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Chop Saw Recommendations/Reviews???

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  • #16
    The green ones are crap, the red ones are the same as the Grizzly & other copies. The problem with the HF machines are they're very weak motors. They tend to have little power output & burn up. You'll use it afew times, then walk away during a cut only to come back with a melted gearbox/motor housing, a burned out motor & junk all in the gear oil.

    It's critical that you replace the junk oil with some quality oil. I think on the HF's it's like a 140 weight gear oil, but anything atleast mid-quality will be better than whatever mess they ship it with. Nasty!


    • #17

      Originally posted by Toysrme View Post
      JET has a copy of those also.
      jet is a brand name, either way, mostly over sea stuff, the jet parts can be bought from any major welding supply..


      • #18
        (I thought the cold cut blades were supposed to be run at around 1200 RPM...not the 3000 RPM that a regular abrasive saw runs at.)
        u can order cold cut blades for yor chop saw
        trail blazer 302
        hypertherm plasma
        millermatic 251
        high feq. arc starter
        suit case (extreme 12vs)
        o/a torches
        way to many other tools to list


        • #19
          In the spirit of the OP, I'll give my experience. I bought the Ridgid chop saw from HD, and hated it. "Toolless" clamp was worthless and broke on first job. I replaced it as soon as convenient with the DeWalt I had wanted the first time. Very happy with it.


          • #20
            stick with a bandsaw, you wont regret it. provided the bandsaw is a decent one.

            Note: I spent almost 500.00 dollars on chop saw blades in a year then spent 150.00 on bandsaw blades the next year and cut allot more steel. You may not cut that much but you can still save allot of money on blades.
            Last edited by jamlit; 01-29-2007, 03:10 AM.
            Little Fabrication
            Miller DVI2
            Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
            Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
            HF 130 tig

            Third Class Power Engineer


            • #21
              I have a ryobi from HD that lasted 3-4yrs, it was $139. I think it just needs new brushes now.

              I would want to have a chop saw and a band saw for header fabrication. If I had to pick one it would be a chop saw.
              Justin Starkey
              Syncrowave 250 TIGRunner
              Miller 210 MIG
              Spectrum 375 Plasma
              Ford and GM Dyno-tuning on the Moblie Dynojet trailer I built.


              • #22
                Originally posted by Justin00Stang View Post
                I would want to have a chop saw and a band saw for header fabrication. If I had to pick one it would be a chop saw.
                Now I'm all for presenting all sides of a discussion. But justin... Prefering a chopsaw over a bandsaw for header fabricaion. Son there is no way on Earth anyone would ever choose the world's highest quality 14" chop saw over the cheapest Chinese 4*6" bandsaw with a bi-metal blade on it for fabricating headers. Once you get passed not having to move a bandsaw (which you're not going to do if you're building manifolds - That's not a travel too job. It's a they travel to you job, or you ship it to them.). There is absolutely nothing a chopsaw will do better, or faster than a bandsaw.

                I'm not afraid to say it b/c I've made alot of money the past few years building custom exhaust pieces. The only people that use chopsaws in that line of "work", are the people that can't afford a bandsaw! There's a reason everyone starts with a 14" chopsaw & drools at owning even a low end bandsaw. It's because they are faster, cleaner, more accurate, and more user friendly in the long one.
                The hierarchy would be:
                Horizontal bandsaws > Chopsaws > Most portable bandsaws

                I'm sorry. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But you've never built a set of headers on both if you preffer a chopsaw. You build a correct jig. You clamp your piece in it & walk away. The only way you'd do that with a chopsaw is if you duct-taped a concrete block ontop of it & taped the trigger down LoL!

                Bandsaws are alot cleaner too. If you really want to take it up a step. $20-30 worth of materials & you've got a water jet installed that will eradicate almost all shavings along with greatly extend blade life & somewhat improve cutting speed.
                Look I'm not making fun, but that comment is just soooooo far out there in the context of what you say you use it for it's downright silly.

                btw I do have the cheaper 14" Makita chopsaw too. It's really good, but I almost never use it. Bandsaw FTW aslong as you're not dragging something out to a jobsite. ****... I drag 150lb track-rack bases & moter saws around tho. I'd probably drag a bandsaw around too if I had alot of metal cutting to do.
                Last edited by Toysrme; 01-29-2007, 04:08 PM.


                • #23
                  I have seen a lot of chop saws and not one to compare with ours. I think somebody modified it. It has a 7hp 3 phase 440 motor and turns a 16 inch diameter blade and eats everything.


                  • #24
                    Still not as good as a bandsaw. Chopsaws get the job done, don't get me wrong, Bandsaws are so much more better though.
                    Little Fabrication
                    Miller DVI2
                    Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                    Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
                    HF 130 tig

                    Third Class Power Engineer


                    • #25
                      Grizzly Bandsaw delivered/reviewed - long

                      Originally posted by TomVeatch View Post
                      ... I just pulled the trigger on the Grizzly! ...
                      For anyone who might be interested:

                      Ordered the Grizzly G0622 Band Saw Saturday night (1/27) and got a call from the trucking company Tuesday morning (1/30) telling me it was at the terminal. Absolutely no complaints about delivery speed and convenience.

