Lie-Nielsen vs Bad Axe


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I'm making a list of hand tools I want to buy next year, and high on my list is a couple of saws.  I have a LN tapered carcass saw.  I was thinking of adding the LN tapered tenon saw and a LN tapered dovetail saw.  Eventually, as I get deeper into the neanderthal world (LOL) I will be looking at getting panel saws, too, but figure I can use my power tools for ripping and rough crosscutting at this point.  So, to the question at hand.  I like the LN better than the LV/Veritas, but have read a lot of raves here on the Bad Axe brand.  Bad Axe is a little more expensive, but not prohibitively so.  Are they worth the difference in price?

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I cannot really tell you if there is a difference in performance of BA vs LN because I never used an LN saw for an extended period of time. I do currently own 3 BA saws. In my opinion, the handles on the BA saws are more comfortable on the BA saws than the LN's. This may have something to do with the hang angle but entirely sure. The BA saws have a folded spine and I don't think the LNs do. This makes them easier to re-tension. I absolutely love the look of the BA saws and the customization options that they have. Probably not a lot of help, just my thoughts. I did recently buy 2 LN panel saws, mainly because the options for panel saws made from modern tool makers is limited.

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==>I like the LN better than the LV/Veritas, but have read a lot of raves here on the Bad Axe brand.

You've answered your own question.

 

==> Bad Axe is a little more expensive

BaT saws tend to be double the cost of LN.

 

==>Are they worth the difference in price?

Subjective.

The most important point is how the saw feels in your hands... It's so important that I'll repeat it: how the saw feels in your hands is way more important than brand. It's right up there with sharpness... Go to a tool show, take a dovetailing class or join a club -- do something where you can try them side-by-side...

In my journey towards tool anarchy, I've whittled-down my backsaw collection (I still have some way to go). But I should point-out that I sold-off every one of my LNs, but kept my Gramercy and most of my BaT saws. In my hands, the was a noticeable difference... A $100-$200 difference, well....

There's also a bit of apples to oranges comparison here. One is a factory-made saw with high fit-finish and the other is a hand made, hand set, hand filed and hand tuned saw... For now, I'll avoid the sometimes prickly question of hand-filing and hand-setting.

One non-subjective difference: using a folded sawback VS slotted bar stock sawback to support the plate... A folded sawback allows the saw to be hand-tuned before leaving the shop and retentioned over time... The other doesn't...

 

 

 

 

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I'll take a shot at this...

I had the LN dovetail and Carcass saw, and both were very nice saws. Couldn't fault them, they are nice to look at and cut wood just fine. I have sold them, and now I own Bad Axe saws. My dovetail saw just got finished in record time, and will be in my hands soon.

HHH is right, (as usual :) ) Go feel the saws in your hands, and the choice will be easy. But I think your curiosity has already made that decision for you :) 

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Choosing between these great tools will be a small issue. You literally can't go wrong with them. The risk would be buying one, the cuts are not square and you think the other one would make it better. Practice would make it better. Enjoy whichever you like the look of best.

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Thanks for all the input. I always respect and learn from all the woodworkers in the forum. I think I'm going to start out with the Lie-Nielsen saws. They're still a premium saw for someone wanting to delve deeper into hand work  and as I get deeper into it I'll better understand what custom filing I might want. When/if I get to that point I can see where Bad Axe would be well worth the investment. 

Thanks everyone. I'll post a tool gloat when I take the plunge. 

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==>spending more money on the saw won't necessarily make a huge difference, it'll just make you feel cooler while doing it. B)

Agreed... After all, Brian Boggs made his first chairs with a sharpened screwdriver...  The story is probably apocryphal, but it's great nonetheless... :)

Side Note: a local store sells Brian's chairs and outdoor furniture sets -- they are outstanding examples of craftsmanship...

 

But still, after seeing Mel's copper-backed BaT saws, you will feel cooler... Way cooler... :)

 

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49 minutes ago, hhh said:

But still, after seeing Mel's copper-backed BaT saws, you will feel cooler... Way cooler... :)

I'm a balding, aging fat guy.. There isn't much to feel cool about anymore. Hence, copper-backed saws. :) 

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2 hours ago, Llama said:

I'm a balding, aging fat guy.. There isn't much to feel cool about anymore. Hence, copper-backed saws. :) 

Yes I am with you on that. 

Here is what it boils down to for me! Besides the fact that they look cool! BA is a Veteran owned American company and Mark builds right here in the USA! 

This is a hobby for most of us and I get the same satisfaction using tools as I do with the finished piece. Bottom line, the tool I use to build the piece matters, to me at least

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Freddie - that's a nice joint. You sleep with that saw? LOL

jmaichel - who I buy from is very important to me, too. That's another reason I'm drawn to Lie-Nielsen and Bad Axe. American made, American ingenuity, high quality.

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Buy the one you fancy and can afford. They are all excellent saws, all much better than were made 100 years ago. You simply cannot go wrong with any premier saw available today. There is truly little to choose between them. What it comes down to is which one gives you  special feeling when using it.

The talent to saw straight and cut good dovetails is down to you, not the saw.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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