26 May Unique Ryoba Saw by Mitsukawa
Tools for Working Wood is pleased to offer a Ryoba saw made by one of the great saw makers of Miki City, Japan. Juntaro Mitsukawa is a third generation saw maker who creates a wide variety of saws for different levels of work. This saw is forged from Yasuki White Paper #2 steel, and the taper, which is only found on higher quality saws, is hand scraped. The teeth are first ground with a diamond saw, then inspected, set, and touched up by hand. The tensioning is done by hand. The subtle details of tensioning, tapering, carefully filing the teeth, etc., are what take a good saw and make it a great saw that will cut fast without binding and has hard teeth to cut, but can still be filed. The saw is extremely thin, to produce the narrowest kerf with minimal force, yet have the stiffness to resist bending and breaking. The quality of the steel allows the teeth to be hard for clean cutting without snapping, but also just soft enough to be re-sharpened when necessary.
This is a lifetime saw, and it comes in two versions. Both saws have rattan handles wrapped in a decorative pattern. One of the saws is listed at $44.95 while the other is $359.95.
The less expensive saw (item MS-JRH.XX) is the modern professional saw (and WoodEzine has been informed that TFWW is temporarily out of stock on this item). The tang on this saw is welded to the saw body by gas welding, a modern and efficient way of doing a quality job. A single piece of steel isn’t used because of the competing characteristics needed to create hard cutting teeth and flexible handles.
The more expensive saw (item MS-JS600.XX) is a true traditional tool. The tang is welded onto the saw body with hammer welding, which is not a simple job with such thin steel. You can just see the hammer weld in the body of the saw, but as in any brilliantly crafted item, it is nearly invisible. TFWW has imported a few of the highly prized saws for woodworkers who are inspired by working in the shadow of a great tradition.