Register now to get rid of these ads!

Sawzall, torch or other? Edit: and plastic models?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by sgtlethargic, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. Which is preferable for dissecting a body (you plan on reattaching), and why?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  2. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    Depends on what your cutting ?
    I get a better line with a real thin cut off wheel.
  3. redtracker
    Joined: Aug 30, 2010
    Posts: 21


    i would have to go with either the sawzall or the wizzy wheel i dont like torches as i always end up with burns or catching stuff on fire
  4. Plasma cutter: Coolest thing ever.

  5. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    What exactly are you cutting apart?
    My own opinion would depend on what i was doing. The cut off wheels always work good and are relatively precise.
    Sawzall's work real good if the area i am cutting is too thick for a cut off wheel.
    I've used a port-a-band on thing's like A and B pillars for a chop because thye cut straight and have a large throat so it's one simple cut thats smooth and leaves a near perfect mating surface.
    I pretty much won't use a torch on anything i plan to put back together simply because once the slag is cleaned off the item is smaller, and also because it's easy to ruin a part with one vs the other's.

    For me i all depends on what i am doing.

  6. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,867


    Yep plasma cutter.... 1/16" cut line!
  7. lawman
    Joined: Sep 19, 2006
    Posts: 2,665


    Cut off wheel !!!! I Have not used a "Smoke Wrench" in Years !!!!
    Tom (Tired Old Man)
  8. I'm thinking about slicing and dicing a '61 Ranchero and making it smaller.
  9. 1957Custom
    Joined: Jul 26, 2009
    Posts: 231

    from Tulsa Ok

    I sold my torches & bought a Sawzall & a Dotco
  10. Like Tony said it depends on what you are cutting.

    I have used a hot wrench on a lot of things over the years but a sawzall gives you a cleaner cut especially if you are not a torch guy. Some of the really old guys wouldn't use a saw or cut off wheel if their soul depended on it but they grew up with a torch.

    Understand what I'm trying to say here?
  11. Cut off wheel along a pre marked cut line....the sawzall gets wonky if it gets away on you! Cut off wheel is much easier to control.
  12. Tony
    Joined: Dec 3, 2002
    Posts: 7,350


    I'm sure i don't have to say this, but i just can't help it.
    PLEASE wear safety gear with any of this stuff, especially cut off wheels.
    I've seen them do serious damage in short order..
    Just don't want to see anyone get hurt, again.

  13. 2 cycel demo saw with 12" metal cutting wheel
  14. atomickustom
    Joined: Aug 30, 2005
    Posts: 3,387


    No on the torch. Yes on the sawzall and/or the cutoff wheel (I used 4 1/2" disks on an angle grinder) AND yes on a metal-cutting blade in a circular saw.

    I completely decimated an '82 Grand Prix a few months ago and it took all three of those tools to do the job right. The metal blade on a circular saw is great for straight cuts and leaves a very clean (but sharp!) edge but can't do curves at all and can only cut a couple inches deep. That's when the sawzall comes in handy.

    Just be careful, wear gloves and a face shield, and pay attention to where your face and arms are in relationship to the moving parts. I had a cutoff disk blow into pieces and I didn't get hurt at all because I have long sleeves, heavy leather gloves, and (most importantly) my face and torso were NOT in line with the cut. The pieces all blew right past me instead of right into me.
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,944


    I'd wanna make it bigger, if I had one....
  16. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,987


    For chopping and sheet metal work either a thin cut off on a air angle grinder or an electric jigsaw for precise lines. Sawzall or 4" angle grinder with a cutoff wheel for heavier things that I can clean up later.
  17. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,532


    I'd have to agree with Tony on both using the tool that works best for the situation and wearing safety glasses or a full face shield.

    I use my sawzall a lot but use the 4-1/2 inch angle grinder with cut off wheels for more control on a lot of stuff. I also tend to use my saber saw with metal cutting blades on sheet metal. I don't use the torch on any cut that I intend to weld back together as my hand isn't that good with the torch anymore. I don't have a porta band but that is on my shopping list for things to hunt for. You can get a very precise and controlled cut on door and window posts with one.
  18. weldtoride
    Joined: Jun 14, 2008
    Posts: 259


    As I can’t afford a plasma right now, I use a saber saw with variable speed set to a lower speed with good, not off-brand blades. Be sure and pick right tooth per inch blade for gauge at hand. Way more directional control than a sawsall, good, clean kerf as small as a plasma. True, its time consuming, but once I get the speed and tpi dialed in, the clean cut saves time that I might have spent cleaning up a faster plasma or torch cut. Plan on going thru blades, just as plasma goes thru consumables, and torches go thru gas, it’s just the cost of doing business.

