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What is a tenon saw?

What is a tenon saw?

Shop for Tenon Saws
A tenon saw   A tenon saw has a relatively short blade and a stiff spine running along its back.


mortise and tenon joint   Tenon saws are most commonly used for making the tenons used in mortise and tenon joints, hence the name.

Like dovetail saws, tenon saws have a stiff blade ideal for making straight, precise cuts. For more information on these types of joints, see our section: Glossary



hard and soft woods   A tenon saw is designed for use in hard and soft woods.


A variety of blade lengths are available, ranging from 250 to 350mm  


A tenon saw has a fairly short, stiff blade with a wooden or steel spine running along its back. On most models, the blade is not designed to be removed from the handle.

Teeth per inch  

Teeth Per Inch (TPI)

The blade of a tenon saw will usually have between 10 and 14 teeth per inch.

Compared to other types of saws, tenon saws have more teeth per inch which means they will create a neater finish. However, because of this they cut through materials slower than saws with fewer teeth, thus giving you more control over the depth and direction of the cut.

push stroke  

Cutting stroke

Most tenon saws cut on the push stroke only, but there may be some exceptions.

For more information, see our section: Push stroke saws vs. pull stroke saws

Tenon handle  


Tenon saws will usually have what’s known as a closed pistol grip handle.

The large handle supports the blade, and because it’s closed, the user’s hand is protected when sawing.

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