The most common question that we get in regards to the Dovetail saw is what exactly it is used for. Even many of the experienced woodworkers are not aware of the utility associated with the Dovetail Saw. To make it clear, let us first tell you a little about this elegant piece of equipment. Dovetail saws are used for making small and precise cuts. These saws are small, and they can help you while you are making joints. You can make excellent sturdy joints when you are using a Dovetail Saw. The specialty of these saws is the dovetail joint. Even if you need to make a small cut, the dovetail saw will help you get the desired accuracy.
You might face some challenges while purchasing the Dovetail Saws if you do not know much about it. There are many Japanese saws available in the market, and they are the best ones. We have listed the reviews of best offerings, and we have also listed the strengths & the weaknesses of the saws. Towards the end of the page, you will find a comprehensive buying guide which will give you more details about the factors that can impact your purchase decision.
Best Buy Dovetail Saws Reviewed 2021
Another good thing about the dovetail saw is that it looks exquisite. It has a sleek design, and you will have better control of the saw since it is a manual saw. The saw is capable of making deep cuts, and it is also very precise. Japanese tools are known for precision and quality, so that is undoubtedly another add-on associated with the dovetail saw. So, let us now move ahead and look at some of these best rated dovetail saws available online. We are sure that you will be able to find a saw that suits your needs.
#1. SUIZAN Japanese 9.5 Inch Dovetail Saw
The first option that you can buy is dovetail saw. It is a traditional Japanese pull Saw. It should be noted that most people use European saw, and they are significantly different in terms of the design. European saws are the push saw, whereas this is a pull saw. It is a lot lighter than the European saw, and the pull action requires a lot less power. The result is a lot cleaner. This saw is designed with high quality Japanese steel. The material is hard, and it doesn’t lose its sharpness quickly.
Beginners can use the saw, and professionals can also use it. The saw offers a great experience to the people who are looking for neat and precise cuts. The saw has been manufactured in Japan, and it is the best quality that you can get. You can use this saw if you want something with a thin kerf that gives you an accurate cut. It is one of the most reliable purchases that you are going to make.
- It is a Japanese dovetail saw, and it is available at an affordable price.
- When you need to replace the blade, you can buy an additional replacement blade from the brand.
- It is a Pull action saw, and hence the cuts are precise.
- There is no weakness associated with this product.
#2. Zona 35-380 Thick Dovetail Saw
If you are looking for an affordable dovetail saw, you can check out this tool from Zona. This dovetail saw comes with an 8 inch blade, and the overall length of the saw is 12.5 inches. The saw has 18 Teeth per Inches, and this configuration enables you to get a smooth cut. It is probably one of the longest dovetail saw that you would find in the market. The kerf of the saw is 0.020 inches, and it can give you a cutting depth of 1.75 inches. You do not have to doubt the quality of this dovetail seen as manufactured in the United States.
The saw can be used for push strokes, and if you had been using European tools, you would be able to find it more comfortable for use. The long blade makes stuff quickly for you, and that is one of the most advantageous parts of this dovetail saw. If you need more information about this dovetail saw, you can visit the link listed the saw, and it will redirect you to the product page on Amazon.
- The saw features a push action, and it has 18 TPI configuration.
- The saw has a long blade of 8 inches, and it has a kerf of just 0.020 inches.
- The saw has good quality, and it is available at an affordable price.
- The saw may need to be sharpened frequently.
#3. Two Cherries 10-Inch Brass Back Dovetail Saw
For creating dovetail saw, you would need a saw that has a certain level of strength in it. If you are looking for such a specification, then you can buy this dovetail saw from Two Cherries. It is a professional quality, 10 inches saw. It can be used for creating fine joints. The saw has a brass back, and this enables you to get a rough amount of accuracy. The blade is very sharp, and the 15 TPI design ensures a smooth cut every time. The saw features a blade that is designed with high carbon German steel. The material is hard, and hence it doesn’t lose sharpness quickly.
The handle is designed with wood and gives you enough control over the blade. We somehow don’t like the design of the handle much as it is not very ergonomic. It is possible to work with the saw even when you are cutting against the grain. The cutting depth offered is 2 inches deep. The brass backing gives it a lot of strength, but it also looks exquisite.
