Your saws are dull, rusted and the set went two decades ago. The rust convinces you that Japanese saws were the way to go anyway and the disposable type, even better. Throwable? Cheap? No not really. There’s a price pay and it’s not necessarily us that will pay long term but more likely our children. In a culture striving always for the cushy, pull out a conventional handsaw on the job site and most woodworkers, often called carpenters, will look at you as though you just grew two heads. Here in the UK, joiners and carpenters boast of their savviness in first discovering and then relying totally on throw away saws and what an advancement that was. It’s the same in the US too. Yet do you know anybody can sharpen a saw in a few minutes. yes I know these saws cut much better than the old fashioned saws, but only if you don’t know how to sharpen and shape the teeth of a saw to task and that’s quite simple once you know how.

Most people, woodworkers, don’t know how to sharpen a saw of any kind, so taking the first step can be daunting. It was for me 45 years ago. But professional woodworkers are not the ones you should follow because most of them don’t know how to work with wood anyway and they definitely don’t know how to sharpen saws. But saw sharpening has been a skill I grasped right from the beginning. One thing that I learned back then was that even a badly sharpened saw will work after sharpening. All that remains after a bad sharpening is you can improve. From there on it’s quite down hill but in the positive sense that you were pushing up hill and once mastered, saw sharpening means you can coast from saw to saw with much greater ease and alacrity. After my class on Wednesday a handful more woodworkers will be able to not only sharpen their saws  but do it well.

Just to get you started I will post a blog shortly on how to get going. I still have places for free in Wednesday’s workshop so call me if you want to reserve a place. First come first served but you must call before the workshop on Wednesday. See you there.


  1. Steve Tomlin on 21 December 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Paul,
    I’ve been learning to sharpen hand saws from books, info on the web and trial and error. It’s a very satisfying thing to do and a pleasure to use a wooden handled saw I’ve sharpened myself. Recently I’ve picked up a few two-man cross cut saws and have been looking into sharpening them too. Do you know about sharpening these saws or someone who does? There’s a few folk up here in Cumbria who are interested in learning.
    Steve Tomlin

  2. Anthony on 24 April 2015 at 4:35 pm

    What is a good size file for Veritas 16 ppi cross-cut saw?

    • Paul Sellers on 24 April 2015 at 7:20 pm

      A 4-6″ xx slim will be good.

  3. Anthony on 14 October 2015 at 12:30 am

    What is a good file size for a 10 or 12 tpi tenon saw?

  4. Dennis Brickley on 30 July 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Hi Paul
    When are you next planing a saw sharpening course?
    I live in Wiltshire



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