Woodcutting is a skill and its decoration is an absolute art. As the painting brushes are the most important weapons to an artist, so is a saw to a wood or furniture designer.
Fret saw is that special “painting brush” for you if different kinds of wood and similar materials are your “canvas”. Then let’s find the best fret saw around you and hand that over to you.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Fret Saw?
- 2 Best Fret Saw Buying Guide
- 3 Best Fret Saw Reviews
- 4 Coping Saw vs Fret Saw
- 5 How to Handle a Fret Saw?
- 6 Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
- 7 Conclusion:
What is Fret Saw?
Fret saw falls under the class of saws called bow saw. It’s simply a bow-shaped saw. The practical use of this type of saw is mainly in cutting delicate work of cutting. This includes making tight curves while cutting or wood designing.
You can distinguish a fret saw from other bow saws by simply observing the depth of its bow-shaped frame. Additionally, its blade is shorter. This may appear a bit awkward at your first sight.
The modern version of a fret saw is scroll saw. It comes up with a table and powered fret saw. Nowadays scroll saws are also, informally, referred as fret saws.
Best Fret Saw Buying Guide
To find the best saw in the market you need to have a good grasp on the necessary aspects of the product intended for purchase. Read out the following to have some ideas regarding the ideal fret saw-
Control over the fret saw is the most important parameter to inspect if you are finding the ideal fret saw for your project. The cutting works that are done using a fret saw are totally dependent on the rotation of the blade.
The weight of the saw determines your ability to deal with the moment or torque of the tool on your workpiece. So, compare the weight of the available substitutes.
It is the material of the blade that determines the stiffness while sawing. The better the steel quality, the better is the cut and smoother is the edge.
The fret saw blades include enforced steel, high carbon steel, and 15 TPI steel. Among them, the 15 TPI one may serve your purpose up to the most promising level.
The material with which the handle is made is another important thing. People are fond of rubber handles as they are the most gripping. But the best fret saws also come up with wood or hardwood handles.
Performance in opposition to the tension
Fragility is always number one on the list of the disadvantages of fret saw. So, do check the level of performance of the tool in front of you.
No one compromises with money. Keep track of the price of the product along with its features. Go ahead buying when all the aspects match!
Best Fret Saw Reviews
We are already acquainted with fret saws. Now we are ready to explore the world of fret saws and find out the best one among them. Look for the features that you require for your project.
1. Olson Saw, Flat Wire Frame
Features and Advantages
Wood marquetry with veneer is a lovely part wood decoration. The Olson saw is one of the best in this regard. With the deep bow of its frame, it helps you to cut and scroll wood with much finer precision.
A flat wire frame is the main feature of this fret saw. What blades can you not adjust to it! Scroll, fret, spiral or jewelers saw blade, all fits in equally in it. All the blades that can be used with it are to be 5 inches in length.
The handle is simple and up to the mark. The fret saw Olson has a wooden handle. Want more? Yeah, the handle can be easily folded between the ends of the frame to discover some storage.
Both pulling and down stroking can be done while you are engaged in sawing with this guy. All these are enabled by the flat and rigid wire frame. The blades are kept stretched and pulled tight with the help of the wire frame.
This fret saw is not for hard work. It is going to accompany you in light works. So the metal frame and wood handle would seem worthless for sturdy jobs.
Often wingnuts appear to be weak to hold the blades. The exertion of much pressure is risky.
Most important point to be noted: do not get fooled by thinking that you would not need to buy the blades after buying it. Blades are not included in the package.
2. Knew Concepts 5″ Woodworker Fret Saw
Features and Advantages:
Knew concepts provide you this fret saw with some decorative and ergonomic design.
The best thing about this fret saw is its lightweight. It weighs slightly more than 5 ounces. But you would be able to demarcate it pointing the finger to its strength. It is strong enough. The lightweight has nothing to do with its strength.
The TPI value of the supplied blade is 15 i.e. it has 15 #7 skip teeth in an inch.
The blade holder is an innovative one. It has thumb screws with it. It helps to change the blade quite easily. Moreover, you have a fine control over the tension of the blade. Thus it becomes one of the best among fret saws with respect to innovation.
