107 Keystone Handsaw

107 Keystone Saw

From the earliest days of his company's history, Henry Disston wanted to maintain the high reputation for quality his saws earned. One way he did this was to guarantee that only the best merchandise carried the Disston name. Another was to protect his patents and try to keep the competion from imitating or even impersonating his products.

In order to sell a saw to compete with those of lower quality and price than the Disston brand, Henry Disston introduced a model that could be recognized as a Disston product, but was not labeled with the company's name. The 107 looked like a Disston No. 7, but the etch was branded "Keystone Saw Manufacturing Company."

The probable strategy was to compete against inferior saws with a low-priced saw of good quality without involving and possibly cheapening the Disston name. The Keystone line accomplished this for decades.

This particular example probably dates to the 1890's, based on the serifs on the letters of the etch. The medallion looks a little new for that era, particularly the shape, but considering the condition of the handle, this saw appears have its untampered, original hardware. The beechwood handle is shaped like that of the early No. 7's, as shown here. The blade is well-tapered and rings with a nice tone when it is tapped. The overall quality of the saw is indistinguishable from that of a No. 7.


Later Disston introduced new lines of Keystone saws with the same apparent marketing strategy. The Keystone lines of the 1930's were advertised as suitable for homeowners, both in features and price. While not junk, models like the Pacemaker would not easily be confused with "real" Disston saws.

Click to see the Keystone line of 1931
Click to see the Keystone line of 1935
Click to go back to the Keystone Menu

107 Keystone Etch
107 Keystone Handle

Keystone K-3 Pacemaker


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