Table of Contents
- Best Hacksaw Reviews 2019
- DEWALT DWHT20547L 5-in-1 Hacksaw – Best Seller
- LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw, 12-inch (12132HT50) – Top Pick
- Lenox 20975-975 Mini Hacksaw frame – Best Value
- Hacksaw includes Hacksaw and Reciprocating Blades, Adjustable Tension to 30,000 PSI Klein Tools 702-12 – Runner Up
- Starrett K145 12-Inch High Tension Hacksaw Frame with Closed Grip – Also Consider
- Best Hacksaw Buying Guide 2019
Best Hacksaw Reviews 2019
Most of the focus on tools involves power tools. Even when you stop to consider hand tools, most of the focus there tends to favor tools used for woodworking projects. However, there are a wide range of precision construction projects which require the use of hand tools designed for materials other than wood. This is why we have put together a list of the 5 best hacksaw reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ, so you can make an informed choice. While the DEWALT and a LENOX are our top picks, you have to keep reading to find the top performers.
DEWALT DWHT20547L 5-in-1 Hacksaw – Best Seller
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It is rare that DEWALT is considered one of the younger companies on our list, but their almost century-old history still provides plenty of experience in a wide variety of contractor markets. Though they might be more well-known for power tools, DEWALT has just as good of a reputation for hand tools as well. When you consider that they are also owned by the best selling hand tool manufacturer in the world, Stanley Tools, it only makes sense that they would be our best selling hacksaw. In fact, the DEWALT hacksaw makes it a point to push what is a relatively static market in terms of engineering and design. While it does still use a couple of cost-cutting techniques to stay in the middle of the pack, the DEWALT hacksaw is also, by far, the most innovative product that we came across.
A Great Cut
When looking for a hacksaw, most people generally identify a single product or design and try to get the best one available. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this approach, the DEWALT DWHT20547L hacksaw aims to offer much better value by significantly expanding the versatility of its function. Whereas many hacksaws we came across only offered one way to cut, the DWHT20547L hacksaw makes it a point to allow for the most common professional cuts. This starts with its ability to be used in the standard 90-degree position, but the DEWALT hacksaw is one of the few we reviewed that can also adjust the blade to a 45-degree position for those tricky flush cuts. As if that were not enough, the DEWALT DWHT20547L hacksaw is also able to adjust to a wide variety of different configurations for even more value through versatility. The hacksaw itself supports 5 different tool configurations offering a broad range of applications and can even attach the blade to the front of the body for those hard to reach cuts in narrow, confined spaces. Add the fact that the DEWALT hacksaw also sports a solid 330 lbs of blade tension, and you will be able to cut through almost anything in no time, no matter the location.
A Solid Body
Considering hand tools take a bit longer to use than power tools, especially hacksaws, you want to make sure that the experience is as easy as possible. The DEWALT hacksaw offers some solid benefits to this end, but it also comes up short in a couple of ways too. For instance, this is the heaviest hacksaw that we reviewed which will increase the amount of user fatigue felt over extended use. This is actually a bit surprising, though, because this is also one of the few hacksaws on our list that uses plastic in its construction which can reduce its durability if dropped. On the other hand, the DWHT20547L hacksaw does employ an ergonomic grip to try and mediate some of the concerns from the first fact, though little can be done about the latter. In fact, one of the more convenient aspects of the DEWALT DWHT20547L is its ability to be used in a pistol grip configuration which helps ensure that you can maintain a firm grip.
