triple cut razor blade teeth are designed for cross cutting wood across the grain. If you try to make a rip cut along the grain, you’ll struggle to make quick progress.
    • If you’re used to re-sharpening your hand saws once they blunt, you won’t like this saw. The process of hardening the teeth make them too brittle for working on more than once.

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B07Q2WYFCQ
Best second fix with 11 TPI
HAUTMEC X-Sharp Second Fix Hand Saw

Best second fix with 11 TPI

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Second Fix
  • Blade
    406mm / 16"
  • Handle
    Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing
    Screwed
  • Number of Teeth
    11 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    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 saw 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 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 and precise 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

    • The blade length on this saw is really short! Unless portability is your main priority, I would usually go for a longer cutting 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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B0001GS136
7311518012526,5053440247790
Best budget hand saw option
Bahco 244-22-U7/8-HP 7 TPI Hardpoint Handsaw

Best budget hand saw option

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4.3333333333333
  • Type
    First Fix
  • Blade
    550mm / 22"
  • Handle
    Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing
    Screwed
  • Number of Teeth
    7 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    The Swedish tool brand with the fish on the logo, Bahco are well respected for making quality hand tools. They make some of the best hand saws in all different price brackets, and the Bahco 244-22-U7 hand saw is a fine example of an inexpensive but high-performance tool.

    The basic plastic handle doesn’t look like much, but it’s screwed onto the saw blade which some users prefer. Made in Sweden, it weighs just 475 g and is designed for cutting through medium to thick pieces of wood. It’s one of the best first fix hand saws, and it’s not expensive either.

    The universal tooth set is great for rip cuts and crosscuts, and the long 550 mm blade makes light work of materials including chipboard, MDF, OSB, and proper timber. The high frequency, induction hardened teeth are super sharp and really show what a hard point saw is all about.

    Pros

    • The universal tooth set on this saw makes this a more versatile first fix tool. It means it can rip cut along the wood grain just as well as cross cut across the grain.
    • With high frequency induction hardened teeth, this hard point saw is built to stay sharper for longer. You can’t re-sharpen them, but the saw should still last for a long time.
    • With 8 PPI and 7 TPI, this saw strikes a balance between power and user comfort. It’s easy to start sawing, and once you get into a rhythm is sails through wood like it’s not there.

    Cons

    • Compared with the Draper 82196, you can’t easily point your index finger along the line of this saw. It’s a good technique for sawing straight, so it’s a shame it’s not built in like the Viper saw.
    • It’s a bit strange that Bahco have opted for a screwed on handle for this saw. Hard point saws can’t be re-sharpened, and at this price point you’d just buy a new saw rather than swap the blade out.
    • The handle on this saw hasn’t got a rubberised grips section compared with the Irwin Jack Plus. The hard ABS type plastic used isn’t optimised for comfort during long sawing jobs.
    • The drawback of a hard point saw is if you happen to hit a nail or screw when you’re sawing through some timber. The teeth are likely to snap off or otherwise be completely blunted.

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B079TZ2758
4260465136515
Best hand saw with ruler scale
Presch Second Fix Foxtail 11 TPI Hand Saw

Best hand saw with ruler scale

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Second Fix
  • Blade
    450mm / 18"
  • Handle
    Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing
    Screwed
  • Number of Teeth
    11 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    German engineering firm Presch are making waves in the DIY world with their quality kit. This second fix “foxtail” type hand saw is no exception, it’s razor-sharp and ideal for when you need an extra bit of precision.

    The quality bi-material handle deserves a special mention. It’s well sculpted with plenty of soft rubberised grip sections and a scalloped part for your index finger on both sides. It’s screwed onto the 450 mm blade in three places and means you can make both fine and rough cuts.

    With 11 TPI to play with, the individual teeth are specially hardened for fine work. There’s less chance of tear-out, even if it’s not going to cut through big timbers as quickly compared with the first fix saws on my list.

