The band saw is an excellent tool for cutting wood, metal, and other materials, including meat and fish. Unlike other sawing power tools that depend on a rotating disk, the band saw's flexible blade allows you to cut through thick blocks of wood and whole logs in a way that is impossible with a circular or table saw.
The main benefit of the band saw is its tiny kerf - how much material it cuts through when cutting. You can make precise, razor-thin cuts on wood with a smaller kerf. It also reduces wastage and dust. The band saw can precisely cut stock so that it requires minimal sanding. The band saw can do complex jobs such as filing and contour cutting with the right blade.
What Is a Band Saw?
Band saws are a type of tool that can be used to make precise cuts in various materials. The saw has an elongated, jagged-metal blade that extends between two wheels. Band saws can be used for both woodwork and metalwork projects. They are also great for cutting at unusual angles or in curved areas. Electric motors power all band saws. Older line shaft models are considered antiques.
Different Types of Band Saws
There are two types of band saws: the stationary and portable band saws. Each type has its pros and cons. It is essential to understand the purpose of your band saw. Researching band saws online and looking at their reviews will help you make the right decision.
Stationary band saws
These saws can be mounted on a base at the appropriate working height or a table. They can also be placed on a cart or workbench, which is particularly useful for those who work on construction sites.
Portable band saws
This type of band saw is designed to work around a piece of wood and has two handles. When a machine is portable, the user directs it along the workpiece. If the machine is stationary, the piece is guided through its entirety. Band saws can be used for more than just cutting wood. They can also be used to cut composite materials and soft metals. You will need to change to the correct band saw blade.
The cuts you need to make will dictate the type of saw you select.
How to Compare Band Saws?
Most manufacturers have settled on a set of standard features for the horizontal and vertical band saws.
You will want to ensure that the band saws are durable and in built-in quality. This means that you can expect the same standard features like blade guides, tool-less tension systems, and auto-shutoff features. There may be some extra features like built-in lights.
Size and Capacity
You can only take on as big a project with the band saw's cutting capacity. Vertical band saws are limited by the width of the blade or the 'throat' when scroll cutting or making other cuts on boards that lay flat on the table. The cutting capacity height is a limitation when resawing extra-thick stock.
Manufacturers usually give the dimensions of their size capacity in inches. Band saws have a cutting capacity of approximately 12 inches. They can also have throats that range from 7 to over afoot. The blades can be used depending on the size of the band saw.
Band saws are powered by a power outlet. Most manufacturers will indicate power in terms of amps or volts. Some models will also have horsepower (hp).
There are two speeds for some band saw models. These are often expressed in Surface Feet per Minute (SFPM). The machine's ability to turn the band saw blade faster if the speed is higher than the SFPM. SFPMS for most 2-speed models is between 1,500 and 3,000 SFPM.
Fixed tables can tilt the saw head, or stationary blades can be paired with a tilting table. Models with tilting tables have tilts of up to 45 degrees, while models with tilting heads can have a greater range.
Tips for Choosing Your Band Saw
If you intend to use the machine regularly, a stationary model is best - provided your workshop has enough space. A stationary band saw is best for repetitive work. You place your wood on the table and then guide your workpiece through it. Before you buy, however, be sure to confirm your decision.
A portable band saw is an excellent choice if you work outside your workshop, where a stationary machine cannot be used. These saws are light and can be cut straight on beams or even frameworks, which is excellent for working on-site.
After you have made your decision, roll up your sleeves to get started on the shavings.
Things to Know Before You Use a Band Saw and Other Safety Procedures
These steps are essential before you start to cut into the cherry wood slab you want to replace your table from last Thanksgiving.
- Learn and understand the owner's guide.
- Learn the limitations of the band saw's vision and its potential applications.
- Before using the band saw, make sure it is securely attached to a solid workbench or the floor.
- Wear safety glasses or a face shield.
- You should protect your ears with noise-canceling headphones
- The use of work boots can prevent injuries from wood scraps that have fallen.
- Take out anything that might get caught in the moving parts of your band saw.
- Make sure that the band wheels remain closed.
- Make sure the blade and wheels are in good shape.
- Make sure the blade is correctly positioned on the track.
- Reduce the gap width by adjusting the blade. Wider gaps can lead to breakage.
- When pushing wood past the blade, don't use excessive force.
- Do not attempt to remove sawdust with your own hands. Instead, use a brush or stick.
- Never leave a band without attending.