By 1900, Simonds was firmly established as a major player in the saw market. That year, at the Exposition Universelle Internationale in Paris, Simonds won a Grand Prix award, the only American manufacturer to have won this prestigious award at any Paris exhibition. Simonds saws were market leaders in all categories, except one - hand saws, which the company did not offer. Well, in August of 1900, Simonds jumped into the hand saw market with both feet, introducing a full range of hand saws!
The hand saw market in 1900 was dominated by Henry Disston & Sons of Philadelphia and E. C. Atkins & Company based in Indianapolis. Simonds faced an uphill battle to gain market share from these lofty competitors. But Simonds hand saws were quickly recognized as top-of-the-line saws, establishing the company firmly in the top three. Simonds hand saws were regarded as equal to or superior to Disston saws in quality and durability, which was no small feat. In fact, by the mid-teens, Simonds was the largest saw manufacturer in the world!
Simonds offered three grades of hand saws. First quality saws carried the Simonds name and featured the company’s logo and guarantee etched on the blade of the saw. Middle grade saws were branded Bay State Saw Works (a small Fitchburg saw company absorbed by Simonds in the late 1870's). The lowest grade, least expensive saws were branded with the names of famous American Indian tribes. To support this new product line, a new building was added to the North Street factory complex.
Amazingly, despite continued strong sales of its hand saw range, Simonds discontinued manufacturing hand saws suddenly in 1926. There are a couple of old tales around as to why this odd move was made, but today no one knows the full story of why the company decided to bring a bestselling product line to such a dramatic end.
Today, Simonds handsaws are collector's items! There are plenty of Disston and Atkins hand saws available, but the discerning collector holds out for the best - a Simonds Saw made of Simonds steel!