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The Best Japanese Pull Saws for Woodworking Projects
Europeans cut wood with a push stroke while pressing the saw in the wood during the stroke. It is notorious for blocking sight, cramping the hands, and producing too much force. However Japanese cut wood in a completely different manner, as they pull the saw without any downward force. As of today, carpenters now realize that the pull motion is more effective for fine cuts.
Flexible as they are lighter, the benefits of Japanese pull saws come from their thin design – which is incredibly useful in making flush cuts and clean incisions. For example, unlike other methods, you can extract a microscopic 0.3mm wide piece of wood using a pull saw.
While it is easier to identify the type of pull saw that will fulfill your needs, choosing a quality pull saw can be confusing. With the help of this buying guide, you can rest assured knowing you’ll be able to point out even the finest details that separate these products.
Here are the finest Japanese pull saws of 2023!Show contentsComparing the Leading Japanese Pull Saw in Detail
How to Purchase a Quality Japanese Pull Saw: A Buying Guide
Pull saws are used to cut all elements, whether they are Plywood, Pine, or any other wood. They are also used to cut laminate, melamine, and even PVC pipes. This buying guide will help you find a pull saw that will not cramp your hands, make a fine cut with minimum effort, and last a long time.
A detailed analysis of each component of the saw and its contribution to the overall cutting efficiency will better enable you to navigate the available saws in the market.
The accuracy, simplicity, and efficiency required in wood cutting determine which kind of pull saw is best for you.
This is why it’s important to compare and contrast three different pull saws prior to purchasing.
The Types of Pull Saw on the Market
Kataba looks like a large chef’s knife but with only one cutting edge. It can cut through large pieces of wood because of its ability to penetrate deep. Best suited for flush cutting and along the wood grain, you can choose a cross-cut or rip-cut type depending on your need.
Ryoba pull saw
Ryoba is the most popular saw type because of its shape and twin edges. Easy to identify because of its pale rattan handle and chromed sleek blade, the two edges have different purposes.
While the finer cuts do cross-cutting, the less fine side works to cut parallel to the wood grain.
Quality Parameters of a Quality Japanese Pull Saw
A Japanese pull saw has all its properties in microscopic detail. The teeth per inch saw length, and design all need to be considered before the final verdict.
Just as a missing feature can result in a less than satisfactory purchase, quality can make a difference if your plan is to cut into wood or harder surfaces. A poorly made pull saw may have you replacing your product sooner than a higher-quality one – and the last thing you want is to make multiple repeat purchases.
The accuracy of a Japanese saw is a fraction of a millimeter (less than half, to be precise). This is often measured in terms of the kerf, the narrowest piece of wood a saw can cut.
A 0.3mm kerf meets most cutting needs and is easily achievable using most Japanese saws. Their thin design makes it possible to keep the view clear, contributing to the ease of making sophisticated designs.
With a pull saw, you should not worry about throwing your body weight on the blade, as is the case with European saws. Pull saws are thinner, sharper, and more flexible – so they rip into the surface using only the pull motion and a downward directional force.
You can get double value for money if you choose a twin-edged pull saw. The most common types of cuts available in a double-edged saw are the following:
Rip-Cut is suitable for cutting along the wood grain. This edge has rough, less dense teeth which are traditionally designed at ten teeth per inch.
Cross-cut is suitable for cutting the wood fiber using a denser and finer teeth design. The saw edge for this type of cut has around 17 to 20 teeth per inch.
Reinvented pull saw
While traditional Japanese tools are great, a well-thought-out reinvention further increases the value in all aspects. For example, ergonomic handles, finer teeth, durable blade material, and innovative teeth designs are the common upgrades seen with many top-rated saws.
While ergonomic handles prevent cramping and provide superior accuracy with just about any tool, it is hard to find on a Japanese saw. The Japanese conventional design, which looks like a Katana from Kill Bill, is very popular among woodworkers – and manufacturers oblige by sticking to the rattan handle.
Nonetheless, you can still find innovation making its way into ergonomic handles that promote better accident protection.
While most pull saws have blade replacement options available, what matters is that the holding mechanism should be easy to operate and reliable in keeping the blade firmly in place.
Hooks, clamps, auto-lock buttons, and bolts are popular choices.
No – your screwdrivers, rivets, wrenches, and pens are not hammers. But where there’s a will (and a handle) there’s a hammer. Manufacturers have since taken note of this hassle and are putting a piece of metal under the handle to make it multifunctional.
Other unique add-ons include a nail puller, knife, and filer.
Tips for Using a Japanese Pull Saw
- Always tighten the blade after replacing it to ensure safety. Whichever mechanism of locking the blade is put in your pull saw, it is best to test the fit on all angles.
- When you have marked the wood for a straight cut, you can place your saw on the wood and use the thumb of your other hand to keep the blade exactly on top of the marked line. When you feel confident that you have established the kerf, you should hold the handle in both hands to apply appropriate force.
Japanese saws have many types, and manufacturers are constantly trying to improve them, resulting in multiple variants of each type. Traditional Japanese pull saws, such as Ryoba and Kataba, are still the highest-rated types.
