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View Full Version : New power hacksaws for sale - why?



Corm
03-04-2008, 10:46 AM
I received a catalog in the mail last week and was perusing it last night. I saw where several models of power hacksaws are for sale. Nice ones, selling for over $1k. I was left wondering - why would someone buy one of these today when bandsaws are so readily available, are so much faster, and just as capable of making a straight cut as a hack saw? I just can't see any reason why someone would buy one of these power hacksaws. Am I missing something?

Your Old Dog
03-04-2008, 10:52 AM
About the only thing I can think of is near instantaneous blade changes for cutting different material.

mark61
03-04-2008, 10:52 AM
Because they are tough machines. Make most band saws look weak and flimsy. Blades are likely cheaper than bands too.

What catalogue was that?

mark61

Corm
03-04-2008, 11:42 AM
I saw them in the Penn Tools catalog (I hope it is OK to say that here).

alanganes
03-04-2008, 12:05 PM
I have an old Keller power hacksaw. When I called Keller a number of years back to get a parts list and some other info, I ended up speaking to what I think is one of the owners. Very nice guy, spent some time with me on the phone. I asked nearly the same question. His reply was that many of their machines end up in less developed countries and in remote locations where the simplicity, robustness and ease of repair are more important than cutting speed, etc. He said that, coupled with the fact that blades are cheap and long-lived has allowed them to hold on to some key niche markets where they have advantages over a bandsaw. I really like mine, I abandoned my everyone-has-one Taiwanese horizontal bandsaw after having the Keller for a while. The hacksaw is not as fast, but the blades seem to last forever, it cuts nice and square, and is just sort of fun to watch.

tattoomike68
03-04-2008, 12:21 PM
Before using a power hacksaw I thought, "what a peice of junk"

Boy was I wrong, that beast chewed right through stuff that would kill a flimsly band saw blade.

Use a band saw for tubing and small stuff, if you do alot of big chubs of solid the power hacksaw is very impressive.

Dont knock it till you ran one. ;)

Carld
03-04-2008, 12:26 PM
Power hack saws are very rigid, cut true, easy to change blades, take longer to cut, seldom need adjustment, are not tempermental as bandsaws are and usually cheaper to buy.

micrometer50
03-04-2008, 02:54 PM
Also the old blades are good for making carving knifes.

R W
03-04-2008, 04:22 PM
Power hack saws are very rigid, cut true, easy to change blades, take longer to cut, seldom need adjustment, are not tempermental as bandsaws are and usually cheaper to buy.
YOUR REPLY IS ENTIRELY TRUE.
I have a homemade power hacksaw (purchased from a scrap heap for $20) no way would I swap it for a bandsaw (have a 14" cut off saw). PH is way in front in cutting larger round and flat bar also heavier sections of RHS and hollow bar.
Hear many condem a PH, they possibly have never owned one. I doubt if I would buy a bandsaw.

kjbllc
03-04-2008, 04:43 PM
I have one of the old style that was run off a flat belt. I have been thinking of getting it working again, what rpm would you think the drive wheel was running on the old belt. And where do you get the hacksaw blades for so cheap? thanks. I will try to get some pics on here later and see if you guys can come up with some suggestions on what route to take. I have everything moving now. It is very heavy that is for sure. thanks.

Carld
03-04-2008, 04:48 PM
I have used them for years. My last employeer had several and two Johnson bandsaws. I tried to buy one of the Power hacksaws he wasn't using and do dice. I did trade him out of a decent horizonal bandsaw and I finally put a good bimetal stiff blade on it and it does ok.

The only problem I had with the power HC was the blade wore mostly by the fixed jaw of the table vise. I learned to space the metal away from the fixed jaw and use the rest of the blade.

That's one issue a bandsaw don't have.

motorworks
03-04-2008, 05:04 PM
I got an old Elliot 6" power hacksaw. Made in the UK in 1965 (same year I
was born)
I have a bandsaw for most day to day work (full time machine shop and time is money)
But, I set the old power hacksaw up when I have to cut off a large shaft.
It runs very quietly in the back ground and when the cut is over it reverses the hydro and goes back up out of the way and then turns off.
Often left it running while I went home for supper.

Another point I like is that the saw is very clean.All chips stay in the pan
and can be quickly clean with a shop vacc.

Mcgyver
03-04-2008, 05:12 PM
Power hack saws are very rigid, cut true, easy to change blades, take longer to cut, seldom need adjustment, are not tempermental as bandsaws.

I imagine that is true of most every power hacksaw except for the one i had. The one i made in high school 25 years ago. Despite nostalgia, it too was out of its misery to make way for a bandsaw

Carld
03-04-2008, 05:22 PM
I am talking about a factory made professional saw for production. They are massive and hell for stout.

