How to choose a hacksaw for wood

Is the hand tool becoming obsolete today, when spaceships roam the universe? As the dynamics of sales and the competitive struggle of manufacturers show – by no means. It is still irreplaceable in many cases. Is it worth pulling the power grid where you can go with a hacksaw and a hammer? And if there is no electricity at all? In the construction business, the relationship between hand and power tools is like between theater and cinema: exist in parallel, not only without interfering, but sometimes even helping each other.

Fighting for a buyer, firms are improving their model lines. It would seem, why reinvent the wheel? However, in practice, there are so many differences in products of the same class that you have to spend some time choosing a model..

To help our readers in this difficult endeavor, we ran a wood hacksaw test. But before proceeding with the description of the results, you need to talk about some of their (hacksaws) features.

HOW TO CHOOSE A HACKSAW

Here are the main points to be guided by when choosing.

Material to be cut. What material will your saw handle? What are the expected sizes of the workpieces to be processed? Of course, not for every task there is a special saw, but the basic laws work very clearly here, and an intelligent consultant, knowing the set of your requirements, will definitely select the best option.

Cut quality. Where an accurate cut is needed (for example, when repairing furniture), it is better to use a hacksaw with a small tooth. For fast (and rough) sawing, saws with a large tooth and long blade are designed.

Blade length. The length of the blade practically does not affect the convenience and accuracy of working with a hacksaw with a fine tooth. But a large tooth is only effective on vigorous cuts, so the blade should be long enough. For a medium sized tooth, the statement is also true. These hacksaws have a length of 450 to 500 mm.

Canvas material. The blade is usually made of high quality steel. An elementary test of the web for strength – bending into an arc equal to half a circle. The “correct” saw will surely restore its original appearance after that.

Teeth. Each of them is an elementary wedge-shaped cutter. Which of its surfaces is cutting depends on the shape of the sharpening. This also determines the range of tasks of the hacksaw. There are special models for longitudinal and cross-cutting of wood. However, the most common saws for wood with a universal tooth, they can cut wood in both directions.

The dimensions of the teeth are determined by the height and width, but for simplicity, another parameter was introduced – the number of teeth per inch or the number of their peaks per inch (the second is one more than the first). The higher these indicators, the smaller the saw cutters, and vice versa..

An important point is the hardening of the teeth: if it is, then the saw for a long time (5-6 times longer than usual) will retain its sharpening, without being erased even on materials that are not “tough” for a simple hacksaw. But this convenience cannot be used “forever”: dull hardened cutters are not re-sharpened.

The distribution of the saw also plays an important role. It determines the quality of the cut and the ease of work.

Saw handle. The shape of the handle should provide a firm grip without slipping. Otherwise, it will be more difficult to cut, and you can easily earn calluses. Most of the handles are two-piece with rubber inserts. Ergonomic handle effectively transfers force to the blade, evenly distributing it over the entire surface.

TEST CONDITIONS

For the test, we tried to find the same hacksaws, but this task was completely impossible to complete. Nevertheless, with all the differences, each of them met the basic requirements: blade length – no more than 500 mm, number of teeth per inch – 7-8 (exceptions: Brigadier – 6 teeth and Bahco – 9). All cutters – universal (for ripping and cross cutting) and hardened.

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With six such hacksaws, we sawed eight samples of wood of different geometry, moisture content and hardness, making several passes for each material. In this case, the total time of all cuts, including the setting movements, was measured with a stopwatch. By the way, the duration of the initial stage of sawing was seriously different for different models..

All samples were cut transversely, and we tried to work longitudinally on large pine and birch beams to test the versatility of the tools..

TEST RESULTS

Bahco 2500XT
Price: retail – $ 22.5

The original technology used in the 2500XT we tested is the proprietary XT tooth geometry. In accordance with it, only every third tooth is divorced. It also has a three-plane sharpening, in contrast to two undiluted ones, sharpened in only two planes. Having hardened the cutting surface after such processing, a hacksaw of increased productivity and accuracy is obtained. Its blade passes any materials very neatly, since friction on the side surfaces and jamming of the teeth when entering the wood is minimized. Among other things, the XT cutting edge geometry ensures a high chip removal rate.

