How to choose a Knew Concepts saw for jewelry making

February 5, 2012

Hi bloglandia! Do your jewelry projects ever seem to stack up, one on top of another? Mine do. Maybe you are able to focus entirely on each project, finish and clean up before moving onto the next, but it seems I always have 10 different things going at once. Right now I’ve got a bunch of metal shapes to saw out and then solder together. The next few blog posts are going to use a few of these projects to highlight different tools and techniques, starting with the Knew Concepts saw frames and ending with Blazer micro torches.


Saw frame, saw blades, bench pin, rubber cement, sheet metal and a design! Ready to saw!

So, what is new about Knew saw frames, other than their distinctive shape and bright red color? Well, most of us learned to saw with standard adjustable saw frames. In order to get the right tension on your blade with these frames, you press the frame between your body and a table or other sturdy object. By inserting the blade while the frame is bowed, the blade gets pulled tight into place when you release that bow. But – ow! That action bruised my breastbone. And when you break saw blades as often as I did starting out, it becomes a real chore.

Knew Concepts saw frames are different in a number of ways. Obviously, they are bright fire engine red. They are extremely lightweight, which makes them more comfortable to hold. And they are available in a whole lotta different models! How to pick?

1. Size. 3″, 5″ or 8″? My vote is for 5″, unless you plan to work with very large or very long pieces of metal, in which case the 8″ frame makes sense. If your hands tire easily and you only work with small pieces, than the 3″ frame might meet your needs. I’m a middle of the road kind of girl! Note that the size refers to the depth of the frame. The height for all Knew frames is fixed. This means you won’t be able to re-use broken blades by shortening your frame. (But wouldn’t you rather not break the blade to begin with? Knew frames help with that!)


If you want to pierce the very end of a long strip of metal, you need either a large frame or the swivel model.

2. Blade tension options. Screw tension or cam-lever tension? I 100% endorse the cam-lever tension because the tension does not change when you switch blades. Instead of sandwiching the frame between your chest and the table every time you break a blade or move to a different area of a pierced design, you simply flip the cam-lever switch! What a relief!


The cam-lever option is totally worth a few extra bucks.

3. To swivel – or not to swivel? That is the final question. Personally, I found the swivel to be an extra complication that I didn’t really want to mess with. However, if having a really lightweight saw that can still get into tight corners is important, buying the small 3″ saw frame with the cam-lever and swivel would accomplish that goal.

After testing the different options, I decided the 5″ Cam-Lever Tension model was my favorite (69-169-52 – it is the one with the staff choice icon in our online store). It is comfortable to hold and large enough to handle pretty much any jewelry project I would undertake.

Of course, the first question should have been: do I really need a Knew Concepts saw frame when I can buy a standard jeweler’s saw for less money? The answer depends on how you define need! If budget is the #1 concern, then maybe the answer is no. An adjustable saw frame has been the industry standard for years. However, if you want to invest in a tool that will serve you well for years, and which will make the – let’s face it – somewhat tedious job of sawing more enjoyable, then yes, you kneed a Knew frame! ~ Cindy

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  • lee marshall June 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Thank you for posting your opinion, and your work.
    I really appreciate what you have said about the saws.
    Lee (the saw guy)