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Question about Sawsall blades

Donald Babcock

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Okay, this is something that I have been struggling with since I first started this hobby (addiction). I can not seem to find a decent brand of sawsall blades that will cut HC Steel and not wear out after 5-6 cuts. I've even special ordered blades that are supposed to be used on hardened steel and they still only get 5-6 cuts on hot rolled/annealed 1095.


I have a variable speed sawsall and have tried using all the speeds except the faster settings as it is insanley fast. I am patient and let the weight of the sawsall cut through the metal and don't try to force my way through the stock.


If anyone has any suggestions on brands that I could try then please let me know as trying to cut this stuff with a hacksaw takes way to long.

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slowest speed, fine tooth blade and cutting oil will be about the best bet for a sawzall.


how many tpi ( teeth per inch ) have you tried ??


an abrasive cuttoff wheel in a grinder is worth considering

Edited by john marcus

infinite edge cutlery

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A sawsaw or sawsall was one of my favorite tools when I use to do remodel and repair type construction, and I could make one do things it was never designed to do. :blink:

However I am going to suggest that it may not ideally designed for what you are doing with it. The blades tend to pickup heat fairly fast no matter what kind of blade you use and heat build up it the real problem. The only way to get around that is the use the blade like a handsaw. By moving it in and out on the metal to share the heat with the entire blade. Even though the blade itself moves back and forth the heat will be concentraed to a small area of the blade because of the stroke of the saw. However when trying to move the blade back and forth in the cut it is very easy too move it to far and let the blade get out of the cut jammming it against the metal and bending or breaking the blade.

As suggested a metal cutoff blade on a right angle grinder works well as does a metal cutting bandsaw. I have roughed out many a blade with a grinder. And with a bandsaw the blade rotates around to share the heat buildup and that way if you don't force it the teeth do all the cutting! :D

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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I use a bandsaw to cut cold billets, and a chisel to cut hot billets. Both work pretty well. I tried a sawzall and it works marginally if you keep the blade cool. I used a bucket of water for this. saw for a bit then dunk it in water....repeat.


I've used chopsaws to do the same thing. its loud, messy and wastes steel, but it works.


Aside from a hot cutter, the fastest thing I've used was a cut-off wheel on a 7" or 4.5" grinder. Harbor freight sells 4.5" grinders for about $15. they arent great, but I've beat the heck out of one of them fro the last 5 years or so and it's still working. It saves wear and tear on the good grinders wqhen I know a job is going to be messy.

Have you ever thought about the life of steel? It's interesting to think that you can control the fate of a piece of metal.

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