View Full Version : Saw for Bench Crosscutting -- Gramercy or Wenzloff

Rick Hall
07-05-2011, 1:01 AM
I'm wanting to get medium sized saw for crosscutting at the workbench. On my short list are the Gramercy Sash Saw and the Wenzloff Half Back Saw available from Lee Valley. I already have a small carcass saw, and want a larger saw to use as a general crosscut saw at the bench. It may see occasional use on a large tenon, but that would be unusual.

The saw would mostly be used with a bench hook or stock clamped in the bench vise. I would like to crosscut up to 8/4 stock at about 8" width with this saw. Most of the cuts would be smaller, but that give a usable upper limit for me. Larger than that and I'll use a panel saw or a power tool.

I want a ready to go saw. I'm learning sharpening, but I'm not there yet. I would like one nice and sharp out of the box that I can use as a reference for what a sharp saw should be, and this is the saw void I want to fill at this time. I haven't purchased a premium saw yet, but am willing to drop the money on this one as it would get used the most by far.

What do you folks in the know think of either of these saws for my application. I would love comments from somebody who owns and has compared both of thes saws. I am open to other suggestions as well,other than buy a back saw at a flea market and sharpen it myself. I've been doing that with my panel saws and I want to know if I'm getting them sharpened properly. For this saw I can justify a premium product and a premium price. I have been doing all of my ripping with the bandsaw, but nearly all of my crosscuts are done with handsaw & shooting board.

Appreciate any comments.


Jim Matthews
07-05-2011, 5:48 PM
The Veritas carcass saw is a giant-killer

The middle-weight contender (http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=66066&cat=1,42884)

I have the smaller version, and it wades down to the back without binding. Dead-straight, too.

Mike Allen1010
07-05-2011, 9:04 PM

I think your strategy of getting a premium backsaw as a reference to see what "good" looks and feels like, before you refurbish or build your own is a great idea.

Given the work you described crosscutting at the bench at an upper limit 8/4 x 8" width, you'd probably be better off with something a little bigger than what you might be thinking; 10-11 PPI, 16 inch blade with 4" or so under the back works well for me in this situation.

I know that Bad Axe and Wenzloff both make saws in this size/configuration, I have saws from both makers and you really can't go wrong either way - mine are some of my very favorite tools.


Peter Pedisich
07-05-2011, 9:12 PM

Do you mind me asking what make carcass saw you presently use? And what you think of it, such as what size stock it's good for? I'm also looking for a dedicated crosscut saw, and I'm looking forward to responses from others to your original question.


Rick Hall
07-05-2011, 10:55 PM

I currently have the Lee Valley x-cut carcass saw and I like using it for cuts in 3/4" or thinner material, up to about 2" long. Beyond that size I keep going to the saw bench and panel saw because I prefer the longer stroke and heavier saw. I have a couple of 10 ppi panels saws I refurbed & sharpened, and they cut pretty well. I'm really looking for something that will keep me at the workbench for medium sized cuts, which are probably about 80% of my hand cuts anyways. I'm happy to pay a premium price for a saw that will get used a bunch. I'm sure some of this is personal preference.

Bad Axe looks to have a 16" tenon saw that would work nicely as a general purpose bench saw...it's nice to have choices.


Peter Pedisich
07-05-2011, 11:10 PM
Rick, I have a Bad Axe 14" sash saw hybrid cut, and when I first got it (my first quality western hand saw) I thought it was a bit nose heavy, but after several feet of cuts I came to appreciate that weight. I would think a 16" back saw would give you the mass.
I have to say Marks hybrid cut saws slice through soft hardwoods so fast you better not blink. If I had to do it over, I'd get the same saw, but filed crosscut.


Terry Beadle
07-06-2011, 10:41 AM
You might want to look into a bow saw. They are relatively inexpensive for a blade and are fun to make. Bow saws cut more quickly than panel saws. Taig Frid swore by them and for your proposed use, I'd think they would be a good fit.

Rick Hall
07-08-2011, 11:18 AM
Been away from the computer for a couple of days...

I have a medium sized bow saw (16" or 18" blade, I don't remember) that I have tried using at the bench and I don't care for it. The rear handle frequently hits the bench top while cutting. At this point I think I will go for the Bad Axe saw. It looks like a comfortable, somewhat heavy saw which is what I think I want. I'll have the carcass saws for smaller stuff. I think I'll put down a deposit and get in line today.