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This test evaluated 11 Western-style dovetail saws, from $10 to $125. I used each one extensively in cherry, oak, and maple, making cuts with the grain and across it. I observed how fast each saw cut, the ease with which it started a cut, how smooth the saw was throughout the cut, and how well it tracked a line. I also checked the saw’s quality of construction and ergonomics.
The Deer saw is an economy saw, and its detailing reflects as much. The beech handle, though reasonably comfortable, is far from graceful, and a thin steel back, riveted to the blade, provides minimal rigidity. The biggest downside to this saw, however, was its poor performance caused by a subpar sharpening job. It’s shaped with a peg tooth (the same angle on the tooth’s front and back) and has excessive set, which produced a slow cut that was prone to wander in the kerf, making it difficult to control.
Corrected 11/9/2006: The Deer Dovetails saw is a generic brand. It is not made by Thomas Flinn and Co.
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