Hacksaw how to choose

To cut metal, screw, copper pipe, protruding point, etc., the hacksaw is essential. With interchangeable hacksaw, quick blade release and high tension, the hacksaw is available as a blade holder, junior hacksaw, and heavy-duty or professional hacksaw. The choice of a saw depends on the materials to be sawed, but also on the type of work to be carried out (rough cutting or fine cutting). The cut quality is related to the size and/or type of teeth of the saw blade. Larger and fewer teeth result in a faster cut, while more and smaller teeth provide a better finish.

Using a hacksaw properly

Clamp the workpiece in a bench vise, for example, to prevent it from moving when sawing. Place your strong hand on the handle and then your other hand on the front of the frame. You can tilt the saw slightly when starting to avoid jerking and achieve a clean cut. For all craftsmen, such as plumbers for example, who will work in inaccessible places, it is possible to use a hacksaw with a short mount

Hacksaw: ergonomics

The hacksaw is a metal frame equipped with a flexible blade with particularly sharp and fine teeth. The interchangeable and standard blade is stretched over a bow and is designed for cutting different types of metals (bars, tubes, plates, etc.). Note, however, that the hacksaw can also be used to saw PVC and other plastics. The main characteristics that define the quality of a hacksaw are:

  • Blade tension;
  • The ergonomics of the frame and its handle;
  • The engagement of the blade;
  • The stiffness of the bow;
  • The number of cutting positions of the blade
  • The different hacksaws
  • The hacksaw comes in different versions.
  • The classic hacksaw
  • Easy to use, this saw must be equipped with a well taut blade to prevent it from becoming deformed or broken. It is generally made up of:
  • An aluminum bow;
  • A thermo-molded handle;
  • A blade tension with a wing nut;
  • A length of 400 mm approximately 

The junior hacksaw

Equipped with a particularly thin blade, the junior hacksaw allows you to reach places that are difficult to access. Smaller, the work is done more slowly. Its bow and wrist can become one (no handle) which makes it uncomfortable to use. Used for precision cutting.

The blade holder

To benefit from a high precision of cut, opt for the blade holder. It is a blade surmounted by a handle fixed on a single point. The first advantage is that the absence of a bow makes it possible to cut large widths.

The heavy-duty hacksaw

These types of saws are used for professionals; the intensive hacksaw is composed according to the model:

  • A metal structure and shockproof resin;
  • A handle in cast aluminum alloy or rubber coating;
  • An aluminum bow for maximum rigidity;
  • A square section steel frame;
  • A hand rest at the front;
  • A blade tension of about 80 kg to 120 kg;
  • Automatic tension control of the blade for optimal and durable cutting;
  • Voltage adjustment and memorization by the toothed wheel;
  • From 2 blade positions (45 ° and 90 ° degrees) to 8 positions;
  • A quick-release blade tension system;
  • Of 300 mm of standard blades;
  • Of dimensions of about 385 x 145 mm

Hacksaw: strokes per minute

For optimal use of the hacksaw, hold it with one hand on the saw handle and the other hand on the front of the frame. Note that the number of strokes per minute or number of passes is defined according to the steel to be cut:

  • On mild steel, the hacksaw offers a cutting speed of 50 to 60 strokes per minute;
  • On aluminum, 60 to 80 strokes per minute;
  • On stainless steel, 20 to 25 strokes per minute. 

What type of blade should I use for hacksaws?

For greater efficiency when working with various materials, different models of saw blades are manufactured. You can’t just cut just anything with just any saw. It is important to know and plan which saw blade to use with your hacksaw to make your cuts.

A saw that easily cuts aluminum or sheet metal can be completely useless when it comes to cutting iron bars or steel plates. It is up to you to know how to choose the blades that will be useful for the cuts you plan to make.

Type of blade used for hacksaw

Metal is a hard material with high resistance. Working with metal requires power and taking certain precautions beforehand. The blades of hacksaws are designed to facilitate cutting and ensure maximum safety to whoever uses them. There are different types of blades corresponding to different types of saws, as well as metals.

The type of blade used for manual hacksaws, for example, is so-called straight blades. Specifically, the frame saw blades. For most manual hacksaws, the standard blade length used is 300mm. They are interchangeable; and screwed, teeth point forward, at the two junctions of the saw. However, several factors also determine the type of blade.


  • For a manual saw to maintain its sharpness and performance, you must:
  • Grease the blade regularly before use with petroleum jelly oil, taking care to remove the excess grease.
  • Regularly clean the blade, removing all traces of residue with methylated spirits.
  • Refresh the teeth by passing an oil stone, especially for a blade that does not sharpen.
  • Replace the saw in its original cover or cover it with a plastic blade guard after each use.
  • Sharpen the blade as needed without ever using it when warped.

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