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Although the Stanley Fat-Max Extreme Instant-Change Saw System was announced last year, I finally saw it in the wild for the first time at Menards. Stanley also released what seems to be an identical product under their Bostitch brand, which has been on sale online for a while.

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We’ve covered a similar replaceable blade handsaw, the Ergo Handsaw System, in the past and our readers seemed underwhelmed. I can’t say I understand the appeal of one handle with many blades myself, especially when you’re really not saving much money over a full saw.

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By now your pockets are bulging with FastCap Pocket tools like the Pocket Chisel, Pocket Painter’s Tools, and Pocket Sharpener. Looks like it’s time to upgrade to pants with more pockets — FastCap now sells a Pocket Pull Saw.

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Growing up in Paul Bunyan country, I remember seeing antique two-man saws on display in many businesses around town. I used to picture lumberjacks a century ago, knee-deep in snow, hacking away at a 4-foot diameter tree trunk with one of these saws — no gas, no electricity, just pure muscle.

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My old dovetail saw gave up the ghost in the middle of building a toolbox for the side of my bench. The saw was one of those reversible types with a spring-loaded pin; the pin no longer held and was releasing in the middle of cuts. So I headed to the store to try to find a replacement. Rather than buy the same type of saw, I wanted to find a saw that was made for finer work. I spotted Irwin’s dovetail pull saw and figured I could hardly go wrong for $10.

Even thought Irwin uses the word dovetail in the name, they don’t include cutting dovetails in their product description. What they do say is they designed it primarily for flush cutting dowels and “any detail cut.” Then they give examples of people who would use the saw: an interior trim contractor or a fine woodworker. While the saw works well, there are a few reasons why this probably isn’t your go-to saw for fine woodworking.

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Take a look at Irwin’s new Universal Handsaw. If you’re like me, the first thing you’ll wonder is, “what the heck is with that hump on the blade?” It turns out Irwin is riding the multi-tool wave. The hump provides clearance from the handle so you can use the top of the blade as a straight-edge. Also, if you butt the handle up to the edge of a board, the slot and top of the blade are perpendicular to the edge and the other side of the hump is 45° to the edge.

Irwin touts several other improvements in this saw. The triple-ground teeth supposedly eliminate binding, and they’ll cut through most materials three times faster then “traditional” hand saws while giving the finished-looking cut of a fine-cutting saw. They mold the handle from lighter-than-wood high density resin, and the 0.85mm thick blade is coated with a water-based lacquer.

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Kevin covered Makita’s hypoid 7 1/4″ circular saw back in June, but there’s another feature in the range worth noting. That model, the 5477NB, has the same internals as the 5377MG pictured above, so you get the 15A motor, carbide-tipped blade, 2 3/8″ cut depth at 90°, and wear-resistant hypoid gears, but they’re contained in a magnesium casing. The result is a weight drop from 13.9 pounds to 13.0 pounds, and Makita claims the balance is improved as well.

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Bosch’s model 4410L miter saw is the kin of Cain, the Terminator’s son, and ten inches of high-RPM fury rolled into one. As far as table-top miter saws go, it’s hard to beat the dual-bevel sliding arrangement found in the 4410L. You get the smooth action of a sliding miter saw, and as a bonus, two angles of adjustment. You can change the angle of the blade relative to the backstop and relative to the wood’s top surface, allowing very complex cuts. There aren’t many woodworkers whose trades require such an elaborate range of adjustment, but they’ll appreciate how this saw makes very complex geometries possible. Geodesic dome out of two-by-fours, anyone?

You do pay a price for both Bosch’s name and the saw’s extensive feature list. Amazon’s asking price is a cool $526, which is reasonable compared to the saw’s $1,100 list price. The money will get you excellent quality, with positive detents for precise adjustment and cast angle markers that won’t fade with time. Of course not to be left out, it also comes with a laser beam attached to the head stock.

Via Amazon [What’s This?]
4410L [Bosch]

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If you’ve never tried putting a 5-1/2″ hole in a piece of 1/8″ stainless-steel, my advice is to avoid attempting something so mad. However, if you need to put big holes in tough materials, there’s no substitute for a set of carbide hole saws outside of a knee mill, water jet, or EDM, and none of those are easy to find in the average home shop.

Carbide is a machinist’s darling, and the material is superb for this set of 14 hole saws from MK Morse. $125 for the set is steep, but discounted thanks to Amazon’s usual excellent prices. Milwaukee makes a similar set of five hole saws, but a careful user can cut just about anything with a good, high-torque drill motor or drill press. The ability to tear a sizable, accurate hole in just about anything can be a bit of a tall order for standard bi-metal hole saws, but carbide is up to the task.

Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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Designed to be part of your basic camping gear, the 15″-long Gator combo axe by Gerber packs an axe and a razor-sharp 6″ saw in one 1lb 12oz package.

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