I wrote the intro for this yesterday and the questions poured in for a few reasons but different questioners and commenters were troubled by the changeover from a pull stroke to a push stroke and even the use of the term I used, “correcting the Zona saw.” Well, there are many considerations here not the least of which is the design of the teeth. The Zona saw is a brilliant little saw that cuts pristinely and is designed as a modellers saw for the main part. Modelling isn’t just small models of small things but just as much patterns for pattern making, prototyping and so on so it is an industry saw as well as creating small working models of engines and planes and trains and such.
The Zona saw is not an Asian saw but a western saw made by a western maker in the USA. Fundamentally it is a traditionally made saw following English patterns with an added spline stiffener and the design of the folded spline was developed somewhere in the pre 1700s. The teeth of the Zona saw are sharpened to cut metal and so have chisel-type teeth; the same as you find on western ripcut teeth. Of course you can use the saw as a pull or push stroke saw depending on preference and what you personally are used to. Some might say that’s backwards but it’s all about choices here. Metal cutting saws like hacksaws are technically pushed through the face of metal into the metal but there are exceptions as with fret saws. You would be stretching it to say the Zona shown here would be used like a fret saw, underhanded, but some might say that’s an underhanded way of looking at things. Another commenter said that it takes less effort to pull the stroke than push it, but I think that that seems to me to be streeeetching the reasoning just a tadddd in this case at least.
Of course the cut of the teeth make a huge difference to the defence of my case. Japanese pull-stroke saws in this comparison never really featured in my presenting the need for changing direction. I in no way “westernized” the saw. It was to present the best way to change it to meet the needs people might have for a push stroke saw that certainly works better for general metal working and it works exceptionally well for wood sawing to. For me there is no compromise whether I push or pull the cut. Both work fine, but push does give many if not most more power in this case and actually in other cases too. The teeth of most Japanese saws people introduced here are meant for cutting wood and 95% of the ones sold in the western world actually have pinnacle three sided teeth and rarely chisel teeth whereas the Zona has chisel type teeth and is actually designed for cutting a wide range of resistant materials not the least of which are metals ranging in hardness from soft metals like gold all the way through to mild steel in terms of hardness. I doubt many would want to take their Dozukis to these hard materials, not even the induction hardened models mass made to replace the real art of the Japanese saws of old. Such saws and teeth will be unlikely to give more than one stroke before the teeth snap their points or even the whole tooth. In essence we are not comparing apples for apples here.
Now in the USA, as far as I have seen, most Japanese saws are crosscut-type saws and whereas they do cut quite well with or across the grain of wood, they are not suited to metal cutting. The Zona saw works very well on the push stroke for both metal and wood and abalone, and plastics and bone, horn and so on too. A very different saw than the Japanese pull-stroke saw really.
I hope this leads to a better understanding of the two saw types. It’s not really a question of westernizing a saw or being PC with saying ” preference” rather than “correcting” but looking to see if your push packs more power than your pull.