Bandsaws – Valuable Specialty Tools

A bandsaw is more versatile than it seems at first glance

The bandsaw is one of the specialty power tools which do a project that no other instrument can do as well.  In the instance of the bandsaw, that project happens to be cutting detailed and accurate curves in wood or metal.

The fact of the matter is, a good bandsaw has more uses than simply cutting curves.  At a House store, it can be used for:

  • Resawing thin strips out of bigger pieces of wood
  • Ripping little pieces of inventory
  • Even cutting tenons and some rabbets

However, as soon as you start looking at the options, you understand that there are an assortment of styles and sizes available.  So… how to decide on the best version for your needs?

Bandsaw Type

These gears fall into two main classes: floor stand models (also referred to as cabinet versions), and bench top models.

The floor stand models, generally bigger in size, are what you would probably see in professional shops.  The seat mounted components, becoming smaller, are something a woodworking hobbiest is more likely to have.  The floor stand models, with bigger motors, and more options, are also generally better constructed, much heavier and more durable. Together with bandsaws, the thicker and more durable frame will surely cause more accurate, consistent cuts.

Motor Size

The size engine is another consideration.  Typically, a non-professional bandsaw will offer a 3/4 into 1 horsepower engine.  Professional store models offer bigger versions and sometimes variable rate options.

In the instance of woodworking bandsaws, changeable rate is not typically an issue.  But when cutting hard plastic or metal, having a lesser rate available can be a good feature.

Additional Capabilities

All bandsaws have tables.  The table is the large flat surface which supports the wood when you are using the saw.

The table should be cast-iron, steel or aluminium alloy, and ideally, should be capable of leaning, generally around 45-degrees for angled cuts.

In several instances, the table will measure about 16″ square, and at the very best of all probable worlds, would have a miter monitor as part of its regular equipment.

Maintenance Issues

As there are several moving parts in a bandsaw, it is crucial to keep those components as clean as you can for easy motion and precision.

The fine dust that this form of saw discharges adds to the issue.

A bandsaw which has a cleaning brush will remain cleaner with less effort on your part.  Placing a bandsaw brush on your saw’s lower wheel tire is a simple means to prolong the tire’s life.  Without the brush, the saw dust, metal shavings, or debris will build up on the saw tire.  Eventually, this can lead to wear as a result of compression and can significantly shorten the life span of the tire.

Another worthwhile feature is a built-in dust collection interface, allowing it to be attached to your shop vacuum.

Added Functionality

Finally, having a miter gauge, in addition to a rip fence, will greatly boost a bandsaw’s performance.  These two attributes are especially effective for ripping, cross cutting, and resawing.