Suizan Ryoba Pull Saw - Router Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Default Suizan Ryoba Pull Saw

Just bought the "economy" model Ryoba saw recommended by Jonathan Katz-Moses in his instructional video on using Japanese pull saws
As I find myself using a hand saw more lately when I need to cut a piece and it's easier to cut it by hand rather than dragging out the miter saw - but finding that the part sometimes wasn't cut as accurately as I needed - I've been looking for a reasonably priced saw that would give me good results. Based on his recommendation, I bought the "economy" model Ryoba saw https://www.amazon.com/SUIZAN-japane...language=en_US listed in the video notes. Amazon delivered it today and I gave it a quick workout, both rip and crosscut, and it did very well - bearing in mind that I'm no Paul Sellers when it comes to using a hand saw.

I had a scrap of 1x3 about 15" long that I had used to check sharpness on a plane I was working on and had a taper on one side so I struck a line parallel to the good edge and ripped the tapered edge off, turned out OK for a first effort. Then I took some more of the 1x3, marked off a series of lines across the width and then kept cutting the end off. checking that I was keeping square in both directions, got better as I went along, although not automatic yet by any means. So, for $25, it's a pretty good saw, rip and crosscuts with no effort - it's sharp.

The blade is only 7" long so you would have to be careful about getting too enthusiastic cutting a bigger section, but for cutting 1X material it's perfectly good. I even laid out and cut a couple of tenons on the end of a piece of 2x4 (definitely need practice on that but...) and it did good on that too, cutting cheeks that were about 3-1/4" long - I'd squared up some 2x4's on another project and this was an offcut.

Definitely a keeper, as it's able to give even me a reasonable result. The company has a more expensive line, maybe $35 for the Ryoba instead of the $25 that I paid for this one. I didn't buy the Dozuki model as I have an inexpensive model that I've been using, but may take a look at the Suizan if I feel the need for a better saw in the future. The economy model Ryoba looks as if it's going to meet my needs for the moment although I may look at the other model if I find I need more capacity.

Did I mention that the teeth are sharp? Maybe too sharp, you just drop the edge on the corner of the 1X and the fine points on the teeth actually sink in a little, you have to be careful in the soft wood of the 1X. I'll have to dig out a piece of harder wood and see if there's any difference, maybe a little easier to get the cut started, but once you're in the kerf, all you have to do is keep stroking and let the weight (such as it is) of the saw do the cutting - although, with the way thinner saw plate, you really can't horse them in a cut. I would think though that you wouldn't be able to "steer" it as easily as you would a "Western-style" saw because of the thinner plate (.012" compared to .020" and up for a conventional saw).

I look at the prices Veritas charges for their dovetail and tenon saws (and they are by no means the most expensive brand out there - by a long shot) and see what I'm getting by comparison with these saws, and I'm amazed. Even if I decide to pop for the more expensive model, I'm way ahead of the game - and thinking that the technique with this type of saw, although a lot different, may be a whole lot easier to pick up.

Now I need to pick up a couple up a couple of 8' lengths of 1x and practice by turning them into 1/2" long pieces.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 10:28 AM
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I use mine with a miter box quite often and you can also clamp a block of wood where you want to cut and use that as a guide too.
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Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 10:44 AM
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Good write up, Tom, I have several of those pull saws. I am not very proficient using them,probably because I don't use them as much as I should. It is hard for me to break the habit of "push" sawing. I also tend to put too much pressure on the cut,rather than let the saw do it's thing. Lee Valley has a flush cutting one that they had on sale ,and I have 2 of those, I use them more than the lager ones. The pull saws are easy to kink the blades and hard to sharpen. The saw shops her will not sharpen them and you have to buy new blades. That is the one big drawback to me. I have several extra blades for the fine toothed ones. If I was younger and just starting out in wood working, I could probably adapt easier, but still prefer the push saws to cut straight lines. I have a Veritas Gents saw and a Veritas dovetail saw that I truly love. They are fine toothed and I can cut straight with them.
Good on you, though for persisting on learning to use the pull saws, I hope you can maser them, a lot of people do. Then you can go for the Japanese Pull planes. Keep us up to date on your progress, it is very interesting.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 03:01 PM
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thanks for the write up Tom..

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herb Stoops View Post
The pull saws are easy to kink the blades and hard to sharpen.
Herb
True they are hard to sharpen but it can be done. I bought a file from LV for doing it and they are sharper after but not as good as new (at least so far). There is a learning curve to doing it and it is hard to keep track of which tooth you should be on because they are so small.

I did put a kink in an LV dovetail pull saw but I haven't had a problem with ones like Tom bought. You do have to remember to ease the pressure up on the push stroke and down again on the pull stroke but they are so sharp that not much pressure is required. The fine toothed side will cut a slice off a 2 x 4 so thin that it's translucent.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 06:10 PM
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Nice write up Tom. Love Japanese saws. Use them quite often A couple of years ago I got a plan from Woodsmith shop for a jig to cut small parts with a Dozuki saw. Very handy little item. Nothing cuts as clean as a sharp Japanese saw. One red knob locks at a preset 90 and 45 degree angle. The knob on the left lets you lock the turntable at any angle you want
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-21-2019, 07:44 PM
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Excellent review, Tom...thank you for taking the time to write one up...
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-22-2019, 06:34 AM
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Tom, if you want to see a really amazing little dovetail saw, look at the LV ultrafine mini dozuki. Cuts one side of a pin or tail in about 8 strokes in hardwood, with a kerf line so thin, you struggle to pull a piece os sewing cotton into it.
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