Western saws and Japanese saws have different shapes based on how they are used.
Japanese saw handle
The ratio of the blade to handle length is roughly 1:1. The length of the handle is an important factor that affects speed and accuracy.
When cutting wood, we operate the saw by visually checking the cut area. The handle length is designed so that the saw can be operated delicately and pulled forcefully while still being able to check the cut.
The handle is also oval-shaped to prevent the saw from rotating while cutting.
This is truly a design that considers the shape and balance for pulling.
The proper way to hold a Japanese saw
There are two ways to hold a saw: one-handed pulling and both-handed pulling.
- One-handed pull
The one-handed pull is a cutting method by holding down the workpiece with the hand opposite to the dominant hand. It is suitable for cutting thin bars and small pieces because the wood tends to move.
Place the index finger in the middle of the handle so that the knuckle is directly above the saw. Support the handle with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers, and only rest your thumb on the handle.
It's like lightly wrapping the handle with your hand. If anything, you should hold the middle to pinky finger side a little tighter.
For saws with short handles, such as the Douki 6" (150 mm), it is better to hold the end of the handle. The farther the grip is from the cutting point, the straighter the pull.
- Both-handed pull
On the other hand, the double-handed pull is more suitable for cutting large or thick timbers because of its superior stability. In addition, rip cutting tends to cause more flapping of the wood, so double-handed pulling is recommended.
With the dominant hand, hold the handle end in the same way as a one-handed pull. The hand opposite the dominant hand should be extended as far as possible without compromising the posture, and lightly hold the part of the handle close to the blade.
The dominant hand is placed in front of the other hand for more efficient force. The hand opposite the dominant hand is only an aid and is mainly used to restrain the teeth. Do not tighten your grip on the handle.
Points to keep in mind
- The knuckle of the index finger should be right above the saw.
- Do not grip too tightly, hold lightly.
If you just hold the saw, the knuckle of the index finger will be on the outside of the saw. In this condition, the saw will easily bend outward when pulled. Also note that if you hold the saw tightly at this time, it will bend more easily.
It may seem difficult to read in writing, but let's try it first. There is only practice!