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Best Tenon Saw UK 

By  The Saw Guy

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best tenon saws that are available on the UK market. Tenon saws cost around £4-£40 in the UK. You can buy them at the better DIY stores and there are lots of choices online.

In the world of carpentry and woodworking a popular wood joint is one called a mortise and tenon. This is where the "tenon saw" gets its name from. They are best used for making small accurate finish style of cuts on trims for example. The blade is short and not flexible so ideal for making straight cuts. It is mainly used by anyone who is making furniture.

What does a tenon saw look like?

what does a tenon saw look like

As you can see, the tenon saw is typically around 12-14" long. The older versions had a wooden handle that was riveted to the blade. That has now been replaced with an ABS plastic handle that is moulded on to the blade. The handle is then covered with a soft grip for comfort. There is also a hanging hole on the toe of the blade so as you can hang it up on a nail.

It is also worth pointing out that the back of the saw is always reinforced to stop the blade from flexing when it is being used. The high quality tenon saws will have a brass back. Most others use either a hard plastic or a mild steel as a back for the saw. The back helps balance the weight of the saw and makes cutting easier. That is why brass is preferred to other materials.

TPI on a Tenon Saw

On normal handsaws the number of teeth per inch (TPI) is usually around 7-8 TPI On Tenon saws the TPI is usually around 11-15 TPI. That means it can make very fine and precise cuts in wood. On most tenon saws yo will find that it is usually somewhere between 11-12 TPI, but the better ones will be around 15 TPI.

What are tenon saws used for?

Tenon saws have a rigid blade which means they are perfect for straight line cuts. They also leave a very neat finish. They have many uses but are mainly used by furniture makers. In terms of general woodworking they are used to help make joints or for simple straight line cuts where a neat finish is required.

These are also really handy for cutting architrave, skirting boards and banister rails. Essentially any time the wood may be on view, a tenon saw leaves the best finished cut and usually doesn't need to be sanded. Many people use it for laminate flooring, PVC and cladding.

They can also be used with mitre boxes to make mitre cuts.

How much do Tenon Saws cost?

You can buy a tenon saw for around £4-5 for something like the Rolson 88375. At the very high end a tenon saw from a brand like Axminister, Footprint or Veritas will cost you £60-70.
 That is a huge difference in price and it all comes down to quality through out the saw. That includes the quality of the blade and what it is made from, the number of teeth per inch, the quality of the teeth, the quality of the handle and how the blade is attached to the handle.
Most of the best selling tenon saws vary in price from £5-30 with an average price of around £10-13 which seems to be the most popular set of price points in the UK.

Top 5 Tenon Saws in the UK at a glance

We have listed just below the best 5 tenon saws currently available on the UK market:

  1. Best seller in the UK - Spear & Jackson 9550B traditional brass back tenon saw
  2. Best for general carpentry - Irwin XP3055-300 Jack tenon saw
  3. Best value - Draper 82200 Venom tenon saw
  4. Best 14" tenon Saw - Stanley 217202 FatMax tenon saw
  5. Best Budget tenon saw - Rolson 88375 Tenon Saw

Spear & Jackson 9550B traditional brass back tenon saw

This is the best selling tenon saw in the UK and it is excellent quality.

It is also one of the most expensive and the reason for that is the quality. It has a traditional wooden handle which has been securely riveted on to the blade.

The blade has then be reinforced with a very stylish brass back

This saw is 12" long and has 15 TPI so excellent for fine cuts

It works for both rip and cross cuts and easily goes through soft woods or hard woods

94% buyer satisfaction based on 2,000+ online buyer reviews

WE LIKE

  • 79 out of 100 buyers give this a 5 star review
  • This saw has a really nice balanced weight and that makes it comfortable and easy to use
  • Buyers say this saw is made to last and many people have been using it regularly for many years

WE DON'TLIKE

  • 1 out of 100 buyers give this a poor review
  • A few buyers say it is hard to sharpen

Our Opinion: We believe this to be the best tenon saw that is currently available on the UK market. It is expensive but you pay that for better quality and we think this one is worth the extra amount. It cuts straight and we particularly liked it when we used it to cut the harder woods.

Irwin XP3055-300 Jack tenon saw

This saw is from the very well known Irwin tool brand who make quite a few different models of tenon saw - this one is their best seller and we also think their best tenon saw.

This is a 12" saw with 12 TPI which is the standard for a good quality tenon saw

The price point on this one is really good and as you can see buyers also rate this saw very highly.

