Anybody have a model number of a good band-saw (one to cut aluminum) that is not too expensive?

Works for us:

Change out the included blade for a bi-metal blade. Add larger wheels to make it more portable (if portability is needed). Look at adding a vertical table that would enable you to cut on a table without having to remove the table when you want to cut horizontially. (see yahoo bandsaw group)

Also, look for 20% off coupons, check further for additional sale prices. Should be able to get for $179. Also talk to the nearest store manager saying it’s for a school. Big doey eyes might also help. <grin>

The above is a horizontal bandsaw. I’ll list a few vertical bandsaws. I’m not sure which you were looking for.

I would not recommend anything smaller than a 14" vertical bandsaw. What thickness and shape of metal do you plan to cut?

I have a 14" Delta model 28-176 that works just fine for cutting aluminum and plastic. It is really more of a woodworking saw, but with the right blade it cuts aluminum just fine. I like the easy adjustments on the blade guides. Make sure whatever you get has easy adjusters on the blade guides.

If you have the money for it, the Wilton Tradesman would really be the model to get, as it’s actually designed for cutting metal.

Many people have also said good things about the 4-speed Harbor Freight 67595. I’ve seen it on sale for $299, and you can use a 20% off coupon on top of that.

If you’re looking for something local, Lowes has a Porter Cable 14" that has replaced the Delta they used to sell. While it is 2-speed, it lacks the fine adjustments on the blade guides.

No matter which band saw you get, please :eek: learn how to adjust it properly. The machine does take some effort to adjust, a mis-adjusted machine will cut but poorly, a properly adjusted one will cut beautifully and last longer, too.

The right blade is important too, buy a few as they get dull in less than one build season.

Also please get a metal cutting saw. most saws on the market are for wood, and while you can get away with it you will dull your blades because the speeds are different. One of the horizontal/vertical units linked to above is a good choice especially if you are going to be making a tube frame as it can be used for accurate cuts.

Many horizontal metal saws, even inexpensive ones, will also convert to a verticle saw. Typically the saw module lifts up and locks in verticle position, and a small work table is inserted around the blade to support a workpiece. Highly recommend you look for this feature. Almost no cost difference and it is like two saws in one.

Thanks for the input!

We are looking for a vertical bandsaw but we’ll definetly consider getting a saw that does both vertical and horizontal.

On the machine calibration, that is the exact reason we are looking for a new one. We purchased one last year that was a wood working saw with a bi-metal blade but the cut completely sucked. Looking into it, the speed were way off so now we are trying to find the right one for cutting aluminum

Unless you have some other way to cut long stock, horizontal is pretty essential for cutting long pieces from long stock. You can only cut as deep as the throat of the the saw on most verticle saws. Horizontal can also make more accurate square and miter cuts automatically, and can run unassisted through a long cut. Not sure how we would operate without one. Basically horizontal is better for cutting and mitering stock, verticle is better for sheet material, freehand work, and wood work.

What’s wrong with the cut? Perhaps it just needs adjustment. Also, if it is a belt drive it would be easy to slow down.

We use a cutoff saw, handheld, for cutting steel and threaded rod. We use an old 8" miter saw for cutting aluminum angle, 8020, pvc pipe, etc., and a 14" delta bandsaw for sheet aluminum, wood, and lexan.

we use a horizontal, it works great, and the problem with all-purpose blades is that the cut is extremely coarse for metal. we use the bandsaw mostly for cutting angle aluminum for brackets. we use a sawzall for everything else except wood, for that we have our school’s woodshop. another thing is that you can’t use abrasive cutters w/ aluminum, it gums up the disc, but it’s fine for steel. then again, how much steel do you really work with when building a robot?

The cut was rough and the blades went dull very quickly. One of our mentors looked at the possibility of changing gear ratios, since it is a belt drive, but it would take a lot of modification to cut the speed down to a 1/10 of what it is now. Also some of the mechanisms to keep the blade inline were never great

You could buy or make a stand for a portaband type saw if it is large enough for you. Or just make a better horizontal table for the Harbor Freight type.