The choice of hacksaw design relies on the fabricator's choice. Comfort is key, longer blades will provide more cutting teeth resulting in more efficient sawing. 18 pitch is recommended.

Anatomy

Frame

Handle

Spigots (pins that hold the blade)

Tension adjuster

Blade

Frame

Fixed frames can only accommodate one blade length. The adjustable frame can be adapted to allow different blade lengths. Most common are 10 and 12 inch blades.

Handles

There are a variety of handle shapes and materials available. Personal preference dictates which is best.

Spigots

Spigots are used to restrain the blade within the frame. The spigots are placed at 90̊ and 45̊. The 45̊  spigot is used to help position the saw blade for flush cuts.

Tension Adjusters

Tension adjusters, like the handles, come in a variety of options.

Blade

The blade is a long thin piece of hardened steel with teeth set into one edge and two holes on either end for attaching it to the frame. Blades come in different pitches, the number of teeth per inch on the blade. Common pitches are 14, 18, 24 and 32. It is recommended to have at least 2-3 teeth in contact with the work at all times.

If the pitch is too coarse, the teeth will straddle the workpiece and be stripped off. A pitch that is too fine will be unable to remove material optimally. For most of our prosthetic and orthotic needs, a pitch of 18 works well.

Hacksaw blades are typically set to cut on the push stroke. This orientation provides the best body mechanics to forcefully remove material. Those used to dozuki style handsaws can set the blade to cut on the pull stroke although it may be less effective.

Hacksaw Care

Besides a general visual inspection of its components, hacksaw care is simple. Always hand tighten the tension adjuster, never use a tool as it will over tighten and warp the frame.

Cutting Techniques

When cutting with a hacksaw the work piece must be secured as firmly as possible, usually in a vise. To minimize any movement and chatter, place the area to be cut as close to the vise jaws as possible.

Make sure the cut is well marked out on the work and start by making a few light passes on the pull stroke to create a channel for the blade to rest in. If the saw is aligned to cut on the push stroke this will be the only time you cut on the pull stroke.

Light pressure should be applied, allowing the blade to do all of the work. Your index finger can be extended and placed on the side of the frame to help align the saw. Pressure should only be applied on your saw’s cutting stroke. Sawing should not be difficult, trunk rotation should be used for good technique.