The history of the hand saw


Historically, metal hand saws from around 1500 B.C from Ancient Egypt and from Ur in ancient Mesopotamia has been discovered. Hand saw made from flints were discovered in southern France. Many hand saws made from stones have been discovered in Europe.

The Jomon Period: 14,000-300BC

From the Old Stone Age to the Jomon period, people used sharp stones and fish bones to cut meat and vegetables.

The Yayoi Period: 300BC-250AD

During Yayoi Period, iron was introduced, and more saws were made from iron instead of stones. Due to such change, most tools shifted from stones to iron.

The Kofun Period: 250-538

The very first hand saws were made around the fourth century. Dozens of hand saws from this time have been discovered. These very original saws were used like a sharpening file to make accessories, and not for cutting wood.

The oldest saw discovered from ancient tombs in Japan is the one from around fifth century.

A special saw which was presented to the Horyuji Temple.

The Asuka, Nara Period: 538-794

Buddhism was introduced in Japan in the sixth century. It had a great impact on wood working tools. Until then Japanese wood working saws were all cross cut saws. Rip cut saws were introduced in the mid Muromachi period.

This is the image of how Konoha saws looked like.

The Muromachi Period: 1336-1573

OGA(a big saw) was introduced as the first rip cut saw during the mid Muromachi period in the 15th century.

 The image of how OGA saw looked like.

The Azuchi, Momoyama Period

The demand for architectures increased dramatically during the the Momoyama period to the beginning of the Edo period due to increasing number of castles and its surrounding town. Oga saw was a great advance in how hand saw was structured. However, different types of saws, Kagari and Maebiki saws were introduced soon after.


The Edo Period: 1603-1868

Sometime in the 17th century, different types of saws for specific uses were introduced.

 MAEBIKI OGA (The Edo Period)

The Meiji Period: 1868-1912

From around the end of the Edo period to the Meiji period, there was a western influence in the field of architecture. Double edge saws with rip cut teeth on one side and cross cut teeth on the other became popular around the end of the Meiji period.

The Taisho Period: 1912-1926

Handmade saws became very popular from the Taisho period to the Showa period.

The Showa Period: 1926-1989

Around this time, hand made saws gradually shifted to mass produced saws with a replaceable blade.

The Heisei Period: 1989-Present

Japanese wood working saws are more recognized around the world.

The Heisei Period: 2019-Present

Time changed to the reiwa, and now Japanese wood working saws are more recognized around the world.