The ergonomic handle of the hacksaw evenly distributes the force over the entire surface of the blade and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand: the grip is very tight. The quality of the surfaces obtained changes depending on the pressure: the stronger it is, the more burrs.

Despite the fact that the 2500XT is designed for sawing medium-sized materials (according to the manufacturer’s marking), it coped with large samples just as well as a hacksaw with a large tooth. When working with small workpieces, its accuracy is admirable – it can literally “catch” millimeters. Yes, and at the very beginning of cutting, no problems arise: sawing begins without a single setting movement and exactly in the selected place.

The hacksaw coped very well with wet material, sawed even faster than dry material, but on hard rocks it “lingered” a little. Longitudinal cuts were also more difficult..

SUMMARY: high quality hacksaw with excellent performance. And although the manufacturer recommends using it for medium-sized workpieces, it copes well with both large and small samples, in the first case it demonstrates productivity, and in the second case – accuracy..

Brigadier Jetshark 63 203
Price: retail – $ 17

The large tooth size of this hacksaw easily explains its performance when cutting large samples. In addition, the shape of the handle and blade contributes to an even distribution of force over the entire cutting surface. So, without compromising the convenience of cutting, you can work either slowly and accurately, or quickly, but with large burrs at the edges..

It is almost as comfortable to work with small workpieces, which is undoubtedly the merit of Jetshark designers. However, when cutting thin samples, one should not be too zealous, so that problems typical for hacksaws with a large tooth do not arise – inaccuracy of the saw, stuck incisors, chips at the final stage. Of course, such a hacksaw is not suitable for sawing parquet. But for the construction, for example, a bath is just right: with “rough” work, its performance is worthy of all praise. It cuts just as well on hard wood and wet wood as on dry pine.

The only inconvenience found was a significant decrease in speed and comfort of passage when ripping (both hard and soft wood). So it is better if the solution of such problems will constitute a small fraction of the entire front of the hacksaw.

SUMMARY: the model is focused primarily on cutting large materials, it is also suitable for working with medium samples. It transfers any effort to the canvas well. With medium and high pressure, it shows very high performance, and with low pressure, it leaves even and accurate cuts.

C.K Senso Plus 947
Price: retail – $ 20

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The comfortable handle design with finger grooves in the non-slip rubber insert makes it easy to “control” the hacksaw. It fits well in the palm of your hand, in close contact with it, and effectively transfers the force to the teeth. The angles of 90 and 45 degrees, marked on the handle, together with the canvas will come in handy for simple marking work.

The sawing feel of the C.K hacksaw is primarily recommended for precision work. Despite its long blade and not the smallest tooth size, it is more accurate than productive. Sawing 7-centimeter beams with it is rather tedious, but “catching millimeters”, on the contrary, is convenient. In addition, the surface of the cuts turns out to be very even with small burrs, chips rarely appear and only when working with great effort.

The hacksaw showed itself best of all on thin workpieces: there were no problems with the initial “gnawing” into the material, sawing began without any adjusting movements exactly where it was “ordered”. Medium and large samples, it passed quite tolerably.

The Senso Plus 947 didn’t do as well with damp and hard wood as it did with regular wood — the difference is noticeable. A lot of effort was also required for longitudinal sawing: the hacksaw almost did not produce material when moving “towards itself”, so the cutting speed was significantly reduced.

In general, sawing with the C.K turned out to be comfortable and neat.

SUMMARY: professional hacksaw for work on materials of medium and small size. Occasionally it can be used for sawing large workpieces. The performance of the hacksaw is relatively low, but it is precise and leaves very neat surfaces without burrs and breaks.

Stanley Jet Cut 1-15-283
Price: retail – $ 12

Jet Cut is one of the few hacksaws that fully justified the name “universal”. Regardless of the hardness of the material, making longitudinal cuts with it is almost as easy as transverse.

In general, the hacksaw turned out to be akin to a powerful racing car – a large margin of performance that is not always possible to realize. Somewhere in the middle of the test, we had to go back to the beginning and re-saw all the samples, since a seemingly paradoxical fact was experimentally proved: the model saws faster when the pressure on it is minimal. If you apply additional efforts, large teeth, when moving away from themselves, constantly burrow into the tree, leaving the nearest third of the blade unused. So the rule is one: hold back your energy, and it will be easier to work..

