Best Coping Saws in 2021 – Ultimate Review

Cody
| Last Updated: January 30, 2021

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Whether you are a complete newbie or a woodworking professional, if you are looking for a coping saw, then this is the right place to start.

This review will guide you throughout various aspects of purchasing a coping saw including what to look out for and what makes a good saw. We have also scoured the internet and put together a list of the best quality saws according to various criteria.

Comparison Chart of the Best Coping Saws

Product

Our Rating

Price

Olson Saw SF63510

Best Overall

BAHCO 301

Runner-up

Handsaw Hand Saw Set

Best for the Money

Sheffield 58203

IRWIN Tools ProTouch 2014400

What is a Coping Saw? 

A coping saw is a wood cutting tool that is used to cut elaborate external designs and internal cut-outs in carpentry and is mostly used to cut curves in the wood. It has a very narrow blade that is attached to a U-shaped frame. It is mainly used to make coped joints.

The design incorporates a tension frame in the shape of either a C or a U shape and a handle on one side. The blade is attached to the frame with the teeth facing the handle. The tension can be raised or lowered using the wing nuts or special screws that come attached to the saw. 

What is a Coping Saw Used for?

A coping saw is meant to make rounded cuts on various woodworking projects. Whether you are well versed in wood projects such as furniture making or just starting your DIY workshop, having a coping saw has become a necessity. Some of the jobs a coping saw can be used for include:

Making Coped Joints

It is all in the name. A coping saw is named after the joints it was meant to make. These joints are between two twisted intersections and are nearly impossible to make with any other type of saw such as a bow or rip saw.

Cutting Curves

With a coping saw, you can make different shapes in the wood with accuracy. The shape, size, and weight of the saw make it easy to wield through the wood. It also allows you to make circles, ovals, rectangles and other shapes that require delicate precision. They are even used to make holes in the frame of a construct.

Working with Brittle Wood

A coping saw can be used on thin wood without breaking it or ruining the finish. The low tension experienced on the wood reduces the chances of cracks appearing and causing faults in the wood. This type of saw also makes it easier to cut through hard to reach corners thanks to the lightweight unique build. 

How to Choose a Coping Saw

There are various criteria to look for when selecting what coping saw to buy. Although the reasons to choose a particular saw might be different, there are certain things that every good saw should have. These include:

Blade Quality

The blade being an important part of the saw is an area you should pay attention to. A good coping saw comes with the tiniest blade possible. It should also be made from durable material that is resistant to rust. It is important to note that different materials will require different blades. For instance, the blade used to cut through wood will do a poor job with metal or building tiles.

Versatility

Your coping saw should be able to accommodate different types of blades to allow you to work with several materials. Metal requires high carbon steel while plastic requires a blade with specialized teeth to safely and accurately cut though. Wood saws are either fine or coarse.

Size

The size of the blade will determine the size of the saw. This is measured as the distance between the blade and the frame. Usually, this can vary between 4 and 6 inches. Although some 4-inch saws can work just as well as the 6-inch alternatives, always look at the packaging to see whether the saw's "ideal" job. 

Quick Take: Best Coping Saws

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best coping saws:

  1. Olson Saw SF63510
  2. BAHCO 301
  3. Handsaw Hand Saw Set

Reviews of the Best Coping Saws

In this review, several aspects of various saws will be dissected. We shall look at the benefits of each coping saw and the disadvantages that come with it as well. We shall also rate them using an assortment of features. Here is the review of the best coping saws on the market!

Best Overall:
Olson Saw SF63510

PROS

  • Blade can rotate 360 degrees
  • Well-priced for its great build quality
  • Works with all standard size saw blades
  • Wood handle is comfortable and provides good grip
  • When properly calibrated, can cut through most materials

CONS

  • Beginners will need practice to work with thick/tough wood

What Are People Saying?

People love that they can use the tool for a variety of woodworking jobs with ease. They also love that the saw is durable. It can be used to saw copes on diverse assignments including bathrooms that have a lot of crown molding and for making hand-cut dovetails that fit better. 

What We Love About It

We love the build of the saw. The frame is well put together, which will ensure that it will work for you for a long time. The blade quality on both the original and any replacements is excellent and the teeth are well spaced out. This saw is capable of making even the most delicate of cuts, such as making adjustments to the head stock of a guitar.

Who's This Perfect For?

