92 of 92 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
You've probably seen one of these Milwaukee portable band saws around on various job sites for years. The 6232-6 is Milwaukee's kit number for the 6230 variable-speed, deep-cut band saw with a blow molded plastic storage case.
I bought the 6230 band saw for the same reasons that everbody else does, to cut steel strut, pipe and conduit. Although it doesn't cut nearly as fast as a chop saw, this tool does have certain advantages over and above even the best chop saws. The most obvious being that you can bring this tool to the work as opposed to bringing the work to the tool. It also doesn't require dedicated space and the ampere draw is much lower for generator-powered job sites.
It has the capacity to handle up to 4" heavy-wall rigid conduit or black iron pipe and it's heck of a lot faster than a hacksaw or pipe cutter. It also makes a much cleaner, straighter cut. The variable-speed switch makes it easier to start a cut and to control the saw throughout the entire cut than with the older style two-speed models, especially when cutting thin wall material like EMT or softer materials like brass.
The 44-7/8" X ½" X .020 blade runs at up to 350 FPM, and good quality bi-metal blades are relatively inexpensive at a little under six dollars apiece. They do last a fairly long time when cutting mild steel, but for cutting thicker material, stainless steel or hardened tool steel, it makes sense to spend a little extra and get a true cobalt blade such as the Morse cobalt varied-pitch 10-14 TPI or else you'll be replacing bi-metal blades every few minutes. The saw comes with one 14 TPI bi-metal blade installed. I wouldn't recommend buying regular carbon steel blades because they don't last very long at all and the better bi-metal blades are usually only a few cents more in price anyway.
A good dark cutting oil will help keep blades alive when cutting steel, but you probably don't want to use a wax based stick lubricant on the edges of the blade if you can avoid it because the build up can cause the tools rubber edged drive wheel to loose it's grip, letting the blade slip off right in the middle of a cut. This usually causes the blade to become kinked, requiring it to be discarded. You won't find any reference to this in the owners manual, but it has happened to me a few times over the years.
Blade changes are fast and easy, just release the tensioning lever, remove the old blade, feed the new blade through the guide and rollers, then move the tensioning lever back to the lock position. There is also a storage space for a few spare blades in the tools plastic storage case. I'm not sure why, but for some reason Milwaukee hasn't added the quick-lock cord to their portable band saws.
Overall, the 6230 is very well made and has always proven to be very durable. If you have a need to cut various metal materials in the field frequently, I would say that this tool pretty much recommends itself.
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
My experience with portable band saws started with an earlier version of the Milwaukee 6230 (the 6230 and the 6232-6 are the same model) and it was the two speed model. That two speed model worked very well in cutting Uni-Strut and rigid conduit. My only problem with the saw was that it had two speeds, low and high. The low speed was ok, but you could not "ease" into the cut or switch into high while cutting.
When my electrical job was done I sold that saw and used an abrasive chop saw for a long time for cutting conduit and Uni-Strut. While at a job site I saw a guy with a Milwaukee 6230 Deep Cut Band Saw. It was a variable speed saw and what appeared to be a slightly larger capacity cut. I tried it and it would start at a crawl and go to full speed (and any speed in between) by pulling the trigger. I was hooked! I had to get one.
The chop saw was fine except that it was loud, threw sparks everywhere and the cut often left a large sharp burr that had to be filed or ground down. The portable band saw could do everything I needed to do and then some. It was also quiet, did not pull a lot of power (current out of an electrical outlet) when cutting, did not leave a large burr after cutting, and it sliced through Uni-Strut, conduit, re-bar, all thread rod, and anything else metal, like a hot knife through butter.
The Milwaukee 6230 quickly became my favorite cut off tool. The name plate on the tool says 6230. The kit I bought was called the 6232-6 and the saw came with a 14 TPI (teeth per inch) bi-metal blade and a plastic carry case. The cutting capacity for round stock is 4-3/4" and square stock of 4-3/4" x 4-3/4". It operates on 120 volts AC only and has a range of 0-350 feet per minute (no load speed) on the blade and the motor draws 6 amps. This saw uses a 44-7/8" x 0.020" x ½" blade.
Blades: A discussion about them is in order. In general you should try to have 6 to 12 teeth in contact with the material when using a bi-metal blade and cutting metal. More teeth per inch is required for thin, hard or if the finish is important. Blades with more teeth per inch are required when cutting soft or thick material. These are rules of thumb and you'll have to experiment a little to see what works best in your job.
