Many thanks to Peter Evans, The Tradional Tools Group (Sydney) for making this list available.


Some References on Saws and Saw Sharpening --- Compiled for The Traditional Tools Group Inc by Peter Evans


The Web is a growing source of information – and disinformation. A good start is:, this includes references, and is a good primer on saw sharpening and, some useful information., a beginner’s experiences Brent Beach is obsessive on sharpening, would probably take you a few hours to fully explore his web site. This is a detailed guide to his approachl, a lot of information on saws and sharpening, excellent had a good primer on sharpening, and covers other issues of saw refurbishment has many references including a lot of Disston material, rather than the specific web addresses below you are probably better off starting at the home address.; note the specific references below, may be better to access through the home page, rather than type in a long address provides an in-depth look at Disston saws and has extracts from a number of Disston publications.


[if you see something you like on a website, download it because either the material or the site may not be there tomorrow]



Currently in Print:

Keeping the Cutting Edge: Setting and Sharpening Hand and Power Saws, Payson, Harold H., Wooden Boat Publications, 1988

The Complete Guide to Sharpening Leonard Lee

Classic Hand Tools by Garrett Hack, chapter 10

The Handsaw Catalog Collection – A compilation from the following catalogues E.C. Atkins & Co. of Indianapolis 1919, Henry Disston & Sons of Philadelphia 1918, Simonds Manufacturing Co. of Fitchburg, Mass. 1910, and Spear & Jackson of Sheffield, England 1915, Astragal Press 1994, 136 pp

Henry Disston & Sons Company General Line Catalog 1876, Henry Disston & Sons Company. 86 pp (reprint)

Simonds Saw Mfr. Co. General Line Catalog, Simonds Saw Mfr. Co., 195pp (reprint)

Patented American Saw Sets, An illustrated patent directory 1812-1925, 2nd ed, Todd L. Friberg, Osage Press

Hand-saw Makers of North America, Schaffer, L. Erwin, 1999, Osage Press

Hand-Saw Makers Of Britain: A Checklist Of Hand-Saw Makers, Schaffer, Erwin L. and Don McConnell, Osage Press, 151pp

Saws & Sawing, Ian Bradley (Workshop Practice Series), Trans-Atlantic Publications, 1986, 96pp

Saga Of The Saw Filer, Holbrook, Armstrong Mfg. Co. 2006 (1st publ 1952), 45pp

Saw Filer’s Handbook, PS Quelch, Armstrong Mfg. Co. 2006 (reprint), 130pp


Out of Print (where available on-line as PDF files, the web location of the file is noted):

Toolmera Collection of Books on Sharpening (Downloadable PDF's)
Toolmera Collection of Trade Catalogues (Downloadable PDF's)


A good selection of Disston Literature can be found at:-

The Saw in History, published by Disston, many editions up to at least 9th in 1978, 4th in 1916,

also available at

Disston Saw, Tool and File Manual, Henry Disston & Sons, many editions until 1955. A number of editions at

The Hand Saw, how to use it, how to choose it, how to keep it, Henry Disston & Sons, 1st edition 1876, last edition 1955 (by which time Disston was a subsidiary of HK Porter), a number of editions available at
and also at:-

Disston Tool Manual For School Shops A Book of Practical Information on the Construction, Use and Care of Saws, Tools, and Files, Disston, many editions beginning 1927

Disston Lumberman's - Containing a Treatise on the Construction of Saws and How to Keep Them in Order, Disston, 1st edition 1888 and many later editions until ?, the 1902 edition reprinted by Astragal Press in 1994. the illustration is the cover of a booklet (probably WW2 period of an extract from the Lumberman title.


Disston Handbook on Saws, Disston, 1st edition 1907, and several later editions. 1914 and 1919 editions available at
also the 1912 edition is at

Disston Catalogues, many editions, including 1876, 1887, 1906, 1911, 1914, 1920, 1949; 1914 reprinted by Roger Smith in 1976, some extracts from this catalogue are on the web at

THE HAND-SAW. How To Use It, How To Choose It, and How To Keep It, Henry Disston & Sons, 1875, available at

Proper Care of your Hand Saws, Disston Division of HK Porter Australia

The Disston Crucible - A Magazine For The Millman, Disston & Sons; vol III No. 8 September, 1914 is available at:-

there were a number of issues up to 1928 at least; they are rare and expensive to acquire; they probably ended up in the furnace when read.

