Consisting of a thin piece of wire attached to a u-shaped metal frame, a coping saw is an invaluable tool for anyone looking to make intricate cuts in plastic or wood such as carpenters and woodworkers. While there’s some debate over whether the best fret saw can beat the best coping saw, It’s still an important tool to keep in one’s toolkit or on their bench.
What are some of the projects which can be done with this type of saw? Well, they can be used for any job where precision and accuracy is required and can do many of the jobs that a scroll saw can accomplish. In fact, some people go as far as to call this tool the poor man’s scroll saw. Some of the jobs it can be used for include making cuts on molding, sawing tight curves and removing waste in joinery. All of which makes it an indispensable tool and one that’s inexpensive to own.
Most people don’t spend a whole lot of time doing their research before buying one of these saws, although there is a pretty big gulf between the worst models and the best coping saw models. That’s why I’ve decided to list some models that I feel are the better models currently available. Any of these saws would prove a good tool for a professional carpenter or DIY enthusiast to add to their personal tool collection. All of them are made with quality components, have nice designs and are easy-to-use. Many of them are also ergonomically designed so users won’t overly fatigue their hands while they are working with them.
7. Irwin Tool Pro Touch (2014400)
Manufactured with a flat-bar frame, an ergonomic handle and put together with dura-steel pins, this Pro Touch saw is designed to be as durable as it is strong. This model can be used for a variety of woodworking jobs and has a 5.5-inch frame depth, a 6.5-inch blade length and has a 17-point tooth count. It has an ergonomic design that makes it simple to use and also comfortable to use, even if it’s being used on a regular basis. All in all, this tool is ideal for anyone looking for a great saw that will handle very detailed cuts using a high-quality blade and do it with precision.
6. Pro-Grade 6.75-Inch Saw With Wood Handle (31963)
The Pro Grade 31963 is a well designed and well-constructed saw that can handle a multitude of different projects. It has a hardwood handle that fits well in the handle and is ergonomic so that it’s easy to use, even for extended periods of time. This saw also has a precision blade that’s heat-treated so that it stays sharp for long periods of time. And to top it off, it also has a carbon-steel frame that’s designed to hold up to even tough jobs and is backed by a limited lifetime warranty. It’s a tool that’s a welcome addition to any woodworker’s or carpenter’s tool collection.
5. Bahco 6.5-Inch Saw (301)
This Bahco 301 saw is approximately 6.5-inches long and has a nickel plated steel frame with a wooden beech handle that’s been coated in an orange lacquer. It is equipped with a blade that’s hardened and made out of tempered carbon so it can hold up to a lot of use. This blade can also be swapped out with other bladed and fit on the tool using retaining pins. It’s a professional-grade tool that’s perfect for the job site or workshop but can also be used by amateurs and DIY woodworking enthusiasts.
4. Stanley FatMax (15-104)
Carpenters know that a tempered and hardened blade provides a cutting action that’s smooth and controlled every time and that’s exactly why this saw is equipped with one. However, blade strength and reliability isn’t the only good things about this tool. It also has an ergonomic handle that’s comfortable to hold and comfortable to use during long work projects. Its handle is made of plastic and rubber so that it’s nice and cushioned but is also durable, too. This tool has an overall blade length of 6.5-inches, a throat depth of 4.75-inches and an overall length of 13.25-inches.
3. Stanley FatMax (15-106A)
This Stanley FatMax is designed to handle professional jobs and to provide the tool bearer with the quality and strength they need out of a saw. It has a frame depth of 6.75-inches and an overall length of 6.3-inches, so it’s a good size for using in the workshop. It’s designed with a steel-back that prevents bending and allows the blade to achieve a nice straight cut. Its blades are made out of high-quality carbon steel and its soft grip handle is designed for comfort and to allow the user to maintain a good grip on the tool at all times.
