Crown Tenon Saw a Good Buy

DSC_0110 I picked up a Crown tenon saw last week and had a chat with the sales staff because Crown have been distributing tools made in and around Sheffield for a long time. I actually bought a set of their chisels from Woodcraft a decade or more ago and I was impressed by the quality of them for the price. DSC_0170 The chisels were made in Sheffield and had brass ferrules and The traditional Rosewood handles I liked.
As for the saw, I was surprised how well I liked the saw even though the handle lacked the higher-end features I described in saws like the Wenzloff saw. Now, I have to say that although the saw handle was large, I had no problems with it in my hand and in using the saw and you could in fact refine the saw handle simply or radically as I did here on an instructional blog some time back.
Making a new handle on the other hand means you can create a real heirloom tool altogether. The saw has a very good plate, perfectly sized teeth and a folded brass back. That being so, you might consider creating your own 18th century saw handle using tiger striped maple, some pretty cherry, exotic rosewood or some other wood. The end result would be a beautiful tenon saw and a hand made handle perfected to your hand.
DSC_0113 The saw does have more a utilitarian look and the nuts through the handle end don’t help the overall appearance. This is more likely a maker issue and not Crown, but, you know, this is a good saw and, technically, as far as the utilitarian look goes, that’s OK. Aesthetically they just fall a little short. You could however pick up some split nuts and reestablish the quality you want.

In the USA I did a quick search for the 12″ Crown tenon saw with 13 TPI and Highland Woodworking carries it and so here you have a reliable source for a supplier. Not sure where to go in the UK as the sales on internet seem to give the best results of all here. Shipping is what often makes the difference here. All companies offer next day delivery as standard pretty much and some offer free shipping. The saw seems to sell for around $65-70 in the USA and from as low as £35 -50 in the UK.

DSC_0122 Laying the saw on top of my 18th century models I found that there was enough meat in the handle to transform the saw into a classic.  I will blog on a remake of the handle in curly maple sometime down the road here, but you can read the previous blog and change the one on the saw in a couple of hours or less. There are other blogs too. Just put saw handles in the search box and they will pop up.

DSC_0124 I removed the existing nuts and polished them out and then I removed the lacquer coating from the plate because of increased thickness and friction it made. I used a solvent for this and it came of in a heartbeat with 0000 steel wool. That radically improved the feel of the saw both with my fingertips and in the cut. The plate needed no more work, but I did alter the front rake of the teeth as is my wont. I found the teeth sharp and was glad of that. I have yet to find a tenon saw that doesn’t snag in the opening cuts and at the toe-end of the saw as you progress deeper. Go to my YT sharpening saw video for more on how to perfect your saw teeth.

More on this saw shortly.


  1. Paul I bought this saw at the Harrogate show last year it was on offer at the show for about £28 I find it ok but did find it snagged up when starting a cut. Maybe the set wants reducing but I do not want to mess it up.I look forward to your blog on a remake of the handle in curly maple , that is something I would like to try

    1. In the saw I picked up the set was perfectly fine. As good as any saw I ever picked up. If there is a discrepancy between individual saws I have no way of knowing, but this is a mechanical process and its more likely they all come out the same. I did as I said in the blog work the first 2″ of teeth and that absolutely resolved the issue . I have found this problem with every saw I ever used that was sharp. The increased rake to the front of the first 36 teeth makes all the difference.

  2. Thank you for this blog, Paul. The Pax 13 TPI tenon saw I recently got seems remarkably similar to the Crown saw, especially in the “generic”-type handle (as one commenter called it). Handle does seem to make the hand “swim”a bit, at least compared to an 80 year old Disston panel saw I have. Can’t say too much more as I have hardly used either really, yet. At some point, though, I know I will be game to remake the handle on it and modify the teeth.

    Was wondering if the Crown also has a folded brass back. If so, the Crown may be a better buy than the Pax since the Crown seems to go for about $15 (£9) less.

