Who invented the coping saw?

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 28/10/2020

A coping saw is a bow saw with a large U shaped handle used to cut intricate shapes and mainly for coping skirting board. It is a useful and versatile tool, but who invented it? If your interested in a coping saw you might want something a bit more modern than the models below, check out our best coping saw guide.

There is no simple answer to the question who invented the coping saw. The actual date of first use of this style of saw is unknown, but it is believed to have likely come about in the 16th century. Advances in metallurgy around that time make it likely that tools like coping saws could begin to be manufactured.

We also have a smoking gun which shows the earliest evidence of a coping saw.

The first picture of a coping saw

The first picture of a coping saw

The above image comes from the french book Des principes de l’architecture, de la sculpture, de la peinture, et des autres arts qui en dépendent, first published in 1676. I don’t know about you, but that certainly looks like a coping saw to me!

The first patent I have been able to find for a coping saw comes from the USA. The patent was granted to Christopher Morrow in 1887.

first patented coping saw

first patented coping saw

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!