Most tenon saws work on the push stroke (forward stroke) but as the teeth on this one have been triple grinded, it works on both the forward and backward stroke which makes cutting faster.

94% buyer satisfaction based on 1,000+ online buyer reviews

WE LIKE

  • 78 out of 100 buyers give this a 5 star review
  • The majority of buyers say this is very well made and cuts like a knife through butter on all types of wood
  • Buyers like the comfort of the handle when using this for longer periods of time

WE DON'TLIKE

  • 1 out of 100 buyers give this a poor review
  • Buyers say it isn't pretty to look at even though it is very effective

Our Opinion: We would recommend this as our number one choice if you don't want to spend £30 plus on a higher end brand as it is a very well made tenon saw that will last you for a long time.

Draper 82200 Venom tenon saw

We think this one is the best value overall. For under £9 you have a saw that will do what you need it to do

It is a 12" (300mm) long saw with 12 TPI so again a standard size

It has a carbon steel blade and a comfort grip handle with double ground teeth

It has a lacquered coating which helps prevent the blade from rusting if it is being stored in anywhere that is cold or damp like an unheated garage or shed

Good value for money and works well

88% buyer satisfaction based on 1,000+ online buyer reviews

WE LIKE

  • 65 out of 100 buyers give this a 5 star review
  • Almost all buyers say this is the best value for money for this type of saw
  • Buyers did like the grip and how comfortable it was
  • Most buyers say this cuts really well and the cuts are accurate

WE DON'TLIKE

  • 3 out of 100 buyers give this a poor review
  • The reinforced back doesn't add much to it and the blade flexes too much

Our Opinion: We think this is a good basic budget tenon saw that does what it says. When we used it, we found that it cut well and was easy to use. The blade does slightly flex though and when you compare it to one of the more expensive ones you can tell the difference. It is great value though for someone who just needs a budget tenon saw to have in their kit when it is required.

Stanley 217202 FatMax tenon saw

if you like Stanley tools then most likely this will be your first choice

This is a 14" tenon saw with 13 TPI which is slightly longer than the standard 12" blade and some people do prefer this extra length when sawing

The back has good reinforcement and we also like that they have screwed the handle on to the blade as that makes that connection much stronger

It also has triple edged hardened teeth so works on both forward and reverse cutting


94% buyer satisfaction based on 700+ online buyer reviews

WE LIKE

  • 76 out of 100 buyers give this a 5 star review
  • Buyers say this is razor sharp so makes cuts easily
  • Many buyers like to use this one along with a mitre box
  • Very well made and looks built to last

WE DON'TLIKE

  • 1 out of 100 buyers give this a poor review
  • As the saw is longer it is also heavier

Our Opinion: We like Stanley tools and a lot of people buy them. This tenon saw is the same quality as most of their tools which is very high. This may sound a strange thing to say, but people with longer arms prefer this slightly longer length as it suits the stroke length more effective.

Rolson 88375 Tenon Saw

Last but not least is this cheapest tenon saw that we could find online and as you can see it is under £4

Just be aware this one is shorter at 9.8" and only has 9 TPI

That means it has a much shorter cutting stroke and the finish will not be as good as the others on this list

It does have a soft grip handle that has been screwed on to the blade

We would just point out that you get what you pay for so it will work and handy to store in a tool bag

84% buyer satisfaction based on 400+ online buyer reviews

WE LIKE

  • 58 out of 100 buyers give this a 5 star review
  • It gives an option for someone who just wants a basic tenon saw to do a few cuts or a couple of tasks
  • Fits easily into a tool box or tool bag

WE DON'TLIKE

  • 5 out of 100 buyers give this a poor review
  • The teeth are coarse so not great for finer cuts
  • The cutting stroke is too short

Our Opinion: We 

Tenon Saw Summary

Tenon saws are a handy smaller saw to have in your tool collection. It really depends on how much use the saw is going to get. It also depends on how much you want to spend. That of course comes down to the type of person that you are and the quality of tools that you want to own.

Carpenters will likely own something like the Footprint 256 Brass Back Tenon Saw which is one of the best on the market. It costs over £60 but if you use it every day, then it is worth the investment as it is high quality and will last for many years.

The average DIY person really doesn't need to own a saw of this quality, and that is why we like the Spear & Jackson option for a traditional option, or the Irwin saw is also a very good choice. There are of course some lower priced options for people who just want to own a basic tenon saw.

The Saw Guy


We review the different types of powers saws on the UK market. We do a lot of research to make sure we bring you the very latest information and reviews on the full range of mitre, circular, chop, reciprocating and jigsaws.

Enda McLarnon

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