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  #1  
Old 02-12-2017, 11:24 AM
belfastrab belfastrab is offline
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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.

Cheers

Rab
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2017, 01:25 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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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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  #3  
Old 02-12-2017, 02:18 PM
damon damon is offline
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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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  #4  
Old 02-14-2017, 10:33 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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UK is all 220v too isn't it Belfastrab?
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  #5  
Old 04-10-2017, 07:05 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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I agree with Damon on "good tools". Yeah, it's a chunk of $'s, but is also a very strong and useful tool. Do watch the throat clearance issue, a deep cut will be more versatile and I have always liked the Milwaukee over the other models listed. If you design your stand to be portable, you can do a lot of other task with the saw.
It will also do very good duty as a resaw for your handle material such as splitting blanks and cutting the gummier exotics and stabilized woods (less stress than on your wood band saw). The wider blade and slower speed make it easier to make longer splits clean and straight.
Don't get me wrong the side grinder is a very useful hardworking tool, but my portaband sees as much work time in my shop.
I don't think you would regret the purchase for long.


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  #6  
Old 04-10-2017, 05:11 PM
DAN VAN DAN VAN is offline
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I have a Chicago portable band saw that I mounted to a 1/2 inch aluminum plate and mounted on my shop wall. It has saved a lot of time over using a hack saw, and saves material from being wasted. I paid $50 for my band saw and a few dollars for the aluminum plate. I have 10TPI blades for wood and18 TPI for metal.

Dan.
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  #7  
Old 04-11-2017, 07:00 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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I designed my "mount" so I can clamp it in any of my many larger vises close to where I need it, but can stow it under the bench when I don't. Really nice to be able to use it where I need it. I have a thick aluminum plate/table for mine as well.
Had a pic of it somewhere but not finding it at the moment. There was a pretty long thread about these up in the "Newbie" sub forum. Do a search there.


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  #8  
Old 06-01-2017, 08:43 AM
TerryEverett TerryEverett is offline
 
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An angle grinder is very dirty, not precise, heats up the piece and kinda dangerous. Metal cuttin bandsaws are more than worth their cost, you won't be throwing away as much materials as with an angle grinder.
Another alternative is to get a cheap horizontal/vertical and set it up vertical with the table it comes with, reinforce the legs.
The last option is a jigsaw with a bimetal blade, I would use a jigsaw way over an angle grinder.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2017, 04:32 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Would like to hear from you.

Well Belfastrab you have had several opinions. Would I like to have a steel cutting bandsaw? You bet I would, but will have to settle for my wood cutting saw and angle grinder, but I must inform you I have worked in the metal trades for decades, so cutting with an angle grinder isn't hard for me. Depends how good you are with it.

Though it has been 4 months since you posted this thread, I and I am sure most of the others would like to hear what your solution was. Also Have you made some knives and could you post them here? Don't worry if they are not good enough, there are a few knives in the photo thread that don't look good enough.lol Including one or two of mine. A knife that does its job is good enough though, whether pretty or not.

To post photos go the home page and click on Photo in the toolbar. We would all like to hear from you. Or go advanced here and then down to "Manage Attachements". It may be a bit of a hassle, but Ray, Ed or any other moderator will help you. This is the best knife Forum I have found so give it your best to get acquainted, you will not be sorry.

Sorry I sound like a KNF salesman, but it really is the best one I have found and I have made some friends here. Profitable friends to boot, though friends with knowledge is more than enough too be sure..
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