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What is a handsaw?

A handsaw or craft saw for model making and crafts is a simple cutting tool, consisting of a thin blade with small, sharp teeth and a wooden handle. It can come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for a specific task. It is a must-have in model making and is useful when working with miniatures and dioramas to make cuts in materials that a hobby knife cannot perform. They are highly valued for being able to make precise cuts without the need for electricity or complex machinery.

At Green Stuff World we have two different models: the large Hobby Saw and the mini saw. Both are quality tools, distinguished mainly by their size. Depending on the purpose of use within the project, one or the other will be more useful and easier to handle.

What is a craft saw used for?

The main purpose of the craft saw for crafts is to cut wood, but it also works with many other soft materials that are used in modeling to create dioramas, such as plastic or some metals, always depending on the type of saw and the blade of the same. Although our goal is to offer all the tools and products needed for model making, these saws are also in great demand by people doing small DIY projects such as simple restorations or building small furniture or accessories in wood, as their versatility makes them ideal for both rough cuts and finer, more detailed work.

How to use a handsaw?

A handsaw is easy to use, just place the blade on the surface with a little pressure and move it back and forth to cut the material. However, if you want your cut to be perfect, you should follow these tips:

  • Mark the cut. Use a pencil, chalk, or whatever tool best suits your material to mark the line where you want to cut with the craft saw. In this way, you ensure a straight and clean cut in the exact place, without the need for rectifications or errors that are difficult to fix.
  • Secure the material. Hold the material or surface to be cut firmly to prevent it from shifting during the cut.
  • Position the craft saw. Position the saw teeth on the marked line, holding the handle with the dominant hand and stabilizing the blade with the other hand. If you are looking for a cut at a specific angle, you can use the mitre cutter tool available on our website, which ensures a straight cut at the perfect angle.
  • Start cutting. The best way to ensure an accurate cut is to start smoothly by making a small groove where you want to cut. Once you have secured the guide, use more force and increase the speed and pressure to separate the pieces definitively with an optimal result.
  • Stay in control. This tool is not a toy and can cause serious damage if not used responsibly. It is necessary that during the whole cutting process, you keep the modeling handsaw and your cut steady, controlling the direction and being very attentive so as not to lose the cutting line by pulling the tool out of its trajectory. Of course, don't keep your hands too close to the cutting edge, for your safety.

How to cut an angle with a handsaw?

One of the easiest methods to cut an angle is to use a mitre cutter tool as a guide, which allows you to cut perfect 45° and 90° angles in a wide variety of materials. It is intended for model building (construction of dioramas, ships, airplanes, miniature figures...) as well as for do-it-yourselfers and architectural models.

Another very practical option that facilitates the cutting of various materials at any angle from 0º to 60º is the Mini Mitre Box. This is a multi-angle tool composed of a circular base with rulers that serve as a guide and an arm with vertical mobility that offers precise and easy-to-carry-out cuts.

In case you don't have any of these supports to cut angles accurately, you can calculate the measurements to obtain the same results by cutting with the craft saw. Although this method is slower and can be misleading. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Measure and mark. To measure an angle correctly you can use a square and bevel or an angle gauge. Once you are sure of the measurements, mark them with a pencil or similar to avoid losing the exact line during cutting.
  2. Secure the material. Always lock the material to be cut to prevent it from moving and spoiling the cut or even causing an accident.
  3. Position the handsaw and cut carefully. Make sure you position the saw correctly before you start drilling and cutting using the guide very carefully, as the teeth are highly sharpened and can cause serious damage.

Can you use a handsaw to cut wood?

Of course, it can! The craft saw is specifically designed to cut wood, so this is one of its main uses. Different types of handsaws, such as cross-cut saws, rip saws, and panel saws, are suitable for a variety of woodworking tasks. But the ones available in our catalog are perfect for woods used in model making and crafts. However, they are also capable of cutting other soft materials such as plastics or fiberglass.

How to clean a handsaw?

Any tool requires good maintenance if it is to last as long as possible. In the case of handsaws, it is no different, and it is recommended to carry out maintenance work after each use. To do so, follow these simple steps:

  1. Clean the blade. After each use, remove sawdust and debris from the teeth and blade with a brush or cloth. Next, put some multi-purpose lubricant on the blade of the craft saw and leave it on for a couple of minutes before removing it with a clean, dry cloth. If there is any residue, use a brush with nylon bristles and never a harder material, as it is harmful to the blade.
  2. Lubricate the blade. Get a quality dry lubricant with PTFE and use it on the blade of your handsaw, which will improve its effectiveness and protect it from dust, grease and dirt in general.
  3. Keep it away from moisture. Tools with metal or copper components tend to rust when they come into contact with moisture, oxygen, and the passage of time in general. To avoid this phenomenon, it is necessary to keep them in a clean and dry place, in addition to applying multipurpose lubricant from time to time to keep moisture away.

How to sharpen a hand saw?

To sharpen a handsaw, it is necessary to have a triangular rough-cut file, the size of which will depend on the size of the teeth of the tool and, above all, on the distance between its teeth. In addition, it is necessary to have a method to fix the tool with the cutting edge side up, because if it moves during sharpening, it may not have the desired effect. One possibility is to use a vise. So, to sharpen a handsaw you need to:

  1. Hold the saw firmly, immobilizing it in such a way that it does not move during the sharpening process.
  2. Choose the right file. Choose the right size rough-cut file for your handsaw. It has to fit snugly between the adjacent teeth of your tool and contact them both at the same time, otherwise, you will have to file them individually and it is easier for them to lose their original angle.
  3. File the teeth. Run the file through all the holes in the blade exerting the same degree of pressure so as not to unbalance their size and, therefore, the cut.
  4. Check for burrs. Once you have finished filing the teeth of the craft saw, check for burrs or rough edges by smoothing them with a fine file or a stone.