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best saw for metal cutting

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  • best saw for metal cutting

    I am looking for a new saw for my metal needs. Right now all I have is a portaband. I would like something that will give me nice square cuts.

    I've been searching for a couple of days now. I've looked at horizontal band saws, multi cutters, and read about using an abrasive blade on a miter saw.

    I would like to find the most economical machine for this but also don't want something that I'm not going to like using.

    For band saws I've looked at the harbor freight model and it's on sale for 189 bucks right now. Some people like them and some people don't like them. The price is right but I usually stay clear of that place for most thing. I've also looked at some jet and wilton saws. This wilton is 685 bucks(not sure what shipping would be!) and it looks 100 times better than the harbor freight model.

    I've also looked at the dewalt multi cut saw for 450 or so. It seems nice but a little expensive and some people say it won't cut the thicker metals. I've also read some guys just use a metal blade or abrasive blade on a 12" miter saw. I saw one guy that builds some really nice stuff and in one post he says he only uses his dewalt wood miter saw with abrasive blade on it and loves it and even cuts 45* angles on it. This would be great if it works good cause I already have a nice miter saw.

    I just found this and it looks pretty interesting. Looks like the build is decent and it can do miter cuts up to 60". And for under 400 bucks.

    Just looking for for ideas on what others use and how they like it and suggestions on which saws to look at.

    Thanks for sharing your saw experiences, Scott
    Last edited by ponch37300; 08-07-2009, 08:48 PM.

  • #2
    There is no one saw that will do it all.You can retrofit your chopsaw with an abrasive cutoff wheel but you will have metal imprints and burns all over it in short order.The advantages of the new carbide chopsaws make them worth the money, they have a slightly higher operating cost with blades but the cuts are clean,they make square cuts and angles, there are very little sparks,there is very little heat on the part after the cut,and there are no burrs or rough edges to clean up.Mike


    • #3
      On the inexpensive side of cold cut saws is the British Evolution saws. I see a reconditioned Fury 2 14 inch cold cut saw for $259 on ebay right now -- and it includes a blade. (Google Evolution Rage and Fury for more info. Or use this ebay search.)

      I got a Milwaukee cold cut saw for $280 on ebay, where I also get $30 Freud Diablo blades. I'm still on my first blade.

      I bought the HF band saw and then took it back. The cold cut saws make nice, clean cuts. Always square. No dust or toxic nonsense from abrasive wheels.
      Jack Olsen
      The Garage(And its slideshow)
      The Car(And its slideshow)


      • #4
        I've got a packard horizontal band saw and to keep a nice square cut it really tough. If I put in a brand new blade, set the guides really close, tighten the pi$$ out of the blade, I might get a square cut and might not. Don't use it much because of that so I wouldn't consider buying another.

        Dynasty 350 - My New Baby
        Millermatic 210 Mig with Spoolmate 3035
        Miller Thunderbolt XL 225/150 AC/DC Stick Welder
        Miller Specturm 625 Plasma Cutter
        Speedglas 9100 auto dark helmet
        Jackson auto dark helmet
        18.5 CFM Eagle Compressor
        Horizontal Band Saw
        Dewalt 14" Chop Saw
        7 1/2 Dewalt Angle Grinder
        4 - 4 1/2" Sears Angle Grinders
        1 - 4" Makita Angle Grinder
        2 - IR Die Grinders
        All of which my wife says will be a "he$$ of a garage sale"


        • #5
          -I have a Dewalt metal chop saw (abrasive) I've used for years. It cuts accurate, and very quickly. Does leave a bured edge that requires cleaning post-cut. Loud and messy, but dead reliable, cheap to purchase and operate. I wouldn't want to give it up.
          -I also have a medium sized JET Horizontal band saw (adjustable downfeed, and coolant pump) I purchased about two years ago. Clean and quiet, no post-cut process required. Cut is also very reliable and consistant, great for moderate precision work by my standards. It's a lot slower and more expensive than the chop saw, but the precision of the cuts makes fitment excellent, and therefore my welds look that much better.
          My overall advise is look at craigslist, ebay, or auctions. The repressed economy will allow you to purchase a used commercial grade tool like Jet for nearly the same cost as a chinese made Harbor Freight piece.
          Good luck!


