Historical information

A saw is a tool consisting of a tough blade, wire, or chain with a hard-toothed edge. It is used to cut through material, very often wood, though sometimes metal or stone. The cut is made by placing the toothed edge against the material and moving it forcefully forth and less vigorously back or continuously forward. This force may be applied by hand, or powered by steam, water, electricity or other power sources. An abrasive saw has a powered circular blade designed to cut through metal or ceramic.
In ancient Egypt, open (unframed) saws made of copper are documented as early as the Early Dynastic Period, circa 3,100–2,686 BC. Many copper saws were found in tombs dating to the 31st century BC. Models of saws have been found in many contexts throughout Egyptian history. As the saw developed, teeth were raked to cut only on the pull stroke and set with the teeth projecting only on one side, rather than in the modern fashion with an alternating set. Saws were also made of bronze and later iron. In the Iron Age, frame saws were developed holding the thin blades in tension. The earliest known sawmill is the Roman Hierapolis sawmill from the third century AD used for cutting stone.


The subject item is believed to date from around the mid to late 20th century and is regarded as a modern item. The maker is unknown but the pattern or design and type of wood used indicate it is a tool of modern manufacture.

Physical description

Compass saw blade with wooden with open handle blade attached with wingnut lever at side to adjust long narrow blade

Inscriptions & markings