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Thread: Cut Off saw recommendations?

  1. #1
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    Default Cut Off saw recommendations?

    Hi all. I am going to (Eventually) get a Cut Off saw. I tried using the Makita 4 1/2" Angle grinder (9564CV) to cut different things. Sq Tube, Flat bar. I find(Because of the forward aux handle) that its hard for me to use. And its not like a circular saw with a flat base.

    Anyway I am considering 3 different models.

    Makita 2414NB
    Bosch 3814
    Dewalt D28710- I don't trust the tool less blade changes. Heard horror stories about them coming loose.

    All just under $200. Within about $30 of each.

    The Dewalt has a nice handle.

    Makita has easy to replace brushes. And a local factory repair center/warehouse. I am leaning towards this due to previous experience with their tools.

    Bosch, German company. Known for good tools. Haven't seen one in person yet.

    What do think?

    Thanks
    Elantramax1

  2. #2

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    I'd go for a band saw. Your shop and your cuts will be much cleaner. http://www.harborfreight.com/horizon...saw-93762.html + 25% off coupon = $187.50
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  3. #3

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    Have you thought about a horizontal or portable band-saw. We use it probably more that the chop saw, but there is a floor space cost.

    We use Hitachi 4 1/2" grinders (due to a great deal Jake found online a while back).

    All the brands you mentioned are good companies. And, well, the German's "generally" make great products, but you pay the price. Stihl, Fein, BMW, etc.
    Mike R.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoama View Post
    I'd go for a band saw. Your shop and your cuts will be much cleaner. http://www.harborfreight.com/horizon...saw-93762.html + 25% off coupon = $187.50
    Thanks Zoama. I have used Band Saws in the past. For wood. That model looks scary. I would have to see that in a store first. I don't quite understand. The head moves. I clamp the piece. Swing the head down into it?

    Thanks
    Elantramax1

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by everlastsupport View Post
    Have you thought about a horizontal or portable band-saw. We use it probably more that the chop saw, but there is a floor space cost.

    We use Hitachi 4 1/2" grinders (due to a great deal Jake found online a while back).

    All the brands you mentioned are good companies. And, well, the German's "generally" make great products, but you pay the price. Stihl, Fein, BMW, etc.
    The Makita is the Cheaper of the three. Bosch and Dewalt are roughly the same price. The Bosch has the bigger capacity.

    Portable Band saw? I have a broken collar bone that never healed right. And Tendonitis in the same shoulder. Trane took me off some jobs because of my physical limitations. Cut Off saw would be easier for me to use. I have a Belt/Disc sander that can clean up the cuts. As long as the miter gauge doesn't melt. Craftsman plastic junk. Its a benchtop model.

  6. #6
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    I have a previous model of the Makita. It is a good unit and served me well for many years. However, I almost never use it anymore since getting the dry cut saw you asked about in the other thread. While abrasive saws get the job done, and the blades are cheap, they put a lot of heat into the part, struggle with thicker cross sections, and throw abrasive grit everywhere. Every kind of saw has good and bad points, and depending on what you are doing, you can match the saw to your work. I think the dry cut carbide saws are a good compromise of features and performance.

    For a real workhorse it's hard to match a horizontal bandsaw. While not speed demons, they can cut unattended and you can stack a bunch of material to be cut together. They can also handle solids up to their capacity, as well as all types of metals.

    For the cleanest, most precise, and burr free cutting, you can't beat a cold saw. They will hold parts to a thou or two all day long, and can also handle thick cross sections. The problem with both of these saws is that the good ones carry a pretty substantial price tag. ($1000 and up) They are also big and heavy, and require a messy coolant system.

    For aluminum you can use just about any saw made for wood. So a miter saw, table saw and vertical bandsaw all work great.

    Abrasive saws work well on steel sections and tubing, as well as smaller flatbar and rounds. They do tend to leave a substantial burr that you might have to grind off. They will cut stainless, but not as thick, and will usually put too much heat into the cut edges so you will have some loss of corrosion resistance from that. You can also get some cross contamination if you use the same blade for carbon steel and stainless. They do not like thick material and they are not recommended for cutting aluminum or other non-ferrous metals. On the plus side, they don't care about cutting through hardened steel, welds, torch cut edges, broken drills, taps, or anything else that might be tough on a cutting edge. They are not super accurate, because the blade itself wears down and also gets thinner. Again it all depends on what you need. For most welding projects, they are more than good enough. Blades coming loose isn't really a problem with these saws. The blade would just slip on the arbor and would not be much of a safety issue. What does happen is that the blades can explode when run up to speed. This happens for a few reasons, but the guards do seem to contain the fragments so while scary, it usually doesn't injure. This can happen from getting a blade wet, cutting aluminum, a damaged blade, or exceeding the rated speed. The fibre reinforced blades are probably less prone to this, but I prefer the Makita blades with no fibre, so I have had a couple go poof on me.

