How Versatile Are Short Japanese Blades?

The term “short Japanese blades” refers to a popular model of compound mitre saw, sometimes called a Japanese saw with a self-centering double jaw. Used for many years and gaining popularity in Europe and North America, the double jaw self-centering design made it ideal for home and small shop use. Originally developed and designed for heavy duty cutting into very hard and thick materials, these chisels are now popular with homeowners, particularly for cutting softer materials such as wood or plywood. They come in several different sizes and designs to fit most any need. However, they can also be used effectively for precise work where accuracy is required.

Short Japanese Blades


The single and double sharpening option on most models makes it easy to perform the task of sharpening at home. A small and lightweight single sharpener is often included on most Japanese chisels. Using a traditional or dual grinding stone set with a self-centering blade lets the user achieve very sharp edges. Even a single stone on the top allows for extremely sharp cutting for many applications.


Another advantage of using self-centering double jaw honing devices is that they allow users to perform tasks that would be unfeasible with a traditional mortise chisel. For example, soft woods that tend to break easily can be easily sanded down using portable machines. This prevents the homeowner from having to bring in the unit every time they want to take care of some woodwork. Sanding pads and planers can even be used on these plane blades to increase the depth of the blade slots for easy sharpening. This makes it possible to perform the tasks of fence posts and cabinet legs without the assistance of a professional carpenter.

A final advantage of Japanese saws is the versatility they provide. They can be used for just about any woodworking project imaginable. They are ideal for crosscutting and ripping tasks like planing, as well as general shaping jobs like cabinet and table legs. These versatile tools can even be used to make the finish around the edges of furniture. Shapers can also be used to complete an entire wood dresser, or they can be used on standard cabinet and drawer fronts. No matter what type of woodworking project for the DIY homeowner is embarking on, the right Japanese saw can make the job fast and easy.


In addition to the versatility of their blades, many of the Japanese saws come with blade steel sets that make them extremely stable. Many saws will have steel blades that lock into place when tightened. Others come with steel that will move back and forth in a plastic sheath, ensuring a secure fit every time the blade is utilized. Some blade steel sets include an anti-slip device to further ensure maximum safety when using the tool. It should be noted that not all saws will necessarily include steel blade sets; in some instances, the blade may be made entirely from steel and will be included with the saw. If a saw does include this blade steel set, it should be noted that the saw may have a shorter blade than some other saws on the market.

The best way to determine which saw is right for you is to try one out before purchasing it. To test it, simply put the blade through a few different scenarios. By measuring the distance the blade remains at each end of each stroke, you will be able to determine if the saw will be stable enough for your use. A good rule of thumb to follow is to add one inch to the length of each stroke; this will ensure that the blade stays at the same distance from the table no matter what you are doing. With a little research and planning, you can find the perfect saw to complete any project you want. There are many Japanese saws on the market today, so finding the right one shouldn’t be difficult.

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