- It is a 10 inches saw with 15 TPI blade.
- The cutting depth of the blade is 2 inches, and the blade has a brass backing.
- The German steel retains the sharpness for a long time.
- The design of the handle is not very ergonomic.
#4. IRWIN Dovetail Saw
Traditional dovetail saws are quite surprising, but they might not serve the purpose of using modern tools for a long time. You might find it challenging to use the traditional dovetail saw in such a case. Here is the solution for you. At number 4, we have a modern dovetail saw that had been redesigned to offer you with the agility and the flexibility. This saw is ideal for interior trim work, and you can even use it for detailing work around the windows. The blade is flexible, and it allows you to get the pull cuts as well. The handle of the saw has been designed with the polymer, and it is very comfortable to hold the handle.
The saw feels sturdy and durable. The length of the blade is 7.25 inches, and it has a 22 TPI configuration. This saw is probably the highest TPI that you will find in the market. The weight of this saw is just 0.24 pounds, and hence it is very lightweight. You won’t end up with a sprained wrist after using the saw for a long time.
- The saw features a modern day design, and it offers pull design.
- The saw is lightweight, and the blade is also very flexible.
- The blade has 22 TPI, and the length of the blade is 7.25 inches.
- It is an excellent option to buy if you are looking for a modern day dovetail saw.
#5. Crown FLINN1 10-Inch Dovetail Saw
At number 5, we have a dovetail saw from Crown Store. The quality of this dovetail saw is exceptionally amazing, and the credit goes to the manufacturing unit. Crown Hand Tools has manufactured it in Sheffield in England. The brand uses high quality steel blade for the manufacturing of this dovetail saw, and it also uses a beech handle to allow you to drive the saw through the wood. You will be able to cut hardwood and softwood using this dovetail saw. It is a perfect purchase for the people who are looking for a saw that can help then in making dovetail joints.
The length of the saw is 10 inches, and the total weight is 8.8 ounces. You can use this saw for trimming the dowels as well. The backside of the blade is designed with steel. It is also possible to replace the blade when needed. Ideally, you can sharpen the blade, and hence you won’t have to replace the blade even after years of use. Overall, this is an affordable, yet reliable dovetail saw available in the market.
- The saw retains the sharpness even after constant usage.
- The saw is well balanced, and hence you find it easier to use.
- It has a length of 10 inches and 18 TPI design.
- Nothing that we could notice.
#6. Rob Cosman’s Dovetail Saw
Rob Cosman is a common name in the woodworking industry. He was the assistant of Dr. Dale Nish, and Rob has even worked with some of the best craftsmen in the world. He had been involved with many students, and he often teaches them about the various joints. During his experience, he noticed that a lot of students have trouble with a dovetail saw. This is precisely the time when he decided to design a dovetail saw by himself. He customized it as per the needs of the student. In this saw, you will notice that the first 2 inches of the blade has 22 TPI, and the rest of the portion has 15 TPI. The advantage of higher TPI is that it enables you to start a neat cut, whereas 15 TPI allows you to finish the job faster.
The back of the blade is quite heavy, enabling you to reduce the force that you exert on the saw. The downward pressure on the blade allows for neat cuts. The kerf of the saw is 0.024 inches. The overall length of the saw is 14.12 inches, and the length of the blade is 10 inches. You also get a tutorial DVD when you buy this saw.
- Rob Cosman has created this saw, and it has an extra heavy brass back.
- A portion of this blade has 22 TPI, and the rest of the edge has 15 TPI.
- The handle of the saw is designed with wood, and it is very ergonomic.
- We feel that this saw is overpriced.
#7. Stanley Fatmax 15-252K 10-Inch Dovetail Saw
At number 7, we have another reliable brand available in the industry. This dovetail saw is from Stanley – Blacker & Decker. The saw is manufactured in Taiwan, and it features excellent quality. One unique selling point of this dovetail saw is that it has a reversible handle. The handle enables you to cut in the tight spaces, and it also allows the left hand dominant people to use the saw. The length of the saw is 10 inches, and it is perfect for flush cutting. The saw’s output is exact, and you can use it to make small joints, cutoffs, and even dovetail joints.
