Bad Axe 10" Luthier's Fret and Carcase Saw


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Current lead time: about 4 weeks for most configurations. Call or email for more accurate lead times.

Whether you're skillfully placing frets or delicately executing other luthier work, our Luthier Saw is the perfect companion. Crafted with the same .015 thick Swedish Spring Steel plate and 16 teeth per inch (ppi) as our renowned Half-Blind Dovetail Saw, it ensures impeccable control and precision. The addition of a depth guard specifically tailored for fret work guarantees consistent and accurate cuts for fret slots, enabling you to achieve the highest standards in instrument craftsmanship.

We designed an open-handled, thin (.015) plate 10" long saw with just enough plate below the back to accommodate a depth stop for making delicate fret-wire cuts on a guitar neck.

Precise, hammer-set toothline with a combined set that delivers a .022-.023 kerf, which promotes a compressive fret-wire fit.

Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight (UHMW) Polyethylene Depth Stop with knurled thumbscrews. The high lubricity of this particular synthetic provides a friction-free depth stop for your work that won't mar your exotic woods.

Traditional 1876-Wheeler-Pattern open handle, available in standard quartersawn White Oak, Cherry, Walnut, & Maple. Five sizes--from XS up to XL will fit virtually any hand.

The bottom line upfront:

  • 16 ppi 
  • Filed Cross Cut
  • Plate Thickness .015"
  • Kerf of .0225"
  • Depth of cut with depth guard - up to 3/4", Without Depth stop - 2 1/4"
  • Perfect for luthier work
  • Great for cutting frets and other delicate work

Backs: Traditional folded sawback finished in black-oxide carbon steel, or titanium nitride carbon steel. Read more about this critical component for any backsaw, and why Bad Axe promotes the enduring traditional folded sawback over commonplace static-backed saws that disallow retensioning the toothline with heavy use.

Have you purchased enough brass-backed saws already to know that they just don't age that well? It's a great look, but it doesn't take long for tarnish to set in, and over time a brass-backed saw deforms with hard use, wreaking havoc on your toothline. But it's traditional, right? And conveys a traditional, warm look we all like to see. But form only goes so far before substance sets in. You very seldom see brass-backed saws longer than 12" or 14", because brass just isn't a strong enough an alloy for larger saws. Steel on the other hand presents superior strength and durability. So-we at Bad Axe made the hard choice to phase brass out of our product line, since it's difficult to work with (it has a 'springy' quality to it), doesn't form well, tarnishes, and at the end of the day, just doesn't measure up to carbon steel, which can take a variety of plating’s for aesthetic purposes.

Long a favored finish for high-end firearms, titanium nitride presents stellar corrosion and wear-resistance, Titanium-Nitride hits the sweet spot when it comes to form following function. The tone falls between the look you get between brass and bronze, so it certainly scratches that aesthetic itch you desire. And the cool thing about it? We can apply Titanium Nitride on our largest sawbacks, where the strength and durability of a steel-backed saw is paramount. So, what are you getting for the $75 upcharge? It's obviously not cheap-because it's not a cheap plating process for us to apply. But what you get is corrosion and wear resistance, along with that deep, brass/bronze look that retains its golden luster over time. Give it a shot--this is a drop-dead gorgeous plating that will retain its deep, rich look for the generations to come.

Handle: Modeled after traditional 1876 Disston-pattern open handle. All Bad Axe handles are milled from full-heart quartersawn stock in Cherry, White Oak, Hard Maple and Walnut. Why quartersawn? Though it's the most expensive cut of wood, quartersawn stock mitigates wood movement with seasonal change, which can throw the plate out of true.

Bad Axe sources all handle stock from a family-owned business practicing sustainable lumber harvesting practices, and with whom we've done business from the very beginning. North American hardwoods: beautiful, sustainable, environmentally responsible.

Check out our hand size chart and measuring graphic in order to get the best fit on your new saw.

Handle Size Length
Extra Small Less than 3 1/8"
Small 3 1/4" - 3 1/2"
Regular 3 5/8" - 3 7/8"
Large 4" - 4 1/4"
Extra Large More than 4-3/8"
  • ". . . the more time I spend with this saw, the more I’m convinced that it is not only the perfect first serious saw for the woodworker building their nest of saws, but also the foundation of a compact yet highly functional set of saws." — Kieran Binnie, Birmingham, England, Over the Wireless

  • “It's always fun to have an excuse to break out the 'big guns in my Bad Axe collection. The flawless x-cut filing and sized handle make it one of my favorite tools!” — Anne Briggs-Bohnett, Anne of All Trades

  • “I often get emails from people asking that age 'ol question--"If I only buy one saw then what should it be?"--well let me honestly say that this is the answer. A back saw filed crosscut but rips as good if not better than some of my dedicated rip saws from other manufacturers. I'm certainly not trying to slag or disrespect any other hand saw manufacturers out there, but the proof is in the pudding. These saws are filed so sharp and cut so straight that once you finally get them in your hand, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. The models I have been using this week are filed 12 and 13 tpi respectively and one came tricked out in walnut and the other in cherry. Whether you're a cabinet maker or a boat builder, a luthier, or a timber framer, I can't imagine why anyone serious about wood working hasn't made the investment. It'll be the last saw you'll need but I'm damn sure you won't stop at just one.” — Master Craftsman Tom Fidgen of The Unplugged Woodshop, and author of 'Made by Hand' and 'The Unplugged Woodshop