Ryoba Japanese Saw

Reviewed by Steve
Jan 15, 2019
Home > Bow Reviews > Ryoba Japanese Saw

The Japanese saw or nokogiri is a type of saw used in woodworking and Japanese carpentry that cuts on the pull stroke, unlike the European saw that cuts on the push stroke. This allows it to have thinner blades that cut more efficiently and leave a narrower cut width (kerf). Push-saws require a thick blade to remain rigid. Otherwise, the blade would flex as the user pushed on the handle. A pull-saw, on the other hand, is under tension rather than compression during cutting. Therefore there is no stiffness requirement, and the blade can be much thinner.

Ryoba-SawJapanese style saws have also gained popularity outside Japan. If you haven't tried a Japanese two-sided (what is called a ryoba) saw, you should, I find it a really versatile saw. There are a number of advantages over Western pattern saws. The ryoba has a rip saw on one side and a cross-cut saw on the other. The saw cuts on the pull stroke so it is under tension when cutting and won't bend or buckle when it sticks. The blade is thinner which means less wood is cut and thus less effort is required. The long handle helps you line up the cut.

The first item on the list bears a bit of explaining. Saws are designed differently according to how they will cut the wood. In general, saws to cut across the grain (cross-cut) have blades which cut the wood. The edge of the tooth is shaped more like a knife and cuts the fibres of the wood. A rip saw which cuts with the grain of the wood has teeth which are shaped more like a chisel and take bites out of the wood. This ryoba saw is an extraordinary fine, precise and fast saw which is at home whether just preparing shafts or more especially if you dabble in the black art of bow making, the addition of a ryoba saw to your tool kit will change the way you think about cutting wood.


The hardened-blade professional-level saw is wonderful to use. The speed, accuracy Ryoba-Sawand cleanliness of the cut must be seen to be believed. The blades are made of high-quality tempered steel. The ripping side features an 7.5'' - 8 tpi edge. The cross-cut edge is 7.5'' - 16 tpi. This saw has the ability to exchange blades, the small screw just above the rattan handle will enable the blade to be easily removed or replaced. This saws blade is resharpen-able. The entire blade is made of very hard steel. It is ground from thick material and the original thickness is kept in the shaft of the blade.

The Japanese are well known for their attention to detail when engaged in making craft items and this is another one of those occasions when they have created a perfect tool to perform complex and delicate cuts, the home bowyer or fletcher needs that control.

Pay proper attention when using this style of saw, having been brought up with somewhat cruder push saws it is an easy mistake to start pushing on this style of saw, if you do you are likely to damage the delicate blade - so go slow and get ultimate control on your finer cuts.


Blade length 180 mm, overall length 395 mm, blade width 60 mm, blade thickness 0.5 mm, tooth spacing 1.5 / 3.0 mm


Features & Design

The Japanese probably spent a millennia getting this tool right.


A cross cut and a ripping saw, the "cut on the pull" way this saw works will give you a fine and accurate cut

Value for Money

Good saws are generally expensive items and with good care will last a lifetime, this however is very well priced and yet offers all the advantages of an expensive saw.


Use one and you will know why this saw gets 5 Stars.

Essential Details

Price : £26


Double sided Ryoba Saw


The Blade 180mm or 7 1/8"


Close up of the very effective cross cut blade set up - you can cut slices of wood thinner than cheese.


This side of the blade will cut with the grain like a knife through butter.


No dairy reference for this picture...


This little screw allows the blade to be released.

Steve and Andy

Steve Nicholson and Andy Gilfrin, are real archers interested in the best archery suppliers have to offer. In our search for the very best bow, arrows and equipment we have shot, used and worn pretty much everything on offer.

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