View Full Version : To saw or not to saw, Which one

06-09-2010, 08:38 PM
As I stand there for a VERRRRY long time with my cut off saw trying to cut a sheet of X 8 plate it sure seemed like a giant waste of time. So I am asking you wonderfully incite full people, do I want to look at a bandsaw, or a power hacksaw, or something else. Price is very important consideration (very important). Any & all thoughts are welcome.

Spirit with metal to cut.

06-09-2010, 08:44 PM
I guess that you are cutting that "plate" on the "flat" (wider) part of it.

Stand it on its edge and cut in from the edges (both) - the "thin" sides. If you run out of depth, put the part back on its flat and cut the now shorter cut.

Dr Stan
06-09-2010, 08:51 PM
Stand it on its edge and cut in from the edges (both) - the "thin" sides. If you run out of depth, put the part back on its flat and cut the now shorter cut.

The main issue here is that the cuts will never line up as the blade will drift.

If you have a circular (Skill) saw purchase a metal cutting blade. That will take care of you for now. For a longer term solution it sounds like you need a vertical bandsaw.

Other options include an oxy/act cutting torch or a plasma cutter. Your solution depends on the accuracy needed.

Or just go hog wild and buy a water jet. :D

Your Old Dog
06-09-2010, 09:27 PM
If this is something you have to do every day buy yourself a bandsaw. If it's only a once in a blue moon project then I'd say man up and tough it out :D

If you have a harbor freight in the hood you might buy one of their $20.00 (almost disposable) sawzall type saws and cut the thin part of the plate as tiff suggest.

06-09-2010, 09:41 PM
You are probably right Stan, but if the OP is careful he will get it down to the extent that what is left will break off with bending so that he has clean surface to work from.

Oxy and plasma cutters will leave a hardened edge that will need to be ground off before machining.

An angle grinder with a 1mm (0.040") - or thicker cut-off disc will soon make a good impression on the job as well as leaving a machinable edge.

06-09-2010, 09:56 PM
How often do you make this type of cut? This will help guide your purchase.

If you did this 1,234,567,890 times a day, you might want to go with a large automatic shear set to cut wicked fast.

If you make one of these types of cuts once a lifetime and you dont need it in 1 second, you could use a file. It would take some time though, what do you have going on for the next month?

A horizontal mill set up with a slitting saw could make this cut as well.

An abrasive cut off saw would work. Harbor freight has them on sale for $60 every now and then.

A cutting torch can do the job nicely but will leave a gouged edge.

Plasma cutters could do the work and leave a nicer edge than a torch.

An upright band saw (or a horizontal band saw) is a great tool to own. Blades seem to be relatively easy to find and at Harbor Freight the saw can be found fairly cheap. A search of Craigs list might bring up a used band saw that you could purchase. Look for a slow blade speed so that you can cut metal. This is normally (on average) an option when buying one new.

Power hacksaws are also a nice tool to own. Although, they cut things differently and therefore are normally best used on thicker block type cuts. That is not to say that they cant do the job in which you have a question about.

Hand held reciprocating saws are good all around tools and probably the tool of choice when it comes to a first purchased "universal" cutting tool somewhere after a hand drill. They can be used to cut just about anything and you can hold them which makes for easy home repair work too. There are even posts here showing how they can be used to shake spray paint cans.

So what should you buy? You have the answer. Take a moment and run through the things that you cut while working on stuff. What is it that you cut more often than not? If you answer "wood, metal, plastic, here, there, and everywhere" (green eggs and ham, Sam I am) and you have a wide tolerance zone then a hand held reciprocating saw might be the best bet.


Peter S
06-09-2010, 09:56 PM
I reckon every workshop needs a 115mm (4 1/2") angle grinder, so it is an easy thing to then get some 1mm (.040") cut-off wheels (flat type, not depressed centre). They will cut this quickly without heat. Very surgical, they don't even discolour powder coating. The secret is to get the thin wheels. Anything thicker than 1mm - forget it.