In Chris Schwarz Blog, Sawing Techniques, Saws

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Mark Harrell of Bad Axe Tool Works just launched his new website this week. And in addition to pretty pictures of his new Bad Axe saws and details of his saw restoration and sharpening services, Harrell does the hand world a solid by offering free tutorials on how he restores vintage saws.

There are stories on removing rust, unlocking a frozen sawnut, restoring a handle (that one is particularly excellent) and even how to pack a saw to ship it.

We’re all big fans of Bad Axe here (just read this review), and in case you are just tuning in to this blog, Harrell also offers speed and reasonable resharpening and restoration services. If you have a rusty saw, start the restoration using Harrell’s instructions. Then send it to him for sharpening. A sharp saw is a revelation.

Check out the new site at

– Christopher Schwarz

Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

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Showing 19 comments
  • Scott Birchall

    I recently bought a couple restored Disston saws from Mark at Bad Axe – a D-100 rip and a D-12 X-cut. The saws are awesome and the service I received from Mark was outstanding. These saws represent my first foray into the world of vintage tools, and I think I’m hooked (please don’t tell my wife).

  • I ordered my saw from Mark on Oct. 30 and received it on Dec. 26. Great things are always worth the wait, and this is certainly true with Bad Axe Tool Works. You know your in for something special from the moment you open the box. Even the packaging is first class, with a strip of cherry wood as a tooth guard perfectly fit onto the blade. This saw is as much a joy to use as it is to look at. The etching is the best I’ve ever seen and the handle fits my hand like a glove with a soft feel like a vintage saw with the hard edges sanded off. The weight and balance allows the saw to cut and track straight without a lot of effort on my part. I would highly recommend this saw to anyone looking to buy a premium tenon saw. Mark is also a pleasure to deal with, you can tell he really cares about his work and the customers needs also.

    Tim Allgood

  • steve hargan

    I just received my new Bad Axe 16" Tenon saw (11 ppi x-cut with 17.5 degree fleam) from Mark. Unbelievable, even when ripping a tenon cheek in 6" wide white oak, the cut is smooth and straight. From the reviews I’d read, this is what I was expecting in the product. Actually being able to use it, though, has brought new confidence in what I feel I can accomplish. What wasn’t expected was the superb way in which Mark interacted with me through the ordering and delivery processes; a true and dedicated professional in every sense of the word.

    I don’t have a lot of money to spend on tools right now, but there is no question this was money well spent.

  • Chris Mote

    I now have the 16 inch cross cut and 18 inch rip cut saws from Bad Axe. Everything about the process from ordering to receiving has been superb. On top of that, the saws are beautiful and cut straight and true. Merry Christmas to me.

  • Joab Oberlander

    I wrote to Mark after seeing the restored saws on his website. I am just starting to do work by hand and wanted to try well made but not outrageously expensive saws. I explained all this to him and he found what I wanted, a "Disston D8 PHILAD’A (1887-1896) filed 6 ppi rip, and the other is the D100 PHILADA (1896-1917) filed 9 ppi x-cut. Selling both for $95 each. Both are obviously user-grade, but what you’re purchasing are saws with good metal, undamaged wood, and very well-sharpened teeth." They are very sharp, reasonably priced, and best of all, my sawing has improved dramatically. I would recommend Mark completely. I’d love to buy his 16" backsaw, but not yet.

  • Sanford Lamovsky

    I have a 80+ year old back saw that I remember from my early youth. My dad attempted to use it periodically, but to no avail. It was old, rusty, and dull, even then. (Im 62 years old) Some how it has survived to this day, enduring my father’s and mother’s death, two house moves after my childhood home, and my mother’s penchant for throwing things out or giving them away. I still long for my Lionel train set she gave to the cleaning woman. When I heard about Bad axe toolworks on Chris Schwartz’s Blog I immediately called Mark Harrell, He is Bad Axe, and rand to send the saw to him. Even though it was a cheap old saw (Craftsman) What he did was AMAZING. It is amazingly sharp, has beautiful set, and the blade is as straight as it could be, considering its age and condition. I had the saw back in my hands 5 days after I shipped it. He also makes two great backsaws. I suggest everyone out there go to his website use his wonderful services and products and, by the way he’s a delight to talk to. 5 + stars!!

