Can a sabre saw be sharpened?. The tool in use

Sabre saw: to buy or not?

Not many people know what a “sabre saw” is. Even if you do a lot of housework with your own hands. But in fact it is nothing else than an electric saw, the mechanism for the creation of which has been borrowed from the electric jigsaw. There is so much debate about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of this tool that it is almost impossible to decide whether such a saw is needed in the household. “How so??”We asked and decided to find out everything ourselves.

In Russia this tool is not popular enough. The reason is difficult to determine. if almost every home or apartment has an ordinary hacksaw, then its electric version, even three decades after the first models appeared, remains a rarity. Some explain this situation by the fact that we, in principle, do not work with wood a lot. But we buy ordinary saws?

from our point of view, the reason is much more banal. And the cheapest conventional hacksaw costs 150. The difference is obvious.

Professionals do not buy such a tool, because it has a mass of substitutes. When among the tools available to you there are circular and chain saw, jigsaw and renovator, a miniature hacksaw is rarely needed.

Meanwhile, the sabre saw is a very handy tool for home use. The principle of the device is quite simple. the saw blade moves with a small amplitude, usually up to 28 mm, using a low-power motor. The design is quite handy (it depends, of course, on the specific model). At first glance, a beginner recalls a banal drill: a pistol-type handle, a trigger, an elongated body with a holder. Even the saw is usually held in the same way. with two hands. Lightweight models can, however, also be held with one hand, which is an advantage when working in hard-to-reach places.

sabre, sharpened, tool

Why sharpen the blade on a hand hacksaw and when to sharpen it

Each tool has its own technical parameters. This is true not only for power tools but also for hand tools. The main parameter of manual cutting tools is the quality of sharpening the teeth. Not only the ability to saw the workpiece, but also the effort required from the saw operator depends on this parameter. If a hacksaw is “dull”, it will be very difficult (if at all) to saw the workpiece.

About tool needing to restore sharpness of teeth. This is indicated by the parameter that a great deal of effort and energy must be put in by the sawyer. It is 2-3 times faster to cut a workpiece with a sharp hacksaw than with a blunted-toothed tool. Using a tool with blunt cutting teeth is not only unacceptable because of the amount of force required, but also because of the following reasons

  • Drop in cutting performance. The sawyer working with a faulty tool uses up not only his energy and strength, but also his time
  • Impossible to perform high-precision work. it is almost impossible to saw straight through material with a hacksaw with blunted teeth. Blade will go sideways instead of digging into material and cutting it
  • It is not safe to work with a “dull” saw. Blunt hacksaw will constantly get stuck in the thickness of the material to be sawed, so the sawyer can be injured

If you realize that you waste your energy while working with a hand saw, you will need to sharpen the wood hacksaw with your own hands, any sawmill can easily cope with it. Before you deal with the proper sharpening of the saw teeth, you need to make sure to do the following. To do this, the following factors are taken into account:

  • A sharp hand saw cuts itself, and the craftsman is only required to apply reciprocating action. If you have to not only move the tool back and forth, but also press it against the workpiece, it is time to restore the quality of the sharpness of the teeth
  • A deafening sound is produced when working with the device. The blade of the hacksaw, does not make any sound, and when the teeth are blunted, it begins to jingle, making a muffled sound
  • Changing the shape of the teeth. The normal shape of the teeth is triangular with sharp ends, and when these tips round off, it is time to take a file into your hands and restore the sharpness of the tool
  • When you try to saw the workpiece, the hacksaw does not want to perform this manipulation, it gets out of line with the cut

All these signs tell us that it’s time to sharpen the wood hacksaw with your own hands, which even a beginner can do at home. In order not to spoil the tool, as well as to carry out the procedure with maximum efficiency, below is a detailed instruction on how to sharpen a hand hacksaw on wood.


First of all the hacksaw must be secured. It is not recommended to do it in a vise, because a hacksaw clamped in a vise vibrates when sharpening, which prevents it from being handled with a file. It is better to fix the hacksaw to the edge of the workbench with clamps. It is necessary to sharpen from the base of the blade to the sharp part of the tooth. Turning the inside of the tooth. Sharpen on the sides. Set the sharpening angle. Grind the right tooth row and then the left one. Then turn the hacksaw 180 degrees, clamp it and sharpen the other half of the teeth.

Use a triangular cutter to grind. Apply pressure with equal force to the file, and smooth movement from the base of the file to the sharp part of the tooth. When the file returns to its starting position, it does not touch the teeth. Run the file over the teeth an equal number of times. The angle of the file against the tooth to be sharpened should be 45-60 degrees.

sabre, sharpened, tool

A quality file clings tightly to the metal, removes metal shavings evenly. If a file slips on a tooth it means it is not suitable or already old, you need to take another file.

If you look closely at the teeth after sharpening, you can see small chips, burrs. When working with such a hacksaw, burrs will begin to crumble, and the saw will quickly dull. That’s why after sharpening with a file, you should use a fine file to level out the chips. An indicator of a proper sharpening is the easy, effortless removal of burrs.


All power tools have their own classification. Thus, sabre saws come in:

  • Household. Notable for their small feature set, compact size, low power consumption and low price.
  • Amateur. This is a transitional segment between professional and consumer saw models. Power ratings and other characteristics of such tools are in a wide range, which opens up the possibility of selecting a machine for a specific range of tasks.
  • Professional. The most expensive tools that are designed to last a long time. High reliability and more options to make your work easier.