- Has a 330 lb blade tension
- Has 2 different blade positions
- Can attach the blade to the front
- Can adjust to a pistol grip
- Has 5 different tool configurations
- Has an ergonomic grip
- Is the heaviest hacksaw reviewed
- The body is made of plastic
LENOX Tools High-Tension Hacksaw, 12-inch (12132HT50) – Top Pick
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Most professional contractors have likely heard about LENOX, but few probably know exactly how long they have been manufacturing top-tier hand tools. This is actually one of the most experienced companies that we found with a history that stretches back over a century. On top of that, LENOX actually got its start specializing in professional-grade hacksaws which adds even more weight to their already sterling reputation. That said, the company has recently been acquired by Stanley BLACK+DECKER, so their product manufacturing has been offshored to China. While there has definitely been a bit of a drop in manufacturing quality following that change, the company’s dedication to innovation combined with their commitment to lower prices making it an easy choice for our top pick.
While this LENOX offers some unique innovations, they do not come without a price– though, thankfully that price is not literal. Instead, this hacksaw makes it a point to provide one of the most stable cutting actions that exist in the market today. In fact, this LENOX hacksaw is the best-performing high-tension hacksaw we found with the highest blade tension on our list at 50000 psi which is 20000 psi more than the next closest competitor. That said, getting the LENOX blade to such an impressive tension is no easy task as the lever used to increase the blade tension is positioned a bit awkwardly on the handle. This leads to a situation where you either have to switch your grip back and forth while tensioning the blade or deal with an uncomfortable and time-consuming process. To make matters a bit trickier, this LENOX hacksaw also employs plastic components, specifically the lever, which can lead to the tensioner failing if not used properly. Still, LEONX’s patented I-Beam construction ensures that you will not have to worry about the frame unnecessarily releasing the tension once you have it set firmly in place.
While the LEONX I-Beam construction was designed primarily to assist in achieving and maintaining the impressive blade tension pressure, it is also effective for a couple of other reasons. For instance, the I-Bream design of the frame allows you to increase the blade’s tension while also remaining hollow for the acceptance of up to 5 additional blades. To be fair, the tension can be a bit tricky at the higher registers of its capability which, in turn, can make it a bit difficult to actually use those extra blades when changing out a dull one. Though, it is worth noting that this seems to be more of a problem when first using the LENOX hacksaw and less of one after you have already changed the blade once prior. Still, this LENOX hacksaw makes it a point to offer even more versatility by easily converting to a jab saw, though you obviously lose the extensive blade tension in doing so. On top of that, this LENOX hacksaw also comes with a rubberized grip to make sure that your hand does not fatigue quickly with extended use.
- Is a less expensive hacksaw
- Has the highest maximum blade tension reviewed
- Has a rubberized handle
- The body can house 5 extra blades
- Can convert into a jab saw
- Has an I-Beam constructed
- Is more difficult to change blades
- Takes longer to tension
Lenox 20975-975 Mini Hacksaw frame – Best Value
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Considering that LENOX was founded as a hacksaw specialist and is arguably one of the few companies which devotes serious effort to the product’s research and development, it should come as little surprise that they also offer a wider range of niche options in the market. That said, this LENOX hacksaw still comes as a little surprise in its form as it is by far the best miniature hacksaw that we found. While a number of other hacksaws are able to convert into a miniature model, this is one of the few that is actually designed to be one from the start. While this definitely comes with some hindrances, it is still easily the most robust miniature hacksaw on the market and also comes in as our best value option too.
One thing to keep in mind with a miniature hacksaw is that there will definitely be some functional limitations. If you have a larger project, you should probably opt to use a larger hacksaw, though it may not be necessary. To be fair, if you are really strapped for cash, this model will perform just as well as the larger ones, in the end. That said, the LENOX mini hacksaw is still designed to be used for particular jobs in confined and is benefited immensely with its small profile. In fact, the frame of this LENOX hacksaw adds virtually no additional size, sitting almost flush to the length of the 10” blade, which makes it one of the smallest mini hacksaws that we came across. On top of that, the entire frame is made of aluminum which is not only incredibly strong but is also naturally resistant to water and other corrosive chemicals. Even better, this LENOX hacksaw has one of the easiest blade changes that we found without even the need to use a tool.
