The Best Hacksaws of 2022

You never know when you'll need to cut a metal bar or a rod, but when you do, you'll appreciate this tried-and-true handsaw. It's not much to look at, but it gets the job done.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Jul 25, 2022 10:06 AM

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The hacksaw is a time-tested hand tool for cutting through metal materials such as pipes, studs, and rebar. The best hacksaw for metal should be strong and durable, and the user should be able to change blades and adjust the blade tension with ease.

Hacksaws lack the “glamor” of other saws, but there is plenty to consider when purchasing or using one. For example, the intense friction when using one causes a hacksaw blade to become warm when cutting through metal, which can make it expand. When it does, the blade will seem loose and you’ll need to adjust the tension to tighten it before you continue cutting.

We’ve put together a hacksaw guide with features for you to consider and a selection of nine terrific choices with well-earned reputations.

  1. BEST OVERALL: LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw, 12-inch (12132HT50)
  2. BEST BUDGET: CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 12-Inch Hacksaw CMHT20138
  3. BEST COMPACT: Capri Tools 20105 12″ Mini Hacksaw
  4. BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS: Stanley 0-20-108 5 in 1 Hack Saw
  5. BEST FOR CRAFTING: Pasco 4290 Tiny Tim Hacksaw
  6. BEST SMALL: FEENIX 21010 Metal Mini Hacksaw Frame
  7. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: GANCHUN Hand Saw, 12 inch Hacksaw Frame Heavy Duty
  8. BEST HIGH-TENSION: STANLEY High Tension Hacksaw, 12-Inch (STHT20138)
The Best Hacksaw Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hacksaw 

The hacksaw is easily identifiable by its C-shaped frame that’s designed to hold a thin blade by securing it at both ends. Depending on the individual hacksaw, the blades can usually be inserted with the cutting teeth pointed in either direction, which allows the user to cut using either a pulling or a pushing motion—whichever best suits the specific cutting situation. As a rule, however, hacksaws often work best when their teeth are oriented in a forward configuration, which allows the user to cut on the forward (push) stroke rather than cut on the backward, pull stroke.

While hacksaws—like miter boxes—are straightforward hand tools that don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, for the best cutting results, users will want to choose the blade that is best suited to their cutting needs. In addition, before starting, consider whether you’ll be able to hold the material securely as you cut. If not, consider using clamps to secure the material to keep it from moving while sawing.

Our Top Picks

To earn a spot in our lineup of the best hacksaws, each of the following models had to meet a high standard of quality, durability, and performance. While each is best suited for a specific type of metal-cutting project, each one of the picks is a standout in its category.

Best Overall

The Best Hacksaw Option: LENOX 12-Inch High-Tension Hacksaw
Photo: amazon.com

The advanced tension control on the LENOX 12-inch high-tension hacksaw will have you sawing through bars and cutting metal thresholds without a glitch. Turn the tension knob on the 12-inch saw blade to tighten blade tension for making clean, sharp cuts easily. With its durable frame and rubberized, secure-grip handle, the LENOX hacksaw makes the cut for the best overall hacksaw for most users.

The saw weighs about 1.85 pounds, hefty enough to hold up to metal cutting but not so heavy as to be cumbersome. It comes with one blade with 24 teeth per inch (TPI) and room to store five blades in the saw’s handle. The LENOX saw will also convert to a jab saw when fitted with a 6-inch LENOX reciprocating blade (not included).

Product Specs

  • Weight: 1.85 pounds
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 12-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Adjustable, high-tension
  • Converts to jab saw
  • Stores 5 blades in frame

Cons

  • Users report cumbersome blade change

Best Budget

The Best Hacksaw Option: CRAFTSMAN Hand Saw, 12-Inch Hacksaw CMHT20138
Photo: amazon.com

Take advantage of the benefits of a hacksaw without spending a lot of money. The Craftsman 12-inch hacksaw features a full-frame made from solid metal for durability, even with frequent use, and the frame supports blade tension up to 225 pounds. This Craftsman hacksaw also comes with a large wing nut at the base of the handle for quick tensioning adjustments.

