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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.

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]

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7 Responses to Preview: Irwin’s Universal Handsaw

  1. Stephen K says:

    The multi-tool functions seem pretty weak to me. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t have a speed square on them for angles and, as far as straight edges go, I prefer ones that don’t have teeth on the other side. If I’m not mistaken, the triple-ground teeth were already around, in which case the whole saw seems like a waste of time and money to me (plus I will be the first of many to say that I prefer the japanese pull-saw anyways).

  2. Gil says:

    What no lasers?

  3. Tom says:

    I love tools and was lucky to use one of these at the Bristol race in August and its amazing. I have used handsaws for over 30 years, not my first tool of choice because I like Lithum Ion now, however this new handsaw is amazingly easy to use. It cuts through wood with little force, not like the Stanley saws which require you to break your back to power through the material or wrist when it binds up. I have been looking online for it too and its only available in the UK at the moment. Hopefully Irwin offers it soon in the USA.

  4. Hal says:


    Give it up with the laser nonjokes. They stopped being funny and original a couple of years ago.

  5. fred says:

    We got to like Japanese pull saws because of the junky saws that became typical of western manufacturers in the 1960’s and 1970’s. When saws made by American manufacturers like Atkins and Disston were quality tools – carpenters could rely on them for decent cutting. I ‘m old enough to recall folks who set and sharpened these saws as a business. Saws were available in different tooth geometries for both ripping and crosscutting of different woods. For a while – you had to buy English to get a decent western style saw. But now – folks like Wenzloff are making old-style saws that are eye-openers – along with being purse-busters. I have nothing against utility toolbox saws with in induction-hardened teeth like this one or ones made by Stanley – but they are just that : utilitarian tools useful for cleaning up (completing) circular saw cuts in construction lumber. In this role – I think I like the western saw with its wider kerf and thicker blade better than a Japanese pull saw.

  6. Steven Downs says:

    I just noticed these are out on Amazon.com.

  7. JKB says:

    Just got the 20″ via Amazon. It works as advertised. It cuts smooth and easy leaving a fine finish edge. I even was able to cut a 1/8″ trim off a board although the edge left was a bit wavy due to my skills. The different placement of the handle took just a few moments to get used to.

    I’m not sure about the multi-tool features although I guess for a quick cut it beats digging out the speed square. To lay a line, requires two orientations of the saw since the angle causes a 1 1/4″ gap between the handle and the blade when using the back as the edge.

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