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Pivot Head Bandsaws Ellis 1800 or Jet J-9225

grubba

Plastic
Joined
Mar 13, 2024
Location
KCMO
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to buy a new horizontal bandsaw for my shop. I'm really looking for a pivot head bandsaw with a sizable cutting bed, cuts square, and a brand that has decent customer support for parts and repair. Right now the standouts for me are the Ellis 1800 or the Jet J-9225. I've also looked a little into the KMT H310 U but that is at the top of my budget with freight included.

It seems the differentiations between the two is whether or not the have a coolant system, vice clamp style, and brand loyalties. I can find a lot of info, troubleshooting videos, and reviews on the Ellis 1800 compared the other saws which makes me lean towards the Ellis. I also like that it doesn't have a coolant system so I can cut different metals on it without making the coolant go rancid. I'll mostly be cutting mild steel but I want the option to go stainless in the future.

What do yall suggest?
 
I have an Ellis 1800 and after years of using it I would buy again or get the 2000 because of the larger capacity and the location of the hydraulic downfeed adjustment. I added a homemade air solenoid setup to mine to blow the chips down and keep the blade cool. The blades last a long time even with stainless. With alum I have a spray bottle with WD40. It's a good machine.

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What are you coming from in terms of saws?

Saw without coolant and 1 hp motor- and horizontal? Import 4x6.
Used Everett abrasive saw. This would be first choice.
 
@IWUP that's a good point about where the hydraulic downfeed adjuster is on the 1800 and that air solenoid setup you made is cool!

@memphisjed I'm currently using a Grizzly G0561 so a 7" x 12" 1hp motor saw with coolant. I just hate the angle adjustment system and the blade adjustments are a pain to get a nice square cut on it. I've just never liked the thing. My employer is more apt to buy new things rather than used unfortunately.
 
No experience with those but the plant bought a Clausing/Kalamazoo before I retired. Not a good experience. It was not ready to run by far. Blade wouldn't track and jammed between the wheel and frame. Power lift was nice but the drop speed control was on the far side. When lifted, coolant dripped outside the pan. Might want to look how far the pan extends.
Dave
 
What size material and how much are you cutting?
Coolant is not an optional item, it is necessary on saws. Chip clearing is the primary reason.
good abrasive saws are about the only good new option on the low end of budget. They have coolant too. Auto down feed.
Expensive and slow to run compared to full band saw, cuts are smooth and true. Will cut faster than any scissor saw. Small footprint as bonus.
 
Ellis makes excellent saws. Several fabrication shops in the area use either the 1600 or the 1800. I looked into a 1600 many years ago, but it was a bit more expensive than I was willing to spend at the time and had a long delay time for delivery. I ended up with a Startrite H175. It's a good saw, but it's a bit of a PITA for miter cutting. The Startrite is coolant capable, but I've never used it in 20 years. The saw now gets used on the average of 3 hours a week, and blades usually last around 30 months. When the saw was being used 5 hours a week the blades would last around 24 months.

Ellis has excellent support, but unless you're doing production quantities, I doubt you'll need it. Their saws are almost bullet proof. A friend of mine has had a 1600 in his fab shop going on 20 years. The only thing its needed is blades and blade brushes. He cuts everything from 316 stainless to structural I beams with no problems.

The Ellis manufacturing facility is only a few miles down the road. We both buy our blades from them. We both use their bimetal Blades for dry cutting. My machine uses 98" blades. The last ones I bought were $42.00 each with a minimum order of 2. I usually order them in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.

Another option might be a cold saw. I purchased a lower end (Baileigh) 350mm saw a couple years ago. It's quicker and slightly more accurate than a bandsaw, but the blades are considerably more expensive.
It has the mitering head and requires coolant. The only downside in my mind is that the stock has to be lifted above waist height to be placed in the saw. That's not a problem with smaller material but is a bit difficult when the material is 4" in diameter and several feet long.
 
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I have used Ellis saws, and chose not to buy one. They are beloved by fabricators, but arent really beefy enough for my tastes for larger solids and bigger sections. Too garage built for my tastes. A lot of people like em.

I think coolant is essential.
I use a water based coolant on my bigger 10 x 16 Jet horizontal, no issues with rancidity, although it does evaporate. Its easy to turn it on and off as needed. I also have 2 smaller Jet horizontals without coolant, fine up to about 2" square tube, or 1" or so solid, but on bigger things, like, say, 4" solid round, without coolant, you have really long cut times and faster blade wear.
The bigger Jet machines are decent- certainly not comparable to $25,000 to $65,000 "real" horizontals, but not harbor freight by far.
If you are considering a Jet, its worth a call to Equipment Sales and Service, https://www.equipmentsalesandsurplus.com/aboutus.asp
they are the liquidator for scratch and dent, returned, or discontinued Jet, Powermatic, Wilton, and now, I think, Baleigh. They have been the exclusive liquidator for something like 30 years now.
They often have individual machines that they dont bother to list on the website, one of a kinds, that are very good deals- my 10x16 mitering saw had some sheet metal dings, I paid about 2/3 normal price for it. Its a big, heavy, 3 phase machine, I have run thousands of parts thru it and its quite accurate and cuts straight.
 