This saw is excellent for anyone who needs to make curved cuts on wood. They are lightweight and durable enough that they can be used in a commercial setting. The saw is reasonably priced and with good quality replacement blades available. Although this saw can be turned 360 degrees, you may need to buy more than one and set them in different styles for easy use. One can be set to the left, right, and straight to save on time when working on a big job.

Final Thoughts

Considering all the factors, this coping saw is a combination of features and price. It is lightweight yet durable enough to use in a commercial setting without danger of breaking it. It is easy to tension, requiring only two thumbscrews and has a decent cutting depth. The mechanism that tightens the blade may slip and swivel sometimes when cutting which can limit accuracy.

Runner-up:
BAHCO 301

PROS

  • Interchangeable blades
  • Great at making deep cuts
  • High quality and durable frame
  • Well-made, comfortable handle
  • Hardened steel blade with set and milled teeth

CONS

  • Better suited for small jobs than large ones
  • Sometimes shipping can misalign the blade holder

What Are People Saying?

People love the saw for its application in small jobs. It is easy to maneuver through hard to reach places and makes. It makes excellent dovetail joints especially with smaller projects, which makes this saw a favorite for DIY enthusiasts and small craft experts. The blade is capable of handling a higher level of tension than other blades as well.

What We Love About It

We love that this saw is very well built. The frame is made from nickel-plated steel which is hard to bend or dent when working or putting the tool in storage. It is 6½ inches long with a blade that is capable of turning 360 degrees. This means you can approach the cut from any angle that is comfortable for your wrist.

Who's This Perfect For?

This saw is perfect for small craft makers and DIY beginners. At 9.8 ounces, this saw fits perfectly in the hand and can be moved about easily with increased accuracy. It also comes with an easy to hold with a wooden beech handle. This fits comfortably in your hand and reduces the chances of the tool slipping while you work.

Final Thoughts

This is a nice saw to acquaint yourself with coping saws on. The weight distribution, build quality of the frame, and the constitution of the blade means you will not have to buy another saw for the foreseeable future. The blade is made from hardened carbon steel that has been tempered. It is also reasonably priced and can fit into most people's budgets. 

Best for the Money:
Uolor Hand Saw Set

PROS

  • Comes with accessories
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Easy storage case for both the saw and accompanying accessories
  • Multi-purpose saw that is perfect for professional and household tool sets
  • Comfortable non-slip handle with ergonomic grip

CONS

  • Not as sturdy as other saws on the market
  • The saw struggles with thick metals or glasses

What Are People Saying?

People love that you get more than one saw for the price. This is a saw that can be used in several areas of work, including in construction, gardening, interior decoration, toy making, and handcrafting. The manufacturer claims that with the accessories included, you get 14 saws in one. The saw package comes with 5 small teeth blades, a flatwood saw for cutting wood and PVC, 2 tile bits for glass, tile, and metal, and 2 glass saw blades. 

What We Love About It

We love how versatile this saw is. It is light and portable enough to be used in various applications around the home. With the blades that come at purchase, you can make various repairs to the plumbing or even furniture. You can also use this saw for pruning and other yard work. This saw easily fits in with your other camping gear and can be added into a DIY camping or survival kit.

Who's This Perfect For?

This saw is perfect for DIY beginners and homeowners. The build quality does not allow for commercial applications where the saw is expected to tackle different strenuous jobs. As a household tool, however, this is excellent. It is versatile enough to be used in an assortment of tasks and it is easy to adjust the cutting direction while you work. 

Final Thoughts

For the price, this saw is a great purchase. The combination of functionalities and the ease at which you can change blades is something to take note of. It has an ergonomic grip to help you handle cutting jobs better and also comes with an easy fit case that houses the blades and accessories. The build quality is however not the best, and this saw cannot be used for difficult jobs. 

Great for Beginners:
Sheffield 58203

PROS

  • Sturdy frame and build
  • Ergonomic, easy-to-hold handle
  • Patented blade change mechanism
  • Comes with extra blades at purchase
  • Highly accurate at making curved cuts

CONS

  • Long-term storage causes blade to lose tension over time

What Are People Saying?

People love the build quality of the saw. The frame is made from high-grade steel which means it can take a lot of abuse. This saw is excellent for commercial applications since the frame can handle the rigors of intricate metal or woodwork, such as making birdhouses. For the price, people are considering this saw a steal.

What We Love About It

We love the handle on this coping saw. Most coping saws have handles that work well for some time, before becoming a little loose and adding a slight twist to the blade as you cut. This reduces accuracy and requires you to constantly tighten the handle before working. The handle on this saw is securely installed in the saw and the soft ergonomic rubber is easy to hold. The handle does not become slippery when wet.

