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Best tool for cutting 0.065" stainless tube - Band saw or cold saw

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  • Best tool for cutting 0.065" stainless tube - Band saw or cold saw

    I'm finally going to man up and buy a real saw. I'm tired of the dusty, loud, noisy chop saw. The chop saw just isn't accurate enough and is nearly impossible to get a square cut. I have a Milwaukee dry cut saw, works well but I can't cut stainless with it and it has almost taken my head off a few times. (operator error, not the machine's fault)

    What would you guys recommend?


    -14" cold saw w/ mitering capabilities


    OR


    -Horizontal mitering band saw

    My budget is ~$5000.


    The biggest parts we cut would be 2x4" 11ga box tube. Most of what we cut is going to be 3" or smaller 0.065" stainless tube. We cut lots of mandrel bent tubing (exhaust and header fabrication) and need to be able to accurately miter cuts along a bend radius.


    Can't afford both machines so I gotta make do with one for now! Thanks guys!

  • #2
    from my experience i would go with a band saw. the 14" cold saw is quick but band saws are always more adaptable to other materials and cut profiles.

    JET makes a not bad saw, there are so many companies out there that make them just make sure if you do get a band saw there is a supply of parts and blades... seen many people buy cheap knock off's and they are hard to find parts for if need be.
    Last edited by arc; 08-21-2012, 12:48 PM.

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    • #3
      Best tool for cutting 0.065" stainless tube - Band saw or cold saw

      I've got an Ellis 1500 mitering horizontal bandsaw, that is awesome.

      I would highly recommend an Ellis to anyone.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I've seen those Ellis saws on craigslist, just wasn't sure if I was getting a good tool or not. Below my budget which is good.

        Karchiba - what type of materials & thicknesses are you usually cutting with your ellis saw?

        Does anyone have experience with both in the same shop?


        If you have a piece of 3" 0.065" SS tubing in your hand and you have in front of you:


        A: 1" bandsaw
        B: cold saw


        What do you use?
        Last edited by cobymoby; 08-21-2012, 04:10 PM.

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        • #5
          I was finally able to buy a new cold saw last month with 10' conveyors and measuring system.
          http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v6...t=18a018b2.jpg

          my Milwaukee 6190 dry cut saw cuts pretty darn good but the fence and vise are pure crap. It's like welding, your weld is only as good as your clean, prepped metal and great fit up. Well, cutting is only as good as the vise system for cutting true 90's, 45's and everything in between band or cold saw.

          So far I'm very happy just having a real saw compared to my 6190. I'm still in the honey moon phase. The Scotchman 350 LT was the only saw in my price range that could cut 4x4 at 45*. The saw I really wanted and will someday own is the Maxisaw MX370. The Scotchman is good but i don't like the self centering vise that places the work piece centered directly under the blade. translation = the blade always initially contacts the metal in the flat spot no matter if its 1x1 or 4x4 tubing.

          Your requirement of the 4" dimension might put you into a 350mm (14") saw. Maybe not though, you'll just have to check out the specs of each saw. DAKE makes some nice saws. I liked them alot but they could not cut the size I needed. Dorringer makes a great designed saw as well. I really really like their vise and chip collection system which Maxisaw continued to build upon. baileigh is one to consider as well.

          I have zero experience with a band saw. ****, i has never ran and barely seen a cold saw in person prior to taking delivery of mine. So a week ago I had zero cold saw experience. I just figured that since i'm building super tight tolerance tube frames, I estimated that i would enjoy the cut finish from tool steel blades and a mega clamping system. And Im only every cutting one piece at a time so the mass cutting capacity of a band saw does not apply to me. The conveyor and measuring system on my saw lets me cut identical length sticks pretty darn fast without measuring multiple times between cuts.

          Since you are cutting SS, im assuming you'll be tigging and want as perfect a fitup as possible. Id definitely suggest a cold saw.

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          • #6
            Jimmy - thanks for your input.

            What type of material are you cutting on your cold saw? Wall thickness?

            And yes, I agree on the Milwaukee vise. The clamping part of the vise is great, the fence sucks balls..... No matter how hard to you tighten it, the fence moves against the pressure of the screw vise.

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            • #7
              Well there really is no simple answer for which tool will provide you the most use. As we all know every tool in the shop needs to be used at one point or another during the construction of projects. I really love my cold saw for cutting anything that I can fit in it's mouth when it comes to sizing material. It's hard to beat the strait bur free cuts it will produce. However my vertical band saw is also a tool used every day for profile cuts. I do not own a horizontal band saw but have used the Ellis in days past at a company I worked for and it was a very nice machine for the price. If you don't own a vertical band saw and have to pick between the two I would go for the band saw first and cold cut after I had the band saw in place. You will use the band saw more for other things. Hunt down an older Rockwell Delta 20" used for a grand or less if you get lucky and they are hard to beat. That's what I have and wouldn't take anything for it.