                      Unpacking and assembly:
                      All that's required is to assemble the base, bolt the saw to it, install the pulley cover, pulleys, and v-belt, and attach the work stop (if desired). Instructions are about average but anyone with more than a pittance of mechanical aptitude should be able to put the thing together in an hour or two without any problems. Just be sure you have an assortment of metric wrenches/sockets. I know I have a 10mm combination wrench but couldn't find it. I'd blame the kids, but they moved out years ago.

                      Shipping weight about 127#, packaging very compact and done very well. If you're not an honors graduate of the Charles Atlas School of Bodybuilding, you might need a neighbor's helping hand. It's not that heavy, just awkward to handle. I was able to manage it single handed, but would have been easier with a helper.

                      First Impressions:
                      Considerably smaller than expected. Yeah, I knew the dimensions from the specs. I guess I had a picture of the one at the steel yard in my mind and this one is much smaller. Won't have as much problem with the saw's footprint in the shop as I had imagined.

                      The running gear seems pretty flimsy. Wheels are about 4" diameter and about 1/2" wide, some sort of plastic. Shouldn't be any problem on a hard surface floor since it won't exceed 125#. The wheels would be worthless on a soft surface (dirt/sand/rocks, etc.)

                      Belt/pulley cover attachment is far too flexible and prone to vibrate. I don't think it will take too may open/close cycles of the cover before it's rubbing on the motor pulley.

                      The setscrew holding the work stop rod in the saw's base is too long. It protrudes above the table enough to interfere with 45* angle cuts if the work extends beyond the blade more than a couple of inches. Not a problem with 90* cuts. But it looks like the hex socket in the screw is deep enough to allow the protrusion to be ground flush with the table - or I could trot down to the hardware store and buy a shorter setscrew.

                      Vise angle adjustment requires access to both top and bottom of the base to loosen and tighten the vise jaw. Would be more "user-friendly" if there were an elongated nut that could slide in a recess in the casting as the vise jaw rotated. Then jaw angle adjustments could be made withou having to reach under the table. Haven't evaluated the accuracy of the on-board jaw angle scale.

                      Manual indicates that gearbox maintenance involves coating the gears with multipurpose grease. However the gearbox comes partially filled with what looks to be 90wt gear oil. Don't understand the discrepancy there. I put in some grease anyway.

                      Not much experience with operations yet. The first few times I turned it on (3/4HP, 110v, induction motor), it moved very, very slowly for several seconds before suddenly speeding up to operating speed. It could be stiffness in the bearings, etc that needs to be worked through, or it could be a bad start capacitor in the motor. Just have to see what happens over the next few days. In general, the saw is very quiet, but there's a little more vibration than I like.

                      Feed rate down pressure is strictly due to the weight of the saw frame. A linear extension spring acts through a lever to resist that weight. So, tighten the spring to reduce the down pressure/feed rate, loosen the spring to increase. Counter intuitive and the maximum down pressure is the unbalanced weight of the pivoting frame. Therefore feed rate/down pressure decreases as the cut progresses. I'm a little unsure how that's going to work out over time. Perhaps the saw is still stiff and will loosen some with use, but unless maximum down pressure (minimum or no spring tension) is used, the pivoting frame doesn't have enough down force to trip the on/off switch. Nor do I believe it would have ever completed the test cuts without manual application of a little extra push through the last few thousandths of an inch.

                      Trial cuts at 90* on 1.125 x 16ga square steel tube turned out acceptably square in the crosscut (horizontal) direction but with a larger than desired deviation from square in the depth (vertical) direction. This is right out of the box using the supplied blade without tuneup of blade tension, blade guide adjustments, etc, other than squaring the vise with the blade. Hopefully that will improve with some effort at tuning up the saw and getting a quality blade. (Any blade recommendations from the floor?) It uses a 64.5" x .5" x .025" blade.

                      I have not installed the work table for using the saw in it's vertical position, but it appears to be stamped from sheet steel that strikes me as being too light for the application. We'll see how that goes later.

                      Bottom Line:
                      A few problems as noted above, but, IMO, a good value for the money and I have no regrets, so far, about buying the saw. Now, I think I'll go out and play with it some more.
                      Tom Veatch
                      Wichita, KS


                      • #26
                        I had one of those HF bandsaws. I gave it away. I could cut a striaghter line with a hacksaw. The first problem is the guides do not close in tight enough to keep down blade deflection. The second problem is it only accepts a half inch blade. Much to narrow for even, straight cuts. The biggest problem of all is the carriage is so flimsy you can't move it without flipping them over. I'm all for bandsaws, but make sure you invest wisely.
                        I do own a Ridgid chop saw and love it!


