OK. It’s Saturday morning and your saws just came in from the Amazon jungle and so too a Bahco 6″ slim taper file. Here in the UK go here to get them at a fair price, in the USA go Bahco and for the rest of the world go directly to Bahco’s world locator site here.
You need two saws because you want a ripsaw and a crosscut version too, but the two saws available from S&J are both crosscuts because the bright sparks at Spear & Jackson decided we no longer need ripsaws to be made.
Are S&J any good?
As saws go and at first impression, no, but they are wonderful for you develop skills on without losing sleep on wasted money, wasted energy and wasted time. They are perfect piece of kit for developing your saw sharpening skills. In the past I have asked makers to come up with a saw sharpening kit so that new woodworkers can just practice on an inexpensive piece of milld steel with teeth cut into the plate at the cross and rip-cut patterns they need. Something less intimidating. Well here we have something much better. You will end up with good saws that could be lifetime saws too. When my crosscut saws arrived from S&J (bought via Amazon.co.uk) they did cut but they weren’t as sharp as I could sharpen them myself.
I called head of sales management at S&J and told him I had bought the saws and he went into a spiel about how wonderful the saws were and I stopped him to tell him I didn’t want to disappoint him but they were basically just good kits and not well defined at all; that the materials were good quality but that they (S&J) stopped short in what they did with them to make them fully functional. Him starting out with a brag on the 250 years experience in saw making irked me a little more and I suggested, “Then in that case the company should be improving not retrogressing.” Anyway, you do get good steel and a good wooden handle and you can make them work as you can see here in this video presentation.
You can do what I did to get great results from low cost saws comparable to if not better than the best by watching. Make certain when you buy that you do not buy hard point saws as these will not sharpen and you will ruin your file with the first few strokes.
These saws cost £22 including shipping from Amazon.co.uk, but there are other suppliers too.
For sharpening a crosscut hand saw go to our most recent video here.