How to Identify & Value Antique Crosscut Saws (Guide 2023)

If you love carpentry, you must use various tools and handsaws. From jab saws to chain saws, the list of saws is quite long! But, if there’s one saw that is meant to stay, it’s a cross-cut one. Now you may ask why!

Well, crosscut saws have their roots back in the 15th Century. So, these antique, sharp saws are in demand even today! Thus, your crosscut saw might be much more precious than you think! So today, I’ll help you identify your crosscut saw for better returns!

Key Takeaways

  • You can spot vintage crosscut saws by their thick, straight blades and compact teeth. You can also look for stamped patents to track and age them correctly.
  • Cross-cut saws with Oak, Walnut, or Beech handles are old and valuable. But even crude alloyed steel saws fetch good returns.
  • Pick crosscut saws with a stone, copper, or iron blade for the best valuation.
  • Crosscut saws with plain or champion teeth have the highest demand in the market. And if your piece has compact teeth and perforations, it may hike the cost!

How Do You Spot Vintage Crosscut Saws Easily?

Vintage crosscut saws look like any regular chisel saws. So, if you want to spot one, you must observe its bent teeth and straight blades.

But that’s not all! Here are some more features to spot an old crosscut saw easily.

  • Slanting teeth and jagged edges, like a row of pointed spears placed side to side
  • Round, wooden handles with hand-polished surface or lacquer
  • Taper ground shape with a narrow toe and wider blade heel
  • Large 16-17” blade plate with a D-shaped handle and screws
  • Etched blades with a clear maker stamp and patent temper at the base

The History & Evolution

Did you know that the Egyptians made the first cross-cut saw for their woodwork? Yes, but these cast iron saws had no handles or teeth. So, they were difficult to hold, and the cuts were rough. Plus, these rusted quickly and had to be polished again and again.

It was in the 1700s that makers experimented with metals. Alloyed steel blades with wood handles and covers became quite common. And the value and demand went high!

The later 18th Century saws were commercial. So, you can find intricate and branded ones from this era! Galvanized steel blades and refined American-style teeth would also be common. But, they won’t value much due to a modern make.

4 Types of Antique Cross-Cut Saws & Their Valuation

Back then, people classified cross-cut saws based on their design. So each had a different value as per the strength and cutting efficiency. These types may help you value the saws. So, let’s find out more!

1. Single-Person Crosscut Saw

Single Person Crosscut saw with small handle

Just as the name suggests, these saws are small, straight saws with a single handle. They are 3 to 4 feet long but have tapered blades, making them light and handy.

But since they are sharp and sturdy, they are precious and cost around $1500 – 1700.

2. Two-Person Crosscut Saws

Two Person Crosscut Saw with Iron Blades

These saws can be recognized by their long, 8-9 foot blades, braced handles, and slanted teeth. You’ll also find additional grooves and blade sealants at every 1-foot distance.

These saws are not that thick and sturdy. So, you can expect a rough value of $300 – 400 for them.

3. Felling Crosscut Saws

Felling saws are small, mostly 2-3 feet in size. You’ll get them with curved, flexible bases and single-holed handles. But, they are more stiff and costly, valuing around $600 – 1000.

4. Bucking Crosscut Saws

Bucking saws are just like a regular chainsaw- flat blades with two-holed handles. They usually have a full metal construction with welded plates and handles. So they don’t break easily.

But, Bucking saws might rust and turn brownish with time. So, they are cheaper and cost around $200 – 300.

7 Factors to Identify & Value an Antique Crosscut Saw

You can spot an antique crosscut saw with its teeth, design, and material. But there are 7 more factors that will help you do so!

1. Crosscut Saw’s Date & Age

Old Crosscut saw from the 1850s

Old, handmade saws are rare and precious. After all, that’s what makes them antique!

Old crosscut saws from the 1700s are precious, costing around $1500 – 2000. These are really sturdy and heavy and need 2-3 people for effective cutting.

Saws from the 1800s are also valuable due to their branding and alloyed steel blades. They are also relatively lighter and more precision cut.

But the thin, stainless steel saws from the 1900s are small and blunt. Plus, they are mass-produced. So, they are readily available and cost less than $50 – 100.

Want more help dating your old crosscut saw? Check out the hints below!

How Do You Identify Crosscut Saws from the 1700s?

You can spot the 1700s saws by their crude, hand-polished blades and wide teeth. Most won’t have any handles or anchoring tools. So, look for 2-3 finger loops on the wider seam.

Moreover, they won’t have any branding or date. So, look for waxed joiners, and thick, ¼-inch saw handles to spot these. They will cost around $1500 – 2000.

How Do You Spot Crosscut Saws from the 1800s?

Finding these saws is literally child’s play. Simply look for curved or intricate wooden handles, alloyed steel blades, and small, compact teeth. You can even find stamped medallions and other brand marks, costing $700 – 1000.

How Do You Identify Crosscut Saws from the 1900s?

Look out for galvanized steel blades, minimal handles, and small, sharp teeth to spot these! Most will also have stamped medals and patent numbers that track their age and make. But since they are factory-made, they will be cheaper, costing $50 – 100.

Let’s look at some common saw patent numbers:

YearSaw AgePatent NumberCross-cut Saw TypeAverage Valuation
1896126 yearsUS854102ARaker Tooth, Compact Saw$850 – 900
1906116 yearsUS913092AVariable Tooth Crosscut Saw$50 – 60
1905117 yearsUS836048AVarying Pitch Saw$70 – 80

Pick etched, slightly pitted, handleless blades for an old make.

