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.

4 Comments

  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?
    Thanks
    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.



  • Samuel on Working AloneThere’s a childlike joy in only having the bare essentials in tools and knowing them and admiring them.
  • Anthont on Edge Sharpening Under £10I found the 240 grit plate I have seemed to wear very quickly. I wonder if that is normal for them to wear for the first few sharpens, unless I’m unlucky?
  • Marty on MisnomersI'll be 61 this month and it astonishes me just how much the world of work has changed over the years. I started out as a commercial artist, but that occupation soon gave way to co…
  • Marty on Working AloneNot long ago the Mrs. and myself put an old metal cart in front of the house out by the curb with a sign: Free Stuff We were able to get rid of quite a bit of items we no longer ha…
  • Adrian Gamble on Working AlonePaul not only are you a bright star in the passion of crafting wood to your will, you have a wonderful philosophical view of the world around you. Please keep on inspiring others a…
  • Wayne Whalen on Working AloneLoneliness is mans greatest fear. Even as he grows older and looks for solitude he can't overcome loneliness. He goes into his workshop and he plays his music and has his dog to ta…
  • Bram on Why Suggest Economy Tools?I have a newish disston that I made a new handle for and for some reason thought it would be fine to hand grind a full length taper on with a vernier, some old stones and sandpaper…