Rob Cosman Professional Dovetail Saw

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Above: The Rob Cosman dovetail saw comes presented in a sturdy wooden box which doubles as storage.

Reviewed by Robert Howard

Rob Cosman makes a statement about his saws, by presenting them in a wooden, finger-jointed box. No common cardboard box here. The saw handle is made from a speckled, black, composite material, rather than the traditional wood. It is well shaped, and although it lacks the traditional sharp corner details of the best saws, it is very comfortable in the hand.

At 491 grams (17.5 oz), it is over 50% heavier than the Lie-Nielsen. This is partially because the brass back is made from heavier stock, but its balance point suggests that a reasonable amount of the extra weight is in the composite material of the handle.
The 9" (225mm) blade is secured in the brass back with a series of copper pins, so that it cannot work free and introduce a buckle into the sawplate. I know this has been a problem with some Lie-Nielsen sawblades.

In a previous review of dovetail saws, I wrote about the compromise involved between a saw that cuts quickly, and one that is easy to start in a cut. Introducing negative rake on the teeth makes the saw easier to start, but makes it less aggressive
in its cut.

To help overcome this, the Cosman saw has two separate runs of teeth: at the tip, or toe, of the blade, there is a 2" (50mm) run of extra fine, 22tpi rip teeth, with a 30° negative rake. These are followed by the remaining teeth at 15 tpi (or 14 ppi), with around 4–5° of negative rake, which is, by today’s standard, aggressive (Lie-Nielsen, for example, is around 18° by my reckoning, while Veritas is 14°).

Once the saw is started with the fine teeth, I think most users will be able to handle the aggressive cut of this saw. As with other, high quality saws, the teeth have only a minimum amount of set (about 0.003" each side), as they are designed for use in dry wood.


Above: Comparing Lie Nielsen and Rob Cosman saw handles.

This is a beautifully presented and excellent saw, less complicated, and hence easier to maintain, than the variable pitch design. It feels good in the hand, and its weight is enough to carry it through the cut on its own. In particular, if you have difficulty beginning your cuts, then this saw is definitely worth trying.

Review saw supplied by Professional Woodworkers Supplies 

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