best hand saw in the UK

Best Hand Saw in the UK (Reviews & Buying Guide) – The Top 5 in 2022

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A hand saw is an essential component of any toolkit, but few DIY products come in a broader assortment of shapes and sizes, prices and brands.

At Property Workshop, we’ve tested many types of saws. In our latest closely fought contest, Stanley’s STA515244 FatMax narrowly wins the ‘best hand saw in the UK‘ award.

Part of the company’s iconic FatMax range, this hand saw was a consistent performer. It didn’t fall short in any area and frequently matched the best its competitors could offer – all at a competitive price.

Best Hand Saw in the UK – The Top 5 (2022 Reviews)

These are our picks as the best hand saws on the UK market, starting with a quality product from an iconic manufacturer.

1. Stanley STA515244 FatMax

Stanley STA515244 FatMax Fine Cut Handsaw 22-inch
  • 11 teeth per inch for a fine finish
  • Teeth are precision set to generate clearance of kerf for the blade to cut on both the forward and back stroke
  • Induction hardened teeth stay sharper twice as long
  • 3 sided precision ground teeth offer razor sharp cutting edges at every stage of the stroke
  • Bi-material handle screwed and ultrasonically welded for comfort and security

There’s little to choose between the best hand saws on the UK market, but we reckon Stanley has edged it. 

Stanley’s iconic FatMax range includes this fetching saw with a bi-colour and bi-material handle. This handle is ultrasonically welded onto the blade for an unburstable feel.

At 550mm, the blade is the joint longest on our shortlist, while an oblong hanging hole is found on only two of its competitors. 

The blade sports 11 teeth per inch, precision set to generate kerf clearance on the push and pull stroke. The three-sided teeth have also been induction hardened and precision ground, which Stanley claims will help them to last twice as long.

Three-sided teeth deliver excellent cuttingHeavier than some alternatives
Induction hardened and precision ground bladeNot the cheapest saw on our shortlist
Impressive construction techniques 

2. Barbarossa 500mm Pro Hand Saw

Barbarossa 20” 500mm Pro Hand Saw,Perfect for 1st Fix Heavy Duty Sawing, Trimming, Gardening, Wood Cutting, Plastic, Made from Carbon Steel with 8 TPI / 9 Points, Soft Grip Handle 20"
  • ✔️ The Barbarossa Universal Handsaw is designed for Heavy Duty all-purpose woodworking applications. The Barbarossa Handsaw is for general purposes and can used by both professionals & amateurs aswell as hobbyist, DIY maintenance or site work.  
  • ✔️ SPECIFICATION: Its features 8 Teeth per Inch (TPI)/9 points. High carbon steel blade that is ideal for rougher, more aggressive cuts. The Barbarossa Rip and Pull Handsaws have hard point teeth to cut up to 50% faster than traditional handsaws.    
  • ✔️ QUALITY: The Barbarossa Handsaw blades are made of high-quality carbon steel, a very resistant and strong one that enhances the blades' durability. The handle is made from pure ABS plastic material for excellent ergonomic grip and comfort. This Handsaw will always deliver a smooth finish in the different works on wood and others.  
  • ✔️ DESIGN: Designed for site work cutting thick Hardwoods as well as softwoods.  Anti-slip super grip handle resists slipping and adds comfort. The handle size will work with any hand size from small to extra-large and is designed to help lessen user fatigue when cutting.
  • ✔️ 100% GUARANTEED: You will love your Barbarossa Handsaw! For any reason, if you are not satisfied, you can return it for a 100% money-back guarantee. We value every one of our customers and strive to make sure your satisfaction is our number one priority.

Fine margins differentiate our top three saws, and Barbarossa’s crimson-finished saw only narrowly falls short. 

At 500mm, its blade isn’t quite as long as the Stanley, while 8 TPI is undoubtedly less impressive than 11 TPI. The ABS plastic handle may be anti-slip and well-shaped, but it feels more plasticky than the Stanley’s.

That aside, there’s lots to like about this product. The blade is fashioned out of high-grade carbon steel, while a weight of just 430g makes this a featherweight product. The induction-hardened teeth are effective on both the push and pull stroke, whether you’re tackling plastic or plywood. There’s also an index finger grip contoured into the handle, which is a nice touch. And finally – though not insignificantly – it’s the cheapest product we’ve tested.

AffordableNot the highest TPI
LightweightThe handle can feel plasticky
Well-designed handle with index finger grip 

3. OX OX-P133255

OX’s entry into our test strongly resembles the Stanley, swapping the latter’s yellow handle contrast for cyan. It matches Stanley’s 540-gram weight, and the 11 TPI along its 550mm blade but improves on it by offering an integral angle stop of 45 and 90 degrees in the handle. However, its small hanging circle might struggle to fit over hooks or nails.

As well as sporting an impressive number of teeth, they’re hardened for fine and fast cuts. This Australian manufacturer has installed a soft-grip handle that doesn’t become slippery during ongoing use. The only question mark surrounding it is a lack of longevity reported by some users.

Affordably pricedRelatively small hanging hook
Long blade with 11 TPIQuestion marks over long-term durability
Two cutting angles 

4. Draper Venom 80878 Second Fix

Draper 82202 Venom Second Fix Triple Ground 12PPI Handsaw, 500 mm Blade Length
  • Ergonomic comfort grip handle reduces fatigue and is sure to make your work convenient, smooth and quick
  • Integral angle stop 45° and 90° degrees built into the handle for enhanced precision
  • Triple ground teeth that have been hardened and tempered for fine and fast cutting
  • Optimum tooth design for effortless thrust and drag cutting; helping you to make quick and fine cuts on all types of wood/plastic consistently
  • Lacquered coating helps reduce friction and prevents corrosion of the blade surface

While the other saws on our shortlist have blades between 500 and 550mm in length, Draper’s entry measures a surprisingly modest 350mm. It is possible to purchase longer blades, but this particular item is intended for second-fix work in compact spaces. It’s aided by having an integral angle stop at 45 and 90 degrees built into the handle for edging and cutting in tight spaces.

