How to use a coping saw

A coping saw is a cutting tool widely used for woodworking and cutting various materials. If used correctly, the saw is not a difficult tool to handle. With a few tips and tricks, damage to the tool such as bent or broken saw blades can be reduced, and the finished cut will be much more beautiful.


How to use a coping saw

A coping saw is a manual saw consisting of a handle (handle), frame, and saw blade. It has a saw blade as thin as a thread, and by manually moving this thin saw blade, it is possible to cut out even delicate curves in woodworking and other crafts. The use of a coping saw is not difficult. Let us look at the basic usage in a few key points.

Preparation of coping saw

It is important that the coping saw has a saw blade with the right number of blades for the material to be cut. There are several types of saw blades: rough blades for wood, medium blades for plastics, fine blades for brass and copper, and the finest ultra-fine blades for cutting precious metals. Each has a different number of blades per length and pitch size, so it is recommended that you check carefully.

Also, the saw blade must be tight without any deflection. If there is any deflection, the saw blade will shake during cutting, causing the cut line to be distorted and prone to breakage.

Work environment

If possible, use a stable workbench with the material to be cut secured with a clamp or similar device. When cutting, hold the material firmly with one hand or foot. Basically, the material is placed flat and the coping saw is moved up and down for cutting. In some cases, a vise can be used to hold the material vertically, and the coping saw can be pulled back and forth.

To start cutting a hole

To cut a hole in the shape of a hole, a hole is drilled and a saw blade is inserted into the hole to start cutting.

Way of cutting

The saw blade is held perpendicular to the material, and the saw blade is moved up and down to cut. Both push and pull cutting directions are possible. Depending on the cutting point, the direction of the saw blade can be changed to suit the cutting direction.

How to cut curves and corners

If you want to cut in a curve, do not rush the change of direction and turn the saw blade gently to make a beautiful curve. If you want to make a straight curve, pull the coping saw several times in the area near the corner where you want to make the curve, which will widen the hole and make it easier to change direction.

Tips for skillfully using a coping saw

Troubles that tend to occur in the use of a coping saw include bending or breaking of the saw and difficulty to cut along the marking line. If you are aware of the tips introduced below, you can avoid these problems and cut cleanly with a minimum of force.

Hit on straight

People unfamiliar with the use of a coping saw may try to follow the edge line so much that they angle the saw blade against the material, as if tracing the edge line. In this case, the saw blade will not be stable and will shake from side to side, making it difficult to make a good cut. Moreover, since the saw blade of a coping saw is very thin, it can easily break or bend if it is subjected to sideways shaking force, which is dangerous. The saw blade should be perpendicular to the material, and the handle should be raised and lowered in small increments in a straight line.

Pulling without effort

Do not exert force against the direction of the cutting progress in an attempt to cut faster. The saw blade of a coping saw is very thin and can easily distort and break if pulled with more force than necessary. A light, rhythmic up-and-down motion with no force is not only safer, but also produces a more beautiful line of cut.

Firmly hold down

If the material is not properly secured, it may move during cutting, resulting in rough cutting surfaces and, in severe cases, accidents such as saw blade breakage. Clamp the material to the workbench, and use your free hand or foot to hold the material in place while cutting.


The coping saw is an excellent tool for making flexible cuts, including gentle curves and fine work. With a few tricks, even the unskilled user will be able to master it easily.