Bauer (HF) Portable Band Saw

Darren Wright

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For the upcoming cnc table build I thought one of the portable band saws would come in handy. I had a coupon for the HF one at $99, which is normally $134.
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It looks to be pretty well built. Had a guy that was in line with me that said he's compared it to his Milwaukee and it's built about as well. I'm sure that there are some differences in quality, but am pretty happy with what I see of it so far.
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The case itself has storage for additional blades, the manual, wrenches, and the tool itself. My PC 690 router is there as a good comparison for size.
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I plan to weld up a small stand/table for it. May also do make it work as a chop saw.
 

Charles Lent

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Look at the SWAG offroad website. https://www.swagoffroad.com/. He has a very well designed table for these saws (actually several models). Get the one that fits your saw. They are designed to allow you to easily remove and replace the saw, should you wish to use it without the table. I have the Milwaukee saw and my son has the DeWalt and we each have one of the SWAG tables for them. A benefit of this table design is that they have slots for miter gauges, something that you will find very handy when doing cut-offs of rod and bar stock.

I hope you have good luck with it. Every motor powered tool that I've ever bought from them has burned up within the first few hours of use, except for the fixed speed oscillating multi-tool. These are cheap enough to gamble on at about $14 when on sale. I killed one and now have two (one for spare). It's easy to get $14 worth of use out of them. The first one more than paid for itself, but the chuck teeth wore off and it wouldn't hold a blade tight any more.

Charley
 
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Darren Wright

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Thanks Charley, I had looked at them, but they are about twice what I paid for the saw. Not saying they aren't worth it, but just a hard pill to swallow for a cheaper tool.

I've not bought many of the HF motorized tools, but do have the multi-tool you mentioned and have gotten more than the $10 I paid for mine of use out of it. I also have a few of their grinders and have used the heck out of them, mostly with the thinner cut-off wheels. I have some better hitachi and dewalt grinders that do all my grinding, they are just more ergonomic to use.

I would like to make this saw into more of a chop saw, so may weld up a frame and try to convert it for that purpose.
 
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When my parents built their retirement home on our farm, they needed to drill something like 44 or 55 1/2" holes in concrete. Dad bought three of their hammer drills thinking that might make it. The first drill we unboxed did all of the holes and is still going strong! He gave me one of the other ones and I don't remember who got the other new one, but I kept telling him, I want the one we used! You never know.
 

Brent Dowell

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I love the Chicago electric version I have like this. Still going strong. Makes quick work of cutting metal and I like it much better than using a reciprocating saw a metal blade
 

Charles Lent

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My most recent Harbor Freight disaster was a 1/2" corded drill. I was drilling 3/8" holes in 1/8" mild steel with a new drill bit. After the 5th hole the drill was getting hot. During the 8th hole it was too hot to hang onto. Fire came out of the vent holes during the 9th hole. From hole 6 on, it was losing power rapidly. This happened the day after I bought the Harbor Freight drill, so it went back to the store and I got my money back. I replaced it with a Milwaukee Hole Hawg 1/2" drill and finished the rest of the 60 holes without the drill even getting mildly warm. I've had other motor powered tools from Harbor Freight that died early, but not quite so quickly. Since the 1/2" drill incident I've just told myself that it's just not worth it to buy most of the Harbor Freight motorized tools. I prefer buying tools that will hold accuracy and be there, ready to help me complete my projects. Even though Harbor Freight is only 5 miles from me, it still takes my precious project time to return unsatisfactory or burned up tools to them.

Darren,
For one of our saw tables, I just bought the table top from SWAG, and cut pieces of mild steel for the legs myself. I already had a foot switch and small miter gauge to use, so didn't need them. I got the benefit of the miter slots and the ability to easily remove and replace the saw into the table, but at a considerably lower price. Just something else to consider.

SWAG ships via Express Mail. Some very heavy packages delivered quickly at low shipping cost.

Charley
 
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Darren Wright

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Well, I had the intention of using this as a chop saw, but after seeing some of the commercially available ones, $359+ cost of the saw was a lot more that I wanted to spend. I did find a good youtube where they ditched the plastic and welded up a frame to support the saw as a chop saw, but I really don't need more projects on my list.

After doing a bit of research, the smaller HF Horizontal/Vertical metal cutting bandsaw looks to get decent reviews (after one sets it up properly) and at $259 - 20% it looked to be a good compromise. So I can neither confirm or deny that I may have ordered one. I serves as a chop saw, but also as a vertical bandsaw with the table attachment. I'm mostly wanting it for the chop saw functionality. The table doesn't have a miter slot, but I'm sure I could come up with something that would work for that purpose.


I may end up returning the portable BS, but still undecided on that, would still beat using a sawzall or hacksaw, and it wasn't all that expensive.
 
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. After doing a bit of research, the smaller HF Horizontal/Vertical metal cutting bandsaw looks to get decent reviews (after one sets it up properly) and at $259 - 20% it looked to be a good compromise. So I can neither confirm or deny that I may have ordered one. I serves as a chop saw, but also as a vertical bandsaw with the table attachment. I'm mostly wanting it for the chop saw functionality. The table doesn't have a miter slot, but I'm sure I could come up with something that would work for that purpose.


I may end up returning the portable BS, but still undecided on that, would still beat using a sawzall or hacksaw, and it wasn't all that expensive.
Did you check out the swag that Charles above provided. Looks like a good product at a reasonable price for your portable BS.
 

Darren Wright

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Did you check out the swag that Charles above provided. Looks like a good product at a reasonable price for your portable BS.
I did, as mentioned, a chop saw type of tool (not free hand) was my primary reason to get the portable BS. Cost wise, the floor model is a better value by the time I added up all the attachments for my needs.
 

Darren Wright

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I still have the portable band saw, but really haven't used it much since I got the floor model. I came across some plans that Paul Bennett posted (free pdf download) that I may use to make a small table. Adding the little table that came with my floor model is a little bit of a chore, so leaving the portable one setup with a table for small scroll/cut work would be nice.
 
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