What are band saws ?
A band saw uses a toothed steel blade that passes over two band wheels. It is used in cutting various materials by holding them between the wheels. It may be used to cut wood, metal, plastic or even meat. However, the material being cut determines how the band saw is set up. A band saw has the ability to cut curved or irregular shapes. Additionally, it cuts the materials uniformly due to the evenly distributed tooth load. Majority of band saws comprise two wheels linked by a chain that rotates in the same plane. However, others may have more than two wheels, usually three to four to dispense the load.
Meat cutting Band saws
Band saws for cutting meat are constructed with stainless steel with easy to clean features. The blades feature either scalloped or plain knife edges, or fine teeth with heat treated tips.
Metal cutting Band saws
Band saws for cutting metal come in ether horizontal or vertical designs. They also feature brushes to prevent metal chips from getting stuck in between the blade’s teeth. When it comes to friction cutting of hard metals, there are specialized band saws built for this purpose. Metal cutting band saws also feature blade cooling systems.
Horizontal band saws work by holding the material in place as the blade swings down through to cut. Vertical Band saws on the other hand, keeps the blade’s path stationery as the material is moved across it.
Timber cutting Band saws
Timber cutting band saws are usually large in size so as to accommodate large-diameter timber. They are used in resawing or ripping lumber into thinner slabs. A band saw undoubtedly helps to expand the range of a wood worker due to its versatility.
Timber cutting band saws also come in two forms, floor-standing cabinet models, and shorter units for mounting on a bench top or a dedicated stand. The cabinet models are mainly built for professional use with the smaller units being ideal for home-based woodwork. The floor-standing cabinet models have larger motors and more features compared to the smaller units. They also have a stronger frame which enhances more consistent cutting.
Choosing the best Band saw
When it comes to choosing the best bandsaw, the material for which it is intended for should be put into consideration. Nevertheless, it is advisable to go for quality and capacity to the extent your budget allows you.
Additionally, you should consider the depth of the cut and the throat. This is important as it will help you know how thick of stock the band saw can cut. Some saws also feature an optional riser added to the unit, which allows you to extend the depth of the cut. On the other hand, the throat determines the width of the cut that can be completed on the band saw.
You should also consider the size of the motor in your band saw. Professional models usually feature larger motors with variable speeds. The size and speed of the motor is also dependent on the kind of materials you will be cutting.
Setting up the Band Saw
Finally, when setting up your band saw, read and follow the instructions in the owner’s manual carefully. Failure to follow these instructions will minimize the performance of the saw and make the blades more susceptible to breaking. The manual also helps you to familiarize with the band saw and how to use it properly.