cutoff saw??

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Hello all, I don't have a cutoff saw and thinking about getting one to cut metal stuff with. How good are they? I'm sure they'd do good on small stuff <1/4", but what about cutting a 3/4"X6" bar - do they handle that type of cut very well?

What about this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NI2CF28/

I've not made up my mind yet on ordering, just wanted some input for the folks here.

Ken H>
 
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They are all pretty similar, so I'd expect a PC one to work just fine. I've cut about that size with my portaband and it wasn't too happy. I have a modified chop saw that I use now. One of those would be even better for the built in vise with heavy stuff. Mine is a wood miter saw that I put a metal cutoff wheel with matching specs on. It is an old metal craftsman that I bought used for $10. The blade was less than $5. But for long/heavy pieces I have to make sure I have support on the ends since there isn't a vise like those have.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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While a cutoff/chop saw would do your task, a far better tool would be a metal cutting bandsaw. They work horizontal and vertical. For our purposes, the ones at HF and similar places are fine. The 4X6 would do your 5X.75 bar. If you cut a lot of thick stock, get the 7X12 model. It has hydraulic cutting speed control and coolant flow. The smaller unit is around $290. The big unit is much better but runs around $1000. They go on sale regularly for $700.

I have cut solid 7" round stock on my 7X12.
 

Joshua Fisher

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I cut through a 3”x3” sledge hammer face with a chop saw and it only took 45 minutes to get a chunk off to throw into the forge. Hindsight being 2020 the portaband with a new 10 tpi blade or a oxyacetylene torch probably would have been faster. Even a angle grinder can be faster than the chop saw since you can use thinner blades. One advantage to the chop saw is it doesn’t matter if there is scale or if the piece is hardened but other than that a bandsaw would most likely be better.
 

Horsewright

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Was walking through the Depot with the wife just the other day. She stopped and looked at the chop saws cause she's kinda a tool girl. She asked me why I didn't have one. Told her I didn't need one. Bandsaw cuts whatever I need cutting.
 

fitzo

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I liked having a chop saw in the smithy. Cheap enough it becomes a forgotten expense quickly. Useful enough it is missed once one doesn't have it any longer. Like my smithy... :(

That said, my Taiwanese 4x6 was my second large purchase after a floor drill press back about "83. Damned thing's still running. It's also made me wish a thousand times I had the 7x12 out in the garage, too.

I want to try one of these new-ish 20V battery DeWalt cutoff grinders I see on FiF all the time. Tooltime stuff. :)

My take would be, Ken, if you get one, you'll find it has uses, especially for the damascus maker. That 3/4 x6" cut will be really annoying, though.
 
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kdnolin

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I have a 14” chop saw at work. Has a carbide tipped metal cutting blade. Works great on mild steel the awesome for aluminum, but I’m sure if the steel was hardened to any degree, the carbides would chip and break off immediately.
 
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The mention of a 3/4"X6" bar isn't something I'm looking to cut, just wondering about the possibility of that large. Perhaps I should have mentioned I've got a HF type 4X6" bandsaw that works good, a Milwaukee portaband that's good, and my biggest "pride 'n joy" of cutting tools is a 14" Rikon bandsaw with the variable speed option. Doesn't take long to change blades from 4,000 SFPM wood blade to a 5100 SFPM metal cutting blade, and any speed between.

Today I made a cutoff tool for the hardy hole on the anvil - maybe that will work for hot billets? I've been using the 4-1/2" grinder abrasive disks that work pretty darn good.

Thanks to all for the comments - I'm still thinking. I'll admit I'm a bit of a tool junkie, see new tool, gotta have new tool type person.
 

fitzo

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Using a hardy-hole cutter smears the pattern on a damascus billet, such as what they do intentionally to make feather damascus. Something to bear in mind.
 
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AW Shucks Mike - and I was thinking that'd be a way to cut billets. I do understand what you're saying. I guess I can say with my trusty old 4-1/2" grinder {g}
 

Drew Riley

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They have their place, but for me it's few and far between. For 99% of what I've ever used one for, I'd have much rather used my horizontal bandsaw. They're super noisy, they throw dust and sparks everywhere, they've got a big kerf, and they don't always make that accurate or clean of a cut, depending on what you're cutting.

They're not terrible for some of the materials that are a little rougher on bandsaw blade teeth, and you don't necessarily have to worry about tooth count or dulling the blade.

I looked into getting one that used a carbide tipped blade a while back, but really just because it looked a little quicker and easier to set up for miter cuts. I never pulled the trigger though.
 
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I have a chop saw and use it a lot. It is noisy and does throw sparks. I have it under a shed where nothing can catch fire. I have a harbor freight type bandsaw and it cuts really really slow. The chop saw is much faster.
I also have a porta band saw with a swag table. Really nice set up, but the chop saw still cuts much faster.
I cut a lot of 1/4" angle iron and again the chop saw is much faster. When I make Damascus I cut the billet apart with the chop saw. Again much faster.
If you haven't tried a chop saw , "Don't knock it if you haven't tried it."
 

Hubert S.

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I want to try one of these new-ish 20V battery DeWalt cutoff grinders I see on FiF all the time. Tooltime stuff. :)
I have one of those and it's really nice for light duty work, but don't expect to do a lot of cutting with it. I cut off a piece of 1/4"x8" mild steel flat stock one time on a newly charged battery and the battery was dead at the end of the cut.
 

fitzo

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I have one of those and it's really nice for light duty work, but don't expect to do a lot of cutting with it. I cut off a piece of 1/4"x8" mild steel flat stock one time on a newly charged battery and the battery was dead at the end of the cut.

Good to know. Thank you!
 

ChristoDart

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No offense to anyone who has one but I would never get the battery powered portaband for this application. If it’s connected to a swag table it’s not going anywhere and corded (IMHO) is the way to go. They are great.
 
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I want to try one of these new-ish 20V battery DeWalt cutoff grinders I see on FiF all the time. Tooltime stuff. :)
If you're talking about the battery powered 4-1/2" Dewalt grinders I wouldn't waste my money. I'm "assuming" the DeWalt is about the same as the Porter-Cable 20 vdc battery powered I've got. Stays on the shelf 99% of the time, and the 1% of the time when I drag it out I tend to use it a bit, then go get the 120vac 4-1/2" grinder to finish the job. If you've got a tiny bit of light grinding then it will usually do the job, but not any "real" grinding. Just doesn't have the power to do much.

With that said, I do LOVE my battery powered tools. Seldom do I use anything but battery powered drills, and even the battery powered sawsall and skilsaw (circular saw?) are good for most work. Grinder - not so much.
 

fitzo

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If you're talking about the battery powered 4-1/2" Dewalt grinders I wouldn't waste my money. I'm "assuming" the DeWalt is about the same as the Porter-Cable 20 vdc battery powered I've got. Stays on the shelf 99% of the time, and the 1% of the time when I drag it out I tend to use it a bit, then go get the 120vac 4-1/2" grinder to finish the job. If you've got a tiny bit of light grinding then it will usually do the job, but not any "real" grinding. Just doesn't have the power to do much.

With that said, I do LOVE my battery powered tools. Seldom do I use anything but battery powered drills, and even the battery powered sawsall and skilsaw (circular saw?) are good for most work. Grinder - not so much.

Thanks, Ken. That’s two don’t hold them highly. Enough for me.

Thank you, gentlemen, for saving me the money and disappointment.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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The best port-a-band IMHO is an old all metal body heavy duty Milwaukee corded unit. These had a very deep cutting depth and are beasts. Add a SWAG table and it will cut steel all day long. They can often be found for less than $100.
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