Who's This Perfect For?

This is perfect for anyone who needs to make curved cuts in any sort of construction. The sturdy hardened steel frame reduces the chances of bending or denting when in storage or during use. This saw can handle difficult working conditions and has even been used in cutting through steel plates of up to ¼ inch thick.

Final Thoughts

This is a great saw to get especially if you work in a busy workshop or are into heavy DIY projects. The handle is the biggest advantage over most of the other coping saws in the market. Its ergonomic and sturdy design makes it friendly for people who would use it for long hours, protecting their wrists from undue tension. 

Honorable Mention:
IRWIN Tools ProTouch 2014400

PROS

  • Comfort-grip handle
  • High-speed blade design
  • Lifetime warranty on the saw
  • Decently sized blade and frame depth
  • Sturdy and durable steel frame design

CONS

  • Lacks significant blade guard
  • Blade requires wrench and adequate time to change

What Are People Saying?

People love the soft touch Irwin Protouch handle is designed with long hours in mid. The unique triangular shape fits perfectly in your hand and remains comfortable for longer. It is durable and made of wood to withstand different working conditions. It is however covered in soft rubber to be gentler on your palm as you work. 

What We Love About It

We love how well this saw is made. It is built with durability in mind, and this is evident in the hardened steel frame and steel blade. The flat bar design of the frame increases durability, while the Durasteel pins keep the blade in place without losing tension. The frame is however not treated or plated and may corrode over time. 

Who's This Perfect For?

This tool is made with woodworking professionals in mind. The ergonomic design of the handle lets you work on it for longer and is mounted on a highly durable steel frame. This saw uses a high-speed saw with excellent cutting depth, which is ideal for a busy workshop. It also has more teeth per inch (17) than most of the other brands in the market. They usually come in 14 TPI (teeth per inch) blades.

Final Thoughts

This is an excellent tool to own if you run a busy workshop. The manufacturer has pedigree manufacturing hand tools and offers a lifetime warranty on the product, which is a plus. The high-speed blade makes any job relatively easy and the accuracy and cutting depth means you can work on projects that require diverse measurements with ease.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying a Coping Saw?

There are certain things you need to look at critically in the saw you are about to buy. These will contribute to make working with the saw either a joy or a curse. They include

The Build Quality

How well the saw is put together is an important factor to look at. This will determine what sort of tasks the saw can comfortably carry out. The build quality will include the material from which the frame is made, the strength of the pins, and the comfort of the handle. This is important especially if you plan on working with your coping saw for long hours.

The Blade

The blade is the most important part of the coping saw. There are several things to look at when it comes to the blade, and they include:

  • The rotation: Good coping saws rotate easily and with accuracy. This will allow you to make accurate cuts from any direction you need to.

  • Installation: It should be easy to remove and install. This saves time when you are working on important projects.

  • Material: Look for carbon steel blades. The teeth in these blades are hard bonded steel to ensure a sharper cut, while the blade is made of softer steel to ensure flexibility.

  • Tension: This is determined by the frame. It is the deflection allowed on a coping saw blade. Anything above 0.2 inches will give you problems when cutting. This is something you need to look out for.

How to Use a Coping Saw

Although using a coping saw is easy, it requires a steady hand, good hand-eye coordination, and a little experience working with sawing instruments. The process of using one is however relatively simple and requires the following steps:

  1. Install the blade. This is done by first placing the front edge on a firm surface. Hold it with the handle pointing upwards. Next, attach one end of the blade to the spigot that is furthest from the handle. Press down on the handle to push the frame in and allow for the other end of the blade to be attached. Adjust the tension as required.

  2. Place the material you are cutting into a vice to secure it. This prevents it from moving and increases the accuracy of your cut.

  3. Trace out the shape you require to cut with a pencil or marker. This will give you the cutting lines required.

  4. Cut the traced out shape, taking extra care to ensure the cut is precise. Start the cut with a short stroke.

As with all woodworking projects, make sure you are wearing protective clothing. This includes all appropriate gloves, boots, overalls, a hard hat, and any other precautionary clothing. You must take care of yourself while you work.

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Conclusion

A coping saw is a must-have for any workshop, whether for DIY projects or in a commercial setting. By now, you should have the necessary information for making a learned decision. There are enough options in our review along with various criteria and you are bound to find one that suits your needs.