Your Old Dog
03-04-2008, 05:34 PM
Well as I read this, the general consensus seems to be:

Hack saws are where it's at.
Cheap bandsaws are passť.
You ain't $h1t if you ain't got a powered hack saw.
Powered hack saw prices will now go through the roof on ebay.
I ain't got a freaking powered hack saw.
Worse then that, I just ran out of room so if someone gave me one I still couldn't use it.
I got what could only be described as a real dilemma here for an HSM'er! :D

tattoomike68
03-04-2008, 05:47 PM
I have a few saws but they are skill saws, a saws all and other hand/hack saws. I would be happy with an old power hack saw.

Mcgyver
03-04-2008, 05:51 PM
I am talking about a factory made professional saw for production. They are massive and hell for stout.

yeah I know you were, I was just reminiscing :)

oldtiffie
03-04-2008, 06:06 PM
Also the old blades are good for making carving knifes.

Thanks mm50.

That brought a wry smile I can tell you.

I made my wife a carving knife out a true "heavy" HSS 12" x 1" power hack-saw blade in 1960 when I was in the Navy. I had a Blacksmith in the Dockyard put the holes in it for the handle rivets (brass - in the Navy, what else?). I put a "Tufnol" handle on it. It is a good today as when ot was made.

She still says that until very recently it was better than any knife we had - and we've had lots. It still holds its excellent edge better than any other.

It took a lot of patience to shape and grind it with the grinders that were on a ship - but it was worth it. It was hollow-ground. After I've "stoned" it, it can still shave the hairs on my arm - dry!!.

FWIW, hollow-grinding - and not "burning" - a knife edge is still a skill that needs to be nurtured. I get a lot of satisfaction - even now - of doing that grinding and stoning. I will sometimes "strop" it on a leather strop (almost any bit of leather) and finally remove the last "burr" by drawing the knife through a hard-wood block.

Sharpening my plane irons and chisels is exactly the same. But I have an excellent belt grinder and attachment that does the plane irons and chisels to perfection in a fraction of the time that it take to do by hand. I still "stone" the edges to a finish and use the wood block - then oil them and put them away.

But that power hack-saw blade is still the best of them - after 47 years.

oldtiffie
03-04-2008, 06:23 PM
I have a Chinese 6 x 4 band-saw which is light, but it does the job well. I've got no problems with it provided I don't ask too much of it and keep the blade tension and alignment adjust correct. My use is only very occssioanla and very light. Time is not a concern to me as I am retired.

My supplier - almost all China/Taiwan stuff takes those blades off and use USA-made "Starret" bi-metal blades - and I can understand why, as they are not expensive - at all - and are a perfect match for the band-saw.

My metals supplier had a very good but old power hack-saw which did the job on some quite large sections including solid squares and rounds - and of course the "hollow" stuff (S/RHS, tubes, channels etc. which are a test for any saw.

But he got a large "all-singing all-dancing" big band-saw and it is truly amazing (price to him was almost "fell off a truck" stuff). That saw will cut anything and has that many settings that it is a work or art. He says that it is one of the best buys he has ever made. He is very fussy as regards the pitch and sharpness of his blades. The blades are bi-metal and they last for months unless some-one does something stupid. All that is required is regular maintenance as per the manual and change of blades as required. It is not cost-effective to have the blades sharpened.

Corm
03-04-2008, 08:39 PM
I didn't expect my question to create so much feedback! The input is very interesting. One poster mentioned the brand name Keller. It is that brand that I saw for sale in the catalog that I was looking at.

Before this thread, I would not have even considered a PH (I have an HF 4x6 bandsaw), thinking they were only a nostalgic hold-over from the old days. Now, I'm thinking a PH might make a good companion for the bandsaw. I'll have to keep my eyes and ears open for one.

Thank you everyone!

tattoomike68
03-04-2008, 09:07 PM
What brand of PH did they have at penn tools?

alanganes
03-04-2008, 09:21 PM
I didn't expect my question to create so much feedback! The input is very interesting. One poster mentioned the brand name Keller. It is that brand that I saw for sale in the catalog that I was looking at.

Before this thread, I would not have even considered a PH (I have an HF 4x6 bandsaw), thinking they were only a nostalgic hold-over from the old days. Now, I'm thinking a PH might make a good companion for the bandsaw. I'll have to keep my eyes and ears open for one.

Thank you everyone!

