Coping Saw

By: Fix-It Club

The handle of the coping saw allows the user to make turning cuts.
The handle of the coping saw allows the user to make turning cuts.

Coping saws are useful for making curved cuts on thinner materials around the home and shop.


What Is a Coping Saw

A coping saw uses a very thin metal blade stretched on a metal frame to make turning cuts on wood, plastic, or metal depending on the blade selected. The U-shaped frame has a swiveling spigot (clip) at each end to hold the ends of the blade. A hardwood or plastic handle allows the user to turn the blade during the cut. Most coping saws have 12 to 15 teeth per inch, though coarser and finer blades are available for specialized jobs.

How to Safely Use a Coping Saw

To install a blade, set the frame's front edge on a bench and hold the handle so it is pointing up. Attach one end of the blade to the spigot farthest from the handle. Then press down on the handle to compress the frame so the other end of the blade can be attached. Release tension and adjust the spigot as needed.

To safely use the coping saw, firmly hold the material in a vise or with clamps. Place the saw's central teeth on the line to be cut and push the saw in a short stroke to start the cut. Continue the cut, turning the handle and frame as needed to follow the cut line. For safety, keep hands and other objects away from the sharp teeth.

How to Maintain a Coping Saw

Replacement coping saw blades are available at most hardware stores. Make sure you select the appropriate blade as indicated by the number of teeth per inch.

Tools Related to the Coping Saw

Other useful handsaws include the crosscut saw, ripsaw, backsaw, keyhole saw, and hacksaw. In addition, electric jigsaws can be used for some coping saw projects.


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