Progressive Pitch Saw - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Progressive Pitch Saw

Lie-Nielsen - Progressive Pitch Saw

This new saw includes a both fine and coarse teeth for precise and speedy sawing

$135 (As of 9/1/2008)

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Editor's Review: Dovetail Saws

by Chris Gochnour

review date: September 1, 2008

A new dovetail saw from Lie-Nielsen combines the easy-start feature of a fine-tooth saw with the aggressive cutting advantage of coarse teeth. As a result, it’s easy to place a cut right where you want it and, once started, quickly complete it.

You need only look at the teeth to find the secret. At the toe of the saw, the teeth are spaced at 16 teeth per inch (tpi), a relatively fine number. At the heel, the spacing is a coarser 9 tpi. The idea is to start cuts with the toe of the saw, and complete them with the rest of the blade.

The saw is 14 in. long, with a 9-in. blade filed as a ripsaw. It has 1-5/8 in. of usable blade below its brass back. The saw’s handle is made of curly maple that is gracefully sculpted and very comfortable to hold.

I used the saw in a variety of woods. In medium-density woods such as cherry and mahogany, the saw started effortlessly and cut fast, smooth, and straight. There was no tendency for the saw to drift in the cut.

In harder woods like white oak and hickory, the saw was equally easy to start but the cut was a bit rougher and the coarse teeth felt a bit more pronounced. I found that by using a very light touch and taking most of my weight off the saw, the cut was much smoother.

The saw sells for $135. Go to for more information.

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Editor Test Results:

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Lie-Nielsen
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-327-2520
Teeth Per Inch (tpi) Various: 9 to 16
Blade Material Swedish Steel
Handle Material Curly Maple

Starts easy, finishes fast. Well balanced, impeccable working condition and build quality right out of the box. Comfortable handle, saw does all the work, cuts straight. Perfect dovetail saw.

How is this saw sharpened? Something as unusual as a progressive pitch should raise that question in a reviewers mind. Also, what is the hardness of the blade? With a reviewer mentioning that he has used it for months implies a hardened blade that can not be sharpened with a file. I have not found a diamond saw (triangle) file so the hardened blade of my current dovetail saw can not be sharpened by me.

While this saw is very easy to start, I found the overall cut a bit more course than I like. It's certainly more course than my original LN Dovetail saw and much more course than my Grammercy Tools Dovetail saw. By no means is this a bad saw but I don't think the results are good enough to balance the ease of starting. For me anyway, I'm going to stick with my other 2 dovetail saws. Time to fire up EBay.


I recently purchased a prog. pitch saw after years of frustration with japanese saws. I had to force myself to pay in excess of a hundred bucks for a handsaw and it was the best decision I have made in a long time. Aside from being a beautifully crafted tool, it has improved the accuracy of my dovetails a hundredfold. This saw cuts dead-straight quickly, cleanly, and with minimal kerf. I recently cut over sixty through-dovetails in 3/4 cocobolo and didn't botch a single one. Had I been using a dozuki, I probably would have doweled the corners. I will soon be purchasing another L/N saw and cutting up the pile of japanese saws I have amassed to us as scrapers Nick Gregory

I own five Lie Nielsen handsaws, two cross cut, two rip, and now this progressive toothed saw. This saw is a rip configuration, but is simply amazing in it's ability to start a cut and then rip a dovetail or a tenon check, fast! It has quickly become my favorite saw for any kind of rip cut work. I spent the first evening I received the saw just cutting dovetails, then straight rip cuts side by side, then finally tenon cheek cuts side by side. When a friend saw the tail end of the board he was simply amazed at how narrow the kerf was and how close I could get each saw cut to the next. We are talking English Oak here, 5/4 thick.I have been using it for a few months and it is still cutting smoothly, however, I will probably send it back to LN for resharpening when the time arises, due to its variable spaced saw tooth configuration.This saw is phenomenal and I would buy it again!

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