As an amateur woodworker I have always looked for high quality hand tools at car boot sales and on auction sites. In my experience the UK has a very rich heritage in hand tools and they are readily available. I was born and raised in the Netherlands and and I consider it a privilege to live and work in the UK with so many tools around from so many different makers and time periods. I found that many older edge tools like planes and chisels are often in good shape and fairly easy to restore to great user tools and I have greatly enjoyed building a tool selection for my workshop this way.
When it comes to hand and back saws the story is a bit different. It took me much longer to find a few different saws that I was able to restore to workable condition, and it also took much longer to learn the skills to do so, which is a challenge I still enjoy and have not been able to let go of.
While it is easy to find a beautiful good quality used saw it is not always easy to find one that saws well and smooth. For a saw to cut straight and not bind in the cut it needs a straight and flat blade to run with little set to the teeth. I therefore have spent much time learning and researching the skills of sharpening and setting the teeth and flattening the saw plate. Fortunately in this day and age people share their skills on the internet and there are many enthusiasts finding and restoring or building saws to which I am very grateful. Many of the skills commonly found decades to centuries ago were lost and are being researched and shared on forums.
Another aspect of the saw is the handle. Personally I enjoy using a saw that fits my hand well, and this adds another parameter to the challenge of finding a good working saw that you enjoy using. At times I thought it would be easier to find a good saw plate and make my own handles for it. This proved to be highly enjoyable form of woodworking, therefore I enjoy making saws for others.