  • Nelson

    I recently received two Simonds saws that Mark refurbished for me. Both were in need of straightening and sharpening. I also had one re-toothed from a crosscut to a rip. The review and recommendations by Mark were very expedient. I was really impressed with the turnaround time of the whole process, not to mention the fast return of my saws. I had the opportunity to do some test cuts this weekend and what a delight they are to use.

    I tip my Hat to Mark, may his business be long and prosperous.

  • Dickson Gribble

    I recently had two old Disston saws analyzed , restored and resharped by Mark. Excellence results! But what was even more impressive was the speed of his feedback and, once a decisionwas made as to the appropriate course of action, how fast he completed the job. The saws were back in my hands in what seemed like hours, vice weeks. His constant dialogue makes you feel like you’re dealing with him face-to-face. Mark is my "saw expert" of choice.

    Dickson Gribble

  • I employed Mark to tune up and sharpen some old saws for me. I can not say enough about the sevice, ultra fast turn around time and best of all, SHARP! Like a hot knife through butta’. I followed all of his suggestions for tuning the saws and now they cut and track like a dream.
    Charlie Moore

  • Stephanie Pace

    Well, I am drooling over all the pretty saws, and will take the plunge one a these days when I can save up enough pennies! Lots of good recommendations here, but I started at ground zero with one of Mark’s Bad Ass bench hook sets. Boy are they beautiful!! I am almost afraid to use em for fear of scratches! They are very well made, match up perfectly, and pre-cut angles are dead on. If the saws are as well made with as much attention to details as the bench hooks, then they are works of art.

  • Sean

    Received my 16" Bad Axe at the end of last week and immensely enjoyed road testing it this weekend. It cuts perfectly. It is everything Chris said and more. Terrific on all counts. You can’t go wrong with one of these. Your great grandchildren will thank you!

    Thanks, Mark!!

  • Bart Hovis

    Chris – thanks for bringing toolmakers like Mark to our attention. I am a guitar maker, and after reading your review I purchased a Bad Axe saw, primarily for one tricky cut: to saw through the width a guitar neck board at a 14 degree angle which is then flipped over, and glued back on as a scarf joint to create the angle of the guitar head. The saw was easy to keep aligned through the 3 1/4" cut, sawed easily, and left a smooth surface – a distinct improvement over the saw I had been using. Congratulations to Mark Harrell on this saw – it is a tool that is a joy to use, and inspires good work.

  • Grant Cole

    I got my Bad Axe saw Just before Thanksgiving right on time. It’s the best saw I ever owned. I cut tenons faster than I have ever before, and with complete control. Thank you Mark!

  • Matthew ONeill


    I just received the 16" bad axe saw filed cross cut, and I can assure you it’s even prettier in person than it is in pictures…

    Mark also sold me a restored Disston D8 panel saw, and both of them absolutely fly through wood, I can’t recommend them enough.

    – Matt

  • matt stilwell

    Another option for saw restoration is Marv Werner on the West Coast. He has restored 8 handsaws for me over the past few months and he turns out a pretty fine product, straight, true and sharp! The saws are fantastic. Mark had put me in touch with Marv when I needed a set of brass backed tenon saws restored and I have to say I’m very pleased with the recommendation. Marv’s email is


  • Jon Spelbring

    I’m just about ready to pull the trigger on a tenon saw. It’s down to the Lie-Nielsen 16" and the Bad Axe 16". I already have the dovetail and carcass from LN, so it would be a matched set, but ooooh, is the Bad Axe pretty!

  • Patrick Lund

    I had Mark straighten and sharpen a Tyzack back saw that I got off of ebay last June. Fantastic job and quick turn around too. Very reasonable in pricing IMHO. I can only imagine how good his own saws that he makes must be.


  • Bill

    Mark did a Disston 70 for me, straightened and sharpened. Love it! Cuts fast a ture, best money I’ve spent on a tool in a long time. I like the new website.

  • David Wilkes

    Hey, what happened with the site yesterday? Hacked from Turkey? Looks like you got it back up and running pretty quickly… Thanks!


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