Knew Concepts Coping Saw
Reviewed by Robert Howard
If you want the short version of this review, I recommend that you stop reading now, and go buy this saw (or its Titanium mate
if you want to spend the extra money). You will not be sorry. If you need further justification, read on.
Most readers will be familiar with using regular, hardware store coping saws, and know how the blade bends in the cut. A better coping saw would not allow this to happen.
Now, roughly speaking, a blade secured with end pins can only bend significantly if the ends of the blade move closer to each other, and this can only happen if the frame flexes in the required direction. So what has been the problem? Well, making a stiff enough frame is easy enough. Making it light enough for comfortable use is a bit harder. Doing both cheaply enough for it to be commercially viable is a lot harder.
The essential frame stiffness problem, and the Knew Concepts solution, can be quickly demonstrated by bending a 300mm steel ruler. It flexes easily across its broad face, but not at all (by hand) across its edge. That is where the strength is. The light weight
is gained by using aluminium, and the principle of trusses, which allows cutting away much unnecessary material. Finally, modern, computer controlled manufacturing technology brought the costs down far enough to make the final product, if not exactly cheap, at least within reach of anyone who was prepared to spend extra for the very real advantages these saws offer.
The blade clamps have been improved by the addition of lightweight, knurled locking screws, which replace the original allen key operated set screws. Tension is applied directly by a lever operated cam, and indirectly by a screw thread that sets the point
at which the cam begins to work. The amount of tension created is impressive, and allows the blade to stay almost dead straight in the cut (assuming the saw is not being pushed too hard).
The clamps can be twisted in the frame to the left or right, with the extreme 45° position in either direction, as well as the central position, held by a simple indexing pin that slips into a notch in a slot at each end of the blade.
The saw handle is adequate, if not particularly beautiful, and can be used with either one or two hands. My own Knew Concepts saw is the more expensive, Titanium version, with the original flat frame. I have updated it by adding the new knurled screw clamps, and I have also made a longer, larger diameter handle made from a nice piece of figured blackwood. I like to use my coping saw with a two handed grip, and wanted a slightly longer handle, made from a more beautiful wood. The handle substitution was very easy to do.
The blades used are the pinless type, both Pegas and Pebeco brands are recommended. One advantage of these is that there is a considerable variety available, which could be essential if you use the saw for small or delicate work.
Now that you have the necessary information, I urge you to go and buy one of these saws. As I said above, you will not regret it. They are, without doubt, the best new coping saws on the market, and a joy to use.
Available from www.lie-nielsen.com.au