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A coping saw for metal

What are they called?

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Thomas Gude17/03/2014 13:28:45
104 forum posts
26 photos


Silly question - What would I call a coping saw that can be used on metal and where can I find one?

I want to cut curves and shapes out of aluminium sheet and so a hacksaw would not be up to it. I seem to remember a tool that looked like a coping saw but instead of the saw blade it has a tensioned needle file type blade.

Please help as the DIY stores don't seem to have anything that will work.


Martin Kyte17/03/2014 13:31:25
2155 forum posts
38 photos

Piercing saw?


Thomas Gude17/03/2014 13:44:08
104 forum posts
26 photos

That's the one! Cheers Martin yes

Although I just googled it and a website says "Used for fine metalwork by jewellers, clockmakers and all skilled craftsmen"

Not for me then! haha!

jason udall17/03/2014 18:04:08
2029 forum posts
41 photos
Gigily wire..or at least thats what I think I heard....sort of wire saw used by jewellers. ..or farmers for dehorning cattle..well the farm stuff seams very blunt
Ady117/03/2014 18:13:21
4134 forum posts
576 photos

Fret saw?

Edited By Ady1 on 17/03/2014 18:14:36

Nobby17/03/2014 18:31:17
587 forum posts
113 photos

A fret saw. piercing saw . will be fine . As John I use a scroll saw for brass & steel . also I have fitted a file so to use it as a die filer . I have some Abrafiles but use the scroll most of the time

maurice bennie17/03/2014 19:34:52
164 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Thomas remember to always have the teeth facing the handle .A piece of plywood with a "V" cut into it clamped horizontally on the bench with the "V" over hanging will give a solid base to cut down on .To cut very thin metal a piece of thin ply ( wasted wood) over the "V" .The only thickness cut is governed by the size of the teeth and a gentle hand..Good luck Maurice

maurice bennie17/03/2014 19:41:33
164 forum posts
1 photos

Hi again Thomas Try MANCHESTER MINERALS for jewellery saw and blades .Maurice.

Gary Wooding18/03/2014 07:51:54
776 forum posts
196 photos

What you want is a Piercing Saw. They are are not very expensive, and the blades are remarkably cheap. If you've never used one before, be prepared to break lots of blades. Here's a place you can get them *LINK*

Thomas Gude18/03/2014 13:27:33
104 forum posts
26 photos

Yes, seeing as the piercing saw blades are sold 144 at a time I presume they are pretty delicate. Hard to find a metalworking fret saw. I think the Abrafile is what I had in mind - strange how no-one has taken up the mantle of making these. Obviously there is not much demand..

GaryM18/03/2014 13:51:45
314 forum posts
44 photos

Is this tile saw blade any use Thomas?



Mick D18/03/2014 16:18:36
18 forum posts

If a piercing saw is too small for your needs you could look at abrafile blades

Gary Wooding19/03/2014 09:31:10
776 forum posts
196 photos

If you want to saw intricate shapes in metal, there is really no substitute for piercing.

The photo shows the offcuts from a job, one offcut is 0.8mm brass sheet and the other is 3.0mm stainless steel sheet, both were cut using a 6/0 piercing blade - that's .007" thick and .014" deep.

Sizes of piercing saw blades can be found HERE

pierced items.jpg


Ian S C19/03/2014 10:52:11
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Keep a bit of candle with you while you cut, and use it to lubricate the blade, don't push it, just let the blade cut at it's own speed. Ian S C

NJH19/03/2014 13:26:07
2314 forum posts
139 photos

Yep Thomas

A piercing saw is the correct tool. To start with you are likely to break a lot of blades but, by working steadily and carefully you will soon get the hang of it. Work with the blade upright and with the teeth facing downwards. Don't force it use steady strokes and let the blade do the work - what's more relax, work steadily and take your time. When youv'e finished cutting with the saw finish off with a fine file.

Here are a couple of bits I made for a clock where I used the piercing saw

barrel,great wheel & slip washer.jpg


weight pulley.jpg


It is very rewarding!



Edited By NJH on 19/03/2014 13:26:58

John Olsen19/03/2014 21:27:20
1124 forum posts
92 photos
1 articles

I've also seen them called jewellers saws, I guess it depends which school you went to. Both of mine have a limited throat, about three inches, but if you need more you can use the same blades in a normal fretsaw frame. You do need to do the wingnuts up a bit tighter than usual or the blade will slip, which tends to be hard on them.

The blades seem to be available in more than one size, I have them ranging up to nearly a normal fretsaw blade and down to really fine. A very handy device.


Gary Wooding20/03/2014 07:27:13
776 forum posts
196 photos

"Nose grease" also works well - you simply wipe your finger and thumb down the side of your nose, where it meets your cheeks, then wipe the same finger and thumb along the saw blade. You can misplace a candle, but your nose is always handy.


Niloch20/03/2014 08:47:06
371 forum posts

Vallorbe piercing saw blades also available from Cooksons

Edited By Katy Purvis on 19/06/2015 09:51:05

Ian S C20/03/2014 08:50:22
7468 forum posts
230 photos

The thing with the piercing saw frame is that you can use the broken blades by adjusting the width of the frame. I can just imagine a face with two black stripes. Ian S C

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