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If a hacksaw is too big, sometimes you can fit a hacksaw blade into the space with a holder. The problem with using a blade holder, though, is that you always end up bending the blade. Sure, you can install the blade so it cuts on the pull stroke, but it still can and will bind on the push stroke. When the blade stops and your hand keeps going, something’s got to give.

One solution is to use a close quarters saw from Lenox. It isn’t much bigger than a hacksaw blade in a holder, yet the blade is fully supported by an aluminum frame. You can pick up one of these saws for starting around $12.  Though a downside is that you need to buy special blades, at least they’re pretty cheap: You can pick up 10 for about $10.

Close Quarters Saw [Lenox]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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12 Responses to Close Quarters Saw

  1. roger rainey says:

    Something’s wrong here. There are two saws there. The one in the back is the one Lenox calls the close quarters saw. I think the one in front is more interesting, yet you don’t talk about it. Also, it looks like it takes a standard hacksaw blade, but I could be wrong about that.

  2. Michael says:

    It’s the back saw that is the close quarter saw. Not to toot my own horn but the B&D VPX saw can be a life saver. http://aroundtheshop.net/2010/10/17/reciprocating-demolition-saws/

  3. fred says:

    BOA’s Versa Saw is an interesting alternative:

    http://www.amazon.com/BOA-16001-BO16001-Versa-Saw/dp/B000CPQAWA

    Another alternative is to use a handle that accommodates a reciprocating saw blade.

    I assume that the rear saw pictured takes what’s called a Jr. Hacksaw blade.

  4. Jerry says:

    I needed to borrow something like this on a job. I was handed a Lennox folding jab saw. This thing uses any recip saw blade, blades change quick and it folds nicely to fit in a pocket or a small space in a tool bag/belt.

    At the end of the day I stopped at Lowes – or maybe it was HD – and picked one up. It gets a lot of use.

  5. The one in the front is called a compact hacksaw, or as some call it a hacksaw blade holder. The one in the back is the close quarters saw. Lenox just decided to use the same picture and page for both.

    I used the same picture because I talked about both saws (and it was the best resolution I could find), but I can see how it might be confusing.

    @roger rainey:

    I did talk about the saw in the foreground, it’s the type I don’t like:) It does take standard hacksaw blades. You can find similar saws in just about every store that sells hacksaws. In fact many times you can get them free with a hacksaw.

    The problem is hacksaw blades are meant to be under tension. They don’t handle compression very well.

    @fred: It’s a 6 inch blade so it might very well be compatible with other Jr hacksaw blades. I didn’t think of that.

  6. Cameron Watt says:

    In a tight spot when nothing will do I’ll use a blade by itself and orient it so it cuts on the pull.

    What I keep in my toolbox for open root welding is two hacksaw blades with a tape handle; once again oriented to cut on the pull. It fits the root opening nicely and it’s used for feathering tack welds in tight spots.

  7. Steve says:

    I have the blade holder pictured in the foreground and it is a very good tool. For really close quarters, snap off a piece of hacksaw blade of the desired length and wrap a tape handle.

  8. Mac says:

    Have used all variations mentioned above. Usually swear while doing so too.

    I probably like the ‘jab saw’ the best. (Never knew it’s name, came to it the same way Jerry did – was stuck and a more experienced guy handed me one. It worked, so I went and got one.)

    The one in the foreground gets the least amount of use. The design limits it’s functionality, and often a better saw will work.

  9. DoItRite says:

    On the rare occasions that I need to cut close like this, I usually don’t have room for the handle, or there is some other obstruction that would make one of these saws nearly as difficult as a full sized one. I opt for a blade held to the appropriate length with a pair of vise-grips.

    Since I recently bought a multi-tool from Harbor Freight for a one-time use, I have found that it does a fine job in these close quarter situations. And saves on knuckle bleeding as well. One-time-use tools from Harbor Freight seem to last so long that they make themselves indispensable.

    Come to think of it, these situations aren’t so rare after all.

  10. A.Crush says:

    Once I bought one, I ended up using the compact hacksaw more than I thought I would. The leading edge is obviously weak, but I’ve cut and cut and bent the blade back every time, and never once have they broken before the teeth wore out. The middle edge is excellent for places a hacksaw won’t fit.

    An aluminum version tends to be stronger than the plastic ones I’ve seen included with standard hacksaws, and the older USA-made ones seem stronger and more compact than the current China-made offerings.

    Of course, now that we finally have compact reciprocating saws, these might not be used as much.

  11. Averatu says:

    Absolute waste of money. I’ve had several versions of this sort off thing, and the blade always buckles. A double sided hacksaw blade with some insulation tape wrapped around for a handle will outperform this thing, you can push and pull cut without messing around with changing the blade.

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