No blade is included with purchase, but this hacksaw accepts all standard 12-inch blades that can be ordered online or found at any home improvement store. The large pistol-grip handle is ergonomically curved for comfort, and the saw comes with the ability to turn the blade up to 90 degrees to cut at an angle.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 1.23 pounds
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: None

Pros

  • Affordable price but not cheap hacksaw quality
  • Large tensioning wing nut
  • Ergonomic handle for comfort

Cons

  • No blade included

Best Compact

The Best Hacksaw Option: Capri Tools Mini Hacksaw
Photo: amazon.com

For metal cutting in tight spaces, the Capri Tools mini hacksaw won’t disappoint. Its slightly adapted design accommodates either 10-inch or 12-inch hacksaw blades. Though this mini saw doesn’t feature a tension adjustment (most of the blade extends in front of the frame), it holds the blade securely for clean cutting action.

The saw comes with a 12-inch, 24 TPI blade and it features an ergonomic padded grip to reduce hand fatigue and ensure a tight hold on the saw. It’s lightweight (less than 7 ounces) but surprisingly durable. The Capri Tools saw is a standout for cutting bars and poles in areas where a standard hacksaw just won’t fit.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 6.9 ounces
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 12-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Accepts 10- or 12-inch blades
  • Great for cutting in tight spots

Cons

  • Not for heavy-duty metal cutting

Best for Professionals

The Best Hacksaw Option: Stanley 5-In-1 Hacksaw
Photo: amazon.com

From a name synonymous with quality tools comes the Stanley 5-in-1 hacksaw. The saw accepts 12-inch blades, and one 24 TPI blade comes with the saw purchase. You can store additional blades in the body of the saw.

The comfort grip handle on the Stanley reduces hand fatigue and helps the user to achieve and maintain a firm grip for the lengthy task of cutting metal. Blade tension adjusts up to 220 psi, and pros or DIYers can remove the front section of the saw to turn it quickly into a jab (reciprocating) saw for reaching into tight spots. Tension adjustment requires a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 12-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Adjustable up to 220 psi
  • Ergonomic comfort grip
  • Onboard blade storage
  • Converts to a jab saw

Cons

  • Too bulky for tight spaces
  • Screwdriver required to adjust tension

Best for Crafting

The Best Hacksaw Option: Pasco 4290 Tiny Tim Hacksaw
Photo: amazon.com

The Tiny Tim Hacksaw lives up to its name—it’s just 10 inches long, from tip to tip, and holds a compact 6-inch blade, which is a good size for cutting small metal, such as copper tubing, or even for cutting small sticks and dowel rods. In addition, it weighs less than 4 ounces.

The Tiny Tim saw features a one-piece frame that holds the blade and forms the saw’s handle as well. The handle portion is coated in vinyl to make gripping more comfortable and to offer a bit of nonslip traction. The angular front part of the frame enables the user to cut metal tubing in tight spots. While this hacksaw is just the ticket for crafters, it’s not large or sturdy enough to cut bigger metal pipes and rods.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 3.84 ounces
  • Blade Length: 6 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 6-inch blade

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Well suited to tiny rods and tubing
  • Vinyl-covered grip

Cons

  • Not suitable for anything but small crafting projects

Best Small

The Best Hacksaw Option: FEENIX 21010 Metal Mini Hacksaw Frame
Photo: amazon.com

Bigger than a crafting saw but smaller than a standard hacksaw, the FEENIX mini hacksaw offers big-time cutting power in a diminutive package. For users seeking to cut pipes in tight spots, such as those located in joist or stud spaces, the FEENIX hacksaw is among the top options. It comes with a strong frame for holding 10-inch blades (one is included), and it features an ergonomic over-grip handle, making it easy to use the saw where a standard saw with a pistol grip would be too cumbersome.

The FEENIX hacksaw frame is made from solid cast aluminum for both strength and minimal heft (it weighs just 4.6 ounces), and the frame is only 10 inches from tip to tip. Be aware that adding the blade will increase the length by a few inches.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 4.6 ounces
  • Blade Length: 10 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 10-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Narrow frame for accessing tight spots
  • Small but strong enough for cutting household pipes

Cons

  • No padding on the handle

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Hacksaw Option: GANCHUN Hand Saw, 12 inch Hacksaw Frame Heavy Duty
Photo: amazon.com

The GANCHUN 12-inch hacksaw is made for serious metal cutting. It accepts a standard 12-inch blade, and the frame is made from high-carbon steel and robust aluminum alloy for strength and durability. The pistol-grip handle features a padded, nonslip grip for added comfort while working.

