Hand-powered table-saw is a high tech marvel

Gmoke sez, "Bridge City Tools makes a remarkable hand-powered, non-electric table saw. It is extremely versatile and precise. The video is real carpentry porn. Beautiful tool doing beautiful work."

Hell yeah.

Jointmaker Pro Saw - High Res - Bridge City Tool Works (Thanks, Gmoke, via Submitterator!)


  1. Not just that it uses no electricity, the blade is much thinner than that of a normal rotray blade table saw. But most important is the reduced risk of serious injuries to the finders as compared to its electric cousins (and yes I saw the entry of a couple of days ago of the automatically stopping blade but first of all you can not buy that pice of equipment yet and secondly the electronics can fail!).

  2. Awesome…but a little out of my price range for the time being.

    It really looks like it would be great for artists who do their own framing, though.

  3. For $1300 I could get a number of nice power tools and have money left over for stock. Sheesh!

    It is really awesome though.

  4. It’s cool tech, but the blade is really the only new part. I have a not-small number of tools, and I doubt if they came to half that price.

    And environmentally friendly, granted; but there are plenty of ways to power tools other than coal-electricity out of the wall.

    1. The blade appears to be similar to a dozuki, which are incredibly sweet, very easily destroyed ultra-precision blades. I trashed my Takumi Dozuki two nights ago; I work mostly with reclaimed wood, and I dragged the entire blade across a buried piece of metal and lost three teeth. I’m still in mourning.

      You can get a good, affordable dozuki for 30 to 50 USD if you want a blade capable of the ultra clean cuts shown in the video. However, since it’s a hand saw, you won’t get anything like the video’s level of precision until you are well practiced. The video is showing a very impressive jig, essentially. I wish I could afford one!

      If you aren’t already used to Japanese style saws (which are a world of different from European and American saws) start with a good inexpensive ryoba before attempting the dozuki. The ryoba is my go-to saw in nearly all situations, but the dozuki cuts cleaner than any other saw I have ever used, including my big band saw or any of my other power saws.

      1. Absolutely correct, Ito. This tool essentially replaces a healthy functioning Japanese carpenter.

        Until you need to rip a length along the grain. Oops, better learn how to use that ryoba after all.

        I’m predicting this saw will be extremely popular with finish carpenters as well as the hobby cabinetmaker. There’s a lot to be said for cleanliness and silence when you’re installing trim or paneling in a client’s home while household activity goes on around you. I’d imagine the saw will pay for itself the first few times you say “Yeah, I charge a bit more, but I don’t need much of a work area and I don’t make noise.”

  5. Their market has to be that of the gentleman cabinetmaker I guess. It is a brilliant contraption with obvious flaws like limited capacity, the need to make the cut in one stroke to get the best results, which makes it fairly dangerous if your hand slips BTW, and the price, among others.

    As a professional I’d loose all credibility among my peers if I used almost any of their tools, but the ingenuity remains nice to contemplate. :)

  6. Niiiice. ….$1300… not niiiiice. But well-made hand tools are a pleasure to use.
    Get some aluminum stock and a few blocks of lexan and build one of these rigs yourself :)

  7. Dr Junge:

    weirdly, i have a feeling the complete opposite might be true. as soon as i saw this, i thought ‘beautiful stuff’ but something about it makes me wince. i can imagine being tired and using this, and suddenly finding i have a bifurcated index finger. it’s just that there’s no motor noise, and you move the material, not the saw, which for me is counter-intuitive.

    having said that, once you’re used to it, it looks like a high-end furniture-maker’s dream.

    1. Compared to the injuries a circular saw will do to your hands, this linear motion saw is totally harmless. The avaliable energy is just orders of magnitudes lower. Of cause you can cut fingers with this saw, but you cut multiple finger up to a full hand with a circular saw, even a little one.

  8. This tool makes a lot of things possible for people who don’t have the experience with fine hand tools. All of that can be accomplished with Japanese dovetail saws, hand planes and shooting boards, and a few shop-made jigs.

  9. There’s nothing in this saw that keeps you from lopping your fingers off. If your finger’s in the way of the blade, and you push hard (which you’ll do, because you’re trying to cut through wood) then your fingers are going to come off. Flesh is softer than white oak. $1300 is an awful lot of money, when for a few bucks more, you can get one of those table saws that stop automatically when they hit flesh.

    Noticeably absent from the demonstration is the use of the saw on sheet goods, or cuts wider than 6″. Not sure how many cabinetmakers are going to find this useful.

