Hack Saw Blades


Hi all,
Years ago (late 60's) I got a smoking deal on several hundred Swedish
made Craftsman 'Simi-Flexable Alloy Steel' hacksaw blades. All 12" 32
tooth.
I thought I was set for life... but a couple of weeks ago, I realized
I'm down to my very last one. These blades always seemed to 'do the
job', and I never really gave them much thought... but never had
anything to compare them with either. (Through the years, I did get a
couple of nice stiff quality frames which was a dramatic improvement
over those old time flimsy 'frames').
Question for the group... do the fancy expensive bi-metal blades like
Starrett and others sell justify their premium price?
Any favorite blades out there; bi-metal and/or otherwise? Any to avoid?
Any other thoughts/suggestions?
I mostly cut mild steel and plastics, but do make some fairly intricate
cuts... and occasionally need to make some 'fairly long' straight (1 to
2") clean free hand cuts.
Thanks,
Erik
Reply to
Erik
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Nearly all of the present hacksaw blades are bi-metal (dual alloys), except for those that may still be made completely with carbon steel. The all-carbon steel blades are heat treated on the edge where the teeth are. I don't believe I've used one for many years, and decades ago, these were the ones that would suddenly snap if pushed too hard. With the paint removed from an all-carbon steel blade, the tooth edge will likely look blue, fading into the normal steel appearance just past the tooth section.
Most presently manufactured hacksaw, hole saw and bandsaw blade material is made of a hard cutting tooth section (resembling a coping saw blade) continuously welded to a mild steel backing (which makes up the largest portion of the blade width). The fabrication method is usually very distinguishable when the paint is removed from the blade.
Better quality blades are generally always worth the extra cost, as far as wear resistance, even if you only cut mild steel or other relatively soft materials. Even soft materials may include harder compounds (sometimes that are somewhat abrasive).
I would be reluctant to pay excessive amounts for blades that claim to be HSS, since if the tooth area actually does contain any HSS, it's likely to only be a very thin ribbon of HSS along the sides of the teeth.
Reply to
Wild_Bill
I bought a couple of carbon steel ones at the local Ace Hardware a year or 2 back. They wore out within in about 2" or 1" thick mild steel, Lennox bimetal blades I normally use last much much longer.
CarlBoyd
Reply to
Carl
Avoid the Horrible Freight ones like the plague. They're *ok* for plastic and aluminum but steel of any grade will dull them in a dozen or so strokes. Art
Reply to
Artemus
Yup. Most of the swarf you see coming out of the cut are the blade's teeth. JR Dweller in the cellar
Artemus wrote:
Reply to
JR North
I wonder if semi flexable alloy steel was a code word for bimetal.
Go with bimetal. It is current technology. I'm old enough to remember hack saw blades that had their teeth round off quickly. Try a brand of bimetal, I suspect any brand is equal to what you bought in the 60's. Stay away from harbor fright or all bets are off. ;)
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
It wasn't too long ago that somebody taught me how to actually USE a hacksaw. Technique and lubrication have vastly extended the life of blades I buy. (Lenox) And, the toggle-locking frames!
Reply to
Buerste
"Artemus" wrote
Now, realistically. Did you expect any other from HF? Hardened tempered high metallurgically made blades for twenty nine cents?
I know HF has some passable stuff. Even their 4" grinding discs are decent. But I would not expect any quality in their hack saw blades.
I have their little band saw, and I really like it. But I buy Ridgid blades for it.
Reply to
Steve B
Wes wrote in news:bEPWn.267894$ snipped-for-privacy@en-nntp-16.dc.easynews.com:
When I was in grad school, I had a piece of tungsten that I needed to cut down to make a weight for a target pistol. The stuff work hardened instantly, and was miserable to cut by hand. I wore out a couple of hardware store bimetal blades, and got a lab at MIT to make one cut with a diamond saw. I had one cut left, and took it home over Christmas, figuring I would gnaw through it over the course of many hours. My father had some ancient hacksaw blades, presumably carbon steel. They cut through the tungsten like it was mild steel! I don't think they had any useful info printed on them, and he assured me he'd bought them at a hardware store decades earlier.
I have Lenox blades now, but somewhere I think I have ONE of my dad's blades, saved for real emergencies.
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
What's that Lassie? You say that Erik fell down the old rec.crafts.metalworking mine and will die if we don't mount a rescue by Tue, 29 Jun 2010 23:15:02 -0700:
lenox.
Reply to
dan
I remember the old trash blades of the 50's and maybe 60's. They would snap if dropped or 'snagged' on a push or draw. Always sold in packs of 50 and begs for a good deal.
I use Lenox bi-metal and never looked back.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufk>> Hi all,
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
My dad taught me that. Slow and steady, No pressure on the back stroke. Faster ain't better. What'd you learn?
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
Similar experience, here, with the sawzall blades.
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
n-nntp-16.dc1.easynews.com:
My dad used to work for a sulky company when he was in high school, he raved about the Atkinson Silver Steel blades they had there, claimed they could cut anything. Were the through-hardened carbon steel type, so would snap if twisted. Proper technique did make a difference back then, if you didn't do it right, you got to stick in another blade.
Interesting that Lenox seems to be the blade of choice here, but Starrett doesn't seem to have a presence in the regular retail channels. Most hardware stores here have Lenox along with Vermin American, but not Starrett. Probably the biggest improvement they've made in the last 50 years is the high-tension saw frames, those make a huge difference.
Stan
Reply to
stans4
Old timer showed me the same with a bit of oscillation in the cut movement.
Reply to
Buerste
In article , snipped-for-privacy@prolynx.com wrote:
(I'm the original poster)
Yes it looks like Lenox definitely gets the nod ... and thanks to all!
But funny thing... differing from Stan's experiences, most of the hardware stores in my area seem to carry Starrett blades! Some carry Lenox frames, But I don't recall seeing their blades locally.
Not worried... in a town the size of LA, I'm sure they can be had somewhere within a 5 min radius.
With a high tension frame and an assortment of files, I regularly do stuff I wouldn't have even dreamed of attempting in the pre HT frame era... they were a God send.
Erik
Reply to
Erik
I have Starrett blades on hand at home, purchased podunk locally. They work okay for me. At work, I have company Sandviks, those work just as well. Both bimetal. The sandviks were purchased from McMaster Carr.
I don't miss carbon steel taps, drills or hacksaw blades.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
I've had to use a sawsall to cut metal at times. A bit of oil makes everything better in terms of cutting time and blade life.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
Working to keep a few teeth in the cut seems to help. Just laying level and plowing away takes forever.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
On Thu, 01 Jul 2010 18:09:21 -0400, Wes wrote the following:
You, sir, need to match your blade to your work. After buying the Starrett hacksaw blades a handful of years ago, I found out what real cutting the hacksaw can do. I hacked off some 0.187 x 2" angle in about twenty five strokes and was absolutely amazed at how quickly and easily it went. I kick myself for all those hours of misery with cheaparse blades.
-- The most powerful factors in the world are clear ideas in the minds of energetic men of good will. -- J. Arthur Thomson
Reply to
Larry Jaques

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