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What is your opinion on the best Jewelers Saw

Kevin Potter recently announced that he’d be making more of his saws, only with a deeper frame … I have the german saws and the greenlion, haven’t tried a knew concept one yet … but they intrigue me greatly!

Are you supposed to remove blades from saw frames if they are not in use? This is the first time that I’ve heard something like that!

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Re "Are you supposed to remove blades from saw frames if they are not in use? This is the first time that I’ve heard something like that!"
As long as you loosen the tension knob, I can’t see why. There’s no stress on the frame. I just tap the blade to see that it’s ‘slack’ before I set it down. I just found it infinitely faster to use my saw, if the blade was already ‘mounted top and bottom’ but just had to be tightened up to a ‘good ping sound’.
I’ve had my Knew saw with the twist ‘tension knob’ [an earlier version] for about 4-5 years and it’s good as gold.
I only take the blade out to either change size blade, or if I’m ‘sawpiercing through a hole’ and need to push one end of the blade through the hole.
This technique wouldn’t work on a regular saw [that doesn’t have a separate tension knob or lever, but it works fine on a Knew Saw]. But, that said,If it makes you nervous…you can take the blade out…but I don’t see any problem.
Carol Minnich

James Miller, I request you do an article on saw frames… I thought I was a tool guy… (STUNNING WORK !!!)
I’m kind’a simple on saw frames, Like James, I do a lot of piercing, mostly with 10-0 blades.
So for me, small, light and good balance are critical,
Hence my choice below… (Grobet)
Knew concepts does great product development and I’ll soon get one of the Ti. ones because of the deeper throat. But for most of my work I have to be so close to the piece that I need the smallest, lightest solution.
Thanks, Jim


Hmmmm Ive been storing my saws with the blades in and not releasing any tension, never even thought about it, I just left them as is. Is that a bad thing?

My $.02. I found the Knew Concepts sawframe very fiddle. I had a difficult time opening and closing the tensioning screws and found the frame too large for my hands and line of sight requirements. My favorite saw frame is is a German style with tension screw. It tweaks those tiny blades with just the right torque that allows me to pierce in tight spots.

Jim,the Swiss Style frame is my favorite, but I can’t seem to get them to grip 8/0 and higher. What’s your secret?

Karen Christians
Western Avenue Studio, #506
122 Western Ave.
Lowell, MA 01851

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Hi Karen,
I don’t have any issue with mine (I have several, keep them all strung, under tension).
I’ll look at the clamps Friday, I don’t recall modifying anything but I’ll check & get back to you.

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I have the Green Lion and it’s made a huge difference in my sawing.

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I have used this poor old saw for 30 years or more. I do lots of piercing and it works just fine. I have not found that the high dollar blades work any better than the medium priced ones. The cheap blades are a waste of money. A 4/0 blade is my go to, less than a 7/0 is too thin to do much with as far as I can see. The tension is set almost permanently at the same place on this one by rust.


As a diamond setter I use a # 4-0 and nothing else. The breakage is all depends how you use & abuse them. One in a while I might use a #3/0, but very rarely!!
In one of my many video’s on Orchid, I demonstrate how I use a #4-0 saw blade on a 4-claw engagement ring. In many cases, I use a saw-blade as a mini-file. I don’t work, but I have fun setting gems & diamonds. I allow my tools to work for me!!!..;)…Gerry!

Gerry Lewy!..just sent from my iPhone!


Hi Guys,

I’m still getting used to the new format, so I didn’t see this until just now.

Lee and I are both glad so many people like our saws, we do try to make things easier for people.

In aid of that, I just built a machine that that replaces the sawblade on a saw with an electronic load sensor, so we can measure exactly how many pounds of tension the saw frame is putting on the blade.
You’ll be seeing more of that shortly. I’m likely going to spend the rest of today doing videos with it, to demonstrate this. (For a web-page that’s due for an advert that drops (in a woodworking magazine) next Tuesday.)

The reason any of this matters is that the tighter a blade is pulled, the more accurately it cuts. We’ve all used standard saws with 3-4 in throats, and then gone over to bigger frames to get deep things, and noticed that the deep frames just don’t cut as accurately, or as quickly, and it gets worse the deeper they get. The reason for that is that the legs on a traditional design get more flexible the deeper they get, so the frames can generate progressively less tension as they get deeper. Less tension lets the blade wander off course. We’ve all seen that when we were learning to cut.

The reason I care so much about this is that I’m currently hip deep in designing a saw with 24” legs. (Yes, really. Two feet long.) It’s intended for wood marquetry, so not horribly relevant for jewelry work, except that all the engineering work done for that saw is feeding back into the jeweler’s saw line. To get that monster to work, I had to break down and hire an engineering consultant to help with the stress analysis. Lee and I are both pretty good shade-tree engineers, but that kind of thing requires someone who really does know what they’re doing, to run the numbers for real.

What I discovered when we did that, is nobody else ever had paid much attention to the engineering aspects of the traditional sawframes. They just kept making versions of the same “good enough” design, over and over. Except it wasn’t really good enough, it was just what there was. Or, put better, it didn’t take much to double or triple the strength of the traditional designs, especially as they get deeper.

