Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw Review
The new Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw is a departure from the standard hand saw since it can deliver faster cuts with less binding and works with many different kinds of materials. You can use it with PVC, vinyl, laminate flooring, as well as with both hard and soft woods. With a unique, patented tooth grind, this can saw does a fine cut finish with a coarse saw cut speed.
Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw Features
There are a number of features that differentiate the Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw from a conventional wood saw. The first is the handle design and how it lowers the handle position closer to the plane of the tooth edge. This actually helps to direct the movement of your hand more parallel with the cutting edge which, along with the new tooth design, helps reduce binding. The new tooth design has a profile that allows rapid material removal. The small tooth size helps to give the smooth finish. The combination of the tooth design and small tooth size helps to give the fast, yet smooth finish. The teeth of the saw are precision sharpened and tempered to give both long life and flexibly with the materials you might want to cut. This saw will work for PVC pipe and trim, rigid vinyl products, hard and soft woods and laminate floors. The handle on the the Universal Handsaw is made of a high density resin to keep the saw lightweight with a yellow rubber overmold that provides good grip. Towards the top back side of the blade are both 90 and 45 degree markings that provide for a reliable and convenient straight edge for quickly marking work surfaces. The blade profile has a tapered pitch nose that gives better clearance in tight spaces yet still gives stability to the saw.
Testing and Use
The Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw was used on a number of different materials to try it out. To start, we tried our hand at cutting some 1×4 pine; of which it cut quickly and smoothly. What we noticed is that while it does cut fast, don’t expect it to be a perfectly smooth finish. You will still need to touch it up with some sandpaper for fine woodwork. For many, if not most applications, the cut edge will probably be more than satisfactory. We also used it to cut some pine door stop trim, 1×3 maple and PVC pipe. Pretty much if you work out of a tool box in the back of your truck, you can almost ditch some of your other saws because this one does do it all – within reason, that is.
We do wish that the saw came with slightly better edge protection since the included, thin cardboard sleeve will not last long. The true key to keeping a saw like this in good working order, is to protect the cutting edge while not in use and of course not trying to cut metal or other hard or inappropriate materials with it.
The Irwin 15 inch Universal Handsaw should be a tradesman’s friend and we suspect that many will go out and snap one up. Even a home workshop would benefit from having a great handsaw around for when it is not convenient to drag out that power saw. Given the real world usefulness and the ability to combine features from different types of saws into one, we give this saw a Performance rating of 8/10. We liked the 45 and 90 degree built-in marking features and also the comfortable handle design which helps to add to its Value which we rated at an 8/10 as well. Should you need a larger saw, Irwin also has a 20 inch long version with the same tooth count and features for just a few more dollars.