The exception is ripping. Here, the stronger the faster. From our own experience, we say that it is psychologically difficult to saw without pressing the hacksaw. But if you get used to, the performance of Jet Cut will be very, very good..

It is better not to use a Stanley hacksaw on small samples. In this case, the main part of the time is taken not by the sawing process itself, but by the setting movements. It is for this reason that 10 cuts of a pine bar with a cross section of 35×25 mm took so much time – 107 seconds.

On hard wood, the working speed is increased because the teeth get stuck less when pressing down on the hacksaw. But the moisture content of the material has almost no effect.

SUMMARY: productive hacksaw for large and medium samples. If you adapt to some of its features, you can achieve high performance. When working with small workpieces, the accuracy is low and there are many breaks on the cut. The hacksaw copes well with longitudinal sawing of materials of any hardness.

Stayer Cobra Professional 1513-45
Price: retail – $ 12

Of the design features of the model, it is necessary to highlight a handle that is larger than other hacksaws. According to the test results, it turned out to be very comfortable – the saw fits snugly and comfortably in the palm of your hand, and the rubber components, from which the entire inner surface of the handle is made, excludes slippage.

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The material of the blade is good – when the hacksaw is bent in an arc in half a circle, the original shape is restored. The layout raises no objections: the marking paint on the canvas has practically not been erased (in the case of a bad layout, the canvas would “rub” against the workpiece).

“Cobra” is more pleasant to work on large samples, here it is “at ease”. Medium blanks are also “tough” for her, but for thin beams or, say, plinths we do not recommend this hacksaw – there are a lot of chips and burrs on the cuts, and the accuracy of entering the material is not ideal, since the tooth is quite large.

Cobra is equally easy to handle wood of different density and moisture content. Moreover, on hard species (larch, oak, birch), it is even better to work with it than on soft (pine), – the accuracy is higher and the movement is smoother.

For most cases (especially soft wood and thin workpieces) the main conclusion is as follows. Both the productivity of “Cobra” and the convenience of work are much higher if you cut with little effort. And the edges of the cuts will be more accurate..

The versatility of the saw is commendable – “Cobra” is one of the few that lives up to its name. Cutting wood longitudinally is almost as easy as cutting wood transversely: both precision and speed remain high.

SUMMARY: productive hacksaw for household and professional purposes with a good price-quality ratio. Suitable for working with large and medium-sized workpieces, regardless of the material, with small samples, the situation is more difficult. The test confirmed the versatility of the “Cobra” – it is equally comfortable to cut both in longitudinal and transverse directions..

Encore “Beaver” 9852
Price: retail – $ 4.7

When tested, the design of the handle proved to be the best – the hacksaw fits snugly in the palm of your hand, does not slip and transfers the force to the cutting surface well.

Although the blade was slightly different from other saws in terms of shine, the test confirmed the high quality of steel declared by the manufacturer. When bent into an arc in half a circle, it invariably restored its original appearance, and during work it glided very well. The high-quality setting of the teeth contributed a lot to this..

The speed “Beaver” is not inferior to many world-famous hacksaws. The dependence of quality on the applied force is quite standard: the stronger the pressure, the higher the performance, but the worse the surface condition (burrs, breaks, etc.).

Sawing large beams is tedious, so it is better if the main activity of the “Beaver” is sawing medium materials. The good precision also speaks in favor of this: it is easy and convenient to start sawing on different samples (both large and small), there is no need for setting movements. For small workpieces “Bober” is also quite suitable, however, if there are no strict requirements for the quality of the saw cut: burrs still remain, and sometimes chips appear.

The hacksaw does not do well with damp wood and hard woods than with standard beams. When ripping, the drop in performance is large. So the name of the tooth “Beaver” – “universal” – is conditional: you can also saw lengthwise with a hacksaw, but infrequently is better.

SUMMARY: The hacksaw is designed for medium-sized standard workpieces and is characterized by the accuracy of the resulting cuts. You can work on other samples: less often on large, more often on small – accuracy allows. In general, the “Beaver” is quite convenient for professional use: it lies securely in the hand, the hardened teeth are well set, the blade moves freely.

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