Even considering that this LENOX hacksaw is a miniature hacksaw, it is still fairly disappointing that so much of the blade is housed within the body of the tool. That said, this does at least mean that the LENOX mini hacksaw offers one of the more stable and reliable bases for miniature hacksaws that we came across, rather than relying on a jab saw style of mount which is significantly less stable. Still, you will likely want to make sure to invest in an additional saw blade ahead of time, which will reduce the overall value of the product, because the one included is noted for being a rather dull OEM blade. Granted, chances are you will be purchasing another blade before too long, but it would be nice if the one included were better. On top of that, the handle itself is molded to be more ergonomic which will allow you to get better leverage when making the cut.
- Is the least expensive hacksaw reviewed
- Has a low profile
- Has a molded grip
- Is made of aluminum
- Is the lightest hacksaw reviewed
- Has a toolless blade change
- Has the smallest cutting edge
- Included blade is subpar
Hacksaw includes Hacksaw and Reciprocating Blades, Adjustable Tension to 30,000 PSI Klein Tools 702-12 – Runner Up
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Though we have had some experienced companies pop up on our list, none of them can come close to boasting the experience of Klein Tools. That said, the company actually started as a manufacturer for tools centered around communications electronics, but by the mid-1900s, Klein Tools offered a wide array of hand tools for a large number of different professional labor fields. The company itself is focused on using superior manufacturing techniques to ensure the quality of their tools, though they have no qualms about charging a bit more for their continued innovation compared to their competitors. While the Klein Tools 702-12 hacksaw is not the best on our list, it does have a trick or two up its sleeve that the others we reviewed do not.
Get a Handle
One of the more overlooked aspects of a hacksaw is how easy or difficult it is to actually use in a real-world setting. While there are plenty of hacksaw manufacturers who aim to take this into account, few are willing to go the distance that the Klein Tools hacksaw does. For one, the 702-12 hacksaw features soft-touch grips that not only make it easier to keep a firm grip on the tool with sweaty hands but provides a fair amount of cushioning to help prevent user fatigue over extended periods of use. However, the truly notable element of the Klein hacksaw grip has little to do with what they are made out of and more to do with their number and positioning. Specifically, this is the only hacksaw on our list that features comfortable, ergonomic handgrips on both sides of the hacksaw frame. This is important because it allows the user to apply better leverage and get more cutting power when the circumstances allow. Granted, this will not be terribly effective in a more confined space, but you will probably need to use a different cutting technique in that situation anyway.
Mostly Top Notch
Outside of the handle design, the Klein hacksaw surpasses its competitors in a number of other important ways as well, though there is a notable flaw in the design. This comes as a bit of a surprise considering the manufacturing process is what Klein Tools really hangs their hat on in the first place. Still, it must be mentioned that the Klein hacksaw sports a hollow compartment in the frame where you are ostensibly meant to house extra saw blades. Unfortunately, the design does not actually allow for the storage of standard 12” hacksaw blades, the size this tool uses, because the compartment is about ½” too short. Still, if you are willing to overlook that minor issue which has nothing at all to do with the actual effectiveness of the Klein hacksaw, this is still a solid option. For instance, the frame, outside of the soft-touch grips, is made from sturdy aluminum, so you do not have to worry about using it in wet conditions. On top of that, the blade is able to be tightened up to 30000 psi which makes it the second-best high-tension hacksaw we reviewed– though it is still 20000 psi less than the next most tension.
- Has a 30000 psi maximum blade tension
- Has 2 different blade positions
- Has soft-touch grips
- Is made of aluminum
- Has dual hand grips
- Can mount the blade front
- Is a more expensive hacksaw
- Blade compartment is too small
Starrett K145 12-Inch High Tension Hacksaw Frame with Closed Grip – Also Consider
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Out of all the companies on our list, there is a reasonable chance that Starrett is the least well-known. That said, the company has been around the second-longest out of the competitors we reviewed with a storied history that stretches back well over a century. With that kind of experience, you might expect it to be a bit higher on our list, but its old-school approach to hand tool construction leaves it a little bit lagging behind the competition in terms of innovation. However, there is something to be said for simply producing one of the more reliable products on the market, and seems like that is where Starrett focuses most of its attention. Make no mistake: the reason the Starrett K145 hacksaw is so far down on our list has nothing to do with its performance or cutting capability.
