Great Cuts using a Veneer Saw

What is a veneer saw? A veneer saw is a hand held saw that is specifically made for cutting and trimming veneers. It has many fine teeth that saw through the veneer and it leaves no kerf in the cut due to it's thin narrow curved blade.

veneer saw

Why should I use a veneer saw instead of a utility knife? A utility knife or craft knife, as small as it may be, has a thickness to it. When cutting though a veneer, or multiple layers of veneers, the blade from a knife will create a small angle on the veneer edge. A veneer saw will leave the veneer with a 90 degree angle, so when you butt two pieces of veneer together there will be a better joint. A saw is also much better for thicker veneers or for brittle veneers.

Why is the handle on an angle? The veneer saw has an angle on it because of the way it is held when in use. It looks strange at first, but that is the way it is supposed to be.

Why are there teeth on both sides of the blade? There are teeth on both sides of the veneer blade because the blade can be removed and flipped. When one side of the saw gets dull, just re-position the blade on the handle and you can continue working.

Why is the veneer saw blade curved? As you use the saw, your arm will go from an extended to a flexed position. The curve allows you to have constant contact and equal pressure while you are cutting the veneer.

How do I use the veneer saw? Position a straight edge over the veneer at the location where you want to cut. It is helpful to have a large enough guide so that the saw blade can butt flat against it. Starting at the furthest point, pull the saw towards you. Do not put pressure on the blade to cut. Let the weight of the saw and your hand cut the veneer. Take several passes, it is not intended to cut the veneer in one pass. With each pass you are slicing some of the wood fibers. Watch the video below to see it in action.

What are some tips when using a veneer saw?

As well, as with regular woodworking, it is also recommended to cut across the grain first, then make the second cut with the grain.

You can also lightly dampen the veneer on the line that it will be cut to help with the cutting. The moisture helps to soften the veneer so that it is easier to cut.

Are there other ways to cut veneer if I don't have a veneer saw? As mentioned before, you can use a utility knife to cut veneer by hand in a straight line. If you do use a knife, use the thinnest possible and make sure the knife blade is as perpendicular to the veneer as possible. [But for the price of a veneer saw (about 20 dollars), it is worth to get the saw.]

You are not supposed to try to cut the veneer in one pass. Depending on the pressure you are applying and the thickness of the veneer, three or four passes withthe saw is what is normal. This avoids the little tear outs that would happen if you press too hard. You want the teeth of the saw to be cutting, and not to pulling the veneer.

 

Check out the video to see how easy it is to cut veneers with a specialized veneer saw. The saw he is using in the video is a Lynx veneer saw, which you can purchase at Woodcraft.com ( But in reality, the differences between hand held veneer saws made by different companies are not that big however.)