Disston Saws

Saw Vises


Love Your Saws with Matthew Cianci


1874 was a very busy year at the Keystone Saw Works, the hub of Henry Disston and Sons mammoth saw and tool making enterprise.


Among many patents granted that year and utilized on new Disston saws was the ‘Improvement in handles for saws’ feature granted to William J. Reagan on December 8. The Reagan patent handle was found on the Disston No. 9 improved backsaw, which featured a decorative ogee shaped on the nose of the saw blade, as well as the standard Disston #4 backsaw with a square nose.

Nowadays, saw lovers drool over the gorgeous, sculpted lines of these saw handles. Some time ago I found my first Reagan backsaw with a nice, thin, 14 inch blade. I’ll get around to cleaning and tuning it someday. But more recently, I stumbled across a variety of Reagan saw handle that I have never seen or even heard of before.

All of the Reagan handles I had seen previous to this, both in person and in pictures, where of the three bolt variety shown on saws 12 inches and larger. The saw I found–and subsequently snatched up on sight–has a two-bolt handle on a 10 inch saw plate. While I know that Reagan pattern saws were available in sizes as small as 8 inches, I never thought about what the handle might look like. You can tell from the picture above that it is quite different. I have included a 14 inch variety of the same vintage for comparison.

Curious for info on another documented saw like mine, I asked my friend Carl. He has been collecting and researching saws longer than I’ve been alive. Carl said he’d never heard of one before. Hmmmm…

So how rare are these little beauties? I’d love to see other pictures of saws like this or even a catalogue image if anyone has one.

In the meantime, I’m going to be sleeping with this sexy little saw…I think I’m in love!

March, 2014


Disston Saws

Saw Vises


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