Best Tenon Saw of 2023

As a woodworker, you must have known the importance of joints in the success of your project. You know that the Mortise and Tenon joints are one of the oldest and strongest ones among all the joints out there.

The most intricate part in the construction of this joint is to make the tenon. For strength and durability, the tenon must match the mortise in all dimensions.

So, cutting a tenon in exact size is something quintessential for a strong load-bearing joint. For precise cuts, you must use a tenon saw. Without using the proper tool, you may destroy your project in seconds.

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What Does Tenon Saw Mean?

A tenon saw is a member of the backsaw family designed to cut tenons, a type of joint used in woodworking projects. The saw has a thin rectangle and flexible blade of 10 to 16 inches long to make accurate cuts in the wood. It also features 10 and 13 teeth per inch for a smooth cutting experience. You can get different cutting angles along or across the surface.

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My Top Selections

Top 5 Best Tenon Saw in 2022

I am here to help you in saving your project from getting ruined. Here is a list of the 5 best tenon saws available in the market. Go through the detailed reviews and choose the best one for you.

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1. Irwin 10-inch/250mm Hardpoint Tenon Saw

Irwin Hardpoint Tenon Saw 10-inch 250mm

Irwin is one of the oldest brands with more than 133 years of history in saw making. This model comes with solid steel blade construction for better strength and durability.

The 10-inch size with 12 teeth per inch offers a smooth cutting experience. With its razor-sharp design, you can get your job perfectly every time.

What if it gets blunt after a few uses?

Well, since it is not hardened, it will surely get blunt. But the good news is that you can sharpen the teeth easily without even taking help from others.

You will not even experience fatigue while using it for a long time. With its 0.33 pounds weight with a comfortable handle, you can get an excellent holding experience.

What’s more?

This saw comes with 90 and 45-degree angles. That means you can get the perfect angle when cutting. Even if you are a left-hander, you can use it smoothly as well.

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  • 33 Pounds weight with a comfortable handle reduces fatigue while working for a long time
  • 10 Inches long steel blade ensures stiffness and cutting edge
  • 12 teeth per inch offer a smooth cutting experience without tearing your surface
  • Hardly gets blunt, and you can easily resharpen
  • Comes with 90 and 45-degree angles for perfect angle cutting


  • The handle is non-grip.

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2. Spear & Jackson 5410Y Tenon Saw

Spear & Jackson 5410Y Tenon Saw

The tenon saw from Spear & Jackson is perfect for you if you have a preference for a wooden handle and looking for a rigid saw. This brand has long-lasting fame for saws at a reasonable price.

The brass back provides maximum rigidity to the saw and ensures a straight cut and better control over the tool. This rust-resistant stiff brass spine will keep the blade from being bent. The robust feature will also provide you better control over the tool.

The blade has a lacquered coating to prevent it from getting rusty. But if you remove the coating from the blade it will cut better than with coating. The blade will hardly blunt at all if you even use it to cut hardwood.

The handle of this saw is made of beechwood ensuring smoothness for better handling capacity. It is attached to the blade with solid brass screws. You can easily remove the handle by unscrewing the brass screws for resharpening.

The most vital part of a tenon saw is the teeth. The precision cross-ground teeth are very sharp and cut along and across the grain. They are not hardened enough for your ease to resharpen the tool.

This tool is most appropriate for joint cutting and sawing small pieces of wood.

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  • Universal teeth let you cut along and across the surface for general use
  • Sharp cross ground teeth are easy to resharpen
  • Solid brass back offers perfect balance and maximum rigidity
  • Wooden handle with solid brass screws ensures better grip and stiffness
  • Carbon steel blade offers long time durability and stability


  • Need to sharpen and handle adjustment before use.

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3. Footprint 256 Brass Back Tenon Saw 14in

Footprint 256 Brass Back Tenon Saw 14in

The Footprint Tenon Saw provides exemplary cutting performance compared to top-notch tenon saws in the market. It can cut smoothly with a light touch thanks to its 13 teeth per inch design.

Featuring a 14 inches Sheffield steel blade, it offers stiffness and strength while cutting. You can enjoy faster cutting with higher efficiency.

Resharpening is easier as well. Whenever you find the blade gets blunt, simply sharpen the blade and enjoy the quality cut again.

