9 Best Hand Saws (Faster and Easier Wood Cutting)

best handsaws
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The best hand saw is going to have an ergonomic design, lightweight feel, and the ability to cut through a wide range of materials effortlessly. For ease of use, look for a short blade that is tapered for easier access.

The nine selections here are ideal for use in woodworking, manual miter cuts, framing, and yard tasks such as cutting logs or trimming tree branches if a dedicated pruning saw isn’t available.

Lengths range from 9 to 26 inches with TPI (teeth per inch) anywhere from 9 to 12 making many of these saws good for both crosscuts and rips, although some work better than others.

Our 9 Favorites

best-handsawSpear & Jackson 9500R22"10Yes
quality-hand-sawGreat Neck N261026"10Yes
stanley-fatmax-saw-reviewStanley FatMax 20-04515"9Yes
irwin-handsaw-reviewIrwin 201120115"9No
home-depot-handsawDeWalt DWHT20544L15"11No
carpenter-hand-sawWilFiks WGT62032016"9No
best-hand-saw-woodworkingIrwin 177346515"11No
powered-hand-sawBlack+Decker PHS550B9"12No
best-cheap-handsawCraftsman CMHT2088120"11No

Hand Saw Reviews

#1 – Spear & Jackson 9500R 22″

best-handsawWhen buying a saw, you want quality, and where better to look than a company that’s been making them for more than 200 years? This 22 inch skew back saw has 10 precision-cut, cross ground teeth per inch designed for general use. This means you can cut across the grain on both hard and soft woods equally well.

The skew back provides superior balance while reducing friction. Meanwhile, the high carbon steel blade has a medium finish and the teeth have been left unhardened to facilitate resharpening. It’s securely riveted to the traditional-style wooden handle for comfort and stability.

You can feel the quality of this saw with every stroke, as it makes straight, clean cuts every time. It tears through wood without the need for downward pressure, allowing you to get a smooth rhythm going. Its sister, the 9515K, is identical but includes a rough finish for those who want the choice.

As with some other saws, shipping conditions tend to be the mother of all complaints, as this otherwise perfect saw has been known to arrive damaged in a few instances. Check the blade upon arrival to ensure it isn’t chipped or the rivets haven’t been damaged.

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#2 – Great Neck N2610 26″

quality-hand-sawWith the longest blade on our list, this 26-inch crosscut saw is an excellent all-around choice. It has a weather-resistant, dark-stained hardwood handle designed to provide years of reliable service.

The blade itself has 10 teeth per inch (TPI) and is made of high carbon steel, making it perfect for rough, aggressive cuts. While razor sharp out of the box, the teeth are not hardened so resharpening is possible, adding to the longevity of this tool.

The N2610 is backed by a lifetime warranty, ensuring it’ll cut your lumber but not your wallet. For its price, the Great Neck is one of the best values for a high quality hand saw.

Be warned that the coating on the handle can be abrasive on bare hands, so gloves are recommended for extended use.

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#3 – Stanley FatMax 20-045 15″

stanley-fatmax-saw-reviewThe FatMax is a powerhouse in a small frame, often considered the best hand saw for general cutting. It features 9 TPI with patented Sharp Tooth Technology for a faster cut in most materials, and the induction-hardened teeth mean you can do more cutting before the teeth begin to dull.

To reduce binding, the blade is 15% thicker than traditional blades, and that gives you more stability for straighter, smoother cuts which approach trim quality in soft woods.

The extra wide ergonomic handle lets you saw for longer periods without muscle fatigue, effectively letting you get more done with less effort.

For easy storage on a pegboard, the blade has a large hole the is perfect for hanging on a peg, and the back is designed to assist you in marking 45 and 90 degree cut angles.

Keep in mind that this handy little saw is specifically designed for crosscutting. You can use it for the occasional trim job, but it will be far more productive as a yard tool, PVC cutter, and general purpose shop saw.

The teeth are not designed for excessively smooth cuts where a coping saw would work better, and critical joints may need to be sanded before use. Since it is an older yet popular model, availability can be hit or miss. Otherwise, you will find that this is the perfect tool for a wide range of jobs around the home and shop.

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#4 – Irwin Marathon 2011201 15″

irwin-handsaw-reviewIrwin Tools is a big name in the industry, and the 15-inch MARATHON is a good reminder why. It utilizes M2 tooth technology to provide 9 tri-ground teeth per inch, creating quick, easy cuts.

The tapered-pitch nose improves both clearance and stability, while the thick-bodied blade ensures it stays rigid as you cut. Deep gullets ensure rapid removal of chips whether you’re cutting with or against the grain so you can clearly see what you’re doing and have less chance of clogging the cut.

The ProTouch handle adds comfort to this excellent saw, making it a must-have for any carpenter. There’s no denying the speed and power of this saw. It’s easy to hold and control, and the saw itself is made to last.

