Band Saw: Prime Picks for Your Business


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A band saw is a versatile power tool that you’ll find in many workshops. With their continuous band of serrated metal stretched between wheels, they make smooth and precise cuts. Whether you’re cutting curves or resawing timber, the band saw can handle it. The efficiency of a band saw makes it a favorite among woodworkers and metalworkers. Despite their many benefits, they have some limitations, such as the difficulty in making internal cuts.

Types of Band Saws

Band saws come in various shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks. Understanding the different band saw types helps determine the right tool for your project. You’ll likely encounter three main types: benchtop, stationary, and portable band saws.

Benchtop Band Saws

Benchtop band saws are compact versions designed for light-duty tasks. They’re ideal for hobbyists or small workshops where space is a constraint. Despite their small size, benchtop band saws can perform most of the cutting tasks a woodworker requires. Moreover, they’re less expensive and easier to move around than their larger counterparts. However, they may not be suitable for heavy-duty tasks or cutting through thick materials.

Stationary Band Saws

Stationary band saws are heavy-duty machines designed for professional use. They are more powerful, larger, and have a greater cutting capacity than benchtop models. These saws are perfect for large projects and can handle a variety of materials. Despite their superior performance, stationary band saws are more expensive and take up considerable space. Hence, they’re usually found in professional woodworking shops or industrial settings.

Portable Band Saws

Portable band saws, as the name suggests, are designed for mobility. They are compact, lightweight, and can be easily transported from one location to another. Despite their small size, they’re powerful enough for most cutting tasks. They’re perfect for job sites where you need to move around a lot. However, portable band saws have a smaller cutting capacity and might not be suitable for large projects.

Band Saws for Your Small Business

In choosing band saws for our recommendations, we evaluate a comprehensive set of criteria to ensure we suggest tools that are effective, durable, and appropriate for various woodworking and metalworking tasks. Here’s how we assess them, complete with an importance scale for each aspect:

  1. Cutting Capacity and Depth:
    • Importance: 9/10
    • The saw’s ability to handle various sizes of material and its maximum cutting depth are critical for versatility in different projects.
  2. Power and Motor Efficiency:
    • Importance: 9/10
    • Adequate power is necessary for smooth and efficient cutting, especially for tougher materials or thicker cuts.
  3. Blade Quality and Options:
    • Importance: 8/10
    • The quality of the blade, along with the availability of different types for various cutting applications, is essential for performance.
  4. Durability and Build Quality:
    • Importance: 9/10
    • Robust construction is key for longevity, particularly in professional or industrial environments where the saw will see heavy use.
  5. Precision and Accuracy:
    • Importance: 9/10
    • High precision in cuts and the ability to make accurate adjustments are crucial for quality workmanship.
  6. Ease of Use and User Safety:
    • Importance: 8/10
    • Features that enhance user safety and make the saw easy to operate, such as user-friendly controls and clear safety guards, are important.
  7. Dust Collection and Cleanliness:
    • Importance: 7/10
    • Effective dust collection systems help maintain a clean workspace and prolong the machine’s life.
  8. Noise Level:
    • Importance: 6/10
    • Lower noise levels are beneficial, especially in shared workspaces or residential areas.
  9. Price and Value for Money:
    • Importance: 7/10
    • We consider the cost relative to the saw’s features, durability, and performance, looking for options that offer good value.
  10. Portability and Size:
    • Importance: 6/10
    • For users who need to move the saw between sites or have limited space, the size and portability of the saw are significant factors.
  11. Brand Reputation and Warranty:
    • Importance: 7/10
    • A reputable brand with a solid warranty can be indicative of quality and reliability.

