Zona modeller’s saw—pulling a few strokes for different folks

Zona model saws arrive with the blades cutting on the pull stroke, which in western saws is the wrong way around. The pull stroke requires a different approach to sawing because it can sometimes seem as though we are standing on the wrong side of the saw. This is especially so for those of us raised in the west who are used to pushing the saw into the wood  instead of pulling. This video shows you how reverse the direction of the teeth to give a little more bite to this feisty little saw, which no woodworker should be without by the way. I have used these saws for decades now and they give the thinnest cut of any saw I own and on the push stroke at that. They are tough enough to cut many materials ranging from plastics and mild metals, abalone, bone and much more. Though the teeth are originally set in the spline to cut on the pull stroke, the saws are a made in the USA product. Having a spline means there is no particular benefit to its manufacturers arrangement so I suggest you try it both ways and see what you think.

Here’s a video to show you how.


  1. Eddy flynn on 29 August 2015 at 10:16 am

    thanks for this timely blog i keep promising myself a zona modellers saw but there are a number of them out there which one do you recomend, thanks

  2. Bob Wilkinson on 29 August 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Paul once again very practical and clever.
    When I looked for the saw I found there were different TPI’s (52, 42). Which one were you working on changing and is that the one you’ve used?
    bob w

  3. James Edey on 29 August 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Paul, thanks for the information. I would be interested on your take on Japanese saws which cut on the pull stroke. Are they any good? Thanks.

  4. Jeremy on 8 November 2018 at 3:03 am

    Recently took on this mini project as recommended by Paul. Please know that apparently Zona has started to use glue on the spines. In Paul’s video this wasn’t the case. After a good deal of frustration I discovered this design change. The glue is heat sensitive, so a heat gun or blow dryer will break it’s adhesion. Lesson learned in blood and sweat, literally.