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Portable Bandsaw

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  • Portable Bandsaw

    I was checking these out and wondering what these tools are most useful for. It seems you could use your recip saw for anything the band saw could cut.

  • #2
    They 28V Milwaukee add implies that they would work real well for cutting down all the speaker posts at the drive in.



    • #3
      While a recip saw will work, a portable bandsaw is much better for cutting metal angle, tube stock, pipe, etc. of most any material. They are designed for cutting metal and will make straighter cuts with better control. They are limited on the maximum size material you can cut, 4" angle or pipe is about the limit. You can cut larger diameter pipe but you will have to rotate the pipe or relocate the saw as the opening between the guide wheels is (on most) roughly 3.5 to 4".

      The Milwaukee deep cut worm drive bandsaw (above) has plenty of power but is a little heavier. Most people refer to these type saws in general as a PortaBand®, but this was Rockwell's brand name for the saw many years ago. I think Porter-Cable inherited the name from Rockwell. I remember that the Rockwell Portaband was what we used in the 70's, don't think anyone else had one back then. Greenlee's used to offer a bandsaw which was probably made for them by someone else. Rockwell used to offer a variable speed saw as well as the two speed models. The variable speed was nice for more control cuts on heavy wall SS pipe. Can't begin to tell how many cuts I made on 3 and 4" Sch 160 with one of these saws, probably over 500. Pipe was then matched on the ID to within .015" for fitup with EB rings, the end prep on the pipe was a J-Bevels. This was TIG welded all the way out and most of it was 100% X-Ray work.

      Starrett bandsaw blades are good quality if you are wondering. PC also makes a large capacity bandsaw, you can find more info on the PC saws here:


      • #4
        From a purely "cutting" point of view, a bandsaw has some very distinctive advantages over either a reciprocating-type saw or a circular-type saw.

        In the particular case that you ask, the portable bandsaw is designed for metal cutting. Yes you could use a recip. But on observation you may note that the recip has a fairly limited stroke (around an inch or so) and therefore you have a limited number of teeth that are cutting back and forth. This back and forth "recip" action also produces some vibration.

        With a band saw, the continous blade runs a lot of cutting teeth through the material and all in one direction. It therefore will cut faster, the blade will maintain its edge longer, and there will be no vibration. The bandsaw is much more efficient. The same holds true with woodworking saws.

        Like all tools, each has a specific design advantage and each can be used for several things, but they are most efficient when used to their advantage. The trick of course is to know what that is.



        • #5
          I have a corded and cordless reciprocating saws. They are great for a lot of things. I do a lot of welding and fabrication in my work and could not get along without my porta band saw. I don't know if they even make them any more but I bought a used black and decker back in the lates 80s for $50. I still use it nearly every day. CWSmith is right on about the blades cutting faster and lasting a whole lot longer then rec. saws
          info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."