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Technical I need a recommendation for a good air saw.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31Vicky with a hemi, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. I have a Ingersol rand 429 and its not keeping up and letting me down.
     
  2. I'm curious what applications this tool is preferred for? I've watched your progress on the Pickup to Coupe project with great anticipation as you obviously know your way around a metal fab shop! I've had an air saw for years and about all I use it for is parts removal at the scrap yard if I remember it and my air bottle. Does this tool have a great advantage over a die grinder with good cut off wheel in some situations?
     
  3. I think so, I find it easier and lazer like accuracy to cut a line compared to a cut off wheel- especially when in a tight curve. The kerf is thinner with the saw blade and if the saw doesn't stall its quite fast. The short fast stroke makes nice cuts in sheet metal.

    I think It's hard to be surgically accurate with a cut off wheel throwing crap and sparks at you. Often I say to myself, someone should invent a cutoff wheel that has a reverse direction too.

    It's the constant stalling of the saw that I find troublesome
     
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,032

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    I don't know if you are like me and never oil your air tools but it seemed to make a noticeable improvement in my "Bluepoint" cut off wheel that I thought was junk.

    I have a crappy harbor freight air saw, I think it is "general pneumatic". seems to work good. maybe yours is just worn out
     

  5. Thanks. I can see that, quicker than snips I guess too. I do a little of everything in my shop and find I forget to bypass my low pressure filter/drier/regulator more and more often after painting as the years roll by. Getting a full 100-110 psi to my air tools works a lot better than when I try to run them at 45 psi. Maybe a special high pressure outlet for your saw could improve the present asset's performance to a more acceptable level? That IR 429 looks like a capable product in the literature.
     
  6. saltflats
    Joined: Aug 14, 2007
    Posts: 10,600

    saltflats
    Member
    from Missouri

    Snap On makes a right angle grinder that has reverse.
    I have one of the HF air saw I think it is allergic to metal. I would like to hear what other people have to say on this topic.
     
  7. I had a HF that worked barely ok for a short time. Then I got another HF that did the same. So I wouldn't recommend that for more than a short time.

    I stepped up to the IR 429 it works barely ok for a lot longer. They look identical and ill bet parts will swap with the HF. So I wouldn't recommend that unless you are fine with a tool that can barely reach the "ok" level
     
  8. ROADSTER1927
    Joined: Feb 14, 2009
    Posts: 2,865

    ROADSTER1927
    Member

    I have a matco cut off grinder that is reversable, I love it. Gary;)
     
  9. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,503

    325w
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I've had three Harbor Freight saws. First one didn't wirk at all tradeded back for number two. It quit. Took it back within the allotted time for a new one. When I did use it that one didn't work either. I'll not buy another from them. Friend has a Craftsman and it has been a very good one.
     
  10. HFs quality can be uneven at best..... With that said, they do sell different quality levels, with the 'better' stuff generally being the same or nearly so as the 'name brand' units. Unfortunately, the days of US-made pneumatic tools seems to be long gone. Personally, I've never used a air-powered reciprocating saw that was worth a damn, I'll stick to electrics for these. Jigsaws are cheap...
     
  11. Brand Apart
    Joined: Jan 22, 2011
    Posts: 756

    Brand Apart
    Member
    from Roswell GA

    Snap-on PTS500 is small and maneuverable, but also fill flat out cut. For heavier duty PTS1000 as you can use a standard blade or bigger sawzall blades and it is a beast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Electric jig saw is a very different cutting experience and completely different use.
     
  13. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,467

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Harbor Freight's air tool title is "Chicago Pneumatic". (a simile for the blowhard Chicago politicians)
     
  14. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 481

    b-body-bob
    Member

    All my HF air tools bogged down constantly until I switched to 3/8" air connectors. I guess it's more about the volume than it is the pressure.
     
    31Vicky with a hemi likes this.
  15. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 701

    Bugguts
    Member

    I like my Harbor Freight air saws. I always keep a spare one in case, but in 30 years have no complaints on the performance. I don't use it daily, but used them in a body shop for 23 years and now doing work at home. Best $10 spent compared to using a hacksaw by hand, or a tin snips.
    I'm sure there are better, but I'm not gonna spend more.
     
