How to use saw tools

Updated: 10:37 AM 10/30/2022

Exactly how special saw maintenance tools are used is not obvious. I have collected some notes here about specific tools and some general information about how to sharpen a saw using these special tools.

I frequently use Jon Zimmer's excellent web site as a reference to identify various saw tools. (His pictures are also better than mine are.) He also sells tools and tool maintenance items. I have bought several of my tools from him and his description, and photos, are always accurate and I got exactly what I had expected. Some of his web links have stopped working, but the rest are interesting.

Data and instructions from 2021 and 2022

  1. Atkins, A 140 page book from E.E.Atkins written in 1895. This is mostly about keeping Atkins circular saws in good condition however is has information about their crosscut saws starting on page 66. Starting on page 78 is information about their saw maintenance tools. This information continues on to about page 83. Then starting on page 89 they discuss "Saw Maker's Tools" which continues onto about page 99. (PDF)
  2. Atkins, A 36 page text book about maintaining and using Atkins saws. (PDF)
  3. Disston, A brief set of saw sharping instructions from Disston. These instructions cover many important points about sharpening a saw. The data comes from England. (PDF)
  4. Grimshaw, A 106 page book on "Saw Filing" written in 1906. This a classic book on filing saws, it was written by an expert that covered much saw related data. It is not tied into any specific saw manufacturer. It has much saw tool information. (PDF)
  5. Simonds, This is a two page set of how to use Simonds saw tools. This is a typical set of instruction that were originally packed with a type 340 set of sharpening tools. (PDF)
  6. Simonds, This is a nine page set of instructions on how to use Simonds saw tools. This is a longer set of saw tool usage data. It was originally included with a type 342 saw tool. (PDF)
  7. Simonds, This is an eight page set of instructions for using a set of Simonds tools. This is another, but somewhat clearer, set of instructions for using Simonds's type 342 saw set tool. (PDF)
  8. Simonds, Information featuring Simonds saw tools. A booklet on sharping saws with Simonds saw tools. (PDF)
  9. Simonds, Information about files. Many operations with maintaining saws requires knowledge about files. This is a 28 page brochure on files. (PDF)
  10. Stanley, Saw Sets 42, 43 and 442 instructions. (JPG)

Data and instructions from October 2002

  1. Disston, Improved Side File. (PDF)
  2. Disston Triumph Saw-Set. (PDF)
  3. Disston, No 1 Setting Hammer and Hand Anvil. (PDF)
  4. Disston, Narrow Band Saw Setting Machine. (PDF)
  5. Disston, Instructions for Setting and Sharpening or Fitting Circular Saws. (PDF)
  6. Disston, The Conqueror Swage, Jumper or Upset. (PDF)
  7. Disston, Setting and Sharpening or "Fitting" Cross-Cut Saws . . . (PDF)
  8. Disston, No 1 Patent Double-eared Saw Gummer . . . (PDF)
  9. Disston, Hammering and Adjusting Circular Saws.(PDF)
  10. Disston, Directions for Circular Saw Point Swaging. (PDF)
  11. Morrill, How to Joint, Set and Sharpen Saws. (PDF)
  12. Simonds Precision Cross-cut Saw Tools, No 342. (PDF)
  13. Stanley "Pistol Grip" Saw Sets. (PDF)
  14. Stanley, New Design Saw Set No 42SS. (PDF)
  15. Taintor, Suggestions on The Care of Saws. (PDF)