Are Old Hand Saws Worth Anything?

By Kimberly


Someone recently asked me if old hand saws were worth anything. And while it wasn’t a question I’d have asked, I decided to look into it – if only to give that person a solid answer. As I did my research, I was shocked to discover a whole market exists for old hand saws.

Usable old or antique hand saws sell for $8-$425, with an average sale price of $48.06 per saw. Including other old tools in a batch sale will raise the overall price. Usable Disston hand saws sell for an average of $70.64, with a sale price range of $30-$123.15.

So how much could you sell your old saw for? Let’s dig into the data and give you a solid idea on what that old handsaw could fetch during a sale.

An image of an old rusty saw and other tools on top of a wood.
Old rusty tools hammer and hand saw for carpenter work

Old Hand Saws Are Worth Some Money

Saws (and specifically hand saws) are an amazingly versatile tool. They are a staple for homesteaders and homeowners alike. There are tons of options available at your local tool store.

But here’s the fun thing about old hand saws – the best ones are crazy durable and last for years. So the old ones, despite their age, can hold their value fairly well – as long as they’re functional.

When I first started researching old hand saws, I saw a few articles that listed common sale prices as anywhere between $50 and $500. Most articles just left things at that – so it wasn’t very helpful. A few of the articles mentioned that a particular brand (Disston) and a small range of that brand’s models was more likely to sell for the $500 amount. However, they didn’t call attention to which model, nor the years during which those particular models were created.

So I decided to do my own research because a $450 spread seems a little much. I scoured eBay, Etsy, local classifieds, and online classifieds.

  • I found more than 40 hand saws listed on eBay alone! Most there are listed in the $40-100 range with very few (if any) bids.
  • Etsy has several hundred options, too. Although most seem to be in the same general $50-150 range, their prices are all over the board. Some but not all of these saws have been fancified for decor-related purposes.
  • Local and several online classifieds only had a few options, so they weren’t a great source of information for my research purposes. This could be a bad time of year to buy and sell old handsaws, though.

So while I can’t see if the old hand saws on Etsy, local classifieds, or any of the various online classifieds are selling for their listing price, I can find that information on eBay. So I’ll show you my data later on in this article.

Suffice it to say, though, that old hand saws aren’t worthless. They retain their value or even see a rise in value, especially if you compare them to the current price of hand saws at big-box retailers.

I mean, a new hand saw can cost anywhere from $8-$50+, depending on the brand and components. So being able to sell an old hand saw for an average of $48.06? That’s not too shabby.

But first – what can you do with an old hand saw?

What Do You Do with Old Saws?

Tools like hand saws are amazingly versatile. There are a ton of uses for them. Here are some of the uses I’ve seen or found during my research.

  • Use them. Most old hand saws are still functional – so go ahead and put that saw to its intended use.
  • Sell that saw. If you’ve got an old hand saw and you no longer want (or need) it, they do sell. And it’s possible you could sell it for a good amount. You can almost definitely sell it for enough to buy a new hand saw – or a different style of hand saw.
  • Donate it. If you’ve got a saw used in a particular time period or place, it may have sentimental or historical value. A museum or historical association might love to get its hands on that old hand saw. In this scenario, it might even count as a tax-deductible kind of thing. Just be sure to ask an accountant, because tax laws change often enough that I can’t keep up with them and my garden.
  • Refinish the handsaw. That hand saw may function (and look better) if it’s first been refinished. This could mean the blade, the handle, or both depending on how things look. If you’re going to donate the saw after refinishing it, though, make sure you talk to the recipient first. They may (or may not) want it refinished.
  • Recycle the handsaw. While I don’t know of any recycling plant that accepts old tools, that’s not the only way to recycle a hand saw. In this case, “reuse” is probably a better way to recycle it. Let that hand saw help again – either at your backyard homestead or in someone else’s. If it’s a partially-broken hand saw, then it may need to be fixed. Or it could be used for parts. Old hand saw blades and handles are also sold on the various platforms, though for a fraction of the cost.
  • Use the hand saw in decoration. This could be especially true if you’ve got a farmhouse motif going on. But the sheer quantity of hand saws selling on Etsy makes it pretty clear that hand saws are a decoration tool, too. I’ve seen hand saws used as decor on walls in homes, restaurants, and in a farmhouse-styled bed and breakfast years ago.

Did I cover every possible use of a hand saw? Definitely not. But I did try to cover as many as I could find. And in my research, I even found a new few ideas. Even so, please let me know if I missed any awesome uses for hand saws.

How Do You Refinish an Old Hand Saw?

How you refinish and restore an old hand saw will depend on its current condition, its historical value, and its intended use in the future.

For example, a saw that’s of significant historical value may have more historical significance if it’s left as-is. On the other hand, a 20-year-old saw that’s going to be refinished so you can use it would need to be refinished so it’s more usable.

In any case, three main parts may need to be refinished: the handle, the screws holding the handle to the blade, and the blade plate.

  • The handle may need to be removed, sanded, refinished, and oiled before being reattached to the blade plate.
  • The attachment screws can be buffed and polished, depending on their material.
  • The blade or blade plate may need to be removed from the handle so it can get the rust removed properly. Then it’ll need to be oiled, resharpened, and reattached.