FWIW, Dake sells an Ellis style saw that seems a little beefier than Ellis and has DC variable speed drive.
 

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One note on coolant ...

If you find yourself cutting any thick-section Aluminum, like 2" square bar, and you don't have any coolant, you run the risk of a tooth or two clogging, and if you don't catch this RFN, it will break the blade or stall the motor. BTDT. A squirt of WD-40 helps a lot.

Regards.

Mike
 
I’m not impressed with Jet Service & support. I have. a Jet JD 125VS 3 drill press bought new in 1987. In about 1990 I started having trouble with the control station transformer. I contacted Jet service and support several times for wiring diagrams and parts. Never did get either. Finally had to find off the shelf parts from electronics suppliers to resolve the problem
 
Yeah, in regards to the Ellis, I was really surprised to see so much love for a saw that doesn't use coolant. I had always learned that coolant is totally necessary but it seems legions of people love that machine which is the reason I came here to discuss it. I've got a small prototype/fabrication shop so I'm hardly cutting stock thicker than even a 1/2". I don't have any machine/mill equipment so I work in mostly tubing and plate stock.

I'll look into abrasive saws or cold saws. I've just really gotten used to using a horizontal bandsaw. I'm wondering why I've got that preference, other than some abrasive saws being super loud.

@projectnut I agree with you, I had tried to buy a Jet horizontal bandsaw years ago and it arrived after a long time with a huge dent in the motor, probably the shipper's fault but still a pain to deal with.
 
Unless you run a large a fab shop with half a dozen or more employees, I doubt you'll be using the saw more than a couple hours a day. With that little use I don't believe coolant is necessary. However, if the employees aren't changing the blades to suit the material being cut problems could arise quickly.

As mentioned earlier my Startrite saw is coolant capable, but I don't use it. The machine came from a production shop that was expanding. The saw was being worked all day every day with coolant and couldn't keep up with the demand. Rather than run it into the ground the owner bought a larger automated saw and sold it to me.
 
Yeah, in regards to the Ellis, I was really surprised to see so much love for a saw that doesn't use coolant. I had always learned that coolant is totally necessary but it seems legions of people love that machine which is the reason I came here to discuss it. I've got a small prototype/fabrication shop so I'm hardly cutting stock thicker than even a 1/2". I don't have any machine/mill equipment so I work in mostly tubing and plate stock.

I'll look into abrasive saws or cold saws. I've just really gotten used to using a horizontal bandsaw. I'm wondering why I've got that preference, other than some abrasive saws being super loud.

@projectnut I agree with you, I had tried to buy a Jet horizontal bandsaw years ago and it arrived after a long time with a huge dent in the motor, probably the shipper's fault but still a pain to deal with.
I have a 9x13 band saw, coolant capable. I use it on an occasional basis and so far I have seen no need for coolant. I cut everything from 1/4” wall tube steel to 5” round steel. The blade is on the coarse side.

I do have an abrasive saw, and since the big bandsaw went into service, it sits unused unless I need to cut something that might be hard or have hard spots that could toast a bandsaw blade. Even my ancient little 4x6 import bandsaw gets more use than the abrasive saw.
 
I have a small cold saw. It makes nice clean cuts. But, it doesn’t do a thing without me pulling down on it. In a sense a horizontal band saw does do the cutting on its own. Also the horizontal band saw will do much larger material. The band saw I think is more versatile.
 
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why horizontal? verticals are faster, blades last longer and cuts are truer. foot print is the big draw back. You can run without coolant at extremely slow fpm and some of the self lubricating guides, at that point abrasive becomes faster. then you are back to wanting coolant for dust control.
 
I don't get the Ellis love at all. Overpriced pieces of shit imo. Better than a Carolina I guess. Only positive thing I can think of.

I have a 30 year old Mitering Jet 1" blade horizontal. It's been a great saw. Really no complaints. I replaced all the carbide guides and guide bearings a few years ago. Parts support was excellent. Under $100 for all the parts.
 
why horizontal? verticals are faster, blades last longer and cuts are truer. foot print is the big draw back. You can run without coolant at extremely slow fpm and some of the self lubricating guides, at that point abrasive becomes faster. then you are back to wanting coolant for dust control.
Unless things have changed since I retired the vertical saws still need an operator. The horizontals can be setup and left to cut on their own. If you have enough production to justify the cost, you can get an automatic. The only operator interface is to load the stock and start the machine.

As for the Ellis machines, they're primarily used in fab shops where each job is different. They may be "low end" compared to other brands, but they're also a fraction of the price. As I mentioned earlier, they're almost bullet proof. Many fab shops in the area have used them for 20+ years with no problems. They aren't high volume production machines, but they are dependable and easy to configure for angle cuts.
 








 
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