Bad Axe 12″ Dovetail Saw – The Stiletto


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Filed rip cut, 15 ppi pitch,.018 gauge plate thickness, black -oxided carbon steel saw back, handle in Hickory – regular size, brass slotted nuts.

The Bad Axe 12″ dedicated dovetail saw–their very own Stiletto for serious dovetailing requirements–will likely be the last dovetail saw you’ll ever own. The additional two inches of throw, light weight, exquisite balance and results-oriented action will give you the kind of accuracy you want with unmatched precision.

“I already own a dovetail saw – why would I want this one?”

Because you’ve never tried a 12″ dedicated dovetail saw before…  You’re going to love the way a longer toothline in a lighter, yet longer saw makes for a far more accurate cut with fewer chances of wandering off course—not to mention the biofeedback you get with that horsefly buzz running up your arm as the hammer-set toothline bites into the wood like a serrated razor. Put a Stiletto in your arsenal, and find out how easy it is to gang-cut dovetails up to 50mm combined thickness, cut straight sliding dovetails, or simply minimising your cut to just 3 – 4 strokes on 19mm stock. You can even even rip smaller tenon cheeks on thin stock. The Stiletto is simply a highly efficient tool that promotes accuracy and efficiency with exceptional precision.

Design Rationale

  • Bottom line up front: Bad Axe designed an open-handled, thin (.018) plate dovetail saw 12″ long with just enough real estate below the back to facilitate longer, more precise dovetail cuts with fewer strokes to promote accuracy and efficiency with exceptional precision. .
  • Traditional 1876 Wheeler-pattern open handle, available in standard quartersawn hickory.
  • Traditional folded sawback finished in gunsmith-blued black-oxided carbon steel. Read more about this critical component for any backsaw, and why Bad Axe promotes the enduring traditional folded sawback over commonplace static-backed saws that that disallow retensioning the toothline with heavy use.
  • Fasteners available in standard brass.
  • Plate Thickness, Length and Depth: 1 3/4″ under the back at the heel, canting to 1 5/8″ at the toe for the .018 plate. The shallower, longer 12″ plate for both thicknesses enhance rigidity while at the same time spreading cut friction along a longer path, greatly reducing plate distortion due to heat buildup in thin plates.
  • Swedish Spring Steel .018 are hammer-set & sharpened at 15ppi. Read more about how Bad Axe’s hammer-setting technique and obsessive dedication to sharpening excellence here.
  • Innovative Design:My good friend and acclaimed Canadian unplugged woodworker Tom Fidgen and I have kicked around the notion of a longer dovetail saw for the past several years—toma subject that never failed to populate the blizzard of emails we’veexchanged when discussing accuracy of cut and why on Earth to begin with dovetail saws have historically always been so danged. short. Sub-par. Limited! The more I thought about these discussions, the more I realized that longer is better. It’s why a long rifle shoots more accurately than a carbine, for instance. The extra rifling a longer rifle barrel  spins the round it discharges is akin to how Aaron Rogers’ longer reach wallops an accurately-thrown ball deep, deep, deep into Viking territory. Now for some of the more practical details.

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