While sanding down my garden bench, I decided to make a design change. I chose to saw off the ball finial posts that are at the end of the armrests. I felt they were too tall and since I’m moving my bench onto our screen porch I didn’t want them obstructing the view if I was sitting with friends and chatting. So, I decided “Off with their heads!”
It was also the perfect opportunity to try out a new handsaw that Irwin sent me to test. They claimed that it is up to 3x faster than a traditional handsaw. Honestly I didn’t believe the claim. I mean – come on – a handsaw is a handsaw.
So, I decided to put their claim to the test with a good old fashioned match up.
In this corner we have the challenger: the 15″ Irwin Universal Handsaw.
And the reining champion in this corner is my trusty handsaw.
Let me back up and tell you that I have a like/hate relationship with that traditional handsaw. I bought it a long time ago before I could afford a compound miter saw (power tool). So, I bought an el cheapo plastic miter box to use with it when I wanted to cut perfect angles. It took me about a dozen times before I learned how to properly use the hand saw. The key is to let the saw do the sawing (well, duh, right?!) Trust me, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is so tempting to press into the wood. But, if you put any force or pressure on the saw, it will skip and bind. Instead you have to gently push and pull the saw back and forth a gazillion times until the saw works its way through the wood. It can be a brutally slow process.
So, back to the match up. I started with my traditional handsaw and started the timer.
About halfway through I had to take a break (and a picture). I gulped down some more coffee and continued sawing. (I stopped the clock at 1:15:20 when I took a break and restarted it when I began sawing again.)
Finally at 2 minutes and 32 seconds the ball finial met it’s demise and toppled to the ground. I wanted to topple down with it, exhausted.
I resisted the urge to go grab one of my power tools for the other side, but instead picked up the Irwin Universal Handsaw.
The angled handle felt a little strange in my hand (not bad, just different from the traditional one I was used to.)
I set the blade against the base of the post and began to saw. It cut through the wood easily and within 32 seconds it had lopped of the head of the other post. I was amazed. I double checked my timer, but it was working. Only 32 seconds and I was barely breathing heavy!
AND THE WINNER IS:
The Irwin 15″ Universal Handsaw by a longshot!
Here are a few details about the saw: It has a triple-ground tooth design, I’m guessing this has something to do with its speed. And the unique angled handle combined with the tooth design is supposed to eliminate binding. I had no binding, so it appears to work.
There are 45º and 90º angle markers built into the blade. I’m not sure that I would use them instead of my carpenter’s square, but I suppose they are convenient to have in a pinch. With a retail price of $18.99, the 15″ Irwin Universal Handsaw is a great and economic addition to your toolbox. (Especially if you can’t afford a power miter saw).
I’ve decided to send my traditional handsaw packing to make room for the Irwin Universal handsaw in my toolbox. Anyone want a gently used traditional handsaw for cheap?
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. I was sent the Irwin Handsaw at no charge, but the opinions and testing were my own and were not influenced by Irwin or anyone else. For more information you can view my disclosure statement HERE.