I am new to this stuff, and it is my first time seeing teeth on the backside of a curved saw blade.

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2 Answers 2


That curved part of the top of the blade is designed so you can cut skirting board when it is fixed to the wall.

So you don’t have to remove the whole length.

Also for cutting that waist high trim that protected walls from chairs in older houses - again when it was fitted.

  • 1
    This is right. There are times when you need to cut one board over another surface. That's virtually impossible with a straight blade.
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2023 at 19:13
  • ‘Waist high trim’ The term is dado rail, and it actually had nothing originally to do with protecting the wall from chairs (the traditional height for it is far too short for this purpose). Jun 3, 2023 at 12:03
  • @AustinHemmelgarn often I avoid many of the “technical” English terms as some don’t know them…
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 3, 2023 at 15:28

This permits (if you are adequately determined) starting a cut in the middle of a board, rather than starting from the edge as usual.

Most commonly seen actually used when starting a hole in the floor, for instance. Once you cut the full height of the blade you'd switch to cutting with the normal cutting edge, which will be much faster and less effort.

Of course using a powered hand-held circular saw is also faster and less effort, so fewer people are familiar with this "feature" on handsaws these days.

  • 4
    I think Solar Mike has it more right--it's not so much about where the cut is started, but prevention of damage to underlying surfaces outside the intended cut area.
    – isherwood
    Jun 2, 2023 at 19:12

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