This hacksaw also features the added ability of being able to adjust the blade between a 45- and 90-degree angle to easily cut pipes at various angles. An oversize wing nut located below the handle makes it easy to adjust the tension on the blade. The saw weighs in at a reasonable 1.19 pounds and measures 15.6 inches from tip to tip. One 12-inch blade comes with the purchase.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 1.19 pounds
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 12-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Sturdy frame
  • Comfort-grip handle
  • Adjustable angle on blades
  • Large tensioning wing nut

Cons

  • Too large for tight spots

Best High-Tension

The Best Hacksaw Option: STANLEY High Tension Hacksaw, 12-Inch (STHT20138)
Photo: amazon.com

From a manufacturer well known for making high-quality hand tools comes the Stanley high-tension hacksaw, which features a frame strong enough to support a blade tightened up to 225 psi, allowing the user to make fast, straight cuts. The Stanley saw accepts 12-inch blades, and one blade is included with purchase.

Users can also adjust the blade from 90 to 180 degrees, making it well suited for cutting at various angles. The hacksaw comes with an ergonomic pistol-grip handle and features a sizable tension-adjustment wing nut at the base of the handle. The Stanley hacksaw weighs just 1.2 pounds and measures just under 16 inches from tip to tip.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Blade Length: 12 inches
  • Blade(s) Included: One 12-inch, 24 TPI blade

Pros

  • Strong steel and alloy frame
  • Adjustable blade angle
  • Large tension-adjustment wing nut

Cons

  • Too bulky for small spaces

Our Verdict

Each hacksaw in this lineup is well suited to performing cutting tasks, but each comes with its own strong points and drawbacks. The best overall pick, the Lennox hacksaw, ticks off all the boxes for a high-quality saw that will withstand frequent use. For budget-conscious buyers, the CRAFTSMAN hacksaw offers easy tension adjustment and allows users to cut at various angles—all for a very attractive price.

How We Chose the Best Hacksaws 

Before settling on this lineup of the best hacksaws, we extensively researched dozens of the top models to determine whether they featured quality materials and were designed in a manner that would allow users to perform metal-cutting tasks with ease.

While we paid close attention to models from reputable brands, we didn’t automatically exclude hacksaws made by new manufacturers or niche companies. We pored over buyer reviews to better understand the pros and cons of each hacksaw. In the end, the list represents the best hacksaws on the market today, according to real users.

Blade Type

Hacksaw blades are sold by their pitch, which indicates how many teeth they have per inch. Standard hacksaw blades come with 12 to 32 teeth per inch (TPI). Typically, longer blades have fewer teeth per inch, while shorter blades have higher TPI counts.

  • Coarse-grade blade: With 12 to 18 TPI counts, these hacksaw blades are made for aggressively cutting through steel pipes and other metal items. However, the low number of teeth per inch can leave small jagged edges on the cut surfaces.
  • Medium-grade blade: More teeth per inch (20 to 24) leave a smoother cut surface on the ends of pipes and bars, but it takes longer to cut through the materials. The most common TPI for a hacksaw blade is 24, and it is suitable for multiple hacksaw uses.
  • Fine-grade blade: With between 24 and 30 TPI, a fine grade hacksaw blade creates a smooth cut surface, but it is usually limited to cutting small thin pipes and bars, as it takes longer to saw through the material.
  • Superfine-grade blade: Useful for cutting fragile metal rods and leaving smooth cut ends, superfine blades average 30 to 32 TPI. It will take longer to cut with these fine-tooth blades.
  • All-hard blade: Available in various lengths and TPI counts, all-hard blades are made from hardened, tempered steel. They are well suited to cutting cast iron.

Fixed vs. Adjustable Frame

A fixed frame hacksaw is made from a solid piece of steel, and it holds just one size blade, such as a 10-inch blade or a 12-inch blade. An adjustable hacksaw comes with the ability to lengthen or shorten the frame to hold different size blades. Both types include pins, clamps, or wing nuts for securing the blades in place.

However, even adjustable hacksaws typically adjust to hold blades that are within only a couple of inches of one another. For example, an adjustable 10-inch hacksaw will normally only hold blades up to 12 inches long. It usually won’t accommodate small 6-inch blades. However, exceptions exist, and a few types will hold both long and short blades.

