Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Metal bandsaw vs chop saw - which to choose ?

Recommended Posts

Hello All;



I'm doing some re-organizing of my shop; and in the metal-sawing departement , I've decided to keep only one saw.

The contestants are : a metal bandsaw - the relatively cheap ones with the cheesy yet strong feet and crap wheels. I'll attach a similar picture. This bandsaw works really good, and can also be used for finder work; as you can stand it upright and use it as a light table saw. I put some lennox bi-metal fine tooth saw on it, very good. However; making it cutting straight requires some fiddeling, and I've had to replace the saw-guide bearings already once. It cuts nice; but tends to not cut straight down if you apply too much pressure. It's fairly low-powered (350 W at 2 fase 220V), but it can saw through a train track if you give it 30 minutes and add some WD-40 ... It's clamp is somewhat flimsy, but it works. And if something goes wrong, the bandsaw will grab and motor will stop spinning as it's not that powerful. 

The other contestant is a saw given to me by my dad; it's a BEWO chop saw; but not the fast rotating kind nor the carbide tipped, but a relatively slow rotation speed (60 rpm) , but Enormous amounts of torque, and a couple super fine HSS 10 inch (250 mm saws). It lives on it's ridiculously heavy stand, with an integrated flood coolant system.  This saw weight in at 500 pounds,  There's no clamp anymore; So I just use the clamp backing and some extremely heavy bessey welders /fitters clamps. This one can cut through a train track in under 3 minutes - including re-positioning the track once to cut from the other side. It cuts 40 mm square solid iron like it was butter, stone cold result, perfectly 90° flat cut, almost no burr.  This motor runs 2000W at 3 fase 380 V.  

One saw is obviously more much powerful, precise, lower maintenance and industrial heavy duty, but in my opinion also more dangerous, as there's tons more force on the HSS saw blade.  It is however not as flexible as the band saw and not as mobile. 

Given that I mostly do knifemaking and basic metal works; which one would you keep ?





Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd go for the cold saw every time, but I've only had little use of a metal bandsaw, so others with more bandsaw exp may disagree. I suspect your relatively cheap bandsaw will have to work hard at the risk of maintainence and renewal of guide bearings etc. There isn't a lot of inherent risk in a cold saw, but a sound clamping system is a no brainer, because while it may be low speed, it has torque to burn.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ditto. Plus I'd much rather move the bandsaw. Truth be told I'd keep them both. I'd just push the bandsaw as far back into a corner of the shop as possible, because it's the easiest to move. If I had to get rid of one since I don't have any way to move the cold saw except by hand the bandsaw would be finding a new home.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you decide later to replace the one you got rid of---which would be easier and cheaper to replace?

Actually for knife making I would get rid of both and get a good vertical bandsaw so you can cut profiles out for blades and guards.

For smithing involving a lot of heavy stock cutting---railings and gates for instance; the cold saw wins hands down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depends on your use.  If you were doing quite a bit of fabrication in profiles which would fit the cold saw, I'd keep that without hesitation over the band saw.  Many benefits in that situation, especially precision.  However, if you are mostly just lopping off hunks for the forge and doing some loose fabrication, I'd keep the bandsaw and sell the cold saw...then use that money to enhance operations somewhere else.

Assuming you could only keep one and not both...but I'd keep both if at all possible.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...