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7 Best Coping Saws in 2019 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Coping Saw

Coping saws are among the most versatile finish saws you can have in your tool collection. With the best coping saw, tasks like cutting complex designs on wood and other materials become quick and easy.

These saws will typically feature a thin blade that is stretched between a U-shaped frame and with a soft and comfortable wooden handle.

And besides their usefulness in making intricate shapes and patterns, the coping saws are also ideal for other things such as creating joints, shaping wooden molding edges and cutting shapes in the middle of a workpiece.

Coping saws are delicate saw types that are not meant for heavy-duty cutting tasks but are still very useful to have around, and this is more so if you get a well-built and high-quality model.

To help you pick a good coping saw for your projects, below we review 7 top rated models and also provide a buying guide. But, first, we explain how the coping saw differs from the fret saw as the two are often confused.

Coping Saw vs. Fret Saw

When looking at the coping and fret saws for the first time, many people will hardly tell them apart as they look quite similar. And while it is true they can also be used for similar tasks, they are different saws that will be ideal for different projects. Here is a simple explanation of what each saw is about to help settle the coping saw vs. fret saw debate.

Coping Saw

Coping saws are simple tools that are not too fancy or too expensive and they will feature a thin blade stretched out on a U-shaped frame.

The blade is attached on the frame using clips on each end and it has been designed to be easily removable as the saw can accommodate different blades for cutting different materials and for different projects.

These saws are built for making coping joints and other elegant carpentry cuts. And the blade will have anywhere between 12 and 20 teeth per inch.

The blade on the coping saw is typically thicker than what you get on the fret saw and with deeper gullets to remove more material for faster cutting.

Fret Saw

When compared to the coping saw, the fret saw has a weirder shape that consists of a deeper frame that can be anywhere between 10 and 20 inches deep.

Also, the blade on the fret saw is much thinner than what you get on a coping saw, and it also has more teeth since most will on average have around 32 teeth per inch. The higher tooth count and thinner blade allow this saw to make more delicate cuts.

However, the thinner blade is also a fret saw's main shortcoming as it tends to bend or break too easily and hence requiring more frequent changes which makes them more expensive to operate than the coping saw.

Generally, the fret saws also require more frequent tuning than coping saws and they are also a bit slower.

7 Best Coping Saws - Reviews

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Bahco 301

1. Bahco 301

  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Durable frame and blade material
  • Comfortable and elegant wooden beech handle
Olson SF63510

2. Olson SF63510

  • Durable hardwood handle
  • Sturdy and lightweight frame
  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Works with most coping saw blades
Robert Larson 540-2000

3. Robert Larson 540-2000

  • 360-degree adjustable blade
  • Durable and comfortable handle
  • Simple tension adjustment
  • Accepts most standard coping saw blades
Sheffield 58203

4. Sheffield 58203

  • Heavy duty steel frame
  • 360-degree adjustable blade
  • Comfortable and secure rubber grip
  • Fully polished plating
Irwin Tools 2014400

5. Irwin Tools 2014400

  • High tooth count, 17 TPI
  • High-speed steel blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Full lifetime warranty
Stanley 15-104

6. Stanley 15-104

  • Hardened and tempered blade
  • Ergonomic cushion grip
  • Highly effective blade retention
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Stanley 15-106

7. Stanley 15-106

  • High carbon steel blade
  • Durable and comfortable rubber handle
  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty

PRODUCT

1. Bahco 301

Bahco 301
  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Durable frame and blade material
  • Comfortable and elegant wooden beech handle

2. Olson SF63510

Olson SF63510
  • Durable hardwood handle
  • Sturdy and lightweight frame
  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Works with most coping saw blades

3. Robert Larson 540-2000

Robert Larson 540-2000
  • 360-degree adjustable blade
  • Durable and comfortable handle
  • Simple tension adjustment
  • Accepts most standard coping saw blades

4. Sheffield 58203

Sheffield 58203
  • Heavy duty steel frame
  • 360-degree adjustable blade
  • Comfortable and secure rubber grip
  • Fully polished plating

5. Irwin Tools 2014400

Irwin Tools 2014400
  • High tooth count, 17 TPI
  • High-speed steel blade
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Full lifetime warranty

6. Stanley 15-104

Stanley 15-104
  • Hardened and tempered blade
  • Ergonomic cushion grip
  • Highly effective blade retention
  • Limited lifetime warranty

7. Stanley 15-106

Stanley 15-106
  • High carbon steel blade
  • Durable and comfortable rubber handle
  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty

1. Bahco 301 – Best Overall

Bahco 301
  • Blade Length: 6-1/2 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 14
  • Weight: 9.8 ounces

Bahco makes their model 301 coping saw for both professionals and DIYers looking for a precise and easy-to-use saw that will make intricate cuts much easier.

It is a well built coping saw that features a nickel-plated frame which provides both corrosion resistance and durability to ensure it will be a long time before you need to replace the saw.

Also, the included blade is equally durable as it is made from hardened and tempered steel and with the teeth milled and set. And with its 14 TPI teeth count, it will be ideal for a variety of applications.

