Bad Axe Tool Works Tool Works 12" Carcase Saw, $255
(Delivery: 5-7 weeks)

Build Your Saw:
Type Filing
Desired Pitch
Plate Gauge
Sawback Preference
Open or Closed Handle
Handle Species
Hand Size (how to measure)
Preferred Fasteners
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This is the saw you will want for fine work, whether ripping or cross-cutting small tenons, or for fine to medium crosscut work in general. Be sure to check out my bench hooks to accessorize this great tool when it's filed in crosscut or hybrid mode. The key thing is to tell me about your upcoming project, the most prevelant wood species you intend to use, and typical cut dimensions you think you'll encounter. That way, I can custom-file your saw to best suit your needs, given the way I employ my saw sharpening techniques.

Hand Measurement
Sizing Handles: Here's my hand: it measures about 3 3/4" across. That's what I'm calling regular, and it will work with a range from 3 5/8" and start getting tight at 3 7/8." Bigger hands just under 4" up to 4 1/8" spans will require the size Large handle, and 4 1/4 to 4 3/8 will want an Extra Large. Going the opposite direction, if the span of your hand measures in the 3 ¼ up to 3 1/2" range, then we're looking at a size small handle. Smaller hands from 2 ¾ up to 3 1/8 should warrant an XS handle.
(return to sizing menu)

So how do I want this puppy filed?: You might notice a new category in the specifications choice block to the right. I've decided to offer three filings you can designate with your order, for rip-cut, hybrid-cut and x-cut. What's hybrid-cut? You may have heard that my x-cut saws can rip, and that my rip saws can x-cut. I've decided to let you decide whether you want a dedicated rip or x-cut saw, which has mostly to do with the angle of rake and fleam I put on the tooth. Many people just starting out in the world of hand tools (read--free-falling down the slippery slope of hand tools) prefer my hybrid-cut, which gives you the quality of a dedicated rip or x-cut saw, but enables you to switch modes on the fly. What's the cost? About a 20% loss in speed when ripping. For instance, with this 12" carcase saw, I'd recommend filing it 14 ppi dedicated x-cut, 13 ppi hybrid, or 12 ppi dedicated rip. The 13 ppi hybrid hits that sweet spot in the middle that will give you a fantastic x-cut finish with about a 20% slowdown when in rip mode. Is this a problem? Absolutely not--no one's running a race. But the hybrid-cut is a great choice for those of you just starting out in hand tools, and want the most flexible saw for your buck before adding more Bad Axe weaponry to your arsenal.

We have many options you can exercise to customize your saw. Choose between cherry, walnut, or mesquite handles, and tune the appointments of your saw with optional stainless steel or black pearl nickel-plated carbon steel backs, and fasteners now available in brass, stainless, and gunsmith hot-blued or niter-blued carbon steel. Two fastener designs: Slotted for durability, and split-nuts for those who prefer a more vintage look.

dropThe story behind our new shock-resistant handles. About once or twice a month, one of my customers will call in seeking a replacement handle after having accidentally swept their Bad Axe from benchtop to floor. We have now fielded shock-resistant handles in response to that scenario for those who use their tools hard, but don't want to compromise the natural beauty of a solid hardwood handle. Our new laminate handles fuse a top-quality 13-ply hardwood laminate with a genuine hardwood outer sheath. The 3/4" thick, 13-ply laminate is formed in perpendicular layers, resulting in a VERY tough and stable inner core with an attractive edge. We sheath the core with hardwood to enhance visual appeal. As for its durability? Frankly, a resin or plastic handle is tougher--but who wants a synthetic handle? Our laminate handle will dent slightly when dropped horns-first onto a concrete floor from a height of six feet, but that's about it. The horns sure as heck won't snap off, and the body won't check. Click onto my YouTube video on the left to see how this handle reacts to a 6' drop onto my workshop floor, and judge for yourself.

There's a new wood in Tombstone: Mesquite. That's right, mesquite--an attractive, yet quite rugged species capable of sinking a taproot 120' down in the arid soils of the American southwest, and harder than a whole barrel full of woodpecker lips. The Janka Scale rates mesquite nearly twice as hard as white oak, and the hardest speecies native to the North American continent. Like Texans themselves, mesquite has an enduring beauty and resilient character borne of droughts, wet years, cold snaps and extended heat waves (I guess I can say that as a recovering redneck originally from southeast Oklahoma). And apart from its natural beauty and innate toughness, the tangential fibers of mesquite shrink evenly while curing, so what we have here is an incredibly stable, attractive, and underutilized wood species just begging for service in the hand tool world. You won't be disappointed--mesquite rocks.

High-end, black pearl nickel-plated or bright silver nickel-plated finishes are available for our carbon steel sawbacks and fasteners. Nickel-plating is particularly durable, on par with stainless steel in its ability to withstand the corrosive nature of humidity and coastal air on carbon steel. You'll find this finish on high-end firearms, and on other applications where form and substance converge at a high level. And on that note, it looks just great--the deep black pearl lustre of this finish on carbon steel polished at 240 grit not only looks fabulous, but serves a completly practical role in scratch and corrosion resistance. With proper care, this saw will look just as good a century from now as it does today.


Brass, Copper and Bronze sawbacks are also now available on the Bad Axe saw you design. Brass is timeless, heavy and appeals to the eye the same way a Hawkens .50 caliber rifle does to muzzleloading enthusiasts. As for copper--copper is heavy. It's the other red metal that just looks stunning against walnut and mesquite, and apart from a scotch more weight in proportion to the other backs, copper is mostly an aesthetic choice. Take a moment to look at the various pics I've loaded up on my Bad Lexicon page to see how the various combinations work together, along with the nicknames I've assigned these looks. And watch out for choice overload--you also have alloy and finish options with my line of slotted and split-nuts fastener sets.

Proposition 65 Notice: Bronze and brass alloys contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.

Right now, I'm running a 4-week backlog with orders, so the best way to lock your place in the queue is to place a deposit on your saw via the PayPal form on the right. Hate making you wait, but this will be an easy, two-part transaction easy on the pocketbook when the balance is due.

After paying the deposit, you will populate my queue, and I will advise you of the delivery date in my follow-up email. Upon building your saw, I will send you another invoice with shipping costs for the balance due and ship it out no later than one business day after full payment is rendered.

All Bad Axe Tool Works Saws Feature the Following:

  • Custom filing available at same price per request
  • Highly-figured 19th-century patterned cherry handles
  • Flush-face slotted or split-nuts sawbolts/nuts in three alloys and four finishes with a 13/16" deep-dish decorative medallion
  • Firearms-quality hot-blued finish on traditionally-folded steel back
  • Optional bright-polished stainless steel back
  • Premium-grade Swedish Spring Steel, RC50-52
  • I personally guarantee that these saws are SHARP out of the box, with appropriate joint, set and rake. Every tooth does its duty. I fully guarantee this saw for one year after purchase.

Learn more about my material choices and rationale.

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