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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Dave55 Offline OP
What do you use to cut conduit?

I use a corded recipro-saw, but have seen a guy using a portable band-saw.

I've been looking at a cordless circular saw (15.6 V) made by Panasonic with a metal cutting blade. Anyone try this out???


P.S. Please spare me any comments about a good hacksaw. I don't need any more wear & tear on my wrists.

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
I use a cordless sawzall and it works very nice. I have tried a cordless circ saw with metal blade for cutting some unistrut and it came out really bad, I ended recutting it with my sawzall. I found it leaves really nasty burrs on whatever metal you are cutting.

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 599
Those Panasonics are the best thing to come along since sliced bread. My company has band us from using porta bands because of these. The Panasonic is getting harder to get parts for as they are supposed to be going out of production.(Not because its a bad product. Panasonic has a history of starting something great and then discontinuing it after a few years) We have gone to the Milwaukee version. It's a little bigger and has a little larger blade but works just as good. Hack saws have become a thing of the past.

Joined: Feb 2001
Posts: 159
CRW Offline
What size conduit are you referring to, and are you talking about rigid or EMT? And why in the world would you be banned from using a porto-bandsaw, which is pretty much the accepted practice for cutting conduit? I can't imagine choosing a reciprocating saw or circular saw over a bandsaw!

Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 642
Have used those panasonics on both rigid and emt up to 2". they are quick and can be used almost any where. Just keep a spare battery on charge and have a extra blade or two. works great.

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
Band saw, just wish they made smaller ones. A nice handy size for 1/2 - 2". The millwakee I drag out all the time is big enough to cut 4 -6" Cut like a dream though.

Saws alls chew conduit up too much.

Circular saw seems odd to me... Do they have a special blade for it?

But dare I say it... A simple hack saw with a Klien "golden tri-cut" blade. Once you've tried that blade, theres no going back! Starts easy at the front, cranks through at the rear. 24-18-16 tooth pattern.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 697
Dave55 Offline OP
The conduit I'm most interested in cutting is 1/2" and 3/4" emt. The blades on a circular saw seem a little expensive to chance going through one on 2" HW when a recipro-saw will do it. By the way, I like the new blades, I believe by Milwaukee called "The Torch". They're wider and less flexible.

I remember a salesman saying a couple years ago that the Panasonic didn't leave burrs like you would get from an abrasive saw. Has that been your experience Nick??? What kind of cordless reciprosaw are you using JCooper? I've thought about going to one of those also. On the issue of size, I wish they'd make a smaller cordless reciprosaw also. I wish there was a reciprosaw like a drill for easy one handed operation. I usually use my thigh and one hand to hold the pipe, then use the saw in the other hand. Something smaller with a better balance would be great, be it a bandsaw, reciprosaw, or circular saw. It seems like the circular saw would naturally have a better balance to use in one hand.


Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 680
Milwaukee makes a 18volt sawzall that has a handle that swings so it can shaped like a drill or straight like a traditional saw. Called the Hatchet?? Pretty tough rig from what I have heard. I use a regular Milwaukee 18 v sawzall for cutiing 1/2 and 3/4 rigid. Its awesome. Works great for EMT also but then I don't use much in comparison.

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,044
Tom Offline
I usually break out my band saw on a conduit job of any size. My wholesaler lent me the Milwaukee metal cutting circular saw to try, I thought it worked great & if I ever get another big conduit job I'll probably buy one.


Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
I use the milwaukee circular metal saw. It is unbelevable. With a good blade and battery it will cut 1/2" as fast as you can move your arm. A full battery seems to last about a days work. It will still cut ok with a weak charge. I don't think the battery lasts as long in the sawsall. I use it for EMT, ridgid 1/2 - 2 1/2, and a few bords. It is nice for services where you have no power. Also great for demo. The blade in mine is 6 months old and about ready for replacement. All we do is pipe. I think it does 1 1/4 Ridgid in 1 pass.

The blade is is metal with teeth and not an abrasive cut off wheel. It costs about $55 mail order to replace. Sawsall blades add up too. If I changed a sawsall blade only 1 time a week it would be the same or more.

The saw is the same as the wood circular saw only the base does not pivit (so it only cuts strait) and it has a full guard. I have herd about guys putting a metal cutting blade on a saw with out the shield and getting hurt because sparks go every where.

You do get hot sparks on you at times and you should where your safty glasses. Small pipe cut offs sometimes go flying twords others. You should figure metal shavings will be all over if you have a lot of cutting.

It takes a little practice to know where your cutting. Once a small pipe hits the blade you can't see the pipe or line.


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