WEN 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw

WEN 3962T 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw

 

Key Features:

  • 3.5-amp motor for deep and wide cuts
  • Two-speed operation (1520 or 2620 FPM)
  • Spacious and beveling work table
  • Utilizes 72-inch blades ranging from 1/8 to 1/2 inches
  • 3-in-1 dust port adaptable to various hose sizes
  • Includes a stand, work light, fence, and a miter gauge
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

WEN 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw

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RIKON Power Tools 10″ Deluxe Bandsaw

RIKON Power Tools 10-3061 10-inch Deluxe Bandsaw

 

Key Features:

  • 1/2HP, 5.5Amp, 110V (60Hz) Motor
  • Blade Speeds: 1515 or 3280 ft/min
  • Table Size: 13-3/4” x 12-1/2”
  • Table Tilt: 5 degrees left, 45 degrees right
  • Tool-less blade guides
  • Quick-release blade tension lever
  • Large blade tracking knob
  • Dust port for shop vacuum hookup
  • Safety paddle on/off switch

RIKON Power Tools 10″ Deluxe Bandsaw

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Grizzly Industrial 17″ 2 HP Bandsaw

Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17-inch 2 HP Bandsaw

Key Features:

  • Alloy steel blade with 24 teeth and a length of 4 inches
  • Corded electric power source with 110V voltage and 19.5 Amps
  • Cast-Iron fence with an extruded aluminum resaw fence attachment
  • Robust construction with ISO certification
  • Ball-bearing blade guides for improved accuracy
  • 1-year warranty

Grizzly Industrial 17″ 2 HP Bandsaw

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Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Lithium-Ion Deep Cut Band Saw

Milwaukee 2729-20 M18 FUEL Cordless Lithium-Ion Deep Cut Band Saw

Key Features:

  • High-speed steel blade with 24 teeth
  • Cordless power source for enhanced mobility
  • Integrated brake system for safety
  • Lightweight design at 15 pounds
  • Durable construction in vibrant red color

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Cordless Lithium-Ion Deep Cut Band Saw

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Laguna Tools 110v 1.75hp Bandsaw with 12” Resaw

Laguna Tools 110v 1.75hp Bandsaw

Key Features:

  • A 12″ resaw capacity with 115″ blade length
  • Iron and steel blade material for superior cutting performance
  • Designed to work on aluminum and ceramic surfaces
  • 110v power source for convenient use
  • Includes special features like a brake and magnetic blade guard
  • A sturdy footprint of 17 1/2″ X 22 1/2″ for stability
  • Innovative worm gear rack and pinion, and a massive cast trunnion

Laguna Tools 110v 1.75hp Bandsaw with 12” Resaw

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JET 14-Inch Woodworking Bandsaw

JET JWBS-14SFX, 14-Inch Woodworking Bandsaw

Key Features:

  • 360 sq. in. cast iron worktable for large workpiece support
  • Dual 4″ dust ports for efficient dust collection
  • Large machined aluminum fence surface with visible measurements for accurate cutting
  • Robust stamped steel doors with welded steel pin hinges for greater durability
  • Conveniently located blade tensioning wheel for improved workpiece clearance

JET 14-Inch Woodworking Bandsaw

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Delta 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw

Delta 28-400 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw

Key Features:

  • Heavy-duty steel frame design for reduced flexing
  • 1 HP, 115V/230V, 1 phase TEFC motor with two speeds for diverse material cutting
  • User-friendly two-speed pulley with easy tensioning system
  • Precision balanced 9-spoke wheels, rubber-coated and made of durable aluminum for superior blade tracking
  • Oversized 15 3/4 in. x 18 7/8 in. precision ground cast iron table with t-slot miter capability
  • Table tilts from 3° left to 45° right with a positive stop at 90°
  • Integrated 4-inch dust port to maintain a clean working environment
  • Includes a 93-1/2-inch blade for immediate use

Delta 14 in. 1 HP Steel Frame Band Saw

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Shop Fox HP 14″ Bandsaw

Shop Fox W1706-1 HP 14-inch Bandsaw

Key Features:

