Introduction: Make a Japanese Handsaw Handle

About: Hi, my name is Chris and I love building stuff, usually for the house or just for fun. My workshop is the garage and outside, just need to make sure my wife's car has a place for the night. Besides that I've…

If you're like me and have a Japanese handsaw addition, you sometimes buy saw blades off of Ebay without handles. The saw is a crosscut saw meant to fell a tree. The video above shows you the process and below are some quick build notes.


From what I've read Japanese saw handles are made from softwoods. It is apparently more forgiving on your hands when you're using it for longer periods of time. This handle is made from some scrap pine or douglas fir from a pallet.

The wrapping material I used is binding cane normally used in caning chairs. There are a couple different shapes of cane you can buy but this seemed to work fine.

Making the Wood Handle

This is a chance for you to make the handle fit you just right. When you mill the wood cut it a little larger than you need. That way you can shape the material down until it fits your hand just right.

If you cut the handle in half after you shape the handle just take in account the amount you'll remove with the saw.

The handle should be an oval shape with flat sides.

Putting the Saw Blade Into the Handle

I've read that tree sap was traditionally used to set the blade into the handle slot, but I used a fast setting adhesive. To glue the two sides together wood glue would do just fine.

Wrapping the Handle

Prep your cane by soaking it in water. It doesn't have to be long, just 10-15 minutes will do. This makes it malleable.

I used a 1/8 inch drill bit for the holes you'll put the cane in. The hole was an 1/8 - 3/16 inch deep. Pretty much you want to be able to put the cane in the hole and bend it to start wrapping.

I used white PVA glue to hold the cane in place, but any glue will do. To set the cane in the hole I just used a spring clamp to hold it in place for a few minutes. Alternatively you could use some painters tape.

Testing It Out

You gotta test your new handle out. For me that was heading over to the nearest log and cutting a slice from it.

Hand Tools Only Contest 2016

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2016