JLC Ultra-Fine Razor Saw
Review and Photos by Steve Jantscher
This is one of those tools that you see once and just figure you have to add it to your model desk. “I didn’t know I needed this until I saw it!” At a recent model show, The Roll Models booth had these on the table, where I got my first clear look at this tool I had only heard about on Hyperscale a few months prior.
As you can tell from the photos, the tool is about six inches long, a wood handle with a metal blade attachment bracket. The very thin blades are double edged, with a different saw tooth pitch on each edge, fine and very-fine. These blades are held in place with two screws, allowing easy replacement of the blades if they are damaged through use. A spare (extra) blade comes with the tool. Extra blades are also available separately, however I can’t really see, given the control the strong and large handle gives one, how one can damage a blade if used as it should be, on plastic. However, as you’ll see, these are very thin (did I say that already) blades, and given enough side-ways pressure I’m sure they’d fracture, as some of my surgical #11 blades do sometimes. Of course, I put those through some serious pressure sometimes, something not really needed in the sawing action required of this tool.
I have some photo-etch derived razor saws, as well as some razor-saw scale rulers given away a few years ago by Scale Aircraft Modeling magazine. These flat (ruler-type) saws are almost as thin as the JLC saw, but they lack the control that only an integral handle can give one. With the JLC set-up, one can control the razor edges with an exactness that those photo etch saws (flexing as they do) never allow. This control is perfect for laying down exact panel lines as well as precisely placing the cut one wishes for. Speaking of panel lines possibilities, this tool makes them as fine and petite as any from Hasegawa.
On the same day I received my JLC Ultra-Fine razor saw, I picked up a Tamiya P-51B/C quarter scale kit, in the RAF Mk III version. Those of you who have this kit know what a beauty it is. However, one of the design difficulties lie in the windshield spru attachment point. As you’ll see in the accompanying photo the spru gate connects directly to the frame face. A simple snip with plastic cutters can (and probably will) yield a snap fracture inside the thickness of the clear plastic piece. This will be impossible to buff out. The only way to remove the piece without hazarding this problem is with a saw, preferably one with a very fine tooth pitch. The finer the pitch, the longer the job will take, but also the less risk of snagging the part away from the piece, and causing an uncontrolled separation. As you’ll see, both spru gates were cut off precisely, almost exactly in plane with the surrounding surface.
I can also see a good use for this tool in removing pour mold attachment points for resin figures. These delicate pour gates must be carefully removes, and a fine saw is the perfect way to do that job as well.
So is this the perfect tool? Almost. I would like some way to mount the blade so that one side would be flatter. As it is now, the retaining screw heads protrude far enough from the blade to cause concern. If you’re not careful, you might nick your part with the proud screw heads. If this is a possibility, be sure to cover the part in some spare Tamiya tape for that “just in case” slip.
In conclusion, I’m glad I added this tool to my model building kit. It ought to last a lifetime, and I guess that’s enough for me.
Just who the heck is Steve Jantscher anyway?!? Follow the link below to find out more about Steve and see some of his models!
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