2. Handle Materials

Oak Handle with an Antique Crosscut Saw

Antique crosscut saws didn’t always have polished handles like today. In fact, most 1700s models had no handles and used 2-3 finger loops for support. And these crude, handmade models have a higher value today!

Then came the wooden and metal handles of the 1800s and 1850s. You’ll get everything from Pine and Oak to Nickel and Brass handles from this era. And these models are precious for their hand molding and polishing.

The later 1900s saws are light and modern, with polished stainless steel handles. But, they are relatively weaker and dent and rust easily, hence less precious!

Handle MaterialsAverage Valuation
Oak, Pine, Beech Wood$1700 – 2000
Walnut or Mahogany Wood$1500 – 1700
Spring Steel or Alloyed Steel$1000 – 1200
Nickel, Titanium or Brass$500 – 800
Galvanized or Stainless Steel$200 – 300
Plastic or Fiber$50 – 60

Look for durable and coveted wood or alloyed steel handle loops for the highest valuation.

3. Blade Materials

Crosscut saws with cast iron and steel blades

Go by this simple rule; the cruder the blade, the higher the saw value! Most 1700s saws are quite precious because of their hand-cut stone blades with extra microliths and bones for support. You can even get some royal-origin copper saws from the same era.

In contrast, modern saws after the Iron Age are mostly metal. So, they are more functional and have raked Cast Iron or steel blades. But, such machine-pressed blades are common and might fetch only $300 – 700.

Let’s look at some common vintage crosscut saw blade materials:

Blade MaterialsAverage Valuation
Stone + Microlith$1700 – 2000
Copper and Bronze$1000 – 1200
Raked Cast Iron$800 – 900
Alloyed Steel$400 – 600
Stainless Steel$200 – 300

Avoid buying saws with greenish copper or oxidized blades as they might fetch a lower value.

4. Saw Tooth Shape

Different Types of Antique Crosscut Saw Tooth Shapes

Naturally, the plain, slanted crosscut teeth earn a high value of $800 – 900. You can even look for compact, uniform spacing and small bevels for a better value.

Contrary to this, newer crosscut teeth are more curved, elongated, and mostly machine-shaped. So, they have a low value of $100 – 150. You can get them in stiffer Perforated or Champion tooth forms.

Here are some vintage crosscut saw tooth types for your reference:

Tooth ShapeAverage Valuation
Plain Tooth$800 – 900
Champion Tooth$120 – 150
M – Tooth$100 – 120
Lance Tooth$100 – 150
Great American Tooth$200 – 250
Perforated Lance Tooth$150 – 160

Chipped or Cracked lance tooth saws might look like aged Champion tooth ones. So, you must flash a light and check the teeth level before purchase.

5. Branding

Branded cast-iron ‘Disston’ or ‘Stanley’ crosscut saws naturally fetch thousands of dollars globally. So, to check if a saw is branded, you must check its medallions, dates, and marks. You can also look for etched blades and strong screwed joints to spot them.

These saws can also have foreign manufacturing and polishing. So, exotic wood handles, lacquers, and orange stains would also be common.

Want to know more? Check out these antique crosscut saw brands for reference:

Crosscut Saw NameManufacturerType of Crosscut SawAverage Valuation
Keystone Champion 70”Disston2-man Wall Decor Saw$300 – 500
Logging Crosscut Saw 48”E.C AtkinsStraight, 1-man Saw$150 – 200
TPI Large EtchSimmondsCrosscut Handsaw$150 – 200
8-point Crosscut 26”StanleyCarpenter Crosscut$100 – 150

6. Crosscut Saw Condition

Antique Crosscut Saw with Rusted Blades

Have you seen antique saws with rusted blades or chipped handles? Well, you better avoid them as they can lower your valuation by 30-40%.

Antique collectors always pick crosscut saws with thick, straight blades for better value. So, saws with broken teeth, cracked handles, or finger loops will be cheaper.

Similarly, old saws with discolored or mold-affected handles will be low-cost, at $30 – 40.

Rinse your old crosscut saws with anti-rust solutions to save them from rust and fungus.

7. Saw Mechanism

Thick, draw stroke saws, which you pull towards yourselves while cutting, are old and precious. They even have Japanese or Egyptian make and some regional motifs on their handles. So they are intricate and cost around $600 – 700.

In contrast, Western thrust saws, the ones you push away while cutting, are new and modern. So they are relatively cheaper, costing $200 – 300.

Can You Still Use Antique Crosscut Saws?

Yes, you can use old crosscut saws for small woodwork. But be sure to double-check its teeth for any visible damage or rust. Also, avoid using it for heavy jobs as its old blade might crack and devalue your piece.

Can You Lubricate an Antique Crosscut Saw?

Yes, you can lubricate your antique crosscut saws with typical Orange-sol or Diesel oil products. Just make sure to sand it gently to preserve its original finish.

How Do You Store Antique Crosscut Saws?

Store your antique crosscut saws horizontally in a dry room. If possible, cover them in a newspaper or any waterproof sheet to reduce moisture and fungus. You can also coat them with a WD-40 lube to save them from rust.

Antique crosscut saws are old and precious, thanks to their handmade handles and blades. But you can also explore more blade materials like copper, steel, and iron for good returns. Or, you can simply pick wooden or steel-felling crosscut saws for high value!

As seen above, branded and sturdy crosscut saws are still in demand! But did you know that antique products made from such saws are valuable too? Be it rocking chairs, sleds, trunks, or dressers, you name it, and you have it! Join me, and I’ll tell you more!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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