Bad Axe Tool Works 10″ Luthier's Fret and Carcase Saw

$295 (Delivery: 8-12 weeks)

Luthier saw

Luthier work: craft defined.Just ask Carl and Phil, the luthier team at La Crosse's world-famous 'Dave's Guitar Shop, where every day they put conduct operational repair on guitars worth many thousands of dollars. When it comes to quickly and efficiently fretting a guitar neck—as well has having a fine-toothed carcase saw optimized for luthier work in general—this is the kind of saw that will never stray very far from a luthier's workbench.

Bad Axe has recently designed a fret saw to help Carl and Phil along the way, and we took it a step further by adding enough depth to the plate such that with the adjustable depth fence removed, it may be used as a great little carcase saw for any kind of work requiring finesse and dead-nuts precision.


"A beautiful Saw that is a delight to use and ridiculously useful. I love it!"

— Susie Chillcott, luthier


Design Rationale:

  • Bottom line up front: We designed an open-handled, thin (.015) plate 10″ long saw with just enough plate below the back to accommodate a depth stop for making delicate fret-wire cuts on a guitar neck. This is also an outstanding carcase saw for thin stock requirements where finesse in cut is paramount.
  • Precise, hammer-set toothline with a combined set that delivers a .022-.023 kerf, which promotes a compressive fret-wire fit.
  • Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight (UHMW) Polyethylene Depth Stop with knurled thumbscrews. The high lubricity of this particular synthetic provides a friction-free depth stop for your work that won't mar your exotic woods.
  • Traditional 1876 Wheeler-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 black-oxided carbon steel, or titanium nitrided steel. 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.
  • Handle Fasteners available in standard brass or optional black-oxided, niter-blued carbon steel.
  • Swedish spring steel .015 sawplate, hammer-set & sharpened at 16 ppi x-cut. 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

"It's the sharpest, most efficient saw I've ever used. It's all that I've used for fret slots since I've had it, and frets are going in easier than ever."

— Carl Meine, Luthier, Dave's Guitar Shop, La Crosse, WI

Visit the workshop of Professional Luthiers Carl and Phil from Dave's Guitar Shop in La Crosse, WI

Watch the video we shot of Carl Meine and Phil at their luthier workshop deep in the heart of world-renowned Dave's Guitar Shop located in La Crosse Wisconsin. Carl explains the various processes he and Phil have used in the past to fret guitar necks, and how our final luthier saw prototype has now become their go-to tool of choice. Just click anywhere on the graphic below to watch the video.

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.

Other Top Selling Bad Axe Saws and Accessories: