Veritas vs Lie Nielsen dovetail saw

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  • #644216
    Chris Lengyel
    Participant

    Morning everyone, I’m a beginner wood worker looking to buy my first saw. I’m primarily looking for a saw to cut mortise and tenon and dovetails. I have narrowed down to 2 saws, Veritas 14 ppi dovetail and the Lie Nielsen 15 ppi dovetail. I live in Canada and can get the Veritas for $115 including shipping and the Lie Nielsen for $200 including shipping. I’ve read a lot of reviews and the Lie Nielsen always seems to come out as the superior saw. I guess my question is, is the extra money worth it if this will be the only saw I’ll be using for awhile as I have other tools I would like to acquire? Thanks in advance for any input I get.

    #644226
    joemonahan
    Participant

    I am a relative novice, but I have used the Veritas and a number of other saws to cut dovetails and tenons. The best saw I have found by far is a $20 Japanese saw with the curved handle. They are great for cross cuts too. I cut everything from trim to 2xs with them and they work great. For fine dovetail work I use the smaller Japanese pull saws you can buy at any of the big box stores for about $15 or less.

    https://www.woodcraft.com/products/okada-z-saw-japanese-life-saw-s-265-for-saw-guides

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by joemonahan.
    #644231
    Jim Anders
    Participant

    I weighed the same decision when I started and chose the veritas. Simply to put the money difference into other tools. I sharpened it to my liking shortly after getting it and haven’t looked back.

    #644238
    David Eakins
    Participant

    I’m a long time woodworker and own both Veritas and Lie Nielsen saws. I find the quality of the value of the Veritas far exceeds the difference in cost. The LN is prettier but the Veritas performs extremely well. Having said that, if you’re new to woodworking, give careful consideration to japanese saws. You may find cutting on the pull stroke, especially when trying to be accurate at the beginning of the cut, easier with a japanese saw.

    #644274
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    Having size 8 hands (US medium), I find the Lie-Nielsen saw handles preferable to the Veritas’ ones, which I suspect are more comfortable to those with wider palms. The LN also cuts more aggressively, but as dovetails often – perhaps mostly – are shallow, that doesn’t matter very much to me.

    Two things that might matter are widths of the dovetail joints and if a dovetail saw-guide is to be used. Using a coping/fret saw to remove the waste, I suppose becomes more attractive as the width of the waste increases. For these wider, and usually deeper joints, the thicker kerf of the Pax 1776 dovetail saw makes turning the blade of the coping saw a lot easier for my awkward hands.

    Secondly, I don’t mind using a dovetail saw guide, particularly on thinner material. As Mr David Charlesworth demonstrates in one of his woodworking videos, using a western saw with a guide can provide quite accurate an precise results; which can be somewhat improved by the use of a Japanese saw. As those pull-saws can be found at more modest prices; including a guide could potentially be within reach – particularly when posed against a Bad Axe Tool Works Stiletto dovetail saw, which I am quite keen on. After all, one cannot have too many dovetail saws, can one…

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

    #644353
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    I haven’t used a bad axe. Maybe someday.

    The main difference I see is that the Veritas saw has 14° rake and the lie Nielsen is almost plumb rake ( at least the one I used, which admittedly had been resharpened. ) They have the same thickness plate. (.02”) The LN seemed ‘catchy ‘ to start. If I owned it, I’d detune the first 2” or so.

    More important is that the 14 tpi ( 15ppi ) of both saws is about at the limit of my ability to file and set. I have a 8” 16 PPI Disston D4 that, although it is only one tooth finer, is markedly more difficult to sharpen with a 4” file. I’d stay away from the 20tpi Veritas unless you are a sharpening maven and have needle files.
    My Disston has a plate that measures.016” and gives a finer kerf, so it’s still my go to saw for small dovetails..

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #644374
    Sandy
    Participant

    If cost is not an issue and you want a good saw… BadAx has some great saws. They are a bit heavy but they cut really nice. I tried one last time I was in Highland woodworking store and really liked it however, they are very expensive. I’m a bit more conservative with my money so I opted for the Lie Nielsen. I haven’t used the Veritas saw…. but I don’t like the looks of them… Not a good reason not to buy one but it is my opinion. I also have a Lynx. Its even more moderately priced and has worked very well for several years. If you can go to a store that has several brands, give them all a try.

    https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/hand-saws.aspx

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Sandy.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by Sandy.
    #644400
    Julio T.
    Participant

    I have the Veritas 14 tpi one, and it is really a wonderful saw. It cuts well and fast, and has a tooth size that makes sharpening without too much difficulties possible. I haven’t tried the Lie Nielsen saw, but I wound’t be very sure that the difference of cost would worth. I can’t speak about saws with smaller teeth, since I’ve followed the Paul’s advice when he says that very small teeth are difficult to sharpen by hand and it’s easy to file the entire tooth if you don’t be careful or if you aren’t an expertise sharpener.

    I have an old William Hall Hope dovetail saw too. I found it in a flea-market and got it for 0,50 euro. After cleaning and sharpening for a rip-cut it is one of my favourite saws now. That said, if you would put it besides a Veritas or a Lie Nielsen saw it would look old -very, very old-, dark, ugly and poor, but it makes its work extremely well, so the look of the saw can be an interesting thing, but not an essential one.

    #644403
    Sandy
    Participant

    You can’t beat an old saw. I don’t know if its the material they are made of or the way they are made but they sharpen good and seem to last a lot longer. I have an older Pax that I really like. You are right about the finer toothed saws though. They are hard to sharpen and take special files. The Lynx that I have is vey fine toothed and I’m not sure I could sharpen it. Maybe with diamond files.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Albert Einstein

    #644406
    Julio T.
    Participant

    I was in New York last November. I bought a Pax beech-handled Gent’s Saw with 16 ppi at Tools for Working Wood, in Brooklyn, and this is the limit of sharpenability for me. I’ve bought three Bahco needle files for sharpening it when it is necessary, but I’m sure I will sweat a lot of fear, the filing time won’t be a few minutes nor an easy process and the results won’t be to be showed to everyone…

    #644414
    Chris Lengyel
    Participant

    Thanks for all of the reply’s. I decided to order the Lie Nielsen so that I have a decent saw to start with. I feel like Veritas is a good quality company but I prefer the traditional look of the Lie Nielsen.
    My plan is to look for a few used saws later on that I can learn to sharpen and set properly without fear of ruining the saw.

    #644435
    Sven-Olof Jansson
    Participant

    If allowed, I’d like to add a few points in defence of Bad Axe Tool Works’ pricing. After having placed an order for their D8 analogue, I had the opportunity to have the handle made bespoke to my left hand. The number of teeth per inch, rake angle, and set were all made to be optimal for my major intended uses. Communications with the company was a delight, and though I had to wait 12 weeks for the saw to be delivered; ever since my rip- and re-sawing no longer meander worse the Thames through London. Though not on the line, I am acceptably close to it.

    In all fariness: Thomas Flinn-Garlick have been very obliging to my suggestions for bespoke TPIs, angles, and sets. Unfortunately, I didn’t heed to the message when once their contact person [Katie] remarked: ‘That was an unusual request’. Apparently, the common properties of hand saw blades are their for a reason…

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Boston, MA

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