Most hacksaws feature a thin blade with fine teeth stretched between a curved metal support frame. These extremely sharp tools are often used to cut tough materials such as bone or metal. A hand-held hacksaw has a hand grip on one end of the curved metal support. At the base of the hand grip is a rod with a pin which is inserted through a hole in the hacksaw blade. The thin blades are put under tension by means of a winged nut attached to a screw and pin on the other end of the curved support. The blade may be attached with the teeth facing away or towards the hand grip.
Depending on how it is mounted, the blade may cut whilst pushing or pulling. When pushing, the tension on the blade decreases as the arch flexes slightly. Some models feature an adjustable frame to accommodate differing blade lengths such as 8, 10 or 12 inches. Depending on the material being cut, the number of teeth per inch on the blade may be varied. Hacksaws are useful for cutting metal or plastic pipes and any other metal products. Because the blades are hardened, the hacksaw is very suitable for cutting any type of metal.
Tips for Using Hacksaw
While using a regular hacksaw, it's recommended that you firmly place the material which you are going to cut into a vice if it is possible. The teeth of the saw should be placed on one side of the line to be cut and in order to start the cut, push the saw with a short stroke. Make sure that the end of the object which is being cut is held while making the cut. Also, make sure that the material does not crack due to the unsupported weight of the scrap material. For safer operation, you should keep your hands and other objects away from the teeth of the hacksaw.
Blades are manufactured in standard lengths. The blades may be manufactured with anything between 3 and 32 tpi (teeth per inch). Depending on the type of material which is being cut, different types of blades are used. Because the blades of a hacksaw are quite brittle, care must be taken to avoid fracturing the blade. Blades made from 2 amalgamated metals may be used to minimize the fracture risk. The blade is fashioned by using the harder of the two metals for the teeth and the softer metal for the rest of the blade.
The frame is eliminated in the case of a panel hacksaw, which features a flat panel of metal, more like a standard wooden saw. This is done so that sheet metal panels may be cut using a longer stroke without the frame interfering with the cut.
A junior hacksaw is a small variant of the larger hacksaw, used for smaller light jobs around the house or workshop.
To cut thicker metal, power hacksaws are used. The drive to power hacksaws is through a stationary engine or an electric motor. Power hacksaws may be fixed or portable making them a versatile tool.