Lennard Zinn takes a look at a saw specifically designed to cut carbon tubes
Lennard Zinn has been spending time in the shop (as always) and had a chance to try out a new hacksaw specifically designed for cutting carbon fiber tubes (like fork steerer tubes, handlebars, and seatposts).
He and test editor Matt Pacocha reviewed several additional tools in our November issue, which is on sale now. Also in that issue, we have a rundown of 12 must-have tools for your shop or garage.
Effetto Mariposa CarboCut hacksaw
Retail price: $65
More info: cantitoeroad.com
THE SCOOP: This Italian-made hacksaw is perfect for modern high-end bicycles. Cutting composites (i.e. carbon fiber) with a toothed hacksaw tends to rip the fibers and tear them away from the matrix. The Carbocut’s abrasive-edge tungsten carbide blade (tungsten carbide grit bonded on a toothless metal blade), cuts smoothly through carbon or aramid (i.e. Kevlar) fibers with an abrasive action on both the push and pull stroke and doesn’t damage or delaminate the fibers.
It also beats a toothed hacksaw for cutting hard materials like ceramics, steel, and titanium, and it leaves a smooth edge, rather than the sharp burr that a toothed blade leaves.
Carbocut will cut composites, hard metals (hardened steel, cast iron, titanium), ceramic, and masonry. It is not good for soft materials (wood, polyethylene).
PRO: This saw cuts straight with little damage to composites, it’s a handy length (10-inch blades) for bicycle applications, and the blade far outlasts toothed blades, especially when cutting titanium. In nearly a year of using almost every day, we’re still on the first blade! The tubular aluminum frame is also very well made and durable.
CON: The blade is too thick (1.6mm) to fit into a standard Park SG-6 threadless steering tube cutting guide (made for 0.9mm-thick blades). This is easily remedied by unscrewing the outer plate off of the cutting guide, slipping in a couple of washers, and screwing it back together. The blades are pricey ($10 each in a 5-pack).