20 years ago
The Skil 77 is still one of the best on the market. Milwaukee also makes a decent worm drive. I think the Makita could take it as well.
I would skip dewalt, too much plastic. Don't know anything about Porter Cable worm drives.
We have a Jansey at work that we use for cutting bar grating and heavy expanded...also buzzes right thru 5/8 alum. with a blade designed to cut alum. Had to rework the guide on it though as it was not very accurate in relation to the blade location. It has a cavity where a majority of the chips collect but it fills up fast and is a mess to clean out. I think we bought it about 2 years ago and the price has dropped about 200 bucks since
Porter Cable makes a really nice 4" worm drive Trim saw for about $225-$250. Don't know how it would do for cutting metal. Their bigger worm drives should hold up to what you wanr to do though.
The blades are great, Horibull Fright now sells a saw for metal cutting, item8897-0VGA the blades cost $40 minimum, may not be that bad a deal. I've had one for a while now, still am impressed with the performance. The saw I use is a $5 garage sale special Black & Decker 2 1/3 hp 10A 5300 rpm nothing special saw, probably cost $29.99 10 years ago when new. I'm not sure of the service life of the blade, I'm sure that it depends, as with all cutting tools, on the type of material being cut, the machine you are driving the cutter with, the rigidity of the setup, the position of the moon, etc., etc. I made a cut in 1.25 inch thick A36 in 95 seconds. That's for a 7 inch long cut. I made a pass thru 12" of this same 1.25" plate with an abrasive saw in about 95 minutes, about half of the time being spent letting the saw and material cool down. Don't get me wrong, I think the abrasive saw blades work great, and I still think they have their place, probably with softer materials, or with materials that cannot be secured to give a chatter free cut. I spent about $45for this saw blade at Tool Town (for those of you in the Seattle area), and that is too much in some respects, but I won't be coughing and blowing abrasive boogers anymore and that is something I do like.
FYI, was cutting some 3/16 304 SS that I got at Pacific Iron and it does throw some pretty good sparks. Maybe not the right geometry for SS????
Stainless steel is brutal to dry-cut saws. I often use abrasive wheels on stainless because of how fast it dulls my dry-cut blades.
Angle iron from bed frames is terrible too.
What is the recommended depth adjustment for metal cutting blades? Just barely deep enough to completly penetrate or set the saw for as deep as possible? For sheet metal I was thinking fairly shallow, and for thicker plate set the it up more like a dry cut saw--straight in towards the axis.
Because that is hardened and tempered spring steel. Makes good chisels though.
That is about right. On plate you always want to cut through the thinnest section.
Stainless should not be machined with C-5 or C-6 carbide, which is likely near the grade of carbide used in steel cutting blades. Those grades don't hold up any better on a lathe or mill when used on stainless. While it is, in general, a pain to machine, I'm of the opinion that a blade made with a C-2 grade would cut stainless quite well. For sure it makes a big difference when machining. Interestingly, the C-5 or C-6 carbide used on stainless appears to dull prematurely, just as you suggest it does when sawing.
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