What Is A Tenon Saw? What Is A Tenon Saw Used For?

what is a tenon saw
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tenon saw medallion

A Tenon Saw is a traditional saw with a blade of between 10" - 16" in length that has a solid spine, usually and traditionally with a steel or brass spine.

In general Tenon Saws are used for more precise cuts such as those needed in making joints, as such it is a well suited saw for joiners and furniture makers, as well as hobbyists. Tenon Saws in particular are commonly used for smaller work such as cutting shoulders and mitres.

The blade on a tenon saw is traditionally thinner than hand-saw blades, they typically have between 10 - 14 teeth per inch (TPI).

The teeth on a tenon saw can be configured to be:

Or they can be a hybrid of the two called a 'Universal' tooth; these tend to be seen on some plastic handle saws.

brass tenon saw spine

The spine on a tenon saw is there to give the blade strength and rigidity, it also gives the blade weight and balance.

The spine also became a prime place of advertisement with manufacturers stamping their name on the front of the spine often along with other details such as town/city or/and country of manufacture.

Advertisement is also usually etched on the blade, some of which are/have been very artisitic. This etching often gives extra details beyond what is stamped on the spine including a company logo and sometimes a company slogan.

A tenon saw tradionally had and still often has a wooden handle which is usually of closed handle design. The wooden handle was/is secured to the blade with the use of usually three brass (sometimes steel) button nuts or split-nuts. Often, particularly with old tenon saws and top quality new tenon saws, they have a brass medallion advertising the company / company logo.

There are a number of lower-cost tenon saws on the market today which have plastic handles.

The new traditional tenon saw maker, Thomas Flinn of Sheffield, offer a range of tenon saws in a series of old brand styles. They offer the tenon saws with the traditional crosscut teeth and also offer the tenon saw with rip saw teeth.

Tenon Saw Manufacturers:

There have been a number of tenon saw makers in the past, with a few present makers. Below are a list of a few well known tenon saw manufacturers:

New Tenon Saw Manufacturers (Plastic Handles)

  • Bahco
  • Draper
  • Irwin
  • Saber
  • Stanley
  • Wickes

New Tenon Saw Manufacturers (Traditional)

Old Tenon Saw Makers:


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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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