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randyc

Razor saw opinions

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I need a new razor saw.  I have two worn out Xactos with no handle.   I have had them for years, but it's time to get a new one.   Any opinions?  Looking at this one https://www.amazon.com/Zona-35-140-Interchangable-Blades-36-555/dp/B000EROWJ4/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=hobby+razor+saw&qid=1600885108&sr=8-4  or go back to an Xacto, with handle this time.   Funny ot read reviews of folks who try to use it with all four blades attached and folded back.  Seems like a recipe for disaster to me.   

But anyway, opinions on what everyone is using?  

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Zona makes a good tool. Been using thier saw for a long time.

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Every Zona tool I've seen looks good.  Thanks

Drill bits is going to be my next question.   I think I have parts of 4 sets.   Last set I bought was so crappy they are virtually unusable.  

I've been building for over 40 years.   My old razor saws are probably 20 years old and they show it with rounded or missing teeth.  And I was too cheap then to buy handle.  So I want to find my "forever saw"   LOL.  

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This is the best one I have owned.  It actually comes with a replacement blade.  I use the heck out of it for chopping up models for various custom work.  The blade is relatively thin, but very stiff.  Cutting long straight lines is a piece of cake with this baby!

https://www.tamiya.com/english/products/74024/index.htm

 

Edited by Pete J.

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2 minutes ago, Pete J. said:

This is the best one I have owned.  It actually comes with a replacement blade.  I use the heck out of it for chopping up models for various custom work.  The blade is relatively thin, but very stiff.  Cutting long straight lines in a piece of cake with this baby!

https://www.tamiya.com/english/products/74024/index.htm

 

Thanks, noted.

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I should mention, it works great for sectioning a body or chopping a roof which need parallel cuts. 

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I find that the center and front sections of the Exacto blades get dull first. I get additional use from them by simply turning the blade around, holding it by the front end and using the seldom used rear teeth to make more cuts. "Waste not-want not"my mom would have said.

 

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11 hours ago, misterNNL said:

I find that the center and front sections of the Exacto blades get dull first. I get additional use from them by simply turning the blade around, holding it by the front end and using the seldom used rear teeth to make more cuts. "Waste not-want not"my mom would have said.

 

Oh yeah, I've done that as well.  THere are a few teeth left that are in reasonable shape, but if I need to cut something major, mine are pretty worn out.  For less than $15 I can have a new one, so I figure it's time.  

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I have a couple saws, one is a zona and not sure of the other.  One has more teeth than the other and I have needs of both kinds at times.  As long as we're on the subject of saws (hoping not to hijack the thread) I'm searching for a #11 size/shape saw blade that has more teeth than my tamiya or testors #11's.  I love the shape of a #11 for being able to reach into tight spaces but the coarse teeth doesn't allow for much movement.  I've ordered a few things from amazon that might work and should be seeing them soon, but none are #11 shape.

 

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6 hours ago, hedotwo said:

I have a couple saws, one is a zona and not sure of the other.  One has more teeth than the other and I have needs of both kinds at times.  As long as we're on the subject of saws (hoping not to hijack the thread) I'm searching for a #11 size/shape saw blade that has more teeth than my tamiya or testors #11's.  I love the shape of a #11 for being able to reach into tight spaces but the coarse teeth doesn't allow for much movement.  I've ordered a few things from amazon that might work and should be seeing them soon, but none are #11 shape.

 

Feel free to comment and photos here - I think it's relevant to this discussion - I looked into those also.

Edited by randyc

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So, I bought a few different things one of which arrived today.  It's an assortment of different shaped thin PE saws by Hasegawa.  Least I'm guessing they're PE.  Haven't tried one yet but they are of a few different TPI's and some seem REALLY fine.  Not sure yet what I'll do for a holder yet.  One of the other items is a Citadel brand saw set.  I'll keep you posted when I get them.

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I have two Xacto razor saw blades, I believe they're 1/2" and 1" wide. (I tried to find them on the Xacto website, which is the most worthless, useless site in the world.) They're fine-cut. I think somewhere I have another one that's a bit coarser cut. I use them mainly without the handle, but they fit in a #5 handle if need be.  I use them on literally every model I build, as the razor saw is my go-to parts removal (from sprue) tool. I've been using the razor saws since the late '60s. They're cheap enough that no modeler should be without them.

Last year I bought nice set of photoetch razor saw blades that fit in a #1 handle. Have only used one of them a couple times but when I needed it, it was exactly the tool I needed. 

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So I got the Tamiya razor saw blades and the Citadel handle/blades from Amazon the other day and have decided to keep them both.  The Citadel comes with 6 blades of moderately different shape, but not much (if any) difference in TPI in my opinion and so far seem to be too coarse for some of the work I need them for.  But, I do really like the feel of the handle and the blades seem sharp and sturdy.  The Tamiya blades are in two basic shapes and each have three different TPI's and are pretty thin.  Having the folding shape of these blades helps in providing strength when in the holder, but can be used without folding or in a handle.  These are alot like the Hasegawa blades except that the Hasegawa blades have more shapes, but can't be folded to put into a holder.  They are sturdy enough to use without a holder though.

I think I now have more tools than kits :D

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Posted (edited)

Interesting.  When you were asking about a razor saw, I thought you were talking about the large tool. These are really detail saws.  Much smaller.

You got the thickest of the Hasegawa/Tri-tool sets.  They make a TP-1 and 2 set as well.  The thinnest set is very thin and is usable on the pull stroke only. If you try to cut on the push stroke it will bind and bend almost immediately, but it is great for cuts that you want to put back together like opening doors and hoods.   I used a set recently to cut a 1:48th Tamiya F-16 fuselage in half length wise.  Very tedious but they did the job very cleanly.