    Pros

    • I’ve often used the ridge of a hand saw as a quick straight edge when working. Presch have gone an extra step and added a ruler scale up to 32 cm. I love it when tools perform multiple functions like this!
    • Alongside being able to use the front of the handle to make quick 90° and 45° marks, Presch have also printed an accurate triangle diagram on the blade. It’ll help with laying out.
    • Most hand saws come with this feature, but it’s still worth a mention. The sleeve that the saw comes in can be used as a case, and the hole in the saw blade means you can hang it up.

    Cons

    • Compared with the 550 mm blade on the Bahco 244 hand saw, this one is closer to a “toolbox” size at 450 mm. The shorter the stroke, the less momentum you can build up for fast cuts.
    • This is pretty expensive for a hard point saw. You can’t re-sharpen it and compared with the low price of the Irwin Jack 880 Plus, it’s not quite as fast when cutting through big timbers.
    • Fine tooth hand saws that are around 11 TPI are not as versatile as universal tooth saws. The finer teeth are good for precision work, but don’t try and rip cut with this saw, it’ll take too long.

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B005INX2PO
3253562172068
Best hand saw for PVC and plastic
STANLEY 217206 300mm FatMax PVC and Plastic Saw

Best hand saw for PVC and plastic

  • Where to buy
  • Our Scoring
    Build Quality
    Performance
    Value for Money
    Overall
    3 4
  • Type
    Second Fix
  • Blade
    300mm / 12"
  • Handle
    Bi-material
  • Handle Fixing
    Screwed and welded
  • Number of Teeth
    11 TPI
  • Hardened Teeth
    Yes
  • Our Review

    DIY brands don’t get much bigger and better known than STANLEY. With close to 180 years of service under their belt, there isn’t much they don’t know about making the best hand saws. The 217206 FatMax PVC and plastic saw is a specialist bit of kit for DIYers that are dealing with things like waste pipe and polycarbonate sheets.

    With a totally different shape to the hand saws on the rest of my list, you can tell straight away that this is a particular saw for a special job. The shape of the handle means you can cut sheet materials easily without changing your hand position. The bi-material used in the handle is comfortable and non-slip too.

    Making use of an 11 TPI saw blade, there’s no set to the teeth. This means they don’t splay out, making a thin kerf and helping to avoid burrs in the final cut. With induction hardened teeth for long life, it’s a 300 mm long saw that will make short work of PVC and other plastic materials.

    Pros

    • You can’t beat using the right tool for the right job. A universal saw like the Irwin Jack 880 can do a lot of jobs, but if you want to cut a lot of plastics, this saw’s hard to beat.
    • STANLEY’s FatMax range of tools are built tough for trade use and feature much chunkier parts to make them easy to use, even with gloves on. They last for ages as well.
    • Using a “normal” hand saw for plastics can be a nightmare. Set teeth that splay out leave horrible burrs, and the plastic swarf can clog up the blade teeth easily.

    Cons

    • This is a specialist saw. Unless you’re planning to cut a lot of plastic materials, it’s hard to justify the spend and space it’ll take up. A universal saw will get the job done if it’s just for occasional use.
    • The 300 mm long blade is the shortest on my list. It’s fine for getting into tight spots and for fiddly jobs, but it’s much slower compared with the Draper 82196’s long 550 mm blade.
    • Compared with the tri ground teeth on the Irwin Jack 880, this saw only cuts on the pull stroke. This method of sawing doesn’t suit everyone and can be a pain to learn.

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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.

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 workbench 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 hand saw and the back of the saw blade.

Now you are ready to start the cut.

Keep your index finger on the side of the hand 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 hand saw at a 60% angle. If you are making a cross cut, against the grain, then hold the saw at a 45% angle. Work the hand saw back and forward to cut the wood using the whole length of the blade. Do not force the blade – let the hand saw 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 hand 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 hand saw.

You can buy saw sharpening file sets quite easily. Then it’s just a matter of clamping your hand saw and filing all the teeth one way, then turning the hand saw for filing in the other direction.

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Hand Saws Price Comparison

Every day DIY Garden scans thousands of products to help you find the cheapest prices. Not only do we want to help you find the best products through our in-depth testing, but we also want to help you find the best places to buy them too. We’re working hard to expand our network of retailers, and will be continually adding in new options.

The Cheapest Hand Saw Prices Found Today

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