Why a Saw Cuts, F.M. Bassler, Henry Disston & Sons, 1916

The New Line of Disston Handsaws, Henry Disston & Sons, 1928, 21pp,



The Pruning Book, Roland B Gilman, Henry Disston & Sons, 1921 and later editions, 105pp

DISSTON saws ∙ tools ∙ files ∙ knives ∙ steel, 1950’s booklet with ads + 22 blank note pages for the tradesman

Disston Illustrated Trade Price Sheet, 1954, shows there is a still a fairly wide range of saws listed, available at

Carpenter's Notebook, 1950s, brochure with a few pages of saws, plus note sheets for the carpenter to make notes – about timber perhaps? Available at


Better and More Economical Sawing, Disston Steel - Henry Disston & Sons

The Mysteries of Disston, Disston


The cross-cut saw, Simonds Saw and Steel Co, Fitchburg, MA, 1929

The Simonds Saws & Knives, Catalogue No. 19, 1919, reprinted by Roger smith in 1994


There are a number of catalogues over the years; Simonds still exists as a company, but no longer makes hand saws.

How to file a cross-cut saw, Simonds Saw and Steel Company, 1937

How to File a Hand Saw, Simonds Manufacturing Co

The Professor and the Saw: a Little Story for Those Who Like to Use Tools, Simonds 1915, Pamphlet 47 pp

Hack Saws and How to Use Them, Simonds Saw & Steel Co, 1958, 31pp

Simonds Guide For Carpenters, Simonds Saw & Steel Co, 64pp

Simonds Guide for filers and Sawyers, Simonds Manufacturing

Simonds "The Circular Saw"

The Care and Use of Circular Saws in Woodworking Plants, Simonds Manufacturing, 1946, 88 pp, available online and also as a reprint

The Circular Saw, Simonds



Saw Sense, E.C. Atkins & Co, 32pp, available at

E. C. Atkins Silver Steel Saws - Saw Sense, E.C. Atkins & Co, available at

The Atkins Saw Book for Home Craftsmen, E.C. Atkins & Co, 1930, 32pp

Atkins Metal Cutting Saws, Atkins Metal Cutting Hand Saws, Atkins Circular Metal Cutting Saws blades, Hack Saw Blades, Hack Saw Frames Atkins Kwik-kut Power Hack Saw Machines, etc, early 1900s

Saws in the Filing Room, E.C. Atkins & Co, c 1910, 64pp

The Saw Its Ancient and Modern Development, E.C. Atkins & Co, nd

Atkins Catalogs, a number of editions including 1914, 1919, 1928, 1941 (Atkins Saws, Saw Tools, Machine Knives & Files Catalog, 155 pp)

Atkins & Co Saws – Saw Tools Mill Specialities No 18, 1919, E.C. Atkins & Co, 246pp

Atkins Mill Saws, E.C. Atkins & Co, booklet, nd c.1920’s

Atkins Saw Book for the Farm Workshop and Woodlands, 1931,

Other US

Winchester Catalogue 1923,

The filers' success, J H Miner, 1915, 24pp

Miner's Manual of Saw Hammering and Filing, J. H. Miner, B.F. Ulmer Company, 1905, 60pp

Spear & Jackson

The story of the saw, P. Jones and E. Simons, 1961, Spear & Jackson, Ltd., Sheffield, 80pp

Concerning Saws, Spear & Jackson Ltd,

Saws, Knives & Tools For Sawmills, Spear & Jackson Ltd, 1924, 58pp

Spear & Jackson Saws and Tools Catalogue No. E7, 1953, 132 pp

Some Hints on the Care and Maintenance of Handsaws, Spear & Jackson Ltd, 1960’s ?, 11pp



Servicing Your Saws. W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner LTD., Sheffield c1950, 20pp


What You Should Know about Handsaws, Sanderson Brothers and Newbould Ltd, Sheffield

The Tyzack Family History Site



Sawology: A Nicholson handbook, Nicholson File Company, 1959

"---being a brief account of the History, Manufacture, Variety and Uses of saws for the cutting of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, hard plastics and rubber, wood, and other dense materials . . . A useful handbook and guide for the shop superintendent, production foreman, mechanic, or home craftsman."


