A Quick Guide To The Band Saw

A band saw is an electrically powered saw with a long blade that comes with serrated edges driven by two wheels. It is a machine used for cutting wood, metal, plastic, and a variety of other materials. A band saw functions with the help of an electric motor.

A band saw comprises a pair of wheels that hold the rotating blade. There is a table on which you can cut. A motor is used to power the saw.

They are used in woodworking, metal works, lumbering, and other industrial purposes. They have replaced the power hacksaw machines previously used everywhere.  Band saws can have different types of blades, which vary according to their material or teeth size and teeth shape.

Applications of a Band Saw

Band Saws for Residential Use or Light Industrial Uses

Small or medium-sized band saws are preferred for use in garage or basement workshops. Usually equipped with a general-purpose blade, these are perfect for light industry purposes.  They are commonly used for cutting wood, metal, or plastic.

Band Saws for Metal Fabrication and Metal Cutting

Band saws are useful in cutting metal. For the purpose of metal fabrication or metal cutting, band saws are available in two designs:

  • Horizontal band saws—they are used to cut long items such as pipes. The workpiece is held in a stationary position while the blade swings down through the cut.
  • Vertical band saws—they are helpful in cutting the metal into complex designs. The blade is kept stationary while the workpiece can be moved accordingly.

They are equipped with brushes or brush-wheels. This is to prevent bits and pieces of metal from getting stuck in between the teeth of the blade. The usual speed of the bands ranges from 40 ft/min to 5,000 ft/min. Band saws built especially for cutting hard metals may have band speeds of 15,000 ft/min.

A cooling system is common in such metal cutting band saws. A cutting fluid which acts as a cooling agent keeps the blade cool and lubricated. It also washes away any metal chips or debris.

Band Saws for Cutting Meat

Band saws used for cutting meat are made out of stainless steel. They are easy to keep clean. The metal tips of the blades may be heat-treated or come with either plain or scalloped knife edges.

Band Saws for Cutting Timber

Saws used for lumbering or cutting timber are very large in size. They are suited to accommodate timber of large diameter. Due to their smaller kerf size, they produce less waste. Kerf is the width of a cut made by the saw.

Advantages of Using a Band Saw

  • A band saw can cut wood, metal, plastic, meat, and many other materials.
  • They ensure uniform cutting as the load is distributed uniformly among each metal tooth of the blade.
  • They can be used to cut irregular or curved shapes as well.
  • Band saws can cut any material into long or short pieces.
  • Automated saws that are pre-set can cut faster, ensure more precision, and make complex cuts.
  • Different types of blades can be used for different purposes, materials, sizes, or speeds of cutting.

How to Ensure Safety While Using a Band Saw?

Safety concerns arise when proper precautions are not followed while using a band saw.

Before using a band saw, the blade guard has to be set up at the appropriate height. Ensure that the blade is properly guarded except the part to be cut. This is essential for your safety.

There are different levels of speed which can be set accordingly. It is good to know the proper technique of using a band saw. It is best to keep yourself at an appropriate distance from the machine while working.