7 Best Fret Saws of 2022 [Buyers Guide]

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Do you want to make smooth cuts, tight curves, or some intricate woodwork? You need a fret saw to get the best result.

A fret saw is similar to a coping saw and you may feel that both will do the same work. However, a fret saw has a shallower blade and can handle tighter corners and more precise cuts than a coping saw.

best fret saw

If you’re confused about the best fret saw to purchase for your fine precise cuts, this post will show you top-rated fret saws that are perfect for dovetail clean-up, making interior corners, cutting curves, and/or scribing joints.

This post will also explain to you how to choose the best saw when buying a fret saw. Read on

Top 5 Fret Saws Comparison Table

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Product Name

Number of Teeth

Blade Length

Price

Woodworker Fret Saw for Dovetails

75

5 Inches

Knew Concepts Fret Saw with Lever Tension

45

3 Inches

Olson Fret Saw (SF63507)

20

5 Inches

Bundle Grobet Fret Jewelers Saw

49

4 Inches

Knew Concepts Fret Saw for Woodworking

75

3 Inches

Best Fret Saw Reviews

1. 5in. Woodworker Fret Saw – Best fret saw for dovetails

This is one of the best and perfect fret saw for beginner and professional woodcutters. What makes this fret saw unique and attractive is its designer frame. The 17.8in. by 11.42in. by 2.72in. make the saw suitable for dovetails.

This fret saw has an aluminum frame, which makes it long-lasting. Its stable and rigid build keeps the blade stable. This is especially helpful for delicate and intricate cuts.

This fret saw comes with a 15 TPI, 7-skip tooth blade. This blade enables you to make a smoother cut. The blade-mounting system makes it possible to rotate and lock the blade at a 45° angle either to the right or left. It has a unique blade holder that makes changing blade and tensioning simple – thanks to the simple cam lever.

The handle, made of beechwood, fits into your hand easily and comfortably. This lightweight fret saw is a must in the toolbox for beginners.

Benefits:

  • This fret saw is simple to handle.
  • It is portable, easy to adjust, and easy to carry around.
  • The blade comes sharp out of the box and is easy to sharpen
  • The aluminum frame is very strong and durable.

Drawbacks:

  • It is relatively expensive
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2. Knew Concepts Fret Saw with Lever Tension

This is another amazing fret saw from Knew Concepts. Unlike the Knew Concepts’ fret saw reviewed above, this one is a 3in. woodworker fret saw with lever tension. It’s your best option if you’re looking for a fret saw with a setting for a 3in. blade position model.

Aside from the 3in. blade position and its lighter weight (just 4.4 ounces), it shares every other feature with the Knew Concepts 5in. woodworker fret saw. It comes with an aluminum frame, which gives the fret saw stability.

The saw comes with a 7-skip tooth blade with 15 TPI. This makes the blade perfect for delicate woodwork. You can also rotate the blade at an angle of 45° to the right or left. This saw features cam lever tension that enables you to change the blade rapidly. It also has a removable blade feature. That means you can adjust any type of 3in. blade as per your design.

Benefits:

  • It is lighter, maneuverable, and very easy to adjust;
  • It cuts curves sharply and precisely
  • The blade can rotate at a 45° angle left or right.

Drawbacks:

  • The frame is not very deep. So, it can’t be used for cuts that are too deep.
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3. Olson Saw SF63507 Fret Saw (Flat Wire Frame)

This is the most affordable fret saw on our list. One amazing thing about this fret saw is its deep frame, which enables you to reach deeper from the outer edges and make deeper cuts.

It uses a removable thin blade with plain ends only. That means you can use any type of 5in. blade with this fret saw as long as it is suitable for your work. Aside from cutting delicate woodwork, this fret saw features a stable wireframe, enabling you to make cuts using both push and pull strokes.

This fret saw has a wooden handle that is both comfortable and pleasant to hold. When not in use, this handle can be easily folded between the frame for easy storage. Note that the Olson Saw SF63507 doesn’t come out of the box with any blade. You’ll have to buy a suitable 5in. blade for your work. Also, note that it won’t take coping blades.

