Another Harbor Freight gem

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Review by b2rtch posted 01-23-2012 05:05 PM 5241 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Another Harbor Freight gem No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I know this is not a wood cutting band saw ( even if one could use it to cut wood with the proper blade) but I believe that woodworkers do not work wood only.

I have been looking at his saw for about a year.
I read excellent users’ reviews about it.
I read about how people tweaked it to make it work better or mostly to make it more stable.
I went to buy it several times but ended up not buying it mostly because it would takes room in my shop.
I had a lot of angle irons to cut to build additional racks to store wood that I recover from huge pallets and crates at work.
So I went to buy the saw Friday for $179.00.
The saw by nature is extremely top heavy and the stand is not the best so the saw tips over very easily which is both dangerous and causes damages to the saw.
Knowing that from reading other review I immediately added one outrigger made of 3/4 plywood.
This an easy and very effective solution and still allow to move the saw around on the original wheels.
Right out to the box the saw worked perfectly and as advertized.
The adjustments are right on.
I could not be happier with this saw.
Like most HF tools , this is a very basic tool but it does very well what it is supposed to do and what I need it to do .
Other brands sale this saw for much more money.

-- Bert

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4920 posts in 3849 days

13 comments so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3772 days

#1 posted 01-23-2012 05:22 PM

Well, I thought, after 2 years of outfitting my shop, I had pretty much everything I want or need. I mean, there are always things you look to upgrade, but I really had all the bases covered, NOT.

Thanks a lot. Now I know I’ll need a press brake and a shear as well. Heck, why stop there, maybe I’ll just go for an Iron Worker, the Swis Army tool of metal working.

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#2 posted 01-23-2012 05:33 PM

crank49, you are very welcome!

-- Bert

View PurpLev's profile


8574 posts in 4449 days

#3 posted 01-23-2012 06:26 PM

you probably know this already, but pay attention to the belt+pullys enclosure. I have read numerous people found there was too much friction between the belt and the enclosment that it melted the belt and caused some serious safety issues (no to mention broke the machine).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#4 posted 01-23-2012 06:31 PM

Purplev , I already modified the enclosure as I put the saw together, it no works very smoothly and very quietly.

-- Bert

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 3613 days

#5 posted 01-23-2012 10:56 PM

Im not understanding how you can give something a 5-star rating when you had to modify it while assembling?

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Gene Howe

12214 posts in 4229 days

#6 posted 01-23-2012 11:12 PM

JW, Maybe he could have given it 5 stars for meeting it’s purpose and fewer stars for needed assembly mods.
At any rate, a great written review. And thanks.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#7 posted 01-23-2012 11:54 PM

Just because it works as promised and it fulfills me needs.
The modifications that I made are extra they are not needed for the saw to work well, they make the saw more stable and nothing else.
It would be the same if I decided to ass a lubrication/cooling system, the saw works well without it.
Imagine that you buy a car that works perfectly well and fulfill all your needs, you might still decide to change the reams or the tires or to upgrade the radio, the car itself is still worth 5 stars.

-- Bert

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407 posts in 4039 days

#8 posted 01-24-2012 02:02 AM

I have used a number of those types of saws and they are handy. And as you mentioned top heavy. When you replace the blade get a good one. I like Lenox but am sure there are others just as good or better. Just that Lenox seems to be all over the place. I was in HF las friday and had to pull myself away from that very saw. Decided I could live without one. For a while longer. Maybe.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#9 posted 01-24-2012 02:14 AM

Hf sales a bi-metal saw blades made in the USA (in Idaho) for this saw for only $29.00. I( I bought one)Across the street I can buy one Lenox for around $40.00.
So far the original blade has been working just fine.

-- Bert

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3491 days

#10 posted 01-24-2012 05:03 AM

Bert, I have a very similar saw that I got from Wholesale Tool many years ago when I was a bit and spur maker. I was going to sell it when I started woodworking but instead made a few mods and use it for cutting wood now. I made a set of wooden guides as the ones that came with it wouldn’t allow use of a blade thinner than 1/2”. I then added a larger table made from aluminum, added a seat, and its works great with a 3/16 Timberwolf blade. It’s easy to convert it back to metal mode when needed. Just thought I’d share this in case you ever have that thought.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Fallon's profile


96 posts in 3929 days

#11 posted 01-24-2012 08:11 AM

Jet, Grizzle, Harbor Freght, Northern Tool & Supply… The list goes on, all make basically the same 4×6 metal cutting band saw. Not sure if if actually comes out of the same factory (like Seig & the mini-lathes), or just use the same design.

I resurrected an old Jet bandsaw & was pretty happy with it until it got knocked over & shattered. I found a green Harbor Freight to replace used for dirt cheap. The 3/4hp motor on the HF was significantly weaker than the 1/2hp motor off the Jet, so I swapped the motor over, but other than that they are mostly the same. The motor & some accessories change between the saws, but that’s about it.

They definitely do take a bit of fiddling to get setup right, but are a very good bang for the buck.

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#12 posted 01-24-2012 01:02 PM

gfadvm, thank you for the idea but I also have a HF 14” band saw (another gem) that I bought for $100.00, used only once before. From the same person I also bought a HF 12 speeds floor drill press also for $100.00 and also used only once before.

-- Bert

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4920 posts in 3849 days

#13 posted 08-21-2017 02:37 PM

I can’t believe that I bought his saw over 5 years ago!

I use this saw very infrequently but when I use it I love it, this really is a time and work saver and it does cut true.

After out of plywood I made an entirely new base for it, it is now stable, easy to move around and safe to use.

-- Bert

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