    Then there are dry cut carbide saws. They handle most any metal, but there are specialty blades for stainless. They don't need coolant, and leave a pretty clean, almost burr free cut. They can do thin sections up to solids, and put very little heat into the part. They do throw hot chips, but nothing abrasive. The blades are not cheap, and they can be damaged by abuse, since they are carbide and brittle. So it pays to take care of them, where abrasive blades are so cheap you don't have to care what happens to them.

    BTW Bosch are now mostly made in Malaysia, Mexico, or China. It seems like both Makita and DeWalt have gone downhill as well, in the quality department.
    FWIW My Makita is still on the original brushes going on 20 years plus and several hundred blades. (I do make it a point to blow the grit out of the motor when I change blades)
    AFAIK Milwaukee and Porter Cable also make pretty nice chop saws, last time I looked, but it's been a while.
    Last edited by Rambozo; 09-13-2014 at 12:42 PM. Reason: took so long everyone beat me to the punch
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    Thanks Zoama. I have used Band Saws in the past. For wood. That model looks scary. I would have to see that in a store first. I don't quite understand. The head moves. I clamp the piece. Swing the head down into it?

    Thanks
    Elantramax1
    Yep, that's how it works, nothing scary about it.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  8. Default

    There is no one type of metal cutting tool that will be best for all types of cuts. To me if I could only have one , my first pick would be a portaband type saw. I have found that there are many times that a 4 1/2 grinder with a cutting blade is the only thing to use , particularly in tight spots. Just an FYI they do make a guard with a slid shoe for cutting blades for a 4 1/2 grinder. I have one I use on a grinder set up with a carbide tiped blade for cutting alum. skegs off of outboard motors when I need to weld on a new one. It would work with an abrasive cut of blade too but does reduce the depth of cut you can get from a 4 1/2 in grinder. Even a sawzall has its place and there are times when it is the tool of choice. I do a lot of work in a saw mill and I try to not use a torch or plasma unless I have to, because of fire danger. I have to carry a vast assortment of cutting tools to use in different situations . I have found I need them all from a hand held dry cut saw to a sawzall in order to do what needs to be done.
    For about a year I was stubborn and did not want to buy a new horizontal cut off saw. ( I had an old cheap one That I purchased about 25 years ago ) Mainly because of cost. A good one can be anywhere from $2500 to $5000. About 2 months ago I took a gamble on the harbor freight heavy duty band saw . With a 25% off coupon and a sale I walked out with it for a little over $600. I did not expect a lot ( since I all ready had a version of their cheaper horz. band saw ) I will have to say I have beed very impressed with the new saw. Once I got it all squared up it now will cut an 6x10 tube square within 1/32 of an inch all day long. The only thing It needs is a good finer tooth blade put on it . I am very pleased with it now.
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  9. #9
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    Thanks. I'll check with Makita to see if they offer one for my model.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    The Makita is the Cheaper of the three. Bosch and Dewalt are roughly the same price. The Bosch has the bigger capacity.

    Portable Band saw? I have a broken collar bone that never healed right. And Tendonitis in the same shoulder. Trane took me off some jobs because of my physical limitations. Cut Off saw would be easier for me to use. I have a Belt/Disc sander that can clean up the cuts. As long as the miter gauge doesn't melt. Craftsman plastic junk. Its a benchtop model.
    Horizontal is probably what Zoama meant (vertical works well too though) we have two horizontals. The portable ones you can make stands for them. But still hold them if you like. And the 4 1/2" grinder/cut-off can be much worse and less forgiving.

    Dry cut like Ram said is the way to go if you have not spent the cash yet on a chop saw. It has been on my list for some time.
    Mike R.
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    877-755-9353 x203
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    FYI: PP50, PP80, IMIG-200, IMIG-250P, 210EXT and 255EXT.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by everlastsupport View Post
    Horizontal is probably what Zoama meant (vertical works well too though) we have two horizontals. The portable ones you can make stands for them. But still hold them if you like. And the 4 1/2" grinder/cut-off can be much worse and less forgiving.

