Best Back Saw in 2021 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Paul

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In woodworking, there are a number of different types of saws that you may need. As a woodworker, it’s essential that you have hand saws on hand. One popular type of hand saw is the back saw. These are just like any other hand saw but just slightly different with a spine on the top. A backsaw is unique and offers its own strengths that can be useful for many projects.

Woodworkers know that handsaws make a difference. It’s important to have everything available for your cutting needs, which means you need a top rated backs saw in your tool box. When it comes to back saw reviews, there are two primary types, just like with handsaws.

It’s all in the saw blade. There are cross cut backsaw models and rip saw models. You might see plenty of other terms like dovetail saw, tenon saw, carcass saw, and more but the fact of the matter is these all fall into a backsaw category and you just need to determine the tools you need dhow you need the blade to look and work.

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In this guide, we’ve found you the very best options for a back saw on the market. Whether you’re looking for a simple hand tool or you want dovetail saws, tenon saw, or perhaps even Japanese saws, we’ve got you covered!

Top Rated Back Saws

Dovetail Saw photo from Flickr
Photo from Flickr

In this top rated back saw review section, you will find our top picks based on experience, research and use. Our goal is to provide woodworkers with the perfect tool to fill their hands and their backsaw needs.

Let’s get started!

1. Best Overall: Spear & Jackson Traditional Back Saw

Spear & Jackson Traditional Back Saw Check Latest Price

This first option comes from Spear and Jackson and is a dovetail saw or tenon saw design. This tenon saw backsaw is small and simple and can handle just about any cut saw needs you might have. This is a crosscut saw backsaw that has a nice look and feel as a tenon saw. This handsaw measures 10 x 15 inches and has 15 teeth per inch.

These tools are built for durability and are highly rated. The blade will cut with the end grain and the fine teeth of this tenon saw can conquer a lot of different projects. These back saws are made with universal teeth so that you can use the saw for more things and you aren’t as limited with your projects.

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The mitre box is made with a brass back to give you rigidity and stability from this tenon handsaw. Backsaws need power and strength and this one provides it. Saw sharpening is simple for the blade and shouldn’t be needed too often thanks to the high carbon steel blade.

  • Tenon saw backsaws from a reliable brand established years ago
  • Universal teeth that cross cut across the grain
  • The look and feel is comfortable and sturdy
  • Can handle a lot of different uses
  • The cut can sometimes be rough, more like a rip saw blade might be than a backsaw tenon saw

Why We Like It

We chose this saw as the best overall because it is a universal saw that can easily fall into a tenon saw or dovetail saws category. It has a sharp blade and a comfortable handle and you can do a lot with the details of these backsaws.

2. Budget Pick: Irwin Dovetail Saw 10-Inch

Irwin Dovetail Saw 10-InchCheck Latest Price

This next back saw closely resembles a carcass saw design but is really a dovetail saw backsaw. The miter box is simple and durable much like a tenon saw but you can accomplish much with the blade provided here on this saw.

Irwin is a well-known brand that has always had good hand saw options, among other tools. This dovetail saw backsaw is just another of their quality selections and it’s a budget-friendly model to boot. Whether your concern is the miter box build or you want a pull saw with sharp saw teeth, this will do it for you.

Where rip saws sometimes have challenging navigation through depth, you will feel a difference while you work with this one. There is no wood on the handle or pistol grip but rather a comfortable ergonomic cutting grip that gives you full control of the blades edge while you work and cut.

  • Comfortable and sturdy handle in your hands
  • The word is that this will cut smoothly through more items than just wood
  • A dovetails pull saw that is made with blade stiff qualities like a carcass saw
  • The name inspires confidence in part for the quality and some details of cutting
  • The TPI is undefined
  • Some name comments recommend sharpening the blades for cuts before using

Why We Like It

When it comes to cutting, some menu items can be better than others when it comes to backsaws. This one has a reliable blade and handle and is comfortable to work with. The TPI seems to provide smooth cuts and the size is easy to handle. We like the price tag best of all for this carcass saw backsaw design.

3. Suizan Japanese Hand Saw Dovetail Pull Saw

Suizan Japanese Hand Saw Dovetail Pull SawCheck Latest Price

Finally, we leave you with our last option, the Suizan Japanese Hand Saw Dovetail Pull Saw. This is a Japanese dovetail saw back saw that works like pull saws do. The miter box is sturdy and durable and you can use this saw much like a tenon saw or carcass saw when needed as well. Make no mistake, it is a pull saw back saw but the mitre box design gives you more blade use and versatility, as does the handle.

These backsaws are made with a sharp blade and a sturdy grip. The size of this particular one is 9.5 inches with a solid 25 TPI, which is far more than some backsaws out there. You can tell from the photo of the listing at the quality is there. This saw will make rip cuts and simple cuts with one simple device.

The handle is comfortable and gives you total control for the use of the depth of the blade. You can easily purchase replacement blades if you use them frequently and need to. Whether you have a lot of experience or just want a variety of TPI, cut sizes, and capabilities, this dovetail saw is one for the books.

