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Thread: Maybe, Best Tool I Ever Bought...

  1. #1

    Maybe, Best Tool I Ever Bought...

    I'm a WW, not a MW, so every time I have to cut metal, I groan. Yesterday, I had to cut and weld some angle iron and I dreaded it. I went online and saw this tool... https://www.harborfreight.com/10-amp...bauer+band+saw
    Got it on sale for $95. Man, this was the best $95 I've spent in a long time. It works great and saved me sooooooo much work. Now I'm thinking about getting the Swag table for it. For an occasional user, I think it will last quite some time.
    Last edited by Derek Arita; 06-16-2019 at 5:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    East Virginia
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    699
    I'm a metalworker as well as woodworker, and I agree: Portaband is probably my handiest MW tool after the welders and angle grinders!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Leland, NC
    Posts
    449
    I was sorely tempted about 6 months ago to buy one of those. Watched every YouTube video about building a table for one, etc. I am still tempted, but I have to ask:

    What is a Swank table?

    BTW, back then a mini mill won out and I swear it is the best tool I have bought in a long, long time. The full size drill press was annoying the heck out of me. I do a lot of weird things, but what busted my chops was the lack of stroke. Oh sure, make sure you have enough room to drill a half inch hole, then on the next job I needed to drill an 1/8 hole and counter sink it. Table up, down, up, down, ad nauseam. The new mini mill has way more stroke than that floor model Delta I owned. Also has way more power and speed control. I can easily run a 2 1/2 forstner at about 100 RPM without stalling it.

    Ok, I am going to forget about this post before I head on over to HF and start "thinking" about that saw!

  4. #4
    After years of trying to use hacksaws or a sawsalls to cut metal, this beast is a dream. Only negative is, it's a bit cumbersome, because of it's size and weight. That said, I'm not a big guy, so for others, I'm sure that wouldn't be a factor. The table would certainly solve that issue.
    Sorry...I meant to say Swag table... http://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-V30-...able_p_55.html
    Last edited by Derek Arita; 06-16-2019 at 5:52 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    752
    With a coupon it costs twice as much, but one of these is many times better if you donít need the portability. I have a similar one that I bought 30 years ago for a song and it just keeps on ticking...

    No argument that the portable unit is great if you need portability.


    https://www.harborfreight.com/horizo...saw-93762.html
    Too much to do...Not enough time...life is too short!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    After years of trying to use hacksaws or a sawsalls to cut metal, this beast is a dream. Only negative is, it's a bit cumbersome, because of it's size and weight. ...
    I've had a Milwaukee Portaband for maybe 20 years and I agree, it's a great tool! I have 20' lengths of steel in a shed and when I need some shorter pieces it's the saw I reach for. In the shop itself I use a big horizontal bandsaw with a coolant/lube pump but it's generally easier to haul the Portaband to the steel than the steel to the shop.

    The only problem is when the clearance is such that I can't position the saw where I want it due to the frame. In that case, I reach for a cordless reciprocal saw - I use a Milwaukee metal cutting blade called "The Torch". The combo is amazing - it will easily cut through even relatively thick steel. I generally like to use a saw rather than an abrasive wheel since it doesn't throw sparks.

    JKJ

  7. #7
    I have four portabands, mostly because I am tired of walking back and forth in 22k sqft trying to only use two.

  8. #8
    Looks handy, but does Bahco make bandsaw blades?
    The only hacksaw blades that are worth their salt

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    2,751
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Looks handy, but does Bahco make bandsaw blades?
    The only hacksaw blades that are worth their salt
    Are Starrett blades still top quality?
    A

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Trees View Post
    Looks handy, but does Bahco make bandsaw blades?
    The only hacksaw blades that are worth their salt
    Don't know who makes them, but they work great! Blades are not an issue.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Tucson, Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy Warner View Post
    I have four portabands, mostly because I am tired of walking back and forth in 22k sqft trying to only use two.
    Hi Darcy,
    Did I hear you correctly - 22,000 square ft. shop? If so, very impressive! My modest 5k shop pales by comparison. I assume that you are running a production facility. In any case, I do have several Milwaukee portable hand held band saws, but I do not have the attachment to convert them to a horizontal configuration. I do have several larger horizontal band saws that I do use when required.
    David

  12. #12
    I would love to have been able to afford a Milwaukee or other, brand-name metal bandsaw. For those of us who are hobbyists and work on a budget and don't use these kinds of tools on a daily basis, you really can't beat the HF Bauer bandsaw, for a fraction of the price. It still cuts the metal, tracks very well and I had no issues following my 90* guide lines. But you know what...even if I could afford the name brand saw, I likely would still get this Bauer.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,058
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Arita View Post
    ... For those of us who are hobbyists and work on a budget and don't use these kinds of tools on a daily basis, you really can't beat the HF ...
    I have a different philosophy. I'm a hobbyist and retired on fixed income. If I can't buy quality tools I do without and save up until I can.

    Sure there are many anecdotes of people who used cheap HF tools for years, but I know of some that have failed repeatedly. A friend of mine bought cheap angle grinders and such from HF and justified the short life wiith the low cost and/or the replacement policy.

    I buy tools for a lifetime, even if I only use them occasionally - if a tool fails while working under the tractor or in the middle of a pressing project I really don't want to have to stop and drive somewhere for a replacement. I generally go for Bosch, Milwaukee, Makita, DeWalt, or Hitachi. 40 years ago I'd often buy Craftsman.

    My wife surprised me a few years back with the comment that the one thing she learned from me was to buy quality tools. Her tool buys are mostly food-related so I benefit too.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I bought one of the little Milwaukee cordless ones for a large standing seam roof job, and that's turned out to be a great thing to have for other things too. I needed to cut some long pieces of threaded rod today. In the past, I probably would have used a hacksaw, or Sawz, but this zipped right through it.

  15. #15
    My go to on day to day cutting has become the Milwaukee M12 Hackz-all. Really handy and I use it a lot for wood or metal. I was 40' under my daughters house this weekend in a 16" crawl space doing some pipe work and that thing was a life saver. For bench work I use the Evolution or Horiz BS.

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