10 Cool Tools


Kalamazoo FC350D Cold Saw

This Kalamazoo cold saw helps the guys on "Prototype This!" get the job done.
This Kalamazoo cold saw helps the guys on "Prototype This!" get the job done.
Copyright Discovery Communications, LLC

A cold saw is a special kind of circular saw that uses a coolant system during the cutting process. This helps decrease sparks, dust and grit while cooling the saw, which assists in producing a smoother cut and increasing blade life. Powerful rigid vises of different sorts are common, and these hold the materials being cut in a vibration-free grip, another big factor contributing to precision cutting and long-lasting blades.

Cold saws are particularly suitable for cutting narrow tubes and small bars -- and at producing exact miters (cuts at angles -- like the 45 degree angle cuts on the pieces of a doorframe). They use special saw blades, called high speed steel or HSS blades, which are less heat resistant and can cut at faster speeds.

Let's take a closer look at one of these machines made by Kalamazoo Machine Tool. The cast iron Kalamazoo FHC350D cold saw is a manual machine which can make a great cut that's free of burrs. The saw uses circular high speed steel blades up to 14 inches (about 35 centimeters) in diameter which can be set to spin at either 26 or 52 revolutions per minute -- something you would want to adjust depending on what you're cutting.

Now that we've cut everything into pieces, let's check out a cool tool on the next page that can help put everything back together again. And this next tool isn't like the little soldering system we read about on the last page that's perfect for intricate work -- this hot air machine is for the big jobs.