Cutting Iron Baluster in stairway

jaypiNovember 18, 2004

I'm going to replace wood baluster with iron one. What'd the best tool for cutting Iron baluster? The reseller recommended portable band saw.

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Milwaukee makes a real good portaband saw that does a good job on steel using the proper metal cutting blade. Many others (black and decker/portacable etc.) make the same thing. The most versatile tool is a Metabo grinder with the Metabo cutoff wheels, these things cut thru steel/stainless/cast/aluminum etc. like a hot knife cutting thru butter. Note: not something you would use inside your house all pieces would have to be cut outside or in a area where there are no combustibles or surfaces that could be damaged by the hot sparks coming from the cutoff wheel.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 11:11AM
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Something else to consider is a variable speed sawzall with fine tooth metal cutting blade.
Mike A

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 6:51AM
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My suggestion would depend on how many you plan on cutting and if you plan on doing any future projects that would include metal cutting. The way I see it the cheaper options would include:

1. Metal cutting blade in jig saw. Would work for a few cuts, could be very cheap if you've already got a jig saw.

2. Same as #1, but with reciprocating saw.

3. Good old hacksaw.

4. A 4-1/2" angle grinder (DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc.) with a 1/16" thick cut off wheel. Can be difficult to control until you get used to it.

Other more expensive, better options would be:

1. Any brand of 14" chop saw, similar to a miter saw for wood, but uses an abrasive blade. $120-$150.

2. Portable bandsaw, notably Milwaukee. Probably close to $300.

3. Small horizontal bandsaw for metal cutting (4"x6" capacity). All foreign made, all the same, choose your brand........probably right at $200. Cheapest available at Harbor Freight Tools. My personal reccomendation if you plan to cut a lot of metal. I have one and could not live without it.

Hope that helps.....David

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 1:44PM
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What about one of those 7' abrasive chop saws, such as:,166.html

I've got about 50 balusters to cut, 1/2' square wrought iron. After that job, I don't see a use for the saw. Since the 7' sells for about the same cost as a rental of a 14', maybe it would make sense to buy it

Any thoughts on whether it would work well?

Here is a link that might be useful: 7

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 3:56PM
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