Let’s turn back the clock to 1935. The place is the family hardware store in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Store owner Louis Gringer purchased the idea for a pistol-grip hacksaw from a contractor who was short on cash and needed to settle his account. Louis Gringer then designed a four-way keyhole saw called the All-Way Handy Saw and began manufacturing them from his basement. He sold the product to local outlets in the New York metropolitan area. Eventually the product was picked up for nationwide distribution and became popular throughout America. The name was so closely associated with the company that it changed its name from Ultra Manufacturing to Allway.
If you’re familiar with us, you’ve heard this a thousand times but that’s not the whole story. In addition to the Handy Saw (HSN), we sold a Master Saw and a Super Saw that were popular for their time.
The Master Saw was distinguished by its highly polished die-cast alloy handle. In contrast to its smaller counterpart, the blade locks automatically in six different positions. It had three different blades: a 10 TPI blade, 14 & 18 TPI blade and a 10 TPI blade.
The Super Saw was even longer than either of those two saws. This premium handsaw was distinguished by its ability to rotate into any direction and a beefy handle. Half turn on the clamp to have the blade rotate and lock in any plane. A full turn on the lock allows the blade to pivot and lock on 45 degrees and locked in any plane. It could also be used as a miter rule edge.
Now the question is what happened to them? Both saws were successful during their time, but the market has shifted since 1935. An increasing number of people have opted for power saws as the fastest and easiest way to make the cut. If you ask me, sometimes the old school is the best school and our Handy Saw (HSN) remains one of our best-selling items. To this day, people come to us asking where replacement blades for their old-school saws. The tool has been upgraded from its original design – from a cast-iron handle to an ergonomic soft grip handle. The blades still fit. Like many of our products, the Handy Saw has evolved to fit a market that values comfort, easiness and modernity.
The blades still fit
Let us know if you still have the vintage Handy Saw or the Master and Super Saw. Shoot us a message and tell us how long you’ve had it for!