Best Dovetail Saw – Review and Buying Guide for 2021

Dovetail Saw Wood

Have you ever damaged a workpiece because you made a horrible cut with whatever saw you were using? Frustrating. Such cuts are usually small, precise, and neat finishes that only the best dovetail saw can provide.

There are so many dovetail saws in the market. The problem, however, comes in choosing one. What features do you look out for? How do you determine the best dovetail saw for you?

Our review has the answers you seek and so much more.

Let’s dive in.


Best Dovetail Saw for the Money

1. Rob Cosman’s Dovetail Saw

best dovetail saw for the money

Are you looking to do precise or detailed cuts and don’t know what saw to use? How about you try Rob Cosman’s dovetail saw?

This saw is excellent in doing rip saws and gives you a smooth finish that is easy to glue. That makes it one of the best saws for cutting joints. Joins require the ultimate precision when cutting.

Rob Cosman’s dovetail saw has a relaxed cutting angle that makes it easy to use. The angle is due to the saw having small front teeth that ensure you start and finish a cut as smoothly as possible.

Most saws have a problem with starting a cut because of the large teeth. This saw also has strong diamond-cut teeth that can cut wood fiber with ease. You are thus sure of fast and precise cuts.

Some saws, though more comfortable to use, struggle to provide straight cuts because they lack stability. They also might be too light or have a short handle that can’t make forceful cuts. This dovetail saw, however, is different.

It also has a minimal set of only 0.02 inches on every side, giving it a minimal kerf. The small kerf enables the saw to cut in a straight line, with the blade’s depth being stable as you saw in a straight line.

Sure, this dovetail is relatively pricy, but it is the best for the money. You won’t regret purchasing it as it will enable you to make the best dovetails.

PROS (What we liked)
  • Lightweight and compact and thus easy to use.
  • Minimal set, which gives it a small kerf.
  • It gives precise and smooth finishes.
  • It comes with two different handle sizes for more convenience.
  • The handles have a pistol grip that ensures comfort when sawing.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The resin handle might be uncomfortable for some people who prefer wooden handles.

2. Crown Dovetail Saw

best dovetail saw for beginner

The crown dovetail saw is a lightweight and compact saw that can give you accurate dovetail cuts. It provides its best performance when performing cut joinery and has a carbon blade that smoothly cuts wood.

With this saw, you can cut up to a depth of 2.25 inches. That is deep enough for most workpieces and should serve you well. The blade has a width of about three inches from the spine and its teeth.

Together with the blade’s thickness of 0.02 inches, you are sure the blade being stable. The stability allows you to make more accurate cuts and in a straight line.

This saw comes with a full rosewood handle that will hand you all the control you need. Therefore, you will make smoother cuts with the perfect finishes with low chances of damaging your workpiece.

The extra-long handle also makes it the best dovetail saw for beginners. Suppose you had never used a dovetail saw before. In that case, this will ease you into the world of dovetail saws smoothly and efficiently.

The only issue with this saw is that you will have to make short pull strokes whenever you are using it. Longer strokes will give you inaccurate cuts that might damage your workpiece.

That, however, doesn’t detract from the quality that this saw will give you. It is with the money, though.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It is relatively simple and thus easy to use.
  • The long handle it comes with makes it easier to control.
  • The blade is thick enough and cuts to the right depth to enable straighter cuts.
  • It is best for beginners since it is easy to use.
  • The weight is enough for the best dovetail cuts.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It requires only short strokes as the longer strokes can cause inaccurate cuts.
  • The blade gets blunt too fast and might need sharpening or replacing.

3. Irwin Dovetail Saw

best japanese dovetail saw

The Irwin dovetail saw enables you to make either left-sided or right-sided dovetail joints thanks to the reversible blade it comes with. The blade is also spring-loaded, which allows you the convenience of one-handed operation.

The saw also comes with a pro-touch handle on the jamb saws, making it more comfortable to use. The pro-touch makes it comfortable by making it ergonomic and thus easier to use.

The ergonomic handle makes it less tasking to use the saw for long hours. Otherwise, you would have to contend with hand fatigues whenever you have long work sessions.

With the ten-inch-long blade, you get to make precise cuts on your choice of wood. The blade is also two inches thick, which makes it a better cutter of any wood type.

This blade also contains 14 teeth that rip through the wood as you work. The teeth are symmetrical and allow you to cut in both directions.

The handle is offset to enable it to work better at flush cutting. That marks it out as not only a dovetail tool but also a jamb saw. You can use it to cut door jambs as well.