          • #6
            I have the Evolution Rage 3. Cuts through metal like butter. No heat, no burs and square. Used it to cut 3" schedule 40 pipe for a budy and he was amazed at how well it cut. He thought I was about to destroy my brand new saw.

            Not pricey at all.



            • #7
              HF 4x6 bandsaw. For the money the saw is right. But if you want to spend more you can buy better...Bob
              Bob Wright


              • #8
                I have the DW872 Dewalt Multi-Cutter. I have no complaints on this saw. It's great, Cut's perfectly square, fast cutting, No post clean-up needed. You can put the cut piece straight to work. Blades last a long time if you use lubricating wax for each couple of cuts (Just started doing this and it makes a big difference).


                • #9
                  wilton I think is the best bet. I have had good luck with that.


                  • #10
                    Grizzly G9742 saw here, been talked about many times here,run a search No Complaints.I,m looking at a hand saw like that evolution saw on the link at toolfetch,may have to add to the debt.
                    S-32 FEEDER W/1260 IRONMATE FC/GUN
                    HT/PWR-MAX1250 PLASMA


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by slicktoptt View Post
                      I have the Evolution Rage 3. Cuts through metal like butter. No heat, no burs and square. Used it to cut 3" schedule 40 pipe for a budy and he was amazed at how well it cut. He thought I was about to destroy my brand new saw.

                      Not pricey at all.

                      How accurate are the miter cuts on this saw?


                      • #12
                        Makita LC1230 is the best saw I ever found. Owned mine for 7 years or more and although I bought an extra blade several years back (150T Carbide) it is still running on the original blade.

                        The cut number for the blade is stated as being 5000 cuts before sharpening is needed.
                        I use it to cut structural, pipe and bar stock.

                        Unlike the crappy abrasive cut off saw, the blade does not deflect and leave you with a slanted edge. It cuts a perfect 90° edge.

                        This saw rotates at a speed of 1300 rpm and has a 1 inch diameter shaft. Cuts steel like you would cut a 2 X 4............. pg
                        Dynasty 200 DX_set up on 3 phase
                        Coolmate 3
                        MM 251 w/ Spoolmatic 30A
                        HTP 625 Micro Cut Plasma Cutter
                        Victor O/A Rig
                        Bridgeport Mill_3 phase (w/ Acu-Rite 4 axis DRO)
                        10 inch South Bend Lathe_3 phase
                        Baldor Double Cup Tool Grinder_3 phase
                        Baldor 10 inch Buffer
                        Rockwell 12 inch Disc Sander
                        Cyclone 2ft X 3ft Bead Blast Cabinet
                        Quincy 325 2stg- Air Compressor_3 phase
                        Graymills Built-in Parts Washer
                        Rockwell/Delta Planer, HD Shaper, Uni-Saw etc.


                        • #13
                          Sorry I forgot to include the link to the saw from grizzly before. It looks like a really good saw for the price.

                          I'm not a huge fan of harbor freight, have a ton of construction/woodworking tools and wouldn't buy anything I plan on using much from harbor freight.

                          Right now I'm looking at the dewalt multi cutter, wilton horizontal bandsaw(or maybe other brand), and the grizzly G9742 bandsaw.

                          Not sure which one yet since they are different saws, band and chop.

                          If you guys needed to pick one saw for your first "real" saw for metal for around 500 what would you pick. I know that the bandsaw and multi cutter are different saws but I need to pick one for now to handle my metal cutting needs. I just mostly need to make accurate cuts and being able to miter cuts would be a nice feature also.

                          Thanks for helping me so I don't waste a buch of money!


                          • #14

                            i'm looking at the Baileigh Industrial BS-128M. anyone used this saw? anyone used any Baileigh equipment?

                            Syncrowave 200
                            Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52
                            Victor O/A
                            Smithy Midas 1220 Lathe- Mill
                            Bandsaw- 20 yr old Harbor Freight type


                            • #15
                              Baleigh saw

                              I use the Baleigh band saw, and I think it is the same model you asked about. I rigged it up, with a section of conveyer rollers, to use as a infeed table. Had the saw about 2 1/2 years, and normally cut 1" x 6" mild steel flats with it. Square cuts, 22.5, 33s, it seems to do it very well. They also stock blades, and parts, for pretty good customer support. If you can scoop a deal, I don't think you could go wrong. Blades stay put, and with the proper tension kept on the gauge, no deflection. I don't remeber the cost, but let me know what they are going for.