I need to purchase a dovetail saw and was wondering if the group could help me pick one? Bear in mind I have never used a dovetail saw before. The following is what I found at Highland Woodworking web site. What are the differences and does it even matter?
Bahco 10” (13-15 TPI) Reusable offset profcut saw
8” and 10" strait dovetail saw
6” Gentleman’s saw
I guess you also asked about the "difference" too...
Don't bother with the Bahco 10" reversible handle saw. Those are really meant for cutting off the trim under a door so flooring can be slipped in. That's why you can flip the offset handle to one side or the other.
The 8" straight handle and 6" Gent's saw are essentially the same, except for 2"...
Both look like the Crown brand. An ok saw for the money but I found they have too much set and the teeth weren't as sharp as they could be. The resulting kerf was much wider than the saw plate and so the saw could wobble about. That just sets you up for a saw cut that drifts off line.
After stoning the sides a little bit and some practice at sharpening it cut better. Also, I think the teeth were originally filed crosscut which seems wrong for a dovetail saw which is normally making rip cuts. My hack-job sharpening more or less turned them back into rip teeth.
You may have also noticed that some have "D" handles, others straight handles. That is mostly a matter of personal preference. In both cases for western style saws, you cut with a three finger grip, index finger pointing down the blade. For a Japanese saw you grip near the end of the handle but honestly I don't know if it is supposed to be a 3 or 4 finger grip. Somebody will be along shortly to answer that.