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              • #8
                If you want to square cut stainless, a band saw is your best bet.
                Cold cut carbide tooth saws cut mild steel well, but stainless steel is not friendly to the blades of those saws.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gunner12R View Post
                  Well there really is no simple answer for which tool will provide you the most use. As we all know every tool in the shop needs to be used at one point or another during the construction of projects. I really love my cold saw for cutting anything that I can fit in it's mouth when it comes to sizing material. It's hard to beat the strait bur free cuts it will produce. However my vertical band saw is also a tool used every day for profile cuts. I do not own a horizontal band saw but have used the Ellis in days past at a company I worked for and it was a very nice machine for the price. If you don't own a vertical band saw and have to pick between the two I would go for the band saw first and cold cut after I had the band saw in place. You will use the band saw more for other things. Hunt down an older Rockwell Delta 20" used for a grand or less if you get lucky and they are hard to beat. That's what I have and wouldn't take anything for it.
                  This was just about my thoughts as well. Vertical bandsaws are awesome IMO.
                  How are you gonna hold curved pieces in a vise and do anything?
                  A belt grinder would be a great addition as well.
                  If you are cutting straight pipe, these saws are fine but cutting out and fitting curved sections is a whole other ball game. (once again IMO)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FusionKing View Post
                    This was just about my thoughts as well. Vertical bandsaws are awesome IMO.
                    How are you gonna hold curved pieces in a vise and do anything?
                    A belt grinder would be a great addition as well.
                    If you are cutting straight pipe, these saws are fine but cutting out and fitting curved sections is a whole other ball game. (once again IMO)

                    Without a doubt a good 6x48 belt sander is a staple tool in every fab shop ! I always source the older Delta Rockwells that have the motor underneath and overdrive the pulleys for a metal eating machine!

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                    • #11
                      I do have a 20" disc grinder that is one of the most used tools in the shop.

                      For the miter cuts on a horizontal band saw, here's what I'm going to go look at today. Unfortunately the mitering/pivot style band saws are too new and there isn't much of a used supply out there.

                      http://www.baileighindustrial.com/sa...al/bs-250m.php

                      With a vertical band saw I figure I'll run into issues with operator error not being able to hold the material rigidly enough, thus cuts that aren't square.

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                      • #12
                        I've been using this for a little over a year now.


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                        It's an ellis 1800, picked it up on the cheap. I had to spend maybe $600 to go get it and then repair the damage done by the previous owner. New blade, all new bearings, finally a couple of months ago I had to get a new idler wheel. All told I'm into it for maybe $2500 now, which is a lot less than a new one.

                        All I really use it for is 18 gauge stainless tubing in various sizes, from 1.5" to 4" for building custom exhaust systems for bikes. It's been one of the best investments I've made for this kind of work.

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                        • #13
                          Best tool for cutting 0.065" stainless tube - Band saw or cold saw

                          Cobymoby,

                          I've cut from 1/2" conduit, using a fine blade, all the way up to 4.5" round stainless solids, with a very coarse blade, using my Ellis bandsaw.

                          Well worth the money...

                          It has a feature that automatically turns off the saw when the cut finishes, which allows me to start a cut, then go off and do other important things, like get some coffee.

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                          • #14
                            cobymoby

                            What did you buy then? Band saw or cold saw?

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                            • #15
                              I do a lot of welding for the liquid food industry which is S/S 1,2,3,4" OD 1/16" wall pipe so I can tell you that I have all of those tools and will give you a good run down of what I do.

                              90* cut - 1) Wachs pipe/tube cutter [pipe only] 2) Band Saw 3) Cold saw 4) Dry cut saw 5) Abrasive Chop Saw

                              1) That is what it is designed to do
                              2) It is the fastest saw to provide 90* cuts with a vise
                              3) Great saw, but slower and you have to stand there and help it cut
                              4&5) same as 3 but less

                              89-45* cut - 1) Cold saw 2) Dry saw 3) Abrasive Chop Saw 4) Band saw

                              1) Cold saws have better vises for this kind of thing and accuracy
                              2) Little less quality then 1
                              3) Low quality but better then band saw because you control pressure of cut better.
                              4) vise blows

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