    This one is noisey, so ear protection is nice.
  19. Good advice.

    I use a drill for separating joints that have been spot welded. They actually make a special drill bit for drilling spot welds so you only have to drill one piece of the metal. Not too expensive either.
  20. To each his own ... :p
  21. outcast13
    Joined: Jul 24, 2009
    Posts: 180


    Plasma cutter for sure, very clean
  22. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,032

    from California

    4" cut off wheel for anything you want to weld back together.

    plasma? really? you guys gonna cut a section out and weld the pieces back together with a plasma cut? doesn't sound very precise to me.
  23. 4 1/2" grinder w/ a Norton 4 1/2" or 5" diameter .040" thin wheel, { yes you have to take the guard off first- but I didn't say that }, then for real close intricate cuts I use the die grinder, a 1/4" small arbor with a 3" .035" diameter cut off wheel. Really rolls around a small radius nice and presice. Read your wheels carefully, that they are for metal and not masonry. BDM
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
  24. Francisco Plumbero
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 2,531

    Francisco Plumbero
    from il.

    I cut up a lot of metal, a lot of cast iron piping, galvanized, sheet etc. I do not recommend metal burning, you are not cutting it with a torch you are burning it along with any toxic paint ,lead , rubber and etc., and you end up breathing whatever happens to be made or burnt up, you can get real sick. You can inhale lead directly if it burns, not good. On steel that will bind or distort with possible lead I wear a good painters filter mask and use a 20 tooth per inch Lenox sawzall blade. On high bind I switch to a cobalt coated sawzall blade, cast iron as well, flat sheet thats clean I use a grinder with a diamond tile cutting blade, you get great life and it can take a beating without exploding, but still wear a face shield. If you are in real clean metal an air shears or a detail wheel work nice, and in a certain spot an air chisel and sharp chisel work well. I rarely use plasma, you can create a toxin that can really cause problems in a confined low ventilated space, they are great for clean open work, but I feel you can send yourself to the ER fast if you just go after anything blindly with one.
  25. fordsteel
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 490

    from Elkland PA

    .040 4.5" or 4" zip wheel for clean sheet metal cuts like a chopping a top. Sawzall for cutting door posts and pillars. Plasma for fancy cuts and the torch for the heavy cuts, blowing bushings out of springs and broken off bolts out of holes.
  26. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,917

    from Rome NY

    Depends on what your cutting. Chopping a top i would use a sawzall on the posts, and the plasma on the flat sheet metal.

    I just bought this today at Lowes. Black&Decker Cordless Jigsaw on sale for $39, grabbed a pack of steel cutting blades for another $10. I havent used it yet, bit it should work fine for intricate cuts. Lithium battery claims to get 500 hours use (yeah right)
  27. I'm like the jigsaw and Sawzall suggestions.
  28. Theo:HotRodGod
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 565


    All of the Above!!! Plasma, Wiz Wheel, Sawzall, Teeth What ever works best for the part.
  29. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim

    I use whatever works best for the job at hand .
    Usually I use a cut off wheel because I get a nice clean , straight line .
    The Plasma cutter is great too as long as there isn't anything to catch on fire . Remember there is a flame with the Plasma cutter !
    The Saw-saw is also a good tool but hard to get good clean cuts .
    The jigsaw works good too and makes cutting curves easier than the saw-saw.
    I really like the small air saw because you can get into tighter places with it .
    Like I said , use what works best for the job you are doing ! There isn't just one tool that works for everything .

    Retro Jim
  30. Only time I ever usesd a torch on a body was to cut one up to take it to the scrapper. The cutoff wheels make a real nice cut but like others have said, do not skimp on safety glasses or face shields while using one! Years ago, back when I was young & invincible I had one blow apart in my face while I wasn't wearing a shield or glasses. I came out of it without injury but it scared the shit out of me so bad I won't even look at one now without proper safety gear. The sawzall is pretty fast but I like the precision of the cutoff wheels.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.