The Gent Saw or Dovetail Saw

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I do not know why the term 'Gent' is used here. It is a straight handled brass or steel backed saw of small dimensions. I presume the 'Dovetail' term stems from the suitability of them for cutting fine dovetails.

I have several examples varying in size from 20 mm x 100 mm blade size up to 44 mm x 220 mm.


The small sizes with very thin blades, often called razor saws, are usually sharpened so that they cut on the pull stroke. Razor saws are commonly used for aero modeling, but I have used then on occasions for fine detailed work on complicated types of bee frame.

The brass backed gent saw in the photograph below was added to my toolkit about 1961 and has had considerable use, being re-sharpened and re-set many times. The razor saws are so finely toothed that they are not considered as re-sharpenable. The blade portion can be replaced as the handle has a collet that will grip the extension of the backbone.


The larger gent saws were originally supplied to cut on the forward stroke, but I have re sharpened mine with fleam teeth to cut equally on both strokes.

The Gent Saw would more often be found among a cabinet maker's toolkit than in a carpenter's toolbox.