Wooden boat builder

I stumbled over a TRT saw quite by chance. I was looking for an all-round practical saw that was not too expensive, and found one at a local store. It was not an established tool shop, so I took one with me and had no great expectations to its handling. I had only one choice which was a black 20" 11 tpi/12 point saw and was quite surprised to find that it was significantly different to the usual saws on the market here in Norway. I have bought a lot of saws in my time, mainly Scandinavian, but also an American brand and the British brand once or twice. However, the difference in the whole sawing experience was quickly apparent. My first thought was that it was new and sharp, but I found that after considerable use that it was an extremely stable and fast cutting tool that has proven to be my favorite.

I have now used various examples of the TRT saws in numerous types of wood and plywood. I have tested them for a while now and have been considering why these saws function so well. I believe that the stiffness of the blade is a notable factor, but the crucial feature is the geometry of the teeth. It looks like TRT have combined Japanese or eastern inspired teeth geometry with the western style sturdy blade and handle to make robust and fast cutting tool that proves to be a winner in both crosscut sawing and rip cutting. It cuts best on the push, but also to some extent on the draw.

The handle is a nice feature, as the grip is large enough for my hands. Like a lot of craftsmen I find that many modern tool makers do not put enough emphasis on the design of the handle, some are too small in handle size which is tiresome in the long run, however I find the TRT handles quite comfortable.

When in need of a quick cutting saw for larger dimensions of timber, I tried the TRT 20” 7tpi/8 points saw and found that it cut quickly and precisely through Scandinavian pine which is a very common material for boat building as well as house construction here. This saw is an efficient cutting tool that outdid my usual rough cutting saws in both speed and surface finish. When cutting through oak which is a hard and dense wood type, it also proved to saw a quick and easy cut that was very satisfying. When sawing through large dimensions of moist wood, I have been frustrated that saws are pinched or have to squeeze through the cut at the same time as cutting. This can be tiresome, but the balance and setting of the cutting edges of the teeth gave me no trouble cutting through a large piece of fresh timber.

I make the interior joinery in boats, and some furniture using hardwoods and various tropical woods. I found that the rigid backed tenon saw was also a very impressive tool, and I am happy to saw with such a precise saw as the 10” 7tpi/8 point saw. After cutting a half and half joint, I only had to scathe the saw cut with a sharp chisel and the two pieces could be joined snuggly together. It is very fulfilling to work with good tools.

I have always used different saws for different tasks, and will continue to do so, on the whole. However, I have found that the TRT western style hand saws have proved to be a good all round saws that are capable of many tasks.

Espen Sommerfelt

Wooden boat builder, Norway.