  • Robust 1 HP, 110V/220V motor, pre-wired at 110V with 1725 RPM
  • Versatile blade size of 93-1/2″, suitable for blades 1/8″ to 3/4″ wide
  • Precision-ground 14″ x 14″ x 1-1/2″ cast-iron table for accurate cuts
  • Maximum cutting height of 6″, with a cutting capacity (throat) of 13-1/2″
  • Quick change blade release/tensioning for convenience
  • Upper and lower ball bearing blade guides to improve stability and accuracy
  • Adjustable table tilt: 45 degrees right, 10 degrees left for diverse cutting angles
  • Includes one 3/8″ blade, fence, and miter gauge for immediate use

Shop Fox HP 14″ Bandsaw

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DEWALT 20V MAX Band Saw, 5″ Cutting Capacity

DEWALT 20V MAX Band Saw

Key Features:

  • Generous 5-inch cutting capacity suitable for diverse applications
  • Integrated hang hook allowing safe storage without damaging the handle or base
  • LED work light with 20-second delay for precise cutting in dimly lit areas
  • Tool-less blade changing lever for easy blade tension adjustment
  • Variable speed control for optimal precision and versatility
  • High-performance DEWALT built brushless motor for durability
  • Portable, battery-powered operation for mobility and convenience
  • Compatible with any DEWALT 20V MAX* or FLEXVOLT batteries

DEWALT 20V MAX Band Saw, 5″ Cutting Capacity

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WEN Metal Band Saw with Stand

WEN Metal Band Saw with Stand

Key Features:

  • Automatic shut-off that ceases operation after completing a cut
  • Operates in both vertical and horizontal positions for versatility
  • Adjustable blade speed (80, 120, or 200 feet per minute) for compatibility with various metals
  • Mitering vise for making cuts at any angle between 0 to 45 degrees
  • A sturdy stand with wheels for easy mobility
  • Pre-installed blade for immediate use
  • A robust 4.6 amp motor to ensure power
  • 2-year warranty guaranteeing reliability

WEN Metal Band Saw with Stand

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Components of a Band Saw

Understanding the main components of a band saw not only helps in its operation but also in maintenance. The major parts include the saw blade, table, miter gauge, and guide system. These components together ensure the band saw operates efficiently.

Saw Blade

The blade is the most critical component of a band saw. It determines the type and quality of the cut. Blades come in various sizes, types, and tooth configurations, each designed for a specific task. For instance, a blade with fewer teeth per inch (TPI) is suitable for making rough cuts, while a blade with more TPI is used for finer cuts. Remember, using the right blade is important for achieving the desired cut.

Table

The table of a band saw is where the material rests during the cutting process. It’s usually adjustable, allowing for bevel cuts. Some tables also come with a rip fence for guiding the material during straight cuts. A good table should be sturdy and flat, ensuring stable support for the material. The size of the table plays a crucial role in determining the size of the material that can be handled.

Miter Gauge and Guide System

The miter gauge is a device used for holding the workpiece at a set angle while it’s being cut on the band saw. It’s especially useful when making crosscuts or angled cuts. On the other hand, the guide system helps to keep the blade stable during cutting. It consists of guide blocks or bearings that prevent the blade from deflecting. A well-adjusted guide system is crucial for maintaining the precision and quality of the cut.

Using a Band Saw Safely

A band saw is a powerful tool but can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Like any power tool, proper usage and safety measures should be observed when operating a band saw. It’s important to read and understand the operator’s manual and follow safety protocols.

Personal Protective Equipment

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a must when using a band saw. Safety glasses protect your eyes from flying debris, while ear protection shields you from the noise of the motor. A dust mask is also necessary to prevent inhalation of dust particles. Additionally, wearing short sleeves or rolling them up is recommended and avoiding loose clothing that could get caught in the saw is recommended. Remember, safety should never be compromised.

Proper Operation

Operating a band saw properly is key to safety. Before turning on the saw, ensure the blade is properly installed and tensioned. Always keep your hands away from the blade path, and use push sticks or a feeding tool when making narrow cuts. Keep the work area clean and free of any obstacles. Stop the operation immediately if the saw starts behaving unusually or the blade becomes dull.