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  16. Ill see if I can test drive a snap on.

    Maybe jump up to a 1/2" hose.
     
  17. DdoubleD
    Joined: Nov 18, 2009
    Posts: 224

    DdoubleD
    Member
    from Michigan

    I have found that the air saws I've used lasted longer if you only use no more than 90 psi. Check tool instructions......I know who reads that. I had a nice Ingersol that broke due to too high psi. Snap-on?? Blue point same as China tool store saw with Blue Point name .....beware.
     
  18. WZ JUNK
    Joined: Apr 20, 2001
    Posts: 1,705

    WZ JUNK
    Member
    from Neosho, MO

    I use a HF air saw to cut fiberglass and trim fiberglass parts. I also use the HF blades. They last nearly as long as the name brand blades and they are not as expensive. The air saw is not as messy as a cutoff tool for trimming fiberglass and there is very little fiberglass dust in the air. I think the trick with all air tools is to oil them regularly.
     
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  19. Took b body bobs post and I changed some fittings around to larger 3/8" quick disconnects on my 3/8 hose and my saw cut like a champ. Almost 3 linear feet cut and tacked in just a few mins and it didn't stall 1/2 as much which is at least 300% improvement . Certainly graduated to past the Ok level.
     
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  20. Thanks, that worked great !
     
  21. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 481

    b-body-bob
    Member

    I'm glad it helped. It's bad enough trying to cut a straight line, but the tool bogging down about drove me nuts. Of course there's always a downside - there's so much volume I sometimes have trouble connecting to a pressurized hose.
     
  22. keyster
    Joined: Dec 27, 2011
    Posts: 26

    keyster
    Member

    The HF saw only lasted a few minutes.
    I moved up to Chicago Pneumatic and it is still going strong.
    I tear the blades up pretty fast, so I just use the HF blades.
     
  23. HF is central pneumatic
     
  24. The only good thing to carry out of Harbor Freight is the cash register !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  25. I use a HF air file and cutter. The first cutter seized due to a chip of metal in the chamber. I "ported" the second one and it has been working for years. I use the air file to cut square holes. I learned a long time ago about using 3/8 hoses and large fittings to supply my tools. 2X use a bypass on your regulator. Rick
     
  26. SinisterSleds
    Joined: May 6, 2012
    Posts: 15

    SinisterSleds
    Member
    from MA

    I have 3. my favorite is a porter cable. biggest complaint I have with that one is that a trip to the blades of the holder. I'm not sure whether it still available.
    my second favorite, believe it or not is the harbor freight. at first it rattled me and was violent to use. I cut down the spring it acts as a shock absorber. as it turns out it's too long so when the piston came back it would jam. now that that is been taking care of the thing is a beast. my least favorite one is my blue point.

    Porter # PTX5
    Hf? It's at another shop
    Blue point AT192A.
    the new snap on by Sioux is supposed to be outstanding though but I have no experience with it.
     
  27. stimpy
    Joined: Apr 16, 2006
    Posts: 3,547

    stimpy

    we used nothing but the snap ons versions at the shop with a 3/8 hose ( 1/4 inch is for airbrushes not enough volume for anything else) and always put a drop of oil in before you use it for the day . we have hogged off quarters with ours .. as for the HF one . its like a vibrator with a blade strapped on it . better off bolting the blade to a popcicle stick
     
  28. hot rust
    Joined: Sep 18, 2007
    Posts: 695

    hot rust
    Member

    matco has a pneumatic one that is gear driven, one of the best i've ever used. blue points are junk,never owned a hf one, the ir i owned worked ok at times as long as you didn't push it, never tried the larger hose but i will.
     
  29. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,881

    The37Kid
    Member

    For some reason the cutoff wheel with a reverse feature sounds like a tool that could have the disk loosen. Then again maybe I'm just a carpenter who sees no need for a tablesaw turning backwards, and watching the blade fly off. Bob
     
  30. Carpenter should see the circular saws in standard and worm drive configuration.
     

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