The weight is .85 Kilograms which might seem heavy to some people. But this will help you get a better balance during work. You can achieve precision and perfection when cutting tenons. Boasted with a solid brass back, it enhances better balance and rigidity.

To make your experience better, it comes with a traditionally shaped handle made of Beachwood. You will get a good grip to perform accurate cuts every time.

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  • .85 Kilograms weight create the perfect balance while using the saw
  • 14 Inches long blade with 13 teeth per inch cuts tenons like butter
  • Solid brass back delivers rigidity and additional balance
  • Traditionally shaped beechwood handle offers comfort and better grip
  • Blade can be resharpened easily


  • The bottom tang digs in slightly.

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4. Spear & Jackson B9812 Predator Tenon Saw

Spear & Jackson B9812 Predator Tenon Saw

The Spear and Jackson brand offers you another rigid tenon saw with steel back. If you have an inclination to maximum rigidity, choose this tool in place of 5410Y Tenon Saw from the same brand.

The steel spine provides adequate stiffness to the tool to withstand exerted pressure of a large amount. This rigid back will minimize whip and vibrations during operation and enable you to maintain a straight path in cutting tenons.

The blade is heat-treated which ensures a fast, efficient, and clean cutting experience. It will not bend during cutting tenons from hardwood because of the steel back.

The ergonomically designed high-impact polystyrene handle will give you a soft non-slip holding experience and great control over the tool. For improved accuracy, there is a finger guide that incorporates a useful 45/90-degree angle guide.

This tool is perfect for cutting tenons, but you can also use it for cutting pelmets, molding, dowelling, coving, architraves, and skirting. In a word, this tool is very versatile in its application.

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  • Solid steel back ensures maximum rigidity and stiffness
  • Incorporated with a useful 45/90° angle guide to get the perfect angle
  • Polystyrene handle with a non-slip soft grip reduces fatigue while using for a long time
  • User-friendly design allows along and across cutting
  • Solid steel heat treated blade delivers a rapid and clean cutting experience


  • The blade and teeth could be sharper.

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5. Spear & Jackson B9810 Predator Tenon Saw

Spear & Jackson B9810 Predator Tenon Saw

The Spear and Jackson brand comes up with another saw but in a smaller size and with more teeth per inch. For smoother cut, this tool undermines the other two from the same brand.

The more teeth per inch, you will have better control over the depth and direction of the cut. This hand saw has 15 teeth per inch (TPI) thus confirming a tenon that is cut to the exact dimension of the mortise.

This tool also has solid steel back to provide maximum rigidity and resist bending of the blade in case of hardwood or metals. The rigid spine will also help you to limit the depth of the cut.

A comfortable grip is a prerequisite for properly operating the tool in the required direction. The ergonomically constructed Sure grip soft-feel grip will give you an outstanding handling experience during operation.

There is a finger guide on the handle for accurate cutting.  It also incorporates the correct angle guide.

This is the least weighted tenon saw offered by the brand and works perfectly for tenon cutting as well as pelmets, molding, dowelling, coving, skirting, architraves, etc.

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  • A total of 140 sharp teeth to cut smoothly
  • 10 Inches heat-treated blade for wear and tear-free cutting experience
  • Solid steel back offers better balance to the blade
  • Comfortable handle with soft ergonomic grip for convenient use
  • Finger guide delivers accuracy when cutting with a 45/90° angle cut


  • Need some time to start cutting smoothly.

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Identifying Features of A Tenon Saw

Tenon Saw for Woodworking

There are different types of saws for woodworks. But how would you distinguish the tenon saw in a store among the others. For you, here are the identifying features for a tenon saw which is originally a backsaw.

  • A non-cutting stiff back on the top of the blade is made of robust materials like steel or brass.
  • More teeth per inch (TPI) than other hand saws. Normally there are 10 to 14, sometimes 15 teeth per inch are on the blade.
  • A soft-grip handle is attached to the short and razor-sharp blade for user comfort.

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Tenon Saw Use Safety Measures

It is professional to take proper safety measures when using a tool. You are maybe a skilled worker, but accidents are unpredicted. So, maintaining safety procedures during operating a tenon saw is mandatory. You can follow the below steps:

  • Clamp your workpiece tightly to avoid slipping or rebounding.
  • Inspect the tenon saw for a loose handle, blunt teeth, or bent blade.
  • During operation, do not keep your hand on the teeth.
  • Wear safety glasses and hand gloves.
  • Draw lines on your workpiece, determine the depth of the cut, and maintain a straight path while cutting.

