This section is from the book "Spons' Mechanics' Own Book: A Manual For Handicraftsmen And Amateurs", by Edward Spon. Also available from Amazon: Spons' Mechanics' Own Book.
(1) That a saw with a thick blade is, 9 cases out of 10, of a very inferior quality, and is more apt to break than a thin-bladed saw; it requires more "set," will not stand an edge nearly so long as a thin one, is more difficult to file, and being heavier and cutting a wider kerf, is more tiresome to use.
(2) Saws hung in plain beech handles, with the rivets flush or countersunk, are lighter, easier to handle, less liable to receive injury, occupy less space in the tool chest, and can be placed with other saws without dulling the teeth of the latter by abrasion on the rivets.
(3) Blades that are dark in colour, and that have a clear bell-like ring when struck with the ball of the finger, appear to be made of better stuff* than those having a light iron-grey colour; and he noticed, in proof of this, that the thinner the blades were, the darker the colour was, and that saws of this description were less liable to " buckle " or " twist."
(4) American-made saws, as a rule, are better " hung " than English ones. And, where beech is used for handles, and the rivets are flush or countersunk, all other things being equal, the American make is the most desirable.
(5) Polished blades, although mechanics have a strong prejudice against them, cut freer and much easier than blades left in the rough, and they are less liable to rust.
(6) Saws that ring clear and without tremor, when held by the handle in one hand and struck on the point with the other hand and held over at a curve, will be found to be well and securely handled; but saws that tremble or jar in the handle, when struck on the point of the blade, will never give satisfaction.