It is not terribly often that a hand tool can earn honors for its mechanical design, but the K145 hacksaw definitely deserves some notable recognition in this regard. While these reviews have focused primarily on the cutting application of the hacksaws, not enough time is spent considering the setup and maintenance. To be fair, it seems as though the manufacturers themselves do not put a great deal of time into this consideration either as most are merely adequate. However, the Starrett hacksaw tackles this issue head-on with one of the easiest tension levers that we saw which requires no special holding position and will not tire your hand. On top of that, it is also fairly effective, able to tighten the blade up to 28000 psi of tension, though this is not close to the tightest on our list. Even better, once you have worn out a blade, the Starrett K145 hacksaw is also one of the easiest to change too.
(Too) Solid Build
The mechanisms employed by the Starrett hacksaw are impressive enough on their own, but the build quality is just as remarkable. That said, this K145 hacksaw might go a bit overboard in its zealous quality as this is by far the heaviest hacksaw that we reviewed. This will make using the Starrett hacksaw more difficult and cause greater fatigue over extended use. Thankfully, the rubber overcoat grip handle will at least help ensure that this beast is comfortable sitting in your hand. In fairness, it is a bit difficult to chastise Starrett for the weight of their hacksaw since it is also likely the most durable on our list. This has to do with its construction that starts out with a cast aluminum frame, fairly common for a hacksaw, which is then reinforced with an extra-thick tubular steel bar throughout the beam. This excellent design is then set with 4 permanently angled mounting pins, allowing for both 90-degree and 45-degree blade positioning.
- Has a 28000 psi maximum blade tension
- Has a rubber grip handle
- Is easy to tension
- Is made of steel and aluminum
- Has 2 different blade positions
- Is easy to change the blade
- Is the most expensive hacksaw reviewed
- Is a heavier hacksaw
Best Hacksaw Buying Guide 2019
This is actually one of the easier considerations you have to make when choosing a hacksaw as the two types are fairly specific in their indicated setting. Granted, there is a bit of crossover with certain products, but rarely is it such that you will choose one over the other for its designed purpose. The two types of hacksaw are the traditional and the miniature, though the latter can technically be used for the same purposes as the former.
The standard hacksaw is actually anything but these days due in large part to the continued innovation within the relatively niche market. Where once the hacksaw was simply a rectangular frame which held the hacksaw blade in place, these days, the hacksaw can make angled cuts, position the blade at the front of the frame to form a jab saw, or even convert into a wide range of different types of hand saw altogether. Some standard hacksaws are even able to convert into the miniature hacksaw, the other type of hacksaw. That said, this type of hacksaw should still be considered primarily on its ability to cut larger workpieces in more open spaces as this is where you cannot find as many suitable replacements to do as good of a job.
As mentioned prior, the miniature hacksaw can technically be used for most of the same tasks as a standard hacksaw. However, due to its size, this means that larger workpieces will take longer to cut than they would with the standard model. That said, if you are dealing with a confined space and an exceptionally dense and hard material, this is likely your best bet. A miniature hacksaw is little more than a molded handle into which a hacksaw blade affixes. That said, it is notable for providing a much better frame than a standard hacksaw that can attach blades to the front of the frame.
Though this is ostensibly a standard type of hacksaw, it often employs mechanisms which distinguish it from the more traditional mold. Specifically, a high-tension hacksaw will generally include a knob or lever which allows you to pull the fastening pins on which the hacksaw blades connects. This, in turn, pulls the hacksaw blade taut, so you do not have to worry about it bending or flexing while making your cut. There are a number of different designs used to accomplish this, and most high-tension hacksaws can achieve some seriously impressive pounds per square inch, or PSI. Generally, anything over 20000 psi is considered a good amount of tension, but the higher the tension the smoother the cut face’s finish and often the easier it is to cut the material altogether.
