Harbor Freight bandsaw review - Honda-Tech


Harbor Freight bandsaw review

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Old 04-21-2005, 10:26 PM   #1
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Default Harbor Freight bandsaw review

I have heard so many horror stories about this saw, but after I talked to a guy that used it to completely build his car, which can be found here
http://www.kimini.com/ well I had second thoughts on it

So after hearing his review I decided to give it a try

Assembly
First things first, it takes about an 1 hour to set up, a little longer if your messing around with a buddy.

I was also surprised by the size, on the website it seems so big. But when I saw it in the store it surprised me on how little it is.

There are also a few presets that you need to set, I can see a lot of people skipping these little steps and having so many problems with it

Cutting Review
Well after putting it together I was ready to cut with it, I just cut a piece of 2.25 piping I had laying around, the first try did not go so well. The blade basically stopped and got thrown off track. After a few minor adjustments were made ( still needs to be set a little better ) I was able to make a complete cut. And let me tell you, it produces nice clean and accurate cuts. I messed around with some round bar and it cut right threw it like butter. It also have an automatic shut off switch which is really nice

Things to look out for
I'm assuming the blade they supply you with is crap, it got about 4 cuts done and already needs to be replaced. ( I can only assume because I have not tried another blade and I never ever used a band saw in my life )

Also the instructions they supply you are not really that great.

Also around here, it was marked at 189.00 but it was coming up on the computer at 159.00, before the guy could call the manager, the lady rang me up and I got 30 dollars off. Plus I have a $10 coupon which I will supply below.

I guess my final word of advice is, if your like me and you don't have thousands to spend on a band saw, and you have patients ( not the type of person who will slam the band saw down and apply mads amount of force on it ) then this band saw is for you. The price is really nice, I know a lot of people will disagree with almost everything I say, but these are probably the same people who have the option to use 1,000 dollar machines every day. This is a nice tool for a home garage, if you have a big business, I'm sure you would not buy this. But if your working in your garage from time to time, this is a nice piece.

I give it


If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask here



Coupon

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Old 04-21-2005, 11:06 PM   #2
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sounds good. It would fit nicely in my garage alongside my Harbor Freight Welder.
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Old 04-22-2005, 12:20 AM   #3
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Hey, when you replace that blade, throw an update in here jus to know all went well and there were no problems. Good lookin out writing this review...I have been tossin around buyin this thing.
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:38 AM   #4
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Good review...this is probably the bandsaw I will end up purchasing
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:13 AM   #5
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good to know. I'm looking for a bandsaw to get and this just might fit the bill. HOw long of a piece can it cut?

Regards,
Justin
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:16 AM   #6
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i'm certain the blade u got stock was crap, get a good one and let us know how it works.

side note, on harbor freight...i had a guy saying that he only buys hf air tools because they have lifetime, no reciept trade out warrenty. so, u drop it off a ladder..take it back, get a new one nqa 4life. he say he bought the biggest impact gun and gets a brand new one every month or 2 and has for over a year now 8o tools might be crap but so/mac/craftman will not trade out nqa
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:35 AM   #7
 
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cool, i just ordered mine 2 weeks ago. also ordered a bimetal blade because the stocker is crap.
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Old 04-22-2005, 07:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

I've had one for about 9 months now, we use it every dayand I'm pretty impressed with it too. You're right, it is tiny. That's the first thing we noticed. We built a little stand out of some scrap wood to raise it to a usable height. And out of the box, the blade will jam on the first cut. It takes some adjustment to get it right, but once it's adjusted, it will cut forever without jamming.

So far, I've got to say it's pretty reliable. We had a few projects where we had to cut 3/16" plate steel, and had to run the saw basically 9 hours a day for a week straight to get it all done, no problems other than a blade change. Toward the end of every cut, it does get a little "sloppy". Doesn't affect the part, or fitment, but you can see it. I think it's because the frame, and blade are both so flimsy. But I only paid $139 for it on sale at my local HF outlet.

Stock blade is pretty crappy, even the replacement ones that HF sells are better than the one that comes w/ the saw. For some funny reason, the blade I got was backwards and we had to flip it inside out to orient the teeth the right way.
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (AP-Signworks1)

I will be buying a blade soon and let everyone know how much better it works.

AP-Signworks1 nice little review, you know where you said the end of every cut it gets sloppy. I noticed that to, but then I inspected it and noticed the one clap was hitting the other piece. Adjusted it and it fixed my problem.

