JLC Ultra-Fine Razor Saw
Review and Photos by Mike O'Hare
Sometimes when you find a new product, you just have to tell people about it. The last product I felt this way about was Revell’s 1/72 F-16 – a truly sweet kit whose popularity is skyrocketing.
Now, there is another.
I had seen the JLC razor saws on other web sites for a while. Kinda funky looking, but there’s always so many other goodies to buy instead. Besides, what could be so great about homemade-looking saws anyway? I then read a positive review on a model discussion board, and made a mental note to get a couple in my next mail order purchase.
I was blown away when I opened it up. This thing is FINE. It is, literally, the thickness of a double edged razor blade – about .005’. It is also double sided: one has fine teeth, the other has *really* fine teeth. The fine teeth are about the size of your standard fine razor saw teeth; the ultra fine teeth are almost invisible. In fact, a friend I showed the saw to didn’t realize it was double sided until he rubbed his finger along the ultra fine edge!
The blades are available in two ways: first, a basic single razor saw blade, as a refill or for hand use; the ‘deluxe version’ includes a handle, so the blade can be used as a proper saw.
The blades themselves seem to be made from high quality steel. Mine have seen a lot of use, without even the slightest hint of dulling down, as you can see from the close-ups. They’re certainly not what I would call ‘bendy’, but there is a certain amount of flex, meaning you can cut out things like wheel wells along a wing’s inner surface. They’re fine to use freehand (this is how I do most of my cutting), but add them to the handle and you’ve suddenly got a completely rigid blade, ideal if you need to make perfectly straight, precise cuts. I originally thought the handle was a bit of a waste, that they’d work just as well on their own, so why bother. I was wrong. The handle makes it useful in even more situations, giving you a more dynamic tool.
So how do you use them?
Obviously, they make for great saws. General duty items like chopping parts off the sprue or removing unwanted areas are a breeze. It’s also ideal for plastic surgery; there’s almost no plastic lost in the cut, meaning you won’t have to build an area back up later (widening flaps to account for lost plastic, for instance). Because it’s so thin, you can even use it if you’re not re-positioning control surfaces. A few swipes will create those minute gaps at the sides of flaps better than a recessed panel line.
The super fine teeth almost file through cuts, so you can easily restore panel line detail along long seam lines – I always hated re-scribing slats, as you had the bumpy surface of plastic oozing into the join, with filler on top, but the JLC saws make it a breeze. It will also make quick work of separating canopies, without any risk of cracking or splintering.
You can also use it to scribe, either long straight runs (you’ll want the handle here), or around leading edges and the like. The fine groove is narrower than a P-Cutter, and very slightly wider than a straight pin can produce.
The fineness would also do a great job on small scale zimmerit.
These things have rapidly become among the most useful tools in my arsenal. Very few modeling sessions go by that I don’t find a use for them. They’re so handy – and so cheap – that every modeler should have a couple in their tool box. I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough.
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