                        • #27
                          Eaaaasy fixes!

                          First. The blade tension is basically as absolutely hard as you can get it hand-tight, without resorting to using a cheater bar for leverage. That'll fix alot of the blade issues.
                          A) Those carbon steel blades all bandsaws come with last 0 time, cut uglier & slower than their bi-metal counterparts. Get you a bi-metal blade!
                          B) If you don't want to go with a water/oil setup, atleast keep something like a candle you can run along the blade. That will speed the cut & lengthin blade life.
                          Third. Gearbox oil Gearbox oil Gearbox oil. Doesn't amtter if it's the Harbor Frieght, ENCO, Grizzly, Delta, or Jet clone. They all come with nasty oil! CHANGE IT! LoL!

                          You can google 4x6 bandsaw, or find some newgroups on 4x6 bandsaws. There are tons of mods for them.

                          You know, stuff like knocking off the stock rails & mounting your own that will allow cutting larger angles. Changing the downfeed spring out for a hydraulic pump. Water/oil addons. Build a better stand, build a new vertical table.

                          Bi-metal can not be stated enough. I swear to you, the cut times of a bi-metal blade VS what that saw came with is going to be 20-30% of what you just cut. Throw a big block of metal in there & see!


                          • #28
                            Well, I tried the blade tension fix, but with any kind of tension at all on the blade the motor wouldn't start. Removed the belt, and under no load, the motor started and ran fine. But all it took was moderate finger pressure on the pulley to keep a 3/4HP motor from starting at all.

                            First thought, bad start capacitor. Spoke with Grizzly support, they agreed, and one is on order (backordered - week to 10 days). Got one locally. Motor started and ran fine even with blade tension cranked up as high as I could get it by hand (no cheater). Didn't last through one cut before the capacitor self destructed. Seemed to be cutting fairly straight when it hit the fan.

                            Start capacitors are intermittent duty and are cut out of the circuit soon as the motor is up to about 3/4 speed. They don't last long under continuous power. Run capacitors are rated for continuous duty. This is a PSC motor - permanent split capacitor - and requires a continuous duty capacitor. Can't find one of the proper electrical size in stock locally. Ordered one from Grainger (wrong physical size, but there's always duct tape). Maybe it'll get here before the one from Grizzly, maybe not. Back to twiddling my thumbs.

                            Already have a couple of bimetal blades on the way. Should be here Friday. Already packed the gearbox with grease. Will do a Google for 4X6 mods/addons.

                            Thanks for the comments and suggestions. So far, it's been a little frustrating, but it may turn into fun yet. It's not like I'm losing money while the saw is down. It may turn into a project all on it's own.
                            Tom Veatch
                            Wichita, KS


                            • #29
                              I've had a chop saw, it cut but I was not happy with it. So we are waiting to get a band saw. After much reading of the discussions on various machines we have decided to wait until enough money is in the 'expendabel funds' mayonaise jar and get a good unit.

                              I've read of various problems and easy fixes with low cost brands, heck I've read of some guys buying Chinese welders that broke within the first hour of use.

                              That being said recently we had some $$$ fall into our laps. Some clown rear-ended my work van, dented two read doors. Nothing wrong with the doors as the open and close and the seal is tight. Repair Check from his Ins Co. .... $2100.00

                              Made a deal with the DE-VIL ( did you know wives were the DE-VIL ) and may well spend this on a band saw. As for the van, I got two perfect doors from the bone yard for $100.00, and the color matched.

                              So now we are on the march in search of a band saw, with a budget of about $1,000. Gonna use the rest of that money and a little more to upgrade a digital camera.
                              Last edited by harcosparky; 02-01-2007, 06:41 AM. Reason: System did not like 5 letter word for satan - DEVI L


                              • #30
                                Sorry to here you are having some troubles. Hopefully it will work out for you.

                                for thoughs who are thinking about a bandsaw and are reading these posts. below is the harbor freight listing for the bandsaw I have. I purchaced it from princess auto which is the Canadian version of harbor freight. It has worked prefect and cut allot of steel. Just recently it was cutting for days cutting 5/8 sqare bar two wide and six tall which would be like a solid piece of steel 1.25 x 3.75 inches striaght cut and 45 degrees on the cheap blade. It cut for two solid days for ten hours each day without shutting off and the blade is still going. the cut were clean, striaght and didn't require much clean up. I love this saw and it has treated me great. It has paid for itself more times than I can count. I have a 14" chopsaw which I have had for over ten years and never once let me down but the bandsaw is so much better that I can't even express it enough.


                                I hope thoughs who try a bandsaw buy one that is equevelent to a good chopsaw when they are comparing them.

                                Once you try a good bandsaw you will never want to use a chopsaw again.
                                Little Fabrication
                                Miller DVI2
                                Miller Dialarc 250 AC/DC
                                Thermodynamics cutmaster 38
                                HF 130 tig

                                Third Class Power Engineer