When a problem’s too big in my shop, I cut it down to size with a hand saw. Hand saws have several inherent advantages over power saws. They don’t run out of batteries, so makers can use them all day. The light weight means novice and smaller makers can comfortably use the tool reasonably safe. Hand saws can make delicate joinery and also rip through 3” slabs. No circular saw or table saw has that type of range.
Hand saws are not made equal. Each hand saw excels at certain tasks. In this tool primer, we will examine the Western & Japanese-style divide, learn to match the saw to the cut direction and classify saws by type and function.