Also, this fret saw doesn’t come with any tension-controlling feature.

Benefits:

  • It has a longer and larger frame for deeper cuts
  • It features a stable wireframe
  • It is nice and sturdy
  • Handle can be easily folded for easy storage.

Drawbacks:

  • It doesn’t include a blade
  • The blade cannot be rotated
  • It doesn’t have any tension-controlling feature.
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4. Bundle Grobet 4in. Fret Jewelers Saw

Unlike most other fret saws out there with flimsy frames, poor blade tensioning, and inadequate blade clamps, the frame of this Bundle Grobet is made of high-quality ¼in2 stainless steel. This means that this frame is strong enough to withstand adequate blade tensioning.

You can achieve the adequate blade tensioning by using the knurled tension screw. More so, the frame is deep enough to allow you to cut into a depth of 4in. There is also a tough anvil screw that you can adjust to center the blade perfectly.

This Bundle Grobet fret saw comes with a 1in. wide, 4in. long plastic handle. This handle doesn’t only fit the hand properly but it also provides adequate control and comfort. This fret saw accepts normal 5in., size #7 spiral, fret, jewelers, or scroll blades. It also accepts some smaller size blades.

If you’re looking for an excellent fret saw to remove waste from dovetails; make smooth cuts, tight curves, or some intricate woodwork; and perform detailed marquetry, the Bundle Grobet 4in. Fret Jewelers Saw is your best option.

Benefits:

  • The blade tension can be easily adjusted if necessary
  • It has a set of blade clamps that securely hold the blade
  • It has a tough anvil screw to perfectly position the blade in place
  • It comes with a strong stainless-steel frame
  • The handle is made of plastic and fits properly in the hand, providing adequate control and comfort.

Drawbacks:

  • It doesn’t come out-of-the-box with a blade
  • The frame is not so deep.
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5.  Knew Concepts Fret Saw for Woodworking

The Knew Concepts 125.005 MK III 5in. Fret Jewelers Saw with Screw Tension is perfect for fine woodworkers, as well as jewelers, luthiers, and model builders. Like other fret saws from Knew Concepts, this frame is made from 1/8in. thick milled aluminum with a red anodized finish.

The frame is lightweight but rigid enough to allow the blade to be tensioned to a full 40lb. This doesn’t only improve the accuracy of the overall cutting but also minimizes blade breakage and defection.

You can easily adjust the tension in the blade using the large, strong knurled screw tension knob. There are also a set of knurled blade clamp knobs to hold the blade firmly and prevent slippage.

This fret saw comes out of the box with a dozen 15 TPI, 7-skip tooth blades.

Benefits:

  • The blade tension can be easily adjusted via the strong screw-based tensioning system
  • Has a set of knurled blade clamp knobs that securely hold the blade to prevent slippage
  • It comes with one dozen 15 TPI #7 fret saw blades. So, you need not buy an extra blade
  • It cuts very fast and smoothly.

Drawbacks:

  • The handle may become erratic after larger fret woodworks
  • The Blade does not rotate.

6. 3in. Woodworker Fret Saw with Screw Tension

This is another amazing fret saw every woodworker should have in their toolbox. It is very similar to the Knew Concepts 125.005 MK III 5in. Fret Jewelers Saw with Screw Tension in operation except that it is a 3in. fret saw.

Like the Knew Concepts 125.005 MK III, this frame is made from 1/8in. thick milled aluminum with a red anodized finish. Although the frame is lightweight, it is yet rigid to allow the blade to be tensioned to a full 40lb. This doesn’t only improve the accuracy of the overall cutting but also minimizes blade breakage and defection.

You can easily adjust the tension in the blade precisely using the large, strong knurled screw tension knob. There are also a set of knurled blade clamps knobs to hold the blade firmly and prevent slippage. This fret saw comes out of the box with a dozen 15 TPI, 7-skip tooth blades.

Benefits:

  • The blade tension can be easily adjusted via the strong screw-based tensioning system
  • Has a set of knurled blade clamps knobs that securely hold the blade to prevent slippage
  • It comes with one dozen 15 TPI #7 fret saw blades. So, you need not buy an extra blade
  • It cuts very fast and smoothly
  • It provides extremely precise blade tensioning.