    Dry cut like Ram said is the way to go if you have not spent the cash yet on a chop saw. It has been on my list for some time.
    Yep, I put a link in my first post. They come with a small table for vertical use too. http://www.harborfreight.com/horizon...saw-93762.html
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

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    Wow, 90 Day Warranty. I am not doing anything yet. Not until Finances improve.

    Thanks all!!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    Wow, 90 Day Warranty. I am not doing anything yet. Not until Finances improve.

    Thanks all!!
    I've been using one for 10 years and it's better than new... since I built a taller stand for it. http://www.everlastgenerators.com/fo...dsaw-Long-Legs It's cut a lot of steel.
    2013 250EX : SSC Pedal : I-MIG 250P 20' Profax gun : Power Plasma 60 p80 torch : 3M Speedglas 9100XX : Evolution Rage 3 DB cold saw

  14. #14
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    14 Gauge, Isn't that about 1/16" thick?

    I started buying 1" Sq. Tubing, 1/16" thick for a welding cart. Got 3, 4 Ft pieces already. Have a rough idea in my head on how I am building it. Need to sit down with a tape measure for dimensions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    14 Gauge, Isn't that about 1/16" thick?

    I started buying 1" Sq. Tubing, 1/16" thick for a welding cart. Got 3, 4 Ft pieces already. Have a rough idea in my head on how I am building it. Need to sit down with a tape measure for dimensions.
    16 ga. is 1/16" 14 is a bit thicker. You can also look at the free Google Sketchup program to play with your designs before you commit them to metal. It's a lot easier to catch a mistake or make a revision on the screen then cutting apart and rewelding parts.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambozo View Post
    16 ga. is 1/16" 14 is a bit thicker. You can also look at the free Google Sketchup program to play with your designs before you commit them to metal. It's a lot easier to catch a mistake or make a revision on the screen then cutting apart and rewelding parts.
    I just looked at Tractor Supply website. They sell the 1" Sq. Tube in both 16 Gauge and 1/16". The 1/16" is more expensive. Maybe its Slightly thicker??

    I think I am going to get the Makita Cut Off saw. It will do what I want. The price isn't bad either. Don't have the space to use a Band Saw. I am working in my fathers basement.

    Believe it or not, I am pretty good at designing things in my head. Just a pencil and paper. Add a Calculator. I'm good to go. What I have trouble with is, Angles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elantramax1 View Post
    I just looked at Tractor Supply website. They sell the 1" Sq. Tube in both 16 Gauge and 1/16". The 1/16" is more expensive. Maybe its Slightly thicker??

    I think I am going to get the Makita Cut Off saw. It will do what I want. The price isn't bad either. Don't have the space to use a Band Saw. I am working in my fathers basement.

    Believe it or not, I am pretty good at designing things in my head. Just a pencil and paper. Add a Calculator. I'm good to go. What I have trouble with is, Angles.
    You really should find an industrial steel supplier near you. Those prices at TSC are ridiculous. One big plus to designing in software or even on paper first is getting the best use from your raw material. It sucks when you have two 6" leftover scraps, and what you need is a 12" piece to finish. So you end up having to put a welded seam where you didn't want one, or buy another full length of material. Often you can adjust a non critical dimension by a small amount to make your pieces fit the material better. So instead of a 12" wide cart, you make it 11.750 and then all your parts will come out of one 20' piece. Also having a full cut list is nice when you buy steel. Angle, channel, and flatbar typically come in 20' lengths, while tube is often only 12'. You can usually get them cut in half for free to make it easier to transport. But if you know where your cuts need to be you might want that 20' piece cut into a 9' and 11' instead of two 10' so your parts will all fit.

    Yeah a chop saw is way more portable than a horizontal bandsaw. But if you are working in a basement, be aware that a chop saw throws a shower of sparks so make sure you have a place where you can control that away from flammable things. That is another advantage to a dry cut saw, few if any sparks. However, since they are portable you might just take your chop saw outside to do your cutting. I try to do that whenever I can so the grit isn't all over the shop. Also be aware that although they look similar, the speeds are way different between an abrasive saw and a dry cut saw, so you can't just switch blade types.
    Long arc, short arc, heliarc and in-the-dark!

  18. #18

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    Planning your drops are a good thing money wise. Also we buy 20' on most projects. On the saw, abrasive chop saw will be the lower in price. And blades are cheap too. I hate the sparks and smell. Band saw is like Ronco, set it and forget it. We have plenty of both tools, prefer the hbs
    Mike R.
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  19. #19
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    Went to HFT today. Got the attachment for the Grinder to use as a Saw. It doesn't fit my Makita. Take it back tomorrow after work.

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