The Woodworkers fret saw Knew Concepts is specifically designed cutting off the waste portions from dovetails. As the tool is light in weight, it does not allow in breaking the blades while handling it. Clamping has become easy due to the thumb screws.
The blade can be turned around the axis at 45-degree angle to both the sides. The detent has the ability to lock the blade at the center as well. Hence, the task of coping is also in its domain.
The cost price may seem a bit extravagancy to you.
The clamps are small. So they can’t accommodate blades thicker or wider than skinny blades. Remember that thicker and wider blades are better for durability, speed, and finishing.
3. Long Reach Fret Saw
Features and Advantages:
Guess from the name; it can reach deep from the surface of the material to be cut. Quantitatively speaking, you can saw up to a depth of 11 inches measuring from the edge of your workpiece.
How can you cut so deep? It has an extra large bow made of blackened steel. So its throat is deep enough. The handle is made of wood. It is simple and up to the mark.
The Long Reach fret saw can hold the standard sized (5.5 inches long) fret or scroll blades. The package comes up with a blade itself.
This fret saw especially comes handy when you have tight spaces to curve. Such scenario appears a lot while cutting dovetails.
The blade that is provided is much fragile. The fragility would affect you is you are not careful enough. It would just break down.
The blade is not secured enough. Buying a replacement blade is recommended.
It is good for small projects, perhaps excellent. But it would not stand long for larger ones.
Coping Saw vs Fret Saw
Though there are a lot of similarities between coping saw and fret saw regarding the external appearance as well as application field, differences still exist.
Coping saw is an alternative to fret saw. The rather coping saw is used most often. Probably you are thinking why is it used instead? It can provide you a tighter radius while carving curves or cutting.
Fret saws offer you some extra sort of delicacy due to its extra deep throat.
At the end of the day using a fret saw the workpiece gains a delicate and professional look. That’s not always the case for coping saw.
Fret saws are a better option for removing wastes while dealing with dovetails. But of course, keep in mind that each product differs from another in certain features. Select the one that fulfills your intention.
Fret saws are a lot versatile. The blades used in fret saw do not contain pins at their ends. Coping saws have blades with pins. Well, you may remove the pins if it does not hamper your work. In this way, a coping saw may be used as a fret saw.
Well, fret saws can’t be rotated through. Probably this fact defines its fragility. But no problem occurs while rotating a coping saw. Hence, when you are in a limitation of curving radius, do not hesitate to use a coping saw instead of the fret saw.
How to Handle a Fret Saw?
No matter how you defend, you must admit that a fret saw has a peculiar shape and size. Of course, it is so due to its use and application.
The tool has got a relatively large moment. It is because of the construction. The lion’s share of the mass of the tool is concentrated at the fame of it. So it is not something unusual to be a learner and deviate away from the tool from the right direction while cutting.
To prevent this align the handle with the blade vertically. This would allow the rotational motion to be under your control. Now you are not a neophyte, are you? If this does not seem to work, then try a lighter and shorter frame.
Some V boards are found in this regard. They are nothing but cutting tables. They are used to clamp the working benches’ edge. This thing comes to great help by supporting the workpiece.
Clamping of the blades is done using wing nuts. If you are in a try of increasing the torque and not getting enough of it by hand, you are recommended to use wrenches or wing nut spanners. By this way, your clamping will be ensured will security.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
1. Is fret saw a must for dovetails?
Honestly, the answer is no. But it is easier, nice and fast.
Coping saw is the best alternative but that would almost fall into the same class of tools and not suffice your query. To remove dovetails you simply need sharp chisels, a knife for marking and some regular practice.
But since that’s a lot of stuff to handle, a fret saw or coping saw is a more expensive yet effective option.
2. What is the best wood for fretwork?
Almost all types of hardwood are ready to scroll them. So collect the names of those that you are discouraged to work with. Cottonwood is one of them. The problem with it is that fuzzes and has a bad odor.
Note that plywood bends over time but not too much. Again Baltic Birch plywood is really good for wood pictures and portraits.
Using fret saws is the task of craftsmanship. It should be perfect to the viewers of the workpiece. For that finding, the best fret saw has no alternative. The features and applications of the saw are key aspects to keep in mind. Your project would determine the features of the saw. It is you who needs to feel that and buy the greatest fret saw.