Band Saw or Metal Cutting Circ Saw?

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IMG_0879I’ve got a lot of comments and messages asking which saw is best for plumbing and HVAC work since the new Milwaukee 2782 metal cutting circ saw was announced. Is it the full-size 2729 Deep Cut Band Saw or the Circular saw?

The best answer I have is: It depends.

If you’re cutting rod, copper and iron pipe along with some demo or even plastic then I’d suggest the porta-band all day. It’s more precise, lends more control for a finer cut. It’s 0-380 surface feet per minute rating mean variable speed and full direct drive power thru any suggested material without slowing down.

On the other hand if you’re cutting strut, spiral duct, emt or angle iron throughout the day then the circ saw is better suited. It’s 3900rpm and 30T blade will handle heavy materials ferrous or not. You might consider a toothier blade for copper or aluminum for a finer cut though.

IMG_0877The deep cut porta-band has a cut depth of 5″, the width is identical so 4″ iron or copper fits within the blade opening. Of course larger diameter piping can be cut with a tracking method but normal operation allows for already large material handling. Overhead and in-place material cutting (demo) is more realistic with the porta-band over the circ saw in my opinion.

IMG_0878IMG_0876The cut depth of the metal circ saw is 2″ with the factory supplied 5-3/8″ blade and jumps slightly to 2-1/4″ with an optional 5-7/8″ blade. Milwaukee is making claims of it being the fastest on the market, I can’t comment on that but if you’ve owned Fuel tools you can expect battery usage and performance to be acceptable in its category.

It’s hard to place these saws in the same category, or pit one against the other. Each does something the other cannot. Both can handle some of the same tasks with nearly the same outcome. I’ll be using the new circ saw on some boiler installs this week, that should give me a better feel for the saw overall.

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