Chopsaws And Bandsaws

A good band saw or chopsaw is worth the investment if you are interested in doing serious hobby welding. Although the angle grinder can be a valuable asset, and can substitute for the chopsaw or band saw, it cannot substitute completely for the speed or economy of either of the other two.

Bandsaws come in two forms, stationary, and portable. There are many cheap versions of both on the market today, so a lot of money doesn’t have to be outlaid to get into either. However, buying the cheapest thing you can find has its drawbacks. I typically recommend looking for a mid grade product. This way lifespan isn’t in question, and it typically has more to offer in the way of features. The portable bandsaws are attractive, because they can be used anywhere you can stretch a power cord. They are excellent at simple quick cuts. However, they are not easy to use to make an angled cut, nor are they known for their cut capacity, with many being limited to under 4 inch wide material, and 3-4 inch thick material, which makes sawing tubing or pipe difficult for the small ones. The stationary bandsaw has the advantage in making accurate cuts, particularly angled ones. These are typically no more in cost than a good quality portable bandsaws. But keep in mind they take up room that may be at a premium.

Chopsaws are great to have and are portable. They offer fast, fairly accurate cuts, but they also have their limitations. One of the major disadvantages is that they have a wide kerf. But if you are careful on measurement, it is not usually a problem. The abrasive blades used in most chop saws do wear out fairly quickly, can even bend if pressured to much and can create quite a dust/spark hazard. They also can detonate a blade if they are treated roughly. Add to that the noise factor. They are loud. But from a personal perspective, although I don’t use mine that much anymore, I would not sell it either, because when I need it, nothing else will work when I am out on the job site.