Drawbacks:

  • The handle may become erratic after larger fret woodworks
  • The Blade does not rotate.

7. StarVast Fret Saw for Woodworking

The last fret saw on our list of the best saws is the StarVast Fret Saw. Unlike other products in this list, this is a manual fret saw set containing 20 pieces of 150 mm rotate teeth saw blades and 6in. depth fret saw for woodworking and jewelry making.

Although the frame is not as deep as that of the Olson Saw SF63507, it is made of 3/8in. truss-style aluminum with powder paint finishing. This makes the fret saw not only strong and durable but also impossible to easily get deformed.

There are also a set of knurled blade clamps knobs to hold the blade firmly and prevent slippage. You can easily adjust the tension in the blade by rotating the wing nut. This will help to improve the accuracy of the cut.

The saw blades can work great on wood, acrylic, plastic, wax tube, metal sheet, and any other materials. StarVast Jewelers Saw has an ergonomic Pro-touch handle, which offers comfort to users.

Benefits:

  • It has a comfortable, ergonomic Pro-touch handle
  • It comes with 20 saw blades. So, you need not buy an extra blade
  • Has a set of knurled blade clamps knobs that securely hold the blade to prevent slippage
  • It offers durability and long-lasting performance.

Drawbacks:

  • The frame is not so deep.

How to Choose the Best Fret Saw

There is no overall best fret saw to handle your smooth, curved cuts, detailed marquetry, and other fine woodwork. The fret saw for you will depend on your preferences and the type of work you need the fret saw for. After all, the satisfaction you’ll derive from a fret saw comes with accurate cuts.

This buyer’s guide presents factors to consider when choosing the fret saw!

The Depth of The Frame

This factor is very important. The depth of the frame will determine how deep you can cut from the outer edge of the wood or material you want to cut. A fret saw with a deeper frame will enable you to cut far from the edge. The depth of the frame usually varies from 5in. to 20in.

The TPI of The Saw Blade

Another consideration is the saw teeth if you want a smoother cut and this is determined by the TPI (Teeth Per Inch). Just as the name depicts, TPI is the number of teeth a saw blade has per 1in. The more TPI a saw blade has, the smoother its cut would be. Generally, a fret saw should have a TPI of at least 15.

The Blade Quality

This also includes the material of the blade. Some saw blades are only suitable for cutting certain materials and may not be able to effectively cut through special materials. You must choose a fret saw with the blade material or quality suitable or required for the material you want to cut – wood, plastic, metalwork, and so on.

The Handle Shape and Material

A good grip makes an accurate and deep cut and this depends on the shape and material of the handle. If it’s a wooden handle, it must be made from the best of woods, such as beechwood. If it’s a plastic handle, it must be made from a high-quality plastic material. A barrel-shaped and well-polished handle will offer a good grip for ease of work.

The Availability of the Saw Blade

Some fret saw brands come with a saw blade out-of-the-box, some even come with extra blades while some don’t provide the blade with the fret saw. While it’s not a must, it’s a plus for you if a blade is available with your new fret saw. Most follow-come blades perform excellently except for fret saws with removable blades.

The Tightness of the Wingnut, Wing Grips, and Clamps

The last factor to consider is the tightness of the nuts, grips, knobs, and clamps. Check if they are all properly tightened to keep the blade in place. If any of the nuts, grips, or clamps are loose, it may either make you uncomfortable with your work or lead to an accident.

Final Verdict

If you have to make an intricate or precise design using wood, plastic, or metal, then the use of a fret saw is a must. Choosing the fret saw is equally very important because the best saw for your work will make your design smoother and more precise.

If you’re looking for an affordable fret saw, the Olson Saw SF63507 Fret Saw is your best choice. It has a very long frame suitable for deep cuts. However, this fret saw doesn’t come with a blade, and it doesn’t have any tension-controlling feature.

But if you need a durable fret saw with a blade and sturdy tension-controlling feature, opt-in for any Knew Concepts fret saws. The only shortcoming is that frame length, which is at most 5in.

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