Is the HF portable bandsaw adequate?

I'm in the market for a portable bandsaw, in lieu of a $200 to $300
horizontal bandsaw (for which I don't have the shop space). The main
use is to cut metal stock off into lumps to be machined, so usage will
be moderate.
Milwalkee seems to make the best portable bandsaws, for about $300, but
I don't know that I need this much saw, so I also looked at Harbor
Freight's noodle factory knockoff, Item 47840-0VGA, for $75.

Does anyone have one of these? How well do they work? What are the
problems? (I know that I will need to replace the supplied blade with
Lenox or Starrett.)
And, are there better choices?
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
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If Jeff Wisnia doesn't check in on this, he has one and reported that it works just fine. Use Milwaukee blades. My Milwaukee cuts about twice as fast as most import horizontal bandsaws.
Reply to
Don Foreman
I've never compared , but my Milwaukee cuts through a 3" round of 4140 in under 3 minutes . I mostly use the 10/14/?? blades (Morse , IIRC and made in USA) from HF , about 20 bucks for 3 blades . I've also used some DeWalt single-pitch fine tooth blades for thinner stuff . The HF blades are pretty good bang-for-the-buck IMO .
Reply to
No , I replaced the bolts that hold the back half of the case with some that have deep nuts instead of heads (hex stock machined on the lathe) . Used those to bolt it to a stand with the blade vertical , like a regular band saw , and replaced the little stop strip with a small table . It's limited to short cuts , but works great for the size and type of projects I'm doing . Usually use it to cut stock to machinable lengths .
Reply to
Yeah, cuz of the throat limitation.....
But, you *could* put a pivot on it, so it could function like the typical 4x6 green or red HF bandsaws, right? Just need a vise of some sort.
Ito the 4x6 bandsaw size, what would this portable rate as?
Reply to
Existential Angst
I once thought that I didn't have room for a H/V saw & bought a Milwaukee PortaBand (used on eBay). And I made a stand for it:
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It was OK, especially since I didn't know any better. Then a neighbor gave me a 4 x 7 HV & I somehow made room for it. There is NO comparison. Nobody should ever buy a PortaBand 'cause they don't have room for a 4 x 7. MAKE room - it doesn't take that much. Worse case - put it on casters & wheel it out when needed.
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
I've seen set-ups that use these saws as a pivoting saw ... but that was more work for no gain in functionality for me purposes . I'd say this is probably similar in capacity to a 4X4 bandsaw .
Reply to
What do you use it for?
Other posters agree that the HF unit does do the job, which of course is always the big question with noodle-factory products.
I don't doubt that a real horizontal bandsaw is better, but I really don't have the space. The mill and the lathe took all the space. Not to mention the metal/wood cutting vertical bandsaw (Wilson 8201?).
I think I will order the HF unit.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn
I usually carry the work to the saw (the venerable 4x6), but occasionally I have to carry the saw to the work, and this is what I use, with good results.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Just cutting off stuff. It is noisy, though, and lately I have been doing a lot of cutting off on my Bridgeport.
Always a big question, yes.
I think that you would not regret it.
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