View Full Version : Vertical Bandsaw

02-14-2002, 03:42 PM
I need (want) metal cutting capability. The 4X6" import H/V saws seem a little small. I'd like to replace my 14" wood bandsaw w/one with multiple speeds, but my only experience using a Vert. saw for metal cutting in some VoTech machining classes I took impressed me only with the drudgery and time involved. Even .5" steel took forever.. a hacksaw would've be faster. Now the blades on those saws were probably near the end of their life. But I was unsure if the dull blades were the problem or if the greater pressure in the school's large Wells horizontal saw made it so much faster. My question is: will a vert. saw w/new sharp blades approach the effectiveness of a Horiz/Vert. saw in cutting thru say 2-3" steel? Or is a horizontal saw pretty much a necessity for stock reduction? (This is for home use, not a production shop.)
I'd appreciate any advice.

02-14-2002, 07:50 PM
No matter what the setup, cutting metal is going to take a while. The advantage of the horizontal jobs is self-feed; you can start it up and walk away. Standing there pushing a 2" bar through a vertical bandsaw would get pretty boring.

I did see a setup one guy had for self-feed on a vertical saw. He rigged up a weight and pulley system so the weight pulled the stock (in a vise) guided by the fence slot in the table. But I'd still take a horizontal model.

I suspect a 4x6 saw will handle most cutoff jobs for you. Its limitations are likely to be more in cutting shapes out of relatively thin sheet.

02-14-2002, 08:03 PM
There are self feeding vertical band saws, or they can be rigged as above. Cutting rate could be about the same.

Major advantage of vertical saw is in cutting shapes. Major advantage of horizontal is speed and cutting long lengths.

C. Tate
02-14-2002, 08:07 PM
The tooth pitch on your blade is also a major factor in the amount of time it takes to cut stock. The larger the dia the fewer teeth required to cut. You want to keep about 3 teeth in the material at all times. I cut 3.5 and 4.0 dia stainless rounds on my doall horz. in about 1 minute using a blade with a 8/6 pitch. The pitch alternates between 8 teeth and 6 teeth per inch which is as coarse as I can by in a 1 inch wide blade. This is more saw than most home shop people will have but the concept is the same. I would go with a horz. machine to cut the sizes you are talking about and if you need a vertical to contour with buy one of the combo machines on the market. You will be amazed at how much faster a horz. will cut than hand feeding on a vertical.

02-14-2002, 11:28 PM
I never use a vertical saw. If I really need stock removed a quick trip to the Water Jet Cutting shop, a few donuts later and you are gone. Neat. Clean. Quick and reasonable in price.

I use a Porter Cable Tiger saw for hacking bigger stock A good blade makes all the difference and I don't have to put up with a third-rate bandsaw that hogs space I do not have.

I do want a cold saw - I have yet to find one I like (that means on the cheap).


paul j smeltzer
02-15-2002, 12:43 AM
I have used a number of horz. saws and a couple of verticle saws. the current saw in my shop is a Roll-in vertical, it is gravity fed cuts 9" x14" uses 1/4" to 3/4" blades with no adjustment and has a 18" x 30" table. this is the best saw for a one man prototype shop. Paul

02-15-2002, 03:08 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks!

Yes, the Roll-in saw would probably best serve my purposes, but I can't justify the price. (It has multiple spd capability doesn't it?)

Thrud, are you saying that Porter-Cable reciprocating would cut thru 3 or 4" of rnd solid stck, or slice a piece from a 2-3" thk (say 8X10" tool steel) in a reasonable time? I've never used one but assumed they were prbly limited to small tubing and pipe, or angle iron, etc. Is it about the same as a Milwaukee Sawzall?

What about those porta-band saws from Porter-Cable or Milwaukee? Anyone have any experience or opinions on those?

02-15-2002, 03:46 PM
I have a Craftsman horizontal band saw, which I will not give up, and a Porta Band, which I also will not give up.

I had a vertical bandsaw which I sold, took up too much room for the little use I got out of it.

The horizontal is great for cutoff, and relatively accurate straight cuts. It is a 4" x 6", and an older model I have not seen anywhere else.

The Porta Band is just that, portable. Great for hacking off a piece of angle or pipe too long to drag down to the shop. I have also on occasion clamped it in the vise, and used as a vertical band saw. There are adapters available to make into a horizontal bandsaw as well. They are very versatile tools.

02-16-2002, 12:45 AM

Yes it is a "sawzall" type - I use Starrett M42 blades and a Remington structured tooth carbide blade. I find it MUCH faster than a hacksaw, but it does take getting used to - borrow one and try it before buying one. I use mine for woodworking too - the PC Tiger saw has "orbital" motion for chewing through wood like a rabid beaver. You do not use the orbital motion for metals (ow!). I use it because I have no room for a bandsaw or a power hacksaw and still have not found a cold cut saw I am willing to buy yet.

The Porter Cable and Ridgid portable bandsaws are well made and do serious work for plunbers and electricians.

02-26-2002, 01:56 PM
We have a scad of porter cable tools in the shop and take to the job site.
Have not had one fail yet.

Very good tools.
Just my 2 cents

mike thomas
02-26-2002, 02:54 PM
I got my $50 4X6 band saw fired up this weekend. I was amazed at what I had been missing. I always thought the little suckers were junk. So much for being opinionated. Did I spell that right? Mike

02-26-2002, 03:21 PM
If you remove the fixed jaw and make a new one out of 2x2x1/4 angle iron with the inside radius cut out squareto form a good inside corner and use a shim the same thickness as the angle iron in frount of the sliding jaw,you can cut about 7&3/4" square by mounting the new fixed jaw backwards from the position of the original fixed jaw and cutting half way through and turning the stock over to finish cut. I use 6 tooth blades 1/2" wide and have 4 tooth blades made op locally.