AbstractBleached unrefined and refined sawdust kraft pulps were added to bleached Norway spruce thermomechanical (TMP) and pressurised groundwood (PWG) pulps in different proportions. Handsheets were prepared and tested for physical properties. In addition, economic calculations were done to estimate the production costs of different bleached pulps in Finland. It was found that the addition of unrefined and refined sawdust kraft pulp improved drainability of the mechanical pulps. Tear strength of PGW furnishes was increased when either unrefined or refined sawdust pulp was added. Tear strength of TMP furnishes was not influenced when different sawdust kraft pulps were added. Up to 30 % of unrefined sawdust kraft pulp could be added and no significant negative effect was observed in TMP and PGW furnishes. On the other hand, when refined sawdust kraft pulp was added into the mechanical pulp furnishes, a clear improvement in the tensile strength was observed. According to the economic calculation the production cost of bleached sawdust kraft pulp is almost as low as the production cost of bleached mechanical pulp. We suggest that economically viable sawdust kraft pulp can be used as a substituent for expensive long fibre reinforcement kraft pulp in the production of mechanical pulp based papers.