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Old 02-12-2017, 11:24 AM
belfastrab belfastrab is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 10
Metal Bandsaw vs Angle Grinder

Hi Guys

I make a couple of knives a month as a hobby and give them away to friends and family I just enjoy the making process so not someone who is making knives daily or even weekly.

I have until now just used an angle grinder to roughly cut out my knife blanks from ground flat bar and then grind to the line on the bench belt grinder and that is working out ok. However I have been wanting to pull the trigger as it were on one of these portable metal cutting bandsaws for a few months but trying to justify the cost for doing the same job as my angle grinder.

I see that a lot of North Americans have the cheap and cheerful Harbor Freight models and they look like they work well once a table has been fabricated for them and if I could get one as cheap as those in the UK I would already have one but the problem is there is only three manufacturers that sell these types of bandsaws in the UK and they are Dewalt, Makita and Milwaukee all great brands but also fairly expensive for what I see as a luxury. So pretty much they are all working our at around $300 US... it's not that I can't afford one but on the same hand don't like wasting money just for the sake of it.

So the way I see it is that it will be much easier, cleaner and faster to use a bandsaw for cutting blanks plus it looks like you can get a lot closer to the line that what an angle grinder allows so less grinding on the belt grinder but do you think that the speed and easier operation is worth $300?

I am primarily a wood worker and knives has been my first time playing with metal as a material and I do enjoy working with it and trying to teach myself brazing as the moment so I can see a lot more projects going down the metal route in addition to the knives but again any project I can envision can be quickly cut out with an angle grinder... so apart from what is already mentioned and the thrill of buying a new tool (and hiding it from the wife) is there any benefits over a metal cutting bandsaw as opposed to the much cheaper angle grinder for the light user?

Don't get me wrong I want the tool but there is a list of other tools I want too so just trying to prioritize.

Thanks for any words of wisdom / experience on the matter.


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Old 02-12-2017, 01:25 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Mountains of Western NC.
Posts: 717
Well Belfastrab I have made knives as a profitable hobbies for many years, except when I worked in a machine shop I never had a metal cutting band saw and still don't. I use an angle grinder with thin cutoff wheel, like 2mm thick. It cuts my knives and I even will use it with sanding pads to start my initial bevels on a large knife. I only make two to 4 knives a month and I wouldn't bother to spend $300 pounds on a bandsaw. Heck I haven't even bought a cheap HF one as I live in an apt and space is short.
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Old 02-12-2017, 02:18 PM
damon damon is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 348
well looks like you got what you were looking for from jim. you wanted someone to confirm that your angle grinder is the best tool for the job. and it is useful, but the band saw is more suited to the tasks of knife work. itll have uses in other metal projects. Buying a good, and useful tool is never "wasting money just for the sake of it" Blades cut cleaner, last longer, don't throw sparks out the door and set your yard on fire,(don't ask) cut thinner waste less material....

if you sold a few of those knives (post some pics) rather than just give them away you could not only have the knife hobby pay for its self, but even get something for the wife so you don't have to hide the tools

what other tools are you using, and what others are on your "list"??

my suggestion with the portabands is to check the clearance behind the blade. on the dewalt (one I have) the motor housing is directly in line behind the blade. this tends to get in the way if cutting out larger parts. Some of the other brands don't have this issue.
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:33 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Mountains of Western NC.
Posts: 717
UK is all 220v too isn't it Belfastrab?
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