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My Experience Cutting Graphite Shaft with Hacksaw


smmart

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Long time lurker here, very appreciative of all the great info here on Golfwrx! I know this topic has been covered a few times. But when looking for a definitive answer on the use of a hacksaw when cutting graphite shafts, although it was not usually recommended, I had a hard time finding people sharing their experience trying.

 

Cutting wheels, rod saw blades, carbide blades, etc are normally the recommended method here for cutting a graphite shaft here. And I'm sure those are the IDEAL tools to use. However... I am very impatient once I get the itch to try something, yesterday I decided to cut my driver down to 44.5" playing length. The shaft is a Tensai AV Raw White. The problem (in addition to my impatience), is that it was thanksgiving and there was not a store open where I could purchase a different type of blade for my hacksaw. So here is what I did and how it worked:

Removed the club grip with the coat-hanger and solvent method so I could reuse it. This worked well, took only a couple  of minutes. My driver was previously 45.5" playing length. Whoever cut it before me did an okay job cutting it, but it was a bit uneven and there were a few frayed/peeling fibers extending about 1" down the shaft (spoiler: no longer the case). 

 

I marked the cut 1" down from the butt of the shaft, then used painters tape below the line to prevent fraying and to serve as a guide to keep the cut straight. I left a 1/16"-1/8" gap (to account for the width of the saw blade) and then taped the butt-end of the shaft too. After painters tape I used electrical tape on top of that. My thinking here was that the electrical tape is a little stronger and wouldn't tear from slight contact with the side of the saw blade, and because it is stretchable I could pull it tight in hopes that the extra compression would sort of "hold things in place" and further safeguard against fraying.

 

I used a NEW 24 TPI metal hacksaw blade. In addition to the tape and the fine tooth sawblade, the other thing that I think was CRUCIAL to avoiding frayed graphite fibers was the direction the saw blade travels. In the included picture, I only made strokes with the saw blade moving in the direction of the green arrow! The way the blade's teeth are curved, moving in the direction of the red arrow is going to create way more "bite", get caught easier, and is more likely to cause fraying. Basically I moved the saw with the grain of the teeth, never against the grain. 

 

hacksawbladewithdirectionalarrowsJPEG.jpg.4ba823662eed6285f31f6fbb980e13ae.jpg

 

With the shaft secured in a vice with one of those rubber holders, I made about 3 strokes at a time (green arrow direction), rotated the shaft, 3 more, rotate, etc, until the cut was complete. The cut was super straight and clean, I touched it up with light sanding with 600 grit sandpaper I had on hand (before removing the tape) and the cut is perfect... straight, smooth, and NO FRAYING at all.

 

So if you're ever impatient like me, and thinking about cutting a graphite shaft with a fine-tooth hacksaw blade, my experience was positive. I might do it again with my 3W if I end up cutting that down too. But, if possible and especially if cutting more than 1 or 2 shafts, I would definitely recommend the other suggestions on this forum (a carbide blade, rodsaw blade, cutting wheel, etc).

 

Edited by smmart
Converted pic to jpeg
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Had this for years, graphite or steel works like a champ …..I can cut 1/16” pieces off shafts to get exact length needed.

image.jpg

Edited by golfclubguy
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PXG 0211 12* Driver

Tour Edge XCG7 16.5*

Bridgestone PHYZ #5 Wood

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Cleveland 588 53* DIADIC Wedge
Cleveland CG14 56*SW
Custom Scotty Cameron Phantom X5S or Odyssey #7 CS White Hot


 

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25 minutes ago, golfclubguy said:

Had this for years, graphite or steel works like a champ …..I can cut 1/16” pieces off shafts to get exact length needed.

image.jpg

I’ll be getting a cutting wheel like this for one of my saws, so I can do this the proper way in the future! Being able to trim it precisely, in such small increments, will be nice 

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4 hours ago, AzRoger said:

A rod saw blade for your hacksaw is probably the better way to go, and they don't cost much.

Oh for sure. I even recommended that in the post haha. I was just impatient and eager to regrip the club so I could swing it the next day, and this was on thanksgiving. Stores were closed, so I couldn’t pick up a different blade, just worked with what I had and luckily wasn't punished for my impatience 😅

Edited by smmart
typo
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I use my high speed arrow cut off saw.  Quick and easy.  It cut hundreds of carbon arrows when I had an archery shop, and now I just keep it around for golf shafts.

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Titleist TSi2 driver, 11 deg, Tensi Reg shaft

Titleist TSi2 16.5 4 wood, Tensi Stiff shaft

Titleist 915H 4 Hybrid, Diamana Reg shaft

Callaway Big Bertha 2023 irons, 6-PW, AW Reg steel

Cleveland RTX Zipcore 54 wedge

PING PLD Tyne 4 Milled 35"

2022 Yamaha Drive2 PTV-Atomic Flame

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4 hours ago, golfclubguy said:

Had this for years, graphite or steel works like a champ …..I can cut 1/16” pieces off shafts to get exact length needed.

image.jpg

I’ve never seen that brand of chop saw….what is it? 

