Bad Axe Tool Works Precision Carcase Saw
— aka 'the Bayonet'

$295 (Delivery: 8-12 weeks)


Cold Steel. Pig-sticker. Sheffield steel. Known by many names over the centuries, the infantryman's bayonet has decided battles from Chamberlain's charge down Little Round Top, to the siege at Rourke's Drift, and the desperate trenches at Ypres--because nothing turns an enemy combatant's bowels into water more effectively than the prospect of getting skewered on the business end of a long rifle presented by a charging infantryman with an attitude and a long point of glistening metal sharpened to a razor's edge.

This historic weapon has inspired Bad Axe's most recent offering, pairing quite nicely with our hugely popular Stiletto dovetail saw: the Bad Axe Bayonet.

"Why do I want a 14" carcase saw--and what makes it a 'precision' carcase saw?"

At 14" long and filed 14 ppi onto a thin .018-gauge plate,
the Bayonet excels at virtually any carcase joinery requirement you'll care to throw at it, whether slicing tenon shoulders large and small, making a delicate long-span miter cut, sawing dadoes, cutting rabbets, or crafting a long sliding dovetail pin and tail. The Bad Axe Bayonet simply closes in and gets the job done with few strokes, better balance, and far greater accuracy. When paired with our 12" Stiletto Dovetail Saw, the Bad Axe Bayonet presents a comprehensive solution for any furniture project crafted by your own two hands. Want more details? Read on . . .

Design Rationale:

  • Bottom line up front: We designed an open-handled, thin (.018) plate saw 14" long with just enough real estate below the back to facilitate difficult cuts with long rifle precision.
  • Traditional 1876 Disston-pattern open handle, available in standard quartersawn white oak, or optional QS cherry, QS walnut, & QS hard maple. Three sizes--small, regular and large--will fit virtually any hand. Read more about how we make and finish our handles.
  • Traditional folded sawback finished in gunsmith-blued black-oxided carbon stel, or optional bright nickel-plated steel, copper-plated steel, or black nickel (while supplies last). Read more about this critical component for any backsaw, and why Bad Axe promotes the enduring traditional folded sawback over commonplace static-backed saws that disallow retensioning the toothline with heavy use.
  • Fasteners available in standard brass or optional black-oxided, niter-blued, bright nickel-plated, or copper-plated steel.
  • Plate Depth: 2 1/8" under the back at the heel, canting to 2" at the toe. Handle size will affect this, so we allow an extra 1/8" for larger handles.
  • Swedish spring steel .018 sawplate, hammer-set & sharpened at 14 ppi. Read more about Bad Axe's hammer-setting technique and obsessive dedication to sharpening excellence here.

"Ahh, but why not a .015-thin plate or a beefier .02 plate," you ask. . . . .


"We wanted to make a lean, shallow-backed carcase saw with a 14" toothline for furniture-grade cuts with long-rifle precision, while retaining the robust nature and crisp action for which our saws are known. The .015 plate wase too delicate for the kind of comprehensive joinery tasks we had in mind, particularly when making sliding dovetails and dadoes--kink it once through inelegant technique or when encountering some tough stock, and it's toast, just a one-generation tool. And--the .015 plate has practically no heat sink--anything more than a 4/4" cut spanning 3 inches will S-roll the toothline as cut friction heats up the metal.

We also tested the .02 plate which works fine, but it's overkill for the kind of thin, blowout-free kerf we wanted. It also just didn't have that 'dive-in-on-the-mark' action our dovetail saws evoke in the user.

Then we looked at the .018 plate and got fantastic results by lessening the amount of real estate below the back to enhance rigidity and extending the classic carcase saw's 12" toothline up to 14"--an identical approach in saw design we developed with our 12" Stiletto DT saw 18 months ago. olsonThe longer, shallower .018 plate spreads the heat generated by cut friction far more efficiently, while remaining significantly tougher than the .015 plate, and, with fewer, more accurate strokes compared to the action of a .02 plate.

The result? No S-roll generated by cut friction. No tapping your foot, waiting to complete the cut. Instead, Bad Axe has produced a rigid, thin, shallow-backed saw fully capable of slicing down 5/4" stock spanning 5" across, with an incredibly positive, deliberate action.

