Small saw for veggies?

nancybcOctober 20, 2009

Hi Everyone,

I know you are going to think I'm on the wrong forum- but I thought those of you who are good at DIY can help me.

Cutting through squash and yams is becoming harder for me to do. I thought an electric knife would work but they are not made for hard food. Then I looked at some tools at HOme Depot but could only see huge tools for trees and limbs but nothing hand held with a blade that would cut veggies easily like small tree limbs.

Perhaps I'm looking for something that doesn't exist but it would be great of anyone could recommend an electric hand held tool that

could be used in the kitchen.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,


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Sanitation and safety would eliminate almost all yard tools. There are plenty of professional grade kitchen tools available in kitchen supply stores and online. Don't underestimate the power of a big chef's knife or a cleaver. Put the victim in a stable position and press down with your free hand on the top of the heavy blade rocking if necessary. Buy a flat diamond sharpening rod and keep your knives sharp.

Here is a link that might be useful: cleavers

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 6:17PM
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I did a search for hand saws that could bhe used for kitchen use.

One important feature is that the blade needs to be stainless steel---for cleanliness and ease of cleaning.

Butchers saws do have stainless blades, but are designed like hacksaws---a handle/frame that tensions the blade---which is stainless. That is rather cumbersome and difficult to use one handed as the saw frame is large.

Seems to me that a serrated blade knife will be the better alternative.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 9:53PM
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For now I am using a serrated blade and hit it with a hammer.
Works OK- but I'll keep looking for an easier way.
I have a great recipe for Sweet Potato Chili that I posted on the cooking forum- that's why I'd like to find another tool.
Hope you take a look and try it- it's really good!
Thanks again,

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 1:01PM
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I don't deal much specifically with sweet spuds, nancybc, but I know where you're coming from on squash. Rutabaga's are another tough cut.

I live on butternut squash all winter and my trick is to use a regular 6" carving knife and sort of rock back and forth as I'm cutting a cross section. What happens with these tough nuts is the shell is so tough that it holds the thing together and it severely binds on the knife. By rocking it, you sort of split the shell a little at a time so you knife doesn't bind up. Once it has a hold of your knife, it can be downright dangerous trying to get it out.

I guess sweet potatoes are different than the hard shell squash because they don't have shells, just tough flesh like rutabagas. (I think that's why I eventually stopped eating the 'bagas, too hard to cut and too slow to cook.)

I'm not sure the serrations are helping you for this job - sounds more like a job for a cleaver type knife struck with a hammer - stand back and let that tough old tuber have a good whack! Once you get it split into a few pieces, it should become manageable.

I should tell you that I am a pretty muscular fellow that has just about every type of wood cutting saw known to man. I never really considered any of them for cutting veggies, though probably a stationary band saw would work (but make a mess). Reciprocating saw would also probably work if you put the item securely in a vise, but again, a mess and unsanitary result.

I vote for the cleaver with moral support from the hammer if my rocking tip doesn't help.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 4:57PM
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Look in a hunting a fishing store like basspro or cabelas.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:19AM
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If you really want to get 'far out'---I did find stainless steel blades for a reciprocating saw(generic name is SawzAll). However, you would have to have a holder---some kind of vise---for the veggie as the saw takes both hands to use.

Sure would slice through any veggie of which I know!

Oh, it would also slice through the vise and counter/table top as well.(Eek!!!)

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 3:28PM
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Before stainless steel was common, butchers used plain old carbon steel blades like everyone else.

Their meat bandsaws, meat handsaws, etc.
Clean it daily and rust is not an issue.

A serrated knife will probably do fine for you.
One hand holds the item, the other powers the knife.

My grandmother used a plain old hacksaw for many years to cut frozen food.

Remove the blade, rinse everything under hot water the dry and it is good to go for the next time.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 9:08PM
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Handymac - they do make a hand held "blade holder" for Sawzall blades. Milwaukee calls it a QUIK-LOK Job Saw (part #48-08-0401). About $20. I think Bosch had one for the jig saw blades too.

I'd think a pruning saw would work quite well. Just wash the blade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pruning Saw Examples

    Bookmark   October 22, 2009 at 10:41PM
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My grandmother used to use an old guillotine-style paper cutter to slice up root vegetables.

From the 50's or 60's, it was built like a tank, it was the same style but more heavy-duty than this:

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 11:40AM
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I'd try a large Cutco carving knife. (I believe that Target carries them.) I've found their style of serration to result in a wickedly effective cutting edge that rarely needs to be sharpened, though it must go back to the factory for that.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 1:47PM
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Lee Valley has a great selection of pruning and hand saws, many of which I think would work in the kitchen.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 8:19PM
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I am a five-footer with carpal tunnel in both wrists -- I found a good work-around for cases where I don't need to save the seeds from squash or root veggies -- I either nuke the whole thing or bake it whole in a water bath for 20 minutes, let it cool, and THEN whack up the softened monster. And a cleaver plus a crab mallet works just fine.


    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 2:00PM
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