Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Near Boston, Massachusetts
There are a couple of things that could be going on here.
1) The saw is dull. This one IS going on. The set may also be bad, but that's impossible to tell without looking at it. Get a saw file, clamp the blade between two pieces of 1x2, and sharpen it. It's easy, and shouldn't take long.
2) Your technique may be slowing you down. I recommend marking all the lines all the way around, then cutting the shorter dimension first. Cut diagonally, starting at one corner, and cutting down the lines until you're at the other corner and just shy of the line marking the shoulder of the tenon. Then flip the board over and saw the same line, but on the other side. Finally, cut out the remaining triangle of wood. That means you're always cutting the least amount of board possible.
4) The saw may just be garbage. In all honesty, I wouldn't buy a craftsman hand saw these days. Maybe a rough-cut jobsite saw, but not a joinery saw.