I think like any other machine, it has it's up sides and down sides. The bandsaw I had (typical 4X6) got years of daily use and gave great bang-for-the-buck. I got the Keller free for the hauling, spent maybe 50 bucks on a few pulleys, paint and odd hardware. I sort of only had room to keep one or the other set up, and the PH seems to fit my needs a bit better than the 4x6. So the bandsaw is presently mothballed in the shed, and I don't seem to have missed it much.

The old blades DO make nice knives, and as I said, they are sort of fun to watch run.

R W
03-04-2008, 09:33 PM
I have one of the old style that was run off a flat belt. I have been thinking of getting it working again, what rpm would you think the drive wheel was running on the old belt. And where do you get the hacksaw blades for so cheap? thanks. I will try to get some pics on here later and see if you guys can come up with some suggestions on what route to take. I have everything moving now. It is very heavy that is for sure. thanks.

Run your PH at around 120 RPM.
Any good engineering supply shop should have good quality blades to suit,
such as SANDFLEX HSS BI-METAL, BAHCO Sweden.

QSIMDO
03-04-2008, 09:38 PM
I looked all over Penn Tool's site & couldn't find anything.
Then I Googled and spent an hour reading about DIY saws but never found a new one.
Then I remembered my almost new band saw sitting in the garage and slowly I'm beginning to understand the completely negative influence you guys are having on me and my wallet!

wierdscience
03-04-2008, 09:48 PM
I can't believe I am reading this,are all you guys drinking solvent again?:D

darryl
03-04-2008, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I'm reading all this and I think they may have been talking about flowered hash sauce. They're just using code by calling it phs.

Well, nobody has asked about the action of a phs, so I will. Does the blade lift for the backstroke?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/heinrich/phacksw5.gif

tattoomike68
03-04-2008, 10:08 PM
Does the blade lift for the backstroke?

The one I ran did.

wierdscience
03-04-2008, 10:58 PM
Yup,so they don't drag the teeth off on the return stroke,bandsaws don't have that problem:D

I have spent enough of my life waiting for a PH to finish a cut.

R W
03-05-2008, 12:03 AM
The one I have doesn't, I havn't found it a problem.

JRouche
03-05-2008, 12:16 AM
LOL PH?? I dont know, I guess I just dont get it. My bandsaw cuts just fine. I dont see the purpose for having both. Now, this is a HSM forum so if a guy got one for free then maybe, as long as he got a bunch of blades too. The lennox bandsaw blades are fairly inexpensive and last a long time. I dont know about the hack saw blades.. I dont see the need for both and if I had to have one or the other it is the bandsaw.. JRouche

Now, if unlimited floor space considered oh sure, get all the saws you can. But being HSMs I think floor space is a premium..

Corm
03-05-2008, 07:22 AM
[QUOTE=QSIMDO]I looked all over Penn Tool's site & couldn't find anything.
QUOTE]

I couldn't find any on their web site either, but there are several in their latest catalog I received in the mail last week. They are towards the back of the catalog, right after the bandsaw section.

torker
03-05-2008, 08:03 AM
Ya...I'm not getting this either.
There's a (very) old fashion machine shop in town here. Great guy...got a shop full of REALLY old machines. He still uses a shaper instead of a mill.
He inherited the biz from his Dad. Has no payments other than power and $300 a month shop rent.
If he makes $50 a day he's happy (Daddy left him a pile of money).
He has a Carolina bandsaw...the worst one they made.
Of course he hates bandsaws.
So he uses this ancient old power hacksaw.
Gawd I hate that thing.
He's the only place in town that handles larger solid stock...3, 4 and 5" heavy wall DOM, 3 and 4" 4140 etc.
I have to buy stock from him once in awhile.
Stop in...pick your stock...then sit there and wait and wait and wait...while that old saw chugs through the 4" stock. It takes forever...and doesn't cut one bit straighter than my 4X6 swivel head saw.
I'm smarted now..if I can I phone the order in the day before so I don't have to take half a day off just to get a piece of metal.
Might be ok to own one for nostalgia but I'll take my 9X16 Wells and even my 4X6 anyday.
Russ

A.K. Boomer
03-05-2008, 09:57 AM
Its an unfair comparison to use the best of PH against the cheesyest of Band saws, If you go with the best of both there is no comparison to teeth enguaged at all times doing what there supposed to do -- cut metal... Even if someone built a twin that gets one blade involved while the other is returning it would still take a back seat as they have to depart and re-engauge (plus can you imagine the linkage?)

And if your PH does not lift on the back stroke it is severely reducing the life of its blade, just try filing this way and you will soon notice your file not working good anymore, there is a reason we dont spin our endmills backwards and try to cut with them (least I dont --- intentionally anyways:p )

As far as a "good" PH (one that lifts its blade on the return) being so much simpler I dont really see it, How much simpler can you get than a band saw? all it is is two gears in a box and two pulleys.


