What Is A Fret Saw? What Is A Fret Saw Used For?

what is a fret saw
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In the traditional sense and more common place, a 'Fret Saw' is a versatile saw with a thin, elongated D-shaped frame and a very thin blade designed for cutting very fine, very intricate, curvey cuts and outlines.

The replaceable blade is clipped taut to either end of the frame to give the blade strength.

There is also a 'Guitar Saw' used for cutting Frets on a guitar which is sometimes referred to as a 'Fret Saw'; this type of saw is not for this article.

The design of the 'Fret Saw' has a special feature of allowing the saw to make internal cuts to a workpiece by drilling a hole in the workpiece and then threading the blade through the hole as the starting point of the internal cut. The internal cuts are limited by the size of the frame.

What Are Fret Saws Used For?

'Fret Saws' are used for cutting shapes (both internal and external) in thin workpieces such as:

  • Dolls Houses
  • Toys
  • Model Making
  • Musical Instrument Making
  • Pierced Lattice Work
  • Thin Wood Carving Work Preparation
  • and most similar comparable types of work

The very thin blade means it must be used delicately on finer pieces of work. It is not intended to cut big, thick workpieces or any heavy duty rough work which would almost certainly result in the blade snapping.

A very common maker of the Fret Saw for many years is Eclipse. Eclipse Fret Saws and Fret Saw blades are still a popular make today.

What Is The Difference Between A 'Coping Saw' And A 'Fret Saw'?

The 'Coping Saw' has a family member called the 'Fret Saw' which is a very similar saw in appearance and function. The main difference between the 'Coping Saw' and the 'Fret Saw' is the 'Fret Saw' has a more elongated frame and is capable of even more intricate cuts than the 'Coping Saw'.

What Is The Advantage Of A 'Fret Saw' Over A 'Coping Saw'?

A 'Fret Saw' typically has a thinner, more maneuverable blade compared to the usually thicker 'Coping Saw' blade, as a result the Fret saw typically can cut more intricate curvey cuts.

The frame of the 'Fret Saw' is longer so allows cuts further from the edge of the workpiece.

fret saw blades

How Many Teeth Per Inch (TPI) Does A Fret Saw Blade Have?

There are various toothed replacement blades available for 'Fret Saw' which typically range from 16 TPI - 32 TPI.

The Eclipse Fret Saw is usually sold with a 16 TPI blade as standard.

Eclipse offer additional replacement 18 TPI, 22 TPI and 32 TPI Fret Saw blades.

fret saw blades

Which Way Should The Teeth Face On A Fret Saw?

The teeth should face backwards towards the handle to allow the 'Fret Saw' to cut on the pull stroke.


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(ii) The details here are given in good faith, the details are constantly growing and evolving, there is scope for error and shouldn't be fully relied upon, please confirm any details for yourself by performing additional research from reliable sources.

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