New Veritas Dovetail Saw
Veritas (the line of tools made by the Lee Valley company) has introduced a new tool (for them), a western style dovetail saw. It's a completely new take on a classic design:
Now, I haven't had a chance to use one of these saws, so my "review" is just to the aesthetics and design choices and what I can glean from Alf's review on her site, the Cornish Workshop. It's my thought that, at the price given, that Veritas has hit this one out of the park.
What? Did I just say that?
Yes, I did. Though it might not be as pretty as a full-blown classic brass version, it's a significant development in saw design, one that I've been waiting to see come to light for some time. Brass, in my opinion, is not the best material for the back of a saw - it's too expensive, and it can bend if dropped, and be tough to straighten out. This material, which is a resin mixed with a stainless steel powder and formed using injection molding, won't have the price, and is also less expensive. It's an innovative step, not just a gimmick (ala the double-handled saw from Glenn Drake - at least it's a gimmiick in my opinion - reviewed earlier)
Then there using wood for the handle - nothing I've found has quite replaced the feel of wood for a handle, and LV has kept this important aspect a part of their design - and it looks to be easily replaceable, which is a bonus.
For the steel - that's important too, but the availablity of high quality steel these days just isn't as big of an issue as it was even thirty years ago. I'm quite sure the steel LV uses if of high quality, as is their reputation.
Now, if you want a good saw cheap - and can sharpen your own saws - there are vintage saws out there that may be a better deal. Or maybe not - but if I was buying a new dovetail saw that would see more use than as a display piece today, this would be it. The price is simply unbeatable... and now that I've looked at it for a bit, the look is growing on me.
Now, if they start to sell replacement handles and blades for the thing, and offer it in different sizes and configurations - that would be all the better. I'm sure they will come in time...
Also new (as I mentioned in my previous post) in the market is a new offering from an old name in the sawmaking biz - Disston, which is now available from Rockler. Now, Disston is a storied name in the making of handsaws, but I wouldn't pay the money they are asking - these aren't the Disstons we know and love. Truth be told, there's not been a decent saw made with that name on it for at least 40 years, and some would argue that it's more like 80 years. At twice the price of these Veritas saws, there's no doubt as to the better value in my mind...