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    Metal Cutting Band Saws?

    I have the Harbour Freight one. It's our second.

    It's now royally facked.

    The bearing seized up, replaced them, tried to re align it all and get it going. It's seizing up the motor, pitching bands, slipping the belt, you name it. I can not get it to go well enough to do more than a cut or two. I think it's time for another one. I have 5+ hours into this pos at this point. I'm frustrated.

    It looks to me from looking around that there are a few others that seem to be this exact one but painted a different color... Then they jump to like $1700.

    Does anyone have a decent mid to low prices band saw that they use and can recommend? I don't want to buy a third Harbor Freight one. We get about a year out of them. I'm pretty over it.

    We use it a lot, but not machine shop a lot, but definitely well above your average hobbyist/weekend mechanic amount of use.
    Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

    #2
    We use a Grizzly saw at work in NY and there's a small fab shop around here (MO) that has two different sized Grizzly saws. No complaints. It doesn't hurt that there's a Grizzly store 30 minutes away in Springfield.

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      #3
      I've got a Clarke 4x6 with a Dayton 1/4 hp motor. I got the pulleys on slowest speed. If you can find something similar with a cast iron base, a decent motor and multi-speed pulleys, it should serve you well. I haven't changed my bearings but I've cut a lot of aluminum stock thru it. Not much steel. Use wd-40 and a good high count teeth blade works great. I use a Lenox 1/2" by .025" 18 tpi. blade. After a year, it's just starting to signs of wear. It's more pricey that cheap blades but well worth it. ($30+). If it's pitching bands, it's not aligned maybe or the blade isn't cutting great. Mine used to that until I got this Lenox blade. It eats aluminum and steel.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


      20211011_194826.jpg

      At work, we got a monstrous 12 x 20 Jet with 1" blade, coolant and a hydraulic lift. It eats 1" aluminum bar in seconds. I'll probably use this for now since it saves me a lot of time.
      20211006_103832.jpg
      20211011_194909.jpg

      Grizzly or Jet is what I would recommend if you need new. I bought mine used. Sometimes, older stuff is just better made. That's me. I'd rather buy a good used tool over a new average tool.

      4 x 6 is just right for stuff I need and compact enough for the shop.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by eyhonda; 10-12-2021, 11:39 AM.
      Eric Y.
      NT663/VFR800/CBR600F4i
      Yuzon Designworks

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        #4
        You can buy replacement parts from Grizzly too. Just bought another pulley wheel for our sander. We have a 20 Year old stationary Jet band saw at work as well. In the field we have brushless Milwaukees and some of the harbor freights. None of the Behrs or whatever they are have broke yet for what its worth. I have sent several of our Milwaukee drills in for warranty work but no problems out of the band saws yet. They all spend most there time cutting galvanized steel and IMC.

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          #5
          I'm interested in seeing what people suggest because I have yet to purchase a bandsaw that just ... works. The only band saw I've ever truly like was DeWalt's portable band saws, and the GIANT ones you see in machine shops.
          Suzondacati Build Thread

          Chain rollers, swing arm chain guides, brake hangers, etc.

          Various parts for sale

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            #6
            I’ve used Ellis ban saws a lot and they kick ass. Probably way expensive and overkill for a weekend warrior. Northern Tool has one that I thought looked good, I don’t remember the make but it wasn’t crazy expensive. I use a Milwaukee port-a-band to cut conduit/uninstrut at work and it works great. The “throat” or w/e it’s called is big enough to fit a 5-6 inch pipe. I’ve seen bench stands for the older corded ones and I’m sure they make one for the cordless. If I cut more steel at home I’d probably get the Milwaukee or the northern tool one. Post the one you end up getting I’d be curious on your opinion of it.

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              #7
              Can't go wrong with an Ellis, and if you watch for them used, they can be affordable. Easy to maintain and rebuild. Great saws for the price.

              WW/R
              Life is a journey, not a destination.

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                #8
                I needed some sheet steel cutting and when I went to the steel stockist with my sizes I expected them to cut it with a band saw or a disc cutter. No they used a plasma cutter that produced a wonderful clean cut.

                No idea how much a plasma cutter would cost and no idea how to use one or even if it's suitable for a small workshop but I was very impressed.

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                  #9
                  Originally Posted by Fastmongrel View Post
                  I needed some sheet steel cutting and when I went to the steel stockist with my sizes I expected them to cut it with a band saw or a disc cutter. No they used a plasma cutter that produced a wonderful clean cut.

                  No idea how much a plasma cutter would cost and no idea how to use one or even if it's suitable for a small workshop but I was very impressed.
                  This is not a bad suggestion at all, depending how square/perpendicular you need your cuts to be. We recently picked up the budget HoboFreight plasma cutter and my entire team goes to that over the 2 Millers, every time. Great units.

                  WW/R
                  Life is a journey, not a destination.

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                    #10
                    Originally Posted by wildwhl View Post

                    This is not a bad suggestion at all, depending how square/perpendicular you need your cuts to be. We recently picked up the budget HoboFreight plasma cutter and my entire team goes to that over the 2 Millers, every time. Great units.

                    WW/R
                    What model do you have? And budget like cheap compared to a Miller or budget like a conceivable purchase for a maintenance manager?

                    I absolutely want a plasma cutter. It's no replacement for a bandsaw when cutting angles in tubing and the like, but it would be very convenient for lots of things I feel.
                    Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

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                      #11
                      I have a budget Cut 50 Plasma cutter. I think it cost around 250 bucks a couple years back. They have a newer model that I think is a cut 55 that is much improved but I think the prices are creeping up because of the supply shortages. It's fine up to about 3/8 inch cutting and if you go really slow it will do 1/2 but at that point a decent band saw blade is probably faster (and far less mess). The plasma is a broad sword approach to cutting, especially when it comes to precision and needing a hand rest or guide to keep it on track. Like anything practice makes for less mess. I combine that with a HF portaband on a SWAG band saw stand. I'll keep rocking the HF unit until I smoke it and then probably upgrade to a better unit that also fits the SWAG stand. They sell a model for just about each brand but I think all that changes is the adapter plate and you can easily make an adapter plate and just re-use the OG stand. By that standard you could also just make the stand. At the time I was tooling up some and it was just less hassle to buy it all because I'm constantly out of town on business.

                      If you don't need a wide throat band saw that may help out, but if you need bigger then I would definitely buy once and cry once. You might check bidspotter.com to see if you can find a larger unit that's "gently used". I have seen models that are a horizontal band saw that you can also stand up and put a cutting platform on and use it vertically as well. Obviously its a bid site so you have to babysit it but they usually can aggregate bids close to you and the specialize in shop machinery and I think can organize shipping for you as well. I've searched on there but have yet to read into the fine print.

                      Here is a general search that I did a few minutes ago, https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/sea...hTerm=band+saw

                      Hope you can find something decent and budget friendly.
                      88 Blue Hawk GT - Under construction but rideable (guest approved)
                      89 BlackHawk 2.0 - On the lift and being assembled
                      90 Hawk GT (color as to yet be determined) - Still on the shelf in crates

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                        #12
                        I have one of these swag tables for a portable band saw and it works great.

                        https://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Por...ries_c_35.html

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                          #13
                          Originally Posted by Cmiller View Post
                          I have one of these swag tables for a portable band saw and it works great.

                          https://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Por...ries_c_35.html
                          Huh. Well that's interesting.
                          Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.

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