Veritas Carcass Saws - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A joy to use, these saws are well balanced, and fit perfectly in the hand - premium hand saws that will last a lifetime


Veritas Carcass Saws

The Veritas line of fine hand saws has now been extended to five models, with the introduction of two new Carcass Saws (05T07.10). In appearance these five saws are almost indistinguishable; they share the same black moulded high-tech spine (a composite of stainless-steel powder, glass fiber, and polymer resin binder), same high carbon steel blade stock, and identical open-grip bubinga handles. The differences lay in how the blades have been milled.
Carcass saws typically have longer, wider blades than dovetail saws or fine crosscut saws, making them more suitable for general bench work. These are the go-to saws when you need to make deeper and longer cuts; use them to cut tenons, miters, larger dovetails, dadoes, and for a range of general sawing tasks.

The saws share the same high tech spine
They also share the same shapely open-grip (pistol style) handle
The Veritas Carcass saws are available in either a rip or crosscut tooth configuration. Ideally you'll purchase them as a set, as they have differing functions. Rip saws have teeth that look and work like tiny chisels. The bottom of the teeth are flat, and they chip the wood fibres. These saws work best when you're sawing with the grain of the wood.
Crosscut saws, on the other hand, have teeth shaped like triangles (or sharks' teeth) that first score, and then shear wood fibres. They work best when cutting against the grain of the wood. As you can see from the illustration above, crosscut saws have a bevel ground on the teeth, rip saws do not - the teeth are ground flat. Veritas doesn't specify the bevel angle on it's crosscut saws, but typically they are at 20°. The same as on any cutting edge, too steep a bevel makes the edge dull more quickly.

Typical handsaw blade characteristics (sowing crosscut tooth pattern)    

A quick look at the comparison chart below will show you the similarities and differences between the two Veritas Carcass saws. As mentioned earlier, these are the same blades (and handles and spine for that matter) used on the other Veritas saws, but milled longer (11") and wider (2-3/8"), and, of course having the same thickness (.020"). The larger blades are necessary as these saws will typically be used to make deeper and longer cuts.
Veritas has chosen to maintain the same .003" set on all the saws. The 'set' refers to the distance that the teeth protrude from the sides of a blade. Too little set, and the blade may bind in the saw kerf; too much set and the saw may wander in the kerf. You might think that .003" of set is not very much; but lightly run your forefinger and thumb along the teeth, and you may be surprised at how much the teeth protrude.

Crosscut tooth pattern
Rip tooth pattern
Another angle that Veritas refers to is the 'included angle', which is the entire angle that contains the taper of the tooth and the gullet. Perhaps on vintage saws the included angle is different, but on every fine handsaw that I'm familiar with, the angle is 60°. I'm not sure why Veritas references this angle, as it doesn't appear to be overly important in the grand scheme of things.
What is important thought, is the rake angle, and the pitch (number of teeth per inch of blade). In fact, you'll find the greatest variation between saw manufactures on these two design factors (particularly the rake angle). The rake is the angle at which the teeth are ground. Saw makers select a rake angle they feel will make it easiest for you to start the saw cut, and give you the smoothest and quickest results. Crosscut saws generally have a steeper rake because cross grain is more prone to tear-out than straight grain. A higher rake angle also makes it a bit easier to start the saw cut. The Veritas crosscut carcass saw has a 15° rake, while the rip version has a 10° rake.

Carcass crosscut in oak
Carcass crosscut in pine
As you might guess, the more teeth per inch the slower the saw will cut, though you will get a finer cut. This doesn't matter so much with dovetail saws, as you're typically cutting thin stock. On thicker and wider stock, fewer teeth will speed things along. Though really, is there much to be gained by taking two or three fewer strokes? Perhaps, if you're a production woodworker. The Veritas crosscut saw has 14 TPI while the rip saw has 12 TPI. The general rule is that a saw with fewer teeth will have deeper gullets, the space between teeth through which the sawdust is carried out.
In essence though, the real test of a saw is how good it cuts, and how comfortable it feels in the hand. I find these Veritas Carcass saws a joy to use. The saws are well balanced, and fit perfectly in the hand. If the handle loosens, you can tighten it by turning a brass bolt that runs through the base of the handle. It's very easy to start the cut in hard or soft wood, no matter whether you begin with the blade positioned horizontal to the stock or slightly tilted. The saws are easy to control and cut super straight. At just under $70 a piece, these are terrific value in a premium hand saw that will last a lifetime.

 Carcass SawsJoinery Saws
RipCrosscutDovetail (Rip)Crosscut
Model #s05T07.0705T07.0105T05.0105T05.0505T06.01
Teeth per Inch1214142016
Blade Length11"9-1/4"
Blade Thickness.020".020"
Cut Depth2-3/8"1-9/16"
Overall Length16-3/8"14-1/4"
Included Angle60°

Carcass rip in oak
Surface left by rip carcass saw in oak

  • Available in rip and crosscut versions
  • 12 TPI (rip), 14 TPI (crosscut)
  • 10° rake (rip), 15° rake & 15° bevel (crosscut)
  • .003" set
  • .02" x 2-3/8" x 11" blades
  • 16-3/8" long
  • Bubinga handles

Manufacturer:Veritas Tools Inc.
Available From:Lee Valley Tools
Retail Price:$69.0 each or $119.00 both
Model #:05T07.05 rip
05T07.01 crosscut
Made In:Canada

Carl Duguay, December 2010 
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