E.C. Atkins 26 inch Crosscut

Shown here is an E.C. Atkins 26 inch crosscut saw.

This will be the last of the “I-Found-A-Saw-And-Cleaned-It-Up” posts for now. There are a couple places on the property that I might still turn another one up. We’ll see. Next I’m going to shift my attention to a Stanley Miter Box…

For this saw, I haven’t been able to determine what model it is, or the age. What I do know is that it is a beauty. I hope it saws as well as it looks.


In trying to identify the model and age, I’ve got these clues to go on:

    It is 26 inches long
    It is a crosscut saw, with 9 points-per-inch
    It has a skew-back
    The handle is embossed with Atkins’ floral pattern
    The model number contains a “5”
    update: also, the blade curves at the heel (shown at end of post)

There are likely other clues that I’m not familiar enough with to make use of; for example I think I’ve heard that the shape of the Atkins handles changed some over the years. I don’t know what those changes are, so that hasn’t helped me much.

I like how the tote was made for the medallion to sit in deep, flush with the surface of the handle.


If you enlarge the photo below showing the medallion (just click on it), you can see a patent date. That’s the patent for the saw nut and bolt. I found that out by reading this post: Saw: Atkins 53 (if you get an error at the link, try refreshing the page). Maybe my saw is a 26″ No. 53. I don’t know. There’s a lot of good information and enjoyable reading at that link. The author does narrow the possible dates down to between 1896 and 1952, so that’s something.


The saw has 9 points per inch. If you zoom in on this photo I think you can see a sideways 9 at the heel. I wonder if the number being sideways indicates this is a crosscut saw, or indicates nothing of the kind…


You can make out enough of the etch to know that the blade is an Atkins.


I’ve also been able to make out just enough where the model number ought to be to see what I am fairly certain is a number 5. I Haven’t been able to make out anything in front of or behind that “5.” I marked what I’m looking at with a pencil.


The handle is pretty, isn’t it? Other than cleaning old paint droppings and other dirt off of it, I’ve left it alone. From what I’ve read earlier Atkins saws had a carved wheat pattern. Sometime later they started using this floral pattern, which was stamped on rather than hand carved. Some think there is a date at which Atkins stopped using the floral pattern and went back to a wheat pattern. I haven’t been able to confirm a date. Despite my usual preference for hand-work, I think I prefer the stamped pattern, quite a bit.

[EDIT: This article says the use of the floral pattern began in 1912.]

From the front:


The backside is plain:


The top:


So is it a No. 53? I still don’t know. Here’s part of a catalog of saws from E.C. Atkins that I’ve been studying. It might be. I found that link on this blog: http://atkinssaws.blogspot.com/; the link is to a file the author saved in Google Drive about a year ago.

Paired with my Warranted Superior rip saw, this could be the pair of saws I turn to regularly in the shop.


Another clue to hopefully help me date or identify this saw is that at the heel of the saw the blade has a pronounced curve to it:


Here are two images of Atkins No. 53 saws, one with a similar curve, and one clearly more straight. It seems that the shape of the blade below the handle did change over the years. The curve on mine is different that either of these. Maybe that means it is not a No. 53; or maybe it means it was manufactured at a different time.

So if I can find someone that knows what this means, it might help identify the model and date when it was manufactured.

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12 Responses to E.C. Atkins 26 inch Crosscut

  1. billlattpa says:

    Have you needed to sharpen them yet? Saw sharpening is one of my weaknesses. I’ve been okay with rip and crosscut panel saws, but with joinery saws my results have been just okay at best. From the photo, the set looks a little heavy but the teeth seem to be in very nice shape, and that is always a great sign.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wesley Beal says:

      I’m actually going to go take a class on sharpening this Saturday from Mike Siemsen. 🙂

      I was just going to try to find a vise and decent files, and give it a go from the instructions I can find. But my schedule opened up a little bit, and I’m able to make it to the class. This will be my first woodworking class. I’m excited about it.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. gblogswild says:

    I’ve got one of those! Well, close, anyway. I have a ship-point No 65, which is the straight-back version of the same saw. That stamped embossing was pretty cool to find on a saw at a garage sale, that’s for sure. I have not yet cleaned it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gblogswild says:

      Oh, I should have read your first comment. You’ll only be 45 minutes from my apartment!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wesley Beal says:

        If you’re free, bring yours by and we can compare them. I’m not sure at all that mine is a No. 53. It *might* be. Or it might be a No. 57, or No. 59, or some other model that has a “5” in it and a skew back.

