Takeaway meals: While there are many ways to cut metal with precision and ease with larger stationary tools, this number quickly decreases as you move outside of the workshop environment. The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Deep Cut Band Saw provides precise, tether-free cuts anywhere, requiring minimal practice or experience on your part. And with a 5.0 Ah battery, you’ll get plenty of run time before recharging or swapping out batteries. Ideal for cast iron pipe, black or galvanized pipe, square or round tubing, angle iron, rebar and PVC pipe, the deep cut band saw can cut almost any material up to five inches wide. After making a few clean cuts to fabricate parts for some test equipment, we found excuses to use it on any project.
- Variable blade speed to optimize cutting of any material
- Well balanced, for precise vertical cuts
- LED light illuminates the cutting area
Price: $ 459
While the deep cut bandsaw was on the Popular mechanics store shelf here for a while, I only got there recently when we needed to make a metal rack for the test equipment we were building. The saw impressed me with the ease and quality of its straight, clean cuts, which made me look around the store for other things to cut.
A tool for the trades = Reliability
Milwaukee has a long history of designing and manufacturing tools for tradespeople in the plumbing and electrical industries, and this handheld band saw is aimed directly at them. However, its capabilities are transferred to any job or task requiring metal cutting, inside or outside the workshop. And you can rest assured that it will stand up to some abuse because it was designed for everyday use in the trades.
Make no mistake, it’s heavy – 15.4 pounds, with the 5Ah battery, to be exact. We noticed it as soon as we lifted it with one hand. This is largely due to the all-metal direct drive system and all-metal saw frame. But that doesn’t mean Milwaukee just stacked metal in the name of durability. We found the saw to be incredibly well balanced. In fact, when we held it with both hands, one gripping the front handle and the other the rear, we discovered that the saw was suspended with the blade perfectly vertical.
Our initial inspection revealed several features that will extend the life of the Deep Cut Bandsaw. To protect the saw blade, drive wheels, and saw frame, Milwaukee has coated the front and back of the saw with a composite material designed to absorb shock. Similar material covers the hubs of both wheels, as well as the tension lever to remove the blade. And if we’ve cracked or broken any of these parts, they’re all replaceable – the saw can be repaired through Milwaukee, or you can buy parts online and replace them yourself. Portable parts such as the blade guide bearings and brackets, the wheel brush that wipes debris from the drive wheel, and the LED work light are also replaceable.
Make the cut (s)
The Deep Cut Bandsaw has one basic purpose: to make clean, straight cuts, and it does it very well. Since I first used the saw to cut steel bars, I have also cut steel and PVC pipe, steel tubing, ductwork, and aluminum bar. I found the weight of the saw, mentioned earlier, really helps he does his job. With the saw hanging perfectly upright in my hands, once I pulled the trigger I was able to let the weight of the saw do all the work. I discovered that it takes very little practice to make beautiful square cuts.
Besides making very clean and precise cuts, the portability of the Deep Cut Bandsaw is one of the biggest features that make it useful to me. This is a huge time saver, as I don’t have to go back and forth to the shop to use a stationary tool or stretch out extensions to get to where I’m working. I also like that I don’t need to bring a work light, as the saw has an LED which illuminates the cutting area and makes it very easy to see and follow the plot / measure marks.
The blade speed needs to be matched to the material to be cut – harder materials like steel need a slower speed, softer materials need to be faster – so this Milwaukee saw has a variable speed control. I really like the way the brand has implemented it, with a dial right above the trigger. Unlike a variable speed drill, where the more you pull the trigger the faster the drill spins, this bandsaw stays at the speed set on the dial for the duration of the cut. This is important because the saw has the ability to cut materials up to five inches wide and such a large steel pipe can take a bit of time to go through. It can be difficult to maintain a constant speed with a variable speed trigger.
Typically, the deep cut band saw is used for cutting pipes and ducts, but outside of these trades it is useful for virtually any fabrication project that requires cutting flat metal parts, angles, angles, etc. tubes or pipes. Without resorting to a stationary cutting tool, it would be difficult to duplicate the clean cut ease and speed of material with this Milwaukee saw.
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Deep Cut Bandsaw delivers precise, tie-free cuts wherever they need to be. Ideal for cast iron pipe, black or galvanized pipe, square or round tubing, angle iron, rebar and PVC pipe, the Deep Cut Bandsaw can cut almost any material up to five inches wide. It comes with a 5.0Ah battery which means you’ll get plenty of cuts before you need to recharge or swap out the batteries.