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manladypig New Reader
7/8/19 10:08 p.m.

What is the cheapest miter saw that can cold cut through metal? (I'm so tired of all the sparks and dust)

I've been using my angle grinder for a lot of cutting recently, but its come to the time where I need some very accurate cuts and Im just not good enough to do them. So again what is the least amount of money I can spend to cold cut a 45 degree angle in some 3/16 box steel? Thanks.

cdeforrest New Reader
7/8/19 10:10 p.m.

Band saw with a metal blade and an angle thingy?  I watch too much Finnegan 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/8/19 10:54 p.m.

Sawzall. You can do a pretty good job with one if you have a good blade and pay attention. It's basically an electric hacksaw.

Also, hacksaws are quicker than you think.

jfryjfry Dork
7/8/19 11:43 p.m.

Cold saws turn their blades much slower than wood mitre saws.  

I have seen compound sliding mitre saws that I believe are belt driven. 

Ive often wondered: can I get/make new pulleys that would slow the saw down enough to make it work with a metal blade?

maybe this would work for you

akylekoz Dork
7/9/19 5:37 a.m.

portaband, or chop saw.

stafford1500 GRM+ Memberand Dork
7/9/19 6:11 a.m.

For a short run of parts, a typical wood oriented miter saw will do just fine with a carbide tipped blade. Do not advance the blade too quickly, since thin wall metal can hook the blade tips if you move too fast (higher blade tip count will help too). Instead of sweeping up grinding dust, you will now be sweeping up glitter.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/9/19 6:39 a.m.

I had a DeWalt metal chop saw and I had expected great things. But they are really for rough cuts, not precision work. I still needed to hit everything with the flapdisc.

I use this now:

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/9/19 6:59 a.m.

Of all the metal cutting equipment I have, I use the grinder the most. I find it to be the most accurate, quickest, and easiest to use. If I'm cutting tubing for a cage, it usually gets cut with the port-a-band. 

High speed chop saws pretty much suck IMHO. We use them at work to cut aluminum and they throw glitter all over the building. You haven't experienced pain until one of those nuclear hot pieces of metal bounce under the face shield and stick to you lip. I can't imagine cutting steel with it. 



Papabear New Reader
7/9/19 7:28 a.m.

I use a Evolution Rage 3 with there dedicated Steel blade. It has been working great for me. Steel is not hot to the touch right after it's cut and it a reasonable cost. 


Rage 3

Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
7/9/19 8:35 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Sawzall. You can do a pretty good job with one if you have a good blade and pay attention. It's basically an electric hacksaw.

Also, hacksaws are quicker than you think.

I'm a huge fan of both the sawzall and the hacksaw for the weekend warrior. 

You can get a hacksaw for $1 at the next garage sale you see, and then a new blade for less than $10. It'll take a few minutes, but you can make a really accurate cut. (Remember that hacksaw blades only cut it one direction, so don't push in both or you'll dull the blade).

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
7/9/19 8:55 a.m.

I use a cheap Ryobi miter saw with a metal cutting blade.  I've cut enough 304 stainless for 2 car frames with it and it's still going strong.

NordicSaab Dork
7/9/19 8:59 a.m.
Papabear said:

I use a Evolution Rage 3 with there dedicated Steel blade. It has been working great for me. Steel is not hot to the touch right after it's cut and it a reasonable cost. 


Rage 3

I also have an evo 3 and it is awesome.  

manladypig New Reader
7/9/19 9:49 p.m.

In reply to Dr. Hess :

I also have a cheap Ryobi miter saw with a carbide tipped blade and all it does is burn the metal, how do you do it?

In reply to everyone else:

I had an angle grinder that I had been using to cut everything prior but its dying on me now, was trying to cut through that same 3/16 tube and it kept turning off mid cut, I could just turn off and on again but 5 seconds later off again. It should also be mentioned that I hate cutting with it and im not accurate with it either, I just hate cutting with abrasive wheels in general, was hoping for a cleaner route. Think Im just gonna buy a cheap band saw.


I saw the Rage 3 and it looks awesome but I have about a 3 week time limit to make what I have to make (long story) and I cant afford it currently

oldopelguy UberDork
7/9/19 10:24 p.m.

