An Introduction to Hand Saws


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That article desperately needs more illustrations.


I’ve seen lots of people struggle with using a hand saw and they are all doing the same thing wrong. You need to visualize how the flatness of a saw blade describes a plane, and then you need to make sure your wrist, your elbow, and your shoulder are all in that same plane. And your torso is perpendicular to that plane. This being “lined up” will help keep the saw from binding and twisting and it’s much easier to control the saw. It’s simple geometry. A novice will often hold a saw centered directly in front of them, where the angles are all wrong and your body is working actively against a straight smooth cut.


Here’s an introduction to arm and leg saws…


No photos?

I work with high school kids building robots. We make sure to let every student do some hacksawing of aluminum, to get the feel for how to do it right. It’s nice to see them progress from godawful crooked, jagged cuts at first to lovely, straight cuts after some practice.

Then we let them use the horizontal bandsaw as a reward.


Sorry about the missing photos, they were left off by mistake when it was first published. Now they’re back where they belong.

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On the camera’s SD card?

/except for the pull saw, I’ve got them all and more!

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