2. Robert Larson 540-2000
This German made saw has been designed and manufactured to be a high-quality tool that can be used for all kinds of projects and still be easy to use at the same time. It accepts blades with pins and its blades can be adjusted to just about any angle. This model also has a nice wood handle that fits smoothly in the hand and gives the user the quality grip they need to get their job done. This is a tool that’s designed to not only finish today’s work but to do work for many years to come.
1. Olson Saw Deluxe Saw (SF63510)
Designed to be a professional saw that’s versatile enough to be used on big projects but can also be used for amateur projects, the Olson Saw SF63510 is made using quality materials. It has a saw blade that can be tensioned at both ends and can be turned 360-degrees so that it can be used in a number of ways. It has a hardwood handle, a 15-teeth per inch blade and can be used as either a push stroke or a pull stroke saw. This makes it ideal for any carpentry or woodworking project and should provide the user with years of service.
Coping Saw Guide
A coping saw is one of those tools that stick out in your father’s garage and for a lot of people, it seems as though he used the same one for decades. This is probably because he bought a quality product, one that is built to last. This comes with knowing what to look for and making sure you use it properly.
The following guide is your best chance of finding something that you can keep in your garage for years to come so you can use it for many woodworking projects.
What To Look For In A Coping Saw
These can be replaced so it’s not the end of the world but you want something you enjoy working with from the start. For more accuracy look for as many teeth as possible. The actual cutting will take longer but you can create more intricate curves. Fewer teeth mean a tougher blade that can get through the wood easier but offers less in the way of angles.
For bigger projects and more accuracy, a quality handle is a must. This can be in a wooden form or, some comfortable plastic handles have a little more give as you saw.
You should also buy a coping saw that has an adjustable handle, in that it can be loosened to help change the angle and give you more options for your projects, often for 360 degrees.
The height of the frame is going to make a big impact on how useful your coping saw is. The taller it is, the more accurate you can be when making curves to increase the enjoyment of your craft.
The blades on a coping saw are only designed to work for so long. The device itself should last a very long time but when it comes to ensuring you are working with a sharp tool, you may want to find a product that comes with additional blades. It isn’t a deal-breaker otherwise as it is easy to get hold of your own but it helps.
A good tip is to make sure the coping saw you are looking at can take common blade lengths and brands to make sure you aren’t restricted in what you can buy when looking for a replacement.
The frame itself can last a lifetime if you get a durable one made from the right material. Sure, the blades will need replacing after a while but if you buy a quality frame, it will keep going. A lot of people find the nickel-plated steel types to be very durable, strong, and resistant to corrosion.
Whilst most tasks require a decent amount of tension, the better coping saws will make sure theirs is adjustable to make it suitable for different jobs. To change this, most products use the handle or screws to make the blade more taut or loose depending on your need.
This isn’t the most important aspect but if you are looking at a quality coping saw, it will be more tempting, especially if you are spending more on a good brand. Most products tend to come with something, as the reputable brands stand by the quality of their products but find something with at least a year’s warranty so you don’t feel cheated if it breaks.
For a lot of tools, the weight of the product often determines how high the quality is. This isn’t necessarily the case for a coping saw and although you don’t want something too flimsy, it needs to be light enough to maneuver easily. 8 – 10 oz is a common weight for a good product.
When To Use A Coping Saw
A coping saw is a popular tool in every carpenter or woodworker’s armory. Even for those who have certain hobby’s, a coping saw can cut intricate curves that other saws are not capable of thanks to its adjustable handle that changes the angle.
Draw your curves and shape on the wood in pencil and follow with the coping saw to create new designs.
What Surfaces Can A Coping Saw Work On?
The great thing about buying a coping saw is they are so versatile they can work on a multitude of surfaces. Most common is wood but they are also great for cutting plywood, plastic, fiberboard, mild steel, glass fiber, laminates, and beyond.
A quality coping saw is easy to find, and don’t just think about the task you have in mind now when looking for one, you never know what you are going to need it for in the future. This is why it is important to buy a coping saw with an adjustable handle, saw angle, and everything else that we have mentioned above.