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  1. #26
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Central MD.

    And no, it's a want, and far from a need.

  2. #27
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    Oct 2006
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    Illinois
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by freeweld View Post
    Central MD.

    And no, it's a want, and far from a need.
    WE ALL are like that, you're not alone. Wanting is great BUT deciding on what YOU need is the answer.
    Many of us here have almost everything but we still WANT more. It's the way it is.
    I always watch for plasma cutters even though I don't really need one. Well it would be nice,

  3. #28
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    Mar 2015
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Here's the kind of craigslist 'deals' we have around here. Seller wants $125.

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  4. #29
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    Illinois
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    Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by freeweld View Post
    Here's the kind of craigslist 'deals' we have around here. Seller wants $125.

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    See that guide ? That's the newer guide but old style saw.
    Not a deal. Be patient, I know it's difficult.
    With many tools for sale, homeowners buy on impulse, use a few times, and decide to sell because they don't use it.
    Many painted saws usually indicate to me it was used commercially. I would avoid them.
    However , i still have my first Milwaukee portaband which was before the deep throat model. Only replaced rubbers for wheels.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #30
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    Dec 2009
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    I have a portaband as well and in fact used it 3 times in the last two days.

    Used my plasma cutter 0 times.

    Used my 7x12 bandsaw over 100 times.
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
    I only have a facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/VPT/244788508917829

  6. #31
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    Apr 2015
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    Fredericksburg, VA
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    I like my Dewalt 14" dry cut saw since it has a greater capacity. Yes, it is loud and puts chips everywhere, but the increase in capacity over a 12" saw is better for me. Don't forget you lose cutting capacity when you cut angles. The dry cut saws are great for quick cuts. If you are cutting 4 to 6 inch flat bar, the 4" can stand up in the 14" saw vise and be cut in one pass. 6" requires you to flip it. I do not recommend laying flat bar like this flat to cut. That is tough on the saw.

    That red portaband was probably from a business. A lot of companies paint their name on the tools to lessen theft. Someone may have painted over the name.

    For your budget I would look into a 14" dry cut saw like the Ironton from Northern Tool for $269 or the Ridgid from plumberstock.com for $237.

    Next would be the portaband with stand combo like BD1 has shown. You can get the Bauer portaband from Harbor Freight for $140. Make your own stand or buy the SWAG Off Road stand for $180.

    Third would be the Milwaukee 8" metal cutting circular saw for $319. I use mine all the time for cutting sheets of metal.

    Fourth would be the 4"x6" band saw from Harbor Freight for $260. A bandsaw like this is great since I can turn the saw on and go do something else while it cuts.

    So far that is:
    $270 Dry cut chop saw
    $140 Portaband
    $319 Circular saw
    $260 4"x6" bandsaw

    $989 subtotal
    $180 optional SWAG table

    If you watch for sales, coupons, or comparison shop you can even save more.
    Use some of the remaining money to have some extra blades on hand and use the right blade for the right material.
    Millermatic 252 MIG
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  7. #32
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    Feb 2010
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    anoka co mn
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    520

    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    That Bauer band saw is an awesome little unit for a hundred bucks on sale. Go to Lowes and get a three pack of Lennox blades and your set. Keep an eye out for a worm gear saw and you can save some money on the metal cutting circular saw.
    Last edited by arcflash; 04-13-2019 at 07:25 AM.

  8. #33
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    Jun 2016
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by VPT View Post
    I have a portaband as well and in fact used it 3 times in the last two days.

    Used my plasma cutter 0 times.

    Used my 7x12 bandsaw over 100 times.
    Use my plasmas all day. Use my portabands a couple times a week. Use my Makita 12" dry 20-50X a day, use my shear/puncher all day.Use a die grinder every day. Havent used a horizontal bandsaw in 3 years

  9. #34
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    Dec 2009
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    Stevens Point, WI
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    My horizontal also does vertical work. I use that feature many many times.

    What tool a guy would get the most use out of comes down to what a guy does daily. We've been threw this story many times before.

    I had a chop saw, it was my first saw I ever had right after a hack saw. Used it for many years. But the day the bandsaw came home was the last day the chop saw was ever used. I dragged it out of the corner and sold it after 5+ years of never using it. For me nothing ever fit in it right. I do lots of exhaust work and it is impossible to get 180 degree bends in a chop/dry cut saw. Flat, square, angle, round tube would be fine but get anything out of shape and it don't fit.

    Shave a tube off a bracket in a round saw? forget about it.



