Bad Axe handsaws

For those of you who follw my instagram feed (james_son_of_james) you’ll know that I had some Bad Axe handsaws in the shop a few months ago. I didn’t say much about them because I was writing this review for Popular Woodworking.

Here’s what I didn’t get to say in the review – Mark Harrell is the Wizard of Wisconsin and he has cracked the freakin’ code with these saws.

The review policy at PopWood is simple. Buy it (for full price) to review or send it back when you’re done. Unfortunately, these saws were beyond my financial situation at the moment, (you have no idea how hard it was to send them back) but I will be saving up for one. That’s how good they are.

Let me tell you what I don’t like. I’m an odd-ball in the fact that I actually prefer Disston’s D20 series saws to the more venerated D8. I also don’t like thumb-hole handles. I can appreciate that people love the thumb-hole handles, but they’re just not my thing. I vastly prefer the larger handle on my D23 rip saw. That said I was absolutely in love with the larger sized, maple handle on the 24″ cross-cut saw. That’s honestly the one I wanted to keep the most (and will probably order when I finally can). Mark knows how to fit these to your hand for sure.

As you may expect, my freshly sharpened vintage saws could keep pace with the Bad Axe saws, but certain things were easy to appreciate, like the shiny, shiny plates. Not just for looks, but great at bucking friction.

I probably sound like I’m gushing, but these are great saws and I’m dreaming about the day I get one back in my shop for keeps!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. C33 says:

    Am I the only one who just can’t stand their name? I feel like I’d need to wear a T-shirt from Big Pecker’s or Dirty Dick’s Crab House to use one of these. (To answer my own question, yes, I’m probably the only one.)


    1. The Bad Axe river (originally “la mauvaise hache” in french) running through SW Wisconsin and into the Mississippi. It’s also the historical name for Vernon Co. Wisconsin, (and really the whole river valley) which is near the Bad Axe headquarters in LaCrosse. I’ve definitely had questions when I’m wearing my BATW shirt, but at least there’s a historical referent.


      1. C33 says:

        Interesting! Thanks for the education—I’ll try not to be such a name snob in the future.


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