Dovetail saw recommendations

Claus

Claus
User
I recently got into a pretty good selection of pine and spruce softwood and have decided this would be perfect for (finally) learning to make hand cut dovetails. So I’m ready to purchase a dovetail saw and would love some advice.

Should I just order the $80 Veritas saw or maybe the Florip for $120? I’ll probably look for an older one to refurbish this summer or whenever flea market crowds are not so risky but I want something usable now.

Or if anyone has a decent usable dovetail saw they might part with I would seriously consider buying a used one. I live in the upstate of SC and would be open to reasonable travel for a face to face (distanced) transaction.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice

Regards,

Claus
 

mkepke

Mark
Senior User
Far be it from me to try and save anyone some money, but you can buy a good Japanese-style dozuki for ~$25. After years of brass-backed saws I switched to the Japanese style as cheaper and better performing (thin kerf, less effort to saw).

Why am I recommending a $25 saw? After you bend the blade on an $80 dozuki, you'll know why...

-Mark
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I would like to get one of Mr. Florip ‘s dovetail saws. His web site says there is a 4-5 month wait.

I was gifted a Lie Nielsen several years ago,have resharpened it a couple times, and it is still my favorite saw. I had one of the Veritas saws and gave it away. Really can’t deal with the plastic. And it didn’t have the feeling of quality that the Lie-Nielsen has.

I still want to get a Florip someday, I have followed him since he posted his first saw.
 

bbrown

Bill
User
I have a Florip and it is nice. That said, I really like my Veritas just as much. It's a great value IMO.
 

Charlie Buchanan

Charlie
Corporate Member
Veritas 14 point saw is ideal for learning dovetails. The plate is thicker and less likely to accidentally get bent. Price is great. The Lie-Nielsen is a more elegant saw and works great. The thin plate is great on furniture woods. I have both and still use both regularly. The Veritas has needed sharpening more often. It feels like slightly softer steel when I file it.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Went through several. Expensive Tzack, Bow saw, hack saw ( not bad actually) but settled on a cheap "jents" back saw for little ones and a mid-price Dozuki. I have been getting better with my band saw as well. All work, but kind of a preference. I have the Tzack I would let go cheap.
 

Graywolf

Board of Directors, Vice President
Richard
Corporate Member
I have used both saws you mentioned and they are both good saws. So it’s up to you and your taste after that. Good luck finding a used one on the open market at a reasonable price, I keep an eye on it and they just don’t come up. That said, you can keep an eye on ebay Florip occasionally puts up a second saw at a discounted price. However, if you want to learn right now you can go wrong with the Veritas 14 point saw. It’ll potentially be with you for long time.
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I can't speak on the pull type saws but I have been wanting to try one.

I have several western style saws, both new and vintage. I have a Veritas that I like very much. It is non-traditional in style if that matters to you. It is very light... not that weight is a big issue but I do notice it when I use it. I would buy it again if I had to.

My favorite is a 1880's Disston that I picked up in a junk shop. Those old saws are awesome. But Richard is correct.... they are extremely hard to find in the wild, and even harder to find at a reasonable price.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
I used a gent's saw for many years. Can't remember the brand I bought it at Woodcraft. After watching a Frank Klausz video on tuning them up, I did that, and have to say, for south of 20 bucks you can get very decent DT's with it.

That said, my "go to" is a Lie Nielsen tapered. Very nice saw and didn't break the bank.

A dozuki also works well.

But $2 or 300 for a dovetail saw -- not me.
 

Eric G

Eric
Senior User
I really like my Lie-Nielsen saw. I use the non-tapered version. I used Japanese saws for about a year or two before switching. Very happy with my choice. I don't like the plastic spine with the Veritas saws. I'm sure they are quality saws like most everything Veritas makes, but the Lie-Nielsen was worth the added $45 to me.
 

Claus

Claus
User
Thank you all for some very good information. I don't see much love for the plastic, and I kinda agree. So now I’ve got to add L-N into the mix. The Schwarz writeup on the tapered version, and the accompanying comments, was very helpful. Especially since the standard version is not available right now.

—Claus
 

Eric G

Eric
Senior User
Thank you all for some very good information. I don't see much love for the plastic, and I kinda agree. So now I’ve got to add L-N into the mix. The Schwarz writeup on the tapered version, and the accompanying comments, was very helpful. Especially since the standard version is not available right now.

—Claus
One note with LN -- They are very true to their stock. With COVID impact, their tools are selling just as fast as they can make them. And their website is truthful about when something is in stock. So if you want something, it might be worth checking back every day to see if things change. They don't do backorders or have something for sale when it's not available.

I recently bought a No. 8 plane from them. In stock one day, out of stock for the next several days, back in stock for 1 day only, then a day or two later it was back in stock and I ordered.
 

BKHam

Bradley
User
i've had the veritas and bought it because its a good brand at a decent price. but after trying other saws, I wouldn't recommend it. Its very light and for me at least, harder to control.

i prefer one with a brass back (instead of plastic) and heavier handle. if you play pool or golf, its like using a heavier stick or putter. for me they just feel better because i think the extra weight makes me a little less twitchy.

i'm sure that LN is great without having used one myself. I have a Rob Cosman and i recommend it highly.
 

Claus

Claus
User
Ok. Thank you to all of the enablers. I settled on the LN tapered dovetail saw. Haven’t cut any dovetails yet but have been practicing some “cut to the line” sawing. This saw is very comfortable and easy to use, the only issues at this point are with my technique.
Thanks again,
—Claus
 

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