16-in. Tenon Saw - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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16-in. Tenon Saw

Lie-Nielsen - 16-in. Tenon Saw

With a long, deep blade and 11 tpi, Lie-Nielsen’s new saw is perfect for tenons.

$175 (As of 6/3/2010)

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Editor's Review:

by Matt Kenney

review date: June 3, 2010

I’ve always cut tenons with a handsaw. I’ve used Japanese pullsaws and small Western backsaws successfully, but they all have drawbacks. For example, a typical dozuki has too many teeth, so it cuts very slowly. The rip teeth on a ryobi cut quicker, but without a back, the blade can buckle. The Western backsaw is close to perfect but it, too, has too many teeth for a fast cut. It’s also fairly short, so it takes a lot of strokes to make a tenon.

The Lie-Nielsen 16-in. tenon saw ($175, lie-nielsen.com) solves these problems. It has 11 teeth per inch, filed for a ripcut. Spread that over its 16-in. blade, and you can really move through the wood. The saw is well-balanced and has a comfortable handle. It really is the perfect saw for tenons.

Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Lie-Nielsen
Manufacturer's Web Site www.lie-nielsen.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-327-2520
Teeth per Inch (tpi) 11 tpi
Blade Material Swedish Steel
Handle Material Curly Maple

This is a lovely saw. It cuts like a dream and is balanced well so that it dives into the wood (primarily hard maple in my experience) effortlessly. That being said: having small hands, being a bit of a novice and tending to cut tenons no deeper than about 1 1/2", I found this particular model to be a bit too unwieldy for me me. It tended to drift on me and leave too much meat on the tenon that I would then have to clean up with the router plane. I have subsequently exchanged the saw for Lie Nielsen's 12" version. If you have average to large hands, are more experienced and need the depth I have no doubt you'll love the saw. I loved it in spite of myself but the 12" is a better fit for me and my work. Enjoy.

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