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In this article we compare and review, what we believe to be the best hand saws, currently available on the UK marketplace. These are the general purpose saws that are used for cutting most types of wood.
You can get smaller saws for working in confined spaces. However if you are not restricted, then a full size saw is always the way to go. These ones are all around 20 inches or slightly longer.
What is the Best Hand Saw?
The best hand saw is the Stanley 20" fine finish hand saw.
This one is great for cutting through 2x2, fixing a shelf, a decking board and all general purpose sawing work, around the home and garden. It combines high quality and durability and although, when compared to the other models it's quite expensive, I think it is well worth spending the extra.
However, there are quite a few of these available as you will see when you read on. Just before we get into the different brands and models, it is worth just a little time to explain, exactly what they are and what they are used for.
What Is a Hand Saw Used For?
This particular style of saw is used for general jobs around the home. It will cut hard or soft wood and is usually done in order to join the pieces back together in a different shape. They can also be used to cut plastic and most non-ferrous metals.
The blade on these is quite long, and also quite wide. This means it is hard to use in a confined space and also makes them quite coarse. You wouldn't for instance be using this type of saw for any type of delicate or intricate work.
The blades are usually forged from steel and the handles are made from a hard wood or more commonly from plastic. As a rule of thumb the length is normally anything from 15 to 24 inches. For some reason this type of tool is measure in inches still so that's around 300mm to 600mm.
A good hand saw will cost around £6 - £12. I wouldn't be spending much more than that if its only for a specific job or unless you will be using it every week. These are ideal for , say , cutting a 2 x 4.
Best Rated Hand saws
Just below you will find a table, where we have placed the hand saws in order. The order we have used is the highest buyer rated first. In other words we have placed the saws in the order, of what buyers judged their quality to be.
We have also included average UK prices, but be aware that these are always subject to change. Always check on the exact date and time when you are making any purchase. The ratings we update on a regular weekly basis.
if you click on the product name, you will be taken to Amazon UK, where you can read other buyer reviews. In this table we have included the rank, hand saw name, an average price, our rating and a grade.
Please note the prices are averages as they change regularly. Always check any price if you decide to make a purchase. The Rating is out of 5 stars.
If you are uncertain as to which one to buy, then we would highly recommend the number 2 option on our list, from the Stanley brand.
It is the one that I use almost everyday, and after 3 years of use it has never let me down.
Hand Saw Summary Reviews
Underneath, we have completed short and concise reviews, on these top 5 products. That way you can see at a glance, which one is the best choice for you.
What is the Best Hand Saw for Floorboards?
One of the biggest, and certainly the most annoying things about using a hand saw, is the eternal problem of sticking. That usually happens on the down stroke, and the blade essentially gets well and truly wedged.
That happens more often on either longer cuts, or in medium to thick wood. That is where you need a better hand saw. The teeth are finer on those with something like 7-8 teeth per inch.
With finer teeth, the cutting time is reduced and it is faster. In addition, the amount of effort required reduces, and you don't end up with a buckled blade. You also do not use up as much energy.
For this we like, and buyers like the Bahco Barracuda Handsaw, that has specially hardened teeth. There is an image just below.
The pros use this one a lot, so well worth a look. It is a great choice for the thicker woods or material like plywood panels.
What is the Best Hand Saw for Carpentry?
For all you carpenters out there, or budding carpenters, the handsaw that you will require is at a whole new level. Any good carpenter we have ever known uses a pull saw, for much finer cuts, and much better finishes.
These normally use what is called "the pull to cut method." Usually these combine a number of blades (usually three), and all of these will have been diamond cut. I really like the Japanese Pull Saws. They are so nice to use and you get a really clean cut from the pull action instead of the normal "cut on the push" of regular saws.
These saws are perfect for skirting and can do tight cuts that other saws can't get to.
Now we are not carpenters so would never dream of recommending one to you. However we know a lot of carpenters so we asked them. The huge majority of those told us that the Shark Corp 10-2440 Fine Cut Saw, was there go to saw, for this type of finer work.
