What is the Best Coping Saw? (For Molding, Trim, and More) (2024)

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

When it comes to trimming or cutting moldings, not every hand saw will make the cut. That’s why most seasoned woodworkers have a soft spot for coping saw blades. These tools can be a game-changer: when they’re good, they glide effortlessly and cut with pinpoint precision. But when they’re not up to par, they can wobble and veer off course.

If you want to breeze through your woodworking projects, understanding the distinction between coping saws and other trim tools is key. So, let me walk you through the best coping saws that can make the work easier. 

Premium Option
BAHCO Coping Saw
Editor’s Choice
OLSON SAW SF63510
Budget Option
IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw
BAHCO Coping Saw
OLSON SAW SF63510
IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw
• Nickel-plated Steel Frame
• Orange Plastic Handle
• High-Carbon Steel Blade
• Interchangeable Saw Blades
• Tooth Per Inch: 14
• Unique Blade Tension Adjustment
• Hardwood Handle Material
• 5-blade Package
• Standard Sized Blade: 6-1/2"
• Design: Portable & Sturdy
• Flat Bar Frame Design
• Ergonomic ProTouch Grips
• Frame Depth: 5-1/2"
• DuraSteel Retaining Pins
• Teeth Count: 20
Premium Option
BAHCO Coping Saw
BAHCO Coping Saw
• Nickel-plated Steel Frame
• Orange Plastic Handle
• High-Carbon Steel Blade
• Interchangeable Saw Blades
• Tooth Per Inch: 14
Editor’s Choice
OLSON SAW SF63510
OLSON SAW SF63510
• Unique Blade Tension Adjustment
• Hardwood Handle Material
• 5-blade Package
• Standard Sized Blade: 6-1/2"
• Design: Portable & Sturdy
Budget Option
IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw
IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw
• Flat Bar Frame Design
• Ergonomic ProTouch Grips
• Frame Depth: 5-1/2"
• DuraSteel Retaining Pins
• Teeth Count: 20

Reviews of the Top Coping Saws

1. OLSON SAW SF63510

Although smaller than most coping saws, OLSON SAW SF63510’s lightweight design has an edge in executing precise cuts. Thanks to this, its blade can cut tighter curves without any hassle. 

Unlike most coping saws, its handle is made of solid wood, giving you a better grip during the trim work. Its durable steel frame keeps the cutting mechanism stable, allowing the saw blade to execute consistent cuts. 

Upon testing, I noticed that this coping saw blade could be turned at a 360-degree angle. It means you can do a push or pull stroke in any direction. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

2. BAHCO Coping Saw

If durability is what you seek in coping saws, we don’t doubt that BAHCO’s nickel-plated steel frame will impress you. Because of its metal frame properties, you can expect this tool to resist rust and corrosion more than any standard coping saw model on the market.

It’s a fine blade to use in tough materials, given that it’s constructed with hardened carbon steel, includes 14 teeth per inch, and is sized around 6.5 inches. 

And if the blade wears down, you can easily replace it by unfastening its mounting pins. It’s also thanks to this feature that the BAHCO Coping Saw‘s strong blade can do a 360-degree rotation and cut tight angles.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

3. IRWIN Tools ProTouch Coping Saw

At first glance, some users might doubt IRWIN Coping Saw because of its thin blade and plastic handle. But if you ask us, its 6.5 inches overall length can be advantageous for portability and storage. 

It also doesn’t cost as much as other options, so these are one of the best coping saws to consider if you’re short on budget. Despite being sold cheaper, it’s deeper than some coping saws. It features 5 ½ inches throat depth, giving it an edge in typical trimming applications. 

Instead of the standard 14 teeth-per-inch design, this tool includes 17. With these sharp teeth, this coping saw is faster and more accurate.

What I Like

What I Don't Like

4. KAKURI Coping Saw

Another practical option you can consider if you’re working on different materials is KAKURI Coping Saw. Although not as popularly in demand as others, this tool comes with five blades upon purchase. 

Depending on the project’s requirements, you can choose the specific blade for woodwork, plastic, or even metal. You also don’t need to worry about the blade replacement process because you just have to turn the coped joints in the handle to remove the current one. 

As it’s equipped with a 6.3-inch frame depth, I didn’t have so much difficulty dealing with thicker logs or larger materials. 

What I Like

What I Don't Like

5. Stanley 15-104

One of the best features we liked about Stanley 15-104 is its rubber handle. Unlike plastic ones, this material is easy to grip and offers more user control for cleaner cuts. It has a simpler design and lighter construction, which makes sense because it’s also quite affordable. 

You don’t need to inspect it closely to see that it’s small enough for easy mobility and convenient storage. 

The only issue here is its traditional coping saw teeth per inch are only 14, and this tool has 15. As you know, fewer teeth cut faster. However, this feature offers more precision. 

What i Like

What i Don't Like

6. Robert Larson Coping Saw

If you don’t want the hassle of finding replacement blades, we suggest buying the likes of Robert Larson Coping Saw, as it has the typical pin-style design seen in common tools. 

Besides that, it has an adjustable blade tension that allows it to withstand the toughest cutting conditions and requirements. 

You know what makes this German-made coping saw stand out in the DIY world? It’s a wood-polished handle. Most other saws just don’t offer that kind of finesse. And with its sturdy metal build, it’s ready to tackle project after project. Trust me, it’s a top-notch tool.

