Innovation is not something we are accustomed to seeing in Japanese saw design, so when our sawsmith introduced us to his latest creation I was rather surprised.
This remarkable tool draws on the traditions of Japanese sawsmithing to produce a single saw that can be used for several cuts. Like all multifunction tools there are potentially compromises versus dedicated ones for a specific purpose, but the skill of the maker ensures that compromises for the user are minimised.
The teeth are a little longer than usual, providing excellent swarf clearance but a smooth cutting 14½tpi, making the saw suitable for a wide range of material thicknesses. The teeth have zero rake and an aggressive fleam angle so they can manage cross, rip and angled cuts with equal ease. The absence of a spine allows it to be used for sawing panels.
The plate is taper forged with unset teeth and supple spring temper, allowing the saw to be used for flush cutting without compromising accuracy for straight cuts or plate clearance for deep ones. Be careful not to bend it over too far when flush cutting - clearance for the handle is all that is needed.
As with all handmade saws this is a delicate precision instrument; but with care, practice and a light touch it has the potential to be the only one you use for the majority of typical furniture making cuts.
Note: These handmade saws are not for beginners and are more suited to the experienced user. Our lifetime warranty does not apply to broken/damaged saw blades.
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The Unisaw is well finished and a delight to use, smooth and accurate. The saw plate is 0.5 mm thick and the teeth are cut alternately from each side of the plate and at about 15 TPI. The blade is very straight and the teeth are very sharp. As a cross-cut saw the Unisaw cuts as well as dedicated hand-made cross cut saws I have. The Unisaw has no spine, so in theory the blade ought to wander a little more than the dedicated cross cut saw (with a spine) but I have not noticed any problem. As a rip saw the Unisaw cuts smoothly and accurately for such jobs as cutting small to medium size dovetails and tenons but it is not nearly as fast as a dedicated rip saw. The teeth of the Unisaw have to be a compromise shape and, for long re-sawing cuts, it seems there is no substitute for big teeth and deep gullets. For ordinary day-to-day work this does not seem a big restriction. The teeth have no set so that the saw can be used as a flush-cutting saw. I have not tried this yet but see no reason why the saw would not cut well. The lack of set does not seem to cause any binding in the dry wood I have used.