Pull saws take less effort, provide finer cuts, and better control. A chromed SK4 steel blade on a wooden handle can last over six months with regular use.
You can also replace the blade when its efficiency decreases.
Comparing the Leading Japanese Pull Saw in Detail1
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw– Editor’s ChoiceBuy on Amazon
Suizan’s pull saw is made of Japanese steel with teeth for cross-cut and rip-cut on either side of the blade. This best-selling blade has a length of 24 inches and is perfect for making fine cuts on wood.
With a thickness of sharp 0.2 inches, you can achieve the narrowest of the kerfs. You can also reuse the handle and change the blades conveniently once they’re worn by simply removing the old blade.
Reigning with its great design and steel quality, this Ryoba saw has sharp edges on both sides of the blade.Pros
- Replaceable blades
- Cuts wood like butter
- Long anti-skid handle
- Sharpness lasts over six months with regular use
- Expensive price tag
HARDTWERK Kataba Zen Pull Saw– Best KatabaBuy on Amazon
This pull saw is made of SK4 hardened carbon steel in Kataba style. Kataba has only one sharp edge and no stabilizing back, best suited for deeper cuts. The handle is made of hard rubber to absorb the vibration caused by the edges while cutting through the wood, decreasing fatigue significantly.
With super fine thirteen teeth per inch, it delivers a sharp effortless cutting experience. The chrome plating makes it highly resistant to rusting and scratching. With a 6-inch blade, it fits perfectly in the handle when folding.Pros
- Foldable design
- SK4 carbon steel blade
- Ergonomic shock absorbent handle
- Western design
- Not suitable for hardwood
KERYE Japanese Pull Saw– Best BudgetBuy on Amazon
Kerye’s saw has the same traditional Ryoba design, double edges, and a rattan handle. The 9.5-inch blade has 10 TPI (teeth per inch) on the rip-cut side and 17 TPI on the cross-cut side. Using an Allen wrench key, you can remove the blade to gauge a fixing clamp. The blades on this saw are made of SK5 carbon steel to enhance its durability to its limit.
The beech handle is tangled with rattan to combat sweat and prevent slipping.Pros
- Replaceable blades
- Budget-friendly pull saw
- 9.5-inch length allows cutting thick pieces
- It can get damaged if used on hardwood
Okada Mini Dozuki Panel Saw– Best PrecisionBuy on Amazon
This 5.9-inch blade is a great choice to cut small wooden designs where large saws struggle. With conveniently replaceable blades, a long-lasting walnut-based handle, and traditional Japanese tangled rattan this blade is a great value for little money.
Belonging to a Japanese family of saws, it works by pulling instead of pushing. Made to last for years to come, the blade replacement system does not require any tool.
Instead, it hooks and unhooks the blade when needed – making it a great saw for workers looking to enhance their woodcutting precision.Pros
- Ultra-precision cutting of small wooden parts
- Dozuki style enhances accuracy
- Offers great maneuverability
- 0.3mm thickness
- It is easily damaged when used on large wooden parts and hardwood
Roamwild Multi Pull Saw Pro– Best InnovationBuy on AmazonCheck On Walmart
Roamwild has wildly reinvented the ancient Japanese pull saw. Converting it into a modern, multipurpose saw the two cutting edges have the finest teeth per inch on both sides. The rubberized, shock-absorbing handle makes it that much harder to slip and get your hand hurt on the teeth.
Turn it over, and you have a gear-like grip and finer teeth to maneuver your movement – allowing for 0.6mm cutting accuracy.
Another plus? It also acts as a nail puller and a hammer, so you do not have to switch tools and lose time!Pros
- Safety-enhanced, ergonomic handle
- Intuitive trapezoid-like blades design
- Quick-release button for replacing the blade
- Budget-friendly, high-quality pull saw
- Nail-puller and hammer under the handle
- A non-traditional design can take some getting used to
- Push-button to release blade can get stuck
People Also AskedQ: What is Suizan Japanese pull saw?
A: Suizan is a brand name that is the most popular for its market-leading Japanese saws. The price of these saws is also the most premium, but customer satisfaction shows that it is still value for money. They offer all kinds of pull saws in the most traditional Japanese design.Q: What are the most common uses of the Japanese pull saw?
A: Japanese saws are mostly used for fine flush cuts, cross cuts, and molding because of their thinner and sharper design. It is particularly effective in making joinery cuts.Q: Is the Ryoba saw a good Japanese saw?
A: Ryoba saw is the most common type of Japanese saw because of its dual edges. It provides teeth for cross-cut and rip-cut in a single blade. The blade length is around 6 inches long, with a handle long enough to be held with both hands. It is a very efficient and accurate blade and lasts a long time.The Pop Wood Review Team’s product reviews and comprehensive guides are here to help you select the best gear and tools to efficiently complete top-quality woodworking projects. The content is created by The Pop Wood Review Team. Popular Woodworking’s editorial staff is not involved. Popular Woodworking is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.