What i Like

What i Don't Like

7. GreatNeck Coping Saw

Despite being not as deep as other alternatives on this list, the GreatNeck Coping Saw comes with different blades to prove its versatility. First is the fine blade that can make clean cuts on thin wood. 

Then, the medium blade is suited for plastic and hardwood materials. And for tougher cutting tasks, you can rely on the coarse blade. 

It’s also aided by the 360-degree angle feature. Through this, it can be adjusted in different directions according to your cutting needs. Not many coping saws at this price include wood-finished handles, so that’s another quality our testers liked with this tool. 

What i Like

What i Don't Like

What is a Coping Saw + What is a “Cope”?

You may not know, but coping saws are historically known as tools that can make “cope” cuts. Back then, people refer to this word as an easy fix for any construction error. In short, it’s a cut that requires trimming, creating dowel holes or fasteners, or cutting moldings. 

Later on, the cutting tool used in these tasks is called a “coping saw.” It’s a handheld tool with a metal frame, handles, and thin blade.

What is a Coping Saw Best Used for?

Got a tricky spot on your wall that isn’t a neat 90-degree angle? Grab a coping saw! This nifty tool is perfect for shaping moldings on those challenging sections. 

And if you’re looking to make detailed cuts, say, carving out a hole inside a piece of wood? The coping saw is your best friend.

How Do I Utilize a Coping Saw?

First, you must ensure that your hand is tightly gripping the handles. Once your grip is secured, you’ll need to make consistent and steady cutting strokes. 

Always remember to keep a safe distance between your hand and the sharp teeth of the blade. For the blade’s longevity and your safety, it’s best to use a push or pull stroke. Trust me, it’ll save you from potential blade mishaps down the road.

Additionally, it is important to choose the right blade for your specific cutting needs, as different blades are designed for different materials and cutting tasks.

Installing Coping Saw Blades

You can install new blades by placing the edge of the frame on a steady surface while facing up. As you hold the handle, hook the blade’s edge to the spigot on the side that’s farther from your hand. 

From there, press your hand down the handle to attach the other end. You’ll have to release its tension so that the stopper can adjust. 

Maintenance

To ensure the longevity of your coping saw, you should know that blade maintenance can be crucial. If you can, we highly recommend wiping down the sawdust and other material residues on the blade’s surface using a clean cloth. 

Coping Saw Buyer’s Guide

Material Quality

Among materials used in coping saws, nickel-plated steel [1] wins the durability battle. Besides its resistance to heat and corrosion, this component has enough strength to tackle different projects. 

Besides this, power saws with stainless steel construction also have great durability. 

Throat

Did you know that your coping saw’s throat determines what kind of materials you can take on? This feature dictates the distance between the frame and the blade, so tools with narrow throats are more suitable for cutting at tight angles. 

Meanwhile, coping saws with wider throats are more suitable for slicing through bigger materials.

Tension

Your blade’s tension determines how smooth the cutting operation will be. 

So if you ask us, buying a coping saw with an adjustable tensioning system is the best option for better productivity and convenience. This configuration is adjusted through mounting pins.

Linkage

Remember how we talked about your tool’s cutting prowess relying on its blade tensioning? Sure, it’s top-notch, but it can also burn a hole in your pocket. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, there are tools with a spindle mechanism out there. 

Though, between you and me, they’re not our top pick. But hey, they might just do the trick for you!

Ease of Use

The best coping saws should be comfortable to hold or grip. Because of this, it’s important to check if the handle fits your hand for ease of use and better control. 

Sometimes, handles made of plastic or without surface texture can be slippery and cause problems during usage. 

Blade Quality and Durability

Most blades for this tool are widely available and cheap, so it won’t be a problem should they turn dull during usage. However, we still recommend buying steel ones as they’re lighter but durable. 

Blade Rotation

Are you aware that the speed of your blade’s rotation also affects the accuracy of your coping saw? To ensure high-quality output, check if it has a detent feature.

Blade Installation

There should be gear on the blade’s sockets. Through this, users can ensure that it won’t slip during the cutting operation or installation.

Blade Types to Use for Every Project

Wood

If your project only involves woodwork, we suggest getting tools with sharp and wide blades. Due to its design, it can slice better thick but softwood materials. 

Plastic

For plastic materials, the kind of blade you should use is the narrow one, especially if you’re cutting intricate shapes.

Steel

Since steel is heavy-duty material, using coarse-toothed blades is recommended. These blades have teeth per inch and are suited for finer cuts. 

FAQ

Why is it called a “coping” saw?

It’s called a coping saw because it’s meant to make cope cuts. It means that these cuts are coped into the material to make curved finishes and cover construction errors and misfits.

How thick of wood can a coping saw cut?

It depends on its overall frame size. If it’s not deep enough, the blade can’t cut all the way because the frame will hinder it.

My Top Pick For a Coping Saw:
OLSON SAW SF63510

As one of the most practical handy tools in the industry, we chose OLSON SAW SF63510 as our top pick mainly because of its 5-blade kit and impressive blade tensioning. 

Given how often you’ll be reaching for it, a coping saw should not only be robust and easy to carry around but also versatile enough to handle a variety of cuts. Trust me, it’ll make all the difference in your tasks.

robert headshot

Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!