   I have had all three sets for well over 20 years and use them for very fine work.  The set you got is pretty solid and doesn't require any special handling.   Oh and by the way, I am still on the first set twenty years later.  Like any tool, treat them well and they will last a lifetime. 

Edited by Pete J.

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On 9/25/2020 at 2:51 PM, randyc said:

Feel free to comment and photos here - I think it's relevant to this discussion - I looked into those also.

The OP Randy started the thread about conventional razor saws, but I'd hoped to not step on toes asking about the different kinds of saws/blades.  I do almost strictly restorations of "pre-owned/pre-built" cars and find that the tools used for disassembly make a huge difference in quality and frustration levels.  These blades really help with some of the fine cuts I often make.  Over the years I've amassed a number of specialized tools, including some I've made myself.  I'm always looking for new ways to skin the cat 😉

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I'm still reading and studying on all that is posted.  I think it's a viable post about saw tools at this point.

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Posted (edited)

I've got the tamiya set that looks to be the same as the citadel set picture above, works well but the pointed blade tends to bind on thicker plastic. I also have a no name saw from ebay with a thicker blade than my exacto sets. For most of the stuff i cut i use the no name saw, but for parts like roof chops I prefer the exacto blades but they seem to lose their effectiveness faster than the no name ones but I use them a lot on styrene, resin and acrylic mostly. Tha no name saw is a lot more rigid than the others

Edited by stitchdup

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I have an old British Made fine Exacto to that has lasted me for more years than I care to remember. Also one of the coarse toothed Tamiya saws with interchangeable blades. I have actually cut die casts with this saw.

Not tried the saws with photo etched blades. They look too flimsy to me for all but the most delicate work, and I guess that without the rigidity would bend easily.

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10 minutes ago, Bugatti Fan said:

I have an old British Made fine Exacto to that has lasted me for more years than I care to remember. Also one of the coarse toothed Tamiya saws with interchangeable blades. I have actually cut die casts with this saw.

Not tried the saws with photo etched blades. They look too flimsy to me for all but the most delicate work, and I guess that without the rigidity would bend easily.

The Hasegawa Tri tools are two different sets.  The TP-3 set is much more robust than the TP-4 set.  I can't imagine bending the tool and the differing shapes give a lot of options for getting into tight spaces.  The TP-4 set is, as you suggested very thin and does not handle any aggressive cutting.  It is a "Pull stoke" only tool.  Any attempt to push it and it will bend and become useless.  Having said that, it is an incredible tool in certain circumstances because of its extremely fine teeth and very thin blade.    You also need to be careful for that same reason.  It will cut you rather easily.  They can be used for very precise cuts.  I recently cut a aircraft canopy lengthwise.  I laid down a piece for Dynamo label maker tape as a guide and the blade worked wonderfully.  They are a handy addition and when you need them, they are about the only thing that will work. 

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Thanks for the info about the qualities of the Hasegawa TP3 saw set Pete. I will have to look out a set to add to what I have already. Looks like they would be handy for tight precision cutting situations.

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Since my family had an HO model railroad layout, we had an Atlas hobby saw to cut rail and such.  It became my entry into model car hacking (1980s or so).  It looked an awful lot like this one currently in production, just in an uglier color.

https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Model-Railroad-Super-Saw/dp/B0006KQI0A

(Atlas Tool Co. went on to become a major player in the model railroad field, and magazine ads used to poke fun at their name by listing the various track, rolling stock and other items they produced, and yet they offered only one tool, the hobby saw.  Later on they changed their name to better reflect their hobby products.)

 

So, anyway, here's a lesser-known alternative for hobby saws to consider.

 

Do any of you use coping saws?

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On 10/11/2020 at 10:48 PM, Shardik said:

For those looking for a #11 type saw, MicroMark has this to offer, along with many other saws and blades.

https://www.micromark.com/Saw-Blade-010x40-TPI-Package-of-4

The objective is to create as narrow a kerf as possible. That means the saw blade must be very thin. A #11 blade is too thick to achieve it. You'll end up removing too much plastic which will require shimming the parts. This creates extra work because you'll have to cut, file or sand the shims to match the contours of the reattached prts.

2 hours ago, Brian Austin said:

Since my family had an HO model railroad layout, we had an Atlas hobby saw to cut rail and such.  It became my entry into model car hacking (1980s or so).  It looked an awful lot like this one currently in production, just in an uglier color.

https://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Model-Railroad-Super-Saw/dp/B0006KQI0A

(Atlas Tool Co. went on to become a major player in the model railroad field, and magazine ads used to poke fun at their name by listing the various track, rolling stock and other items they produced, and yet they offered only one tool, the hobby saw.  Later on they changed their name to better reflect their hobby products.)

 

So, anyway, here's a lesser-known alternative for hobby saws to consider.

 

Do any of you use coping saws?

This saw possesses the identical downsides as does the #11 saw blades.This is the same kind of saw blade included in those hobby mitre box sets. A saw like this is used to cut tracks and general cutting. The blade is too thick for extremely detailed cuts. There is no substitute for purpose made razor saws. They have extremely thin profiles, about .20mm. The kerf produced by razor saws is the same width as the blade thickness, perfect for detail work.

The same is true with using the back edge of a #11 blade to scribe panel lies or to open doors, hoods and trunks on a model car body. If anyone thinks this is the best method to perform the aforementioned tasks, you gotta a be a glutton for punishment. What happens when one uses a #11 blade? Regardless how lightly you plow (yeah, that's the right word), you are removing a large amount of plastic, creating a wide cut. Then, you end up adding plastic sheet or strip around the perimeters in order to make the freshly cut out part fit better, again extra and unnecessary work. Using a stainless photo etch scribing blade will eliminate that. Your cut ill be as wide as the scribe blade's profile.

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