pull-stroke saws work
Perhaps you have noticed the Japanese-style saws; if not, take some time
to investigate. Unlike their Western counterparts (push-stroke saws),
they work exactly opposite of what we learned growing up-they cut on the
idea of pulling a saw-rather than pushing-may be new to us, but the Japanese
have successfully used this technique for hundreds of years. Don't get
me wrong; there is a time and place for both types of saws. But once you
become hooked on the pull concept, the chances of your going back to a
push-stroke saw will probably be very slim.
Advantages of the pull-stroke
The difference between the two saw techniques (pull vs. push) is rooted
in the thinness of the blade metal which produces a narrower kerf (width
of cut), thus the saw requires less effort to use. The blades are uniquely
designed so each tooth has three cutting edges (except the rip tooth;
it only has two). This allows the saw to cut straighter, faster, smoother,
and cleaner and yet still be able to rip and crosscut.
this tooth design, it appears as though the teeth would clog with waste
material during the cut. Not so! Every time you pull the saw to cut and
return with a push-stroke, the blade cleans itself, and it really works.
Correct use and care
One thing that will take some getting used to is sawdust covering the
cutline. It needs to be blown off during the strokes. Also, the blades
(depending if it is a traditional Japanese saw or the new breed with its
Western design for the American market) are 50 percent thinner than blades
on push-stroke saws and it takes some practice to get used to the flexibility.
It is important to follow the cutline and to stay on that line within
the first 1/4" of the cut. The teeth are set to a minimum (not much
more than the thickness of the blade) so if you get off the cutline, it
will be difficult to get back on track. Just like anything else, it takes
practice.These saws are fine instruments and need to be treated as such.
Try a traditional Japanese saw
The traditional Japanese saw has a combination hardwood and wrapped bamboo
handle. The blade is slightly thicker than the new breed, but these saws
are the ultimate when it comes to achieving the best cut possible.
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