    The only selling point for this saw is that it’s quieter than an electric saw. But it’s a lot of money to spend on what’s basically a Japanese pull-saw in a fancy mitre-box.

  10. God I would love one of these. As a hobbyist, I find it’s often impossible to find precision tools unaccompanied by outrageous cabinetmaker’s prices. As soon as I saw this I thought “Sweet, maybe the fact that it’s unpowered means I can have both!”

    Maybe this $1600 jig will sell to some particular market niche, but it seems a little absurd to me. Nonetheless, very impressive!

  11. One hidden factor here is the wood used. If some of the sticky cheaper quality (non-amazonian non-hard-wood) that i use was worked with that thing it would be junk after three projects

  12. I can think of a few very valid criticisms (including safety – yikes), and the price is just completely impractical for most people, but still, this is really cool.

  13. People who have for years had difficulty with carpentry, can’t saw straight, always make a mess, just never believe just how easy it is to use a pull saw and what spectacularly fine results they give, at a fraction of the effort of a traditional saw.

    It is very little exaggeration to say that a pullsaw can do the job in virtually the same time as a power tool, if you count setup.

    You could make one of these table-saws yourself for a fraction of the price, from a reasonably cheap pullsaw, lumber, and fasteners.

    Once you’ve tried a good pullsaw, though, you probably wouldn’t bother – it would be easier to make a mitre box to use your pullsaws with. Together with simple holding jigs, that’s all you need.

    If you’ve never tried one, or if you’re a novice, try one. You’ll never regret it. You don’t have to go for expensive Japanese tools – though they are lovely, and are the ultimate tool porn (I have a few) – a stock pullsaw will give superb results.

  14. It looks like it will do the same things as my miter box except that was a lot cheaper. Having the cut start on the opposite side of where you can see makes it harder to make sure you’re cutting exactly where you want. Heavier pieces would also get unwieldy. Imagine trying to slide an 8 foot long board back and forth on that. The long rip cuts the table saw does so well probably wouldn’t be possible.

  15. Nice.

    I played the video for my wife, and she said it was the best three minutes I’d ever showed her.


  16. Japanese handsaws are the best. I have gotten several frm Manny’s Woodworkers Place. I would love to use this jig though. Seems like a sweet setup.

  17. As a professional carpenter I have to say its a nice design. The price, however, is just plain ridiculous. There is no way I would even consider purchasing a saw like this unless the price dropped below $300.

  18. I can think of many applications where this tool would earn its keep, over time. Modelmaking, marquetry, musical instrument making, and any other woodworking that used rather small stock.

    As far as safety goes, good work holding devices could help keep your fingertips out of the way.

  19. Japanese handsaws are the best. I have gotten several frm Manny’s Woodworkers Place. I would love to use this jig though. Seems like a sweet setup.

  20. Thanks for all of your interest in our tool. I am a designer and general manager at Bridge City Tool Works who has worked on the development of the Jointmaker products. I am also an avid user of the JMP.
    We designed the saw to be used by furniture makers. This will have limited appeal for cabinet makers and carpenters. As with ANY saw or machine in existence, there are capacities that the saw can handle. Obviously sheet goods have no business being used on this. And long trim pieces will be awkward, but it is possible. That’s why this excels with furniture scale projects.
    As far as safety is concerned, I cut myself on the JMP as often as I cut myself while using my hand held dozuki japanese saw. For more info, this is posted on the youtube comment site:

    Clearly, with any cutting device, from kitchen knives to hand saws, there is risk of injury if the user is uninformed or careless. That said, hand saws, meaning any saw where the user provides the motion to engage the teeth against material, need to be used intelligently. That is why each and every JMP has a no hands zone indicated on the tables. This zone represents the cutting zone with the blade raised to the highest position and tilted to 45 degrees. If one places their hands in this zone, they risk an injury.
    We agree that it is possible for somebody to cut themselves, but this risk, as with knives, axes and other edge tools rests with the responsibility of the user who understands the proper techniques for employing this tool productively. And if an injury does manage to occur, the user has deliberately encroached beyond the clearly marked safety zone.
    Many of the saws that we have sold have been purchased because the risk of injury is much less than powered saws. Once you see the tool in person and have a chance to use it, I am certain that your fears would be greatly reduced.

    Thanks again for your interest. There is some excellent actual user feedback, (not just observers of the video) on the Community Forum on our web site.

    1. Oh, thank you for joining the conversation! Is the blade a dozuki nokogiri or a kataba? It looks like a crosscut dozuki to me, but I can’t see the back in the video.

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