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Thread: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

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Old 06-14-2018, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I'm looking to get a compact miter chop saw to do some cutting on small aluminum and brass tubes. I want something compact that I can keep in my hobby room. I don't want a full-size chop saw or miter saw that I have to keep in the garage.

I just started looking and found that Harbor Freight has a 2" and a 6". The 2" would be plenty if it'll do the job. Online reviews seem mixed.

The 6" seems better, but it's much larger than I need.

Then there's the Proxxon which looks great, but it's around $250.

The Rockwell BladeRunner is another potential option.

Is there something in the middle? What do you guys use?

Harbor Freight Drill Master 2"




Harbor Freight Drill Master 6"




Proxxon




Rockwell BladeRunner

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Old 06-14-2018, 02:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I have the top one and the only thing it is good for is cutting pen tubes and light metal tubing.


Go to thingiverse and print yourself a cutting station for a dremal, assuming you have one.





I had that bottom one and returned it. Could get a straight line because the blade would deflect. All I was trying to cut was 3/4" wood pen blanks. It happened to be a fathers day gift a few years ago.


I like the second from the bottom one. Looks useful
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Ive had the Harbor Freight (second one) for about 7 years now, used it quite a bit when I built scalers. Still works good, never a problem.

Only flaw I dont like is depending how big a piece of what ever, the wheel doesnt cut through it totally. Cutting 3/16 brake line or 12mm carbon fiber tubes .... the handle bottoms out before the wheel gos the last bit through.

I just put a block in the vise part of it to raise the material up.

Last edited by Robbob; 06-14-2018 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 06-14-2018, 02:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

The Bladerunner is most attractive to me. I freehand on a fullsize tablesaw now (cringe), but I much prefer a stationary blade for precision and control over a chop type, unless they feature a laser, which these won't.

And it will certainly be of higher quality than the typical Horror Freight offerings.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

A good vise and a 4” grinder with a diamond wheel can’t be beat


Hang up and Drive
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I have a blade runner. It's loud as heck, and cuts in an upwards motion. Not the greatest for small parts. Feel free to come check it out sometime. I use it primarily for cutting new chassis rails and parts.

I use a dremel and cut off wheel with a vise for smaller stuff.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemcE View Post
A good vise and a 4” grinder with a diamond wheel can’t be beat


Hang up and Drive


Yes -4” grinder ,... no - diamond blade , diamond for cutting stone not metal


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Old 06-14-2018, 05:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I have them already for cutting thru stucco and lath.
Overkill, but love the 4”


Hang up and Drive
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:15 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by OSRC View Post
I have a blade runner. It's loud as heck, and cuts in an upwards motion. Not the greatest for small parts. Feel free to come check it out sometime. I use it primarily for cutting new chassis rails and parts.

I use a dremel and cut off wheel with a vise for smaller stuff.
That's disappointing. Nothing like firsthand feedback though.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditchrat View Post
I have the top one and the only thing it is good for is cutting pen tubes and light metal tubing.

Go to thingiverse and print yourself a cutting station for a dremal, assuming you have one.

I had that bottom one and returned it. Could get a straight line because the blade would deflect. All I was trying to cut was 3/4" wood pen blanks. It happened to be a fathers day gift a few years ago.

I like the second from the bottom one. Looks useful
I do have two Dremels and a knock-off. I'll have to checkout those cutting stations you speak of. Is there one that you use that works?

The second one from the bottom looks awesome, but it's $250 and I wouldn't use it enough to justify that.

I wonder what the size of the motor is in the first one. Maybe we could hop that up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbob View Post
Ive had the Harbor Freight (second one) for about 7 years now, used it quite a bit when I built scalers. Still works good, never a problem.

Only flaw I dont like is depending how big a piece of what ever, the wheel doesnt cut through it totally. Cutting 3/16 brake line or 12mm carbon fiber tubes .... the handle bottoms out before the wheel gos the last bit through.

I just put a block in the vise part of it to raise the material up.
It bottoms out on itself? That's obnoxious.

This one does seem like a decent option though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemcE View Post
A good vise and a 4” grinder with a diamond wheel can’t be beat


Hang up and Drive
I'm not steady enough to freehand 45° angles though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OSRC View Post
I have a blade runner. It's loud as heck, and cuts in an upwards motion. Not the greatest for small parts. Feel free to come check it out sometime. I use it primarily for cutting new chassis rails and parts.

