Homesteading Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is your preference for cutting metal - a metal cutting chop saw (14") or metal cutting band saw? Please share your opinons and your brand preference. I know you can put a metal cutting blade in a circular saw but I am cutting 1.5" square tubing and the 7and 1/4" blades wear down quick and I can't cut all the way through in one pass. This would be for around the house type jobs compared to production jobs. Thanks in advance for any and all responses.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
I would look at the new metal cutting circular saw bladed chopsaws for that use if I were doing alot of em- or even the circular saw with the new blades. They are slick. Less noise and less sparks than the abrasive wheels.

I use a modified/beefed up used band saw unit because for 25.00 ya don't say no tp it. It works ok for me.
 

·
agmantoo
Joined
·
10,852 Posts
I use an antique power hack saw. The blades are cheap, the cuts are straight and square and I can leave it unattended as it does its thing. The biggest negative is that it is slow. However, any user soon learns than if there are repeat cuts to just let the machine do its task as you continue working on something else.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
486 Posts
Portaband or band saw. Just make sure you clean any sawdust out of the band saw first. If there is just one or two I just use a sidegrinder
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,158 Posts
Chop saw, fast and accurate enough for the farm welding we do. Band saw makes a much nicer cut though.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,693 Posts
I don't quite see how square tubing is used around the house, but OK.

A chop saw is convenient and easy to use. It also makes a darn wide kerf, and heats things up quite a bit. Of that doesn't matter, then a chopsaw is probably the way to go. You can buy them darn cheaply.

A bandsaw makes a much thinner kerf and doesn't get things hot. It's also a lot more prone to wandering, and takes forever. But it's a cleaner cut, no grit scattered across the shop, no exciting fires, and you don't go deaf using it. It also costs a good bit more than a chop saw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for your respones thus far. Still weighing good and bad points of each. I see that Tractor Supply sells their Masterhand brand chop saw for $139 and a 5 year guarantee. However, for another $250 I can buy a Jet brand band saw. I am using the tubing to make ornamental gates.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,501 Posts
I do hand forged iron work. Doing that often requires that I weld some kind of frame to mount the piece in.
I have found that I needed both a chop saw and a horizantal band saw. The chop saw for quick cuts and the band saw for more exact cuts like bevels and compound angles.
Don't be afraid to invest in a quality saw of and type. They more than pay for themselves with the first few jobs they are used on.
You get what you pay for. If you are going to use them with any consistancy, pay your dues up front and invest in quality instead of some of these off brand pieces of junk. They always break down at the most inopportune times and that can be tough for me to deal with. I feel as though I've wasted my money.
Down time is the most expensive time you will ever have in a shop. It costs you at least twice your rate and sometimes more.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
486 Posts
Thanks for your respones thus far. Still weighing good and bad points of each. I see that Tractor Supply sells their Masterhand brand chop saw for $139 and a 5 year guarantee. However, for another $250 I can buy a Jet brand band saw. I am using the tubing to make ornamental gates.
My son also picked up a nice little 18volt portaband. Seems solid but can't remember the brand. Its Green LOL but you use it with one hand



Check out the porta bands before you buy a band saw. The make an option that will let you use it as a stand alone. That way you have portability and stand alone in one machine for the same money. I believe Milwaukee has the option. NOt sure about Delta/Porter Cable since they were bought out by B&D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,977 Posts
I have a chop saw but will buy a band saw of some type. Now's the time to check pawn shops for tools like these and Craigslist. Money talks right now and few have it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
IF you get the chop saw, use ONLY quality wheels, ex dewalt, makita, ex.... Cheap chinese wheel fly apart and only cut flesh well.

rich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
379 Posts
My work is an Architectural Blacksmith and I cannot think of any reason to have a screaming chop saw in my shop. Life is short enough as it is and there are plenty of reasons to wear ear protection. I have two bandsaws, one an imported Wilton that is also a vertical unit, that feature is worth the price. I clamp stock in the unit for horizontal cuts, start it, place the blade on the stock and go on about my other work. In vertical mode it is so very useful for a jillion things; one recent project was to slit many pieces of light 3/4 inch angle into leaves that were cleaned up in the forge and forge welded to a 5/8" balluster. There is no way I would try to plasma cut that many items. As with any abrasive/cutting tool, (or paint) the more you pay for the blades (paint) the smoother the cut (smoother it goes on, better coverage) and the lifetime is many times that of the el cheapo units. I can get carbon bandsaw blades for less than $ 20 or bi-metal blades for $ 10 more and the bi-metal units last 3-4 times the life of the carbon blades...

I don't have much need to cut hardened steel such as torsion bars or drag links where I can't do it hot; if the need arises I have friends with chop saws.

I have been working on a shear, one designed by Francis Whittaker in 1935 that will cut 3/8" x 4" or 3/4" square; this will be the most often used item for stock cutting. Meanwhile, the votec where I have been a fixture for the last 10 years sold their old jig borer and now the place no longer has the ability to drill a 1 inch hole so I need to go see a friend to drill the last few holes so I can finish my tool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for all the responses. Just received Harbor Freight sale sheet. They have a band saw priced at $200 that normally sells for $250. Guess I'll buy it tomorrow so I can finish my project.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top