Medallion Dovetail Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A fabulous Canadian-made dovetail saw - sadly, no longer in production


Medallion Dovetail Saw

As far as I'm concerned, Ed Paik, owner of Medallion Tools in Oakville, Ontario, has 'the touch'. The touch for making a gem of a hand saw. His Medallion 8" Dovetail Saw is as wonderful to use as it is to look at.
The saw I tried out had a 15 ppi blade with the teeth hand cut and set in a rip pattern, which is best for cutting dovetails, as you're typically cutting with the grain. However, the saw is also available in a 16 ppi crosscut format. 15 ppi is a good compromise - more teeth would produce a marginally finer cut, but require somewhat more effort. The Medallion cuts very quickly - only 6 strokes to cut to a depth of 3/4" in a 1" piece of hard maple.
Ed uses polished Swedish spring steel (tempered to RC 48-52) for the blades, which are 8" long and have a 1-15/16" cutting depth. An 8" blade length is fairly common among dovetail saws, though I prefer a 10" blade. The longer blade allows for a longer stroke, so you can cut faster. However, a shorter blade does give better control, particularly for woodworkers new at dovetailing.
The blade measures 1/64" (.0156") thick and has only 1/128" (.0078") of set on each side. While a narrow set gives a narrow kerf, which is what you want when sawing out the dovetails, you don't want it so narrow that the saw binds. In use the Medallion delivers a lovely 1/32" (.0312") kerf, without a hint of binding. You can't get much better than this on a Western style saw.

A 1/4" by 3/4" solid brass back holds the thin blade rigidly. Like most dovetails saws that I've seen, the Medallion has a slotted back, rather than the more traditional folded back. I think it looks a lot nicer. The downside is that should you accidentally damage the blade you can't remove it from a slotted back.
The classic bird's eye maple handle (fixed to the blade with traditional brass split screws) was the most comfortable saw handle I've used. Just like a Savile Row tailor Ed customizes each handle to the user's hand size. You'll appreciate this if you have a particularly smallish or largish hand.
The saw comes fully sharpened, and unless you're cutting hundreds of dovetails a day, will last several years before it needs to be re-sharpened (which Ed will do at a very reasonable rate). I used the Medallion Dovetail Saw over a three month period, cutting dovetails (and the occasional crosscut) in a range of hardwoods - the saw cuts exceptionally fast. The narrow set makes it easy to start cuts and it tracks like a bloodhound. Superbly made, excellent heft and balance, remarkable value.

NOTE: Sadly, Medallion Toolworks is no longer in operation.


  • 13-1/2" long overall
  • 1/64" x 1 15/16" x 8" blade
  • 15 ppi (rip pattern)
  • 1/4" x 3/4" solid brass back
  •  Bird's eye maple handle

Manufacturer:Medallion Toolworks
Available From:Currently not in production
Retail Price:-
Model #:None
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, March 2010, rev. 2013
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!