The pins are loaded with a spring assembly, and this lets you quickly reverse the blade. Reversing the blade also makes it possible for you to cut in tight spaces. The back of the blade is designed with steel, and it ensures that the blade doesn’t bend when you are making straight cuts.
- The brand offers a limited lifetime warranty on the saw.
- The handle of the saw is reversible, and it comes with spring loaded pins to make the transition easy.
- The saw has sturdy steel back, which makes it possible for you to make straight cuts.
- The length of the blade is quite small.
#8. Gyokucho Razor Saw Dovetail Saw
The next option available on our list is from Gyokucho. It is a traditional Japanese dovetail saw available in the market. If you haven’t used a Japanese tool yet, then you must go ahead and buy this tool. It comes with a quality that you will appreciate. The brand follows the impulse hardening process while manufacturing the saw. In this process, one tooth is hardened at once. The saw goes through the stringent quality control methodologies, and it is inspected at multiple levels before it reaches you. This particular saw has a blade length of 9.5 inches. The overall length is 21 inches, and the extra-long handle enables you to get a good grip while using the saw.
The weight of the saw is 6.3 ounces. The teeth are very sharp, and the hardness ensures that you do not lose the sharpness quickly. There is a lot of variety available from the brand, and you must explore all these saws at least once.
- It is a traditional Japanese Saw available at an affordable price.
- The handle has a good grip, and it also absorbs the shock while you are cutting hard material.
- The length of the blade is 9.5 inches, and the overall length is 21 inches.
- Nothing that we could notice.
#9. Taytools Half Blind Dovetail Saw
Here is another unique product available in the market. It can be used as a kerfing tool, and it is mainly used for deepening the angled cuts. The saw is especially useful for making cuts where a regular saw can’t reach. Clearing the waste from between the pins is also easy. You will need to saw out the pins before you can use the tool, and the process is easy. This saw also features a hardened blade, and you can sharpen it with a regular file. The depth of the kerf plate is 1.125 inches, and the length is 3 inches. The thickness of the blade is 0.025 inches.
The back of the blade is designed by folding a thick sheet of brass. This brass gives a lot of strength to you while you are using the tool. The length of the handle is 8.5 inches, and it offers an optimal grip to the user.
- The saw has a handle that is designed with wood. It has extensive use of brass in it.
- The back of the tool is designed with folded solid brass, and it gives strength to the blade.
- This dovetail saw is very well constructed.
- There are no cons associated with this dovetail saw.
#10. Thomas Flinn Pax 1776 10″ Dovetail Saw
Here is another premium saw available on our list. Thomas Flinn designs this saw in Sheffield, and it is a traditional product. The length of the saw is 10 inches, and it has 15 TPI design. In addition to this, the saw has been handcrafted for the best quality control. The handles are designed with maple, and they feature a pistol grip for better control. The brand uses the Danish oil process to season the wood and preserve it properly. The backside has a folded brass design, and it is hand polished to give it a mirror finish.
All the saws manufactured by Thomas Flinn are sharpened by hand, and they are tested in the factory before they reach the customers. The weight of the saw is 16 ounces, and the thickness of the saw plate is 0.022 inches.
- The handle features a pistol grip, and it is designed with maple wood.
- The saw has been sharpened with the hand, and the brass back has been mirror polished.
- The saw looks very elegant, and you can even use it for rip cutting.
- We find this tool to be very expensive.
How To Choose The Best Dovetail Saw
It is never easy to pick a reliable tool. You need to find a lot about the tool before you buy it. It is also the case when you are purchasing a dovetail saw. You need to find out about the saw, and you need to deep dive into the specifications. In this section, we have listed all the factors that you would need to consider before buying the saw.
Material of the Saw
While you are buying a saw, the most critical factor remains to be the blade’s material. Most of the hand saws are designed with stainless steel, and this is also the case with the dovetail saw. This saw is made of stainless steel, but you must check the kind of steel used in making the saw. It is always better to go for a harder alloy as it will offer high durability. Ensure that the material is corrosion resistant as well.
