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which way for the blade?

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cowtown_eric

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for me, coping saws are always pull, (blades last longer) Hacksaws are generally pushed, but for cutting metal trim as in flooring transitions, the hacksaw I use will allow me to turn it end for end and cut on the pull stroke to reduce burrs on the visible edges..

eric in the colonies
 

Inspector

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When I was a pup in Vocational school training to be an aircraft mechanic my instructors, several were Brits, instructed us to put the hacksaw blade with the teeth forward. The only time I ever had the need to cut backward was to cut bolts and bearings on the flaps that were corroded in. There was no room for a conventional hacksaw so I used a one ended handle and the blade kinked less when pulled. Slow going though when you are cutting through an inch of steel with a stub of a blade.

Pete
 
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topchippyles

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This is always a 50/50 debate and what ever works best for you is the way to do it. I am forward on these blades but after 30 years what do i know :rolleyes:
 

guineafowl21

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Push stroke for hacksaw and coping saw - I mark the good face so any breakout/kerf deviation happens on the back.

It also means the dust and little curls of wood are pushed away. Cutting on the pull stoke draws all this rubbish to your marked side and you have to keep blowing it away.
 

EddyCurrent

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100% hacksaws cut on the push stroke, there's an arrow on the blade showing it for one thing and serving an engineering apprenticeship many years ago also confirmed it.
Fret saws actually cut on the down stroke which is also a pull stroke because they are held vertically with the cut forcing the workpiece onto the table.
Coping saws being similar to fret saws also cut on the pull stroke but can also cut on the push stroke if two hands are used to support it at each end.
 
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Phil Pascoe

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I can't remember the last time I used a coping saw any other way than with the work flat, face upwards, the blade vertical and the handle on the underside - hence the blade cutting on the pull.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Japanese saws (I understand) cut on the pull stroke. They are able to use a thinner blade as it is in tension under cutting stresses, not compression and then possible bending.

Applying the same logic to other blades:
  • unless the blade can be tensioned by a stout frame, fret/coping saws should cut on the pull stroke
  • for hacksaws the blade may be capable of being tensioned to cut on the push stroke
  • even with jig saws, blades are normally configured to cut on the upward stroke so the blade is tensioned against the jigsaw base.
 

Rorschach

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Junior hacksaws generally cut better on the pull stroke. A proper full size hacksaw can cut either push or pull, I prefer push myself but will switch depending on the job. Coping saws etc can be either, depends on the frame and tension you can get really. I normally go pull on these out of preference.

The only saw where you absolutely must do a pull cut is a jewellers saw, they will not stand up to a push stroke in my experience.
 

Johnwa

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Have a look on most decent hacksaw blades, you'll probably see an arrow indicating the direction the blade should be fitted into the frame. I've never seen one pointing to the handle yet, always forward. Hacksaws cut on the forward stroke.Look forward to being shot down lol
 
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TRITON

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I remember an old example of how blades act when in use.
Take a piece of paper and hold at each end. Using the nearest end push forward- what happens, the paper bends. Pull from that end and what happens ?, the paper stays straight.

I've a Japanese dovetail saw and a regular brass backed affair. Of all the cuts i make, the standard saw lives in a drawer and hardly gets used. Basically because its got a habit of sticking on the teeth, which is about 20tpi, the Japanese is i think 17tpi, cuts like a dream

As to the question in hand- hacksaw blades, i use both push and pull but in all honesty i prefer to pull it through, basically as theres less chance of it sticking.
This is only my observation, but keep in mind push stroke has always been the UK/EU way, and its only the Japanese who use this technique. I expect some apprentice way back tried to point out the pull stroke and got hounded for it(And probably a clip around the ear'ole)
 
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Limey Lurker

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Metalwork teacher had a sense of humour! Did he ask you to get sparks for the grinder too?
Can anyone please advise. Am I right in the belief that the blade for a hacksaw, coping saw and fretsaw are fitted to cut on the backstroke. I've always fitted them this way and it seems to work but I'm sure I heard or read something recently that the fretsaw blade should be fitted the other way, so it got me thinking.
I simply cannot believe that there are tradesmen and "engineers" that would fit a hacksaw blade to cut on the "Pull" stroke. I started in Engineering with a school holiday job in a farm workshop. I knew before I got the job that hacksaw blades cut on the "Push" stroke. I've stayed in Engineering since I finished my Apprenticeship as a Toolmaker, working in a wide range of Companies, from a manufacturer of racing motor cycles and Mobility vehicles. through the Engine Laboratory of a major motor manufacturer, and ending in a Aircraft maintenance company, and in the whole 64 years I've NEVER seen anyone with their hacksaw blade fitted back-to-front.
 

TheUnicorn

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I can see absolutely that the strong frame of a hacksaw allows it to be pushed, and that is the normal 'correct' way, but a can see no particular reason why it SHOULD be, if the tool allows the blade to go either way, isn't it just horses for courses?
 

Robbo60

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I did A level Metalwork and we were trained to fit blade to cut on push, but if pull works for you! That's why Japanese saws can be so thin. Love mine
 

Dee J

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Pull cutting fretsaws are usually used with the blade at a right-angle to the material. Push-type European saws are generally used angled with the handle leading the direction of cut. How are Japanese pull saws oriented to the workpiece?
 

Phil Russell

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All those years ago in school I was told to use a hacksaw to cut on the pull stroke. I have done so ever since... standard 12"/10" and Junior hacksaws.
Cheers, Phil
 

Droogs

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Framesaws like the coping and fret saws are intended to cut on the down stroke or as your hand is pulling the frame towards you. Remember they were originally intended to be used vertically on a crows mouth or chevalet du marquetry and would not work very well if you were following a pattern and cutting on the upstroke of the saw as you would have a lot less control on how the blade then cuts in both x and y axis
 

Cabinetman

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Sorry if somebody’s already mentioned this, I’ve always pushed a hacksaw, but you’ve got me thinking, that it would also save a few cut fingers when you suddenly go through that bit of metal and your hand flies forward onto the sharp edge, did it a couple of times in my younger days. I’m now going to change all the blades on my hacksaws and not sure it’s going to be much fun using them till I get used to it! Ian
 
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