The invention of the hand saw followed soon after the discovery of copper in the Near East, about four thousand years ago. The early Egyptians used copper handsaws and Cretan carpenters about 1600 BC used large bronze saws for cross cutting and ripping.
The first iron saws were no stronger than those they replaced, however, the Greeks and the Romans made important improvements to the saws, including making frames for the blades to keep the blade tensioned and changes to the teeth to give a more accurate and efficient cut.
The biggest leap forward came from Sheffield and Holland during the mid seventeenth century. This was the development of the process of rolling wide steel strip.
These wider steel strips needed no support frames and the UK developed a wooden handle that became the standard pattern for hand saws almost everywhere in the world.
History and Development
Saw teeth were originally developed as either 'pull cut' or 'push cut'. Ancient Egyptian saws were said to be pull cut. Modern European and American saws were push cut. Even now, Japanese handsaws are pull cut. But the most recent technological advances has resulted in highly efficient 'push and pull cut'.
"A joiner can use up to 5 saws a month and will often purchase up to 10 at a time."
During the last 15 years, the reducing cost of making saws combined with advances in tooth technology, have changed the landscape dramatically.
Saws are now disposable tools. A joiner can use up to 5 a month and will often purchase up to 10 at a time. This has dramatically increased sales volumes and competition.
Worldwide construction continues to grow and consequently the demand for handsaws runs into tens of millions. The saw is probably the most popular tool in the world, featuring in every tradesman's toolkit it is a fundamental part of every job.