Whenever I start cutting a piece of wood with either a handsaw or hacksaw (i.e. manual saw), the dust covers the line I drew, thereby making following the line very difficult if not impossible.

I am also wearing a dust mask, so I can't blow the dust away (also to take a deep breath to blow the dust would cause me to inhale dust).

What are solutions to this? Cheap and expensive?

  • 1
    is your blade installed backward? .... cheap solution: fan .... expensive solution: radial arm saw – jsotola Mar 26 '18 at 20:49
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    Shop vacuum and a clamp? – Tyson Mar 26 '18 at 21:25
  • 1. Draw a very heavy line. 2. Inhale through your nose and blow through your mouth to clear the line. I have found that a hand saw doesn't fling a lot of dust into the air and so I don't wear a dust mask when using one. 3. What kind of hand saw are you using: a stiff one that cuts on the push or a flexible one that cuts on the pull? – Jim Stewart Mar 26 '18 at 21:27
  • you could get a Japanese saw; they cut away from you. you can poke a straw though your mask and blow out of that. you can vacuum it up with your other hand. you can cut at an angle so it falls off. – dandavis Mar 26 '18 at 21:49
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    @dandavis, Japanese saws cut on pull stroke – jsotola Mar 26 '18 at 22:39

I never tried it but maybe if you put the wood piece at angle, it will move the dust little bit bellow/to the side of the line because of the vibration so you will be able to see at least couple mm...
If you try this, tell me if it worked I am curious myself...


Larry Haun does a little work with a hand saw at the end of a section in this video from 4:45 to 11:45. In between he shows how to make cuts in framing lumber without drawing lines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BuQ9RDXu10


Painter here. I stock quality throwaway brushes (Redtree Fooler) and I find them all the time in the wood shop next to saws.

The woodshop guys use paint brushes to dust off woodwork.

A chip brush is a "cheapie" natural bristle paint brush. They are ideal for chasing chips. The 2" width is the most popular amongst the woodworkers and metalworkers. Expect to pay $1-1.50 retail for generic cheapies.

Being natural bristle, they hate latex paint. They work fine for alkyds, and are ideal for 2-part coatings (LPU) where cleaning the brush is out of the question. We win awards with em.

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    Actually those cheap throw-away brushes are called chip brushes, because they are made for sweeping away chips (or sawdust). They definitely aren't any good for painting. – Jimmy Fix-it Mar 27 '18 at 1:07
  • So I've been stealing their brushes all this time? .......... seriously we use them on award-winning paint jobs using $400/gallon LPU marine paint (read: you will not be using the brush a second time). I squabble with my boss, he likes the McMaster-Carr generics, I like the Foolers (we both paint). They definitely aren't any good for latex. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 27 '18 at 14:43
  • How would one use a brush while making a cut? – isherwood Mar 27 '18 at 15:30
  • @isherwood either helper or 1-handed tool, or pause. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 27 '18 at 15:33

Make your cut somewhere that doesn't require a mask.

Seriously, woodworkers rely on their breath constantly. Taking away that utility would seriously hamper my productivity. Find a workspace with cleaner air. The bit of dust that's generated by the cut isn't usually a health concern.

  • Yeah as I was answering your comment, I was thinking this same thing. Why are you using a dust mask for hand sawing? Dust masks are for power tools and wood isn't even particularly toxic. A hand saw just won't raise enough dust to matter. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Mar 27 '18 at 15:34

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