Review Horizontal / Vertical Metal Cutting Band Saw

Discussion in 'Welding' started by rbstern, Jun 8, 2020.

  1. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Picked this up to replace the truly bad Chicago Electric abrasive cut-off saw

    Saw went together pretty quickly. It was missing one of the pulley set screws; I had to re-thread the hole to use a substitute set screw I had on hand. That was annoying, but not unusual for a HF machine to be missing a small part.

    The saw is heavy, at 143 lbs., so help is needed to lift the saw onto the included base or, in my case, I used a winch (also HF) attached to rafters in my garage to lift it onto the base.

    The base itself feels a bit flimsy. It's certainly adequate for the job of supporting the saw, but it doesn't scream heavy duty by any stretch. I discarded the stock mobile wheels and axle in favor of making a more mobile base platform from two of the small HF furniture dollies, screwed together with a couple of lengths of 2x4s. It raises the saw up a bit higher off the floor, which makes it more comfortable to do setup work with.

    hf bandsaw.jpg

    The saw was trued to 90 degrees out of the box. The vise built into the base is very heavy duty and holds the workpiece extremely well. In this case, I was making a test cut by slicing a small piece off a length of 2x2 10ga A500 square tube. With the stock blade, the saw made a beautiful cut. It's slow working, but well worth the wait.

    first slice.jpg

    I did a test cut at 45 and got similarly good results.

    The stock blade has a bad reputation for not lasting very long, so I also bought the Supercut bimetal blade they sell at HF. The Supercut blades for the 93" wood bandsaw have worked well in my wife's shop for years, and she uses that saw pretty hard, so I feel confident the bimetal blade will be good quality (USA made, too).

    Bottom line, this seems to be an incredible value for $199 after coupon. Even allowing for a bit extra spent on a custom stand and a more expensive aftermarket blade, it's still huge bang for the buck. Several of the major workshop tool brands sell this saw, clearly from the same factory, with varying bells and whistles. Nobody comes close to the HF price.
     
  2. rbstern

    rbstern Administrator Staff Member

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    Follow up on this product after some extended use: Can't say enough good things about this saw so far.

    I've made at least 20 cuts on the original HF blade. A lot of angled cuts on 2" A500 tube with 1/8" walls. Go slow, with plenty of lube oil. I even damaged the blade (droped the head on a work piece, dented a couple of teeth on the blade) and it still cuts nicely, albeit with a bit of "skip" in every revolution of the blade.

    Here are the walking axle frame assemblies I cut for a log arch I'm building. Welding fitted joints after the are cut on the bandsaw is so much easier than welding joints cut with an angle grinder or chop saw.

    At some point, I'll build some type of drip oiler fixture so I don't have to be nearby with the lube.

    IMG_20200618_223718754[1].jpg
     

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