I’m not an expert at refinishing old hand saws, but I did find this video on YouTube that explains refinishing old hand saws really well – without making things overly difficult. Plus, it’s cool to see them go from old, rusty saws to usable ones.

Then, that video even shows you how to sharpen the saw with a file. There are lots of other videos on YouTube that show refinishing and sharpening saws, too. Don’t be afraid to search YouTube for how to refinish a different style of a hand saw.

How Much Old Saws Sell For

All right – I promised to show you the data I’d found on how much old hand saws actually sell for. Here are 39 data points over two months for what price points old hand saws actually sell.

Type of Hand SawSale with Shipping CostsTotal Sale Price
Antique farm saw$29.99 + $10 shipping$39.99
15″ saw$29.99 + $12 shipping$41.99
Lot of 8 antique hand saws$95 + $74 shipping$169
Set of 3 antique hand saws (brands not listed)$20 + $20 shipping$40
3 old hand saws$40.90 + $52.76 shipping$93.66
set of 2 vintage Superior hand saws 26″ and 24″$17.99 + $17 shipping$34.99
Primitive rustic hand saw$40 + $15 shipping$55
Disston d-8 20″ crosscut$19.50 + $17 shipping$36.50
Antique Disston #7$100+$23.15 shiping$123.15
Old Disston #26$17 +$19.36 shipping$36.36
Vintage Disston #12 hand saw 20″ 12 pt panel size$75 +$14.90 shipping$89.90
Disston dovetail hand saw$56 + $8.35 shipping$64.35
Vintage Disston #16 hand saw$59.99 + $20 shipping$79.99
Vintage Disston hand saw 20″ blade$15 + $15 shipping$30
Vintage Disston 7 panel 16″$89.99 + $14.90 shipping$104.89
Antique Superior man Cave saw$36.13 + $45.35 shipping$81.48
Antique hack saw$8 + $10 shipping$18
Antique hand saw$35 + $10 shipping$45
Antique Wooden handle Saw 24″$2.99 + $14.90 shipping$17.89
Japanese Pull Saw$45 + $30 shipping$75
Japanese Pull Saw (separate listing)$45 + $30 shipping$75
Jeweler’s hand saw$52 + $7.15 shipping$59.15
Spear and Jackson hand saw$87 + $13.95 shipping$100.95
Vintage 26″ panel hand rip cut saw$53 + $40.88 shipping$93.88
vintage 26″ panel hand crosscut saw$52.76 + $41 shipping$93.76
vintage 22″ panel hand crosscut saw$33 + $41 shipping$74
1-2 man crosscut saw 46″ blade$42 + $36.75 shipping$78.75
Vintage old cross-cut bow hand saw$37.31 + $18.95 shipping$56.26
Vintage 16″ panel 6 pt rip saw$49.99 + $14.90 shipping$64.89
Vintage 18″ hand saw$15.99 (free shipping)$15.99
rusty cast iron handle hand saw$20 + $16.12 shipping$36.12
Old Steel Miter Box Wood Handle Hand Saw (Small)$27.80 + $8.95 shipping$36.75
Old Wood Bow hand saw$20 + $18.92 shipping$38.92
Bow cross cut$29.99 + $21.26 shipping$51.25
Vintage hand saw$5.15 + $11.19 shipping$16.34
large old hand saw$86.79 + $50.59$137.38
Vintage old buck bow saw$75 + $72.94 shipping$147.94
Old hand saw and miter and tools$391 + $35.26 shipping$426.26
Old hand saw, clamp, and tools$38 + $10.45 shipping$48.45
Data was collected from completed sales on between July and August 2020.

Using these data points, the average sale price of a listing is $73.23. However, when we account for the number of saws in each sale, that brings our average sale price of an old saw to $57.43.

However, even that still includes the two biggest data outliers – the two sales that include groups of tools. So let’s take those out of the average for a more realistic, hand-saw-only answer. Excluding those two data points, our average old handsaw sale price becomes $48.06.

Now, Disston is a great brand that other hand saw sale articles said commanded the best prices – up to $500 per saw. Granted, even those articles stated that getting $500 for a Disston saw was a rarity. But let’s look at our Disston-only data points for some realistic ranges and averages on sales prices.

Using our 8 Disston data points, we can see that the range of sales prices is from $30-$123.15. And the average sales price for a Disston hand saw is $70.64.

Please keep in mind that these are just sales prices. While I can see (and include) the amounts charged for shipping costs, I can’t verify what the actual shipping costs were. But if you do sell a hand saw online, know that you will need to pay shipping fees. Doing so will eat into your overall, take-home amount, but it does give you a wider sales audience.

Next Steps

Before I started researching old hand saws, I was kind of incredulous that this would even be a thing. However, I quickly realized that I was working under a completely wrong mindset. Old tools aren’t worthless, especially if they’re still usable.

And even if they aren’t as useful as they used to be, they could still fetch a reasonable price if you sell them to someone willing to restore and refinish them – and then find a use for them.

Now, if you’re wanting to use an old saw you bought, make sure you read this article I wrote answering the commonly asked question: Can a Hand Saw Cut Plywood?

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