    Cut a brand new turbo housing in a round saw? Well maybe but I would never even thought about it in a chop saw.



    Cut a 10" slab long ways in a round saw? Again maybe if you flip it around. But a cut like this is where another bandsaw benefit shines, I was able to walk away and do work while it cut all by itself.



    Slice up a head with multiple dissimilar metals and thicknesses with a round saw? Not sure, could you?



    Again odd shapes in a round saw? Forget about it!






    In vertical position I use it quite often for cutting shapes out of plate, like a guy would on a vertical bandsaw. A bandsaw will cut arcs/radius's.

    A bandsaw can cut vehicles pillars too! I made up a pinch weld attachment for mine to clamp onto the pinch weld so the cuts will be repetitive and strait.



    Look at that fitup. Would ya just look at it!



    Bandsaws are just better.
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
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  10. #35
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    Nov 2005
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    Nashville, TN
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    At 1500 buck's. A bandsaw with a 3/4" or greater blade. Many horizontal saws will do vertical work. Ellis(within your price,used and willing to travel) with a shop built table transitions rapidly. Dry saw and portaband are great for portability and field work.

    I had a portaband with a swag stand and foot pedal. When I got it it was the greatest thing. Sold it and have not missed it. As convenient as it was, it takes a lot of effort to get straight cuts and the position is abusive to the saw. I would not put a new bandsaw. vertical. Maybe an HF?

    Also. If buying used check availablility of parts . Both dewalt and Milwaukee have saws they don't support(dewalt) or limited difficult to find parts,e.g. brushes(Milwaukee).
    Last edited by tapwelder; 04-13-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  11. #36
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Tap is correct

  12. #37
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    Dec 2018
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    Southern California
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    I'd go with the HF portaband over yellow, red, or teal. At ~130 with a 3 year no questions asked warranty and coupon, it's hard to argue against. I've had about 5 over the same amount of years, all still work well and all have seen some serious abuse, the oldest is on its third set of brushes (comes with a spare pair). One did suffer a small piece of casting break off due to a 5 foot drop to the concrete floor, but it doesn't affect it. I'm pretty sure harbor freight portaband "bauer" blades are rebranded morse (they are made in the USA and harbor freight exclusively carried morse before for the portabands), i buy them or lennox from lowes. If you make a swag style horizontal table connect the table plate to the saw itself, not the stand, to avoid the crappy cuts tapwelder mentioned (too much flex otherwise). I've also purchased 3 Harbor freight horizontal bandsaws (1 new, 2 used) and they were far from "projects," all were cutting square and true within 15ish minutes of initial setup. Could be good luck? I'd get those items in addition to a name brand cold cut saw (i like makita), and you'd still have a few hundred left for blades, 6 inch grinder, used A/0 setup, etc. plasma is great but then you also go down the compressor rabbit hole and it gets real expensive real fast. Hard to justify spending 3k (conservatively) on a plasma setup for a 2k welder setup.
    Last edited by SlowBlues; 04-13-2019 at 09:18 PM.

  13. #38
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    Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    In my opinion held plasma cutters are archaic for cutting 6 inch (plus or minus) regular structural bar-flat-angle-round stock to length. WAY quicker and cheaper with dry or cold cut or bandsaw.

    Even an abrasive cutoff saw is fine. Here’s my Makita
    Bought it new for the farm in 1983. I still use it for quick and dirty unknown sh*t. Lots of guys hate them but I will NEVER EVER part with mine.




    Of course if you’re cutting sheets, curves or things that won’t fit in the saw, then that’s a different story.

    Here’s my 40 amper and portable sawhorses.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Lis2323; 04-13-2019 at 10:38 PM.
    :

  14. #39
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    Dec 2018
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    1,374

    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    My old Makita has cut literally thousands of feet of metal. For most work, it's just fine.

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  15. #40
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    Aug 2004
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    North Central Indiana
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    You absolutely will need a good metal work drill press or mill-drill which the table doesn't flex when pressure is applied to a piece of work, and a quality hand drill with a HD chuck, probably find both on eBay.
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    I've been everywhere but the electric chair, seen everything but the wind...the only two things I can't weld is the crack of dawn and a broken heart!

  16. #41
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    Aug 2009
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    4,258

    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Everyone should have at least one Portaband. The usual wear parts are the guide rollers which are easy to replace. I scored mine used and wouldn't hesitate to buy another used one at the right price. I don't care how it looks (paint, etc), only about mechanical condition.

