Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

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Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:18 am

Folks,
I received my Green Lion saw frame a few days ago, and decided that it might not be a bad idea to do some comparison between the three most popular types/styles of saw frames.
If you all will be a bit patient with me, I will have pictures up and commentaries to go with them. Hit me with a rock, but I can't recall how the devil to post pictures! I'll figure it out later!

Anyway, let's cover some initial impressions on all three saws, and on a later post discuss how they worked and felt in hand. I would also like to hear anyone else's opinion and experiences with these.

Starting with the Gorbet, it's a standard adjustable frame with a 2.5 inch (64mm) throat. It has a black, hotdog shaped, plastic handle that is not rubberized; it's not uncomfortable albeit a little small for my hand. Frame is well made and well finished. The round thumbscrews are nicely knurled though in my hands they appear a little undersized. Regardless, they snug down good and tight, and loosen easily. This size frame balances beautifully, has enough heft to let you know you're holding something, and the center of gravity is forward of the wrist and well into the palm as you hold it. Price is modest at about $18.00. Oh, and the non-adjustable is just as good and a couple of bucks cheaper.

The Knew Concepts (standard) sports the cam blade tightening system, and a 5 inch throat. The anodized aluminum frame (The Red Devil) is nicely designed, well finished, and light in the hand. It has a profiled wooden handle that has been lacquered. I should have stripped the lacquer and oiled it a long time ago! The round thumbscrews are well made and easily turned; they lock down good and tight and loosen just as easily. balance is good, and the long frame allows you sight along it as you cut should the need arise or if you're rusty after a long hiatus! The cam locking system really allows you to dial in a the perfect tension on your blades, is easy to use, but boy is it expensive compared to the Gorbet! About $90.00 plus shipping.

The Green Lion was just purchased this July 2017. First impressions: Cool looking. After that I have some issues.
The frame is no longer water jet cut, at least I don't think it is; It appears stamped out of 11 gauge metal (0.115 inch). This leaves a sharp edge all the way around the whole of the saw frame. I noticed it immediately the second I put it in my hand. The edge was sufficient to rub my index finger raw(ish) where the saw rested. It's an easy fix with a small file and sandpaper around a block, but it will take off the black paint. The throat is about 3.25 inch at its narrowest point. (The frame is a letter "C" not a rectangle.) The handle is a black rubberized material; it's a really good sized handle, nice and grippy. But the injection molding leaves a thin ridge/parting line where the two halves meet. Not enough to do any harm whatsoever, but it is annoying when you're holding the saw. Again, an easy fix with a razor or craft knife. The thumbscrews are very nice, round and winged. But I'll be damned if when I tightened the blade, the bottom one was perpendicular to the Earth's surface! This meant that instead of it resting flat on or above my thumb, it laid that sharp, square edge right between my nail bed and first knuckle joint! It was disconcerting to say the least. Another relatively easy fix on the drill press with some shim material to act as a spacer/washer to get that thumb screw to lay sideways! The center of gravity is definitely behind the thumb... Blade tensioning was easy for me, but might be a chore for folks with smallish hands. You can still use the classic chest to bench technique, just don't fold the saw by accident! Price is reasonable for a tool: $50.00 plus shipping.

I'll get to the bottom line quickly in this post in case someone is debating on which saw to get:
Metal working only!
Number One: Gorbet Adjustable.
Number Two: Knew Concepts

Metal and wood working:
Knew Concepts

In the long run, the Gorbet has impeccable breeding, excellent balance, and once you understand and can differentiate between well tensioned blades, you can't beat it. The money you save buying it can be invested in getting a couple gross of 2/0 and 4/0 blades and practicing. I might consider turning a new longer handle out of some exotic wood, but that will have to wait...
If you also do woodworking, you might consider the Knew Concepts as it is the best damned fret/coping saw I've ever used. Well worth the money if you cut out dovetails or anything else like that. It works great as a jewelers saw, and if it's the first one you ever use you would find it as capable as the Gorbet and certainly a bit more forgiving.
I'm going to work the Green Lion saw over this week given the time, and see if I can't tweak/bash it into submission. It's a nice looking tool, but it needs work to make it a good one.

Thanks!
Albert
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby cam_hardiman » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:28 pm

Hey Albert,

Great post.

One thing to watch with the Knew Concepts saw frame is accidentally knocking one of the thumb screws, changing the angle ever so slightly without noticing. It will take a few millimetres of sawing before you realise that it's caused a slight twist in the blade. The dead giveaway is you can't maintain a straight cut.

It one thing that does not happen with the Grobet.

Cam

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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:25 pm

So I've been merrily sawing away for the better part of four hours over the course of last night and today, switching between the Gorbet and the Knew. (I started filing down the edges of the Green Lion as well...)
I've broken a buttload of blades though I can't quite put my finger on why. I'm guessing I still haven't regained that elusive "feel" for the blade/frame/cut action. I'm cutting through some thin-ish angle iron (0.118) and maybe it could be some pockets of high carbon steel. I'm sure it's me! Hardest thing for me so far is getting that seat the right height, distance away from the bench, my arm and hand in a natural relaxed position, where the frame and blade need minimal input from me.

