Zeta pocket saw from Tashiro Hardware

A shot of the Zeta pocket saw from Tashiro Hardware :

zeta saw


The Zeta pocket saw has a Japanese tooth pattern with 19.5 centimeters of teeth and eleven teeth per inch. Like all such saws it cuts on the pull stroke.


This saw is many times more efficent than the small saws on SAK's and Leatherman and other similar tools. Not only can it cut larger wood due to the longer blade but it cuts far more wood per inch of blade and is also far more fluid on the draw which enables it to handle a wider variety of woods, from small diameter hardwoods to sapwoods like pine. To benchmark the performance, the Zeta pocket saw, a Felco pruning saw and a Timber saw also from Tashiro hardware were used to cut up some 2x6 lumber, details :

Zeta pruning saw vs Felco and timber saw on scrap lumber
Model blade length tpi strokes total length time
centimeters centimeters seconds
Felco 14.5 7 45 (3) 653 (36) 14.4 (8)
Timber 31.5 9 22 (1) 705 (22)  8.4 (2)
Zeta 19.5 11 38 (2) 735 (29) 11.8 (6)

The coarser Felco cuts the most wood per blade length as expected gives the coarse tpi, however it takes longer to pull because it requires more force to cut to the greater depth. The Timber saw had the best balance of aggression and speed on the wood. The same saws were also used on freshly felled pine and fir woods about three inches in diameter :

Zeta pruning saw vs Felco and timber saw on fresh pine and fir
Model strokes total length time
centimeters seconds
Felco 40 (2) 572 (28) 12.3 (7)
Timber 25 (3) 788 (78)  9.9 (9)
Zeta 42 (2) 815 (33) 12.8 (8)

Again the coarse tpi of the Felco gives it the most wood cut per blade length, and again the other blades are faster in the wood. The Zeta was also compared to a Felco #60 on basswood dowel and with respect to time matched the Felco with the dowel locked in place and vastly outperformed it with the dowel cut in hand due to being much more fluid in the wood.

In regards to general utility, the Zeta can also be used to to saw through 3/8" thick hemp rope and poly cords. They can also cut plastics and rubber .

additional abilities

The Zeta pocket saw has a replaceable blade, and many different types of blades are available from Tashiro hardware . The Timber saw blade can fit into the Zeta saw, though it can't close then. One of the more useful features of the Zeta that the blade can lock at angles both above and below the horizontal. This both allows the aggression on the pull to be altered, so once the blade gets a little worn, it can be set down to bite in deeper, plus the angles allow cuts in restricted locations to be made. Changing the angle of the blade also allows the force required to shift from pressing down to simply pulling back. As the angle is increased, less force is needed to drive the teeth into the wood and thus the back becomes more of a factor, and thus the overall fatigue rate is lowered significantly.

The ability to set the blade was put o good use felling small sticks alongside the Ratweiler :

The saw was signifiantly faster felling and the ability to set the blade at an angle seriously reduced fatigue. However the Zeta was behind the Ratweiler bucking and limbing.


The handle is ergonomic and secure, cuts could be made readily even with the handle was lubricated with oil/soap. The orange bands also allow the saw to be placed visually readily which keeps it from getting misplaced. In general, the soft grip was more comfortable in use than the plastic handle on the Felco #60.


The lock holds the blade in place securely. No loosening or play developed after extended use (more than two years). It also clogged a lot less than the Felco which generally needed to be cleaned after cutting a lot of soft fresh woods.

Comments and references

Comments can be sent via email : cliffstamp[REMOVE]@cutleryscience.com and posted to :

More information on this saw and others can be found on the Tashiro Hardware website, Rokjok has also posted about the saw on Bladeforums.

Last updated : 12 : 01 : 30
Originally written : Tue Jul 13 23:23:18 NDT 2004