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Chop saw or Band saw???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 81jimmyslt, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. 81jimmyslt

    81jimmyslt 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys I'm in need of a cutting tool, ya I searched and now I need your input. Currently All I have to cut metal with is a hacksaw and angle grinder. I will be making sliders, bumpers, etc for my truck what do you guys and gals use for most of your cutting. Eventually I will by a bender and notcher but first I need to cut more acurately.

    I have been looking at chop saws like the $199 dewalt model and the HF bandsaw for 189 any other input would be appreciated thanks

    Jesse
     
  2. big83chevy4x4

    big83chevy4x4 3/4 ton status

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    get a band saw. you can't cut plate with a chop saw, they just make sparks. band saws cut clean and straighter.
    i want a band saw :hack:
     
  3. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I agree, my chop saw does tube well, but can't do any plate. I went with the craftsman because it has a cast iron base instead of stamped steel. Only drawback is it's a b##ch to move around.
     
  4. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I agree also. I wish now that I had gone with the bandsaw.
     
  5. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    get both. Good fab shop needs both IMO. Soon as I get home from school I'm going tool mad. Plasma, look for a nice bandsaw, hydro bender, and a bunch of other stuff.
     
  6. walla2k5

    walla2k5 1/2 ton status

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    Personally I use my chop saw a lot,then again I use a blue tip wrench a lot also.:dunno: :doah:
     
  7. FWP

    FWP CRS

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    I love my Porta-band, sold my chopsaw after I got it.
     
  8. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    If you can get one... get on a verticle/horizontal bandsaw. Lie it down to cut accurate... stand it up for making shapes.
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I disagree, a chop saw is the most over-rated POS tool known to man IMO. It's as slow as the second coming, is a great way to start a fire (a valid concern for home use) and will not ever give you a true and square cut. I can cut straighter and faster with a zip-cut disc on a grinder...

    Rene
     
  10. muddog

    muddog 1/2 ton status

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    What about a a multi cutter like the DW872. I bought one and love it. Blades don't flex like a chop saw and cuts faster. I am also going to buy a band saw though.
     
  11. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Whats this? Do you have a link?

    I agree... my chop saw (although it is a cheap one) is a hunk of crap that shoots sparks...
     
  12. 81jimmyslt

    81jimmyslt 1/2 ton status

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    wow thanks for all the replies and I'm definately getting a bandsaw. Rene is right again chop saw would be nothing but trouble for my garage.

    Well then what band saw to get, HF, Northern Tools, Craftsman?

    Jesse
     
  13. 82dieselburb

    82dieselburb 1/2 ton status

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    I like my band saw.It's more accurate and isn't nearly as loud.[my neighbors like that:D ]

    Another advantage to my band saw is I can turn it on to make a cut and do something else while it doing its job.It will turn itself off when the cut is done
     
  14. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    When looking at bandsaw's I'd recomend buying the burliest one you can. A bandsaw needs to be very rigidly constructed. The base is somewhat important, but not nearly as important as the pivot. If you lift the saw and can get any real 'play' in the arm side to side, the saw will not cut as square as it could.

    Depending on the price range I'd try and get one that has coolant, the cuts will be nicer and the blades will last longer. Adjustable feed is really nice too. If there is too much downward pressure on the blade it can deflect and make weird cuts.

    I have not priced out bandsaws for home use, so some of the feature I'm mentioning might be in a much higher price range. The saw I use daily is a $15K saw capable of cutting a solid piece of steel 10" x 16".

    Rene
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I gotta disagree on some points. The chop saw has it's place. I use it a lot for tube "notching" and quickly hacking up strip and tube. And for those applications; faster, more economical, and easier than my band saw, especially if it's not already set up right (like wrong tooth pitch blade, vertical and I need horizontal, etc.). That said, if I had to get one, it would be the band saw. In fact, I got my band saw long before the chop saw (which I got only when I started my cage).
     
  16. 81jimmyslt

    81jimmyslt 1/2 ton status

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2005
  17. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    The only use I have for a chop saw is to cut hardened steel. I've done that exactly once making a lathe tool to make some VW buggy parts.

    Bandsaw. I have the $180 HF one with the "Rong Fu" brand name. Took a little tweaking on the part of it's former owner, but it cuts straight and has been for going on 15 years. I used to operate a 'real' bandsaw like Rene's and this isn't even close to the same league, but for home use it is fine. Coolant would be nice though.
     
  18. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    Portaband. Great for alot of uses. My favorite cutter.
     
  19. Zeus33rd

    Zeus33rd Smarter than you GMOTM Winner

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    I absolutely detest abrasive wheel chop saws. Immposible to get a square accurate cut. Like Rene said, you can cut straiter with angle grinder and thin cut off wheel. Bandsaw all the way. Or one of these things..
    http://www.dewalt.com/us/products/tool_detail.asp?productID=159
    [​IMG]

    I've never used one but it seems to me like they'd be pretty frickin cool. Has anyone here ever used one? There's also a link to video clip on that page. Be sure to ckeck it out.

    If you really wanna go all out, get one of these..
    [​IMG]
    http://www.brobo-usa.com/prod02.htm

    The best precision metal cutting saw on the planet. We have 4 of them at work that get used 18 hours a day cutting tube in production envirionment. Perfectly square, almost burless cuts. They run a coolant flood on the blade to keep it cool. Will make a prefectly square, straight cut in 2.5" .375 wall DOM in less than a minute. $4k ea pricetag. :blush:
     
  20. bigblock44k5

    bigblock44k5 1/2 ton status

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    They are both chopsaws with different style cutting wheels.
     

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