Be warned, a few people have ordered this saw only to receive the previous model (2011200). When purchasing online, be sure to check upon arrival in case this happens to you.

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#5 – DeWalt DWHT20544L 15″

home-depot-handsawThis 15-inch hand saw features 11 three-sided, induction hardened teeth per inch that stay sharp longer for a faster, more reliable cut.

The entire blade is covered with a layer of ToughCoat, which further prevents dulling and reduces drag. Its contoured aluminum handle provides a more comfortable grip for longer work periods.

This lightweight hand saw is a joy to work with, having both strength and durability. It’s lightweight while still creating a firm grip on the wood for quick, easy cuts.

While not designed for metal or plastic-based materials, it’s an excellent hand saw that will compliment any carpentry project.

Normally, complaints are with quality or transportation, but in the case of the DWHT20544L, the biggest complaint is one you’ll only worry about after quite a bit of use. Once the blade gets dull, there’s no replacement available, which means you’ll have to replace the entire saw.

In addition, some users have also noted that the DeWalt does great on pull strokes but tends to bind too much on push strokes. But overall, most users of this saw agree it’s a good value for the money and on par with DeWalt’s reputation for quality.

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#6 – WilFiks WGT620320 16″

carpenter-hand-sawThis 16-inch hand saw is designed for both power and speed. The thick carbon steel blade has 9 induction-hardened, tri-cut teeth per inch that stay sharp up to five times as long as regular teeth.

Deep gullets help keep debris away from the cutting area and reduce the risk of jamming. Its anti-slip, super grip ergonomic rubber handle is designed to provide a superior cutting angle as well as superior comfort.

While it may sound strange, the rubber handle is actually quite comfortable in both big and small hands. It’s designed primarily for cutting wood or framing work, but is sharp enough to also handle PVC.

There are a lot of contradicting complaints about this saw which may suggest some QC issues. A handful of consumers have opened the package to find the blade dull or damaged.

The blade thickness has also seemingly varied upon arrival, suggesting some sellers may even be substituting a different WilFiks product in some orders.

The item number is displayed on the side of the blade, so be sure the product you receive is the one you ordered. To avoid this issue, always purchase from a reputable online retailer.

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#7 – Irwin 1773465 15″

best-hand-saw-woodworkingIrwin has a reputation as a quality job site tool, and their universal hand saw follows the pattern as one of the best hand saws for a high quality finish without sacrificing crosscut power.

The blade is designed for superior rigidity, delivering clean, straight cuts on demand, with a taper that gives you more control and clearance. If you need to have a smooth, crisp finish, the Irwin universal hand saw fits the bill.

The molded grip is ergonomically designed, and gives the saw a light, balanced feel that reduces muscle fatigue. It only weighs one pound, so it makes an excellent addition to a travel set of framing or woodworking tools.

The innovative blade design allows you to hang the saw in multiple positions as well as reducing the potential for binding in hard woods.  On the downside, the handle is not as heavy as it could be, and may break if handled roughly. As with any of the saws in your garage, it will last a lifetime if you treat it well.

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#8 – Black+Decker PHS550B Powered Handsaw

powered-hand-sawYes, an electric handsaw does exist. Boasting a 3.4 amp motor with 4600 SPM (strokes per minute), this powered hand saw is capable of cutting both wood, plastic, and non-ferrous metal.

Blade changes are a snap with the patented tool-free change feature. It’s designed to be both lightweight and easy to control, with a six-foot cord to ensure plenty of reach, while the convenient storage bag keeps everything organized when not in use.

A two-year limited warranty helps ensure the saw and blades are free of defects. This tool is easy to assemble and use once you learn to resist the urge to wield it like a chainsaw. The carrying case is made of sturdy plastic and includes extra pockets to store additional blades or tools.

In addition to the usual issues of people receiving refurbished tools, there are a few concerns regarding the quick change feature. Most of these issues revolve around the locking pin.

However, at least one user reported the release button forcibly ejecting the blade at high speed. Exercise caution when changing blades and always follow the instructions carefully to avoid accidental injury.

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#9 – Craftsman CMHT20881 20″

best-cheap-handsawWhile it won’t match Craftsman tool quality from decades ago, this saw works surprisingly well when you consider the low cost. From the exclusive induction-hardened tooth geometry to the ergonomic bi-material handle, this hand saw offers some interesting features not commonly seen.

Its handle serves as both a square and miter, with 45 and 90 degree angles. The 20-inch, 11 TPI steel blade can cut through wood, laminate, and plastic. The entire saw is covered by a lifetime warranty.

This is one of those rare products where it’s almost impossible to find a flaw. The design is surprisingly comfortable and well-designed, and the extra features built into the handle really save time at the jobsite.

Just be warned, there have been a few reports of online sellers shipping the CMHT20881 used. This isn’t as common as with a lot of other tools, but still warrants an immediate inspection upon the arrival of a shipped tool.

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