So--to sum up the difference between the .015, .018, and .02 plates? It's like comparing a marathon runner's physique to a runway model's anorexic frame, or a weightlifter's bulk: You still have a 26-mile mission to make happen. And the marathoner goes the distance every time, lasts longer, and hits the mark well ahead of anyone else competing."

~ Mark explaining cornerstone differences between .015, .018, and .02 plate utility in carcase saw design during R&D testing.
The furniture-maker's perfect brace of saws: a Bad Axe Stiletto DT Saw and Bayonet Precision Carcase Saw

Like Brass on your saws? Then you're really going to like our new Titanium Nitride-plated sawbacks.

Have you purchased enough brass-backed saws already to know that they just don't age that well? It's a great look, but it doesn't take long for tarnish to set in, and over time a brass-backed saw deforms with hard use, wreaking havoc on your toothline. But it's traditional, right? And conveys a traditional, warm look we all like to see.

But form only goes so far before substance sets in. You very seldom see brass-backed saws longer than 12" or 14", because brass just isn't a strong enough an alloy for larger saws. Steel on the other hand presents superior strength and durability. So--we at Bad Axe made the hard choice a couple of years ago to phase brass out of our product line, since it's difficult to work with (it has a 'springy' quality to it), doesn't form well, tarnishes, and at the end of the day, just doesn't measure up to carbon steel, which can take a variety of platings for aethetic purposes.

Enter Titanium Nitride (TiN). Long a favored finish for high-end firearms, titanium nitride presents stellar corrosion and wear-resistance, Titanium-Nitride hits the sweet spot when it comes to form following function. The tone falls between the look you get between brass and bronze, so it certainly scratches that aethetic itch you get when wishing you had a little more brass love in the Bad Axe world. And the really cool thing about it? We can apply Titanium Nitride on our largest sawbacks, where the strength and durability of a steel-backed saw is paramount.

So what are you getting for the $75 upcharge? It's obviously not cheap--because it's not a cheap plating process for us to apply. But what you get is corrosion and wear resistance, along with that deep, brass/bronze look that retains its golden lustre over time. Give it a shot--this is a drop-dead gorgeous plating that will retain its deep, rich look for the generations to come.

"Oh, the Saw Geekery of it All!" (and other reviews from the pros)

UK Attorney, luthier, and woodworker Kieran Binnie from Over the Wireless couldn't put it down:

"This goes beyond simple sharpness, and is a matter of some very clever design. The shallow saw plate, together with a carefully judged hang angle of the tote, puts your hand much closer to the workpiece. The result is a saw that dives into the work aggressively but with real exactitude, for a high precision cut. It sounds simple, but there is something verging on alchemy with the plate depth and hang angle on this saw."

--Kieran Binnie, March 2017

Read Kieran's full review,
'One Saw to Rule them All.'

Here's what Derek Olson of The Old Wolf Workshop blogged after we finalized R&D just before releasing the Bayonet in the Spring of 2016:

olson "Dovetails to dados I cut all my joinery by hand, and this is where the Bayonet really grabbed my attention. I'm not sure if it's the lower profile to the plate, the 14" length, the hang of the handle, or a combination plus more. A carcass saw to me is more than a finer crosscut. It handles dados, tenon shoulders and sliding dovetails. The Bayonet really feels specifically built with joinery work in mind and I love that."

(Read Derek's full article here).

Derek Jones, Editor, Furniture & Cabinetmaking Magazine couldn't put it down:

olson "For a relatively simple tool, there's a lot going on behind the scenes leaving you to focus 100% on tracking the line. Typically I'd experiment with a new tool for a few days before it feels instinctive and natural. The Bayonet felt like that from the first cut, and I couldn't put it down. What started out as a series of test cuts and joints turned into two complete projects overnight."

--Derek Jones, August 2016

Tom Fidgen of The Unplugged Woodshop has also been using our new Bayonet, and finds it to be a great companion saw for our Stiletto 12" DT Saw:

olson"For joinery applications in furniture and cabinet making, the Stiletto and Bayonet are a deadly combination. The shallow backs and long plate length adds balance and control you simply don't get from deeper saws. Every furniture maker that uses backsaws should consider this duo . . . game changing!!!"

