Portable Electric Band Saw "CUTS IT" in High Voltage Cable Installations

Clean cut-end of 345 kV cable.

New River Electrical Corporation, with corporate headquarters in Cloverdale, Virginia, is a diversified electrical contractor whose services include specialty high-voltage projects. The company, which was founded in 1953, is now a leader in the installation of underground high voltage transmission cable. The increasing demand for this service is due to the complexity in siting new transmission lines as the country’s electrical grid infrastructure is expanded and strengthened.


New River crew member cuts high-voltage transmission cable.

The 345 kV cable used by New River in underground installations is furnished on 14-foot-tall reels that hold about 1,800 feet of cable, weighing 57,000 pounds. The cable measures 5.76 inches in diameter and is fabricated from lead, polyurethane and copper. Electric band saws are employed on-site to cut sections of the cable from the reel and then again to cut specific lengths for splicing. Clean cuts are essential to ensure that the cable splices are correctly and effectively joined.

In researching sources for a rugged saw with a big enough throat to cleanly cut this large cable, New River found CS Unitec on the Internet. CS Unitec is a leading provider of industrial power tools, including heavy-duty portable electric band saws. They had the ideal saw for New River, a 7” Deep Throat™ Portable Electric Band Saw, in stock. They were also able to furnish strong M42 Blades to go with it. These 8% cobalt blades are heat-resistant and stay sharp longer. With a variable tooth pitch, they cut faster and last longer than conventional blades.

New River is committed to safety, and a crucial part of their safety program is (as their Website states) “to supply our crews with the proper tools, test equipment and personal protective equipment to perform their jobs in a safe and efficient manner.” That is why Arnold Dorsey, New River’s Installation Supervisor, likes the fact that CS Unitec’s saw has a cover that protects both the user and the saw blade, and that the vertical orientation of the motor provides a clear view of the cut.

Initially, New River purchased one saw from CS Unitec; but, they were so pleased with its performance that they soon bought two more. "The Deep Throat™ band saws have more than met our expectations – their 7" cutting depth and consistent, clean cuts make our job much easier," states New River's on-site project manager, Tom Wade. All three saws continue to perform well at New River’s underground transmission job sites from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to California’s Silicon Valley.


New River crew on-site for high-voltage transmission cable installation.

CS Unitec's 7" Deep Throat™ Portable Electric Band Saw is the only one of its kind in the world able to cut up to 7" dia. pipe, conduit, bolts, chain, studs, angle iron and more. Its high-torque planetary gearbox cuts fast while the saw's stainless steel housing makes it ideal for the toughest use in refineries, chemical plants, gas utilities, construction, offshore oil, mining, marine, demolition industries and more. This saw will cut steel, stainless steel, Inconel, chrome, Hastelloy, aluminum, copper, iron, fiberglass, plastics, wood and more.

CS Unitec's 7" Deep Throat™ Portable Electric Band Saw