What is the Best Japanese Saw To Get This 2022?

using Gyokucho Razorsaw Kataba Saw on a wooden plank

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Japanese saws are known for being good quality and durable, but is it always so? Unfortunately, not. You could end up with ones that are dull and difficult to maneuver. This is why our team of woodworkers has put different types to the test to find ones that will not only last but also perform well. 

Premium Pick
KAKURI Japanese Saw Set
Editor’s Choice
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw
Budget Option
SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail
KAKURI Japanese Saw Set
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw
SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail
• An entire set of Japanese saws
• Made in Japan
• Japanese oak handle
• Easy blade change
• Japanese steel
• Manufactured in Japan
• Interchangeable blades
• Lightweight
• Budget price
• Japanese steel
• Thin kerf
• Easily removable blades
Premium Pick
KAKURI Japanese Saw Set
KAKURI Japanese Saw Set
• An entire set of Japanese saws
• Made in Japan
• Japanese oak handle
• Easy blade change
Editor’s Choice
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw
SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw
• Japanese steel
• Manufactured in Japan
• Interchangeable blades
• Lightweight
Budget Option
SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail
SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail
• Budget price
• Japanese steel
• Thin kerf
• Easily removable blades

Reviews of the Top Japanese Saws

1. SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw

The SUIZAN Japanese pull saw is one that’s operated with a pulling motion rather than pushing, which is how one would operate a European saw. This pull saw is very lightweight, easy to maneuver, and gives a cleaner edge. 

The SUIZAN brand only uses top-quality steel to construct each of their blades. This is the best Japanese pull saw our experts came across and the blade thickness is only 0.02, one of the thinnest kerfs our experts have seen. 

When the blade eventually dulls over time, you can easily switch out the blade with other types of Japanese blades easily.  

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

2. KAKURI Japanese Saw Set

If you can’t make a decision on the types of Japanese saws you need, then why not get a whole set? The Kakuri Japanese saw set has a total of 4 saw blades. You can find a universal blade, a semi-fine tooth blade, a fast rough cut saw blade, and a mini keyhole saw.

Each replacement blade is made from well-forged Japanese steel with a high-quality red oak handle that fits neatly into your palm. The keyhole saw is excellent for cutting curves, while the universal saw is great for cross cutting and rip cutting. Users can also achieve precision cutting and rough cuts with the other two options.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

3. SUIZAN Japanese Dozuki Dovetail

SUIZAN is known for some of the best Japanese saws, especially some of their Dozuki saws. The Dozuki Dovetail saws are the next one on our list and are another pull saw type with a very thin blade of 0.012, making it great for smooth and accurate cuts. 

The blade length is about 6 inches and it’s easily removable to make room for replacement blades. Constructed of Japanese steel, the SUIZAN Dozuki Dovetail hand saw adopts traditional Japanese quality within a more modern design. 

Although it’s a Japanese Dovetail saw, this particular Japanese-style hand saw is also great for flush cutting. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

4. Gyokucho Razorsaw Kataba Saw

The next one on our list is a Kataba saw, which is a traditional Japanese cross cut saw. Of course, the blade on the Gyokucho Razorsaw is also crafted from Japanese steel so the blade wears slower. The blade also has impulse-hardened teeth that ensure it lasts even longer. 

On top of all the treatment, the Gyokucho Razorsaw Kataba saw is also coated for corrosion resistance and the handle is wrapped in traditional rattan wrapping for a more throwback look and comfortable feel. Pull saws are easier to operate than push saws, and the Razorsaw will power through your workpiece without resistance. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Japanese Saws Buyer’s Guide

All Japanese handsaws are pull saws designed to cut on the pull stroke. There are many types of Japanese pull saws each with its own benefits.

Type of Japanese Saw

Dozuki Noko

The Dozukis are single-sided with a stiff spine, which makes them more suitable for finer cuts. The Dozuki blades also do not limit the depth of the cut you can make, which allows for deeper cuts and is also why many of our experts believe they are the best Japanese hand saws to keep in your toolbox.

Ryoba

Unlike the Dozuki, Ryoba saws are double-edged, which means there are cutting teeth on both sides. One side is used for rip cuts while the other is for cross cuts. You can also find ones that specifically tackle hardwoods and softwoods [1] on either side.

Kataba

The Kataba saw is another best Japanese saw that is also one-sided with teeth only on one edge. Kataba saws are also an indispensable part of your workshop or toolbox because they are recognized as universal saws that are suited for most woodworking tasks. 

Be aware that the blades on these Japanese hand saws are usually thicker, and they do not have a back. The Kataba can also make cross and rip cuts.

Azebiki

The Azebiki Japanese saw has a very distinct design that is unmistakable. The Azebiki has a curved blade with teeth on both sides, and is quite unlike a regular western saw. The short blade makes it easy to maneuver in tight spots and this type of Japanese saw is great for cuts that start at the center of your workpiece.

Anahiki

The Anahiki is a heavy-duty Japanese saw that can handle the likes of beams, logs, and both seasoned and green wood. The Anahiki can tackle tasks standard push saws can, so it is often used for construction work, which our woodworking team loves.

Kugiuhiki

The Kugiuhiki is a flush cut saw with a blade that is thinner at the tip. The blade on this best Japanese hand saw for flush cuts can bend, which some may see as a con but it allows users to create very intricate cuts. The flexible blade makes it less likely to damage your wood piece. 

Mawashikibiki

For curve cuts and keyholes, look no further than the Mawashikibiki Japanese-style saws. The narrow blade on the Mawashikibiki was designed for turns and curves. 

Sokomawashibiki

The Sokomawashibiki is also another Japanese hand saw that creates curves on both hard and softwoods including cutting tiger maple. 

Handle

You will most likely see straight handles on the best Japanese saw. This is because straight handles usually offer more control. They can be made out of wood, plastic, wrapped in rattan. The material won’t affect the operation and performance as much as it will impact the comfort of your grip.

The handle on push stroke European saws may need to put more emphasis on the design of the handle, but pull stroke saws are lighter and easier to handle.

Teeth

Depending on the type of Japanese hand saw you go for, our woodworking team says you will see different combinations of teeth, but you can find just about any type of configuration you need for woodworking.

For example, some rip cut blades may have smaller starting teeth at the rear and larger teeth at the front. This type of configuration makes fast cuts easier.  Even if you don’t have this type of blade, it’s easy to find replacement blades with teeth combinations that you need – just make sure your saw has a replaceable blade. 

The replaceable blade and the extra ones you buy should all be made from high-quality Japanese steel, although you may find ones that are crafted from excellent quality Swedish steel. There are also blades with hardened teeth and have a protective coating for longevity.  

FAQ

Why are Japanese saws better?

Japanese saws are better because they operate on a pull stroke. They are easier to maneuver, require less effort to use, and are also lighter weight compared to other hand saws. Most Japanese saws are also crafted from high-quality Japanese steel, which stays sharper for longer.

Are Japanese saws better than Western saws?

Yes, Japanese saws are better than Western saws if you like the pull operation and a lighter saw that doesn’t require much effort. However, there are still plenty of people out there that find a Western-style saw to be better so it’s more of a personal preference. 

Our Top Pick For a Japanese Saw:
Suizan Ryoba Japanese Pull Saw

The best Japanese saw is no doubt the Suizan Ryoba pull saw. These saws have a sharp blade with a thinner blade with 9 and 15 teeth per inch on either side, making these Japanese saws excellent for both rip and cross cuts. 

The blade is replaceable to make room for other blade options that can transform these flush cut saws into workhorses that are capable of even more tasks.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson