Band Saw VS Chop Saw

Ok... I have had a couple chop saws over the years. My first one was an HF
one. It worked great for years even though I had bought it thinking I was
only going to use it for one job. It still works, but the brushes are about
toast. If I could find which tool box I tossed the spare brushes in it
would be a great spare. In the mean time I purchased a Ridgid one. Mostly
because I had such great luck with their table saw. Awesome power and
consistent settings. (what does a table saw have to do with metal working?
I use it to cut and shape aluminum) Anyway, when I went shopping for a
(wood cutting) band saw I bought Ridgid. It worked great and I used it for
all the detail cuts when I did the hardwood floors in our house, and for
tons of projects since.
Oops. Starting to sound like a Ridgid commercial. Didn't mean to. Anyway,
I have found I get pretty decent cuts in rolled steel tube, square, angle,
and even with my Ridgid chop saw using fiber reinforced 14" cut off discs.
They last long enough that I can actually finish a project or two without
replacing them. However as all people do I have begun to wonder if a band
saw might do a better job for some things. I don't think I would use my
vertical band saw for this, but rather invest in one designed to work in
place of a chop saw. I have heard lots of folks say it's the way to go for
cutting steel, but my own personal experience tends to make me wonder. I've
only watched folks cut steel with a band saw a couple times, and its been a
long time ago, but on bigger pieces it seemed to me that it tended to walk
off to one side and make an angled cut instead of cutting straight through.
What am I missing? Is it worth it? The base models from the import stores
seems to cost the same as a good quality name brand chop saw and go up from
there.
I want straight cuts, and I would like to not have to spend as much time
doing clean up on the cuts. I'm also considering a tounrey blade in a miter
saw for some things, but I am concerned about the listed RPM ranges.
Bob La Londe
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Reply to
Bob La Londe
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P.S. I almost never use my torch anymore for cutting anything. Maybe blowing off bolt heads, but that's about it.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
snipped-for-privacy@newsfe11.iad...
If you only need to do chop-saw style cuts, maybe a cold saw?
I had no idea they existed until I came here, now I dream of getting one after I get my lathe and mill put back together.
Dave
Reply to
spamTHISbrp
Yep. I am considering a Tounrey blade in a 12" mitre saw for some things, but they seem to spec to spin a lot slower than the average mitre saw or chop saw.
Bob La Londe
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Reply to
Bob La Londe
Those blades are for use in the dry cut metal saws, not normal high RPM mitre saws. The dry cut saws are geared down a good deal. They are an intermediate level metal cutting chop saw, between the cheap abrasive chop saws and the expensive cold saws.
Reply to
Pete C.
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Yeah, the cold saws are on the order of 50 rpm. Like a round, stiff bandsaw blade with bigger teeth.
Dave
Reply to
spamTHISbrp
(...)
I bought a Makita LC1230 dry saw for U$470 about five years back. It cuts dead - straight through steel tube, angle or bar in 'chop' or 'miter' mode at 1300 RPM.
It's faster than an abrasive saw and doesn't produce smoke. Even works on wood and aluminum!
Here's one for a buck less than I paid:
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The 60T factory blades last a long time but I use the cheapo 40T brand anyway. I toss them when they chip more than 10% of their teeth. At U$15 each, they are a bargain, even if you do have to install the arbor spacer sleeve (included). eBay 280269012294
Swapping blades is a little awkward, but can still be done inside a minute or so.
Avoid tooth counts much above 60T on the blades. I found the 80T and 100T blades tended to just skip over the workpiece rather than cut it.
My only regret is that I didn't buy the saw 20 years earlier.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
I own a small 8" Brobo cold saw and could not possibly be happier with it. It is a real cold saw, with coolant, miters etc. Weighs about 100-120 lbs.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus7440
Sorry, 10", not 8"
Reply to
Ignoramus7440
A bandsaw cuts much thicker steel than a chopsaw can, and you can use it freehand for notching etc. I don't think they are any better for cuts that a chop saw can make; they greatly expand your capabilities. They should cut square but may need attitude adjustment, which is easier to do on the better ones.
Jim Wilkins
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
This has always been my experience with bandsaws. I have never owned a bandsaw, but I've used several different machines and none of them cut square. Some people will tell you that you can get a square cut, if you have a machine which isn't worn and is correctly adjusted, but used machines rarely fit that description.
I don't like abrasive chop saws because they're noisy and cover everything with abrasive dirt. For personal preference, I would choose a power hacksaw or a cold saw. Hacksaws are big and somewhat slower cutting that cold saws, but they last forever and the blades are cheap. Cold saws are a bit smaller and faster cutting, but the blades are costly.
Best wishes,
Chris
Reply to
Christopher Tidy
I started with a chop saw and have completely gone over to band saws.
I have an ancient Rockwell 14" vertical bandsaw that would not cut straight for anything. The blade gudes were brass blocks that were badly worn and one holder was cracked. I replaced the block gudes with roller bearing guides and then set them up snug. It cuts very straight now and I have no issues with it. A vertical bandsaw will not replace a chopsaw because of the throat depth limitations, but is still really useful for metalwork.
I do a lot of tube fabrication work and mitering on a chop saw is a pain. I built a miter stand for a Portaband saw and it has covered every need. Bandsaws are quieter so I can work early in the morning without antagonizing my wife or neigbors. The kerf width on a bandsaw is much narrower and more repeatable than a chopsaw which makes layout much faster. The bandsaw does not spit out a huge fan of hot sparks, so I can use it inside. I can cut aluminum on the bandsaw without a special blade.
