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Chop Saw Or Band Saw ??????

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  • Chop Saw Or Band Saw ??????

    Hey Guys First Time On The Board
    Just Got Into Welding And I Think Its Great
    I Already Got About 3 Or 4 Different Projects I Want To Do
    But I Need The Right Tools First
    What Do You Think The First Cutting Tool Should Be
    A Chop Saw Or A Portable Band Saw
    This Is Not My Job Just For Fun
    Thanks In Advance To All Who Reply

  • #2
    As you can see, the software editted the CapsLock; it's best just to make sure it's off first.

    This is a common question, but we'd need to know more about what types of things you are planning to make. Both saws will do most jobs.

    The bandsaw is quieter and less messy, but much slower and less portable. Both are accurate within their respective "you get what you pay for" areas.

    You might also look at the carbide "chop saws" as opposed to the abrasive ones.


    • #3
      the standard abrasive chop saw is the much more versitile than a band saw, if your going to buy anything, buy a chop saw

      band saws are good when you can stack pieces, or have thick pieces to cut, but for general fab the chop saw own's all
      maxstar 150


      • #4
        Another idea to toss at ya as well would be this in a regular chop saw....

        as far as "first cutting tool" do you have a grinder yet.....if not get one and some cut off wheels for it as well......I started with this and then moved to a jig saw......then added a saws all........I have a port band saw as well it is slow and is very easy to put too much pressure on it and away goes the squareness of the cut......I like my chop saw and am working on my O/A set up....just need tanks......
        Good luck,
        George W. Bush was saving your butt whether you liked it or not!
        Fear is temporary, regret is forever
        HH210 with SG


        • #5
          you might get by with a 4&1/2 inch grinder with cutoff disk about $20.00 at Harbor Freight. Depends on what you want to cut, and how critical the angles are that you want to make.
          sigpicJim Young


          • #6
            Chop Saw

            If you can handle the noise, a chop saw would be the better purchase to start. I am under the presumption that you are not talking about a hand-held metal band saw; I rarely received a straight cut from them. Obviously, get the angle grinder before the chop saw as the others have said.


            • #7
              Buy both. Different machines for different uses.
              Matt Adams A&P, IA
              Trailblazer 302
              Dialarc HF


              • #8
                chop saw

                we have two dewalt chop saws and use them both a lot. we was cutting some 4x4x3/8 squre tubeing with on troble. or band saw comes in handey when we need it. if it was me i would get a chop saw first. good luck on what ever you get.
                miller bobcat 250
                wc 115a
                spoolmatic 30a
                centery 250 mic
                2 lincoln 225 stick
                a 1954 hobart portable welder w/ willies jeep engine


                • #9
                  I'm a farm/home/hobby welder and not very proficient at that. I have both a 14" abrasive chop saw and a 4x6 bandsaw. The chop saw came first. I can only speak for myself, but after getting the bandsaw, I unplugged the chop saw which is now sitting in the corner gathering dust.
                  Tom Veatch
                  Wichita, KS


                  • #10
                    I started off with an abrasive chop saw. It gave me several years of good service and built many projects. Although, after buying my band saw, I don't think I've even put another disk on the chop saw. It sits there getting rusty from the humidity. Personally, I just really don't like the noise and dust of a chop saw. When I say band saw, I'm talking about a shop band saw. I have a portaband as well, but it doesn't see much use either. Granted, the abrasives are very portable and will do most anything you need them to do, but I would start with a band saw if I had to do it over again. Of course, there's a lot of things I'd do different if I had the chance...but that's another column all to its self. SSS
                    Last edited by SkidSteerSteve; 04-01-2007, 08:45 PM.
                    Bobcat 250, MM 210, Syncrowave 180, Spectrum 375
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                    1 Thessalonians 4:11-12


                    • #11
                      If you go the bandsaw route, just remember that no matter how cheap the bandsaw is, buy a good quality BIMETAL blade. Don't even bother using the cheap blade that comes with it.

                      If you want an abrasive chop saw or a carbide chop saw, let me know; mine are for sale before I move to Papua New Guinea next month. They are currently in Las Vegas.


                      • #12
                        Same here, have both but only use the chop saw on something real quick and if it doesnt need to fit perfect. Sometimes the chop saw will not cut straight on a piece of pipe where the band saw does. by band saw I mean a horizontal model. Both work good depending on what you want. Good luck
                        HMW [Heavy Metal welding]


                        • #13
                          An abrasive saw has it's place in the shop too crib. I use mine for it's portability
                          and when the cut quality is not important. When I just need to "chop" a piece in two. I find that blade wander is an issue with abrasive saws. Not so in a well tuned band saw.

                          The band saw is used, by me for most all cutting of material. I find mine is accurate, quick, reliable, and in making repeated cuts nothing is better. I also like that I can set up a cut and go back to another project, thus allowing more production.
                          I like that when cutting stainless I no longer end up with discolored material.



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MYBOYDAVE View Post
                            What Do You Think The First Cutting Tool Should Be
                            A Chop Saw Or A Portable Band Saw
                            Take into consideration that I've no experience using a portable band saw.

                            If accurate cutting is the highest priority, my choices, in order from most to least desirable, would be:

                            1. Stationary band saw ($300 and up) (not one of your listed options)
                            2. Chop Saw ($130 and up)
                            3. Portable band saw ($200 and up)

                            If portability is the highest priority, reverse the order.

                            (prices estimated with a quick "Froogle" search limited to recognized brand names. Homier and Harbor Freight offerings edited out.)
                            Tom Veatch
                            Wichita, KS


                            • #15
                              The ubiquitious 4x6 bandsaw costs about $200, and I agree with TomVeatch...once you use one, the abrasive saw will sit in the corner.

                              I bought mine from enco ( ), but HF also sells a version. I built a new stand for mine, and have a few other mods done to it, but it's one of my most used tools.


                              $199 right now, and you con find a free shipping code elsewhere on the net.

                              Last edited by jamscal; 04-02-2007, 02:11 PM. Reason: new info