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Razor Saws and Their Uses for Miniatures and Models

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Two razor saws used by modellers with strengthened backs and fine teeth.

Razor saws used for cutting fine cuts in plastics, wood and metals, especially for hobbies such as modelling and dollhouse furniture.

Photo copyright 2009, Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

Razor saws are a very fine type of backsaw available in a range of tooth numbers, with more teeth indicating a finer saw blade. The finest are usually around fifty teeth per inch. (tpi) The fine (.008 and up) blades easily cut through metal, plastic and wood to a depth which depends on the depth of the saw blade. As the top of the blade is strengthened with a double faced metal edge, the saws will only fit in particular slot sizes of mitre boxes. If you will be using your razor saw mainly for cutting angled pieces in a mitre box, choose a combined set which works together.


  • Very thin cutting blades are strengthed with a wrapped top
  • Available in a range of depths and tooth numbers
  • Most are pull saws (work on pull stroke)
  • Inexpensive and easy to maintain


  • Used mainly for straight cuts from top down, will not follow curves.
  • Must check fit with your preferred miter box to get correct blade depth
  • Store carefully so blades don't warp


  • Buy higher tooth count blades for finer cuts that cannot easily be finished (inlay etc).
  • Buy a set of saw and mitre box if you will be using it for precise angled cuts.
  • Store where the teeth are protected and the blade cannot be bent. (a magnetic knife strip is good).

Guide Review - Razor Saws and Their Uses for Miniatures and Models

Razor saws with their fine blades can cut wood, plastic or metal with a very small kerf (slot width created by the saw), keeping a neat edge on both sides of the cut. Those with more teeth are used for fine inlay work on instruments or inlaid dollhouse furniture. Most are pull saws, cutting only on the pull stroke. The very thin saw blades are useful for cutting small pieces close to flush with the surface in preparation for sanding.

The strengthened back of the razor saw means the saw will cut straight lines useful for mitre cuts in wider pieces of wood or metal (up to four inches in most cases). For angled (mitre) cuts the saws should be used with a mitre box These saws easily cut metal, plastic and wood, making them a very useful tool for cutting a wide variety of modelling materials, and they are great for every type of model, from plastic airplane kits, through dolls house furniture and railroad cars and tracks. Fine toothed blades cut very cleanly through metals and plastic. Wood can be cut with larger tooth count blades if you prefer.

On some materials (resin pewter, some rubbers) the blade may bind. If possible you can use a bit of wax on the edge of the blade to keep it from binding in these materials.

The saws are available with different tooth per inch counts (tpi) and with different height and width blades. The strengthened back is considerably wider than the saw blade. Miter boxes are generally chosen that will allow your blade to clear the box slot. If you will be using the saw mainly for cutting angled cuts in a miter box, buy your saw as a mitre set.

The saws are available with changeable blades, but these tend to move in the handle more than fixed handle saws. For precision work, fixed handle saws are preferable. These razor saws are often sold (in slightly larger sizes ) as gentlemans saws

Price From $5 to $25.

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