The solid cutting part allows you to cut thick materials that an electric jigsaw would not be able to cut.

How to choose a sabre saw

To choose the right saber saw, you need to compare the parameters and functionality with the answers you have prepared

How the Pro’s sharpen a chainsaw

It is important to pay attention to the following points


The power determines all other parameters. It is a key enabler. Power should be enough to handle the materials and thicknesses you choose. In principle, the higher the power, the greater the productivity, the greater the cutting depth, the wider the range of materials and thicknesses available, the longer the continuous operating time and the longer the service life.

It should be remembered, however, that too powerful for occasional home use the machine will also have a lot of weight, size and power consumption, and most importantly, a high price.

Speed adjustment

Variable stroke frequency control is available on the lowest-priced models. If you plan to saw only one kind of material, you can do with the most simple of adjustments. by the degree of pressure of the trigger.

If you expect a frequent change of material and its thickness, it is better to consider devices with two-step regulation: limitation of maximum frequency by the slide or rotary switch and turn on button, but not more than the limit set on the switch.

Pendulum stroke

Pendulum motion is designed for faster cutting and improved blade life. A must-have option if you plan to do more work.

If you are planning to saw complex curved contours out of relatively thin sheet metal. the pendulum motion is not required and should be switched off anyway.

Support shoe

The support shoe should be. It increases the convenience and safety of the sabre saw. If you are planning to saw difficult-to-reach objects in hard-to-reach places, it is better to choose a shoe with several degrees of adjustment. reach, tilt, swivel.

Blade changing system

Modern models feature a quick blade change system. Different manufacturers promote their own designs, but all must allow changing the blade with one hand and preferably with gloves on.

High quality models provide a stop of the rod in the fully extended position, on low-end models you have to be ready to switch the saw on and off several times before you catch the position for saw blade replacement. You can’t pull the blade out by hand.

Soft start

Soft start system should be installed on high-powered machines. This protects the power supply from inrush current and also ensures a clean start to the cut. If the operator is not physically strong or experienced, such a system is better to consider and home class devices.

Cutting depth

Cutting depth is related to engine power. This determines how thick the material you can cut. If the saber saw you like is not able to cope with the boards, planks or sheet material you plan to work with, you will have to choose a more powerful one.

Saw blades for machining brick, ceramic, and stone

While aerated concrete, aerated concrete and tile are very abrasive, bricks, ceramics and stone are highly resistant to cutting. Other types of saw blades will be needed for machining such materials, which are made with silicon carbide, tungsten carbide, chromium, and diamond sprayed on the cutting part.

These blades are characterized by the fact that they have no teeth. The cutting part consists of hard material spraying. They cost quite a bit, but a tool with such a blade copes even with marble and granite materials.

Advantages of sabre saws

The main advantage of the saber saw is its small size and low weight (2 to 3 kilograms on average). This unencumbered tool comes in handy in the garden and in the home woodworker’s workshop. It can trim limbs, cut pipes and saw logs, boards, at least relatively thin.

The electric hacksaw is surprisingly omnivorous. Not only wood, but also plastics, foam blocks, composites, metal and ceramics can be cut with it. All you need to do is find the right blade, and there are quite a few to choose from.

But that’s not all. Another advantage of the saber saw is that it’s maneuverable. The narrow body and long thin blade let you get into hard-to-reach places, where you can’t reach with a grinder or angle grinder, or an electrical jigsaw. So sawing off beams and pipes placed in a corner or flush with the wall is no longer a problem.

High maneuverability makes it possible for the sabre saw to make curved cuts. It can be used to make holes for pipes and cut through openings

And one more very important advantage. Hacksaw can be used in a hanging position without a support leg. This is why it is widely used in the garden. In addition, this saw is simply indispensable where there is a need to dismantle something. For example, to prepare an old window frame for removal, not bothering to pull out the fasteners. Boards with nails the saber saw can handle, not without reason it is called a demolition tool.

Disadvantages of saber saws

And now about the disadvantages. First of all, it is the low precision of the cut. Sabre saws are designed for relatively simple and rough work. For work that requires fine, smoothly curved cuts, it’s better to use an electric jigsaw.

It is also worth noting the relatively low performance. According to this indicator electric sander is inferior to a circular saw and angle grinder.

And finally, the vibration. Vibrations in the hand create discomfort, especially if you work for more than half an hour.

sabre, sharpened, tool

Useful hints

Increase the service life by alternating between manual sharpening and the use of a special sharpening machine. The latter allows the most accurate alignment of sharpening angles on the machine. The depth of grinding should not be large.

Safety precautions must be observed that allow you to cut wood of any size with maximum efficiency and with minimum danger to humans:

  • Before assembling the chain saw and installing the chainsaw, it is advisable to read the instructions for use. This is due to the fact that each tool has its own characteristics.
  • Always wear gloves and safety glasses when working with the saw.
  • When working with the saw choose close-fitting clothing made of thick natural materials and shoes that are as sturdy as possible.
  • It is necessary to cut wood using a chainsaw in a stable and safe position, while the material itself must also be positioned as steadily as possible. A toothed stop on the log will help to guarantee stability.
  • During operation, the saw must be held with both hands, constantly monitor the process of cutting.

Modern chainsaws are used in household and industrial applications. It is important to maintain the performance and efficiency of the tool, which is directly related to the condition of the sharpened chain.

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