Hacksaws cut through metals efficiently, and they’re quite inexpensive. They work great for a workshop set up at home, and it’s a great tool if you’re working with metals or plastic materials on a regular basis.
If you’re shopping for the best hacksaw for cutting metal, you’ve come to the right place.
In order to identify the best hacksaw, we asked the experts about their preferences and reviewed the best options based on multiple uses and factors.
Hacksaws are great for many jobs, but if you’re often cutting metals you might want to consider a few alternate options.
Our top pick is the Lenox Tools 12-Inch High-Tension Hacksaw because it’s fast, accurate, and extremely versatile with the option of transforming it into a jab saw if needed.
Also worth reading: Top 15 Metal Cutting Tools
Our top picks
After reviewing several options, these saws are our top picks for cutting metal. Our recommendations are based on the following factors: Ergonomics, ease of use, durability, and versatility.
Lenox Tools 12-Inch High-Tension Hacksaw
- Fast and accurate
- Durable design
- Built-in blade storage for up to five blades
Recommended uses: Almost anything we can think of. It can even function as a jab saw, and fits all Lenox reciprocating saw blades. Use it for non-hardened metals such as steel, iron, aluminium, and more.
Why we like it: The Lenox Tools High-Tension Hacksaw comes with a 12-inch blade with 24 teeth per inch, making it a great choice for accurate cuts, and the five-blade storage is a convenient feature for those working on a job site with limited space to store their tools on.
Lenox Tools Mini Hacksaw
- Great for precision cutting
- Works well in narrow areas
- Lightweight and durable
Recommended uses: Works especially well in small, restricted areas due to the design of the handle and how the blade is held. Use it on any non-hardened metals. Cuts metal bolts, wire, tubing, but also works on plastic.
Why we like it: This mini hacksaw is the perfect choice if you’re often finding yourself working on small metal units. You might come across areas that are just too tight for a regular hacksaw, but with this compact hacksaw you can work in spaces less than an inch wide. Blades easily attach and detach to this cast aluminum handle.
Worx WX801L Mini-Cutter
- Battery powered (battery included)
- Cuts and grinds metal and other materials
- Great for home use
Recommended uses: Can be operated with one hand, and cuts through any non-hardened metal but also tile, thin concrete, and plastic. After cutting a piece of metal, you can use the grinding disc to smoothen the edges. Battery powered means no cords needed – use it anywhere you want.
Why we like it: The WORX WX801L Mini-Cutter is a great alternative to a standard hacksaw, and it basically works the same way. With the 3-inch cutting discs included you can not only cut through metal, but also grind the edges to make them nice and smooth afterwards. If you want to spend a few extra bucks to avoid the strain that manual hacksaw puts on your wrist, arm, and shoulder, this tool is our #1 recommendation.
DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw
- Powerful saw for any job site
- Corded – no batteries needed
- Popular choice for a metal workshop
Recommended uses: Job sites and workshops, where metal is worked with on a regular basis. Works with any metal such as copper, brass, aluminium, steel, etc.
Why we like it: The DEWALT DWM120K is a work-horse beyond comparison. We’ve seen it used in metal workshops as well as job sites, where it cuts through metals effortlessly and packs unlimited power due to the corded design. No need to recharge batteries or worry about run time – this tool just keeps going, and it’s a great alternative to a handheld hacksaw. Consider this tool if you’re often working with metals in a workshop or on job sites.
How is a hacksaw for cutting metal different?
There is a total of 15 different types of hacksaws.