    1. It is the same saw when it comes to steel, brass back and wood. That’s because it’s made by Thomas Flinn saw works in Sheffield who make a range of different saws under different names and for other companies. That said, Thomas Flynn has established itself as the only real British saw maker and looking at this saw gives me new hope that in the future they will retain something from the past reputation Sheffield was once internationally famed and respected for. Perhaps they too can make the significant yet quite small change that would make the handles really fit the hand yet without increasing the price by too much. With that change they would have the all-time winner of a saw series and sell as a leader for ever.

    2. I prefer the weight of my steel back saws to my prettier brass backed (70’s?) S&J saw.

      BTW One of my steel-back tenon saws seems very coarse (only 7 or 8 TPI), I wonder if it was intended as a gardener’s pruning saw? It cost only £3 in excellent condition from an old gentleman.

      1. Just found the blade cover for the £3 saw: “Woolbro” brand “Handyman Back Saw 30cm (12”). An economy generic model I expect but it has a wooden handle and seems ok for £3 🙂

  3. Interestingly, a quick search for this saw on line turned up a few UK suppliers at around the £48 mark, but no cheaper outlets. Amazon US have it, but not Amazon UK. Indeed, most of the search results were in the US.
    Maybe they are mainly sent for export?

      1. Thanks Paul, but I was just curious what you call good value. I have a good Tyzack saw.

        I’m glad to hear that saws are still being made in Sheffield, after my experience of trying to find some good embroidery scissors. Even the good Italian manufacturers now source theirs from China, with a correspondingly poor finish.
        I found one maker in Sheffield employing a very few skilled workers, all past retirement age. Even their fancy gold handled stork scissors are assembled from Italian blanks, possibly originating in China. Well put together though, which is what I was after.

        BTW, are any value rip saws to be had? All I see are hardened “general purpose” teeth.

  4. Dear Paul Sellers and students, I am writing to inquire if anyone has a good suggestion. I read the PS blog about Crown saws, and I would really like to by a tenon saw and a dovetail saw, but it is hard to find a webstore where a can buy them to a reasonable price and will offer to deliver them to Denmark.
    I have contacted the Crown saws directly, but it did not lead to a positive outcome.

    Does anyone have a suggestion?

    Dennis Wraamann, Copenhagen

    1. Hello Dennis, I wonder if you would do well to look on eBay. There are many secondhand saws for under £60, both new and secondhand. Many go under other names like Footprint and Atkinson and Walker, Pax and most of them are indeed made by Thomas Flinn of Sheffield. You could also go to this company direct as they too sell to the public. The make an identical saw to the Crown saw as they make the saws for Crown. The Greaves Saw is exactly the same as the Crown one but with a different name engraved. Here is the link

  5. Thank you Paul –
    I really liked the YouTube link.
    Just out of curiosity – what kind of solvent did you use to dissolve the protective lacquer? I bought what seems like an excellent tenon saw from the Pax range and tried waht I had a home yesterday to remove the coating on that saw plate. The instructions said to use white spirit, to which my reply is “bah! humbug!”. I tried low aromatic white spirit, a thinner for epoxy products and finally methylated spirits. Well I tell you, the protective gunk won’t budge or dissolve the slightest. Maybe your suggested use of fine steel wool is whats called for, but it seems a risky business and I’d prefer not scratching the very nice polished saw plate. Mayhaps it is a low risk to this since the saw plate is hardened spring steel….
    Any ideas or hints would be helpful.
    I’ll try the wifes nail polish removal gunk next. =)

    1. Fine (0000) steel wool will not damage or scratch the plate. Window cleaners use it for removing film on glass. Try lacquer thinner. That will do it too. The nail polishes are often nothing more than shellac so Meths (DA) will do that if its shellac based.

  6. It is a pitty that those of us who would like to support uk businesses like Crown and Footprint have such a hard time buying their products. I tried emailing Crown for a stockist but only got 1 suggestion who were a machinery co. With a couple of Crown offerings. Why they cant sell direct to the public is beyond me. Retailers don’t seem to be fighting for their products.
    Given the choice of searching for a British product or buying a Chinese one available everywhere, is it any wonder people vote with their wallets.

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