One thing I forgot to mention, was that if you use Optivisors magnification 5 or better and have to get up into your work, that frame depth of 5 inches will bump your glasses, nose, eyeball etc. I should think that any frame over 3.5 would do the same. Having said that, if you are serious about doing this work at a higher level than dabbling, you would be wise to consider saving and investing in a pair of binocular type lenses. I generally use the 5 diopter on the Optivisor, but when I need to switch to 7 it really cuts my working distance down.

As Cam mentioned, the two thumbscrews are on detants which allow you to lock in different angles. Great for woodworking! But if your not paying attention, they can move while you are camming the lock. You'll get a feel for it after a while because you'll notice the increased force necessary to cam the lock. None the less, I check each time.

Need to get my saw cutting on!

Albert
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Patrice » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:28 pm

The Knew concept is so ugly, but very good,
I had a grobet type many years ago, you can adjust blade lenght ok, but it's not easy to put the blades and when it breaks it's quite ennoying to remove the small blade parts, it was a jewelry saw, about 3" bought on fleamarket, old stuff in new condition.
The I get a very nice antique saw, with a weird design but so nice old taste, with still same issues to put and remove blade, wider saw, very nice old taste, I don't know where this saw is maybe at my mother home and when I needed a saw recently, I had to buy a new one and I found the knew concept.
It's very ugly, red color, aluminum, but so easy to use, my only regret is to have bought the 3" version and not the 5", but I am thinking about getting a wider one, and even maybe building one myself, following the knew concept but with personnal tatse, I don't know yet.
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby cam_hardiman » Thu Aug 03, 2017 12:43 pm

I agree, the Knew Concepts is ugly.

It would be far better having a plain flat aluminium frame, no cut–outs (I have now idea why aluminium needs have its weight reduced anyway), and no gold and red anodising.

Plus it would be a whole lot cheaper....

Cam

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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:24 am

Evening Folks!
Ok, I've modded the Green Lion saw.
Image
I easily filed and sanded the edges of the frame and thumbscrews; on handguns, we call that shaving - allows for a snag free draw...
I used some worn 60 grit sandpaper on the handle. Knocked off the injection molding edge and roughed it up nicely.
The one thing left to do is to cut a washer for the thumbscrew.

I cut out a seppa dai template with a fresh 2/0 Swiss blade from .043 German silver sheet stock.
Observations:
It cut nicely! The grip is the best of all three: fits the hand well, its grippy not sticky. the other two saws would benefit from this grip!
Blade tensioning is easy. Squeeze fore to aft and lock down. Small hands might have trouble with this though.
Thumbscrews tighten down positively. They can be hard to loosen, be prepared.
It feels like it weighs more than the others, and the center of gravity is way back. It tends to develop serious rotational force when you turn the blade... seriously! With practice I'm sure it can be compensated for easily. I wouldn't use it outdoors under windy conditions.

Verdict:
Not bad after modding. Is it better than a Gorbet or a Knew Concept? No, not particularly. All in all the Gorbet is a "Best Buy" with the Knew Concepts as "Best Overall" only because it is more forgiving and as a woodworker's coping or fret saw it is the Cat's Pajamas! The Green Lion is a solid jeweler's saw, but as delivered it needs work. Now it does have a certain late 19th century cool factor going so keep that in mind.

Ok, disclaimer: Just my opinion based on my limited experience. Take it with a grain of salt, and remember, my best thinking got me in Afghanistan for five years...

Best regards,
Albert
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Lucas C » Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:14 am

Is that the Dragonborn Symbol? :P
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:00 am

Dovahkiin it is my friend!

Our Hero, our Hero, claims a warrior's heart
I tell you, I tell you, the Dragonborn comes
With a Voice wielding power of the ancient Nord arts
Believe, believe, the Dragonborn comes


AAR
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Lucas C » Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:16 am

Wow... that was unexpected lol
Now I'm curious.... What are you going to use it for?
All hail Dovahkiin
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby ps_bond » Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:27 am

cam_hardiman wrote:One thing to watch with the Knew Concepts saw frame is accidentally knocking one of the thumb screws, changing the angle ever so slightly without noticing. It will take a few millimetres of sawing before you realise that it's caused a slight twist in the blade. The dead giveaway is you can't maintain a straight cut.


I wasn't sure what you meant at first - 3 of my KC saws are 1st generation (although 2 have levers these days). I presume you mean the swivel clamp models? I haven't seen the need for them in metalwork - if I needed to make a long cut then I'd either a) grab a bigger frame or b) soften (with a lighter) the ends of the blade and twist it 90 degrees to allow me to saw with the frame perpendicular to the work. B) I only use when the larger frames aren't on hand - and even then only rarely. I see that KC have updated to a MkIV version - thicker, stronger, heavier - although I've no real inclination to change out the ones I'm using. The only criticism I have is that the blade clamps gall on the frames on mine - I don't know if that's an issue on the newer ones. Oh, and the plastic blade tensioner knob has split on the one without the lever, but I have spares. Newer ones use brass instead - the use of plastic probably wasn't a good choice. The advantage I feel the KC saws have is the strength to weight ratio on the larger frames - the larger traditional frames I have flex too much to maintain enough tension for my liking. For the 3"? Not so sure, although it's nice working with a light frame for a lot of piercing in thin materials.

