A Complete Guide to Hacksaw Blade Types

A man uses a hacksaw.

Although every hacksaw works in the same way, there are a number of differences in the blades that these tools use. A hacksaw is meant to be used on metal or pipe. The three types of hacksaw blades available are intended to be used on different types of metal, and it’s important to know which is the right type of blade for the job. Read on to learn more about the hacksaw and regular, raker and wavy blades.

Using a Hacksaw

There are two types of hacksaw frames. The first has a fixed length while the other can take blades of different lengths. This can be important if you have a larger piece of metal or pipe to cut. The blade fits into the posts that are on the frame. What many people don’t realize is that you can set the posts in different positions for your own individual requirements. You can move them left and right or up and down. Because you can also position the blade on the posts so the teeth run in either direction, there’s a great deal of versatility in a hacksaw and the way you use the blades.

When to Use a Hacksaw

You can use a hacksaw for cutting all types of metal. Where you have thin metal to cut, you’ll only need a blade with fine teeth. A bigger job, like a thick iron pipe, will require a blade that contains far fewer teeth on each inch of the blade. You can buy blades with a different amount of teeth per inch, generally ranging between 14 teeth per inch all the way up to 32 teeth per inch.

Regular Blade

The regular hacksaw blade is the one most people use because the blade will usually come with the tool when you buy in the hardware store. However, it’s only made for use on softer metals that are iron-free such as aluminum or tin. With a regular hacksaw blade, the teeth alternate between left and right and touch each other. This can make the first few strokes difficult but once the metal has been fully scored by the teeth of the blade, the job will go quickly.

Raker Blade

It’s easy to identify a raker hacksaw blade because the teeth are in groups of three. The blade might look strange, but it’s very effective on thick metal pieces like iron pipe.

Don’t expect the job to go quickly. You’ll still need to put in a lot of work into cutting the pipe but this is definitely the right blade for the heavier jobs you’ll encounter with a hacksaw. Using a regular hacksaw blade for cutting iron pipe is just going to result in a blunt blade and plenty of frustration.

Wavy Blade

Where the metal is thin but not of the soft type, you’ll want to fit a wavy blade onto your hacksaw. Take a look and you’ll see where the blade gets its name as the teeth run from left to right in a wave pattern. This is intended to give a smooth cut in hard metal although you shouldn’t use it on thick metal.