Blades being cheaper --- of course they are -- they have less than 1/4 the amount of bade, out of that 1/4 of blade only an average of about 1/2 is useful in the "stroke" In fact some teeth NEVER get used...
so all the cutting is getting done with aprox. 1/8 the amount of teeth --- those stating the blades last forever as compared to a quality band saw blade does not add up.

I wont argue with those who like old stuff, Personally I have no use for antique's when it comes to a machine shop, I wouldnt want one simply for the waste of electricity.

NickH
03-05-2008, 10:55 AM
Some power hacksaws do not need a visible "Lift" on the back stroke, it's built into the way they work.

My Rapidor has the blade mounted so that the frame is lifted slightly as the blade pushes forward, the hydraulic lowering mechanism has a one way valve in the piston to bypass the adjustable feed valve allowing it to lift.
The saw lifts itself and the hydraulic feed lowers it back down on the return ready for the next cut, it works great.

I've been using the blade the saw came with for 3 years, SS, Titanium, all sorts of stuff.

Another great bit is the space available for fixturing, I have a large alloy section which has machined apertures on the end and a longditudinal slot to allow it to clamp when gripped in the saw's vise. The apertures take small milling vises allowing me to execute some interesting cuts.
I've sliced some 2" x 1/2" x 1/2" aircraft grade Titanium offcuts in half down the long axis for making keyring bottle openers.

I wouldn't be without my PH, or my HBS
Nick

Pete H
03-05-2008, 02:45 PM
We had a power hacksaw where I used to work. One of the castings broke, and nobody wanted to try to fix/duplicate it. So the thing got scrapped, and replaced by a POS horizontal bandsaw that (A) hasn't got the snot, and (B) hasn't got the accuracy, of the PH. I didn't have storage space or I'd have taken it. Now I'm haunting scrapyards and garage sales hoping that one turns up. One that I can afford, that is...

BTW, Victor Machinery Exchange www.victornet.com has power-hack blades, prices range from about $2 to about $10, mostly in the $3-4 range.

aboard_epsilon
03-05-2008, 03:07 PM
Some power hacksaws do not need a visible "Lift" on the back stroke, it's built into the way they work.

My Rapidor has the blade mounted so that the frame is lifted slightly as the blade pushes forward, the hydraulic lowering mechanism has a one way valve in the piston to bypass the adjustable feed valve allowing it to lift.
The saw lifts itself and the hydraulic feed lowers it back down on the return ready for the next cut, it works great.

I've been using the blade the saw came with for 3 years, SS, Titanium, all sorts of stuff.

Another great bit is the space available for fixturing, I have a large alloy section which has machined apertures on the end and a longditudinal slot to allow it to clamp when gripped in the saw's vise. The apertures take small milling vises allowing me to execute some interesting cuts.
I've sliced some 2" x 1/2" x 1/2" aircraft grade Titanium offcuts in half down the long axis for making keyring bottle openers.

I wouldn't be without my PH, or my HBS
Nick

what grade of oil do you put in the hydro damper.

my blades dont last long in mine .

especially after three hours with stainless steel

i asume it cuts on the forward stroke ...so the teath are facing forward on the blade when mounted



and i only buy starrette and eclipse blades ...at about £6 a go

all the best...markj

NickH
03-06-2008, 05:51 AM
My damper is fairly worn so I use straight Wynns oil additive, I will bore the cylinder & make a new piston - when I get to it on my projects list:D

Blade does cut on the forward stroke, I just squirt a bit of WD40 on the cut every so often.

Regards,
Nick

Mcostello
03-06-2008, 09:42 PM
Ya know no one has mentioned why a PH might be really useful---if you are in a third world type situation the PH blade could be resharpened till it's gone with just a file. Harder to do on a band saw but not impossible.

wierdscience
03-06-2008, 11:32 PM
what grade of oil do you put in the hydro damper.

my blades dont last long in mine .

especially after three hours with stainless steel

i asume it cuts on the forward stroke ...so the teath are facing forward on the blade when mounted



and i only buy starrette and eclipse blades ...at about £6 a go

all the best...markj

All the PH I have operated or owned have cut on the pull stroke,that could explain the short blade life.

NickH
03-08-2008, 05:12 PM
You need to look how the saw works to determine which way it cuts, Rapidors cut on the forward (push) stroke,
Nick

Lew Hartswick
03-08-2008, 07:21 PM
Yeah, I'm reading all this and I think they may have been talking about flowered hash sauce. They're just using code by calling it phs.