Did anyone else have problems with the handle adjustment ? You know the big spring in the back ? There is suppose to be a nut on the back but it hits the stand, so I just used lock tite.
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Old 04-22-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

Once you use it a bit and want to start tweeking, check this out:
http://www.mini-lathe.com/Bandsaw/Bandsaw.htm

Here's plans for a really nice stand and coolant system for it:
http://www.homemetalshopclub.o....html

Have fun!
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Old 04-22-2005, 08:15 PM   #11
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (kb58)

Yeah they are great little saws. I had mine passed down to me from my grandpa and it still works awesome! DEFENITELY build a stand for it when you get a chance. I didnt think it would make much difference, but after getting rid of the cheap cheetmetal stand, I couldnt believe the difference! Also, when adjusting the tension on the blade with the **** which pulls the 2 wheels apart and puts pressure on the blade(**** is on top), tighten the **** as tight as you can get it by hand. I mean really sinch it down. This doesnt sound like a good way to do it, and I had the same thoughts 3 years ago when I heard this advice, however, I have NEVER had a blade snap, stop in the material, pop off or anything, unless I was using it is a vertical saw, and was feeding the material into it to quickly. Just my .02
Kyle
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Old 04-22-2005, 09:41 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (blueoval557)

I will try that.

It seemed like the top pulley was a little loose though, I messed with the one bolt that makes the pulley look like this / \ , it seems like the pulley likes to wobble that way. But it seems like the more tension I put on the blade, the less it wanted to move like that.
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Old 04-23-2005, 07:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

Yeah the top one is loose because it has to slide up and down. Don't worry about it, once tight, it's fine.
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Old 04-23-2005, 10:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (kb58)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb58
Yeah the top one is loose because it has to slide up and down. Don't worry about it, once tight, it's fine.
Got ya, thanks a lot

For anyone that cares about the blade, I got a good one coming with in the week, so I will defintly reply with how it is when I get the new blade on.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:16 PM   #15
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (kb58)

I have that bandsaw. Has worked great for me for years. Great for the money.

Yager-
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Old 04-27-2005, 08:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (ImportHatch)

I was gonna update this thread tonight because the blade came, but I'm having a tough time with the bandsaw but its nothing that can't be fixed. First the blade kept falling off, I figured what was wrong, it was the bearings that guide the blade. But after loosening them, now when you look at the blade, its on an angle. I just gotta mess with the settings but don't know where to start
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:36 AM   #17
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

Well I got the new blade on there and made my first cut with it, it cuts it like butter. The only real problem I'm having is, right now the blade was sitting on a little bit of an angle, which I fixed. But from me tightening these other things, the blade would slowly slide off the pulleys, only when you were not cutting something though, I.E you just left the machine on in the vertical position not cutting anything. Its hard to explain over the internet

Anyways its a great tool and makes nice clean cuts, if anyone wants some pics of how clean, I can take pics if you would like. Just say so.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:40 AM   #18
 
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

"so"
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (hybridvteceg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridvteceg
"so"
Its nice for the price, I adjusted the blade even more ( not following instructions though ) and it works.

A few things that a stupid though, some of the bolts get in the way of the blade. There is a bolt that holds on the belt cover that get in the way of the blade.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:15 PM   #20
 
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

i was saying so, that i want pics, lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by 90blackcrx
Just say so.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:42 PM   #21
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (hybridvteceg)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hybridvteceg
i was saying so, that i want pics, lol


Oh ok, I'll take a pic of the exhaust piping I cut, I'll have it up tonight.
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:37 PM   #22
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

I cut the piece on an angle, did not debur them yet either





This cut I think I made straight but my blade for some odd reason is not angled right, I'm trying to work the kinks out



After looking at the pic though, it does look pretty straight.

All I can say is, if your looking for a band saw and your on a budget, this is a nice piece. But don't expect to get it home and start making cuts with in 10 mins. You really need to mess with the settings to get it right. And I think a lot of people don't take there time and just say it sucks.


Modified by 90blackcrx at 12:24 PM 5/2/2005
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Old 05-02-2005, 06:19 AM   #23
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Default Re: Harbor Freight bandsaw review (90blackcrx)

Any updates on getting the blade straightened out?
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Old 05-02-2005, 09:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyhole
Any updates on getting the blade straightened out?
I straighten it out by messing with the guide bearings, these bearings are not suppose to be really close to the blade but this was the only solution I could find for now. I'm gonna go out there today and mess with it, I'll take pics of the blade cause I need to show someone the problem.

I don't think its the machine or the blades fault, I put on the old blade and thats angled weird to, so I must of messed with a setting that did it.
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Old 05-02-2005, 10:16 AM   #25
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We used to use these at work. I believe we still have 5-6 in storage. These are really good for the money and we work them TO DEATH literally.

We had two catch on fire on the same day. Now keep in mind they are on about 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

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