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Product review: Bullet carbide chop saw blade
Product review: Bullet carbide chop saw blade
Published by kwrangln
02-17-2007
Product review: Bullet carbide chop saw blade

First a little background. I'm in the military, and as such have to transfer every few years. The latest transfer found me with my own garage/shop for the first time. Great, but, I'm used to having a full shop at my disposal, and now I have to fully outfit my own shop on my dime. Not that bad, lil expensive, especially when you're used to having a govt budget for buying tools. Some sacrifices had to be made, such as a 180 mig instead of a 251, no TIG setup, and the real killer, going from a big bandsaw and Dewalt multi cutter to a regular ole chop saw.

The chop saw has been getting alot of use lately, and blades for it have been driving me nuts. Expensive for what they are, sloppy cuts, huge mess, and they just dont last. Since I've been using 2"x4" tubing for bumpers lately, it doesn't take long till the blade us worn enough that it wont cut through the 4" depth.

Then I found a post about chop saws on another forum and a mention of Bullet industries. They have released a carbide tipped chop saw blade rated at 4400 RPM's so it can be used in a regular chop saw. Best part is, its cheap, about the cost of 3-4 quality chop saw blades.

http://www.bulletindustries.com/cata...roducts_id/449

It didn't take me long to give em a call and get out the credit card. 5 days later the blade arrived on my doorstep. Double packaged with packing peanuts and bubble wrap between the outer and inner box. Took me about a week to get a chance to try it out and see if it was worth the cash.

I'm going to do this as a heads up comparison between the Bullet blade and a brand new Norton Charger fast cut abrasive blade 14"x7/64" with a max RPM of 4365. The saw of choice is a Makita 2414 13amp 3800RPM 14" chop saw.

First up, some comparison shots. Of interest here is the fact that the Bullet blade is actually rated for a higher RPM than the abrasive blade.






Enough of the pretty pictures, lets see how these things cut. I used 2"x4"x3/16" rectangular tubing for all cuts.

First up, the abrasive blade.

Note the ammount of sparks thrown around.


Completed cut took 54 seconds or so, had to count 1 one thousand etc to time it. Here's the completed cut and the ammount of dust generated. Yes, I started with a clean area on the shop floor and swept up the dust after each cut. The things I'll go through for a review.


Then it was on to a thin cut, seems its not to uncommon to want to take just a little bit off the end of a tube. Note how the heat of the cut made a curlyQ out of the drop.

The drop measured .012 on my cheapo calipers.


I made a total of 3 cuts with the abrasive blade, and in the process took 5/32" off the overall diameter.
__________________
Weld nekked, the sparks kinda tickle.
  #1  
By kwrangln on 02-17-2007, 08:01 PM
Now its on to the Bullet blade to see how it does. Same 2"x4"x3/16" rectangular tubing.

Much less sparks flying around.


Complete cut took 16 seconds by my counting method. Again you can see how much dust was created by the cut, it is a coarser dust so a bit easier to clean up.


Of interest was how long it took the blade to stop upon completion of the cut. With the carbide blade it took approximatly 40 seconds to spin to a full stop. I put the abrasive blade in to compare and the abrasive stopped in about 26 seconds. The extra weight of the carbide blade has a bit of a flywheel affect. It also took an extra second or two to get up to full speed. I always wait a couple seconds after hitting the switch before beginning a cut for the blade to stabalize after acceleration, so this wasn't a big deal for me.

Then it was on to the thin cut.

Again, about .012 by my cheapo calipers. Just alot cleaner and cooler cut.


Since I mentioned cut quality, lets take a closer look.
First the abrasive blade's cut.


VS the carbide tipped blade.


Both are pretty smooth, but the reduction in flash to have to clean up gives my nod to the carbide blade.


Overall impressions.

I'm glad I spent the money on this blade. I feel its turned my old chop saw into a comparable machine to the Dewalt multi cutter for 1/10 the price. Remember, I've used the Dewalt alot, and while its been 6 months since I've used it, my memory says this is just as good. Dont think I'll be going back to abrasive blades for a long time. Get one of these, you'll wonder why it took em so long to come up with em, and how you got by without em. These blades could very well be the death of the multi cutter type saws, no way could I ever justify spending the money on one after a simple blade swap got me the same performance.

While I'm only a few cuts into the hopefully long life expectancy of this blade, rest assured I'll update this post if I ever have any issues with it, and to update how long it lasts.
  #2  
By Racin_Jason on 02-18-2007, 02:43 AM
Very cool! Thanks for taking the time to post up a review!

Just ordered mine!
  #3  
By fabcam on 02-18-2007, 10:12 AM
Thumbs up

Great review. As already said, thanks for taking the time and sharing with us. I can see this one making our resource threads.

I am going to give this thread the 5 stars!
  #4  
By joescj5 on 02-18-2007, 11:04 AM
Keep us posted on the longevity of this blade. It looks way cool, and could easily find a home in my garage if it really is a good value.
  #5  
By mudbug on 02-18-2007, 03:53 PM
That looks like the tool to have for metal cutting. My brother saw this and his ex-boss uses this in his construction business and it's supposed to be a super blade for metal cutting( He says it rings like hell though).Look at the 7.25" blade cutting video BTW
  #6  
By RockPaws on 02-18-2007, 08:32 PM
Great review! I've been wondering about converting my abrasive chop saw to a carbide tipped blade. I sure get tired of the abrasive quality of cut and excessive sparks. I have a Milwaukee saw with a rigid frame. I may just need to buy one of these blades.

