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Cut Off Saw or Radial Arm Saw?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by fireplug, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Wouldn't a Radial with a metal cutting disk work just as well? I'm looking at making a purchase, but I'd love to buy one tool not two. Any reason to purchase a metal cut off in particular?
     
  2. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I have never seen anyone use a radial arm saw for metal cutting... Call the manufacturer? Though I bet they will say NO! Cold saws are the way to go if you can afford it. For simply 90* cuts and a bit of an angle I much prefer a horizontal bandsaw to a cut off saw. Much less mess, cleaner cuts, a little slower, but its worth the time in cleanup. You can get a decent one off of Harbor Freight for like $200
     
  3. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I used my radial arm to cut some square tube. A friend had a cutoff blade and the HF angle grinder died. It is certainly not the best way, but with the right blade it will do in a pinch.
     
  4. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    The bandsaw is a good idea. Hmmmm.
     
  5. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Aren't the cutoff saws from HF really cheap? Even if you buy a good one, from my experience teh blades wobble all over the place anyways, so accuracy difference between a good one and a HF one probably isn't much.
    If its cheap enough, i'd get teh right tool for the job. Unless you are cutting really wide wood too, a chop saw (aka power miter saw) is a way better approach than a radial arm too. I only used a radial arm for rough stock work before moving onto a sliding compound miter saw.


    edit: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=91938

    I've never used one, but with my little experienec,e that would be my starter unit for metal cutting. Once your cutting metal, and have a welder, it woudl be easy to make a bigger/better table for it. I'm sure you'd get your $70 worth of cuts out of it.
     
  6. grimjaw

    grimjaw 1/2 ton status

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    Go with a Band Saw, your neighbors will thank you.


    and maybe your Fire Marshal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2006
  7. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Good point. cutoff wheels on whatever are loud as hell :doah:
     
  8. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    as well as leaving nasty metal flashing on the edges of the cuts, throwing sparks EVERYWHERE, and making fairly innaccurate cuts. I still haven't purchased a band saw and have no idea why I haven't...
     
  9. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Some excellent points. I was already a little concerned about the sparks, I work in an old building with sketchy construction. I'll have to check out Harbour Freight some more. Other than hearing about it hear on CK5 I've never seen one, or know where one is, they probably aren't in Canada.
     
  10. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Oh, yah, you are probably right. They do ship though, but it probably doesn't make sense in terms of $$$ after shipping.

    Basically that just sell a lot of cheap **** stuff.

    www.harborfreight.com
     
  11. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    some of its not total s hit. A lot of it is alright for the average joe. If you use a horizontal bandsaw everyday, then yea getting one from them is probably a bad idea. Basically if there is anything you use to make a living or use daily, I don't recommend their stuff. But I like buying really nice stuff... which gets expensive.
     
  12. fireplug

    fireplug 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds comparable to our Princess Auto. Man I never realized how 'British Colony' that is until I'm telling American's about it LOL! Anyway, tools, hardware, auto parts, all of lesser quality. Cool! It's always fun to look through there catalogue for deals though!
     
  13. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    yeah HF is the same as PA.

    except we have "power fist"

    if your space is low i would sugest a hand held bandsaw, very handy and acurate
     
  14. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    Yah, i agree. I didnt' mean it like i said it. A lot of their stuff is cheaply made, but for certain things, who cares.

    I'll run their angle grinders and just about anythign that doesnt' require precision, or i dont' use very often.


    Am i going to buy a sliding power miter saw? - no, but there can be great deals had for certain things. I have some of their larger impact sockets, cause i hardly ever use them.

    Thanks for making me straighten that out :)
     
  15. rdn2blazer

    rdn2blazer 1 ton status Premium Member

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    look into industrial suppliers like MSC, or Travers, they sell small band saw combo machines that can be used verticle or horizontal. I have an old one and it works fine. mine is an alltrade that is all cast iron and it cuts very straight. I hardly use my Porter Cable Port-a-band any more.

    I dont like a chop saw for those reasons explained earlier. have not had one for years, I like to use saws. I will but a cold saw one day when I can affors one, their pricy.
     
  16. bp71k5

    bp71k5 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I've used my miter saw with a metal blade in it a few times. It worked pretty well, but the problem is when the saw has a bunch of plastic parts on it for dust collection you get lots of little hot metal bits melted into it. :doah:
     
  17. thedrip

    thedrip 1/2 ton status

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    I ended up lighting my old miter saw on fire after cutting a bunch of steel for a project. The plastic fence melting until it was unusable was bad enough, then when everything lit on fire, I just kept using it because I was pissed at it. Ended up melting the fence off, the safety guard around the blade broke off due to so much material missing. I'm surprised it didn't just all fall into pieces and try to kill me.
     
  18. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 1/2 ton status

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    I did the same thing to my old makita unit. The plastic just burst into flames from the heat. I bought a nice Craftsman chop saw with cast iron base after that. It works well, but isn't too accurate. I make rough cuts, then grind down until everything is exact. IDK why, but i should have spent the $200 on a cheap bandsaw. Although i really have no space to put it.:doah:
     
  19. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    I just bought a Ryobi chop saw as my harbor frieght one burned up. I like the chop saw over the band saw becuase of ease of transporting. If my buddy needs it I can throw it in the trunk and take it over there or if i need it at home I can do the same. once I get the shop back in full swing I would like a band saw though.
     
  20. darkshadow

    darkshadow 1 ton status

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    fire plug prinsses auto now has a cold saw for sale about 300 bucks with blade, would be a really cool option if you havent made a purchess yet.
     

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