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A hacksaw is particularly handy for cutting pipe. See more pictures of power and work tools.

Hacksaws are handy cutting tools that are useful additions to a homeowner's toolbox or small garage shops.

What is a Hacksaw

A hacksaw is a metal-framed saw used primarily for cutting plastic and metal pipes and other small household materials. The U-shaped bow frame holds a thin, wide blade between its spigots (clips) and a plastic or wood handle at one end. Some models use an adjustable frame to accommodate 8-, 10-, or 12-inch blades as needed. Depending on the cut desired, metal blades will have 14, 18, 24, or 32 teeth per inch, with the denser teeth best for cutting smaller objects.

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How to Safely Use a Hacksaw

To install a blade, turn the adjuster on the handle or frame until there is slack and the holes at each end of the blade can be inserted into the spigots. Make sure that the teeth are pointed away from the handle. Tighten the adjuster.

To safely use a hacksaw, firmly place the material to be cut into a vice (if possible). Place the saw's central teeth on the line to be cut and push the saw in a short stroke to start the cut. Continue the cut, making sure the end of the object being cut is held and will not crack due to the unsupported weight. For safety, keep hands and other objects away from the sharp teeth.

How to Maintain a Hacksaw

Replacement hack saw blades are available at most hardware stores. Make sure you select the appropriate blade as indicated by the number of teeth per inch. Do not use a thinner coping saw blade in a hacksaw.

Tools Related to the Hacksaw

Other useful handsaws include the crosscut saw, ripsaw, backsaw, keyhole saw, and coping saw. With the proper blade installed, small electric saws can be used for some metal-cutting tasks.

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