How is the noise level?
  #7  
By kwrangln on 02-18-2007, 09:16 PM
Noise level is about the same as a regular abrasive blade, but it does have a slightly higher pitch to it.

Glad the review is well recieved. Anything I could have done better for the next one? I tried to make it as fair and objective a comparison as possible, hope that shows. It was tough to keep an open mind since I've used carbide blades before in a multi-cutter and much prefer them, but it was fairly easy to show the abrasive's downfalls without setting it up for failure.

A question posed on another board I posted this review to has me curious. The question was about gear life of the chopsaw. Seems the poster figured the increased mass of the carbide blade was going to shorten the geartrain life of the saw due to stresses when starting. I'm not too overly concerned since I cant see accelerating the blade being as hard on the saw as bogging it down with an abrasive blade when I get a little heavy handed on a long cut. I could be wrong tho, and saw life will just have to play into my long term report.
  #8  
By mudbug on 02-18-2007, 11:31 PM
I read that reply to your other post and while that might be a concern with one of the cheap chopsaws (they aren't very heavy duty to begin with) I doubt it will make much difference with a good saw.Because it takes less effort to make the cut, it just might be an advantage over the wear and tear the abrasive blades put on the saw. FWIW
  #9  
By RockPaws on 02-19-2007, 12:02 AM
I think most abrasive cut off saws are direct drive. So I don't know what gears they are talking about. It may tax the brushes a little. I suppose it may shorten the brushes or even the motor life. Then again these saws are not that expensive, compared to the metal cut off saw w/ a carbide blade.
I would add the clamp on some of the abrasive saws, are not that good. An up grade or modification would be better. Also some saw frames are pressed metal, a cast frame would be best.
  #10  
By RockPaws on 02-19-2007, 06:13 PM
Anyone in contact with Bullet Industries?
The link is not working.
  #11  
By kwrangln on 02-19-2007, 08:17 PM
Link still works for me, but it may be saved in cookies on my computer. Just for grins I did a google search for "bullet industries" and their site was the first result. It took me a bit on their site to find a contact number to call em, but it is there. I prefer actually talking to a person over an internet order, just me.
  #12  
By dkizerian on 02-19-2007, 08:47 PM
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Thanks! This is a very helpful review. please keep us updated as you make more cuts.
  #13  
By kkuenemann on 02-22-2007, 06:06 PM
Thumbs up Just on their site...

Hey guys, I was just on their website, seems that they are currently OUT OF STOCK on the 14" blade.

I was shocked at the low price, $40 each. I just spent $ 167.00(at work, not my money) on a Millwakee Carbide Tip blade for use on a 14" Millwakee Dry Cut Chop Saw (1250 rpm). A LENOX brand carbide blade for a slow rpm (1300 rpm MAX) saw is well over $200 each. I love the saw, but it was expensive, about $500. I think that this Bullet blade with a less expensive high rpm chop saw would be the way to go.

Great review....
  #14  
By Racin_Jason on 02-24-2007, 09:14 PM
Got mine two days ago. After cutting about 10-12 pieces of 1.75x.095 DOM tube there are several teeth broken and it is very dull. Going back to using the bandsaw!
  #15  
By Racin_Jason on 02-26-2007, 09:59 PM
I called Bullet Industries today and told them about the problems I am having with the blade. I was told that it is not normal for the blades to wear out that quickly and I was the first to contact them about a problem. I asked about cutting tubing and was assured that it should do fine. I was also informed that the blade is only rated for cutting a max of 1/4". They offered a refund or a replacement and I opted to give it another go. They are sending me a new blade and also including a prepaid UPS sticker to slap back on the box to send the defective blade back - Good deal!!
  #16  
By kwrangln on 03-01-2007, 12:24 AM
Glad to hear they are taking care of you, thats something I'd like to include in a review, the customer service, but luckily I havn't had reason to test it.

I will agree with them that there is no way a blade should go bad in a dozen cuts. Not to sound like an ass here, but the only way I can see that happening is if the user was really thrashing it, trying to make a cut as fast as possible, really slamming the blade down on to the workpiece, or the blade was put on backwards. Giving ya the benefit of doubt, ya might have got a bad blade, stuff happens in the manufacturing world from time to time. If the second blade meets the same fate as the first tho, its time to look closer at the setup and user. Please dont take this the wrong way, I come off kinda harsh sometimes, but abrasive blades are pretty forgiving when it comes to rough handling, carbide, not so much. Technique and setup have to be watched closely.

I've only seen one carbide blade get wasted, dewalt blade in a multi cutter, and it was from abuse, pure and simple. I sometimes dont work with the brightest folks. Same guy once filled the coolant tank on the bandsaw with 2 stroke motor oil instead of the water based coolant, took me a couple days to clean that mess up.
  #17  
By azbdby on 03-28-2007, 05:00 AM
Jason, any word on the longevity of the new blade? I was thinking of ordering one of these and am curious how they are holding up.
  #18  
By Racin_Jason on 03-28-2007, 11:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by azbdby View Post
Jason, any word on the longevity of the new blade? I was thinking of ordering one of these and am curious how they are holding up.
LOL! Still waiting for it! (4 weeks ), I think I'll give 'em a call today and see what's up.


edit: Seems they're back ordered 'till March 30.
Last edited by Racin_Jason; 03-28-2007 at 11:59 AM..
  #19  
By PerilousCustoms on 05-10-2007, 01:18 AM
Thumbs up Thanks for the tip

Glad I read this review today. I was considering dropping $400 on a new saw because I'm tired of crooked cuts from deflection of the abrasive blades. I'll give these a try in my chop saw instead. Hope they aren't still on backorder.
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