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  1. #1

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Alberta Red Deer
    Posts
    373

    Default

    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 at 12:48 PM.
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Streamwood, IL
    Posts
    87

    Default 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.
    _kevin

    Syncrowave 250 Analogue
    Maxstar 200SD
    Maxtron 450
    IntelliTIG 40
    S64M Wirefeeder

    Non-Blue:
    Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
    Lincoln Precision Tig 275
    Lincoln WeldPak 155

  4. #4

    Default

    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 at 04:10 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    144

    Default

    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.
    '11 Lincoln Power Mig 216
    '10 Syncro200 TIG runner
    Scotchman CPO 350 LT cold saw w/ AMS
    6x6 Enco corner notcher
    Weldsale fixture table 3x5
    Acorn Welding Platen 5x8

  6. #6

    Default

    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.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    82

    Default

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Streamwood, IL
    Posts
    87

    Default 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.
    _kevin

    Syncrowave 250 Analogue
    Maxstar 200SD
    Maxtron 450
    IntelliTIG 40
    S64M Wirefeeder

    Non-Blue:
    Hypertherm PowerMax 1000G3
    Lincoln Precision Tig 275
    Lincoln WeldPak 155

  9. #9

    Default

    cobymoby

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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Salem, NJ
    Posts
    271

    Default

    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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