how-to-use-a-hacksaw

     
 

How to use a hacksaw

 
         
         
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Before you begin

 
  Before you begin working, you may find it helpful to secure the material you want to cut in a vice or clamp.  

Secure your material

Before you begin working, you may find it helpful to secure the material you want to cut  in a vice or clamp.

 
         
  Hacksawing through metal piping  

This is often done when cutting through metal piping, which can easily slide around or rolling away from you if it’s not held down.

 
         
 
For cutting a flat piece of material, use a clamp like the one shown.
 

For cutting a flat piece of material, use a clamp like the one shown. For cutting round or oddly shaped materials, you should consider using a vice. 

 

Whichever you use, you should ensure it is then attached firmly to your work bench or surface. Knowing your material is secure when working means you can use both hands on the hack saw.

 
         
  Use masking tape as a guide if you want to cut a straight line.  

Use masking tape as a guide

If you want to cut along a straight line but don’t have a scriber for marking metal, then you can always use a strip of masking tape instead.

 
         
  The hack saw should cut on the push stroke, with the teeth facing away from the handle.  

Should you push or pull?

Providing you have inserted the blade correctly, the hack saw should cut on the push stroke, with the teeth facing away from the handle. This means that you only need to apply pressure to the saw when pushing it through the material. If you use a lot of force when pulling the saw as well, it won’t cut any quicker and you will simply tire yourself out, and possibly damage the saw’s teeth as well.

 
         
  Wonkee Donkee says "When sawing, you should have at least 3 teeth in contact with the material at any time. With each stroke, try to use at least 3 quarters of the blade"  
         
     

Starting your cut

 
 
Rest blade on material
 

Step 1 – Rest blade against material

Rest the blade of the hacksaw against the surface of the material

 
         
  Even though the saw cuts on the push stroke, the first few strokes should be made by pulling the blade towards you  

Step 2 – Pull saw back towards you

Pull the saw back towards you, applying very little downward pressure in one long, slow stroke. Even though the saw cuts on the push stroke, the first few strokes should be made by pulling the blade towards you. This action allows for a more gentle sawing action to get your cut started.

 

Once the first cut is made, you should apply pressure on the push stroke, and ease off on the return stroke.

 
         
  Although you have both hands on the saw, you should only push the saw with your dominant hand  

Although you have both hands on the saw, you should only push the saw with your dominant hand (or the one that is gripping the handle).

 

Use your other hand simply to guide the saw and keep it on course. 

 
         
  Once the first cut is made, you can increase your speed, and saw to a steady rhythm.  

Step 3 – Build up speed

Once the first cut is made, you can increase your speed, and saw to a steady rhythm.

 

Don’t saw too quickly as this can cause the blade to heat up and become dull quickly. (Around 1 stroke per second is a good rhythm to maintain).

 
         
 
Temper tantrum

 

 

Practice makes perfect

If you’re not an experienced hand saw user, getting a feel for the amount of force needed can take a bit of practise, but don’t be put off.

 

Test out your sawing technique on some scrap material to get an idea of how much pressure to apply and the speed at which you feel comfortable. If you break or bend a blade, don’t throw a tantrum – Try, try, try again!