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.
Irwin will sell a 15″ and a 20″ version of their Universal Handsaw. A quick check online fails to find a single US retailer selling Irwin’s Universal handsaw yet, but something very similar is available in the UK. There they call it the Irwin EVO Universal Saw and advertise a 19″ version for as little as £10 (about $16.)
Universal Handsaw [Irwin]