A Hand Pull Saw For Your Carpentry Preparedness Toolbox

best-pull-saw

I used my pull saw again this weekend. I have had it for a number of years and it is the most versatile saw in my carpenters toolbox… It is one of the best hand saws for quick and general purpose cutting of lumber that you can possibly have.

From a preparedness point of view, while there are all sorts of hand tools to consider having in one’s toolbox (particularly some of those which do not require electricity), when it comes to saws, this particular pull saw is excellent.

I thought I would point out its simple and effective attributes:


 

Pull Saw: Fast Cutting Razor Sharp Teeth

pull-saw-teeth

Look at those teeth! This pull saw rips through lumber with surprising ease. The way it works, and the reason it’s called a pull saw is because the teeth efficiently cut mostly on the pull stroke rather than when you push – which I really like – it gives you better control. I find this method to be very natural. And did I say that this saw cuts fast? This weekend I was cutting some 2×8 boards, and remarkably the blade is still holding up amazingly well given the number of times I’ve used it. They seem to have found the sweet-spot with the design and its 14-teeth-per-inch.

Pull Saw: Thin Blade

Another attribute is the fact that the blade is relatively thin (made of Japanese ‘Kerf Carbon Steel’). This fact coupled with the design of the teeth makes for a very clean cut compared to some other saws. Also, the flexibility of this blade allows you to make flush cuts.

Pull Saw: Replacement Blade

The blade is easily replaceable. The handle is just that – a simple handle with an ergonomically correct angle which is suited well for the job.

Pull Saw: very little mess…

Actually, one of the reasons that I often choose this saw is because it hardly leaves a mess compared to other saws and especially a powered circular saw. If I’m making a few cuts in my shop area of the house with a powered circular saw, the dust and shavings are flung everywhere! While you might say that a shop is going to get messy, my point is that this type of saw just drops the wood shavings straight down to the floor. Easy peasy cleanup.

 

Conclusion

I’ve used this pull saw for cutting framing, plywood, 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, 4×4, plastic pipe, and more. Like I mentioned above, it’s a great tool to have in one’s preparedness toolbox. If you’re only going to own one hand saw this is the one you need for all of your jobs.

Note: Caution: The teeth are EXTREMELY SHARP – the sharpest of any saw I’ve had.

 
This short post is purposed towards preparedness in that it hopefully will get you thinking about practical non-powered hand tools within the basic categories of carpentry (if you’re so inclined to work with your hands in that area…). Converting one’s excess paper fiat currency into practical tangible assets is always a good thing (in my opinion).

Shark Corp 10-2312 12-Inch Carpentry Saw

01-2312 Replacement Blade

 
Carpentry hand tool categories to consider:

-Cutting
-Sawing
-Hammering
-Drilling
-Clamping
-Measuring
-?

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32 Comments

  1. Thanks Ken. This is one tool that we are lacking a good quality tool. Yes we have hand saws but none seems to be of this caliber. I think that is why we always reach for the electric. As much cutting as we do around here, we really should have one of these.

  2. I really think this area is going to catch a lot of people. So many want the newest gadget all the time. I would make sure you have a good old fashioned tape measure and level. A lot of guys I know have switched to laser levels, which are great for some things, but a few of them don’t even have a regular level! My uncle’s tape measure is digital. I never understood spending 4x the money for something that is less dependable and requires more money for batteries.

    I would also recommend packing an electric drill and charger in a faraday cage. You can charge the battery with your solar charger. I hate thinking about doing the tasks made easier with an electric drill/driver by hand.

    Thinking about powering tools carries over into other areas as well. That tacticool laser and red dot are not going to do you much good on your AR if you can’t get batteries, or they get fried by an EMP. Same is true for your well pump and about a thousand other things.

    Moral of the story… always have a non-electrical back-up. Great reminder Ken!

  3. Good reminder Ken

    Having been around construction/carpentry for generations my family has passed down the “old” stuff all the way back to my great, great grandfather. We always maintained them with a good rust preventive and kept them sharp the old fashion way, elbow grease.

    This article reminds me to get them out and do a quick check on them. Rust is the mortal enemy of good hand tool/tools.

    The “Pull Saw” or “dragger” as we would call them is one of the best designs for the “quick and dirty” cuts or if using an ultra-fine blade an excellent finish saw. Although I will admit I do use the power tools normally.

    A word of caution, do NOT over power them, let the saw do the cutting, not the arm. AND as Ken mentioned; they ARE SHARP!!!! A lot of skin has been removed from misuse or over powering a dragger, as I look at my left index finger scars, one of the worse is from a dragger. HAHAHA …. OUCH!!!