The main think I have used the chopsaw for since getting the portaband is lending to friends who need to cut something up.
Good Luck BobH
Reply to
BobH
I have a benchtop bandsaw from Lathemaster.com that works great. I can take off the thickness of the bandsaw blade consistently. Have cut 3" steel bar but most of my work is with aluminum. Works great mitering angle iron and pipe, too.
Reply to
Gerry
I got a band saw after someone stole my new Makita chop saw. I've burned out three or four of them in my life. If I could find out who stole my chop saw, I'd send them a Christmas card. I'd never own another chop saw unless it was a cold saw.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
If you want a bandsaw for metal, the bigger the better. That is, large throat, big wheeels, and a blade that is long, thick, and WIDE as well.
The shop I worked in until '05 had a 36" throat bandsaw which used a blade 1" wide (would handle bigger), and ran slow enough to keep the blade from heating significantly. It cut 2" square tool-shanks like ther were pine wood. We roughed out bits for brazed carbide on the saw quicker than we could ever on a grinder. Blade-guides were rolers, and always properly set. Cuts were true and seldom veered, unless somebody stripped a few teeth. Blades were pricey, but Starret, Lenox, etc were good and durable, and cost-effective in our usage.
Flash
(Makes the 14" Craftsman in my garage look like a model bandsaw.)
Reply to
Flash
Many people buy cheap blades for their band saws and this, in my opinion is one of the biggest reasons for not cutting straight. I only buy high quality blades for mine and they last a LONG time, as long as the kids don't come over and try to cut hardened steel. The problem is that the blade will still cut okay, but the rake on one side of the blade gets dull. I use my band saw 90% of the time. The chop saw gets used for hardened materials and occasionally for things that I can't get to the band saw (4" X 6", H/V model). As one other poster said, the Portaband is also a wonderful tool.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------
Reply to
spaco
Ive got 2 horizontal bandsaws..an Emerson and a Kalamazoo, both 7x12, one set up for aluminum, 4T and Fast, the other set up for steel. Ive also got a 12" Kalamazoo mitering abrasive saw. And a 16" Walker Turner verticle metalcutting bandsaw And a bar/rod shear
Big stuff goes in the horizontal
Small stuff for welding goes in the chopsaw, No need to worry about a HAZ and fast
small flat/rod goes in the shear (think wrought iron work)
The verticle gets all the fancy detail work
There is a tool for every job
Ive got a Spartan 12x12 out in the RoundTuit pile...but havent found a need for it yet. "If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we should look to limit those guarantees."
Bill Clinton 1993-08-12
Reply to
Gunner Asch
I buy Ridgid (sp?), at the Borg, and they are satisfactory. When I start doing more cutting, I'm sure I'll probably upgrade.
Steve
Reply to
SteveB
I would definitely go with a band saw over a chop saw. We have a 13" Jet horizontal band saw and I haven't yet experienced a (severe) non- straight cut yet (that wasn't caused by an employee). We have tried Starrett blades and a Lenox blades. They perform virtually the same, price was nearly the same (the Lenox blade was a $1 higher), but I would go with the Lenox blade over the Starrett because of their warranty. I have had blades break (mainly due to employees fault) and they will repair them (we are talking about $150+ blades), Once you get the hang of it, you might want to go from bi-metal to carbide. It's like the infomercial phrase "you set it and forget it". But that's another topic.
Some of the vendors we get stuff from if you have questions:
Jet Bandsaw Machine -->
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Lenox Blades --> You have to go through a vendor. In the last four months we have used two.
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/ www,bandsawbladedirect.com. We used to buy only from bandsawbladedirect.com, but their prices are getting high. We have recently begun buying from spectrum since they clearly state their warranty (that why I like Lenox over Starrett now) and from what I found out is that they actually are a welding center for lenox (i.e. other bandsaw shops send orders to them to produce). Plus after one order you can ask for credit terms.
Starrett Blades -->
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They are pretty good. The seem to take their time though.
-Kevin
Reply to
kab8609
I would definitely go with a band saw over a chop saw. We have a 13" Jet horizontal band saw and I haven't yet experienced a (severe) non- straight cut yet (that wasn't caused by an employee). We have tried Starrett blades and a Lenox blades. They perform virtually the same, price was nearly the same (the Lenox blade was a $1 higher), but I would go with the Lenox blade over the Starrett because of their warranty. I have had blades break (mainly due to employees fault) and they will repair them (we are talking about $150+ blades), Once you get the hang of it, you might want to go from bi-metal to carbide. It's like the infomercial phrase "you set it and forget it". But that's another topic.
Some of the vendors we get stuff from if you have questions:
Jet Bandsaw Machine -->
formatting link

Lenox Blades --> You have to go through a vendor. In the last four months we have used two.
formatting link
/ www,bandsawbladedirect.com. We used to buy only from bandsawbladedirect.com, but their prices are getting high. We have recently begun buying from spectrum since they clearly state their warranty (that why I like Lenox over Starrett now) and from what I found out is that they actually are a welding center for lenox (i.e. other bandsaw shops send orders to them to produce). Plus after one order you can ask for credit terms.
Starrett Blades -->
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They are pretty good. The seem to take their time though.
-Mike
Reply to
toledocpa

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