Have read a earlier post in regards to metal dry cut saws, (link below)
Have any of you purchased a metal cutting saw since Ernie's last post? I
am very tempted to purchase the Hitachi CD14F for several projects I
have coming up.(2nd link below) I will be cutting 3" channel, and 2.5"*
2.5"*.250 wall square tubing on the larger sized iron needed for the
What kind of time does it take to cut through mild
steel this size? (90* cuts)
How many cuts through this sized material
would I be able to make before I would need to have the blades
Lastly, anyone used the Hitachi?
I am considering it
as I have had nothing but good experiences with this brand in both
grinders, and chop saws in the past. Any others that should be considered?
What kind of accuracy can be expected?
I posted a report on 08-28-03 about the 7 1/4 inch drycut blade for the
wormdrive skilsaw. It will make a 2.5 inch deep cut. On larger tube you can turn
it of course to get both sides.
Make sure you copy the whole URL.
About 10-15 seconds per cut.
You should be able to get 90 cuts from one blade before getting it
I did 180 cuts on 4 inch channel with one blade.
It costs about $35 to get the blade resharpened +$3 per tooth to
Make sure to buy at least one extra blade.
As soon as the blade starts getting dull, replace it, and send it out
Make sure the shop you send it to knows what they are doing with dry
cut metal saws.
A good sharpening shop can extend the life of your blades, a bad one
can destroy them in one pass.
Check the blade regularly for chipped teeth.
If you find even one tooth chipped or missing, pull the blade.
If you over heat the blade and cause a fracture between the teeth most
shops will not resharpen them.
Best guess about 100.
You should make a jig that suports the tube at an angle.
If the tube is placed flat in the vise, the toughest part of cutting
square tube is going through the top and bottom faces of the tube.
If you roll the tube 45 degrees so it is resting on an edge, then the
saw is never cutting through a flat.
This will extend the life of the blade considerably.
Never cut flat bar on the flat, always on edge.
Cutting through a wide flat will overheat the teeth and cause them to
Hitachi makes some of the best tools in the world.
If you set up a fence with a ruler and a stop on it, you can get to
within 0.010" - 0.020" per cut.
Just let the saw cut in it's own time.
It should just slice right through the tube, so let it.
After a little practice you should get a feel for how fast you can cut.
I have yet to find better prices on blades than here.
I have a Makita, and think that is the right size, if it's too big for it we
should be using something else anyway. I believe the smaller diameter blade
is better for cutting angles. I have friends that get over a thousand cuts
out of a blade before resharpening, I got over 3000 a couple of months ago
on 1 1/2" and 2" sch 40 pipe.We probably should have changed out the blade
sooner, but it will still resharpen. On those small pipe sizes, it takes
approx. 3 - 5 seconds to make a square cut. We get the best blade life by
gently easing into the start of the cut and then putting a moderate amount
of drag on the saw, that is what Makita recomends. Before I bought mine I
talked to contractors I know that have used several brands and they
recomended Makita hands down. If you're on a paying job it will pay for
itself quickly on the size material you mentioned.
"Zorro" wrote in
Read the post earlier, pretty impressive what the Tenryu PRF-18548BW
blade did for you on a Skil Saw. How safe did you feel using the
"powered portable hand-saw" in this manner? Have you run into kick back
at all, or is that pretty easy to control, with common sense and safe
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote in
Great, that's impressive enough, would certainly be cost effective
in my case.
Yeah, I don't know if I could find someone that can sharpen these
blades local, as I'm in the sticks, would a shop set up to sharpen
carbide wood cutting saw blades suffice? Or do they have to be familiar
with this type of blade specifically? I was thinking of sending them to
Forrest, as they have a very good reputation in manufacturing carbide
wood cutting blades, and have high quality sharpening tooling. Do you
think they would suffice, or do they have to be familiar with this type
of blade? As it stands, via your data, if I get 100 cuts in such
material, per blade I would be happy with that alone at this time, I
would still be ahead, even if I had to purchase a new blade every 100
cuts or so, so I'm very happy with the info given.
Got it, excellent info.
Yeah I've owned a lot of different makes of various power tools,
and when they first came on the seen, I purchased a 9" grinder($99 new)
manufactured by them, with the intentions of throwing it away after
a particular bad environment job. Did not want to put my Milwaukee's
through the abuse of this particular job.
It lasted for years of abuse till I sold it, wasn't as pretty as my
Milwaukee tooling,(they were clunky and ugly looking back then) and
other tools, but it took every beating I gave it.(I purposely tried
destroying this grinder) It was the most powerful grinder of the lot.
The best/most powerful chop saw I have owned was a Hitachi I purchased
in 1985 ($99 new) or there abouts, until it was stolen from a job I was
on. I just purchased a Hitachi 8 amp 4 1/2" grinder to fill in while I
find brushes for My B&D industrial 4 1/2", what a tool for the money.
Powerful, quiet, and built like a brick house. I wish they had come out
with some of their more recent models and designs, when I was fabing
full time in the middle of it all. After looking at some of their latest
tooling, I am leaning their direction with the dry cut saw.
