Anyone who does DIY at home will sooner or later come across the question: What do I cut metal with? This is where the hacksaw comes in! Metal saws are suitable for hard material and are not only used for metal, but also for plastic. They are available in electric and in purely mechanical form.
A metal saw should be comfortable to hold and easy to use. The saw blade is easy to change, which will be necessary either when the teeth become blunt or when the material being worked on changes. In this article we have compared the best metal saws as well as answered the most important questions when buying a metal saw.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Metal Saw: Our Choices
- 4 Buying and rating criteria for hacksaws
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about metal saws answered in detail
- 6 Conclusion
- Metal saws are suitable for those who want to cut or trim metal objects at home. You can cut copper, mild steel, cast iron, brass, aluminium and plastic.
- Hand saws are easy to carry, but you need more physical strength to use them. Electric metal saws require more out of your wallet, but are perfect, especially for larger projects.
- When choosing the right saw blade, the TPI is important: the number of teeth per inch. The harder the material to be cut, the more teeth per inch you need.
The Best Metal Saw: Our Choices
Buying and rating criteria for hacksaws
There are some criteria you need to consider when buying a hacksaw. They will help you to find out which hacksaw suits you best. In the following paragraphs, we will go into more detail about the buying and evaluation criteria.
- TPI: Teeth Per Inch
- The size of the metal saw blades
- Handle and handle shape (for handsaws)
- Cooling lubricant (for electric saws)
TPI: Teeth Per Inch
The TPI parameter describes the number of teeth per inch of the saw blade. Typically, a metal saw has between 8 and 32 TPI. One inch is equal to 2.54 cm, so for example, 8 TPI means that the saw blade has 8 teeth per 2.54 cm.
The TPI parameter you choose for your saw blade depends on the material you want to cut. In general, the harder the material to be sawn, the greater the number of teeth.
A coarse metal saw blade has 8 to 18 TPI and is suitable for mild steel, copper, aluminium, plastics and round and square bars of mild steel over 40 mm thick.
A medium metal saw blade has 18 to 22 TPI and is used for the following materials: High strength steel, cast iron, mild steel round and square bars under 40 mm thick and brass. Fine metal saw blades have 22 to 32 TPI and are used for thin-walled tubes, profile bars, chilled cast iron and sheet metal.
The size of the metal saw blades
Long metal saw blades allow you to work quickly and effectively on large workpieces. The standard size here is 300 mm long saw blades. Short and small blades, on the other hand, are suitable for precision work.
Handle and handle shape (for handsaws)
The handle is particularly important for hand saws because it is the means of power transmission. The handle should be non-slip and must be shaped so that the saw is easy and comfortable to use. Make sure that the handle is large enough for your hand and knuckles.
Hacksaws have the handle integrated into the handle. Here, more force is exerted and the handle is more non-slip and ergonomic. Bow saws, on the other hand, have a fixed metal bow with a wooden handle attached to the end.
Cooling lubricant (for electric saws)
Some electric metal saws have the ability to cool and lubricate their saw blades at the same time. If the right cooling lubricant is missing, saw blades will become blunt more quickly - also, cooling by the cooling lubricant contributes to more accurate machining. The cooling lubricant reduces friction between the material and the saw blade and, if necessary, also removes chips by flushing them away.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about metal saws answered in detail
In the following paragraphs we answer the most important questions about buying a metal saw.
Who is a hacksaw suitable for?
What types of metal saws are there?
Electric metal saws work the same way as manual ones, except they are powered by the motor and therefore require less strength from the user. There are lighter, more mobile devices and also stand-up saws, which usually stay in one place. You can only use the electric hacksaw within the limits of its battery power or the length of its power cable.
How much does a hacksaw cost?
|Price range||Available products|
|6 - 30 euros||Hand saws|
|100 - 500 euros||Electric metal saw|
|from 15 euros||Hiring an electric metal saw|
As you can see, you can buy a handsaw for as little as three pairs of socks. Electric hacksaws are available from 100 Euros, and the average price for an electric hacksaw is between 100 and 500 Euros, depending on what extra features you need or how powerful you want the motor to be. We have introduced a third price category that is currently a popular alternative to buying a hacksaw: renting electric hacksaws. This is possible for as little as 15 euros.
How do you properly clamp a saw blade?
What do I have to pay attention to when sawing?
You should also pay attention to the cutting speed and the contact pressure so that they are not too high. There is a risk that the saw blade heats up too much, which has a negative effect on its stability.
Metal saws are indispensable for do-it-yourselfers. They are used for soft and hard metals as well as for plastic. The most important distinction between metal saws is whether they are hand saws or electric saws. Hand saws are inexpensive and handy, whereas electric saws are suitable for more serious metalworking.
When buying the right metal saw, pay particular attention to the TPI of the saw blade and, in the case of hand saws, the handle, as these have a major impact on handling. Metal saws are practical and easy to maintain: changing a saw blade is straightforward and there are few points to consider when sawing.
Image source: Michael Browning / unsplash