Any advise about HF Horizontal/vertical bandsaw?

I am about to buy a vertical/horizontal band saw from HF.

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'll be used for sawing steel up to 3/8 thick mostly(99%) in vertical position I'll be getting extended warranty too so if it quits on me I am safe. It's still a poor Chinese quality product after all.

Any word of advise before I buy it?

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It's not that great of a vertical bandsaw, sadly. It does work, though. You might be interested in the FAQ for this tool:

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Bandsawing 3/8" steel is sort of tortuous at best. I do it but I don't like to.


Reply to
Grant Erwin

If you need a vertical saw, buy a vertical saw. I cut a bunch of shapes out of 1/2" plate today on my vertical - piece of cake. It would have been agony on that HF saw.

Ned Simmons

Reply to
Ned Simmons

I have one of these, but green. $149, IIRC. It has done more than I asked it to. I found better saws, but the price was considerably more. It all depends on what you will use it for. If you are doing enough volume of work to overwhelm this saw, the money should be there for one of the high dollar replacements.


Reply to
Steve B

I've had one of these (the green version, but they're priced the same) for years. I am very well satisfied with it with a couple little caveats.

  1. It does not work real well as a vertical saw. I use mine almost exclusively as a horizontal, cutting small stuff and tubing (I have a 7X12 with a coarse blade in it I use for the big stuff).
  2. HF blades aren't very good. The one that came with my saw lasted about two cuts. But you can buy Sterrett blades for it off the shelf that last almost forever.
  3. The stand that comes with the saw is awfully flimsy. I welded up a new stand for mine and it represents about a 1000 percent improvement.
  4. These things get put on sale about every other month. If you don't need it right now, wait a few weeks and you'll probably save a few bucks.
  5. HF machines (and all other cheap Chinese stuff) is notorious for having sand in awkward places. BEFORE YOU TURN IT ON, take the cover off the little gear box and make sure it is clean. If it isn't, clean it out and re-fill it with new oil.

Other than that, it is an excellent little machine for the price.


Reply to
Jerry Foster

I'd rather get this one... >

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Don't expect to do a whole lot of profile work with it in vertical mode. It's pretty much designed for the blade width it comes with. Straight slots and large curves are OK, up to the throat depth. Mine is Taiwanese and green, maybe red means its made on the mainland now. Not too bad on quality, except fasteners, I junked all those and put some decent U.S. cap screws in. The vise in particular needs good bolts and washers. A cheapie small drill press vise is handy for holding small parts for cutoff in the larger vise.

I used one in vertical mode for roughing out V-blocks before finishing on the shaper, it took awhile to do, but did do it. Buy brand-name blades and junk the strap-iron one it comes with, Lenox is what I've been getting off the shelf at the local hardware store. You can do any number of mods, "4x6" is what you should google on. I'd suggest reinforcing the stand first or building a new one followed by a better vertical table, both mods on sites out there.

I've used mine a lot, it's hard to beat for the price. If you google on the r.c.m. group for "Harbor Freight" and "coupons", you might come up with a url with 25% off and with a sale price you might get a steal. If you've got a store around, I'd suggest getting one from them instead of paying freight. But don't expect to get a DoAll for that price.


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I have the green version of the HF 4x6 bandsaw. It works well, but the base is very flimsy and you will want a decent bimetal blade. You might take a look at the 4x6 yahoo group, they have several suggestions for tune-up and modifications. See:

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Regards, Bob Headrick

Reply to
Bob Headrick

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