Small hand-held hacksaws consist of a metal arch with a handle, that fits around a narrow, rigid blade. One edge of the blade has many small saw teeth along almost its entire length. The blade can either be attached such that the teeth face away from the handle, resulting in sawing action when pushing, or be attached such that the teeth face toward the handle, resulting in sawing action when pulling. On the push stroke, the arch will bend a little, releasing the tension on the blade. The blade is normally quite brittle, so care needs to be taken to prevent brittle fracture of the blade.
A panel hacksaw eliminates the frame, so that the saw can cut into panels of sheet metal without the length of cut being restricted by the frame. Junior hacksaws are the small variant, while larger mechanical hacksaws are used to cut working pieces from bulk metal.
Large, power hacksaws are sometimes used to replace a band saw in machine shops.