        I found another clue that might help me figure out the model or when it was made: on mine the plate on the heel below the handle has a fairly pronounced curve. I think on some saws it is straight. If you look at the last photo above you can see that it is curved, where the Warranted Superior saw to the right is straight.

        I don’t know yet which means what. Do you recall if yours is straight or curved?


        • gblogswild says:

          I just wrote a really long reply, but clicking on a picture ate it!

          Mine has a very pronounced curve like the last photo you have posted, but as it’s a ship point there isn’t as much of it as that one. The “7” stamp on the heel is plainly visible in person (not so much in photographs because of the rust) so I’m confident that the heel, as short as it is, is at or nearly at full height. That’s why I gathered that it was a ship point. The saw itself hasn’t been cleaned up in the least, so the plate is rusty and the handle needs a week-long soak in BLO or something like that before I can call it ready to use.

          I’m fairly certain you’re correct in your assessment that it’s a #53. The handle is absolutely identical in shape and decoration to mine.

          I very much doubt that I will be able to make it out to Mike’s on Saturday. I’m not really that far away, but with a 9 month old in the house things are very difficult to plan!

          I can send you a picture of mine (as yucky as it still looks) with a address. Mine is “g canaday @ gmail . com” (no spaces, of course) so that I can reply directly if it would be easier to do things that way. I don’t see a way to post pics in comments!

          Liked by 1 person

          • gblogswild says:

            Oh, also, are those brass nuts? Mine are nickel.


            • Wesley Beal says:

              I sent you an email – if you don’t get it that means I failed to type your address correctly.

              I’m not sure what the shape of the handle means. I’m sure they changed things about the design over the years, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t use the same handle design on different models of saw.

              Look at the handle on my rip saw with the Warranted Superior medallion (pictured alongside the Atkins above, and in an earlier blog post). These are certainly different saws. Even if the Warranted Superior was a No. 53 produced for some distributor, the plate is narrower than on this one, so at best it’s a ship-point No. 53.

              An image search on google shows different models of Atkins saws with the same handle design (same shape, same number of holes, same placement of the medallion).

              A No. 53 is just a guess on my part, that I’m not at all confident in. That said, reviewing the one catalog I’ve found (linked in the post, from 1937), my rational for a No. 53 is based on looking at each saw with a “5” in it’s model number, and reviewing whether that model is for a skew-back, the number of and placement of the saw nuts and the medallion:

              53 – also skew back, same number of and placement of saw nuts
              65 – straight
              51 – 5 saw nuts, different saw nut arrangement
              54 – straight, different saw nut arrangement
              55 – straight, different saw nut arrangement
              56 – different saw nut arrangement
              58 – straight, different saw nut arrangement
              59 – different saw nut arrangement
              57 – straight, different placement of medallion

              But with just the 1937 catalog, I can’t be very sure. Especially given the images of Atkins saws that can be found on the internet with the right characteristics, but a different model No. listed.


            • Wesley Beal says:

              Brass vs. Nickel. I think they were brass originally, but I may have taken sandpaper to them and removed the nickel plating before taking note of such things. That silver color they call nickel or silver has been very thin in my experience, and I prefer the look of the brass. 🙂


              • gblogswild says:

                I just got back in front of a computer today so now I can reply!

                I prefer brass too. I read once that brass was later for Atkins, where moving to nickel-plated steel was later for everyone else. The idea was that Atkins actually used the steel in their higher-quality line in the beginning for the handsaws, but after somewhat poor sales they realized that people were equating brass nuts with higher quality, so they switched after a time. I read it on the Internet, so it must be true. 😉 [read: I have no idea and it sounds kinda hokey but hey, all kinds of stuff sounds hokey to me..!]

                The picture in that 1937 catalog you posted seems a dead wringer for yours, that’s why I came to the same conclusion you did. I have another full-size 5 1/2 pt skewback Atkins with some handle damage, but I don’t recall what model it is. IIRC the etch has been obliterated.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Wesley Beal says:

    I’ve added some text and images to the post, showing a curve in the blade below the handle on my saw, that I think differentiates different models and different dates of manufacture.


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