Up until now, I have freehanded all of my saws. I never felt comfortable with file handles. They just never seemed to give me a good feel for the file. Going without a handle means that your fingers ache. My saws are all good users, but I also know that they can be better. When I saw this guide, I knew that it was exactly what I needed (wanted).
I ordered mine on Tuesday morning, and found it within a box of goodies that was waiting on the front stoop when I came home from work today (more about that box later). Upon opening the package, I was greeted by the usual high level of Lee Valley craftsmanship.
I've had a saw laying around that needed some fresh teeth, so that is my test saw. I was impressed with the first push of the file. In fact, I was so impressed, that I stopped half way through to write this!
|Installed on the tip of the file, the markings for setting the rake angle are clear and easy to set with the brass screw. In this case, a rather aggressive zero rake.|
|Setting the fleam angle is just as easy. Turn the "fence" and lock the screw. Five degrees of fleam seems to be what the saw originally had, so I'm going to run with it.|
|Glam shot. This should have been the first picture, however...it loaded out of order and it's a PITA to change (seriously, I run into all sorts of trouble when I try and change it)|
|File with the guide installed and set. A set screw locks the guide onto the tip of the file.|
I'll admit that I misinterpreted the function of the tool when I saw the first picture. In my head, it would have fit on the handle end of the file. That's just the way I pictured it. I may cut the tang off a file and give that a try just to see.
So, if you like to sharpen your own saws (or want to learn), there are a lot worse ways to spend $40. This guide doesn't take all of the skill out of the sharpening process. What it does is help you to be more consistent. Holding the tip of the file is a lot easier on your fingers, as an added bonus.
If I was going to put a letter grade on this little guy, I could give it an honest A+.