Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

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Ernest Becker
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Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by Ernest Becker » August 25th, 2011, 6:59 am

What are the pros and cons of the two currently manufactured two-man crosscut saws?

1. Tuatahi (New Zealand) sells lance tooth peg-and-raker work saws in several lengths, they cost about $600 tuned and sharpened from Dolly Chapman
2. Curtis, aka Crosscut Saw Co. (Seneca Falls, NY) sells tuttle tooth and lance tooth saws in several lengths, they cost about $200 but are not tuned and sharpened by Dolly Chapman

I am new to crosscut saws and would appreciate any feedback on either of these saws - preferably from personal experience with the saw. My intended use is bucking green hardwoods, about 12"-36" diameter, during wintertime, in the northeast United States.

Thank you in advance.

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PATCsawyer
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by PATCsawyer » August 25th, 2011, 12:08 pm

I have no experience with the Tuatahi peg and raker saw, but have lots of experience with Curtis saws purchased by my trail club. The Curtis saws have soft steel and will not spring back from a bend or kink the way an older saw would. I will file the Curtis saws belonging to my trail club, but I'd turn down anybody who brought me a personal Curtis blade to file. They can be made to cut, but I'd rather spend my time on a quality Disston, Atkins, or Simonds saw, as they will perform better and can be purchased at yard sales or Ebay for much less than an new Curtis.

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trailcrew
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by trailcrew » August 28th, 2011, 5:46 am

I've run both the "m" tooth and peg and raker tuatahi saws. Sharp, they both cut like crazy. Because they are saws designed for racing, they are thicker steel stock than a vintage saw- much more rigid. They take a little more energy to move through the wood than a well-tuned vintage saw, but cut quite a bit faster. They are also flat ground, but truly flat, and seem to run just fine even in a slight bind. Conversely, the Curtis saws are flat ground but have waves and imperfections in the steel that cause them to bind pretty regularly. They are advertised as delivered sharp, but this is not accurate.
All told, the Tuatahi saw is a far superior product and you'd get the cs of the shop in New Zealand as well as Dolly. The Curtis saws are not a very polished product and in my dealings with them their customer service has been lousy.
Josh

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sumnergeo
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by sumnergeo » August 28th, 2011, 6:28 am

We recently sharpened a 3 1/2 foot Curtis Lance Tooth. It came "out of the box" with rakers taller than cutters, cutters of differing width, set skewed to one side. These saws are stamped out. The stamp must be worn because the metal bends at the edges of the teeth, the teeth are not all the same and the edges of the teeth and rakers are not square. The set was about 25/1000 on one side and -5/1000 on the other. Using the saw as it was, it jumped through the kerf and left lots of fibers in the cut (green box elder). After jointing, we filed the rakers square and shaped and dropped them about 10/1000s (no swayge); filed the teeth with about a 25 degree fleam, set the teeth to around 14/1000s.

The resulting saw cut extremely well with noodles as long as the raker spacing (2 1/2 inches) and no fibers on the sides of the kerf.

The comments on toughness of the steel are spot on. We valued this saw, with good D and aux handle, at $40. A similar branded saw in rusty but salvagable shape goes for under $25 in Minnesota. For bucking firewood, either on these are fine. For trail work, I would hold out for a Simonds D-handle.
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Ernest Becker
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by Ernest Becker » August 31st, 2011, 7:02 pm

PATCsawyer, trailcrew, and sumnergeo;

Thanks very much for the insights.

I will definitely avoid the Curtis (aka Jemco) saws. Multiple sources have indicated that both the saws themselves, and the customer service, leave a lot to be desired.... especially for the price.

Regards.

Nic
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by Nic » December 28th, 2011, 11:32 am

I stumbled across this board while looking for info on handles and I just have to say that I completely agree with comments regarding the terrible customer service at CrosscutSawCo... RUDE to say the least! Not sure how they can stay in business with their attitude.
Glad your posts enlightened me to potential problems with their western-style handles. I'll keep looking...
Thanks!

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SalmonCreek
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by SalmonCreek » December 28th, 2011, 12:33 pm

I've never used one of the Curtis saws, but I have sharpened one that I think was one. When filing the teeth, instead of a fine metal particulate dust coming off the file, the filed metal just galled up on the file, and behind the tooth edge itself. On the flip side, it was easy to swage the rakers, and set the teeth! For someone wanting a saw for a couple times a year worth of work, it might be fine.

We do have a Tuatahi saw in our group. And it is well liked. I have not used it, but for regular trail work, between a Tuatahi and a Curtis, I would pay for the Tuatahi. Though the best alternative I think, as mentioned before, is a used Disston, Atkins, Simonds, etc........

Buggy Whip
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by Buggy Whip » December 29th, 2011, 2:58 pm

Our District Rec shop bought 2 6 foot curtis saws a couple of seasons back. The next winter we took them down to the Smoke Jumper Base for sharpening.Thier filers wouldn't touch them.

canyonman
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by canyonman » November 19th, 2012, 4:05 pm

Though I'm a little late chiming in on this thread, I just wanted to emphasize to anyone thinking of buying a Curtis saw: DON'T! I've used them, and even when they're sharp (which doesn't last long), they are misery whips. Good vintage saws, sharpened by an expert, are still available for half the price of a Tuatahi. They just don't make 'em like they used to.

da yooper
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Re: Tuatahi vs. Curtis (Crosscut Saw Co of Seneca Falls, NY)

Post by da yooper » November 20th, 2012, 11:07 am

I have not dealt with there saws, but.... I did buy one of there Gibbs knock offs . All I can say is steer clear of Crosscut Saw Co. These guys are turd merchants!

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