They said this one was great for flush cutting, undercuts and a whole variety of joinery tasks such as doing mitres and working on stair systems.
Hand Saw Buying Guide
Stanley and Spear & Jackson dominate the market when it comes to decent quality hand saws. You do have quite a few choices to make, so hopefully this buying guide will help. There is nothing fancy about them, it really just comes down to three things.
- The style of the handle
- The length of the blade
- The number of teeth per inch or TPi
Which Type of handle?
There is a bit more to the saw handle than you might think at first. Obviously a good grip is very important if you have a lot off cutting to do and this will affect the comfort too.
Having it fit your hand properly so that your finger nails don’t dig into your palm is something you need to check.
For some reason I always found wooden handles more comfortable but really they are a thing of the past. Generally most new saws come with plastic handles and realistically they last a lifetime now
Almost all of those handles have finger grips moulded into them, and that mould allows the saw to take the shape of your gripped fingers.
What Lengths of blades Are Available?
The blade length can range between 15-24". There are of course shorter general purpose saws but I would go for the longest one possible as long as you aren't working in a confined space.
The reason for that is that the longer the handle is, the longer the stroke you can make. That means of course faster cutting and time saved.
Safe Use of a Hand Saw
If you have never used one of these saws before, then please watch the video above. There is a knack to using these so as you do not want to cut yourself or damage the wood you are cutting. Its always better to be careful and get some tips if you havent used a tool before.
You have to learn to let the blade of the saw do all the work. If you find it really hard to cut then you are doing it wrong, it should be smooth and easy.
Quick Tips for Using a Hand Saw
TIP 1 - How To Prevent Surface Rust on a Handsaw
Years of experience have taught us a few things, and with hand tools nothing much really changes. If left unloved, your hand saw will eventually start to show signs of rusting.
That is especially true if they are left in something like an outside garage or shed, where it gets damp and cold in the winter. Most people only discover this, the next time the reach for the handsaw to do a job.
A great way to prevent this, is to simply wipe it when finished, and then give it a spray of something like the magical WD40. That takes a few seconds and will help prolong the lifetime of your saw.
TIP 2 - How To Prevent A Handsaw From Sticking
We mentioned earlier that a saw with more teeth per inch does help prevent sticking. However if you have an older saw, and don't want to buy a new one, then here is a quick tip, to help prevent the sticking problem.
Rub a little butter or a light oil along the blade before you start sawing. Even a quick spray with WD40 helps a lot.
TIP 3 - Look After the Teeth
I have over the years seen people treating their handsaw like a hammer. They use it and then dump it somewhere until they finish the job. It takes a couple of seconds to wipe it down, spray it with WD 40 and hang it up, out of the way.
That stops it getting covered with dust, and more importantly prevents any risk to the cutting teeth of the blade.
Frequently asked questions about hand saws
What is the best hand saw for cutting trees?
The best handsaw for cutting trees is the Bahco 10-30-23 Bowsaw 30In. It is 30" bow saw thats made from high quality stainless. It has a 96% satisfaction rating and is the best seller on Amazon.
What is the best handsaw for cutting blocks?
The best handsaw for cutting blocks is the Connex Concrete Saw. It is a 450mm saw that cuts concrete, stone, brick and paving. It gets a 92% satisfaction rating and is the best seller on Amazon.
As well as our many tool reviews, we have also included a whole range of articles, on how to use them. This will include the many tasks that you may have to do at home. That could include putting up a shelf, drilling through tiles, drilling through concrete, laying carpet, fixing a leaking tap, and just about any other thing that you can think of.
The site is managed and run by myself Enda, an electrician by trade, and by my friend Geoff, a plumber with many years of experience. We have done house renovations, construction builds and extensions, loft and garage conversions, conservatories, fencing, path making and just about any other job in the construction and building industry.
Between us, we have a lot of experience, and we are more than happy to share that with you here.