Well, nobody has asked about the action of a phs, so I will. Does the blade lift for the backstroke?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v136/heinrich/phacksw5.gif

Some one put the blade in backwards. :-)
...lew...

lane
03-08-2008, 10:16 PM
Here is one.
http://cgi.ebay.com/KELLER-14-IN-POWER-HACK-SAW-NOT-BAND-SAW_W0QQitemZ220208186957QQihZ012QQcategoryZ20784Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

NickH
03-10-2008, 07:39 AM
This is mine when I was cutting off a length of 10" x 3" aluminium section

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q158/magicniner/DSC00627.jpg

the blade is not quite parallel to the frame motion, resulting in slight lift of the frame as the blade is pushed forward.
This ensures full cutting weight is applied to the cut & with a correctly adjusted damper the blade drops on the back stroke but not fast enough to contact the work until the start of the next forward stroke,
Nick.

Larry Swearingen
03-10-2008, 01:03 PM
I bought the Keller on ebay. Seller says it takes a 14" blade
which would place it above the lower end models that use a
12" blade.
Anyone have advice on how to select the right blade for a job ?
I've looked at the blades on Enco and McMaster and there seems
to be a semi-baffling array of choices.
Number of teeth I think I can deal with but what about blade
thickness and width ?\
I bought the machine to use mostly on thicker and wider mild steel
than my 14" Rockwell conversion can handle. I put a 1/2 hp 3 phase
motor and a vfd on the bandsaw. When running slow enough to cut steel well
it don't got much guts ! Works well on AL though running faster.

Larry Swearingen
Fort Wayne, IN
New Hoosier

cncboss6
06-05-2008, 07:54 AM
Try cutting a thin wafer of d-2 steel to make a knife and hold it within .010 tolerence. Band saws do not run slow enough, the teeth will come right out. The power hack saw is the best way to cut d-2. I know because I have used both for years. Pat

Swarf&Sparks
06-05-2008, 08:05 AM
Try cutting 2" slabs off 9" round 316 with a bandsaw.

Me old locksmith mate has it still in his new shed, waiting for 3 PH power.
Lest I be accused of exaggeration, he used to build safes.

bruto
06-05-2008, 12:15 PM
I had a really old Millers Falls power hacksaw that I recently donated to a small museum. Unfortunately, owing to wear and a missing blade guide, it did not cut true, but it certainly did cut, and it was a very cool old tool. If I ever find a more precise one within a reasonable distance, I'll snap it up.

The old MF cut on the push, with no blade lift, but a subtle geometry tended to unstress the blade on the return. If you ran it backwards it did not cut worth spit, but with the right motion and the right counterweight setting, it did pretty well, and a good blade would last for a very long time. A hacksaw is ideal for mystery metals that might damage a bandsaw blade, and one other advantage not yet mentioned is that it runs cool.

Some years ago a friend of mine had a newer PHS with a lifting blade, and because it lifted, he could run it much faster than the old Millers Falls type. I don't remember the brand, but it would chomp right through a big hunk of metal, and I doubt you could do the job any faster with a small bandsaw.

Not, perhaps, the most modern, high speed tool, but a perfect one for the home shop. The kind of shop that has a shaper should also have a power hacksaw!

torker
06-05-2008, 02:59 PM
You can cut SS, titainium, D-2 etc with a bandsaw if you have the right blades.
Probably don't work well with small saws but a big saw that can apply the right pressure to work hardening steels etc are used all the time.
The pulp mill I used to work at made a lot of their own SS flanges etc. (almost everything in a pulpmill is SS or titainium)
They cut it all on a bandsaw.
There are carbide tipped bands out there that will cut nearly anything.
Russ

ARFF79
06-05-2008, 09:30 PM
Having used both, in both a real world shop environment and in the HMS one, there is one point being overlooked. In the real world were time ='s $, speed is of the essense in most shops, and nothing will beat the properly made and adjusted bandsaw, be it a horizontal or one of the Ellis style of roll in verticles. The powered hack saw is just slow.It still has it's place but it is less and less used and usually for those one offs so as not to tie up the bandsaw. When I moved I sold my 4X6 and kept my Racine hacksaw as I knew no one would buy it and I could always get a new bandsaw if needed, plus I have a 14" Walker-Turner verticle and an abrasive cut-off for those small quick and dirty jobs. In both my HMS projects and past efforts to make money the Racine did the job. As a one man band, it usually could cut fast enough to keep me in material for the job, and if I did get ahead of it, time for coffee, and as a HMS'er who cares if it takes10-20 minutes longer to cut , go do something else while you wait. The bottom line is buy what you think will work best for you. You can always add, upgrade or trade out to get to were you think you need to be.