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Proper Maintenance Guide for Tenon Saw

Tenon Saw

Proper care ensures a longer lifespan and efficiency to your tool. You should take appropriate maintenance to your tenon saw. Here are the steps that you can follow,

  • Keep the saw in a dry place.
  • Oil the blade to prevent rust before storing.
  • Oiling the blade will reduce rusting. But in case the blade becomes rusty use a razor blade to clean the rust.
  • The saw hardly gets blunt. If it gets so, resharpen it.

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How to Sharpen a Tenon Saw?

  • Put your saw between two small wood pieces. Make sure the teeth are a quarter-inch above the wood.
  • Place and clamp the saw in a vice and tighten it up for sharpening.
  • Use a file and work your way up to a finer one.
  • Sharpen each tooth individually, using a back-and-forth motion.
  • Wipe the saw clean after sharpening and test it on a piece of wood to make sure it is cutting correctly.

If you are still unclear about the sharpening process, watch this video:

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FAQs about Tenon Saw

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Can a tenon saw cut metal?

No, tenon saws are designed to cut a straight line in woods. They cannot cut through metal or any tough materials.

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Can a tenon saw cut plastic?

Tenon saws are perfect for wood cutting, but they can cut soft plastic as well. But they might not be able to cut through tough plastic and provide optimal performance.

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Can a tenon saw be sharpened?

Yes, tenon saws can be sharpened since most of them do not come with hardened teeth. That means the teeth will get blunt slowly, and you will have to sharpen them. It ensures years of use for tenon saws.

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Why can a tenon saw only cut straight?

The saw blade is set at a fixed 45 degrees angle and comes with a rectangle shape. That is the reason tenon saws are good for a straight cut along and across the surface.

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Are tenon saw rip or crosscut?

Tenon saws are designed and famous for crosscutting on the wood. You can get perfect crosscuts but might not get rip cuts from them.

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What are the uncertainties of using a tenon saw?

The success of all the frame constructing woodworking projects depends on how perfectly you make the mortise and tenon joints. But the unavoidable uncertainty is that if the tenon is not cut to the exact proportion of the mortise, the joint can shear on either side. Thus, constructing a mortise and tenon joint will be a daunting task if the proper tool is not used.

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Is there any thumb rule for sizing the tenon?

As a thumb rule, take the thickness of the tenoned workpiece as a reference for the thickness of the proposed tenon. The thickness should be 1⁄3 of that of the tenoned workpiece. Take the width of the mortised wood piece as a base for determining the length of the tenon. The length should be 1⁄2 –2⁄3 of the width of the mortised wood piece.

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How many teeth does a tenon saw have?

The number of teeth in a tenon saw is presented in the Teeth Per Inch (TPI) unit. The more the saw has teeth, the more you have control over the depth and direction of the cut. More teeth also ensure a smoother cut. Normally, a tenon saw has 10 to 14 teeth per inch. Some famous brands also offer 15 teeth per inch.

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What type of saw a tenon saw is?

A tenon saw is supported with a non-cutting brass or steel back that provides adequate rigidity to the tool. This spine is one of the most important features of the tool because it keeps the blade straight on the cutting path and reduces the bending of the tool. For this stiff back, the tenon saw is a backsaw in type.

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What are the uses of a tenon saw?

A tenon saw is a backsaw specifically designed to cut tenons that fit into the mortise appropriately. Cutting a tenon is the most intricate part of mortise and tenon joint construction. You can also use the saw to cut housing joint, sliding dovetail joint, miter box cut, molding, pelmets, dowelling, coving, skirting, etc.

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My Two Cents at The End

The mortise and tenon joint serves the purpose of joining just like the staple in the papers. But it does not lessen the attractive look of your project like staplers. You can counteract a large amount of weight with this joint. The workability of the joint mostly depends on how appropriately you make it.

For efficient joint, cut the tenon professionally with a tenon saw. Your whole project will be at a stake if your tool fails to cut required-sized tenons.

I tried to help you in this article to select a best quality tenon saw. Each review is written after a thorough analysis. I hope you choose the right saw for your work.

If you ask me for suggestions, I will vote for all the three saws from Spear and Jackson for their extreme robustness.

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