A Head Scratcher (A Saw Plate Mystery)

I do not pretend to be any kind of expert in hand saws, old or new.  I only know what I like and when it comes to buying vintage saws what I like is a full, meaty plate with no kinks or distortions.

A much used saw being readied to lose its tip and become a panel saw. In this case I will remove the final six inches by striking it repeatedly with a carbide stylus until I can snap off the extraneous material.

If a saw is generally nice but the plate is too thin at the tip, indicating a great many re-sharpens, I might pick it up and chop off the tip to turn it into a panel saw (such a tool will be featured in a coming post about my traveling kit).

Recently while outfitting my under-construction tool cabinet, I was installing the saw rack I had modified from its earlier wall-mounted configuration.  This provided the opportunity to once again review my inventory, to see what I was missing or needed to upgrade.


Most saws. old or new, bear some sort of marking to indicate the tooth spacing.  This can be either stamped near the handle, just above the teeth, or etched into the plate insignia.

This particular saw plate is a mystery to me.  What does the “27” mean?  It is certainly not a 27 tpi saw.  Perhaps there is a special nomenclature of which I am unaware.  In point of fact the saw is an 8 tpi cross-cut saw.