Bought several "Lenox " 4012 "Hackmaster" hacksaws a number of years ago. This is a good design that i think others may have as well. Uses a heavy rectangular steel top frame and cast aluminum ends for holding the blade and handle. The good part is the blade tensioning system. They use a sort of bell crank lever that moves about a pivot and is pulled down by a screw and lever nut (not a wing nut). This systen applies greater tension to the blade and the rectangular top tube is most rigid and keeps everything from flopping about. The tube also provides storage for spare blades. It is a neat design but not adjustable for different length blades, think it will only accept 12" blades.
get a good one!! blade needs to be tight and well supported. eclipse make a realy nice heavy one. personaly i have a bancho?? its realy nice very strong and realy tensions the blade whilst not letting it twist. cutting 2" solid mild steel rounds is a 20 minute process with it.
if the blade can wobel after tensioning throw it in the bin. dont skimp on the blades either. a decent quality blade makes life a lot easyer. stick to bimetal blades not fully hardened as a slight twist and the hard ones shatter easly. stick with 12" blades too, i have never understood why 10" are offered, generaly on the average stroke the last inch - 2" of blade are not used, a 12" blade has a lot more life in it for very little extra cost!! also keep a small stock of blades in a range of tooth forms and swap them just like u would any cutting tool to suit the job at hand.
then mark all the way around and follow ur mark from both sides. done with care its easy to keep even long cuts accurate to under a 1/16" and a 1/32" is very possible. also dont go to fine on the blade, just results in a slower cut in thicker sections at the expense of getting tired and frustrated on your part.
also think of all the money your saving on that gym membership!!
Ive bought several hi-tension hacksaws in the past few years: a Lenox Hackmaster, a Milwaukee and a Craftsman. While the Craftsman and the Milwaukee were way better than the conventional frame with wingnut tensioning, the Hackmaster is the most rigid and easy to use.
Lennox all the way, hands down in my book. I bought mine at an electrician supply store and have not looked back. Lennox blades are the best I have used, they just last so so long.
The hack saw body has a cast handle and front with a square top tube which makes it incredibly rigid. The grip is nice and ergonomic and somfortable. The tightenning device it uses is under the grip and takes minimal effort to use but puts lots of tension on the blade.
I have used a Klein hacksaw for going on ten years. I don't know if they make hacksaws anymore. It has a full metal frame and is balanced nicely. I "retired" it to home repair a couple of years ago and bought a new Craftsman. There is a noticable weight difference, the Craftsman being lighter. I still like the Klein one better. I put Lenox blades into both, Lenox blades are the best, in my opinion. I also use Lenox blades in my sawzall.
The guys down at fastenal gave my dad one of those Lennox hacksaws. At first he pretty much though "What am I going to do with this?" and then he found himself using it quite a bit and really likes it.
I have a Lennox (I think) with a round tube frame - about 3/4 to 7/8 inch diameter that is solid as a rock and an unknown brand - may be Starrett with a square very solid frame. Both are about 18 to 20 years old now, shows their longevity.
Very happy with my Sandvik model 225. Cast aluminum ends, rectangular tube back, very effective tightening mechanism. The far end of the frame has a nice rounded thumb support for two-handed sawing. Rigid and light.
Thanks for all the advice! I'd love to get one of the Lenox Hackmasters. I did pick up a Neilson high tension hacksaw frame while at Home Depot the other day. It rates itself at 30,000 psi tension on the hacksaw blade. It is MUCH better than the old wing nut hacksaw frame I had been using.
I also choose the Lenox blades, which are very nice.
I have a special hacksaw that has an 8" deep throat. It is made of 1/4" X 1" rectangular tool steel. Has a very high quality wooden handle.It is by far the most rigid hacksaw I've ever seen. Made for sawing railroad rails,I think. If you ever find one in a flea market,be sure to get it.
Ill second the Sandvik 225 for the best saw I have used. Its lightweight, compact, strong and holds the blade three ways; straight, 45 degrees for clearence past the frame and the blade can be stuck out of the end of the frame, like a sawzall. Blades can be stored in the frame. The best blade is the Sandvik blue with an orange tip. They last a long time. The teeth stay on and they wont bind in a cut even when dull. They can be bent into a circle and spring back.