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  • portable band saw or chop saw

    Looking at a portable band saw or a carbide dry cut chop saw not an abrasive blade chop saw.Will be cutting Metal studs, unistrut, angle iron and galvanized pipe. I understand the band saw would be a lot quieter and cleaner cuts. Speed of cut is not really important. The Makita carbide chop saw looks nice but what I've been reading a portable band saw might be better. I would get the stand with a band saw for square cuts. Any experience out there??

    wookie

  • #2
    Re: portable band saw or chop saw

    Bandsaw is much more versatile I find but not as good for metal studs etc...
    I don't think I would want to try the carbide saw on unistrut, angle iron or pipe...
    If possible I would get the abrasive chop saw and the bandsaw...
    Bandsaws excell where you have awkward cuts and can be used in locations where you have to cut in place (cutting a gas pipe for hand threading to fix a leak or install a new tee....)
    Chop saw is much better for cutting metal studs and handy for cutting threaded rod for hangers (can chanfer the end right after cutting)

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    • #3
      Re: portable band saw or chop saw

      Speed isn't important? What is? If it was squareness of cut then you can't beat an abrasive blade chop saw. It is tougher to get a square cut with a band saw. Even tougher if...or should I say when the blade wears and it starts to pull to one side. One other thing to consider. Band saws are easier to misuse in a dangerous fashion. Just ask the guy in the metal shop with 3 fingers on one hand how he lost the other one.

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      • #4
        Re: portable band saw or chop saw

        I have many hours using both..theres no way I'd want to try cutting metal studs with a portable bandsaw and on the other hand I dont cut pipe unless I'm welding it with the chopsaw.Really I think this is different tools for different purposes.Abrasive chopsaw for most metal stuff the bandsaw for other stuff.I have an old milwaukee portaband and a dewalt abrasive chopsaw..both have lasted and done the jobs well.
        Sam

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        • #5
          Re: portable band saw or chop saw

          Originally posted by wookie View Post
          Looking at a portable band saw or a carbide dry cut chop saw not an abrasive blade chop saw.Will be cutting Metal studs, unistrut, angle iron and galvanized pipe. I understand the band saw would be a lot quieter and cleaner cuts. Speed of cut is not really important. The Makita carbide chop saw looks nice but what I've been reading a portable band saw might be better. I would get the stand with a band saw for square cuts. Any experience out there??

          wookie
          guys the key word here is a carbide tipped chop saw. these saws use a carbide blade that spin at 1/2 the rpm's as an abrasive saw.

          wookie, i have the dewalt multi-cutter. it does a great job on everything you mentioned. although the metal studs would require a different blade with more teeth. the great thing about the carbide saw is the lack of heat and sparks. it doesn't burn through the metal like the abrasive saw does.

          now if i only had 1 tool i would take the porta band for plumbing over the carbide chop saw.

          the porta band will also cut cast iron (not no hub) pipe in place very well.
          personally if it's a cost issue i would stay away from the band saw stand as this is a very expensive option. you will find that with the saw in your hands, you can take it to the job at hand. not having to take the material to the saw is much faster. square cuts are fairly easy once you get the hold of it.

          also the carbide saw uses a very expensive blade. anywhere from $120-180 a blade. i would not get the saw for the items you mentioned unless you do a lot of fab work on steel. or large diameter copper.

          for what you're going to spend on a dry saw or a porta band and stand, i would buy a porta band $279. and spend the money saved from the stand on a good abrasive saw $189.

          the dry cut is approx. $400-500 and the stand for the porta band is another $250. plus once you mount the porta band on the stand, you're not going to have a true portable bandsaw to use.

          i also have a cordless metal cutter both the milwaukee and makita and they work great. i've cut 1.25'' sch. 40 gas in place to add shut offs and it was much faster and easier than a sawzall

          rick.
          phoebe it is

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          • #6
            Re: portable band saw or chop saw

            Milwaukee V28 has a nice portable band saw but the price tag is $429.

            http://www.ohiopowertool.com/item-de...fm?&ID=0729-21
            Jay
            Ohio Power Tool - Ridgid
            Coptool - Power Tool Blog

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            • #7
              Re: portable band saw or chop saw

              You are talking about the abrasive chop saw.Unistrut,after you cut you need to debur using the side of the blade,Band saw can't do that.Cut steel studs 2.5 seconds......square(thin guage) bandsaw can't do that.Tuning threads on allthread,again with the side of the blade,lightly spin at a slight angle,bandsaw????.Remove casting defects on cast iron fittings,chop saw.

              On commercial Chopsaw is always out.Yes I use the others for specific applications.Nothing is as versitile as having a chop saw as your main universal tool.

              Too many shavings flying around with they carbide.
              Last edited by drtyhands; 10-22-2007, 12:50 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: portable band saw or chop saw

                I have the Makita Carbide tooth Chop saw and I love it. It cuts clean and fast with very little to no sparks. When you make a cut it is also very smooth really no need for any kind of grinding or smoothing off of the edges. I really can't explain how well it works. You almost have to see it in action. I tested one at a tool shop and I had to have it.

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                • #9
                  Re: portable band saw or chop saw

                  Thanks for the Info gentlemen, I'll be going with the Makita carbide for now. It will meet my needs for the near future. The regular abrasive chop saws are just to dirty/hazardous and noisey for me. I must be getting old, loud and dirty never used to bother me.

                  wookie

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