Maintenance and Inspection

Regular inspection and maintenance of a band saw are critical for safe operation. Before starting the saw, check for any loose, worn, or damaged parts. The blade should be sharp and free of cracks or other damage. Maintain the right blade tension as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Clean the saw after each use and lubricate the moving parts regularly. Proper maintenance not only ensures safety but also extends the lifespan of your band saw.

Bandsaw Projects

A band saw can be used for different projects, from intricate designs to heavy-duty tasks. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, a band saw is a valuable tool for your workshop. Here are some project ideas where a band saw can show its prowess.

Furniture Making

A band saw can be a handy tool in furniture making. From creating intricate designs on a headboard to cutting out table legs, a band saw makes it possible. The ability to cut curves and straight lines with precision makes it a go-to tool for furniture makers. Remember to choose the right blade for the task to ensure clean and precise cuts.

Resawing Wood

Resawing involves cutting a piece of wood along its width, creating thinner pieces of the same length and width. This process is often used in veneer making or when working with expensive or rare wood. A band saw, especially one with a wide blade and enough power, is ideal for resawing wood. Its ability to make thin, uniform cuts without wasting too much material makes it a top choice for this task.

Creating Decorative Pieces

A band saw isn’t just for heavy-duty tasks. The right blade makes it perfect for making intricate and decorative pieces. A band saw can do everything from jigsaw puzzles to decorative ornaments. The key is to use a narrow blade that can navigate tight curves and corners. However, these tasks require precision, so take your time and follow safety protocols.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Like all power tools, band saws require regular maintenance for optimal performance. And despite best practices, you may encounter some common issues. Here are tips on keeping your band saw in great shape and handling common problems.

Routine Maintenance

A routine band saw maintenance includes regularly checking the blade tension, alignment, and condition. Cleaning dust and debris from the band saw also ensures smooth operation and extends the machine’s life. Lubricate moving parts as per the manufacturer’s instructions. And don’t forget to inspect the condition of belts, tires, and pulleys.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Common issues with band saws include problems with the blade, like wandering or drift, burning wood, or rough cuts. These issues often stem from incorrect blade tension, dull or damaged blades, or improper feed rate. Diagnosing and resolving these problems will help you get back to your project quickly.

Long-Term Care

In addition to regular cleaning and maintenance, long-term care for a band saw involves storing the tool correctly. If the band saw isn’t in regular use, removing the blade is wise to prevent it from rusting or losing tension. Regularly check and replace worn-out parts to prolong the band saw’s life.

FAQs

What materials can a band saw cut?

A band saw is a versatile tool that can cut a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. The key is to choose the right blade for the material.

How do I choose the right band saw blade?

The choice of blade depends on the material and the type of cut. Blades with fewer teeth per inch (TPI) are used for rough cuts, while blades with more TPI are used for finer cuts.

What is the purpose of the miter gauge on a band saw?

The miter gauge is used for holding the workpiece at a set angle while it’s being cut. It’s especially useful when making crosscuts or angled cuts.

Can I use a band saw to cut metal?

Yes, band saws can cut metal. However, you need a blade designed for metal cutting, and the speed setting should be lower compared to cutting wood.

Is a band saw dangerous?

Like any power tool, a band saw can be dangerous if not used properly. Always wear proper personal protective equipment, operate the saw correctly, and maintain it regularly to ensure safety.

What is resawing, and can I do it with a band saw?

Resawing is cutting a piece of wood along its width to create thinner pieces. A band saw, especially one with a wide blade and enough power, is ideal for this task.

What is the difference between a band saw and a scroll saw?

A band saw and scroll saw serve different purposes. A band saw is used for making straight and curved cuts and can handle larger pieces of material. In contrast, a scroll saw is designed for intricate and delicate cuts, often used in detailed craftwork or scrollwork.

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.