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I'm curious who actually uses this tool and for what? When I first saw it I was excited about them, but then after realizing that they are limited to cutting 4 3/4" material I start to wonder what the use for them is over just a circular saw, a jig saw or a recip saw?
 

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Never used one but it could do detailing on rafter/purlin tails on timber buildings. Though it looks awful light, I wonder if it could cut something 4-3/4"? Rich.
 

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I think those are for pipe cutting... at least small pieces of steel. The teeth on the blade are very fine. This one looks like a portable version, there is a stand that this can mount to, works kind of like a mitre saw except its used for steel.
R
 

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DING!
In the voice from the price is right.
You are correct sir! The porta band by milwaukee is the contractors choice for smooth clean cuts on steel and cast. The next time you have to slice into old crap pipe you can thank milwaukee.

Bob
 

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When you live in a world of pipe.

In Chicago and the surrounding counties, pipe is where it's at for electrical work. I have cut MILES and MILES of rigid conduit and large thinwall conduit with the Milwaukee Portaband. It isn't fast but it is powerful and the blade lasts for a very very long time. I've even used it to cut large cables instead of using a cable cutter.
I have also dropped it from a height of about 12 feet to land it on solid concrete with no damaging effect. Sure, I screamed like a girl when I dropped it but I was relieved when I got down off of the ladder to find everything A O K.

One great thing to mention about this tool is that it is very very quiet. Unlike a sawzall, it is geared nicely and you could talk to somebody next to you without raising your voice at all.
 

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DGR,IABD
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Oh my yes, I certainly do use it. I have the corded version as you have shown and the new 28 volt battery version. You can't cut (shouldn't cut) conduit with a traditional plumber's pipe cutter (the kind you tighten up and spin around the pipe), because it rolls a large burr inside the pipe that takes too much time to ream off. You need a smooth inside to pull wire, which the porta band permits. You still need to ream a little, but it only takes seconds due to the smooth cut.

The Porta-band is much smoother and much easier on the operator than a sawzall is. I also use it to cut steel strut channel (a.k.a. 'Kindorf') and steel framing angles. The sawzall gets jammed up too easily cutting these unusual profiles, and the porta-band glides right through.

If you gotta cut steel in the field, this is hands-down the best tool to use. It can't get in tight for demo work, so it's mostly reserved for new work and modifications to existing work where you can get the tool in. The tool is best used when the steel you're cutting is held firmly in a tristand.
 

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mdshunk said:
Oh my yes, I certainly do use it. I have the corded version as you have shown and the new 28 volt battery version. You can't cut (shouldn't cut) conduit with a traditional plumber's pipe cutter (the kind you tighten up and spin around the pipe), because it rolls a large burr inside the pipe that takes too much time to ream off. You need a smooth inside to pull wire, which the porta band permits. You still need to ream a little, but it only takes seconds due to the smooth cut.

The Porta-band is much smoother and much easier on the operator than a sawzall is. I also use it to cut steel strut channel (a.k.a. 'Kindorf') and steel framing angles. The sawzall gets jammed up too easily cutting these unusual profiles, and the porta-band glides right through.

If you gotta cut steel in the field, this is hands-down the best tool to use. It can't get in tight for demo work, so it's mostly reserved for new work and modifications to existing work where you can get the tool in. The tool is best used when the steel you're cutting is held firmly in a tristand.

Hey MD - ever use a handled deburring tool? They work great, they're quick, easy to use and will fit in your pocket. Looks like this. (see attachment). You can use your plumbers type cutter and debur it in a few seconds. Both tools can fit in your pocket, well, unless your cutting 4" EMT LOL.

BTW how are people getting their picture directly on the page instead of an attached file?
 

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mdshunk said:
You can't cut (shouldn't cut) conduit with a traditional plumber's pipe cutter (the kind you tighten up and spin around the pipe), because it rolls a large burr inside the pipe that takes too much time to ream off. You need a smooth inside to pull wire, which the porta band permits. You still need to ream a little, but it only takes seconds due to the smooth cut.
MD,

Here's a trick for you and don't wince. After many many years of hacksawing and deburring, a guy showed me this simple trick. DO use your pipe cutter but do it in this fashion....gently tighten....spin once...tighten a quarter turn.....spin once....tighten another quarter turn...spin a couple more times maybe (the idea is to simply score the pipe). Open it up and snap the pipe using your bender or just pop it across your knee, top of your ladder, a 2 by four, your forehead, you get the picture. Think it has a burr? Nothing! Put a connector on it and feel how perfect it is. It cannot be beat. The only time you cant do it is when you have to cut off less then a couple of inches. It's a little tougher on 3/4inch but it can still be done.
Like everything it may take a little practice before you get good at it but it made a world of difference for me... and I can hacksaw with the best.
 

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DGR,IABD
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In fairness, I do use the plumbing type cutter when using a power threader, since that's the type of cutter that's built on the machine. The big difference is that the machines have a reamer that you can swing down and power ream the pipe. We're talking ridgid conduit here.

For EMT, I've traditionally used the portaband for 1" and greater, and a hacksaw for 1/2 and 3/4. Lots of guys use the reamer Leo talks about, and I've used one from time to time. I have a half round file in my pouch that I cut the tang off of with a grinder. That's mostly what I use to deburr pipe, and I use it for other occasions where I need a file like to scrape paint off to bolt on a ground lug or something like that. For 1/2, 3/4, and 1" deburring, I use the Klein hooded conduit fitting screwdriver with built in reamer.

I must, and will, try that trick Chicago just spoke about. I've never known of that one, and I thought I knew all the tricks. Now I'll have to get a plumber's cutter to try it out. If Chicago is indeed from the Chicago area (and I presume he is) he'd be the forum resident expert on conduit work, since much of IL is ruled by the conduit Nazi's. :eek:
 

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this is a great tool

milwaukee portable bandsaw,i use this to cut fence pipe and rebar and just about anything else that fits in the throat,12 bucks for some blades,and they last a long time,it would cost me $200 to cut as much with sawzal blades :Thumbs:
 

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I have used one to make nice cuts on pre fabbed metal shelf supports. I know some guys that put in commercial restroom stalls they use one.
 

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it may be

Crawdad said:
It is, quite possibly, the handiest tool on a commercial construction site. :Thumbs:
once you own one you wonder how you did without :Thumbs:
 

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as a former mechanic, it is a valuable tool for cutting anything metal!!!

Buy at the pawn shop for the occasional user and you'll be gald you did....look long enough and you'll find one for $100. Milwaukee makes a great one and i wouldn't be afraid of a used one if the case aren't busted up!
 

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we used to use this tool to cut large plastic pipe for disposal when I was a working for the Provo City Power department. I was a meter reader and this was the crap they made us do when we were all caught up and no routes were available.
 
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