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Best turnkey metal cutting bandsaw on a budget?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Daniel Fairly Knives, Jul 27, 2011.

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  1. Dan Pierson

    Dan Pierson

    Nov 24, 2003
    I have both a cheap horizontal/verticle like the Harbor Freight and a Dewalt portaband with a SWAG table that clamps in a vise.

    Given a choice I far prefer using the portaband but the throat is very short so it's not useable for everything.
  2. butchesforge


    Nov 16, 2005
    Here is a quick and easy cutting table that you just clamp in the saw vise--

    By rsilver4 at 2011-07-28

    By rsilver4 at 2011-07-28
  3. Brian Ayres

    Brian Ayres

    Feb 4, 2011
    Our shop has all Milwaukie Portaband saws...Some 15+ years old....maybe even 20....most large cities will have a repair shop for parts or repairs for Milwaukie and Dewalt...I've worn out guide bearings and the rubber inserts on the drive wheels but only after hours and hours of use. We keep some in stock and just replace them ourselves...

    I'm fond of Dewalt because of their repair service. There's a repair center here in Portland. I once dropped off my personal Sawzall for repair at 4PM, and they shipped it next day air at N/C to my house, it arrived the next day at 9AM...

    At the UA local union hall in the shop, they have Milwaukie portaband saws mounted on a pipe vice.... :thumbup:
    pipe vice.jpg Moveable, and wired with a foot switch it's a dream........ The blades are easily bought, and seem to be a good price point because they make millions of them.
  4. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    lol and I'm still tempted to take it! Must resist urge! I already have a tiny shop. :D

    I'm going to look for good used saws locally also, everyone unloads everything here in the summer.
  5. james terrio

    james terrio Sharpest Knife in the Light Socket

    Apr 15, 2010
    The real joke is that shipping would probably cost more than I paid for the POS :D
  6. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011

    Thanks again guys for the opinions, links, and photos, excellent stuff here.
  7. KBamhi


    Jan 26, 2011
    Try your local Craigslist. I picked up ( 2 ) VH Jet Bandsaws on separate occasions for less than 100.00 each. Add a new blade, some decent legs with a catch tray. I even fabbed up hydraulic downfeed on mine. I use it at least a couple times a week.

    Attached Files:

  8. ShadowsHamon


    Jun 28, 2011
    I have the Harbor Freight red vert/horz bandsaw (as well as the bigger 93"), the Harbor Freight portaband and a DeWalt portaband. The HB portaband is the biggest POS I have ever wasted money on. The HF horizontal/vertical red bandsaw has been pretty decent to me. If you get it setup good it is not a bad buy (the wheels are useless), but I also only paid $140 (new) for it as I got a good deal from the store so I would say it is well worth that and has run good for about 2 years now. But the DeWalt portaband is very nice, very smooth and quite (for a power tool) and if I had to chose to only have one bandsaw in my shop, it would be the Dewalt partaband.

    I have also used just about every brand of portaband on the market (I was a pipe fitter for quite some time) and the Milwaukee's are good but I still prefer the DeWalts, just my opinion.
  9. weigeknives


    Mar 20, 2014
    I also bought the red bandsaw from Harbor Freight (1 HP 4" x 6" Horizontal/Vertical Metal Cutting Band Saw) and changed the blade to Lennox bi-metal immediately. The base didn't hold the top part's weight and I had to push extremely hard to get this thing to cut. I just took it back and am looking for something better.
  10. Kieran Klein

    Kieran Klein

    Feb 21, 2014
    Keep an eye out for equipment sales/auctions and the like. I got a metal bandsaw for $35 people were sleeping on that one!
  11. Salem Straub

    Salem Straub KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 20, 2008
    You both know this is an OLD thread, right?
  12. Kieran Klein

    Kieran Klein

    Feb 21, 2014
    I do now lol but my comments are still valid!:D
  13. AddictedToGear


    Aug 28, 2013
    I could use one too. I am thinking about a ports and Milwalkee or Dewalt with a SWAG table conversion so it becomes a vertical bandsaw.
  14. rickmenefee


    Jun 26, 2005
    Wilton gear reducer
  15. r-ice


    May 20, 2008
    I have the same set up and it cuts through stainless like butter. I mean that manual was brutal but once going it was great.
  16. EastCompassoKnivery


    Feb 26, 2014

    I have a 14 inch craftsman than i do a lot of re-sawing and handle material on and i was curious about the same thing as he was. My guess it that 1640 feet per second is two fast to cut metal with, am i wrong? But do you think that if i somehow lowered the voltage that it would slow the speed down if that would work? of course if i had the right blade.
  17. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    This is a four year old thread that has been resurrected once already. The info in his and the many other similar threads all say that a wood band saw is not the tool for cutting metal.
    Please check the dates before posting on a thread you pull up in a search.

    Thread closed.
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