Chris Schwarz's Blog

Veritas Rethinks the Dovetail Saw

This weekend I spent some time working with the new Veritas dovetail saw, which I first picked up at our Woodworking in America conference. The saw has a radical love-it-or-leave-it look that is whipping up the proletariat on the messageboards. No matter how it looks, wouldn’t you like to know how it cuts? I thought so. Check out this short review that I’ve just published on our web site.

– Christopher Schwarz, who is now going to write about planes for a while.

Looking for More Woodworking Information?
– Sign up for our newsletters to get free plans, techniques and reviews HERE.
– Looking for free articles from Woodworking Magazine? Click HERE.
– Like hand tools? Read all our online articles on hand work HERE.
– Want to subscribe to Woodworking Magazine? It’s $19.96/year. Click HERE.

10 thoughts on “Veritas Rethinks the Dovetail Saw

  1. Justin Tyson

    I find the backlash against this saw as amusing as it is disturbing. No, it is not as beautiful as the traditional saws made by Wensloff, Gramercy, LN, and others, but it comes in at less than half the price and presumably all of the performance. It fills a big hole in the marketplace. But if you think this saw is uglier than the other dovetail saw that Lee Valley has been offering for years (http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=48033&cat=1,42884), then you need to reevaluate your priorities. Doesn’t the handle on those Pax saws just beg you to hold it (insert rolling eyes here). I will buy one of these to see if I like it more than my workaholic ryoba saw. At $65, it won’t be the end of the world if it ends up collecting dust hanging from the wall.

  2. Rob Porcaro

    The LV saw: function, hopefully, but without beauty. Not a problem. And wait, it might start to look beautiful once it demonstrates great functionality. Hey, a pizza would be pretty ugly if you didn’t know how good it tastes, but once you do, oh, it looks great.

    The LV Jetsons planes: beauty, to some, but doubtful improvement in function over LVs other, modest looking planes, except maybe rust resistance if that is a significant issue. OK, but is this a bad thing? Well, I guess it depends what you buy your tools for. (Where does the driver sit in that thing?)

    Options are a good thing; we woodworkers get to choose. And those choices will ultimately create, or not, a place for these tools in the World of Tools.

    It’s all pretty cool, I think.

  3. Kelly

    Oh God, I laughed out loud when I saw that photo… I really stopped for a moment and thought "Is it April 1st?" That truly is one of the ugliest things I’ve seen in a long time! It reminds me so much of some of that hideous "furniture" we used to read about in Fine Woodworking magazine back in the 70s. You know, that misshapen stuff that was carved out of laminated slabs of wood with chain saws and such. Wrong then, wrong now. This atrocious thing looks like some sort of monstrous fusion of a traditional dovetail saw and a rubber wetsuit. Maybe it cuts wood OK, but if I owned one, I’d break down into tears of laughter every time I picked it up. Chris’ phrase " the Honda of dovetail saws" sums it up perfectly. Thanks for adding some much needed levity to my day.

  4. Luke Townsley

    The new saws and block planes won’t offer significant useability improvements. Until we have sharper blades or automatically adjusting plane frogs, I don’t think we will see big useability gains, nor do I think that was the point in making the new LV tools.

    I work in a high humidity, corrosive environment and would welcome the new steel in the new LV block plane for its corrosion-resistant properties regardless of its looks. I am not in a position to pay $279, but I think it is a unique and reasonable offering. I may just buy it someday.

    It needs to be understood that these products are seeking to reach niche markets that haven’t been well served. Not everyone wants or needs these tools or will understand why they exist.

    We should all, however, be happy to see the growth of our craft and be glad that someone is trying to meet these needs with quality offerings.

    Someday, we will have a special need and will be glad that there is a niche tool to fill it.

  5. Patrick Delaney

    If I didn’t already own a premium dovetail saw, I would probably want to get this saw. I think LV has done well to fill that niche of tweeners for those who don’t own a premium saw but want better than what they currently own. I applaud LV for their continued efforts at making better tools for us by stretching their imagination and designs. I own many LV tools and am a very happy customer. I also own several LN tools and am quite happy with them as well. However; I do agree with DWD, that a block plane for $279 is just not realistic. I also own both of the LV small block planes and I am very happy with their performance so I don’t see who LV was gearing the new block plane for? I can’t believer they would make a plane for sale just because it ooks cool? I hope it would have some design feature that significantly outperforms their other block planes; otherwise, what is the point?

  6. Luke Townsley

    I don’t know if I like this saw or not, but in general I welcome the recent innovations by Lee Valley.

    In the past, it was pretty difficult to distinguish the tools from Veritas and those from Lie-Nielsen. Both were excellent offerings and great tools at somewhat reasonable prices.

    I understand that some will react against the "innovations" by LV, and that is quite valid if hand tool woodworking is about tradition for you. That’s ok, they still have traditional tools, and there is always LN.

    The new offerings from Lee Valley are still very traditional in a useability sense, but bring some nice refinements to the table with their use of new materials.

    If LN continues in this vein, some of their innovations will undoubtedly be held in contempt by some people, but they will be filling niches in the market that haven’t been well served up to this point.

    I see it as a broadening of the quality hand tool market. I think these new tools are good for the craft and that history will look kindly upon Lee Valley’s current direction.

  7. David W. Dougherty

    It’s ugly and I can’t and won’t buy it because it’s ugly. It just doesn’t look like a woodworking tool. It looks like something that came out of a Star Trek replicator.

    In complete contrast: I cannot buy LV’s latest premium plane for the polar opposite of reasons: it’s too pretty. I don’t need bling, I need tools that work. I’m sure the new planes work fine, but does they work better than the two LV block planes I currently own? I dunno: maybe; but I won’t find out, because I just can’t see shelling out those kind of dollars on a plane just because it can cut through wind like a bullet.

    Honestly, I don’t know what LV are thinking these days. I love their new small plow and skewed rebate planes. Lots of wonderful innovation there (and the tools are neither too ugly nor too pretty). But this new stuff; well, it leaves my scratching my head.

Comments are closed.