  • Driver - Ping G400 10.5 Graphite Design VR 5 R1
  • Wood - Taylormade Sim TI 5 wood 19* Diamana 75S 
  • Wood - Callaway Epic Speed 7 wood 21* HZRDUS 60-5.5
  • Hybrid - Ping G430 22* R 
  • Hybrid - Ping G425 26* @ 25* R
  • Irons - New Level 902 PD 6-PW & AW Elevate MPH 95 R 
  • Wedge - Ping Glide 2.0 50* AWT 
  • Wedge - Callaway  MD3 Milled 56/10 TT DG Spinner 115
  • Putter - Odyssey White Hot OG #7 Bird 34” 
  • Ball - Maxfli Tour 
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17 hours ago, smmart said:

Long time lurker here, very appreciative of all the great info here on Golfwrx! I know this topic has been covered a few times. But when looking for a definitive answer on the use of a hacksaw when cutting graphite shafts, although it was not usually recommended, I had a hard time finding people sharing their experience trying.

 

Too many purists / perfectionists.   

 

Using a hacksaw blade isn't the fastest way but there is really nothing inherently wrong with it.  It's just a little less "idiot proof" than some other methods.   As long as one is patient and not too aggressive (keep very light pressure), it works perfectly fine.    Very similar to trying to use a metal pipe cutter to cut graphite shafts.   In the right hands they can be made to work perfectly fine.  In the wrong hands, they can do some unwanted damage.

 

I find starting to rotate the shaft as you cut (after about 1/2" of the way through) helps to minimize splintering - as it keeps the cut perpendicular to the shaft wall instead of parallel.    And splintering is just as likely on the inside as the outside so I find the masking tape isn't always that helpful.   Without it you can see when splintering might be starting and use that queue that you're using too much pressure.

 

Edited by Stuart_G
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1 hour ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Too many purists / perfectionists.   

 

Using a hacksaw blade isn't the fastest way but there is really nothing inherently wrong with it.  It's just a little less "idiot proof" than some other methods.   As long as one is patient and not too aggressive (keep very light pressure), it works perfectly fine.    Very similar to trying to use a metal pipe cutter to cut graphite shafts.   In the right hands they can be made to work perfectly fine.  In the wrong hands, they can do some unwanted damage.

 

I find rotating the shaft as you cut (after about 1/4" of the way through) helps to minimize splintering - as it keeps the cut perpendicular to the shaft wall instead of parallel.    And splintering is just as likely on the inside as the outside so I find the masking tape isn't always that helpful.   Without it you can see when splintering might be starting and use that queue that you're using too much pressure.

 

Agreed with everything you said. The hacksaw isn’t the fastest method but does a clean job when used appropriately. It’s like a lot of things with club building, if you take your time and think about what you are doing it will work very well. 

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7 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Too many purists / perfectionists.   

 

Using a hacksaw blade isn't the fastest way but there is really nothing inherently wrong with it.  It's just a little less "idiot proof" than some other methods.   As long as one is patient and not too aggressive (keep very light pressure), it works perfectly fine.    Very similar to trying to use a metal pipe cutter to cut graphite shafts.   In the right hands they can be made to work perfectly fine.  In the wrong hands, they can do some unwanted damage.

 

I find starting to rotate the shaft as you cut (after about 1/2" of the way through) helps to minimize splintering - as it keeps the cut perpendicular to the shaft wall instead of parallel.    And splintering is just as likely on the inside as the outside so I find the masking tape isn't always that helpful.   Without it you can see when splintering might be starting and use that queue that you're using too much pressure.

 

Totally agree with it just being a little less “idiot proof”. If someone just has 1 or 2 cuts to make and understands it might require a little extra caution, it’s certainly doable

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My saw shown in pic is a WILTON Brand, not sure it’s still available I have owned it for about 11 years, no it does not have a vacuum but dust is minimal…Norton abrasive blades last a long time and are readily available…

 

I have seen  them on eBay…FWIW

 

Edited by golfclubguy
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PXG 0211 12* Driver

Tour Edge XCG7 16.5*

Bridgestone PHYZ #5 Wood

????

????

Cleveland 588 53* DIADIC Wedge
Cleveland CG14 56*SW
Custom Scotty Cameron Phantom X5S or Odyssey #7 CS White Hot


 

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i recently had a bad experience using a hacksaw that was 18tpi. i used painters tape as people.have recommended but the shaft did splinter at the end right through the painters tape and obviously the hacksaw would grab a lot during push strokes.  i briefly considered cutting it on the pull stroke instead as a way of avoiding the grab, but since hacksaw blades dont actually cut that way, i just went for it. i will be buying a rod saw blade for future cuts.

 

that being said, ive had cuts go ok before using a hacksaw without even using protective tape.

 

 

Just wanted to add I took the old butt of a shaft i cut and tried to cut it again using an only pull stroke method with a hacksaw and it cut perfectly fine through masking tape no splintering. didnt rotate the shaft, just went straight through and probably only took one minute.

Edited by downbylaw11
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On 11/25/2023 at 4:34 PM, downbylaw11 said:

i recently had a bad experience using a hacksaw that was 18tpi. i used painters tape as people.have recommended but the shaft did splinter at the end right through the painters tape and obviously the hacksaw would grab a lot during push strokes.  i briefly considered cutting it on the pull stroke instead as a way of avoiding the grab, but since hacksaw blades dont actually cut that way, i just went for it. i will be buying a rod saw blade for future cuts.

 

that being said, ive had cuts go ok before using a hacksaw without even using protective tape.

 

 

Just wanted to add I took the old butt of a shaft i cut and tried to cut it again using an only pull stroke method with a hacksaw and it cut perfectly fine through masking tape no splintering. didnt rotate the shaft, just went straight through and probably only took one minute.

Very nice! I definitely think that only using pull strokes to make the cut is CRUCIAL.  And the graphite is soft enough for the saw blade to still do its job this way. Glad it worked out for you that way 👌

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