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Power Hack Saw vs Horizontal Band Saw

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  • Power Hack Saw vs Horizontal Band Saw

    I now have two horizonal bandsaws. One is my old 4x6 converted to 4x8 that I keep as a backup. The other is a 7x10 which I use primarily. They work really well for most of what I do.

    Is there any benefit to a power hacksaw over a band saw?

    I haven't seem any in local fabrication shops.

    I can think of one benefit to a power hacksaw if you do have a band saw. If you screw up and rip a few teeth off a blade or break a blade in such a manner that it would be too short to repair and use, but the blade is still sharp you could snap it into suitable lengths, punch press some holes in it, and load it on your hacksaw.

    How many other benefits can you guys think of?
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    I think power hacksaws are a bit like shapers... they've been surpassed by modern tools in commercial machine shops for some good reasons (don't get me wrong, I have two shapers and I love them both!). With a power hacksaw, it doesn't cut on the return stroke which means it's less efficient at cutting and it generates more heat. Also, you're paying for a blade that typically only dulls right in the middle. I suppose you can clamp smaller pieces of stock in different locations to try and get the blade to wear more evenly, but a band saw blade is immune to these problems. It cuts continuously, wears evenly, and each tooth has more time to cool before re-entering the work piece, translating to better life on a per-tooth basis.

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    • #3
      Hi,

      I have the ubiquitous 4x6 bandsaw and a home made power hacksaw. You will get that HF 4x6 when you pry it out of my dead cold fingers. That said, that power hacksaw of mine uses simple 12" hacksaw blades that can be bought anywhere at nearly anytime of the day or night. For about $1 a blade vs nearly $30 for that 4x6 blade.

      It's slow, doesn't saw as straight as the HF, and is generally more cantankerous to use. But I won't get rid of it when I might need to saw something that can trash my good saw blade.
      If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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      • #4
        Many years ago I built a power hacksaw. I used it a lot fabricating ornamental iron railings and hotrod parts. I bought a bandsaw about 10 years ago and haven't used the hacksaw since.---Brian
        Brian Rupnow

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        • #5
          I have two power hacksaws and no bandsaw. For me, it's the mechanics of the hacksaw that makes me smile. I just put the piece in, turn it on, and watch it as it eats it's way through. No, it's not efficient or fast, but I never saw anyone sit and watch a power bandsaw because it was cool.....Pete

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          • #6
            Yep, like a shaper....... set it to working, come back later. Better than a shaper, it shuts off automatically.

            I bought one that I fixed up and gave to the FIL for his shop. He has an "A' model SB 9, and an Enco mill basically like the RF-45 (I think that is the equivalent), plus an old P&W mill that is just set up for notching Ruger 45 cylinders.

            He uses the heck out of it, and apparently found a good source of blades.
            1601

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan

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            • #7
              Originally posted by wygant View Post
              I have two power hacksaws and no bandsaw. For me, it's the mechanics of the hacksaw that makes me smile. I just put the piece in, turn it on, and watch it as it eats it's way through. No, it's not efficient or fast, but I never saw anyone sit and watch a power bandsaw because it was cool.....Pete
              That's how I feel about shapers or planers. They're so dang cool to watch.

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              • #8
                I don't have one and have never used one. I wonder if they are easier to set up for a square cut than a bandsaw? I can understand the attraction with the mechanical aspect. I would certainly rescue one if I saw it headed for scrap.

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                • #9
                  Hi,

                  Like anything else, depends on how worn out it is. My old home made one isn't very accurate, it will cost me an extra 1/8" of material everytime. And it has no adjustment for accuracy either. But commercial models can be adjusted to cut straight if they aren't too worn or broken.
                  If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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                  • #10
                    I've had access to a power hack saw and It worked OK but my band saw is way faster.
                    A couple years ago I bought a cold saw and it's way better than either other saw I've used.

                    THANX RICH
                    People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!

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                    • #11
                      Agreed! I have both, power hacksaw and metal cutting band saw. Poker hacksaw can be set and you don't have to watch it, it sets it self off. Like a shaper it is mesmerizing.

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                      • #12
                        Its like a saber saw against a "skill saw" or a steam powered airplane against a turbo prop.Edwin Dirnbeck

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                        • #13
                          Funny old world.
                          This exact topic was running on the Brit Model Engineer site a couple of days ago....

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                          • #14
                            It all depends on what type of material you're cutting. I have both a Racine W662 power hacksaw and a Startrite H175W bandsaw. Thy both work well and both get used on a regular basis.
                            I see the advantages of a power hacksaw as follows: Blades are relatively inexpensive. My Racine uses a 14" blade. For name brands I usually pay between $3.00 and $5.00 per blade. Blades for the bandsaw usually run between $42.00 and $60.00.

                            Blades on the hacksaw are easy to change. It usually takes less than 2 minutes to swap one out. It takes much longer to change out the blade on the bandsaw, and you have to either coil it up or have a rack to hang the full length blade on.

                            Because hacksaw blades are inexpensive I have dozens in stock ranging from 3tpi to 14tpi. On the other hand I only have a few bandsaw blades in stock. The most commonly used configuration is 10-14 tpi variable pitch, with 8-12 tpi variable pitch being an alternative.

                            When cutting aluminum I prefer the hacksaw in that I can use a blade with fewer tpi and thus minimize clogging of the gullets. I can also use the flood coolant to help keep the blade clean and reduce wear.

                            Back to the materials, I don't mind cutting rusty material or material with mill scale on the hacksaw. It seems to plow through the impurities without hesitation and doesn't affect the blade. The bandsaw doesn't like crusty material, and from time to time I've had a tooth knocked off trying to cut through weld slag or hard spots. Try cutting a 6" round of Inconel on a bandsaw. It will probably take the better part of a day, and ruin more than 1 blade. The hacksaw with the flood coolant on the other hand will cut all day long, and you'll be able to use the same blade tomorrow on structural steel.

                            In my shop they both have their place. The bandsaw is quicker nd easier for some materials, while the hacksaw is better suited for others.

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                            • #15
                              I was cutting everything with a an arm powered hacksaw. Good for the biceps. 3 inch round stock was a real challenge. I bought a WEN horizontal bandsaw and its everything I need at this time. Shop is small so not much room for alot of equipment. The WEN cuts straight and for hobby work I like it. Any of you hobby guys looking for a saw should look at the WEN. $260.00

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