Harbor Freight Metal Cutting Bandsaw

October 19th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

A surprisingly versatile tool that can quickly become the workhorse of your home shop.

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Anyone who intends to do any metalworking needs some kind of saw. There are several options for the home shop, including chop saws and reciprocating saws, but nothing approaches the versatility of the bandsaw. And in the world of cheap Chinese bandsaws, nothing has quite the following as the Harbor Freight Metal Cutting Bandsaw (now catalog # 93762 for $219.99). For many years, the saw was sold in the ugly green shown in the picture here, but about a year ago (sometime in 2008) they switched it to red and jacked up the price. I paid $149.00 for mine (on sale) when I picked it up at a store in Scranton, PA while visiting my parents in 2004. I have no idea if the new red version is improved in any way; my comments are reserved for my old green model.

Overall Quality

This is a Harbor Freight tool. Keep that in mind.

The stand is a joke. It’s flimsy, buckles at the slightest bump, and rusts quickly. But I didn’t really buy the stand, I bought the bandsaw. And the bandsaw is actually pretty decent.

Like any Harbor Freight tool, there is some tweaking required. Some holes don’t line up without a little persuasion (like the three holes that hold the little table near the blade). The motor doesn’t seem to live up to its horsepower rating, and the drive system needed to be adjusted nearly to its limit right out of the box. But, once I fired it up, it seemed to cut pretty accurately and strongly.

Recommendation

thumbs_up463px-Symbol_thumbs_up.svgI give this tool a very good recommendation. It’s cut anything I’ve given it, from iron and galvanized pipe, to .125 wall tubing, to 1/4″ plate, to brass, plastic, and PVC pipe.

Even the stock blade cuts decently, and if you take the time to ensure that the tension is correct and the adjustable blade guides are set as close as possible, this saw should do a good job on anything you throw at it.

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