When I reviewed the original Hyper Cut Saw 0.1
way back in 2009, I was very impressed by it and concluded that it would be a very useful tool. I have to say that I totally underestimated just how indispensable it would turn out to be for me, rapidly becoming my razor saw of choice for most modelling tasks and never being far from my workbench ever since.
At that I time I had just one reservation about the Hyper Cut Saw 0.1 when working with styrene - namely, the length of the teeth. In fact, my doubt proved largely unfounded, but as if in answer to my wish for an even finer version, two of the latest saws boast extremely fine teeth, making them just about ideal in my opinion.
The three new Hyper Cut Saws under review are the:
0.15 Elite S2
0.3 Mini F-1
In a world of throw-away mass-produced items, these are hand-made precision craft tools, produced for Alec by high-end traditional Japanese saw manufacturer Hishika. Each saw blade is fitted in a very distinctive lightweight wooden handle, and while I initially viewed this as merely something of a novelty, in fact Iíve found the handle is superb - as light as a feather, comfortable to hold, and perfectly balanced for the fine metal blade, allowing very precise work.
The first two saws are types of dozuki
(a Japanese backsaw with a stiffening strip to keep the delicate blade rigid), and the thickness of each blade is indicated in its name.
So, the 0.1 Pro-SS is just one tenth of a millimetre thick, with a cutting edge of 6.5 cm. The depth of the cut is 1.25 cm - ample for most detailed modelling jobs. Platz recommend the 0.1 Pro-SS for styrene, resin and wood. The teeth of the 0.1 Pro-SS are designed to cut on the pull stroke - in common with many Japanese saws. This may seem odd initially to anyone used to Western tools - but, actually, when cutting materials such as styrene, the teeth are so sharp they will cut perfectly well on the push stroke too, if you prefer.
If youíre cutting metal, Platz recommend the slightly heavier .015 Elite S2 will be more robust. Again very fine-toothed with a 6.5cm edge, this time the cutting depth is 8.5mm to withstand the added strain. The Elite S2 cuts Western-style, on the push stroke. As well as for working with metal, I expect the thicker blade will be ideally suited for everyday cutting jobs on plastic and resin where you may not want to risk the finer Pro-SS.
Standing out from the previous two saws is the 0.3 Mini F-1 - a miniature jigsaw for cutting holes and custom shapes. The blade is 1.5 cm long and three times as thick as the Pro-SS because it is entirely unsupported - just 1.5mm deep, with wicked-looking 0.7mm teeth. As with the Pro-SS, itís designed to cut on the pull stroke. The handle is shorter, encouraging you to hold it like a pen, which should facilitate really delicate work.
The three new Hyper Cut Saws are available from Platz, priced as follows:
0.1 Pro-SS - Item #AL-K27 - 3,456 Yen
0.15 Elite S2 - Item #AL-K22 - 3,888 Yen
0.3 Mini F-1 - Item #K-36 - 2,808 Yen
Based on using the original Hyper Cut Saw 0.1 for the last 5 years, I can recommend these new Alec saws without hesitation. They are produced to the same extremely high quality and the first two should be even better for precision modelling work. After so many years of solid service, my old saw will finally get a well deserved rest from at least some of its tasks - and, fittingly, the only tool that could really take its place it is another Hyper Cut Saw.
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