About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

Intro: Hacksaw

Hacksawing is a great way to cut a wide variety of materials.

Step 1:

Measure and mark the material to be cut.

Step 2:

Choose the right blade for the material you are going to cut. Typically, blades for harder materials such as metal will have smaller teeth than blades for softer materials such as wood and PVC

.It is often possible to cut softer materials with a metal blade, but difficult to cut metal with a wood blade.

Hacksaw blades only cut in one direction. The blade in the image only cuts when moving from right to left. Don't try to cut in both directions by really bearing down on the blade; you can damage your blade that way.

Step 3:

Step up the material to be cut. If you don't have a vise, clamp the material to the edge of a table.

Step 4:

Put on your safety glasses.

Cut the material with even strokes and slight pressure against the material (use a reasonable amount of pressure along the direction of the cut).

Step 5:

Smooth any sharp edges or square the ends of the workpiece by sanding, deburring, or other processes.

Step 6:

Vacuum or sweep up any chips and put away all tools.



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    11 Discussions


    11 years ago

    Just so you know, your vice has a pipe holder built in. Pivot the arm 360 :) Of course you already know this, but I like to pretend to be observant.

    2 replies

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Erm... Doesn't pivoting 360 degrees bring you back to where you started? 180 degrees perhaps? ;]


    Reply 11 years ago

    You're right! I was being lazy, and wasn't worried about scratching up the PVC.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    As a machinist, I was taught that the proper way to select a saw blade, whether it be hacksaw or whatever, is that a minimum of 3 teeth should be engaged into the workpeice when cutting. Thin materials need a finer toothed blade than a thick workpeice. If you are sawing something extremely thin, like a piece of tin, angle the blade to the workpeice so that at least 3 teeth are in contact with the workpeice and the results will be smoother and straighter. As you pointed out, there should be no downward pressure on the back stroke of the blade.


    8 years ago on Introduction

      I just mentioned on my new instructable the importance
    of a good blades and Hacksaw, Life is better with a good
    constant tension style as described in my new post:


     And A photo of my hacksaw and choice of blades.

     And old salt once told me if you don't like a hacksaw,
    its either lousy or do not know how to use it...


     ..... the instructor omitted to warn first time users of a hacksaw that the saw will suddenly go through the material on the final cut and most first time users will cut them selves on the projecting sharp edge. So be warned.


    12 years ago

    But is basic to know how to use tools this is a good one, more people should teach us how to improve techniques in how we must use tools and safety tips thanks


    12 years ago

    Always hold clamp work as close to the cut as possible to avoid vibration. remember that screeching noise is wasted energy. stand to the side of the saw, using a stance like the classic Weaver shooting position, hold the saw with BOTH hands one at the front for control and let the saw do the work. there is no replacment for good quality bimetalic blades for general work i use 24t.p.i.


    12 years ago

    Thank you for posting this valuable information. I've seen hacksaws used, but it is good to have an actual set of instructions with all the safety info.


    12 years ago

    "Instructables is a venue for showing what you make and how others can make it." What next, a demo on how to open a door or maby how to use a fork. Haz

    1 reply
    Cristian Lavaquehaz

    Reply 12 years ago

    There's people that don't know basics as this one, but really want to start working on projects, so they have to learn these things.