Musical Saws to play


I have developed this page to help you choose the right musical saw for you. I am not biased to any one manufacturer and I DO NOT buy or sell instruments. I will however provide an independent review and fair overview of the instrument from a personal perspective.

Obviously I’ve not tried every musical saw on the market. The saws available are quite different in terms of safety, sound, quality and ease of playing. I personally have a collection of 10 saws from  manufacturers around the world. All of them have their place and are suitable for different types of players, abilities and possibly the type of group that you intend to play with. I have started to use a cheat, which will extend the range of the saw. I’m sure other saw players may get different results from the same instrument due to the different styles of playing. If there are any manufacturers who would like me to give an honest opinion of their product  I would be happy to try it out and report it back to them to them and with permission to other potential saw players. All the demonstrations have been performed by myself, with some additional piano accompaniment by my wife Jo. Please click on the play button of the media player in the right hand column.

 Supplier

Notes

Range  & Demo

musicalsaws-TF

Thomas Flinn & Co

 

E.T. Roberts & Lee, who created the Parkstone Melody saw, were bought out by a Sheffield company called Thomas Finn and Co. who are a UK manufacturer of saws. With a little bit of help from myself , they have started producing the Parkstone Melody again and have three sizes :
22” – Soprano range
26” – Mid range 30” – Bass range .They are all made from fully ground carbon steel 80. The handle is made from American Black Walnut and each instrument should be capable of just over 2 octaves. You are able to state whether you want teeth or not. A toothless saw is far safer for any youngsters who fancy taking up the instrument, but it does seem to limit the range by a couple of notes. The smaller saw is also far easier for younger people to play as it’s easier to reach up and hold the end of the  instrument. I use these in my workshops.This company can supply a complete presentation pack containing the case, bow, a cheat and even rosin. More information is available from 

www.musicalsaws.co.uk

Thomas Flinn & Co. 114 Harvest Lane, Sheffield, England S3 8EG Telephone: +44 (0) 114 272 5387 Fax: +44 (0) 114 272 5389

22” Toothless Saw  22-Parkstone
 22” Saw with teethParkstone-22-with teeth
 26” Saw with teethtenor-saw
 30” Saw with teethmelody

 

 

DWSERVICES

UK Supplier (DW Services)

Sandviken’s Stradivarius has a very good and deep sound for playing cello solos or bass baritone songs (eg Old Man River). They are available from the following UK supplier : D W Services, 16 Parkfield  Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1HD, ENGLAND Telephone/fax: 01384 442332 (within United Kingdom ) E-Mail: dennis@dwservices.co.uk

baritone

 

Mussehl and Westphal

Mussehl and Westphal

The Mussehl & Westphal tenor saw is about 26″ inches long. It is quite flexible and suitable for young players  to play (under supervision of course!!). Because of its range it is well suited for playing with ensembles and can easily be heard in moderately sized hall without amplification. This was my first proper musical saw and I guess this is still my favourite. I regularly play it with brass band accompaniment…. and I can still cut through most other performers (sound only!!!!).

tenor-saw

26″ Saw

 

French saw

www.lamesonore.fr 

This musical saw has a French patent dating from 1946. It is effectively a sound blade or a musical saw with no teeth. It has a range of over 3 octaves. I’ve contacted the manufacturers and hopefully will have some more information to provide shortly.

Unfortunately there is no demonstration

Picolo-saw

 MusicalSaws.co.nz

In New Zealand a range of piccolo saws are now available to buy. Unlike some of the other musical saws on the market this has no teeth, so it will be child friendly. It has an impressive range and should stand out above other orchestral or band instrument the handle is crafted from a hardwood called Jarrah. The full package includes the saw, the bow, a case and rossin.

 Piccolosaw-range

Unfortunately there is no demonstration

 

Charlie Blacklock saws

Charlie Blacklock saws

 

A well known and much loved musical saw player had saws named after him. These are lovely instruments. Mine is about 30″ in length and covers quite a wide range of notes. This particulary saw requires quite strong fingers especially if you’re intending playing it for any length of time. The company now provides a range of saw sizes and sounds which you can see on their web site. Although Charlie passed away in 2008 I’m sure he will be remembered for his valuable contribution to the musical saw world and there are still saws available on the internet.

blacklock

My 30″ saw

 

Feldmanns Musical Saw

Wow…. at 38″ this must be one of the longest instruments I’ve come across and must the equivalent of a stretched Limousine in the saw world. Like a stretched Limousine it is quite difficult to manipulate the bends and plenty of space and strategic planning is required. It is obviously not for young players unless as a parent you have kept them strapped to a rack for a long period of time. It is however very flexible and it is kind to your thumb and fingers. There is a toothless section at both ends of the blade. I like this as it means that you don’t damage your trousers or dress (not that I wear one!!).  It  is quite difficult to control and the slightest of  wobble  (nerves) can affect the sound.

feldmannUnfortunately there is no demonstration

 

 

B&Q

Homebase

Wickes

DIY shops are usually known for their musical instruments however they do supply a mean line in cross cut saws. These are NOT musical instruments, but an every day wood cutting saw with sharp teeth that can cause severe damage to yourself and to other people while playing.  However it is possible to get notes out of them. The difficulty is that with the blade being designed for cutting, it is not very flexible. I started off playing a normal wood cutting saw and it provided a medium range of notes,  but it required thumb strength to sustain a long playing session without using a cheat. One piece of music was usually enough. The Sanvik 20″ wood cutting saw I have, gets a range of about one octave.  This can be painful to play and not all the notes are pure in sound.B&Q or other major Hardware (DIY) stores

Demonstration on its way, following a minor injury !

 

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