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Old 10-06-2016, 09:21 AM
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Big_Eddy Big_Eddy is offline
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Default Looking for a small bandsaw - recommendations?

I may be looking for a small bandsaw in the near future. Have some larger tubing to cut and my chop saw is - well - abrasive. Won't get a lot of use, although it would likely replace the chop saw for most cuts going forward.

A quick search tuned up the King KC-129C
http://www.kingcanada.com/Products.htm?CD=150&ID=12028
and the General BS5205
http://www.gipowerproducts.com/portf...etal-band-saw/

each for a bit under $400 CDN

Any preferences or comments on either one or recommended alternates?

My budget isn't huge, but I'd rather spend more to get better than spend less and regret it.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:29 AM
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I'd look into a portaban. Small, handy, and probably more suited to your stated needs.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:06 AM
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If you need straight cuts, the learning curve on a portable can be a PITA. The stationary saw is fire-and-forget once you clamp the piece in. Especially on large tubing, you can actually do something else while it's making the nice straight cut for you.

The fatigue factor alone would have me setting up a stationary bandsaw rather than holding a Portaband all day and trying to keep it straight.
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:13 PM
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King and General both make decent stuff--all Chinese, of course but I've seen recent examples of both and neither look really bad. I think you'll find that there's very little difference between them.

Check into the warranties of both, talk to the dealers and try to find out how well they support the machines.

Go bigger if you possibly can; those little saws are better than nothing but you'll soon be wishing you had more capacity. And yeah, a portaband is not what you want for a primary saw. They have their place but this ain't it...
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Old 10-06-2016, 12:35 PM
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Eddy, those 2 saws you've linked are what we've called the Harbor Freight 4x6 generic everyman saw for years. They are a proven basic design, used to sell for around $150 and there are millions of them in use or just sitting around waiting to be used. Very reliable, easy to work on & modify but limited in size & sophistication by design. I see that Harbor Freight now advertises them for $259.
That $400 tag seems horribly overpriced to me but maybe it's just inflation working its magic while I've not been paying attention.
I don't know about Canada but there are tons of used ones floating around down here.

If you could locate one of these little fellers priced right you'd love its versatility. They are sold under the Jet, Shopfox and other names, about double the price of the HF 4x6 but they are pretty keen little bandsaws. I got mine from the Homier traveling tool gypsies about ten years ago for around $180. It was a fluke & within a year the price gone up to $450.
The big advantage is the head swivels instead of having adjustable vise jaws & they're just more of a solid saw from the stand on up. You can also move the quick-release vise from left to right to accommodate swiveling the head to the left, etc.
It uses the same size inexpensive blade as the Harbor Freight.

Ironman has one. He might could help you locate a reasonably priced source.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:45 PM
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I consider my needs for a metal saw to be on the small side of home/hobby metal works as well as supporting a little welding for the support of the property and little tractors and tooling.

That said, had I bought the smaller sized saw like your looking at, I would have severely limited myself doing so.

I've had my 7x12" for a good 10 years or better now and would not have done half of what I have without it. It's nice to have the larger throat to make fine cuts without having to use the 'gas ax' and grinders to do so.

Of course at the time of purchase it was about $200 less with discounts. It's been a pure pleasure to have it at my whim and gets used anytime a little welding is needed etc.

Of all things I've learned from being a member at SFT the most important lesson being that if I make a decision to buy a machine, I will ultimately try for the next size larger to what I believe my needs to be. Doing so, most times with the memberships mentions, has saved me much time and heartache in the long run.
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Old 10-06-2016, 01:52 PM
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Just a mention afore I rush off...............Having a band saw like any these you'll quickly forget you have an abrasive cutoff saw. Mine has been stored since buying my 7x12 and doubt it will see use unless the saw breaks and I'm waiting for parts etc. I keep several extra blades and get good life out of each.
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Old 10-06-2016, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LW Hiway View Post

I've had my 7x12" for a good 10 years or better now and would not have done half of what I have without it. It's nice to have the larger throat to make fine cuts without having to use the 'gas ax' and grinders to do so.
Normally, I would agree & I'm really not arguing here.
However, I still have the big ol' Johnson capable of cutting 14 inch flats or 10 inch rounds with other stuff setting on top & hanging off the sides.
Haven't turned it on for 2 or 3 years.
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2016, 04:03 PM
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I've had Jet's version of the little 4x6 for about 10 years now and that's how long my abrasive chop saw has been sitting under the bench un-used.

I out grew this saw a few years ago but I still have not replaced it with a bigger saw, I just keep on abusing it and keeps on taking it.

My only regret with having a 4x6 saw is that I didn't get the swiveling mast model that Cutter has. Cutting angles with the pivoting vice jaw is a royal pain in the ass.

While I also agree that the bigger is better approach to band saws is the better route to go, the little 4x6 in any flavor, properly tuned with a good quality blade is a cutting machine.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:23 PM
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Good inputs Princess Auto ( Our HF) offers a 7" saw for $1399 and I think I have seen them at $999 but even there they are out of reach. Sometimes budgets must be respected (somewhat) Amazon will deliver the General to my door for $369 so actually quite a bit under the $400cdn I mentioned. I have not price shopped either yet. I will search for a used one. Most things I own were used so no fear there. Keep the info coming. Sent from my iPhone using SFT

Last edited by Big_Eddy; 10-06-2016 at 06:08 PM.
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