I'm in a similar boat and I am probably going to get the hazard freight horizontal bandsaw and build a new base for it to dedicate it as a vertical metal cutter.  It comes with a  platform for use as a vertical saw, but the horizontal base would pretty much take up the space where I want to stand.

Rodan Dork
7/9/19 11:47 p.m.

HF Portaband


SWAG table



I've got mine set up to mount to the side of my bench and it's fantastic.  I used a miter saw w/abrasive blade for years, and this is far better...

1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/12/21 9:58 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Sawzall. You can do a pretty good job with one if you have a good blade and pay attention. It's basically an electric hacksaw.

Also, hacksaws are quicker than you think.

A good new blade in my Porter-Cable electric recip saw will eat right through some pretty heavy gauge steel, but I'm the weak link with regard to accuracy.  Probably doesn't help that I'm half blind and my garage lighting sucks.


Edit:  Oooops!  Old thread!

engiekev HalfDork
1/12/21 12:02 p.m.

+1 for the portaband with the SWAG stand.  Blades are cheap, compared to a cold cut saw (minimum $80 and up), and it cut can nearly any material.  With the miter gauge, and careful work, you may not even need to grind the cuts afterwards.  A good disc sander and a portaband and you can fabricate nearly anything.

I made my own stand but then moved to the SWAG stand, it's very good for the money.  You can save a bit by buying unpainted and leave it bare, or paint yourself.

If you think you ever want to cut stainless steel, don't buy a rage 3.  We tried one out for 2-3" stainless exhaust tubing, and the blade was toast within a dozen cuts.  Maybe the more expensive cold cut saw blades hold up to stainless, but then you're looking at upwards of $500, with blades costing >$100 each.

pirate HalfDork
1/12/21 4:16 p.m.

I have a 14 inch (throat depth) wood band saw that typically has a 18 TPI blade in it. I use it for cutting aluminum sheet and bar stock. The blade runs too fast even at the slowest speed for cutting steel other then thin sheet.

I have a Evolution Rage 14" dia blade for cutting bar stock and tubing in steel or aluminum. It's very good for setting up a stop if you have cut a bunch of material to the same length. I usually use it outside because it makes a mess in the shop. I used it a lot building a trailer.

I have a DeWalt Sawzall which can come in handy but is my least favorite saw. I consider it for rough cuts only although blade selection might make a lot of difference on what you can do.

I recently bought a Mikita Portaband in pretty rough condition and barely running the price was right at $50. I disassembled it did a very good cleaning of parts. Replaced the rubber bands on wheels, replaced brush's, lubed gears oiled rollers,  reassembled and ended up with a very good tool with variable speed that runs great. I added a SWAG table that is held in a vise and it is one of the most used and handiest tools in my shop. I use it for making brackets, simple cuts, etc. The only thing better for cutting steel in shapes would be a commercial stand alone  full size steel cutting bandsaw with variable speed. Unfortunately they tend to be very large and take up a lot of room and are expensive. 

All these saws have a purpose but if I could only have one it would be a bandsaw coupled with either a 12" disc grinder or 4" bench mounted belt sander.



preach (fs)
preach (fs) GRM+ Memberand Reader
1/12/21 4:19 p.m.

I just ponied up for the portabandpro and Milwaukee band saw combo. Love it.

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/12/21 6:27 p.m.

those SWAG tables could be the answer I've been looking for!

WonkoTheSane (FS)
WonkoTheSane (FS) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/12/21 8:36 p.m.

Yeah, I missed that the first time this thread was posted.  Thanks for showing us the light, Rodan!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
1/12/21 8:53 p.m.

Hah, I picked up a portaband and mounted it to my bench a few days ago. Love it!


Rodan Dork
1/12/21 9:03 p.m.


Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
1/12/21 9:08 p.m.

I have the Evolution Rage 3 and the swag portaband. Evolution Rage for over ten years- the thing wont damn die. I've done metal and several laminate floors etc. It's a good tool. I've tried a few different blades- they are all about the same in my experience. Just got the swag stand for a HF band saw- I really like this tool. Don't forget to get the foot switch or the miter slider. Foot switch critical, miter, not so much but when you need it you need it.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/13/21 1:02 a.m.

Ok now the big question is, who has done the GRM thing and made their own table/stand for the saw?  What did you learn?  What would you change?

A quick google turned up this page.  It has a PDF drawing on it that has exact measurements.


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