Kataba saws refer to any type of saw that has teeth on only one side of the saw plate and, strictly speaking, this category also includes spined Dozuki saws. However, we choose to separate the two, as the uses of the non-spined Kataba differ greatly from those of the dozuki.
Instead of incorporating both cross- and rip-cut teeth, the Kataba includes only one set. The advantage here is most easily felt when ripping long boards. Though the Ryoba employs a perfectly good set of rip teeth, the more heavily set cross-cut teeth eventually have to travel through the thinner kerf of the rip-cut teeth, and are prone to scratching the previously clean surface.
Kataba style saws eliminate this problem by shedding one set of teeth and specialising as either a robust cross-cut saw or a rip-cut saw, capable of ripping boards to width while leaving unmarred smooth surfaces.