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Saws are toothed blades pushed or pulled through a material in order to cut it.

Medieval saws were of a number of different types.

  • Bow saw - this has a thin blade on one side a centre support and a cord for tightening on the opposing side. Attached to each end of the blade is a section of wood that is tightened using a piece of wood to find and thus tension the blade. This is done as the metal in the blade is often thin and needed to be kept under tension as they were pulled through the material being cut.
  • Pit saws - this is superficially a larger version of the bow saw but the blade is placed in the centre and is angled transversely to the bow saw blade. It is used for cutting logs or long lengths of wood. It is a pull saw.
  • Handled saws - these have a blade on one end and handle at the other. Typically the hand is a simple piece of wood. These often had curved blades and were likely pulls saws due to thin poor quality metal. This is a similar technique of use as traditional Japanese saws. Some handled saws had rondel-like guards (similar to that of an ahlespiess) to protect the hand either to prevent the hands slipping onto the saw edge.