I purchased my FOX 7” X 12” band saw recently. I did extensive research online and “in real life” beforehand, and I can connect the dots for you if you’re in the market for one of these. If you’re searching for the best metal cutting band saw, this one is definitely in the top 3. Like with any machine, it depends a bit on what you need it to do. If it does match your needs, then I can confirm it is dependable, consistent, accurate and a valuable tool in completing my home and work projects.
First of all, I am a contractor with a small crew and work out of a home office. I need a saw like this for semi-pro work, and the bigger jobs that sometimes come with it. If you are just looking for smaller cuts that don’t need as much power and versatility, like what comes up at home (e.g. cutting aluminum or 1/8 inch and other smaller size stock), you’re maybe looking at the wrong machine.
For smaller jobs, I would recommend a smaller metal-cutting automatic band saw, like a 4 X 6 incher from Grizzly. Also, this is just me, but you can put a metal-cutting blade on a wood saw if it lets you control the speed. Wood saws can go over 2000 sfpm and you need slower speeds for cutting metal. The process does eat blades faster that way, though. So, it’s a true cheat; it works, but there is a cost.
The online review that says that the FOX is ideal for “production shops”. That’s accurate. I have a friend who works in a machine shop and he uses the 7” X 12” FOX and other machines from the same company. He uses it when he needs to make many cuts repeatedly and quickly on stock larger than what the smaller machines can handle.
Some of what gets cut in the shop with this unit is 16 or 20-gauge square tube, 4” pipe, 2x2x.25″ pieces of tubing and bars. In other words, my friend works in production, and the saw helps him $produce$.
We’ve both had issues with chopping smaller pieces of metal, with the cuts being rougher because of the big teeth on the blade for the 7” X 12”, so watch out for that, and make sure you have more than just the blade it came with. It’s easy to find the blades for this machine. I have bought 5 different blades now with no issues, and one of them cuts smaller pieces cleanly.
Little things matter a lot to me, and this saw has a few little perks I did not know before buying. For one, you’ll be super happy with how little clean-up is needed after cut jobs. Very neat cuts. Second, something that surprised me was how quiet the FOX saw is. This isn’t a big deal, but it’s worth telling you that, compared to my abrasive chop saws, this is a hell of a lot quieter. I can cut at night without worrying about waking up neighbors. In a machine shop this doesn’t matter, obviously.
Whatever bandsaw you’re buying, don’t forget to read good reviews and lots of them so you know what you’re getting into. I’ve been burned (not on cutters) and I know what I am doing most of the time! Other than what I’ve said already, the reviews for the FOX 7” x 12” are true. Legit features:
|■ The power needed for big jobs
■ Rectangular and circular cutting capacity
■ Ability to cut angles
■ Four blade speeds
|■ Hydraulic Feed
■ Stand included
■ Coolant system
■ Useful vise
HP 1.0, Speed RPM 90, 135, 195, 255,
Volts 110/220V pre-wired 110V,
Blade Included Yes,
Blade Size L x W x Thickness in. 93 x 3/4,
Dimensions L x W x H in. 48 x 16 x 37 5/8,
Stand Included Yes.
Automatic shutoff Hydraulic feed control Quick-positioning vise Coolant system 1 1/2-gallon capacity
Max. capacity circular @ 90 7in.
Max. capacity rectangular @ 90 7in. x 12in.
Max. capacity circular @ 45 5in.
Max. capacity rectangular @ 45 4 3/4in. x 4 1/2in.
Footprint 13in. x 38in.
|– Speed. Can handle lots of precise cuts quickly.
– Powerful (cuts 16 gauge like butter)
– Clean cuts
– Competitive price
|– Made in China
– Vertical cuts are awkward
– Smaller cuts can be rough and need to buy other blades
Overall, if you’re looking for the best metal cutting band saw, the FOX 7” X 12” could be it. The price is right, it has the power to handle big cutting jobs quickly, precisely, neatly, and has more versatility than other horizontal band saws this size. 16 gauge is like butter to the FOX. If you know you’ll need bigger stuff cut, this is the saw I recommend.