I've also got the Grobet adjustable - I've had it quite a few years (the fixed wasn't available from Cooksons when I bought it). To date, the only benefit to it being adjustable I've found is the ability to collapse it in a small toolbox... The blade clamps are a sod for bunging up with filings; that's well known. Don't much care for the handle, but haven't yet replaced it with something more friendly; when I do it'll probably be apple wood on the grounds that I have a number of chunks around.

I've got several other generic (ish) sawframes around too; they all see use despite being more springy frames.

Actually, I found another KC frame - the pin Lee Marshall gave me. It won't cut much though.

I did see a handmade sawframe recently; lovely piece of handwork, but I don't think I could ever justify the cost for what is essentially a basic tool. The KCs were enough of a stretch to justify (and they didn't cost what they do now):

http://www.sethgould.com/custom/jewelerssaw
Peter
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:58 am

Peter,
I've seen Seth Gould tools, and they are beautiful. Really collectors items. $525 is a bit more than I can justify for a saw frame!
On my KC I managed to twist the thumbscrew off the threaded portion last night. The Locktite must have come loose or degraded. Luckily the threaded potion is actually a longish allen screw so I am temporarily using an allen wrench to tighten blades in place. I'll pick up some Locktite threadlocker 271 today and put that back on.
I'll re[eat myself from another post. I believe that the Knew Concepts saw is much more forgiving for a new comer to use. I seem to break far fewer blades with it when I am out of practice. The Grobet though, I tend to use that far more now as it is compact and sits in my hand nicely. I am going to order the non-adjustable version just to have a complete set (minus Seth Gould's version!) and to give something else to talk about!

Thanks again for chiming in on the conversation!
Albert
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Albert R » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:07 pm

Lucas,
My kids got me hooked on Skyrim when I was overseas. I was just fooling around with templates while I was in Afghanistan and never finished it. I found it when I pulled out my box of tools a couple of weeks ago. So I finished cutting it out. I still need to do a bit of file work to it, and I think it would be a good place to start with some carving. All the carving is straight lines. Then I'll add a loop to the back and it can be a pendant. I actually like the template, and might reproduce it in bronze as well. I bet it would look awesome in Shakudo! (Don't tell anyone here!)

Albert
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Lucas C » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:09 pm

Albert,
You should definitely finish it. Your kids will love it
See ya
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby jhobson » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:31 pm

Knew have knew model out. Wood handle and nicer colour. Bargain.
https://www.workshopheaven.com/knew-con ... -inch.html
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Re: Saw Comparison: Knew Concepts, Green Lion, Gorbet

Postby Ford » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:50 pm

Knew Concepts is just getting too silly now. I really think they've completely lost the plot and have over engineered a basic saw to the point of absurdity. What next, a gyroscope and laser sights? :rolleyes:

They're rigid all right, front to back, but up until this one (I'm guessing) they are as floppy as a wet cardboard side to side.

The original claim was that they were in titanium to keep them as light as possible but now with the extra engineering they weight 190grams. My old basic saw only weighs 145grams. And cost bugger all :biggrin:

Their analysis of why blades brake is also very wrong but that's what happens when engineers try to solve a problem that doesn't exist with the tool itself and additionally lack any real experience of how the tool should properly be used.

I actually bought one of the original Knew Concept saw frames when they first came out, just so that I could check to see if my instinct was right. I despise the bloody things and will henceforth ban them from my classes. :naughty: :scream: :smartass:

Over-priced, over engineered and now over weight to boot. :snooty:

Anyway, rant over.

I did a series of comparisons of the following saws a few years ago. I then got my wife, Jo, to do the same as she's had absolutely no experience of using any of them. In her opinion there was no noticeable difference in handling or accuracy. I fitted and tensioned the blades and they should always ping as a matter of course.

003.JPG


The red Zimmer frame saw and my old daily use one (33 years and going strong)
013.JPG


...with the original hard plastic handled Grobet. The adjustable frame is superfluous nowadays I think except for possibly ease of packing when travelling.
012.JPG


Old standard German pattern on the left, circa 1980's and an older handmade german model late 19th century. Both very stiff and stable. The 1980's model still in production and one of the cheapest frames around at £9. Note that it used to have a wing nut at the top so additional tensioning was a standard option on almost all of the early frames anyway.
007.JPG


My daily use frame with a similar version that I fitted a custom ergonomic handle to. Still prefer my original though.
010.JPG


And an actual red Zimmer frame walker for those of you in the Colonies who might not get my dig ;-)
Zimmer-Red-Standard-With-Wheels.jpg
"The artist yields often to the stimuli of materials that will transmit his spirit." Odilon Redon
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