Winsor Saw Dovetail Saws

Winsor Saw Dovetail Saws

With so many options for dovetail saws on the market today how do you go about selecting a saw.  Here is simple criteria:

  1. foxy
  2. fit
  3. function

Foxy–a saw need not be an eye-sore.  A good looking tool, in my opinion, is more likely to get used.  Find a saw maker who makes good looking saws.  Polished steel, shiny brass accents, and well finished exotic wood should all be there.

Fit–don’t buy a saw that you can’t try.  If a saw does not fit you well then you will not cut well.  Handles can be too small, too large, too thin, an improper attack angle and so on.  You should be able to either test drive the saw or buy from a sawmaker who has a return policy.

Function–a dovetail saw needs to cut well.  The saw should cut: 1) fast, 2) straight, 3) easily, and ) smoothly.  A quality saw is going to be tested and tuned.  The set should be just enough to release pressue off the blade but not too much to affect the straightness of the cut.  You and your saw should cut straight.  By this I mean the the saw will cut and track a perfect straight line both vertically and horizontally. This is essential for cutting dovetails.   Use a carpenter’s square to test how straight your cuts are.  You shouldn’t have to force a saw to cut.  You need not be white knuckled when you grip your saw.  A saw needs to be very sharp and have the proper rake (tooth angle) and set.  This allows the saw to begin the cut easily without twisting, bending or binding.  Lastly a quality dovetail saw will leave a smooth surface.  A smooth wood surface is essential for dovetail glueups.  If the saw leaves too much of a rough face, splinters or tearout you may not get the surface area you need to properly glue your joints.

I hope this helps.  Next blog will focus on some simple tests you can do to see if your dovetail saw is cutting properly.

Best wishes,