Horizontal Band Saw Recommendations

Good Morning CD,

I’ve gotta spend the rest of our state funding money that our school district provides us each season and I’m looking at purchasing a horizontal band-saw to replace the cutting that we’ve been doing with a chop-saw….my least favorite tool in the entire world.

What saws do teams have that hold up well over time? Any blade recommendations as well would be great.

My initial search brought me to this machine but I’m going to have to provide a set of multiple quotes on this so I can’t probably get exactly what I want, but I’m not sure yet.

The horizontal band saw our team uses is the https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-Portable-Band-Saw-Table-48-08-0260/100059645
The cut isn’t the best in the world and the stand isn’t very rigid because it is meant to be portable, but it works well for our mainly aluminum round and box tube cutting. And we usually use a bandsaw or mill to face it down after the saw cut. I’m not sure what you’re looking for, but this bandsaw is in a whole different league than the one included in our post, but works well for our uses.
[Deep Cut Portable Band Saw https://a.co/d/6zDsZoE](Deep Cut Portable Band Saw https://a.co/d/6zDsZoE)

Hydmech or Do-All are two saw brands that are well respected in industry. I’m personally a big fan of the Hydmech saw that we have here at CWRU, but looking at even used prices they don’t seem to be particularly affordable as far as FRC tools go.

Edit: totally forgot to mention this, but as far as blade stock goes I highly recommend a blade welder and buying bulk blade material if you can. It not only allows you to save money on blades but you can also do neat things with the welder like cut the blade, put it through a hole, and weld it back together for internal features.

This saw (and many others like it) is a rebranded machine made in China that about 20 different vendors sell with different paint jobs and badging. You can probably find it cheaper elsewhere. Grizzly has the 7"x12" version for $2,895. Dake may have a better warranty than some of the other resellers but it’s the same basic machine.

I’d rather have this from Grizzly, for less money.

I have some experience with harbor freight’s better of the 2 models they offer at $1399. I know I know harbor freight but I can only say good things about it and it looks to be a similar story with rebranded models, it looks like Jet sells the exact same one.

Had the G9743 for several years at 696. It worked well, and we got it to a point where it could make very nice straight and accurate cuts. We ran a Lennox blade on it. Turning a dial on the gearbox to cut steel was much easier than changing a belt position. That said, there are better saws out there. The stop on this saw is not great. We replaced the hydraulic downfeed cylinder once. At one time the hinge was binding from being packed with chips. We broke one bolt on the vise. Oh, and it will drip/throw coolant on the floor because the catch pan is not big enough. We had to extend it, which gets in the way of the clamp handle. So, it has it’s faults, but it’s still an okay saw. I’d be looking for one with a larger coolant catch pan though.

You could also consider a cold saw. I, too, really didn’t like the students using a typical chop saw to cut aluminum. One mistake and either fingers or pieces go flying. You’d have to work pretty hard to hurt yourself with a cold saw which turns at a super low RPM. We have this one and love it but there are cheaper ones out there. Manual Coldsaw | CS-250EU Circular Cold Saw | Baileigh Industrial

We have this one in our engineering lab. It’s been a workhorse for us. As long as you maintain it and check your blade tension and wear regularly it’s great.

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Cold saws are great, just less versatile than bandsaws. One optimized for aluminum will be running at more like 3000 rpm. The slow ones are really for ferrous materials, though they work on aluminum.

A cold saw is definitely way better & safer than trying to cut aluminum with a standard miter saw - the vises are worlds superior.

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