A hacksaw blade is available in 4 TPI configurations to cut metal, wood, and plastic, while a 5th blade style has the ability to cut glass, fiberglass, and more.
The following hacksaw blade chart was generated as a general guideline and material cutting thicknesses may vary per manufacturer, which we discovered and explain in the cutting tips and test section.
Note: To find specific blade and material thickness recommendations for a particular blade manufacturer, check product packaging.
|Material Type||TPI †||Material Thickness ‡|
|Thick Metal & Wood||14||1/8″ – 3/4″ (3.2mm – 19mm)|
|Heavy Metal, Wood, & Plastic||18||1/8″ – 1/2″ (3.2mm – 12.7mm)|
|Medium Metal, Wood, & Plastic||24||3/32″ – 5/16″ (2.4mm – 7.9mm)|
|Thin Metal, Wood, & Plastic||32||1/8″ (3.2mm) and less|
|Glass, Ceramics, Marble, Fiberglass and Steel||Carbide Rod|
The higher the TPI…the smaller the gap between teeth…and the shorter the tooth.
A finer cut that removes less material but creates less resistance.
The lower the TPI…the larger the gap between teeth…and the longer the tooth.
A more aggressive cut with each saw stroke to improve cutting efficiency.
Cutting Tips and Test Results
14-TPI Hacksaw Blade
A 14-TPI blade is going to be the best option for cutting through the thickest of materials.
|Square Bar||Round Bar||Plate||Angle||Structural|
A Lenox 14-TPI blade has a minimum thickness rating of 1/8″ (3.2mm), whereas a Morse 14-TPI blade has a minimum thickness rating of 3/16″ (4.8mm). We tested both brands of blades to find the limitations of these guidelines.
The Lenox 14-TPI blade effectively cuts 1/8″ thick material, as stated, whereas the Morse 14-TPI blade struggled to cut below 3/16″ and is ineffective in cutting 1/8″ thick material.
18-TPI Hacksaw Blade
A 18-TPI blade is suitable for thick materials, but can also cut smaller diameter material when a 14-TPI blades starts to provide too much resistance. A 18-TPI blade is also suitable for cutting PVC tubing.
|Square Bar||Round Bar||Plate||Angle||PVC / Tubing|
A DeWALT 18-TPI blade has a material thickness rating of 1/4″ – 1/2″. Most other 18-TPI blades have a minimal material thickness rating of 1/8″.
The DeWALT 18-TPI blade was just as effective of cutting material thicknesses down to 1/8″ as the other blades in our testing. A confusing discrepancy in DeWALT’s 18-TPI nominal material thickness recommendation.
24-TPI Hacksaw Blade
A 24-TPI blade comes standard with the purchase of a hacksaw, and from our tests, offers the most range. The tooth count isn’t too small nor too large.
|Square Bar||Round Bar / Dowel||Plate||Angle||PVC / Tubing|
Lenox rates their 24-TPI blade to cut 3/32″ (2.4mm) thru 5/16″(7.9mm) for hardened materials, but we found that a wider range of softer materials can be cut, e.g. cut lumber and wood dowels from 1/16″(1.6mm) and thicker.
Cutting PVC with a 24-TPI blade seems just as efficient as using a 18-TPI blade.
32-TPI Hacksaw Blade
A 32-TPI blade is the ideal choice for fine cuts and thin materials.
|Square Bar||Round Bar / Dowel||Plate||Angle||Tubing|
The reason why a 32-TPI blade is needed to cut thin wall materials like electrical conduit and rigid copper pipe.
A hacksaw (even with a 32-TPI blade) isn’t a viable option to cut gutter material. The ultra thin material and slow movement of hand sawing causes the teeth to get hung up.
For best results when cutting gutter and downspout material, use a circular saw or power miter saw with a metal cutting blade.