Disston Hand Saw Identification

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Are you a woodworker looking to identify an old Disston hand saw? Are you a collector trying to learn more about the different models of Disston saws? If so, this blog post is for you! We’ll explore the history of Disston saws and provide helpful tips on how to accurately identify them.

Since 1840, Disston hand saws have been the gold standard for woodworking tools. Disston saws are known for their superior craftsmanship and quality. The company was founded by Henry Disston and his son, Joseph, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They developed a revolutionary new style of handsaw that was stronger and lighter than traditional saws. Their innovative design revolutionized the tool industry and made Disston a household name. Today, Disston hand saws are still highly prized by woodworkers and tool collectors alike. They are prized for their strength, reliability and classic style. Whether you’re a professional woodworker or a hobbyist, a Disston hand saw is the perfect tool to get the job done right.

Identifying and Dating Disston Saws

Identifying and dating Disston saws can be a daunting task for even the most experienced collector. Fortunately, there are several methods to help determine the age range and origin of your saw. The first indicator is the medallion on the handle. Medallions were used to indicate the manufacturer and date of manufacture, with some models having multiple medallions indicating a range of dates. Additionally, handle shape can be used to narrow down a date range, as certain shapes were popular during certain decades. Finally, blade etchings and other markings can provide information about the model and date of manufacture. With these methods in mind, it is possible to accurately identify and date Disston hand saws with relative ease.

The Medallion Seams to Date

The medallions on Disston saws are the best way to date the age of handsaws, panel saws, and backsaws. The vintage Warranted Superior Hand Saw Medallions come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from the iconic eagle medallion to the wood-carved handle. These medallions were used by Disston from approximately 1930 to 1960, and can give an accurate idea of how old a saw is. In addition to the medallions, Disston saws may also feature etchings and markings that can help with identification and dating. With these tools in hand, it’s easy to determine the approximate age of your Disston hand saw.

Handle Shape in Date Range

The shape of a Disston hand saw’s handle is an important factor in dating the saw. Pre-WWII models had handles that were nicely shaped and made from excellent steel. During WWII, the entire Disston line was revised and featured the 42 and 43 series of saws, with early examples featuring a wood grip handle. Later models featured an ergonomic design for comfortable use, and many modern Disston hand saws have a rubberized grip for added comfort. Handle shape is an important factor to consider when dating a Disston hand saw, as it can help narrow down its age to within a few years.

Through the Years with Disston Hand Saws

Through the years, Disston Hand Saws have been an integral part of construction and woodworking projects. Their reliability and quality have made them a favorite of many woodworkers over the years. Disston saws have come in many sizes, shapes, and styles, including curved-back saws, skew-back saws, and even bent-handle saws. With so many options available, it can be difficult to identify a Disston saw by model or year of production. Fortunately, there are several methods for identifying a Disston saw based on its medallion, handle shape, blade etchings, and other markings. With the help of this guide, you can learn how to identify a Disston hand saw with confidence.

Henry Disston and the Skew-Back Saw

Henry Disston was a pioneer in the saw-making industry. He developed several innovations, including the first saw with a skew-back blade. The skew-back blade was a curved shape that allowed for more efficient cutting and helped reduce fatigue during cutting. The design was so successful that it quickly became the preferred design of saws among professionals. As his company continued to grow, Disston continued to make improvements to the design of his saws, resulting in a variety of different styles and sizes available. Today, Disston hand saws are still popular among DIYers and professionals alike for their ease of use, accuracy, and durability.

Blade Etchings and Other Markings

Blade etchings and other markings are key to identifying Disston hand saws. Most Disston saws have a medallion with the brand name, which is a good starting point for dating a saw. However, some Disston saws were not marked with medallions and in this case, it may be necessary to identify the saw by its blade etchings or other markings. Blade etchings can include the type of steel used to make the blade, such as crucible steel, as well as other information relating to the saw such as size and model. Additionally, some Disston hand saws have a “Warranted Superior” stamp on the blade. This stamp indicates that the saw is made from high-quality steel and was issued from 1872-1917. Knowing these details can help in accurately dating and identifying a Disston hand saw.

