I was looking at tools to make my annual wish list and noticed Milwaukee has a band file.
Does anyone have one, what are your thoughts? I can think of a few uses for it but not sure it it is the best use of my money.

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Had one for work, Unless you are doing a lot of welding with small diameters it’s not worth it. A dremel and accessories are a better use of money for most other applications.

They are very cool though.


I personally own a Makita bandfile – a 120V AC powered one. I really enjoy having it, but I would not necessarily buy one just for FRC purposes, as they are quite expensive ($300) and have limited use. That said…

I have used mine for shaping of aluminum parts before, and it works quite well. I believe it could be a useful tool for fabricating replacement parts in the pit too – use a jigsaw or a bandsaw to get close, then use the bandfile to adjust final fit.

The one place it really came in handy this year (I lent it to the team) was for smoothing the edges of a plasma-cut steel bellypan. We went through a dozen or so Dremel sanding drums before switching to the bandfile. The main advantage of the bandfile is that the belt is so much longer than a little sanding drum. It both increases the area of the sanding surface, and it gives the part of the surface that has just been used plenty of time to cool down before it hits the work again.

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I recently bought a Wen 120V power file for myself. I think it .was .Allen at Spectrum who recommended it. When our team tried it, they bought one too.

You can find similar cheaper options with a quick google search for Finger Sander

I’ve found these to be extremely useful for things like cleaning up brazed and welded joints, but that doesn’t tend to come up much in frc applications.

While maybe not exactly what you’re looking for, I also really like the micro belt sander my college shop has. While not quite as mobile as a finger sander, it’s small belt and removable backstop/part rest make it super useful for deburring strangely shaped parts or weld prep. Best of all it’s relatively inexpensive at $60

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I recently snagged my bandfile back. Also the Mikita. I loved the thing when I was working with it, made short work of touching up small (3/4 inch) internal radius parts.dinr have a huge use for it currently, but it’s a high quality tool with minimal hours, it will last me the rest of my life.

Heh. My bandfile has a lot of hours on it – mostly demolishing and shaping fiberglass. A friend of mine just got the new brushless-cordless Makita, which he says is excellent because it has plenty of torque at low speed – something most corded tools lack. Fiberglass abrades much more quickly than even aluminum, so the low speed performance is critical.

Another option is to make your own using a M12 cutoff tool (or similar cutoff tool) and a air powered bandfile. Prior to Milwaukee releasing the version in the first post this was one of the better options if you wanted a cordless bandfile. There is not much of a cost advantage compared anymore. Additionally the new M12 version has a few minor advantages such as 2 belt speeds and tool free angle adjustment.

I have had my home assembled version for a few years and find it is a handy option for edge deburring and rough shaping. It also works great to grind excessively long (pointed) screws flush in tight places. Probably more useful to a welder/fabricator but still worthwhile for a robotics team if you already have the essential covered.

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