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Hacksaw choices

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
I've decided to get a new hacksaw. The one I've got was very cheap and is 20+ years old. It's still going strong but I'm fed up with the blade never being held quite straight and the frame not being completely true.
So for my budget of up to £30, there are some very nice hacksaws to be had which won't twist the blade, but for one thing. They tend to offer some strange alternative blade angles like 45 degrees, 60 degrees, 55 degrees, depending on the make, which I'm sure must be better than the standard 90 degrees alternative or why would they offer them?

The problem I have with these strange angles, is that I am left handed. I can't get my head around how these alternatives would work for me If I want to do a sideways cut. I'm not sure that just putting the blade the other way would do what I want.

Anyone with one of these type of hacksaws who can see how it would work out for a leftie?
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
First, the angled blade saws are special purpose saws for, example, flush cutting a pipe at a concrete wall. They are offset so your knuckles do not get in the way when you cut something assembled into a tight space.

For a standard use hack saw, use one with 0° bevel. You will get more force, efficiency and speed to your cut. Just look for the features you identified, stiff frame, well-seated blade, and a throat depth to make the cuts you want to make.
 

shortbus=

Well-Known Member
Any of the saw frames I'm aware of that can use the angle offsets work in both directions from the straight position. I have an older lever style saw frame but it lacks the offset movement, but I never seem to find it a prohibition in my use. It would be hard for me to chose between these two if I needed a new one -

 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Any of the saw frames I'm aware of that can use the angle offsets work in both directions from the straight position. I have an older lever style saw frame but it lacks the offset movement, but I never seem to find it a prohibition in my use. It would be hard for me to chose between these two if I needed a new one -

Klein tools caters to the professional plumber/electrician market so their tools are designed as such. The Klein saw is a bit chunky if you need to use it in tight spaces - the large round top bar makes things awkward unless you are cutting pipe or conduit on some sawhorses before installation.
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
First, the angled blade saws are special purpose saws for, example, flush cutting a pipe at a concrete wall. They are offset so your knuckles do not get in the way when you cut something assembled into a tight space.

For a standard use hack saw, use one with 0° bevel. You will get more force, efficiency and speed to your cut. Just look for the features you identified, stiff frame, well-seated blade, and a throat depth to make the cuts you want to make.
Hi Gophert
After I looked at some pictures I realised why the strange angle. 0° isn't a problem since that's the default for all hacksaws. Maybe I'll hang on to my old one as well just to do the sideways cuts. I don't do those often so it's not such an issue.

The Klien and Starret look a bit chunky for my liking - I think they are probably much better than I actually need.
I think I might get a Facom one like the 601. Irwin and Bahco offerings look suitable too.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I'm fed up with the blade never being held quite straight and the frame not being completely true.
I had that problem with old cheep hacksaws, so I bought one which was branded "Fat Max" I think that it is a Stanley brand.
It has a solid diecast frame, quite rigid, and I am very pleased with it.

If I remember correctly I bought it at B&Q.

JimB
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
The Stanley Fat Max hacksaw comes in several different flavours. Can you remember which one you got?
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Here's a perfect illustration of my problem. Imagine that he is left handed! Not so much a problem in his particular situation, but there would be plenty where it was.

I wonder how long that marketing team thought and thought and thought before they can up with this need for a beveled cut. Just make sure you don't have to remove more than 3.5" of pipe from the end or the back of the saw will hit it. Feel free to just rotate the pipe as you cut and you'll be able to handle 12" pipe.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
No, that is not mine.

Look here:
Fat Max1.JPG


Open the bottom of the handle to release the blade and adjust the tension.
Fat Max2.JPG


The blade can be set at 45 degrees, but not 90 degrees.
Fat Max3.JPG


I have had this thing for several years, it cost either £18 or £30 at the time, I cannot remember which.
I know I thought that it was expensive, but I don't regret it, it is solid and cuts straight.
What more could a swarf maker wish for?