The next thing that you need to check is the size of the blade. The most common size of the dovetail saw is 10 inches. You will find shorter or larger saws, but the best ones are 10 inches. If we talk about the variations, you will find the saws between the size of 6 and 12 inches. In addition to this, the smaller the saw is, the easier it will be to navigate the saw. If you are going to use the saw only to make the joints, you can even buy a larger blade size.
Teeth per Inch
Another thing to check while buying a dovetail saw is the TPI. In general, the dovetail saw will have a 6 to 20 TPI configuration. It is better to choose a dovetail saw with higher TPI. It offers you with the required smoothness when you are using the dovetail saw. You can even choose a different type of TPI depending on your need.
The dovetail saw, in general, has a thin kerf, so you would need to ensure that the saw that you are buying also has a thin kerf. A saw with thicker kerf might not serve you while you are making dovetail joints. So, ensure that you buy a saw which thin kerf only. It will also help you in trimming the bleed.
Handle & Back Material
While it is essential to check the blade’s material, it is also vital to review the material of the handle & back. The backside of the blade should be made of brass. This design gives strength to the blade, and it will be easier for you to work with the saw. Talking about the handle, buy a saw whose handle is made of wood. Avoid the ones which are made of resin or synthetic material.
The next thing that we are going to talk about is the ergonomics. The dovetail saw should be comfortable to hold. The handles of these saws are designed with a lot of care, but you might still encounter poorly designed products. You must steer clear of such saws and ensure that whatever you are buying has a good handle. It is better to go with the saws with the traditional handle design.
You can sharpen the blade of the dovetail saw, so you must not worry about replacing the blade. If you intend to use the saw for a long time, then you will need to replace the blade after a long time usage. In such a case, you can invest in a saw whose blade is replaceable. The replaceable blade will reduce the cost of replacement of the dovetail saw.
Price of Saw
The price of any tool is an essential factor that you need to consider while buying it. In such a case, you would need to check the cost of the dovetail saw as well. You can find reliable dovetail saws between $10 and $30. There are some expensive dovetail saws available in the market. If you want, you can go through the utility factor offered by that costly tool, but our recommendation is to buy something within your budget.
Tips for Dovetail Saw Safety
Despite the handy design and easy to use functionality, the dovetail saw require knowledge of basics like how to hold the saw and what’s the best way to use it. If you are not familiar with using a dovetail saw, learning about the safety tips can ensure adequate use. Here are some of the safety tips –
- Dovetail Saws are available in several sizes and you should always choose the right one based on the task. Large size is heavy and designed for specific purposes.
- Wearing safety gloves will help you prevent any chances of touching the blade accidentally while using pressure to cut through the wood.
- Always clamp the wood or objects that you want to cut. Having a perfect grip on the cutting board is necessary to prevent slipping the dovetail saw.
- Do not apply too much pressure, instead focus on moving the blade back and forth with adequate pressure until you reach the corner. Slowing down is necessary to prevent accidentally cutting yourself.
- Always use a sharp blade with the dovetail saw and if there is rust on the blade, avoid using it. Sometimes the blade can break in between and cause several issues.
- Never clean the scrap from the working station with your hand after using a dovetail saw. The dovetail saw has zigzag-shaped cutting blades, which create lots of slivers, and it can get into your skin.
- Dovetail saws help in cutting with ease, but you might end up dealing with precision. So, always mark before cutting wood, metal, or any other object with the dovetail saw.
- Always ensure a firm grip over the dovetail saw because if you slip, your hand might be in the way of such a sharp blade. By ensuring that you are maintaining a proper grip, you can have safe use.
- To position the blade on cutting material, use your other hand on the top of the dovetail saw to align it perfect. Some people find it difficult to align so, you should do it from the top part instead of using excessive pressure.
- Choosing a quality dovetail saw is necessary to prevent any problem with cutting or usability. Poorly made dovetail saws have an issue with cutting, and the blade start fading in a couple of days.
