Wargaming Tradecraft: Finely Serrated Hand-Saw


Finely Serrated Hand-Saw

I've had this post sitting for a bit because I wanted to get a good shot of the fine little serrated edges on this saw. (More on the microscope later this week) There are two things that make this saw great for hobbying - not only are the teeth fine, but it's also very thin.

You can find fine saws at hobby shops and some hardware stores, but might need to special order for something this fine. (Though I didn't need to) Readers Reid and War Frog mention using Jewelers Saws as another excellent source for finding fine saws. I've also talked about hobby knife sets in the past, though those saws are flimsier than this.

Since it's so thin, it allows you to cut areas that are tight without damaging your mini. You'll leave the areas you want intact alone, and preserve parts you cut off so they can be used as bits for other minis.

On the following mini, I used the saw to cut at the elbow so that I could reposition the arm. A wider saw would have destroyed a bunch of the arm. This way I don't have to do anything to rebuild it.

Why does it have to be so fine? Think of a file - thicker, coarser ones leave a rough surface and finer ones leave a smoother surface.

Saws are similar. Coarser saws are usually also bigger and wider. The teeth on a saw also tend to curve outwards a bit - larger teeth can get pretty wide.

The other thing is that saw blade are pointed and sharp - but not sharpened like a knife. Saw teeth need to be able to chew across a surface. At the scale of our minis, a saw needs to be fine so that the teeth can catch on it and do their job. Huge teeth won't actually be able to cut much of anything.

The other benefit of a saw, is it can often get into smaller places that snips / cutters can't reach.

Just to show how fine this saw is, here's a close up of the blades. There are 3 teeth per 1/8 inch... go look at a tape measure, that's tiny. Behind the saw is a penny... or a tiny part of one, since that's how close I'm zoomed in here.

T.P.I. (Teeth Per Inch)

Reader Reid mentions "TPI" in his comments and it's worth pointing out. The Teeth Per Inch is a rating of how fine a saw is. You can see in the picture above that there are 3 teeth in 1/8"... that means 3 * 8 = 24 tpi.  Wikipedia mentions you can find saw TPIs anywhere from 3 to 32.


  1. I've got me two of these, they are very handy tools!!

  2. I bought some toothed exacto blades. I forget how many tpi they have, but they are pretty fine. My sister is a jeweler and has an extremely fine coping saw. That industry might be a good place to look for precision saws.

  3. I have three saws; a hobby saw, A fine tooth like this on, and a jewelers saw. I feel if you are doing many conversions you need all three.

  4. Thanks guys, I've updated my post to mention jewelers saws and TPI, both excellent sources for these types of saws!


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