PM Bandsaw vs Tormach Autofeed

Andarxx

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I’m working on updating some equipment in my shop and I’m pretty sure I’m going with the PM-1440GT and PM-949TV. My question is has anyone has experience with the PM bandsaw or the new Tormach autofeed model? I was planning to bundle the shipping by getting all at once, but now I’m torn on moving up to the Tormach.


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7milesup

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No response huh. That is odd. I will have to say that the Tormach autofeed bandsaw looks really awesome, but you would have to have a production environment to justify it. Of course if it is for a hobby, no justification needed.
As much as I don't care for Harbor Freight stuff, I have their small 4x6 bandsaw and it works very well. All of those smaller saws come out of the same chinese factory. I have been seriously considering a 7x12 band saw but am still considering my options. I did not realize that PM sold a bandsaw. His price is actually quite good on that one.

I see that Northern Tool currently has their 7x12 Klutch brand on sale for $898. That is cheaper than anyone right now.
 
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davidcarmichael

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No response huh. That is odd. I will have to say that the Tormach autofeed bandsaw looks really awesome, but you would have to have a production environment to justify it. Of course if it is for a hobby, no justification needed.
As much as I don't care for Harbor Freight stuff, I have their small 4x6 bandsaw and it works very well. All of those smaller saws come out of the same chinese factory. I have been seriously considering a 7x12 band saw but am still considering my options. I did not realize that PM sold a bandsaw. His price is actually quite good on that one.

I see that Northern Tool currently has their 7x12 Klutch brand on sale for $898. That is cheaper than anyone right now.
I really like the HF 7 x 12.
 

dbc

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Well, I have experience with neither, but I have spent some quality time looking at both of those band saws before I lay out money for a saw for my own shop. In a production environment, I think the Tormach would make good sense -- why pay someone to babysit a band saw? But at least for me as a hobbyist, I would plonk for the PM and put the dollars saved to the tooling budget. The PM checks most of the boxes for what you need for a band saw.
 

davidcarmichael

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Well, I have experience with neither, but I have spent some quality time looking at both of those band saws before I lay out money for a saw for my own shop. In a production environment, I think the Tormach would make good sense -- why pay someone to babysit a band saw? But at least for me as a hobbyist, I would plonk for the PM and put the dollars saved to the tooling budget. The PM checks most of the boxes for what you need for a band saw.
I don't know the PM or the Tormach either but I have had a few bandsaws.
I do know that the PM is incredibly similar to the previous version of the HF saw. The only major difference in design is the speed change. However being made in Taiwan I am sure the castings are better and the materials used superior. It is about about 70% more expensive but that may be OK for a very serious hobbyist.
The Tormach is even more similar to the HF machine with the obvious addition of its automation features. At a starting price of $3999 it is in a totally different league from the others so it all comes down to needing auto-feed as well as undoubtedly high build quality (probably as good as the PM) and being prepared to pay a great deal for it. I couldn't see where it is made or whether its warranty matches the PM's 5 years. Does anyone know?
 

7milesup

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The Northern Tool Klutch 7x12 is on sale until midnight Tuesday ((7/7/2020) at $301 off of their normal pricing. I am probably going to pull the trigger on that one. As much as I would love the PM, that is another $550 over the Northern Tool.
 

Andarxx

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Thanks everyone on the feedback. I tend to be a “buy once, cry once” person, but I also like to research as much as I can as well. My goal is to move from a hobby to a full-time “professional” sometime in the hopefully near future, and I’m upgrading my shop for that end.


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Buffalo21

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The PM saw looks almost identical to the Wilton/Jet 7 x 12 saw I have
 

7milesup

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The PM saw looks almost identical to the Wilton/Jet 7 x 12 saw I have
And identical to the Northern Tool. LOL. The only difference I have seen is the PM having that gear box with the selector. Honestly, I have hardly ever changed speeds on mine switching from aluminum to mild steel so not sure how big of a deal that really is. Also, the PM is made in Taiwan where virtually all of the others appear to be made in China.
 

Winegrower

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If you really want to cut stuff, get a saw with a fluid recirculating pump. It makes a huge difference, in my opinion.
 

Buffalo21

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Good to know. I just got off of the phone with Northern Tool and they said their is made in China.
Let adjust my comment to say the tag on my 8-10 yr old, Wilton/Jet 7 x 14 saw says Taiwan
 

Buffalo21

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If you really want to cut stuff, get a saw with a fluid recirculating pump. It makes a huge difference, in my opinion.
I gave up on any kind of flood or spray coolant, on the machines, for 2-3 days afterwards, I’d be short of breath, nose bleeds and be coughing all kinds of phlegm. I could taste the coolant for a day or two. I still use a spray bottle and give an occasional spray, if it needs it.
 

Winegrower

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Now Buffalo21, that's interesting. I have an issue breathing and coughing when I drip or brush onto hot metal and create fumes. When sawing, the work doesn't get hot enough to create fumes. YMMV, I suppose.
 

4cyclic

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I have the PM bandsaw for last 3 years and it’s been great for my use. Can’t see why I would spend quite a bit more for an automated model, but that’s me.
 

mksj

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Many of the 7x12 Taiwanese bandsaws seem to be identical, exception may be a Jet and a few other brands. I have the Enco Turn-Pro that I have been using for years, I opted for the gear head which is more compact and easier to change gears. It appears to be identical to the PM-712G. They are reliable and they have hydraulic down feed, basically a piston with a bypass valve to adjust the oil flow. The Tormach has an auto side feed, which I can't see would be worthwhile unless you are in a production setting, the feed is also limited to 10". There are two variants on these metal band saws, one uses a fixed head and you adjust the angle of the piece. This is OK for larger material, but hard to cut smaller pieces. The other variant is the swivel head, where the material is stationary and the head swivel, very similar to a miter saw. The latter takes up a bit more room to allow for the head to swivel, but the material is always in the same position/plane. I modified my fixed head bandsaw to allow cutting smaller stock, would probably opt for a swivel head if I had more space. The PM-712G is the least expensive, Baileigh and Jet are almost twice the price in a swivel head. In the past QMT did source Baileigh band saws.

As far as coolant, I use to use KoolRite 2290 in my bandsaw when I used it more frequent. No fumes (it is water based emulsion), and the tank life was very long, like a year in a very hot garage. I do not use it anymore because I use the bandsaw infrequently these days and get decent performance with a good quality blade. If I did more steel and large aluminum I would add the flood coolant. I see the bandsaw as the 3rd most important machine behind the mill and the lathe, I have cut through 6" steel rounds with no issues. If you are looking at a higher end bandsaw I would recommend the Ellis over the Tormach at that price range.
 
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