View Full Version : 7x12 Saw - HF vs Enco vs Turn Pro

09-03-2005, 11:47 AM
I'm been looking a purchasing a 7 x 12 bandsaw for the shop. Anyone have comments on the following: Harbor Freight, Enco brand and the TurnPro sold by Enco? I see the Harbor Freight one only has two wheels the others seem to have four, which I'd think would be easyer to move around.

Forrest Addy
09-03-2005, 12:15 PM
Get the Enco sold Turn-Pro. I did extensive comparisons when I shopped and concluded that the Turn-Pro was the superior buy. It's the basis for the Jet and a number of other better quality consumer grade home shop equipment.

Among its features that impressed me is the frame appears to be machined under band tension so the guides and wheels line up in its deflected state and the machine's base and vise are well rigid and well designed. The Horizonatla and vertical functions work well but installing and removing the table for every little job is a PITA but few H/V saws have worked out a good solution for this problem.

I would have preferred the sheet metal base had located the wheel farther back because the saw tends to be tippy in the vertical position.

The Turn-Pro I bought cuts 6" 1040 without a quiver. My saw was on sale for $650 on a free freight deal so I'm thrilled.

The smart way to purchase bands if to buy them in small batches from the local saw shop who stocks the band in bulk and has a welder. My local supplier is Eastside Saw and sales wher they give me a 5 for 4 discount any pitch mix. Use oely better quality bi-metal band stock. It's double the price of carbon steel but cuts almost twice a s fast and lasts 4 to 5 times longer. It's one of the better consistant buys in the machinist trade.

09-03-2005, 03:39 PM
I'm thinking of using it to cut 12 guage stainless plate into strips 2 inches wide or so. I'm wondering if you can use the cutting / coolent fluid in the vertical mode?
What brand of bi-metal blades you guys cutting stainless with?
I've used Lenox in the past for cutting CR steel, but in Des Moines Iowa its hard to find anything related to metalworking, and if you do... it either has to be ordered or you pay an arm and leg for.

09-03-2005, 03:55 PM
You cant really use the flood coolant in the vertical mode, because it sprays all over the floor.
And all over you, if you are sitting on the saw, which is the way you usually use it in vertical mode.

You can cut 12 ga manually into strips in vertical mode, but it sure isnt the best tool for the job. Its slow, and hard to get straight cuts over long lengths. A shear would be a whole lot better for this, or a plasma cutter with a guide made from angle iron clamped down. Often times a fab shop will shear a bunch of strips for you for not much money.

As far as blades go, Lenox is one of the best- I have used the Starretts a lot too, and they seem to cut a little smoother, but not last as long. Morse is highly recommended too. You can get them made to order from MSC, or McMaster CARR, delivered right to your door by a smiling man in Brown- this is what I do, as the nearest decent saw shop is at least an hour drive each way, and with gas over 3 bucks, that adds up.
For 12 ga, you want a relatively fine blade, but for general use on a saw that size, I find a 6-10 variable pitch blade is a good compromise choice. But I also have a smaller, 4x6 bandsaw with a 12-14 variable pitch on it usually, so the bigger saw gets the thicker metals.

Mark Hockett
09-03-2005, 06:21 PM
I think the Enco and HF saws are made in China and the Enco Turn Pro saw is made in Taiwan. The Taiwan stuff seems to be better quality.