    NRP

    PS; Learn how to use these “old style” tools, when the SHTF, they may be all that’s still working. Even those electric tools that may still be working will have a life span.

  4. I have a similar short saw blade at work and works fast for removing sizable limbs from the roads, but haven’t seen them in the hardware store near me. So sharp I touched the blade to see how sharp it was and cut myself on the touch!

  5. I should get one of these. Every once in a while I need to cut something. Not often but I don’t have a power saw and my hand saw really sucks.

    I was a machinist in a previous life and in talking to a few young kids coming into the machinist world none of them can use the old fashioned micrometers, calipers etc. If they don’t have digital they can’t do the job.

    1. My DH was a Tool Maker in a previous life and he still has all the old micrometers, and other tools that I have no idea what they do. Even though he has long been out of the field, he refuses to give up the tools of the trade.

    2. @ aka
      “and my hand saw really sucks.” Not knowing what shape your handsaw is in, I would suggest you take it down and have it professionally sharpened, most of the time the tooth “set” needs to be adjusted. Also most (not saying you do) but most people try to overpower the saw by pushing down to hard, try lightening up on the saw somewhat and let the saw just “slide” rather than pushing on it.
      As to your question, the Pull Saw is fairly cheap ($22.48) compared to a lot of preps, and if you find yourself in a situation you may need one…….. One might also consider a good “tree saw”, such as the (EverSaw 8.0 – Folding Hand Saw. All Purpose: Wood, Bone & Plastic. Great for Tree Pruning, Camping, Hunting, Survival Gear. Rugged 8″ Blade, Solid Grip. By Home Planet Gear)
      NRP

      1. nrp
        I don’t have any idea of where my hand saw actually came from and guess that it is decades old and yeah, I probably do push to hard! The darn thing IS pretty dull. I put the saw that Ken mentioned in my amazon wish list and also the one that you mentioned for my next order but will look at Home Depot and see what they have first. I’ve been using my tree pruner for my all purpose hand saw.

  6. I have one with a straight handle and teeth on both edges, ripping and cross-cut, it’s my go to handsaw. I would have an old style brace in my SHTF tool box. It will work you hard with a bigger drill bit in it, but it makes a great driver if you have a lot of screws to drive. Mine clamps onto the standard hex shank bits very securely and it takes very little effort to drive even large screws.

  7. A lot of good points in this thread. You can use an old candle to wax your saw blades to run more smoothly. I bet hand tools being so quiet and stealthy compared to powered tools ( chainsaws! loud! ) , has got to be a good thing when lots of people are looking around for someone with good stuff to steal.

  8. Love those old hand tools. Don’t forget to pick up a brace and bit (manual drill)…for and couple of bucks at most yard sales. No Faraday cage required.
    Blessings.

  9. Thanks Ken :) I need something like that!
    I have a basic saw and a assortment of hand tools, but this is something I have been keeping my eyes open for at yard sales etc..
    I am hoping to build up my hand powered collection inexpensively that way..

    One thing I am always very greatful for is as a child, I took woodworking classes instead of ballet or whatever.. My teacher was this cool old guy with a barn full of tools.. His wife would make ‘snack’ and the kids would bang around in the barn. That was a long time ago, but I still remember every old tool he showed us how to use. And there was hardly any ‘power’ tools TO use :)
    It’s been very very handy all my life..
    Self sufficiency isn’t always ‘fun’ and it’s usually never ‘easy’ :) but it’s wicked rewarding.

  10. It might just be me, but… some of these preps are a little ridiculous… obviously one can get very carried away prepping and caching… but seriously a saw!?! Better cache some nails and screws and drill bits a hand drill a measuring tape… I think/hope you can see where this is going.

    Cool yes, prep no. If you do not already have a army knife or something with a sturdy saw blade start there. As for carving a niche out of the post emp wild you are going to need a hell of a lot more than a saw, well a cool saw anyway.

    1. @Texas Lurker,

      Yes, you are correct. I get what you’re saying… Depending on the extent of said ‘collapse’, a pull saw is very low on the overall priority list! (compared to many of life’s essentials) ;)

      With that said though, I do not always post on beans, bullets, and band-aids. It’s not doom-and-gloom here all the time (sometimes ;) ). I vary the topics to an extent and will cover fringe areas which hopefully provoke some thought about other things. In this example, hand tools (think ‘no power’).

      While I was using my handy-dandy pull saw over the weekend I thought to myself that it might be a good idea to present the general topic (using the ‘pull saw’ as an example for having adequate carpentry related ‘hand tools’ – presuming that carpentry is a skill set that’s up one’s alley).