--Tom Fidgen, April 2016

Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworks has a new go-to saw, when he's not dominating the hand tool industry as the king of leather, waxed canvas & copper rivets:

olson "I've used this saw almost every single day since I received it. It's amazing, there's really no other way to describe it. You just can't beat a folded back on a backsaw, it really helps keep the saw safe from damage or abuse. Thanks for what you do, Mark--dovetails and fine joinery around the world are better off because of your saws!"

--Jason Thigpen, July 2016

"What filing should I choose for my new go-to carcase saw?"

It depends entirely on your personal woodworking style. While you can't go wrong with this saw in x-cut for making what would be the preponderance of cuts across the grain, I guarantee our Bayonet's performance is enhanced even more when filed in hybrid mode. Why? Think about those long sliding dovetail joints you'll want to make, or making a more robust dovetail altogether in 6/4, even 8/4 stock.. Look at it this way: no one's going to take you out back and beat you up if you decide to cut with the grain for whatever woodworking reason you can cook up. Hybrid-filing gives you a great, postive cut whether with or across the grain with absolutely no sacrifice on the clean finish along the end grain that Bad Axe saws are known for. So--taking off my sawmaker's hat and putting on my woodworker's hat--IMHO, all dedicated crosscut serves to do is slow down your cut. But I'm also a strong believer in doing what best works out for our customers' personal woodworking style as they see fit.

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. Really tiny hands from 2 ¾ up to 3 1/8 should warrant an XS handle.

(return to sizing menu)

bhDon't forget the bench hook set. IMHO, the 14" saw is the perfect size for bench hook utility. They're indespensable when making repetive cuts to length or miter, such as running through a series of baseboard cuts without haluing in a powered chop saw into your living room. And you really don't want to inadvertently saw into the nice Roubo workbech you spent the last few months making because you didn't take the time to make one of these. Our bench hook sets are made out of bomb-proof quartersawn red oak, and while they don't come cheap, you will get double-duty out of it (when one side wears out, just flip it over), and they are very well-made. So for those of you who'd rather spending time working wood rather than making accessories, you might give ours a try.

"Why does Bad Axe ask for a down payment--and what if I want to change my order around or cancel it altogether? What happens to my down payment?"

Why we ask for a down payment: Because it gets skin in the game; a down payment obligates us to make your saw on a timely basis, and obligates you to pay for the remaining balance due when your saw is ready to ship. Upon receiving your order and down payment, we immediately dedicate funds toward employee time and effort putting your saw's components together, which include the handle milling process, making the sawback, plate, fasteners, and the various finishes and sizes you have requested. This costs a fair amount ot time and money on our end that actually exceeds your $100 down payment we've applied against the total cost of your saw.

Amending your order. We're all entitled to change our minds from time-to-time, and Bad Axe will gladly implement your requested changes with no penalty against your down payment. Do bear in mind that the earlier you request the change, the less likely a delay will result, but we are happy to amend your order at any time. Requests for changes made within three weeks of placing your order will generally not delay estimated delivery, however, the later you request a change within our estimated delivery window, the more time it will take to complete your order.

Cancellations: Cancellations cost us time and money that exceed your down payment for materials and processes funded at the expense of employee time and energy and the materials we consume while making your saw. Down payments are therefore non-refundable if requested within 3 weeks of order placement. We will, however, retain your $100 down payment on your account for use at a later point in time for any Bad Axe product or service.

All Bad Axe Tool Works Saws are highly customizable, and Feature the Following:

  • Highly-figured 19th-century patterned white oak handles, also available in cherry, walnut and hard maple.
  • Three handle sizes available: Small, Regular & Large.
  • Flush-face slotted sawbolts/nuts in brass or carbon steel finished in optional black-oxide or niter-blue with 13/16" deep-dish decorative medallion.
  • Traditional Folded Carbon Steel sawback.
  • Standard black-oxided or optional titanium-nitrided (TiN)-plated finish on saw backs.
  • Premium-grade Swedish Spring Steel Sawplates, RC50-52.
  • Traditional hammer-set toothline, sharpened to joint.
  • Bad Axe saw re-sharpening rate $25 nominal fee.
  • Lifetime guarantee against all material defects.

Learn more about our material choices and saw design rationale.

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