Types of Disston Hand Saws

Disston hand saws are beloved by woodworkers and collectors alike for their quality construction and longevity. There are a variety of Disston hand saws available, each with its own unique features and capabilities. The most popular types of Disston hand saws include the D-8 Rip Saw. The D-7 Crosscut Saw, and the Skew-Back Saw. The D-8 Rip Saw is designed for ripping wood along the grain. Especially while the D-7 Crosscut Saw is designed for cutting across the grain. The Skew-Back Saw is a traditional saw style with a straight back and angled teeth. So, that make it useful for cutting in tight spaces with a perfect cutting saw. No matter the type of Disston hand saw you choose. The matter is you can be sure that it will provide reliable performance and lasting quality.

Maintaining Your Disston Hand Saw

Maintaining a Disston hand saw is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. To maintain a Disston hand saw, it is important to clean and sharpen the saw regularly. And to clean the saw, use a soft cloth and oil-free solvent like mineral spirits or turpentine to remove any dirt or debris from the teeth and handle. To sharpen the saw, use a file or honing stone to sharpen the teeth of the blade. Additionally, it is important to store your Disston hand saw in a dry area away from moisture and extreme temperatures. By following these simple maintenance tips, you can ensure that your Disston hand saw will continue to work for many years to come.


Q: What are the different types of Disston hand saws?
A: Disston hand saws come in a variety of types, including rip saws, crosscut saws, carcass saws, and dovetail saws. Each type of saw is designed to perform a specific task. Rip saws are designed to cut along the grain of wood, while crosscut saws are designed to cut across the grain. Carcass saws are used to make precision cuts when constructing furniture, while dovetail saws are commonly used to make precise joinery. It’s important to identify the type of Disston hand saw that you have so that you can determine the best way to restore it.

Q: How do I identify a Disston hand saw?
A: Identifying a Disston hand saw can be done by looking for a medallion on the handle, which will have the name and logo of the company, as well as the year it was made. The handle shape can also help determine its age. In addition to this, looking at the etchings on the blade, such as the company logo or manufacturer’s name, can be helpful in determining the identity and date of production. Collectors may also look for other markings that indicate an older saw. Finally, learning more about Henry Disston and his influence on saw production can help to further identify a Disston hand saw.

Q: What is the value of a Disston hand saw?
A: The value of a Disston hand saw can vary depending on its age, condition and type. Generally, an average antique Disston costs around $70, while a regular hand saw is about $48. However, the value of a Disston hand saw can be determined more precisely by looking for certain features, such as the medallion or handle shape, which can indicate its age and usefulness. Furthermore, different types of Disston hand saws may have different values due to their intended purpose and design. For example, a Japanese pull saw or combination rip saw may be more valuable than a regular hand saw due to its specialized design. Ultimately, the best way to determine the value of a Disston hand saw is to consult an expert or look up its estimated value online.

Q: Where can I find information on Disston hand saws?
A: Finding information on Disston hand saws can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to assist in the research and identification process. The most reliable source of information is the Disstonian Institute Quick Glance Guide to Disston Handsaw Models. This guide provides an overview of the models and their characteristics, as well as links to more detailed information. Other useful sources include blogs, forums and online resources dedicated to Disston saws. Such as Elijah Streams’ Re: Disston Hand Saw and Hand Saw: Types, Identification and Value Guide.
Additionally, Henry Disston’s Skew-Back Saw contains a wealth of information about the history of the company and its tools. Finally, blade etchings and other markings can help identify the age of a saw. With a bit of research and detective work, you can uncover the history behind your saw and make an informed decision about its value.


Concluding this blog on Disston hand saw identification, we can see that there is a lot of information and detail to consider when trying to date one of these tools. From the medallion to the etchings and handle shape, these saws can be accurately identified and dated. Knowing how to identify and maintain your Disston hand saws is important for any carpenter or woodworking enthusiast. With the help of this blog, you can now confidently identify your Disston hand saws and have a better understanding of their value.

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