16 Inch Large Tenon Back Saw

Bad Axe Tool Works 18" Large Tenon Saw
— aka 'The Beast'

$340 (Delivery: 8-12 weeks)

Here's a big saw for big work, with the balance and grace to handle medium-range requirements as well. It's a beastly-sized saw, so unimaginatively, we call it The Beast. This saw features a 4.5" deep x 18" long premium-grade Swedish spring steel sawplate, a firearms-grade, black-oxided carbon steel back, standard hickory, with optional cherry or walnut handles, and standard brass slotted fasteners with optional black-oxided or niter-blued carbon steel slotted fasteners. Standard filing suitable for most purposes are 10 ppi rip, 11 ppi hybrid, and 11 ppi x-cut.

Frankly—my personal favorite filing for this saw is 11 ppi hybrid. Whenever I build a new workbench, I can both rip tenon cheeks and slice off the shoulders in this mode. Hybrid-filing also lets you use your tenon saw as a hand-held miter saw—a great alternative to the constraints of miter boxes with elevator posts which constraint up to a third of a 30" saw's utility alone. But hybrid-filing is my personal preference as a woodworker. We each possess our own unique style when woodworking, and choose to size, trick out and use our tools in th way that works best for us as individuals—but do consider hybrid-filing—it works out better for the pocketbook, the difference in ripping speed is negligible, and you'll get just as clean a cross-cut on the end grain as you would with a (slower) saw filed dedicated crosscut.

Be sure to check out my bench hooks to accessorize this great tool if you'd like it filed in crosscut mode.

Why do I want this saw? The Beast is a big saw for big jobs. While its thin 0.025-thick plate excels at crosscutting, and will still rip quite nicely, I have decided to offer an optional, thicker plate for dedicated ripping purposes in beefy stock. Why? Because if you are a timber framer, or one who frequently rips deep cheeks in wide stock, you'll want a thicker plate. Any sawplate will heat up in the friction of a deep cut, the area along the toothline will expand, and without appropriate set and perhaps some lubricant like camellia oil or canning wax, the resulting heat expand and warp the metal along the toothline, promoting drift in the cut. It's simple physics—a slightly thicker plate will absorb more heat without expanding. So while thinner plates are certainly desirable for most cuts, at the end of the day this 18" bad boy requires a thicker plate for dedicated ripping into big joints.

Design Rationale

  • Bottom line up front: This is a large tenon saw for cutting wide, deep tenons and large crosscuts. This is a fantastic tenon saw for bench-building and will serve you long afterwards when ripping large tenon cheeks, or for use as a smaller miter saw in tandem with a Stanley No. 150 miter box.
  • Traditional 1887 Disston-pattern closed 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: 4 1/8" usable plate depth under the back from heel to toe.
  • Swedish spring steel .025 sawplate, hammer-set & sharpened at 11 ppi dedicated rip or our recommended 12 ppi hybrid. Read more about Bad Axe's hammer-setting technique and obsessive dedication to sharpening excellence here.

Hand Measurement

Sizing Handles that Fit Your Hand

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. 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.

Return to sizing menu

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

The furniture-maker's perfect brace of saws: a Bad Axe Stiletto DT Saw and Bayonet Precision Carcase Saw

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.

18 Inch Large Tenon Back Saw

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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