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Looking for the best band saw for $1000.00


Jan 17, 2019
I have a small business where I cut a lot of square and rec tubing up to 3" at angles, sometimes exceeding 45 degrees. I have a budget of around $1000.00. I was looking at the Baileigh BS-128M, and something like the HEM Saw ABS105, but its throat seems a little small for what I would need. I have a small shop, and no 220 at the moment. Any advice?
what is a lot? The 105 will not cut a 3" on a 45; The 120 will. The NG 1xx semi auto is surprising good and will do 60 degrees (capacity at 60 is not 3"), the ng is the funny reverse rotation that "speeds" cut up by using blade to pull saw down, not push saw up. The swinging of the saw and not vise is almost thinking on HeM/fermi part. Not winning production races with no coolant and 260 fpm, but on par with a much bigger scissor saw with conventional rotation and no positive feed. Small blade, short blade life. Loud motors on these saws, like grinders which is annoying. Do not know that baileigh, but sub 1 hp is "a saw shaped item" (quoted from someone on forum).
the Baleigh you mention is a standard Taiwan/china design, imported for 20 years now by at least a dozen "brand names".
Its a swivel base version of the Taiwan 4x6. I have several friends who have small fab shops who like them. They are light duty, and 3" is pushing it, but possible. The Jet, Grizzly, MSC, Baleigh, and other versions of these are all pretty similar, although they vary a bit in minor ways. I, personally, have had 4 of the small Jet saws in the last 40 years, and find them better than most, with better bearings and electricals, but YMMV.

If I had to choose between that and the HEM you are talking about, I would take the China saw.
Its heavier, has a longer blade and larger wheels, which means longer blade life.

The little HEM is basically an occasional use home shop or jobsite saw- the cast iron chinese saws are better shop saws.

I would shop around, as many companies besides Baleigh sell the same saw.

You want the heaviest saw you can find, with the largest motor and the largest blade, both in length and width.

If you have the time and ability, you will get a much better saw if you buy an older, heavier, used saw, and rebuild/restore it as needed.

Many many shops worldwide get by with variations on these 4x6 saws- but they are not great, and they are, in the end, basically a disposable tool, not a machine that will last 20 years.
Save your money and increase your budget to $2,000 and buy a proper saw that will do your work without issues. The $2,000 budget should find you a good condition 10" x 16" horizontal with cooling and hydraulic feed.
hydraulic resist, not feed. True feeds start in the 45,000+ dollar band saws. Cold saws and abrasive saws are cheaper, with air over hydraulic feeds. 10 inch cutting you are pushing with 800 to 1500# of force for teeth to engage optimally, and a solid motor. Hyd-mech 18 has a 7.5 hp running worm drive, and at 12 inch cut you can tell it is working. The feed is on a 3hp pump, and will make drive motor trip at 2200+- pounds. the v 18 is the smallest of the good true feed saws I know(cosen, hydmech, hem all run similar size). The ng tier of hem the op talks about has a spring assisted feed along with the blade force, still danty, but better than most scissor saws... Crazy loud motor, stupid loud.
I've got the HEM ABS105 saw, its a nice little saw for what it is but I wouldn't want it to be the main source of cutting if you've got very many cuts to make. If I had the choice for that I'd buy the baileigh one every time.
If you have a $1,000 budget I would recommend an Asian 7x12. I have one with "Turnpro" stickers. It's not awesome, but it cuts and cuts and cuts. 3/4" blade instead of the 1/2" for the HEM and Baileigh you mentioned. Obviously will cut 3" anything at 45*.