In Tools

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Tool: Universal Handsaw [Buy Now] 

Manufacturer: Irwin

MSRP: $18.99

You’re at the lumberyard, trying to fit a 10-ft. cherry board into your hatchback. It’s OK to cut it in two, but with what? Most woodworkers would naturally think of a power tool, but truth be told, a good handsaw will do the job almost as fast. The Irwin Universal Handsaw is just that saw.

Irwin calls it a “universal” saw because it’s equally good at ripping and crosscutting. The saw’s teeth are ground three ways in a patented design and are impulse-hardened. The result is an 11tpi blade that cuts very quickly, without binding, even in thick hardwoods. Re-sharpening is impractical, however.

I’ve looked long and hard for a saw to use in the shop for crosscutting long, roughsawn boards. Using a miter saw for this job can be iffy—a twisted or kinked board can kick back if you’re not careful, so I’d rather do it by hand. I tried the Universal on a number of planks and was amazed at how little effort it took to get through them. I’m sold!


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