Two hand saws used in the video “How to cut materials with a hand saw, part 3”

The small hand saw with the yellow handle is “Benri-noko”, and the large one with the blue handle is “Planoko”.

The first saw used in the video “How to cut materials with a hand saw, part 3” (as well as part 1 and 2) is a small hand saw named “Benri-noko” (“benri” means “handy” or “useful”, and “noko” is short for “nokogiri,” meaning “saw”). It is a product of Olfa, a company famous for its “snap-off blade” utility knives. This saw is very useful, but is apparently no longer manufactured (nor is it found in the company’s website).

The second saw (appearing at around 7:22) is a larger one named “Planoko 240,” made by Bakuma Industrial Co., Ltd. As the name “Planoko” (a combination of “plastic” and “noko”) suggests, it is produced for the purpose of cutting PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or plastic, it also works well with wood, ivory and horn. “240” refers to “240 mm (millimeters),” which is the length of the blade.

My father, Ryushi, says: “There are many other hand saws that work better. They cut very well once the blades pass through the material. On the other hand, they would be difficult, particularly if you were a beginner, to make the very first stroke along the line you marked with a pencil or whatever you use. It is because the teeth of their blades grip the material too firmly that they tend to get stuck and do not move smoothly. And if you pulled* too forcefully, the blades would move about and make unwanted scratches off the line. Ever since I started giving netsuke-carving classes, I have looked for a hand saw which is easy for beginners to handle and is reasonable in price, and I finally found this Planoko.”
(*Japanese hand saws have pull-cutting blades.)

The Planoko is less than 2,000 yen, and its spare blade costs only a couple of hundred yen. I like the Planoko, since it is light in weight (Benri-noko weighs 75 grams, Planoko 110 grams) and is easy to use. In fact, more than ten years ago, I cut a thick slice of ivory using this saw.

Although it took a long time (perhaps 30 minutes or so), this saw allowed a female amateur like myself (whose arms are not strong) to achieve such a task.

Planoko at

Spare blade at

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