For example, a traditional 4” sawframe will put out somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds of tension, depending on how you tension it. Our 5” will put out around 45. I’ve got one of the Rio Samson frames from back when I was a bench monkey. If you absolutely overload it, it’ll put out 26#. Much better than the traditionals, but less than half of what we’re doing now with a much lighter modern design.
The deep frames are even more interesting. I have one of Rio’s 11” super deep frames. Puts out about 11 pounds, max. Our 8” goes to about 25#, and I’m aiming to get the 24” to pull 60#.
(This is not to pick on Rio, it’s just that’s what I tended to buy, back when I was a benchie. Because they were the best saws available at the time.)
Our 3” pulls about 60 pounds.
Imagine a 8” deep saw that pulls with the same tension, and cuts as accurately as a 3” saw…. Maybe even with the balance problems ironed out…

What I’ve also discovered is that there’s not a whole lot of point in going beyond about 60 pounds of tension. Beyond that, you just start shredding blades. I test with swiss #3’s, and the frames tear them apart at about 60 pounds. Our 3” titanium will pull with more than 75 pounds of tension, which means you normally don’t want to dial it in as far as it’ll go, because it just eats the blade. (We do use heavier #7 blades for woodworking, and it can’t (quite) shred those.)

The advantage to having frames that’re stronger than the blades are two: (A) the extra strength improves resistance to vibration, which really helps with finer blades like 8/0 & 10/0, and (B) we’re actually causing the blade makers to start thinking about upping their game. So there may be stronger blades available in the future. I’ve talked with Grobet’s in-house blade guru, and up until I asked him, nobody had ever asked (or cared) about the tensile strength of the blades, beyond making sure they were stronger than the 25 pound maximum a traditional sawframe could deliver.

Unavoidably, this is going to sound like tooting our own horn, and to an extent can’t help being just that, but I think the information about how blade tension relates to accuracy, and the tension levels provided by traditional saw designs is worth knowing, independent of who’s saws you buy. When I get the web-page for the tension comparisons done, there will be a spreadsheet listing the tensions we’ve gotten out of various saws, to aid in comparing. (Before anybody asks, the tension rig is calibrated, and I even have the NIST traceability cert.)

In aid of greater understanding,
Brian Meek
Knew Concepts.


I started off with the traditional German saw frame, something “Knew” came along and so being a bit of a tool collector I bought one. They improved their tensioning system a couple years later adding some knobs instead of “wing nuts” which seemed to get in the way all the time. And then made some further improvements to their tensioning system, not necessarily to the saw. In the end, a couple years later I switched back to the German saw frame as the Knew concepts wasn’t holding the tension and the blade would release in mid cut. The old standard is faster to tension and holds true. I know there are a lot of jewelers that love their Knew concepts saws, but for me it just wasn’t working. Don’t base your purchases on “looks” alone, ie. whether a saw looks “pretty” or not, sometimes an old clunker can be the more reliable option.

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The Knew Concepts saw is a cinch to adjust; pardon the pun.
You just turn the little wheel after putting in the blade and securing it in place.
The frame is light so a proper grip is easy to maintain. Less fatigue means a better sawn line.

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I love the Knew Concepts saw frames. I bruise easily and the traditional ones left me with such ugly bruises when I tensioned the blade that i was doing crazy things to avoid sawing. Now, no drama. And I release the lever when i put the frame down for a while. I have no idea if that is smart, but the repeatability of the tension makes it a no-brainer.


Let me say that the Knew Concept saw frame is terrible. I bought the 3 sizes and gave the all away. Just buy an old fashion saw frame. DO NOT spend your money on any Knew Concept frames

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Well, “wakmart”, I must disagree. In my experience the Knew Concept saws are the best I’ve ever used. It would be helpful if you specify just what defects or shortcomings you found in them.
Jerry in Kodiak

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The top where you twist to tighten the blade does not always catch the blade. Consequently, the blades slip out because it is not tightened. I had the first version. The filing get stuck in the hole where the blade is inserted. Cleaning it is not easy. Finally, the weight for me is too flimsy. I prefer a more solid, heavier frame. That is my opinion. As I said, I bought three sizes at a substantial investment and I gave them away.

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Just to be fair,
I am a tool maker as well as a designer.
I find that the tools I make fit my needs (or why else make it…), I also find that variety is useful, for me it might be because I found the Magic Tool, or it might be a de-construction. I always learn something when trying on a tool.
I find that some tools need modifying or “Dialing in” to suite my needs. If that doesn’t work, I figure out what aspects I like and then add/subtract traits as needed. Having seen very skilled people work with really primitive tools, turning out great results, as well as fine tools used with poor results, I find it hard to accuse a toolmaker of anything other than trying to make a tool.
It’s unfortunate that the Knew concept tools aren’t for everyone, however I find their energy and willingness to address issues of moving or removing metal admirable .
So as constructive criticism is useful, so is acknowledgment of good effort.
Just My perspective)


Hello there! I just thought that I could throw my hat in the ring too. I started metalsmithing and making jewelry in the beginning of 2014. I have fibromyalgia, and had trouble with the regular German saw frames, needing my friend in class
to tighten it for me. I found it difficult to push in on the saw to insert the blade, and found it painful. I saw a youtube video of someone doing a demo for the regular Knew Concepts saw, and bought the 5" one with the cam lever. I truly love it. I needed to learn to put the blades in and adjust it, but I now only use that saw. It made life easier, and I no longer break blades. Give it a try and see! Perhaps I love it because I used it more than the German saw, and only got used to it.

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I’m with you Marika,
I also had a weird auto-immune disease that made it very painful to push the handle of a regular saw into my sternum. When I saw the Knew Concepts YouTube video [this was before the lever-model existed] and realized that I could just twist the knob, to get the right ping, without pushing anything against my sternum…I was hooked. I also love that the really deep throat is also engineered to be extremely ‘rigid’, with zero twisting and torquing, I realized that that would keep the blade from breaking…and it does. I also love that it’s structural integrity remains quite light,
Well done Knew Concepts!!!

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