by James McConnell
If there is any remaining question in the hand-tool world regarding the all-around capabilities of carcase saws, Mark Harrell has offered a definitive answer with the introduction of the new 14″ Bayonet Precision Carcase Saw from Bad Axe Tool Works.
The Bayonet is both fast and deadly accurate. With the recommended 14 ppi hybrid tooth filing, it outpaced similarly appointed saws on cuts across the grain and handled rip cuts on small tenon cheeks with aplomb. All of this comes courtesy of a 14″ long, .018″-thick plate that enables more time in the cut per stroke, encouraging both accuracy and efficiency. The extra length will span a standard carcase side with ease and, while not intended for heavy work, with just more than 2″ of usable plate depth, this saw is ideal for all routine joinery tasks.
The Bayonet is built with precision in mind, and the design particulars check all the right boxes. But when I put it to work I began to appreciate a certain elegance that is hard to quantify in numbers alone. There is nothing missing and nothing wasted here. The Bayonet is everything a carcase saw should be. The handle registers perfectly in the hand, bringing your arm in line with a saw plate canted so slightly that you only recognize it by the way it feels in the cut. The exquisite balance of the tool translates into confidence when the tooth line meets the wood, leaving crisp kerfs and clean surfaces all around. The longer plate helps you saw straighter.
Bad Axe saws command a premium price, but they deliver at every turn. The Bayonet starts at $260 ($280 as shown), but even at that price you still feel like you’re getting a bargain.
From the October 2016 issue.