The fact that the blade is interchangeable also makes this a more versatile coping saw, and to make it even better, the blade is 360 degrees rotatable to allow for a variety of cuts.

Using and adjusting the coping saw is also made easier and more comfortable by the wooden beech handle that also helps to give it a more aesthetically appealing look.

When compared to other coping saws on our list, this model seems a little pricier but given its quality, it is worth paying a few extra bucks.

Pros:

  • Durable and corrosion-resistant frame
  • Comfortable and aesthetically appealing handle
  • Interchangeable blade for versatility
  • Long lasting blade material
  • 360-degree rotatable blade

Cons:

  • A little pricier
  • Pins that hold the blade are not 100% parallel

2. Olson SF63510 – Best for the Money

Olson SF63510
  • Blade Length: 6-1/2 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 15
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

A good coping saw should not only cut well but also be easy to use and with various convenient features like the Olson SF63510.

What makes this an amazing option is that it is well built with a sturdy and relatively lightweight steel frame that makes it easier to handle and make cuts for extended periods with minimal fatigue.

Also, it has a 360-degree rotatable blade that will allow you to make cuts in various angles or cut according to the dimensions and shape of the material.

This coping saw has also been designed to allow for tensioning from both ends of the blade using the handle and thumb screw to ensure perfect tensions for precise and accurate cuts. And it also includes a durable and comfortable hardwood handle.

While the included starter blade is not the best quality, it should still make some fantastic cuts with the right tension and should serve you long enough. Replacement blades are also cheap and easy to get, and so this is a non-issue for many users.

Pros:

  • 360-degree rotatable blade
  • Allows tensioning from both ends
  • Sturdy and lightweight frame
  • Works with most coping saw blades
  • Comfortable hardwood handle

Cons:

  • Included starter blade is not very good quality
  • Handle could be larger and easier to grip

3. Robert Larson 540-2000 – Best for Professionals

Robert Larson 540-2000
  • Blade Length: 6-3/4 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: N/A
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

For a professional woodworker looking for a high-quality coping saw, the Robert Larson 540-2000 is a perfect choice as it not only cuts well but it is also highly durable.

The coping saw is made with a durable and well-balanced frame to make it easy to use for extended periods with minimal hand fatigue. And with the included hardwood handle, it will also be more comfortable and secure to hold.

Also, the coping saw allows for simple tension adjustment as you only need to twist the handle, and it is also designed for versatility as the blade can be adjusted to any angle.  Many users will also love that it can accommodate most standard coping saw blades.

Price is probably the only notable shortcoming with this coping saw. And while it is the priciest among our coping saw reviews, the good news is that you will never regret spending more to get it instead of cheaper substandard options.

Pros:

  • 360-degree adjustable
  • Simple tension adjustment
  • Comfortable and secure grip handle
  • Accepts most standard coping saw blades

Cons:

  • Relatively pricier

4. Sheffield 58203 – Durable & Ergonomic

Sheffield 58203
  • Blade Length: 6-1/2 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 14
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

Sheffield 58203 is built to ensure that besides getting some precise and accurate cuts, it will be many years before you need to buy another coping saw as it is highly durable.

Its durability stems from the heavy-duty steel frame that makes it strong and durable for long service life and the fact that it has a 2-piece design for added strength. Also, the fully polished plating adds to the durability by preventing rusting.

With this top-rated coping saw you also get a 360-degree adjustable blade that will allow it to make a wide variety of cuts and attaching the blade is also simple thanks to the chamfered drive end.

Users will also love the soft and ergonomic grip as it ensures you always get a secure and comfortable grip so that you can use the saw for extended periods with minimum fatigue.

At times the handle on this coping saw can loosen which can then affect the tension, but this should not be the deal breaker as it is a small issue to fix by making sure you tighten it well before you start sawing.

Pros:

  • Blade is 360-degree adjustable
  • Strong and durable steel frame
  • Rust-resistant plating
  • Ergonomic and secure rubber grip
  • Several extra blades included

Cons:

  • At times the handle can loosen
  • Handle is still not very good for sweaty hands

5. Irwin Tools 2014400 – Lightweight and Inexpensive

Irwin Tools 2014400
  • Blade Length: 6-1/2 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 17
  • Weight: 8 ounces

Irwin Tools is famous for making some of the best coping saw blades, and so it should be obvious that they also have some of the best coping saws in the market like their model 2014400.

It is one of the cheapest models on our list and its 17 TPI tooth count is also the highest on our list which makes it one of the best options for making delicate cuts

This top-notch coping saw uses high-speed steel blades that will cut through various materials easily and with DuraSteel pins designed to hold it in place securely.

And with its ergonomic handle, this will be a more comfortable and secure saw to handle and to give you some assurance that it will last, the manufacturer provides a full lifetime warranty.

If you plan to do a lot of coping and do it more often, this coping saw might not be the best for you, but for light duty and occasional uses, it is excellent.

