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Old 04-16-2008, 01:00 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Need to cut stainless steel bolts - air tool or electric


need quick help from people with tool knowledge - have stainless steel bolts that are 3/8 inch diameter, 304 stainless steel

these bolts are in such a spot that they can only be reached with a reciprocating saw. Portable tools are all we can use as we are working on location, which is no problem because I can move them there with my F150

Logic tells me that a reciprocating air saw like Chicago Pneumatic manufactures which has 10,000 strokes per minute will cut through these bolts much easier than an electric tool such as a Milwaukee Sawzall which only has 2,800 strokes per minute

we have an electric sawzall and the job is tedious with this tool and we have 100 - 200 of these bolts to cut.

If the air tool is the route to go I will have to purchase the portable air compressor and the reciprocating air saw. If this air tool will make the job significantly easier it's a non-issue.

Does anyone have experience with a reciprocating air saw who could tell me how this tool could be expected to perform in this situation
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:13 AM
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Usually you want to cut slower when cutting steel, cutting with the 10000 spm tool, you will kill blades. You might be best off using the sawzall and keeping the blade nice and cool/lubricated.

No way to get a torch in there?
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Old 04-16-2008, 01:15 AM
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uhm, might i ask what bolts are you trying to get to?

i honestly would try using your milwaukee *cough*milrobi*cough* since you already have one. i have fears of something going faster and binding up. sorry for the milrobi joke, couldnt help it.

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Old 04-16-2008, 08:00 AM
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Have you considered a die grinder or a plazma cutter?
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Old 04-16-2008, 11:36 AM
JMC JMC is offline
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Originally Posted by Klitch View Post
uhm, might i ask what bolts are you trying to get to?

Would a die grinder work? If the head is stripped maybe a bolt out?

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Last edited by JMC; 04-16-2008 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:46 AM
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Does anyone have experience with a reciprocating air saw who could tell me how this tool could be expected to perform in this situation[/QUOTE]

I own a couple of each (one is a Mil cough cough waukee) and use them all the time . The Milwaukee is actually my favorite- they make excellent tools. As stated, the air saw is too fast and will EAT blades. The Sawzall would be my 1st. choice because it is slower-variable speed actually. Get the best blades you can buy. I actually cut 1/8 thick metal 1 time with a Bosch Skill saw (guess that's what you call it) with a course wood blade!!! I had 5 holes about 4" by 5" to cut. The fellow at work that loaned me his saw gave a new wood blade and when I told him I couldn't cut metal (much less 1/8") with that he said sure- go ahead. I thought he was NUTS! I cut all 5 holes with that blade and didn't even dull it that much! If I hadn't done it I would NOT have believed it. Stainless is a different animal though and I can't say how well it will cut but I would still use the Sawzall. I don't think you've known frustration until you've tried to cut 100- 200 stainless bolts with an air saw.
LOL Good Luck
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:46 AM


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