On the surface the saw seems to be a simple tool, but its technology is very complex, it needs very precise parameters to achieve maximum efficiency,
type of steel, shape and angle of the tooth, setting, and everything adapted to the type of cut needed, along the grain, across, in green, dry, thick,
thin, hard or soft wood. Achieving the full efficiency of the instrument could not be easy. Without a doubt as with all the best tools its improvement
and refinement consisted of thousands of anonymous contributions.
A tool for the transformation of wood that was so fundamental for humanity came to generate such evocative and magical stories that contribute in a poetic way to try to explain its invention.
A Basque legend collected by Barandiarán in the region of Oyarzun tells that the secret of the saw was in a chestnut leaf. The Basajaum, lords of the forests, anthropomorphic beings endowed with
great strength and knowledge. Martintxiki cunningly took over the knowledge of the Basajaum, including the technique of making the saw.
"The Basajaum made the saw, but not Martintxiki, who had no model for it. Wishing to know the secret, he sent his servant to announce to the Basajaum that
Martintxiki had made the saw. On hearing this, the Basajaum asked him: "Has your master seen the chestnut tree's leaf?" "He has not seen it, but he will",
the servant replied, who then referred to Martintxiki what had happened. From there the technique of making the saw spread all over the world. "The Basajaum
entered in the forge of Martintxiki at night to check if he had made any saws. When he saw it, he twisted his teeth alternately, trying to make it useless.
But in reality he improved it, since in this way the blade of the saw could move loosely in the crevice. Unknowingly, he Basajaum also invented the "setting of the saws".