Handle Design

The most common type of handle on a hacksaw is a pistol grip, which allows the user to firmly grasp the handle to exert maximum pressure when sawing. A few models feature a straight, stick-type grip in line with the saw blade—often called a “jab saw.” These handles are more common on small or mini saws that are used to cut thin metal.

Both types of handles often feature padded or rubberized nonslip grips that help the user grasp the handle without slipping and to reduce hand fatigue. When choosing a hacksaw, keep in mind that a small grip may not be comfortable—even if you want a relatively short saw. The grip should be large enough to get a firm hold for the best results.

Material

Hacksaws are usually made from lightweight carbon steel or aluminum alloy and feature a variety of materials for handles, such as wood and molded polyethylene.

Like many drill bits and saw blades, the best hacksaw blades are often made from high-speed steel (HHS), which contains alloys such as tungsten and molybdenum that can withstand the high temperatures created by friction. A lot of heat can be generated when sawing through a steel pipe, so blades made from HHS will last longer than older carbon steel–type blades.

Length

Most hacksaws accept blades between 10 and 12 inches long, although compact models will accept blades as short as around 6 inches. A few styles come with the ability to extend the blade past the end of the frame for use as a jab saw. While these hacksaws still take standard-size blades, they also accept reciprocating blades, and they are well suited for sawing in tight spots with just the tip of the blade when the entire saw frame is too large or cumbersome to fit.

Weight

Hacksaws vary in weight from a few ounces for mini models to 2 pounds or more for standard models that hold full-size blades. A heavier saw adds stability when cutting thicker metal pipes and bars, but a lightweight model is greatly appreciated by those using the hacksaw overhead. Still, most hacksaws are relatively light in weight compared to other hand tools.

Additional Features 

Users won’t find a lot of extras to choose from when shopping for hacksaws, but a few options are worth checking out:

  • Blade storage: one of the handier features is onboard blade storage. When blade storage is available, spare blades are typically held within the saw frame—and accessible by sliding them in from one end.
  • High-tension adjustment: Straight, clean cuts require a firm blade, and some hacksaws come with a high-tension adjustment that tightens the blade to a high degree. Still, most blades still need frequent readjusting, since just the process of sawing will loosen them.
  • Conversion frames: Some hacksaws come with a frame that converts from a standard hacksaw configuration to that of a jab saw—similar to a reciprocating saw—with the end of the reciprocating saw blade poking out in front. This makes it simpler to reach pipes located in tight spots.

FAQs

A hacksaw is a straightforward hand tool that doesn’t require knowledge or a particular skill to use. While hacksaws are made specifically to cut metal, such as pipes and rods, they’re also suitable for cutting small wood and plastic items. Those looking for a hacksaw with a specific purpose in mind will likely have some questions.

Q: How do I choose a hacksaw?

First, select a frame that’s suitable for the work you’ll be doing—for most DIY projects, a standard frame that accommodates a 10- or 12-inch blade is best. For crafts, a smaller one is preferable. Then, select a blade that suits the material being cut—coarse blades cut quickly but leave jagged ends. Fine blades leave smoother cut ends but require more time and effort to cut through the material.

Q: Can a hacksaw cut nails?

Yes, in fact, a common way to disassemble wood furniture, crates, or other nailed items is to cut the nail between the two adjoining boards with a hacksaw.

Q: Can you use a hacksaw for wood?

A hacksaw can make cross-grain cuts in wood in a pinch. It’s best suited for cutting small items, though, such as dowels or thin boards.

Q: What is a high-tension hacksaw used for?

High-tension hacksaws are used for similar purposes as lower-tension hacksaws—to cut through metal pipes and rods. However, a high-tension saw holds the blade tighter, keeping it from bending, which speeds the cutting process.

Q: How do you handle a hacksaw?

When the blade is installed with the teeth facing forward (the most common configuration), hacksaws cut on the push stroke. In some cases, the user may want to turn the blade around, in which case, the saw will cut on the pull stroke.

Q: Do hacksaw blades get dull?

Hacksaw blades can and do get dull, but today’s high-speed steel helps them stay sharp longer. A tip for making hacksaw blades last longer is not to saw too rapidly—between 40 and 60 strokes per minute is about right. Any faster than that, and the blade can become overly hot and dull (or snap)