Pros:

  • Precise and durable blade
  • Highly secure blade pins
  • Relatively more affordable
  • Ergonomic and comfortable handle
  • Full lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Not very ideal for larger jobs
  • Included blade can be a little too coarse for some cuts/materials

6. Stanley 15-104 – Perfect Choice for a DIYer

Stanley 15-104
  • Blade Length: 6-1/2 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 15
  • Weight: 8 ounces

You cannot go wrong with anything from Stanley as many DIYers and woodworkers will agree that they make some of the best saws and other power tools in the market.

This particular coping saw model will be perfect for DIYers as it is affordable but still well-built and designed to make some amazing cuts.

It features a hardened and tempered saw blade which will not only deliver cleaner cuts but also make it easy for users to control the cutting action. And the blade is also held in place by a highly effective blade retention feature.

This lightweight and well-balanced coping saw will also include an ergonomic cushion grip for maximum comfort, and the walnut stained hardwood handle also enhances the saw's overall appearance.

The most notable shortcoming with his coping saw is that the blade seems to loosen when sawing, but if you make it tight enough before you start making the cuts it should work well.

Pros:

  • Hardened and tempered blade
  • Ergonomically designed grip for comfort
  • Highly effective blade retention
  • Lightweight and well-balanced
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Handle loosens easily
  • Non-Stanley blades will not fit well

7. Stanley 15-106 – Cheap but High-Quality

Stanley 15-106
  • Blade Length: 6-3/8 inches
  • Teeth per Inch: 16
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces

With a cheap but high-quality coping saw like the Stanley 15-106, you not only get an excellent tool for intricate cuts but also do it without spending much.

One of its key highlights is the hardened tempered blade that has been built to make clean cuts and allow for a more controlled cutting action. The blade is also 360-degree rotatable to allow for various cut angles.

There is also a durable and more comfortable rubber handle on the coping saw that will ensure the saw will not slip and ruin your cut. And the company will also back the saw with a limited lifetime warranty to give users some assurance that it is designed to last.

When compared with other models in our coping saw reviews, the Stanley 15-106 is relatively heavier, but it is still well-balanced and easy to handle as most users will not even notice the few extra ounces.

Pros:

  • Hardened and tempered blade
  • Durable and comfortable rubber handle
  • Relatively more affordable
  • 360-degree blade rotation
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • A little heavier
  • Blade still brakes easily

How to Buy the Best Coping Saw

How to Buy the Best Coping Saw

While a coping saw will be very handy in the workshop for various DIY and professional projects, it is vital to make sure you choose the best model from the many options available.

And whether you are buying your first coping saw or want to replace an outdated model, the following are the vital things you need to watch out for to ensure you make the best pick.

1. Frame

The frame makes up the largest part of a coping saw, and it is one of the key determinants of its durability and also how comfortable it will be to use.

When it comes to the frame, the most important thing to consider is the material used to make it. Since the coping saw is under a lot of stress and needs to flex, the material used to make the frame should accommodate this.

Some of the best materials for coping saw frames are stainless steel and nickel-plated steel. However, nickel-plated steel frames are often the most favorable as they provide the strength of steel and the corrosion-resistance properties of nickel.

While still on the frame, you will also need to consider its depth, and most will have a frame depth of 4 to 6 inches. Deeper frames allow you to cut deeper into the workpiece, but the ideal depth for you will ultimately depend on how you intend to use the coping saw.

2. Blade Material

Blade material also matters a lot as it will determine the kinds of material you can use the saw to cut. And what this means is that the ideal blade material for you depends on your projects.

If you want to use your coping saw to cut non-ferrous metals, a high carbon steel blade is the best option while tungsten carbide will be ideal for cutting ceramics.

With coping saws, the good news is that you will not be tied down to one blade material as most will use standard-sized blades, and so you can easily switch out the blade and replace it with a different one.

3. Tension

A coping saw needs to maintain proper blade tension to make good cuts. However, different types of cuts and applications will require different tensions, and so the best coping saw for you is one that makes tension adjustment easy.

Most coping saws will use the saw handle to tighten the blade and users will have to twist it a few times to get the desired tensions. However, some models also have knob screws to help pull the blade tighter once the handle is engaged.

Regardless of the mechanism used for tensioning, the most important thing is to ensure it is effective enough in keeping the blade taut.

4. Ease of Handling

Like any other tool, a coping saw needs to be easy to handle to give you the best service and also to ensure more precise and accurate cuts.

When it comes to the ease of handling, there are several things that you will need to take into account. The first one is the weight and how it is distributed across the saw. A lightweight coping saw with a more balanced weight distribution will be the easiest to handle.

Another thing to watch out for is the handle shape and material. And a straight and cylindrical handle is perfect for precise, delicate and intricate cuts. Also, those made from wood and rubber are often also more comfortable and secure on the hand.

Conclusion

If you make a lot of intricate cuts or make different shapes and patterns on thin wood materials, a coping saw is a must-have as it will make the cuts easier and more precise for you.

But not just any coping saw will work for you. You need to choose the best model by considering important factors like the frame, blade material and ease of handling.

However, with this piece to guide you, finding the best coping saw should be a simple task because besides explaining what to look for, we also review 7 top rated models to give you some high-quality recommendations.

Read More: 10 Best Reciprocating Saws