Each of these have attributes to suit their purpose and application. Below is a table, that explains the use of each type of hacksaw as well as hand saw:
|Hand saw types||Characteristic||Purpose||Application|
|Basic hand saw||Basic blade and frame||All wood||Woodwork and Carpentry|
|Hacksaw||Fine-toothed blades, C-frame||Cutting metals and plastics||Cuts pipes and tubing|
|Japanese saw||Thinner blades, Crosscut teeth and rip teeth||Cut dense wood||Woodwork and Japanese carpentry|
|Coping saw||Thin Interchangeable blades, C-frame||Cuts both metal and wood||Trim work, intricate cuts, scrolling|
|Reciprocating saw/jigsaw||Narrow blades||Cuts plywood, polycarbonate, other intricate materials||Cuts curves and patterns. Plunge cuts|
|Back saw||Narrow bladed, reinforced upper edge||Straight mitre cuts||Mitres, dovetails, joinery, and tenons|
|Bow saw||Long blades, crosscut teeth||Cuts wood||Trim trees, cut logs, pruning|
|Crosscut saw||Thick blade, large and beveled teeth||Cuts rough wood||Cut lumber, trim branches and limbs|
|Fret saw||Long and thin blades, longer and larger frames||Makes intricate cuts||Intricate scrollwork|
|Keyhole saw||Single blade, round handle||Rough cuts patterns and circles||Drywalls|
|Pole saw||Extension pole, pruning blade||Cuts wood||Prune trees|
|Pruning saw||Wide curved blade, pistol grip handle||Cuts wood||Lawn services, landscrapers, tree surgeons|
|Rip cut saw||Few teeth per inch||Cuts wood||Framing|
|Veneer saw||Small double-edged blades, elevated offset handles||Cuts thin hardwood||Veneer work|
|Wallboard saw||Short and wide blades||Puncturing starter holes for power tools||Paneling and drywalls|
From the above list, the hacksaw is the most common saw dedicated to cutting metal. It is a bit different from the rest of the handheld saws. Then, each hacksaw’s teeth per inch varies according to the type of metal it is supposed to cut.
Below are the characteristics of the hack saw:
- A rigid, I- or C-shaped frame
- Pistol grip handle
- Thin, somewhat flexible blades
Hack saws with more teeth per inch make fine cuts.
They are suitable for cutting thin metals, including copper and aluminum.
In contrast, hack saws with fewer teeth per inch make coarse cuts. They work well on steel, iron, and alike.
Factors to consider
How do you decide on which hacksaw is ideal for your needs?
Below is a general buying guide that helps you pick the right one for the job:
Design and construction
Cutting metal requires a robust hacksaw that will not break or bend under pressure.
Such hack saws are of industrial-grade materials. Hence, they are corrosion resistant, flexible, and durable.
These materials include steel and aluminum alloys. Both elements are unyielding to the corrosive gases and chemicals.
This aspect is vital when working in a workshop environment with such substances. In turn, they last for longer, hence, great value for your money.
Next, opt for hack saws with frames that adjust with ease.
Such models are easy to handle. Use hack saws with frames that accept more than one blade length. This way, you’ll have the flexibility to change your blades the way you want. Still, the support ought to be of sturdy construction to withstand the nature of the job.
The blade quality is a critical aspect of the hack saw. It is the one that does the cutting, after all.
First, pick a hacksaw that is able to cut more than one type of material and length.
Are you pruning your fruit trees? Or working on your handcrafts? Do you need to carry a hacksaw on your fishing trip? You should be able to use the same hack saw for all these purposes as your handy tool.
This way, you can do more work with fewer tools. Indeed, expert craftsmen know that the fewer tools they can carry, the easier the load. More so, when you are handling elevated work.
Second, we measure the blade quality in teeth per inch (TPI). A hack saw with a high TPI is quick, precise, and results in a neat finish. Again, you should pick hack saws whose blades have a vaster edge retention capacity. That way, you’ll spend less time and energy working on varied materials.
Convenient for use
Since this tool is handheld, it ought to have a lightweight frame. Second, the hacksaw should be sturdy, easy to carry around, and use. Manufacturers put various features in the hack saw to make them convenient for use. Hence, pick a brand that is appealing to both seasoned and amateur users. These brands have the following convenient features:
- Lighter hacksaws cause less hand fatigue.
- A hacksaw with a triple cut razor is fast and efficient. It’s ideal when you want to cut metal for extended hours.
- Rubber grips are comfortable to handle.
- Handles with an asymmetric design give you a slip-resistant grip.
- Folding hacksaws are portable and easy to store.
- Angle markings help straight and precise cuts.
Safety tips when using a hacksaw for cutting metal
Finally, once you pick your ideal metal cutting hacksaw, ensure you use it safely. Here are a few tips you can use:
- Always wear protective gloves when using the hacksaw.
- Be careful about your finger positions. They should be away from the blades at all times.
- Use protective eyewear. They’ll shield your eyes from any flying metal chips.
- Sharpen your blade the right way. Indeed, sanding off the razors does the trick.
- Use your hack saw, starting with slow hand motions. Then, increase the speed as you gauge the nature of the metal.
- Never leave the saw on the metal after sawing.