By following all the given tips, you can use a dovetail saw effectively and prevent any accident with ease,
Dovetail Saw Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ideal TPI for my dovetail saw?
Dovetail Saws are available in different Teeth Per Inch configurations. You will find saws with as low as 25 TPI, and you will also come across models with 42 TPI. The ideal TPI depends on the kind of project that you are working on. Remember that if your saw has fewer teeth per inch, the cut will be rough, and the wood might splinter. If the TPI is too high, then the cutting action will be slow. Moreover, you also need to understand if you need a fine cut or a rough cut. For the finishing work and display projects, always opt for a higher TPI.
How can I sharpen the blade of the dovetail saw?
It is not very difficult to sharpen the blade of the dovetail saw. You do not need any specialized tool to sharpen the saw. To begin the process, you can mark the saw’s teeth, and you can then file the blade. Ensure that you are using the correct angle to file the blade’s teeth as a wrong angle would lead to nasty cuts. You would need a file and ensure that the file’s length is 4 to 5 inches. Moreover, the file should be slim to get the right sharpness every time.
Do I need to use glue on the dovetail joints?
Dovetail joints are an example of fantastic craftsmanship. They require a high level of precision, but at the same time, it is easy to put the joint together. We always recommend the fellow woodworkers to use the glue on the dovetail joints as it will help you in getting a sturdy join. Applying glue may make it messy during the production process, but it is worth it. The joint won’t shake, and it will last for decades with the help of a little glue.
Why am I not able to make a straight cut with the dovetail saw?
If you cannot make straight cuts with the dovetail saw, there would be an underlying cause. The first thing you must check is if you are applying the right amount of pressure. Using too much pressure on the saw would often result in angled cuts. You must also have a clean marking before starting the sawing process. Ensure that you are allowing the weight of the saw to do the job. The second reason for not getting a straight cut might be the angle of the teeth. There is a possibility that some of the teeth of the saw have been bend, and hence you are not able to make a straight cut. Rectifying these two things will help you in correcting the angle of the cut.
Is it worth replacing the blade of the dovetail saw?
You can first try and sharpen the blade of the dovetail saw. You will be able to sharpen the blades a lot of times before you reach a point wherein the saw doesn’t have enough material to be removed. In such a case, you can go ahead and replace the dovetail saw blade. Replacing the blade will always prove to be cheaper than buying the new saw. You can go ahead and check out the saws that come with an extra blade as well. So, we can say that it is worth replacing the blade of the dovetail saw.
Many people confuse the dovetail saw with the Tenon saw, but remember that they are different. The Tenon saw helps in making Tenon joints while the dovetail saw is designed to make dovetail joints. The Tenon saw also has a thicker blade, so the kerf is usually compromised. With all these details, you will be able to buy a dovetail saw for yourself. You can buy a dovetail saw, and you will be able to use it for a long time. It is possible to sharpen the blade of the dovetail saw, and many of these tools also allow you to replace the blade.
We hope that this guide helps you in choosing the best dovetail saw for yourself. We might have missed some of the other models available in the market, so if you come across any exceptional dovetail saw, let us know in the comment section. If you would like our feedback about a particular dovetail saw, then also you can let us know via comment sections. For any other information about the saw, you can simply visit the Amazon link associated with the listing. Thank You.
- Best Buy Dovetail Saws Reviewed 2021
- #1. SUIZAN Japanese 9.5 Inch Dovetail Saw
- #2. Zona 35-380 Thick Dovetail Saw
- #3. Two Cherries 10-Inch Brass Back Dovetail Saw
- #4. IRWIN Dovetail Saw
- #5. Crown FLINN1 10-Inch Dovetail Saw
- #6. Rob Cosman’s Dovetail Saw
- #7. Stanley Fatmax 15-252K 10-Inch Dovetail Saw
- #8. Gyokucho Razor Saw Dovetail Saw
- #9. Taytools Half Blind Dovetail Saw
- #10. Thomas Flinn Pax 1776 10″ Dovetail Saw
- How To Choose The Best Dovetail Saw
- Tips for Dovetail Saw Safety
- Dovetail Saw Frequently Asked Questions