JimB
 

gophert

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
JimB
It looks like a nice saw but the name is confusing. Do you call him "Stanley" or "Max". Also, did it recently loose weight or does the camera take a few pounds off - it doesn't seem "Fat" at all.
 
Last edited:

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
Looks like they've stopped doing that exact one. I'm quite tempted by the 5-in-1 which has the same tensioner.
Getting fed up with looking at pictures of hacksaws now. Might have to go down to Axminster tools or Cromwell tools.

Gophert - "FatMax" is just the name of a particular range of tools made by Stanley. I think they are actually slightly chunkier than the older ranges.
re: photo of pipe-cutting-man. You have to imagine it's sticking out of a concrete wall like you mentioned in post #2, is too long to clear the frame of the saw, and you like having knuckles...
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Look for types that have floating inserts at both ends of the blade.
Some can be set to 90' positions and some also 45' in any orientation.

This general style:

Another 90' one here: https://www.tradecounterdirect.com/product/stanley-enclosed-grip-hacksaw-300mm-12-in_12in.html
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
Look for types that have floating inserts at both ends of the blade.
Some can be set to 90' positions and some also 45' in any orientation.
Floating inserts is exactly what I currently have and don't want! The angle thing isn't really an issue, it's just amazingly annoying that the ones that have this feature are made exclusively for right handed users!

In fact the "kennedy" looks just like the one I have, colour notwithstanding.
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
What does anyone make of this?
I never know what to make of Eclipse tools - they never seem to be as good as I think they should be.
 

shortbus=

Well-Known Member
Here's a perfect illustration of my problem. Imagine that he is left handed! Not so much a problem in his particular situation, but there would be plenty where it was.
Guess I'm to old to see a problem for a 'lefty'. You would just flip the blade so the teeth were on the other side. All 3 of my sons are lefties, and don't seem to have problems with hacksaws and they are all in the trades.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Look for types that have floating inserts at both ends of the blade.
That is what I had before FatMax.
The problem is that the inserts are not well located and can rotate a few degrees during use.
Similarly the inserts do not support the blade very well and it can rotate slightly.
The overall effect is that the blade is at a varying angle to the frame of the saw, which makes it difficult to cut in a straight line.

JimB
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The problem is that the inserts are not well located and can rotate a few degrees during use.
Similarly the inserts do not support the blade very well and it can rotate slightly.
The overall effect is that the blade is at a varying angle to the frame of the saw, which makes it difficult to cut in a straight line.
I agree fully with that, a blade that wobbles is completely useless.
You can find a good quality one, but they are increasingly rare. The fixed angle ones are more likely to be stable but even those vary tremendously, I think I have four overall and only one ("Magnusson" branded) is anything like decent.

The best rotatable end one I have at the moment is a "Workzone" one from Aldi.. It's not perfect but not bad.
 

throbscottle

Well-Known Member
Guess I'm to old to see a problem for a 'lefty'. You would just flip the blade so the teeth were on the other side. All 3 of my sons are lefties, and don't seem to have problems with hacksaws and they are all in the trades.
Congratulations on producing 3 of the best :D

Most left handed people are to some extent ambidextrous so it's rare this kind of thing causes an actual problem. It's just annoying.

It's fine if it's at 90 degrees, which you get with floating ends, but these fixed ones tend to be at strange angles, so just flipping the blade puts the teeth not only on the other side, but pointing to some extent to the back of the frame. There are a few fixed at 90 but they are more expensive.

Now I'm confusing things because the manufacturers call the standard straight position 90 degrees.

My use-case for the rotated blade is occasional cutting down a long length of sheet material like steel (so as not to distort the edge with snips) or plastic (also applies to larger pieces of copperclad). After finally being able to visualise the thing (after looking at the pipe-cutting-man photo) I realised that what would happen in my case is that it's actually the right-handed person who has to flip the blade, and gets the back of the saw dropping below the blade level. For me it would be the same way round as pipe-cutting-man, but the back of the blade would be above the blade level. Just puts my hand at a reversed angle (fingers upwards).

I'm starting to realise there must be an "engineer" version of a hacksaw and a "trades" version.
 

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