Great, that is better than I was hoping for.
Well Ernie, great info, and I appreciate the shout, you have been most
"JTMcC" wrote in
Thanks, JTMcC, that is amazing, 3000 cuts. I have two Makita wood
working power tools, and like them. Have never purchased them for any
type of iron work in the past. I will have to do a search on google and
look at the specs on the Makita. I thank you for your input, and your
opion/insight on the Makita saw. Keep the sparks a flyin'.
These blades are different than a standard wood blade but a shop that
has fairly modern equipment should be able to sharpen them.
The sharpening data is available from the manufacturers as to angles
and grinds, so they can easily get the info to set their machines.
The 72 tooth blades have lasted the longest for me.
I have tried some of the fancy blades for stainless steel, and
discovered that they need much gentler treatment.
Most importantly, if you are miter cutting angle iron, make sure to
capture the steel in the vise with a piece of square tube, so there is
no way the angle iron can roll.
If it does, it will do horrible things to the blade, and the carbide
teeth ricocheting around the room won't do you any good either.
I have the Dewalt version of this saw and I love it. I use it on aluminum
tubung and galvy sch 40 pipe for docks. I agree with Ernie on always making
sure you are not cutting a flat side, it makes the cut not only faster but
As far as stock moving, the Dewalt came with a hold down clamp that I use as
well as the normal clamp.
The only thing I have found is that the stand that the saw is on is remarkably
cheap thin metal. Mine is already starting to bend down at the cutout area
for the blade.
Have you run into kick back at all, or is that pretty easy to control, >with
common sense and safe usage?
I always use well covering safety glasses. On the first few cuts I was a bit
scared and was expecting the worst. Not much happened except hot sharp bits of
metal flew mostly to the front but also to every other direction too. As a
matter of fact, I asked my fearless neighbor who is a "Framer" to make the first
few cuts. He went faster through the metal than I do but I have to concentrate
more to make "any" cut go where I want it to go. Kick back was not an issue
because the blade makes less contact with the small material I was cutting. I
suppose ripping something like a 2 X 6 tube would be an issue.
I learned to use a skilsaw framing houses 25 years ago. At that time, we did not
even think of using safety glasses let alone think of taking out the nail used
to hold back the blade guard. I still use the Skil with no blade guard. I don't
know if it would pose a problem on metal but it does for me on wood. I learned
to put the guard back for "dummies" using the saw especially for the 5 seconds
the blade spins after the trigger is released.
All in all, it is very easy to control. I use a scribe and square to make marks
and the cuts come out very accurate freehand. When I had to make 200 or so of
the same piece, I set up a fence using a straight 2 X 4. I learned (by a
mistake) doing that, metal is much more slippery than wood and the vibration of
the saw cutting can cause the "clamped" pieces to move!
I found the blade at "Sam's Tools" in Compton, CA. I was able to get it for $45
out the door. I haggled a bit, not being sure if it would really be a useful
tool. Now that the blade has a few chipped teeth, I think it's worth every penny
of $45 or $60 and cuts like it's brand new. I may just buy another instead of
sharpening because of my doubts of finding a good craftsman and getting a proper
I want to note that this blade will last a long time with proper care. I think
the teeth chipped when the saw was stabbed half speed into the metal. That
happened a few times. Now I bring the saw to full speed and gently start the cut
not only to protect the blade but primarily for accuracy .
"Zorro" wrote in
LOL, the "Fearless Framer". I have and do use a portable circle saw
for cutting lumber, but using it to cut through steel sounded a bit
dangerous. I talked to another guy that claims he has cut through
3" channel in this manner safely. He used a jig/fence he clamped to the
channel, to run the shoe/base assembly up against, and he said it cut
accurately/safely. I have a top of the line Porter & Cable Circular saw,
but it does not have gear reduction like your Skil Saw. (I think the one
you have has gear reduction if my memory is intact) Down the road, I may
get a blade and try it, as it would come in handy for some situations.
First though, I think I'll get me one of the more stationary units.
Thanks for the helpful input.
Ernie Leimkuhler wrote in
72 tooth blade, ok, will make sure to get one of those.
Thanks for the heads up on the angle iron miter cuts,
the "visual" of what would be encountered if that did happen
is not pleasant. I think I read in a previous post you experienced
that, and lost a $200 blade. Ouch!
Well, now to decide on which saw to purchase.
John mentioned using a smaller saw/blade for mitered cuts,
that makes sense, as there would be more stability/strength
running a smaller blade. I guess a guy could have both sizes,
and use the smaller blade for mitered cuts, and the larger for straight
cuts on a larger saw, which would give you the larger cutting capacity if
needed. I have to go look at all the specs of the various saws
available, I would think a guy could use the smaller blade on a saw
designed to run a larger blade, and have both aspects bagged. That's what
I'm hoping anyway.
Thanks again Ernie,
I would add that you should look at the table and clamping mechanism
closely. The Makita was by far the most solid and heavy duty when I bought
mine, that may have changed tho. With pipe you really need a solid clamp as
pipe tends to roll so it helps to snug that dude down tight.