What are your favorite hand tool hacks

Favorite tool: Japanese saw

From the c't hacks archive: a favorite tool from Sebastian Zehe

A while ago I was missing a saw in my equipment because I had some minor woodwork to do. I needed the tool on the same day, but I was determined not to buy cheap tools, but quality. I was after a foxtail, but the range in the popular hardware stores didn't look very convincing.

Without further ado, I sought advice from a carpenter friend of mine: "Foxtail? Why not a Japanese saw?" I heard. I hadn't thought of that yet, but it sounded expensive. Nevertheless, I did some research on the Internet and found that there are different types of this traditional tool. I decided on a kataba, a one-sided toothed saw without a back, also suitable for deep cuts.

I was completely surprised during the price research: The tool is usually available for 15 euros. I was puzzled, but found that even very expensive quality tool dealers charge no more than 50 euros for their Japanese saws.

Half an hour later I was the proud owner of a kataba. Since no one in the store had any experience with this type of saw, I watched some videos on the subject on YouTube. It was clear to me that Japanese saws only work by train, but I still got a few helpful tips.

The first tentative attempts at sawing were quickly successful and I was surprised at how little force you have to use. I saw off a few wafer-thin slices from a beam and was amazed at the incredibly smooth cutting surface that the flexible saw leaves behind. I was also enthusiastic about the cutting width of just 0.5 millimeters.

The first project was a step for my living room landing and it was a complete success. I rarely use the saw, but when I do I always do it with a smile. It is very interesting to know that good tools do not have to be expensive if you choose them carefully. (phs)

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  • This article appeared in the c't-Hacks issue 2/13 on page 123. If you prefer to read it as a PDF, you can download it free of charge from the heise shop (simply log in with a user account and "buy" the article for 0 euros) ).
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