Ending Hacksaw Frustration

Historically, my hacksaw has served three purposes:

  1. Cutting soft pipes (ABS/PVC/Copper)
  2. Making rough cuts on small piece of wood
  3. Driving me to tears when I try to cut metal

Whether it was a bolt, a piece of rebar, sheet metal, or thin angle iron, I had constant frustration.

The blade would curve in a bolt, burn out in rebar, catch on the sheet metal, and take several minutes to cut the angle iron.

Why should this be the case? I thought this was what a hacksaw was meant for! I only own a hacksaw for metal cutting, why should this also be the task at which it failed so dramatically?

My first attempt to solve this was to buy a high-tension hacksaw.

This helped to keep the blade straight, but I still had every other issue.

Then, one Christmas I received a package of Bacho Sandflex hacksaw blades. My father-in-law bought them for me because they were on sale, and he was curious to see if I could figure out why they would be normally sold at Rockler for comically expensive $13 a pair.

I took them home, strapped one onto my high-tension frame and cut a piece of angle iron.

Then the roof was lifted off my garage, the heavens opened wide, angels sang, and God Himself spoke unto me “My child, you have discovered my blessed hacksaw blades, share this knowledge with all you meet.   …Oh, and by the way, I lost a cup down there a while ago, let me know if you see it.”

I awoke moments later and saw a clean, straight cut that had happened faster than I had ever seen a hacksaw move. It easily rivaled the speed with which I had previously made the same cut using my angle grinder and a cut-off disc.

The secret to these blades is a progressive tooth spacing (28-18 TPI), with finer teeth at the start of the blade, and larger teeth at the end.

This allows the blade to start on the fine teeth without catching, and to remove large amounts of material with the larger teeth once momentum is gained near the end of the stroke.

The blade can be used on thin metal, thick metal, plastic, and wood, and I love it. Also, because the blades are versatile by design, it is difficult to misuse them, and so they last a long time.  I purchased another set when I saw them on sale, but I am only on my second blade and haven’t had to open the second package.

There are very few upgrades I have made in my tool collection that have made this much of a difference in results.

So I am sharing this life-changing story, according to my divine directive, in hopes that you too will see the light, and get the most out of your hacksaw.

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2 thoughts on “Ending Hacksaw Frustration

  1. Hehe, a good message to share, A good blade sure does make a big difference. Funny, I was just doing a post about the magic POWER hacksaw we have started using at the ‘shop. Its cuts are pleasing. We have done quite a few so far and not needed to change the blade yet. Gotta love new bi-metal type cutting technology 🙂

  2. Wow – should have read this earlier especially since I got a shout out for giving you the blades! Can’t wait to try mine now.

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