Because hand tools take more time and effort to use, they often have a bit more attention paid to them in terms of ergonomics. Of course, because hand tools are also much simpler, there is rarely much a manufacturer can do to improve the ergonomics. When it comes to hacksaws, the most common ergonomic feature will be the inclusion of rubberized or otherwise padded grips. Manufacturers can also work to reduce the weight of the hacksaw so that it is easier to use for extended periods of time, but they may go too far to this end and employ the use of less durable plastics.
Why Use a Hacksaw?
With all of the different power saws on the market, it is an entirely reasonable question to consider why you should use a hacksaw hand tool in the first place. Keep in mind, there are reciprocating power saws which use blades that many hacksaw hand tools can accept. With that being the case, why should you not just save yourself a little bit of money, and a bit of effort, and use the power saw instead? A lot of this comes down to the fact that power saws, while incredibly easy to use and quick in action, are not necessarily known for their precision.
This aspect should be considered carefully when you are dealing with a saw that uses a reciprocating cutting action– which hacksaws do. Quite simply, a hacksaw is generally designed to cut materials other than wood, though there are blades which are used for precision woodcuts too. Still, when using a hacksaw to cut water pipes, for instance, it helps to have a precision tool to make sure you do not accidentally cut anything around the workpiece. On top of that, hand tools do not have to worry about inclement conditions, like water or more confined spaces, the way a power saw might.
What Kind of Hacksaw?
Traditionally, there was only a single type of hacksaw, so this was pretty much a moot point. However, manufacturers in the hacksaw market have started to innovate on the traditional design to offer a broader range of versatility. For instance, a number of hacksaws are able to accommodate the saw blade positioned at the front of the frame in a jab saw arrangement. This allows you to use the hacksaw to reach into confined spaces easier. Unfortunately, this also makes the saw blade less stable which decreases the cutting power and increases the cutting time.
Depending on the space in question, it might be a better idea to use a mini hacksaw which looks a bit like an Exacto knife with a hacksaw blade running through and out of it. That said, this does require the workspace to accommodate your hand and, potentially, your arm. In an effort to offer more value, some manufacturers have even designed hacksaws that can convert from one type to the other as well as a wide range of different types of hand saws.
Considering a Hacksaw Blade?
While purchasing a hacksaw requires a fair amount of thought to make sure you get the right one, just as much thought should be put into the kind of saw blade you need too. This is because the different saw blades are generally designed to be used for different materials altogether. Unlike a number of power saws where the blades are often used for different types of cuts, from rough cuts to finish cuts, cross cuts to rip cuts, the different hacksaw blades will be used for the same kind of cut but on entirely different substances.
The most common material that you will cut with a hacksaw is metal, but even then, there is a fairly wide range of different saw blades for different types of metal. You will want to make sure that you have the right type of blade to suit the specific density of the metal you are cutting. That said, hacksaws are just as regularly used to cut a wide variety of different plastics too, though PVC and fiberglass are the most common. The different materials will be gauged primarily by the number of teeth per square inch as well as the height between the tip of the tooth and the valley of the trough between each tooth.
As we can see, there are few hacksaws that are outright bad at their task, though some offer a better value than others. The DEWALT is pretty difficult to beat if for no other reason than that it provides great versatility as 5 different tools in one. LENOX does a superb job providing more reasonably-priced options in both the full-size and miniature hacksaw categories. Klein Tools may be the best option for a professional looking for quality without having to sacrifice comfort. Of course, if you are willing to pay a little bit more, the Starrett might be the best-constructed hacksaw that we found, though it will take its toll if used for extended periods of time.