      While there are always newbies coming by the site (and we do post related articles to the basics) there are also seasoned veterans who already have all the essentials taken care of, and it’s interesting to occasionally post challenging or thought-provoking topics which may or may not have been thought of before regarding how it may relate to preparedness…

      Not everyone is a carpenter, but many practical skills after the collapse will become even more valuable than they are today… and the tools to implement those skills.

      Preps? Yes, one’s tools are certainly preps. Absolutely.

      Your quote, “Better cache some nails and screws and drill bits a hand drill a measuring tape…”

      You’re darn right! Home Depot may not always be there to supply you with such things. Better to have a stock of the consumable supplies (and tools) that match your practical skill sets ;)

      1. I have really enjoyed your site btw, I get some great ideas here! Oh and now that saw is on my list, going to throw it in the truck, could be handy on the road.

      2. Thoughtful response Ken. Just this past weekend we had to use a hand blade to trim a chicken door at the land. Comes in handy knowing about different blade options.

    2. I probably have 7 or 8 non powered saws and I feel I don’t have enough! A pull saw is on the want list. Non electric drill is also on my list. I keep looking at the thrift stores and yard sales but no luck yet.

      1. That’s what I’m saying! Lol
        I’ve been looking for good power-free tools at inexpensive locales.. No such luck though!

        My teeny local hardware store that I LOVE and frequent often has some good ‘old fashioned’ styled tools..
        Which if I don’t find at tag sales this year, I will give up and buy :)

        Good luck with your hunting!

      2. I found some hand drills on ebay. Check it out and you can find several manual tools fairly reasonable sometimes.

    3. For those of us who have been prepping forever (it seems), we are well past the “Survival” Needs. What good is surviving if you can’t thrive? So we look into other aspects of making life easier. If things should ever get so bad that we are living without electricity you will find yourself having to work harder to achieve the same results that you experienced when you still had electricity. Any tool that allows you to do something faster is not a waste of money.

      I also have no problem spending my money before it becomes worthless, so it may as well be something useful.

    4. @ Texas Lurker
      Have you seen my collection of “nails and screws and drill bits a hand drill a measuring tape” I call it a well-stocked shop, and yeppers, I can see where this world is going, Might toss in a lot of electrical and plumbing supplies while I’m at it.
      I agree with Ken, prepping is NOT all gloom and doom B&B&B. It’s a lifestyle for me and having the right tools for when/if, that all the better for those that actually “make it” to the other side, OR I could just stuff cash into the bank and hope for the best?????? And guess what, it the SHTF does not happen, ohhhhh well, my relatives are going to have a HELL of a garage sale when I’m toast.
      NRP

  11. Ken:
    I’m with you 100%. This is a great site. Veterans & Newbies – everyone can always learn something new here.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. I am building my manual tools bit by bit. Try to think what I might have to cut if there was no power and how would I do it. Picked up some tin snips at a yard sale for $1 and a large branch pruner for $3. Always looking for what I don’t have.

  13. I didn’t read any of the comments today, I thought I would add a quick comment… Scroll saws. If you look at the history of them; in the 1880’s they used treadle like scroll saws. That said, you might be able to repurpose a treadle sewing machine. I have a handmade all wood (except for pulleys and other easy to acquire hardware) to the treadle. There was a company that used to make all wooden scroll saws. So, If you see an old treadle machine, and maybe the sewing machine is gone, and its just the treadle, you might consider this for some of your manual tool preps. Maybe a wheat grinder could be hooked up to it, or any other device that has a pulley that could sit on a small table. Maybe a small output battery charger too. I don’t expect the lights to be out for ever, but, treadles are so cool and they were built to last.

  14. Good topic Ken.
    I’ve crossed this bridge years ago. Backed up most of my power tools with old fashioned hand tools. And have quite a hoard going. Every building trade has some improvements over original designs that integrates power.
    Even a tape measure, started as. Well all depends how far back you go. I have several folding rules, a couple of old steel 200 ft links. And assorted sight levels.
    Gardening tools, and Handles. Anything that you could possibly need when the power goes bye bye.
    I’m actually looking into steam powered, devices now. With the efficiency of wood burning ever increasing. Steam generation maybe a solution to off grid power?
    Before the internal combustion engine, steam was everything. Trains,cars, tractors, general power plants to run factories.
    I really don’t like to think it could that bad. But what if?
    Thanks Ken!
    Keep sharing everyone, as a collective of minds.
    We become a smarter collective.

  15. I have an extensive collection of non power tools,braces and bits. It takes a different skill set to use them properly… and patience.

  16. Thanks for the info on the saw. Dave Canterbury recommends having wood tools to split with the grain, saw against the grain, shave the wood, drill(bit & brace) and, carve.

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