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Best Coping Saw: Review & Guide 2024

The coping saw is an essential and most versatile finishing tool you will find, and the best coping saw needs to be well balanced and lightweight for that very reason. This saw has a small room for improvement and innovation, so make sure you’re getting high-quality materials, and sturdy frames are probably the essential tip for buying the best coping saw.

Spending the vast amount of extra dollars on the high-quality saw is going to work out in favor though, as cheaply made saws may break, bend, and frustrate you to no end. Like other saws, you should keep in mind that the blades you use will affect the quality of cuts, and look for blades with high tooth counts when you need to do precision work.

Moreover, if you have bought a coping saw something in last many years, you have encountered the same issues that I did at that time. During cutting, the blade at the toe rotates, while the blade at the heel stays stationary. The results in broken blades and poor cuts. However, it was not always this way.

The saw has a 500 year track in woodworking. After purchasing and using vintage coping saw, our experts have concluded that the most modern ones aren’t worth much. They never tension the blade enough, and their frames are week at best. However, here are our experts offer three solutions:

  • Buy known concepts coping saw which is not very expensive, and its cost must be almost 150$ and tensions blade brilliantly.
  • Hunt down well-made vintage is a coping saw with a well-tensioned frame and stiff.
  • Improve your 12$ coping saw with 50 cents worth of hardware-store washers.

All these approaches are best. But before diving into the nitty-gritty, It’s important to understand where the ubiquitous woodworking saw came from.

From Throne Rooms to Toys

Either Greeks or Romans invented the frame saws. It wasn’t until the GoldenAge of veneered marquetry in the 16th century that bowsaws required for intricate work appeared. various woodworking historians think marquetry saws developed from the jewelry saw used to cut materials.

Moreover, by the 18th century, these sorts of saws were called Morris Saws. It relates to an inlaid game board for an old game. These coping saws were used for all sorts of intricate cuts, both jewelry, and cabinetmakers. The saw had blades to cut not just wood but brass, semi-precious materials, and tortoiseshell.

Essential Tricks to Fix Blade Coping Saw

coping saw

Before finding the best coping, you need to understand these three primary ways of keeping the blade aligned at both the heel and toe of the tool.

Tension Alone

Almost all coping saws use the frame alone to tension the blade and fix it in one position. Two arms of the frame will spread out, so the blade opening is big. You push arms together to get the blade into the frame, which tension the blade somewhat. You can also increase the tension by turning the handle clockwise, which pulls the frame’s arms even closer together.

Moreover, this works great if it the rigid and keeps its original shape. Various coping saws with lightweight frames lose their shape after few months. The arms bend in stay bend. Some key metallurgical points have been ignored or forgotten.


Some saws fixed detents or stops in a frame that help the blade stay aligned at the heel and toe. This situation works brilliantly or not at all. Few modern coping saws have detents that are shallow to hold anything, so you’re back to relying on the frame to keep the blade fixed.


Few older coping saw designs for fretwork use an ingenious system of pulleys or rollers to keep the blade aligned at heel and toe. The jones patent saw by the E.C. uses a string that passes through the saw’s frame to keep the blade aligned. The Fener patent saw uses a chain.

These coping saws work almost like magic. When you use these to see dovetail waste, you need to pinch the handle and saw frame with the fingers to lock the blade’s position.

Blade selection

The coping saws come in various tooth configurations. You can choose them with the different teeth per inch (TPI). The standard range of TPI is 10 to 20. If the material is thick, you can consider the skip-tooth blade. However, the vast spaces between teeth prevent the blade’s gullets from filling with sawdust. Our experts have found that the length of coping saw blades is not consistent. Some of the blades are longer as compare to the others.

How to Cut Through Coping Saw?

Here are many ways to set up the saw to cut any material through a coping saw. According to our experts, orient the blade so splintering or tearing from the blade is where you need it. When your work is sawing donkey or vertical in a vise, the teeth must point away from the saw’s handle, so the splintering is on the backside, which cannot be seen while standing at the bench.

Moreover, when sawing any material held horizontal, orient teeth, so they point toward the handle. The shatter will be on the backside of work facing floor, which you can’t see during sawing. If you’re removing waste with the saw, the tearing will be chopped away, so do whatever you want.

Many woodworkers prefer to saw work while it is held vertically in a vise when you set up work to saw it. But when you see 19th-century photos of schoolchildren sawing out Dinky bird, they hold work horizontal on the table a platform with a V-shaped cutout for support below.

You can hold the work with small pieces of work with your off-hand and saw with the dominant hand and hold the saw vertically. However, there’re times when the tool is the culprit, and we’re terrified. That is definitely the case when most coping saws. So, fix your saw and understand to cope.


The blade of the coping saw is made from tempered and hardened steel. The complaint is handled looks cheapy. But never let that stop you from purchasing this model. It’s a cosmetic flaw and never influences the quality of cutting in any way. Coping saws have various numbers of uses.

They’re used to make coping cuts from moldings to remove the extra wood from joinery and cut tight curves for various designs. The band saws and motorized scroll saws do the same work, but they’re immovable, and you’ve to take the wood to them, which can be challenging.