View Full Version : Cutting 1/4 inch stainless rod

02-05-2011, 07:02 PM
I need to cut some stainless rod.
It is 1/4 inch.
I just put a new bandsaw blade on my little Jet and don't want to bugger it up.

My other choices are a Milwaukee cold cutting saw (I really don't want to mess this blade up).

My last choice is my abrasive chop saw, which I rarely use, but might be my best choice.

I only need to make a dozen cuts.

What think ye?

02-05-2011, 07:06 PM
Hacksaw? It is only 1/4" and only a dozen cuts.

Pete F
02-05-2011, 07:13 PM
I agree with Jim. I was cutting 1/8" ss rod yesterday, and it took me maybe 30 seconds to cut through with a hacksaw blade that I have not replaced in 20 years.


02-05-2011, 07:47 PM
I'm thinking you should be fine with the bandsaw. A while back a guy at the marina where I keep my boat gave me a 12' length of 1 1/4" S.S. propshaft. I had to cut it in half to get it into my truck box and the only thing available there was a chop saw. Well that stuff work hardened so badly that I didn't think we would ever get through it!!! After I got it home I cut a chunk of it off with my POS 4x6 bandsaw and it just walked right through it.

Edited to correct that 12" shaft to 12 FEET in case anyone was wondering why I had to cut it in half to get it into my truck LOL

02-05-2011, 07:52 PM
Thanks, I was worried about my band saw being up to the task.

02-05-2011, 08:13 PM
Usually, the thing with stainless is to not dwell in one spot. Start the cut with some reasonable pressure, and keep the pressure on until it's done. The idea is to make chips instead of bruising across the material without cutting. If the blade is starting to get dull, you'll need to use more pressure to make each tooth cut. At some point you'll just start work hardening the surface, then it's all over. Stainless doesn't conduct heat away very fast, so a constant coolant flow would probably be a good idea.

Have to agree though- 1/4 inch rod is pretty quick and easy with a hacksaw. I'd put a fresh blade on it and get er done.

02-05-2011, 08:16 PM
I cut stainless on my HF band saw quite regularly (303, 304, 416), I just put it the slowest available speed and use cutting lube liberally, I use the same blade also 14 TPI I think, blades last a long time.

Rich Carlstedt
02-06-2011, 02:05 PM
You want 80 Feet per minute or less, if possible to keep from knocking teeth off

Spin Doctor
02-06-2011, 03:13 PM
The big problem with cutting small diameters on bandsaws is the tooth pitch. Too coarse of a blade and all of a sudden your blade goes the full depth of the gullet and rips the tooth or teeth off. :eek: :eek: :eek: I'd do this with an abrasive wheel.

02-06-2011, 03:36 PM
1/4"? you could do that with an angle grinder or 3" cutoff abrasive tool. chop saw would likey be straighter however, but more likey to burn the edges due to blade width.

If you just need a crude cut, a 24" bolt cutter would do.

02-06-2011, 04:06 PM
Any of the above would work. You do need to slow the bandsaw way down as mentioned and use a decent bimetal blade. No carbon. Heat is the enemy here thats why you are slowing things down. This also gives each tooth a better chance to make a chip. Just rubbing is your enemy. Lots of coolant too. If you don't have flood on your saw use a trigger sprayer on it.