I use a dremel and cut off wheel with a vise for smaller stuff.
It cuts in an upward motion? That's very odd.

I appreciate it. I might have to check it out.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

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Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper View Post

It bottoms out on itself? That's obnoxious.

This one does seem like a decent option though.
The guard hits the handle on mine before it bottoms through. It was 7 years ago so maybe they tweaked it since but I felt risky pulling my guard.

Fingers ..... fast spinning fiber metal cutting disc vs putting something to hold material up a bit. I voted for my fingers lol
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:43 AM   #12
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I have the first one and had the second one.

The little saw has the power of a dremel and doesn't always cut parts straight but is good enough for RC use. I replaced the metal blade with a 2 inch cut-off disk and it handles 1/4" aluminum tubing but it really isn't up to cutting steel.

The second, larger saw has more than enough power for anything you would need to cut in RC use, I cut a bunch of 1/4" stainless steel tubing and 3/16" rod for links like it was nothing. The big problem was the bevel gear that connects the motor to the blade stripped out rather quickly. The mesh on those gears was terrible and there is no real was to adjust it so the fact they failed isn't too surprising.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:55 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

The 2" Horror Freight does look interesting at $35.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I use the 6" Harbor Freight one almost daily. Works very well.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Jato, just buy one of each of them and then post a review for us. Kthx.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:27 AM   #16
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

I bought the blade runner when they first came out. It does cut metal ( I spilt a few frame rails with it). IMO it isn't ideal for our hobby.....
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:39 AM   #17
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Quote:
Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper View Post

It cuts in an upward motion? That's very odd.

I appreciate it. I might have to check it out.
Also have the blade runner, and yes, it's an up-and-down motion. It's basically a jig saw set into a mini version of a table saw table (complete with a "fence" system. Relevant point, is it cuts on whatever motion (opposite) it would in a jig saw.

I've only done wood cutting so far, but know that it's cut quality is directly tied to the quality of blade. Throw away the stock blades, and pick up a set of Bosche baldes. Makes the difference between it being total garbage, or a serviceable tool. Even with nice bladed though, any wood working generally needs some heavy sanding to be serviceable.

All that said, it's actually a nicer, more accurate tool than a $100 Jigsaw-in-a-table has any right to be. It won't replace a band, table, or chop saw, but it'll "do in a pinch."

Also, it appears it's being discontinued as a "Rockwell" product, and being shifted to the Worx Brand:
https://www.worx.com/bladerunner-por...saAslbEALw_wcB

In summary, ask your self "can I cut what I'm about to cut with a Jig saw, assuming I could mount everything in a secure way", and that's what the blade runner does for you.

And, like the jig saw, it's a great "tool for someone who doesn't want a lot of tools", if that makes sense.

Last edited by AggressorBLUE; 06-15-2018 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:40 AM   #18
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbob View Post
Ive had the Harbor Freight (second one) for about 7 years now, used it quite a bit when I built scalers. Still works good, never a problem.

Only flaw I dont like is depending how big a piece of what ever, the wheel doesnt cut through it totally. Cutting 3/16 brake line or 12mm carbon fiber tubes .... the handle bottoms out before the wheel gos the last bit through.

I just put a block in the vise part of it to raise the material up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by svt923 View Post
I have the first one and had the second one.

The little saw has the power of a dremel and doesn't always cut parts straight but is good enough for RC use. I replaced the metal blade with a 2 inch cut-off disk and it handles 1/4" aluminum tubing but it really isn't up to cutting steel.

The second, larger saw has more than enough power for anything you would need to cut in RC use, I cut a bunch of 1/4" stainless steel tubing and 3/16" rod for links like it was nothing. The big problem was the bevel gear that connects the motor to the blade stripped out rather quickly. The mesh on those gears was terrible and there is no real was to adjust it so the fact they failed isn't too surprising.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redemon View Post
I use the 6" Harbor Freight one almost daily. Works very well.
What's the physical size of the 6" saw? I don't see any dimensions on Harbor Freight's website.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: Hobby Bench Top Cut-Off Miter Saw

Honestly, a $100 benchtop band saw is a bit bigger, but *SO* much more versatile. I've been using mine for 5ish years, and is absolutely one of my most used tools.
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