A variable pitch blade has teeth that vary from (let's use a 14-18 TPI blade) 14 teeth per inch to 18 teeth per inch. The varying tooth sizes and gullet depth changes over a predetermined distance and then repeats. Teeth are set left and right with a single straight tooth called a "raker" tooth used to help maintain a straight cut. The design of the variable tooth pitch cuts down (no pun intended) on the "harmonic" frequency of the cut. In other words, the variable tooth blade design does not vibrate or chatter as much (or at all) while cutting when compared to a fixed pitch blade. Since a variable tooth blade has teeth at 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 TPI, it can handle a larger range of material thicknesses without having to change blades.
Milwaukee makes several fine blades and the one I use the most is a variable tooth blade 14-18 TPI bi-metal blade. This blade will handle just about any sort of sawing job around whether it may be a solid or hollow stock, or a combination material such as bonded electrical conduit with a plastic outer jacket and a steel/copper spiral wound tube in the middle.
Using the saw is a breeze. Align the blade where you want to make your cut, taking care to put the saw rest against the work and then squeeze the trigger. As the cuts progresses you can increase the saw speed. Changing blades is about a one minute job. You unplug the saw, flip the tension handle, remove the old blade, install the new blade with the teeth pointed to the back of the saw, guide the blade into the grooves and then flip the tension lever back. It's as easy as that.
While this saw is meant to be used free hand, it's not a scroll saw to cut out intricate patterns. It's also not nearly powerful enough to cut through some of the heavy wall materials but... it does have a place at your home or the jobsite. If you are cutting ¾" and smaller re-bar, Uni-strut, conduit, copper or steel tubing or shapes, and the like, this is the saw. I have only made a few cuts on 3" solid steel and it cut through it pretty quickly all things considered. Would I want to do that all day long? No. You'll need a bigger saw. But this is the saw I'll reach for when I need to made overhead cuts as it is light enough to do that. I did not weight the saw but I'll guess it weighs around 15 pounds.
The speed control is a small knob located on the trigger of the saw. Turning it will make the saw run from the slowest speed to the maximum speed of that setting. This saw does not have a "lock-on" switch. It would be handy for the longer cuts but it is not much of an issue for me.
Also, Milwaukee makes a stand for this saw with a clamp to make precise cuts and it works very well.
Warranty. Milwaukee is offering a 5 year warranty on the saw so ownership costs should be very low.
What would I change? I wish Milwaukee would go back to the "Quick Loc" cord they have used on their many other corded tools such as their Sawzall or Right Angle Drills. My cord has become damaged and you have to take the handle apart to change out the cord. Again a minor gripe on my part.
Would I buy another 6230 again? Yes!
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Bruce E. Munck
- Published on Amazon.com
I cut a lot of conduit at work and had used band saws belonging to others several times. Finally I decided to take the plunge and buy one of my own. I had never used a deep-cut model and will probably never cut anything larger than unistrut, so my selection was based on the variable-speed feature more than anything else. To cut to the chase, this saw is a bit awkward to use...Milwaukee located the motor dead in the line of sight of the blade and it's harder to get and keep the cut on a line than with the standard depth saw. It cuts very well and the variable speed control is great, but after using the standard depth model (which affords great visibility for making cuts) this one is somewhat of a letdown. Had I tried one in the field first I would not have bought one. In terms of quality, it's a Milwaukee...! I just wish the design were more user-friendly.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I just receive my 6232-6 today. It can with red plastic case. I was surprised to see the saw is Made-In-USA. It came with 5-year warranty. Amazon has the best deal. All other deals including e-bay charges shipping from $40-75 dollars. Amazon is free. I would recommend this saw to anyone who wants high-quality band saw.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
I've owned mine for over 6 years now (my kit box is a metal one) and have had zero problems with it, with the right blade this Milwaukee saw will cut through most anything you need to cut. In my trade we mostly use it to cut metal, i.e. threaded rod, Uni-Strut, steel pipe, etc., etc. This saw is absolutely bomb-proof AND heavy.
Weight is the only negative aspect of this saw. If you're in the market for a portable band saw do yourself a favor and check them out in person, the weight of this saw will surprise you.
Because of the weight issue, this saw is now mated to a: Milwaukee 48-08-0260 Band Saw Table
This is the perfect mate for this saw, the cuts are clean & straight plus the blades last longer because the saw is not flopping around.
Because the Milwaukee is not that portable anymore, the replacement for it is the: Porter-Cable 97724 Porta Band 6 Amp Portable Band Saw. My Porter Cable saw (about 5 years old now) is as durable as the Milwaukee and it's quite a bit lighter, at the end of the day is when you really notice the weight difference.
Replacement service parts are available & easy to get for both saws, I can't see myself giving up either saw.