A lacquered coating minimises friction on the 1mm carbon steel blade, while the triple ground teeth are hardened and tempered for improved cutting. 

Draper markets this product as ideal for timber and plastic, and the 12 PPI tooth design is the densest on our shortlist. 

The ergonomic handle is also rubberised and perforated for greater comfort, though the lack of length means you may have to work longer on sizable pieces of material. On the upside, it’s the lightest product we’ve tested.

High-quality bladeMore costly than larger saws in the same range
Lacquered blade and triple ground 12 PPI teethRequires a fair amount of effort to cut more oversized items
Comfortable, textured handle 

5. Spear & Jackson 9515K

Spear & Jackson 9515K Traditional Skew Back Saw, 24" x 7pts
  • For cutting timber, chipboard, plywood and other wood based materials
  • Universal teeth for general use, cuts along and across the grain
  • Skew back for balance and reduced friction
  • Delivers a Rough Finish Cut
  • High carbon steel blade

The main drawback to Spear & Jackson’s entry onto this list is its price. You could buy three of our other shortlisted products for the cost of this hand saw. That’s unjustifiable, especially since its carbon steel blade and 550mm length are identical to other products on this list. 

However, it’s the only hand saw with a contoured blade spine, helping to standardise the weight at both ends of the blade.

There’s no doubt that the 9515K is a fine saw. Its universal teeth cut along and across the grain, while they can be resharpened for added durability. The riveted wooden handle is pleasingly tactile, though it contributes to this being the heaviest product we tested by 100 grams. Trust us; weight matters when you’re doing lots of repetitive cutting! 

This saw is the only one we considered that didn’t have a hanging hole – a frustrating omission that Spear & Jackson should quickly resolve.

Tactile wooden handleFar too expensive
Being able to sharpen the teeth extends their lifespanHeaviest product on test
Strong reputation for quality 

Best Hand Saw in the UK – 2022 Comparison Table

ModelWeightLengthHandleCutting anglePriceRating
Stanley STA515244540g550mmPlastic90£9
Barbarossa Pro Hand Saw430g500mmPlastic90£8
OX OX-P133255540g550mmPlastic45/90£8
Draper Venom 80878350g350mmPlastic45/90££7
Spear & Jackson 9515K640g550mmWood90£££6

Hand Saw Buying Guide

The centrepiece of any saw is the teeth fitted to the edge of its blade. Some manufacturers make a bigger deal of this than others. For instance, Stanley publicises that their teeth are spaced at 11 teeth per inch (TPI), while Draper beats this with 12 TPI. By contrast, Spear & Jackson don’t disclose their TPI, while Barbarossa’s product only has 8 TPI – sufficient but hardly superlative.

Note: some manufacturers use PPI (points per inch) instead of TPI (teeth per inch).

Cutting prowess is enhanced by innovative manufacturing techniques. Below are some examples of how each manufacturer is trying to stand out in a competitive market:

  • Stanley’s saw teeth are three-sided and precision-ground. 
  • OX uses impulse hardened teeth. 
  • Spear & Jackson cross-grind teeth can be resharpened to increase the saw’s lifespan. 
  • Draper’s teeth are triple grounded before being hardened and tempered.
  • Barbarossa uses a staggered tooth design to reduce the risk of materials getting snagged as the blade is retracted.

Pro Tip: If you’re keen to minimise the physical effort required for each stroke, check out these tips from Paul Sellers.

Weight and Size

The number of teeth per inch is a vital metric of a saw’s performance, but so is its weight. Our shortlist ranges from 350g to 640g, with the latter requiring more physical force to return clean strokes. 

You should also evaluate how the handle feels in your hand. Perforated surfaces and rubberised coatings are generally more tactile and comfortable for ongoing use than a conventional plastic handle, which might become slippery as temperatures rise.

Another advantage (or drawback) of hand saws relates to their blade length. That’s why the Draper Venom is well-suited to working in restricted-space areas. The model we’ve tested is a shorter 350mm second-fix saw, though the company does produce 500mm and 550mm blades for people who value greater length. 

Even a second fix saw may end up playing second fiddle to a hacksaw for working under cupboards or beneath floorboards. And if you’re doing some precision cutting (such as around skirting boards), our guide to the best jigsaw is worth checking out.

Pro Tip: Saws are too big to fit into a tool bag, so a nail or hook on a shed or garage wall offers an optimised storage method. Four of our five contenders have hanging hooks, keeping sharp teeth out of the way of stray hands.

Final Thoughts – Best Hand Saw in the UK

Although it is a good product, we can rule out the Spear & Jackson 9515K purely based on its price. Being able to resharpen the blades will undoubtedly enhance its lifespan, but it doesn’t justify a price almost four times higher than the cheapest saw we’ve tested. 

The Draper is also relatively expensive, especially compared to other saws in the manufacturer’s range, though it’s an undoubtedly high-quality product.

Splitting the other three saws is more complicated. The Stanley FatMax just edges it by matching the OX’s length and weight while slightly improving its ergonomics. 

The Barbarossa is the cheapest and lightest saw we considered, with some excellent design flourishes, but it has a shorter blade and is perhaps less comfortable for ongoing use.