That makes it out as a very versatile tool. You don’t want a tool that you can only use for one purpose, do you? That’s why we think this saw is quite a big deal.

PROS (What we liked)
  • It can make left-sided or right-sided cuts.
  • The ten-inch-long blade can cut most wood types.
  • The 14 teeth are symmetrical and allow you to cut in all directions.
  • The blade is spring-loaded and reversible, which enables it to make any direction cuts.
  • It is relatively easier to use.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • It works better as a jamb saw than a dovetail saw.
  • The offset handle makes it hard to get straight cuts.

4. Zona Dovetail Saw

Cheap dovetail saw

Are you looking for a dovetail saw that has a thick blade that can cut wood with stability? The Zona dovetail saw has a thick blade that is 0.20nches thick and has a steel back that gives it more strength.

The thick blade makes it the best to make push stroke cuts on any wood-soft or hardwood choice. The blade is extralong and thus gives you more forceful strokes as you cut.

It has a thick kerf that further adds to its accuracy. The thick kerf ensures you make straight cuts and achieve smooth trimmings. That ensures you preserve the integrity of your workpiece.

Although the handle isn’t ergonomic, it is quite comfortable to hold in your hands. It is a wooden handle that is thin and can capably fit in your hands. That also means you won’t get hand fatigue if you use the tool for long hours.

This dovetail saw has a very long blade that has 18 teeth for every inch. That enables the saw to make accurate trimmings on any piece of wood, depending on the thickness. Moreover, it has a steel back that makes it give a more stable cut.

If you are looking to tidy out old and outdated fret slots, this is the saw for you. It also works best on narrow or shallow fret slots, even if it will need some effort to make deeper cuts.

PROS (What we liked)
  • Simple design makes it easy to use.
  • The long blade enables it to make smoother cuts.
  • Comfortable hardwood handle.
  • Thick kerf makes it give straighter and cleaner cuts.
  • It has a steel back that gives the saw more difficulty.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The blade is quite fragile and has issues staying rigid.
  • It has issues making high-precision cuts on hardwoods.

5. Suizan Japanese Dozuki Dovetail Saw

SUIZAN Japanese Folding Dozuki Dovetail Pull Saw

The Suizan is one of the best Japanese dovetail saws in the market. Unlike the European saws that use a pushing action to make cuts, Japanese saws are usually pushed saws.

By push saws, we mean that these saws make cuts with a puling action. In effect, they are easier to use because all you have to do is pull to cut. They don’t need you to exert too much force or power to cut.

This Japanese dovetail saw is lighter and delivers a cleaner, cutting edge. The sharp Japanese blade makes fast and accurate cuts on water wood you are cutting or trimming.

The sharp, thins blade assures you of smooth and accurate cuts that enable you to make the perfect dovetail joints. The extra throw is the fact you will use less power to cut wood.

The less power needed and the lightweight nature of the saw make it easier to use even for long work sessions. Your hand won’t tire from the repeated pushing as you cut.

You can also change the blades quickly and add a sharper one. That’s because of the links that ensure the blades are interchangeable and compatible with other different blades.

If you want to work a surgically sharp and razor-thin blade, this is the dovetail saw for you. The tool also feels lighter in your hands, which makes it easier to use. You can get a smooth cut in one motion.

PROS (What we liked)
  • Lightweight and therefore easy to use.
  • Razor shape blade that is thin and gives accurate cuts.
  • Requires less power to use.
  • It delivers a cleaner cut than pull saws.
  • It is super-fast, especially on thinner wood.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • Nothing specific.

6. Stanley Fatmax Dovetail Saw

Stanley Fatmax 15-252K 10-Inch Dovetail Saw

The Stanley Fatmax dovetail saw boasts a reversible handle that gives you the best access when you’re cutting in a limited space area. This saw is perfect for making precision cuts such as dovetail cuts and cutoff.

It also comes with a spring-loaded pin that makes the blade reverse as quickly as possible for left-sided or right-sided cuts. Furthermore, the blade is wide enough to make your woodworking experience worthwhile.

This saw also comes with steel back that prevents bowing as you cut. The steel back also gives the saw stability as you cut, enabling you to make straight cuts on any wood piece.

The saw is also quite versatile as you can use it as a jamb saw as well. It has a sturdy plastic handle with a comfortable grip that allows you to work hours without hand fatigue.

In case you have any misgivings regarding the plastic handle, worry not, for it is also quite durable. It can hold its own against wooden or metal handles and matches them for comfort and a firm grip.

This saw will quickly form an integral part of your woodworking arsenal with its undeniable quality. You won’t regret getting it since it’s a cheap dovetailing saw.