    I collect all the dead and dying quality corded power tools I can score free/cheap because they are easy to work on. Cordless tools tend to die expensively while used corded tools are typically cheap to fix. Some Torx screwdrivers, a Cratex stick for the commutator and a voltmeter handle most of that work.

    A thin kerf 6" abrasive disk in a circular saw works a treat for long cuts. I love 6" cutting disks. I buy by the box and all my angle grinders use them (I even mod the guards on 4-1/2" grinders to take them). Used corded saws are dirt cheap.

    Re: noise I accumulated bags of foam ear plugs. Besides saving your hearing they clean your ears while in use. I leave them in pants pockets or socks when I do laundry.

    Hate dust? Want local air blast to send dust and sparks away from your body? I collect bounce house blowers from yard sales at ~20-25 bucks each. I mounted a few and kept others loose. They take little space and sling a lot of air. Also dandy to keep motorcycle and ATV engines cool during testing.

  17. #42
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    Mar 2019
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    Tahoe
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Based on this thread, I bought a Metabo 6" grinder/ cutter and will be saving up for a Makita LC1230 metal saw. Maybe a portaband somewhere down the road. Just a hobby fabricator. That should allow me to built a lot of different things, I think.

  18. #43
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by sierrarider View Post
    Based on this thread, I bought a Metabo 6" grinder/ cutter and will be saving up for a Makita LC1230 metal saw. Maybe a portaband somewhere down the road. Just a hobby fabricator. That should allow me to built a lot of different things, I think.
    I’ve never tried a portaband, but I think you’ve made wise choices for your needs.


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  19. #44
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Let the fun begin! We expect project threads now!
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
    I only have a facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/VPT/244788508917829

  20. #45
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by sierrarider View Post
    Based on this thread, I bought a Metabo 6" grinder/ cutter and will be saving up for a Makita LC1230 metal saw. Maybe a portaband somewhere down the road. Just a hobby fabricator. That should allow me to built a lot of different things, I think.
    Nice choices you picked, portaband are nice also, I bought a good plasma years ago and it sits with a towel over it, to me it's useless cause every thing I did was one off repair, worst purchase I ever made in a tool, probably cost me about 50 dollars for every minute I've used it in the last 6 or 7 years

  21. #46
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by pat h View Post
    Nice choices you picked, portaband are nice also, I bought a good plasma years ago and it sits with a towel over it, to me it's useless cause every thing I did was one off repair, worst purchase I ever made in a tool, probably cost me about 50 dollars for every minute I've used it in the last 6 or 7 years

    I bought my plasma to cut out brackets for fabrication and whatnot. Then I started using it for art stuff too. But what was a real treat I found is it works well for cutting bolts out and for cutting damaged or rusty metal out quickly.
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
    I only have a facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/VPT/244788508917829

  22. #47
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    Mar 2015
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    Central MD
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Thanks for all the recommendations. I'm holding on any plasma machine...maybe someday.

    Just ordered a reconditioned Milwaukee M18 metal cut circular saw to add to my Makita 12" cut saw. Yeeeehaa!
    Just might get a HF deep cut band saw and make a stand/table for it, and call it all day.

    Q: Best brand of 5-3/8 in./ 5-7/8 in circular blade to buy (1 each for ferrous, non-ferrous)?

    You guys have saved me about $500. Who do I send it to?

  23. #48
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Spend that $500 on a horizontal 7x12 bandsaw (used of course). Then report back after a year or more what cutting tool you like the best.
    12v battery, jumper cables, and a 6013.
    I only have a facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/VPT/244788508917829

  24. #49
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    The OP needs to make sure he looks on Facebook market place. I picked up this Milwaukee portaband, Milwaukee 18g nibbler and a few other items yesterday. Listed for $200 but I paid $175.

    Just now there is a smaller bandsaw for $100.




    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    Millermatic 252 MIG
    Miller Dynasty 200DX TIG
    Miller Spectrum 375 Plasma
    Altas 12x36 Metal Lathe
    Bridgeport Milling Machine
    www.psacustomcreations.com

  25. #50
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    Re: Help decide what 2 tools to buy

    Quote Originally Posted by psacustomcreations View Post
    The OP needs to make sure he looks on Facebook market place. I picked up this Milwaukee portaband, Milwaukee 18g nibbler and a few other items yesterday. Listed for $200 but I paid $175.

    Just now there is a smaller bandsaw for $100.




    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    That looks more like a shear than nibbler , Pat? Mind u I’m using my iPhone.
    :

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