  • Long handle size with good blade sizes
  • The TPI allows rip cuts and smooth cut size either one
  • The teeth are sharp and made with Japanese steel
  • Mitre box is sturdy and rigid for support and stability
  • The handle of the saw mitre box could be wrapped better for controlling the grip

Why We Like It

Japanese designs for blade, including that of the saw are always well worth a look. The mitre box (or miter box) is well made and the blade of this back saw is reliable as a tenon saw or other use. The TPI is one for the books as well with sturdy teeth and 25 for every one inch.

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Buyer’s Guide

Whether you gent want one or all of that backsaws cookies, you’re in for a treat. Not one of these is of poor quality and each one has a unique aspect to its design. We made an effort to choose backsaws that can handle more than just one job function for a working gent and yet still provide a variety here.

From the miter box to the back saw design, there is much to know and evaluate. We’ve put together a simple buyer’s manual to give you some tips before you buy.

Back Saw Style

You see it here, all of the names like gent’s saw, rip saw, dovetail, tenon, crosscut, and more. You may already have a certain saw style in mind or you may be looking for something that is more universal.

Check out the descriptions and details to know what the capabilities of your saw will be. Most of the options shared here are fairly universal by design. These backsaws might have a pistol grip or an extended handle but the key is how do they cut?

Length and Overall Measurement

The next thing to consider is the length of your blade and the saw in general. There are various sizes out there on these backsaws and it’s really up to you to know what you need or want when it comes to length. A standard saw length is around 10 inches. You don’t want to go much shorter than that as it may not be able to handle your needs well if you do.

Each of the saws we shared here is right around that 10-inch average but you will notice that they have different blade designs and different TPI measurements overall. If you want the cream of the cookies… or crop… you might just need one of each. Or any of these will do for you!

Comfort

Your palm and arm are going to have to maneuver that back saw so it is essential that the grip is comfortable to you. You don’t want just any grip that you can’t maneuver the way you need to or maintain stability with. You need something that feels nice in your hand and still lets you be in charge of the movement of the blade and saw overall.

This can be hard to narrow down because we all find comfort in different styles and designs. Do your best to check out the design and check out the details to know if the grip is going to be comfortable for your grasp.

Terms like ergonomic are something you might see and this is always a good indicator.

Budget

Finally, take into consideration your budget. You can easily spend hundreds of dollars on a back saw or you can find options that are closer to the $25 range. While sometimes it certainly pays off to spend a little more, we want to point out that you can find a quality option without breaking the bank.

Sometimes, budget-friendly choices are just as good as the most expensive choices. Our goal here was to bring you quality over premium prices. Even with just 3 options to choose from, you will see a range of prices.

Know what you can spend and know that if you choose one from this list, it will be a great option regardless of the price tag!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between a Back Saw and Dovetail Saw?

Honestly, there isn’t one. A dovetail saw and a tenon saw are other names for backsaw. They all fall into this category together. The identifying feature is that the spine of the saw lies at the top or back of the blade. This adds rigidity as well as weight and makes it easier to cut as you move the saw.

Is It Better to Buy New or Vintage?

It’s really up to you. Buying new is more reassuring because it means you can find replacement blades more easily and be able to service and maintain your saw better. Some of the vintage models are made to be more durable and were truly built to last the test of time. Those can quickly get very pricy. This is a matter of preference more than a matter of which is best.

Conclusion

We hope that this article is helpful for finding a reliable back saw to add to your tool kit. We narrowed down the market with some of the top and most highly rated options there are and you’re sure to be happy with any of the options from this list.

Which one are you thinking about?

Expert Tip

Choose a saw with a universal design as it will be more versatile and leave you with the ability to accomplish far more jobs. This way, you won’t need 5 different styles and can always go back to the same tool to get things accomplished.

Did You Know

Experience counts. If you are new to this world, it may take some practice and skill building to really get the hang of using such a tool. Don’t be alarmed! It’s good to learn new things and really hone your skills to the best of your abilities!

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
Spear & Jackson 9550B Traditional Brass Back Tenon Saw, 12" x 15", Brown/Silver
  • Universal teeth for general use, cuts along and across the grain
  • Brass back for maximum rigidity
  • For joint cutting & sawing small pieces of wood and wood based materials
  • Comfortable wooden handle securely fixed by rivets
  • High carbon steel blade
SaleBestseller No. 2
Olson Saw 35-241 Fine Kerf Saw 35-550 42 tpi with Aluminum Thin Slot Miter Box, Slot Size .014-Inch, Slot Angles 45, 60, 90, Cutting Depth 7/8-Inch
  • Fine Kerf Saw
  • With Aluminum Thin Slot Miter Box
  • Item Package Dimension: 13.0" L x 4.0" W x 1.5" H
  • Item Package Weight: 1.0 lb
  • 6-1/2in. aluminum miter box has thin slots for 60, 45, 90 degree angle accurate cuts with fine kerf saw.