PROS (What we liked)
  • Simple, easy-to-use design.
  • Versatile
  • Spring-loaded and can make both left and right cuts.
  • The reversible blade makes it easy to use in tight spaces.
  • Sturdy plastic handle with a comfortable grip.
CONS (What we didn’t like)
  • The swivel pin mechanism isn’t strong enough and might rip off easily.
  • It is better at flush cutting than dovetailing.

Final Verdict

If you were in a dilemma on which is the best dovetail saw to go for, we hope we have helped you make a decision. Any furniture maker will tell you the perfect dovetail saw makes your work easier and makes it quicker.

That is why you have you choose a dovetail saw that would give you quality performance. Our list has several saws with their features to make choosing an easier task.

Always remember to choose the dovetail saw that best suits your needs. All the best.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a dovetail saw?

A dovetail saw a type of saw that enables you to make small, precise, and accurate woodcuts. They are especially perfect when you need to make joints.

2. What are the uses of a dovetail saw?

A dovetail saw makes small accurate cuts on a piece of furniture. They can also work as jamb saws. Dovetail saws are preferred to larger saws because they can make more detailed cuts.

3. How does one sharpen a dovetail saw?

All you need to sharpen the teeth of a dovetail saw is a file. Since you will be sharpening the teeth one by one, you will need a liquid black marker to know which teeth you have already sharpened. Repeatedly pass the file over each tooth till you are satisfied it is sharp enough.

4. How does one use a dovetail saw?

A dovetail is relatively straightforward to use. Position the saw at an angle (45 degrees) and keep your elbow closer to your body. Please don’t press the saw too hard and cut it in a straight line.

5. How can I make a dovetail saw?

A dovetail saw is too elaborate to make yourself. If you, however, want to, you can always make one by sharpening an old saw. You can look up how to make the saw from videos online.

6. How many teeth should a dovetail saw have?

A typical dovetail saw has 14 teeth for every inch. A fine-tooth saw will have 20 teeth for every inch.

7. What is the difference between a dovetail saw and a tenon saw?

Tenon saws are mostly for making rip cuts and are usually more extensive than the dovetail saw. The tenon is usually more aggressive than a dovetail saw.

8. Can certain woods damage dovetail saws?

Any saw will get blunt after sometime cutting any wood type. Therefore, there isn’t a specific type of wood that will damage a dovetail saw. After several cuttings, it is only natural for the saws blade to become blunt.

9. A good Dovetail Saw should be between what size?

Ten inches or 250mm thick should be okay for an average user. If, however you are working on thicker stuff, go for a longer dovetail saw.

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Dovetail Saw

The problem with knowing too many products you can choose from is that you might get yourself in a dilemma over which one to choose. We have here some of the factors you should consider before purchasing a dovetail saw.

What is its Length?

The best dovetail saw should have a blade that is long enough. Longer dovetail blades point to more efficiency when making cuts. Shorter blades will have you at a disadvantage when cutting or trimming wood.

Remember to always look at the length of the saw’s blade when purchasing it.

How is the Handle?

For states, the handle needs to be comfortable, allowing you to use it for hours on end without suffering hand fatigue. The handles should also be long-lasting since you dint want to be replacing them now and then.

Therefore, you should go for a dovetail saw with a sturdy handle that will have a comfortable grip on your hands. The handle also shouldn’t make the saw heavier.

How much does it cost?

No matter how good the saw is, you won’t buy it if you don’t have the money. It would be best to consider a budget tool that will give you the best service while coming in at a fair cost.

You don’t want to pay over the top for a saw that won’t last.

Can a beginner use it?

If you have never used a dovetail saw before, you will want a saw that is easy to use. That means a saw that is easy to control or set. The best saws for beginners usually have a simple design that doesn’t require you to bend over backward to know how to use them.

That’s why it is a good idea to go for a dovetail saw that is beginner-friendly to save you the time you spend learning how to use it.

Ease of use

What makes a tool preferable for any user is how easy it is to use. A dovetail saw can be quite complicated to use, and that’s why you need to buy one that makes the work easier for you.

You might end up with a dovetail saw that has you wasting hours getting to understand how it works. Fortunately, learning how to use a dovetail saw isn’t that hard, and with practice, you will be making cuts effortlessly.

Fit and Finish

The fit and finish the saw gives you will determine whether the saw is worth it or not. It would best if you went for a saw that gives you smooth and precise cuts. If not, you might risk damaging your workpieces when making cuts.

Precision also matters because you want to have a smoother finish on whatever piece you are working on.

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