Tool Test: Backsaws that Can Do It All
The versatile carcase saw will cut most joinery—our expert picks the best of a bumper crop
Synopsis: The first saw most woodworkers should get is a carcase saw. With a 12-in.-long blade that has 2 in. or more of cutting depth, the saw is big enough to cut carcase dovetails, tenons for door frame rails and table aprons, yet small enough for drawer dovetails. It doesn’t matter if the teeth are filed for a ripcut, crosscut, or somewhere between, as long as they are sharpened so that the saw cuts quickly and tracks straight. Chris Gochnour tested 18 carcase saws, for how quickly they cut, how easy they are to start, how effective they are at cutting joinery, and how well they track for ripcuts. All were good, but some stood out.
Dovetail saws are a popular choice for a first joinery saw, but because of the blade’s length and shallow depth, they are only suitable for cutting dovetails in thin parts like drawer sides. To…