Service Manual, Maintenance of Circular Saws, Wiltshire File Co., Melbourne, 20 pp

Service Manual for Maintenance of Handsaws Prepared by the Service Department, The Wiltshire File Co. Pty. Ltd, 20pp

Turner Atkins Quality Saws, Saw-Blade Information, booklet

Early Texts

Saw Dictionary - The Care, Selection and Proper Fitting of Handsaws, Charles Johnson 2nd ed, 1909, 50pp

Saws : their care and treatment, HW Durham, William Rider & Son, London, 1916, 272pp (a US edition in 1917), State Library of NSW S621.93/1

The saw doctor's handbook, Drabble & Sanderson, 1925

Boynton's Improved Patent Lightening Saws. New York, E. M. Boynton, Sole Proprietor And Manufacturer. No. 80 Beekman Street. 1872, 24pp.

HAND SAWS. Their Use, Care and Abuse. How To Select, and How To File Them. ... Fred T. Hodgson. Philadelphia, David McKay, 1888. Available at

SAWS: the history, development, action, classification and comparison of saws of all kinds, by Robert Grimshaw, the 1880 edition reprinted by Astragal Press as Grimshaw on Saws

Saw Filing and Management of Saws, R. Grimshaw, The Norman Henley Publishing Co., NY, 1912

The Art of Saw-Filing, scientifically Treated & Explained on Philosophical Principles, H.W. Holly, John Wiley, Y, 1st ed 1864, a number of revised editions, 56pp. Get it at (1882 ed)


Suggestions On The Care Of Saws, By C.C. Taintor: Inventor Of The Taintor Saw Set. Taintor Mfg. Co, NY, 1908, 23pp

Saws and Sawing, by Sydney Lister, 1st edition 1937, Lomax, Erskine & Co., London, 150pp, picture of a later edition 1946 cover

Saw Efficiency, Ohlen-Bishop Saws, Columbus, Ohio, 1937, 60 pp

The Art of Saw Doctoring, Wide Bandsaws, by Arthur Simmonds, 208 pp

Monagen Saw Works Price List, 1860 catalogue reprint 1976, 36 pp

COVEL-HANCHETT Saw and Knife Fitting MANUAL, Covel-Hanchett Co. Big Rapids, Michigan, 1943, 472pp



Woodworking magazines occasionally print saw and saw sharpening articles:

Fine Woodworking #68, Sharpening Handsaws, It's a matter of knowing all the angles, Harold H. Payson

Fine Woodworking #39, The Backsaw, How to buy, use and sharpen this basic tool, Ian Kirby

Fine Woodworking #125, Sharpening Handsaws, Make your saws cut straight and fast, Fred Wilder

Fine Woodworking #121, Soup up a Dovetail Saw, Refile teeth and reduce set for better cuts, Mario Rodriguez

Fine Woodworking #183, Sharpening a dovetail saw, Chris Gochnour

Fine Woodworking #22, Sharpening saws, principles; procedures and gadgets, J. Paquin

The Woodworker, 1920 Volume XXIV, Woodworking tools – The Saw, a series of chapters across issues starting at p120.

Many old woodworking texts (few in print, but generally available 2nd hand) have a chapter on saw sharpening; some good ones are:

Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide, many editions, vol 1, ch 15 “Saw Filing” 24pp

The Woodwright’s Companion, Roy Underhill, University of North Carolina Press, 1988


Hand Saw Sharpening, Tom Law, ALP Productions

Sharpening a Dovetail Saw

Tune up a dull saw to cut fast and straight in five steps, with Chris Gochnour


A Tool Kit for Sharpening Handsaws, find out which tools are required to revive a dull handsaw with Chris Gochnour


The Roy Underhill TV shows for 2006 are now available on the web, whilst the picture is small, they are pretty clear (on high speed). There are bound to be some saw related shows in previous years, hopefully archive shows will become available over time: Note that you are not able to download the videos.



This is a work in progress; if you see errors in any of the above or have additional material please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., thank you


Additional saw references to 1st version – March 2008

Text Book of Atkins Silver Steel Saws Hand Rip and Panel How to Care for and Use them for Manual Training Schools Mechanics Farmers and all Users of Saws, E.C. Atkins., 1927, 28pp

More information:

The Saw Its Ancient and Modern Development, E.C. Atkins & Co, 1906, 58pp. A history of Atkins in a historical context, published by the Atkins Advertising dept, which probably says it all.

Saws and Sawing Machinery, Eric N. Simons, 1946 [Powerhouse Library]

US forestry Service reference list:


Revision History
Initial check that links were working and prune/update any dead links. Ray 3rd August 2008
Fixed links for changes at wkfinetools. Ray March 2009