I'm a novice woodworker with several beginner projects completed with a very small selection of hand tools. I'd like to upgrade and expand my set of tools, but like everyone else, I am operating on a limited budget. So, I'd like to know what the best investment is for an upgrade on my basic crosscut saw: a very good hand saw, (one of the japanese pull saws) an electric jigsaw, or some other option. I'd like to avoid power tools as much as possible, but need a saw that can make fine cuts for building boxes, children's toys, and similar small projects. Thanks for your help.
Ask 10 people and you will get 10 different answers unless they are lawyers then you will get 20 different answers.
I personally like the Japanese pull saws. Most of the time I do use power tools, it is a lot faster when you need to cut several parts.
What ever saw you decide to use make sure you are using it properly and above all make sure it is as sharp as possible. When you are buying the saw make sure you stay away from the really cheap ones, but then you do not have to get the most expensive ones. I have seen some of the Japanese saws in stores with a price tag of about $500 each, I can not believe that it will make a much better cut in the hands of a good woodworker than a $50 dollar saw.
If you can take a class or find some way to test different saws and decide for yourself which ones you like best.
I totally agree with D.B. I would definitely go with the Japanese saws. They are a little pricey but well worth the difference. There are many catalog stores that sell them so shop around a little to see who has the best prices and shipping rates. There are different saws for different woodworking jobs so be attentive to that and get what is best for the job you are wanting one for. That is my 2 cents worth!! Happy Woodworking!! Mamabear (Betty)