A bandsaw is the go-to power tool in a lot of industries for a lot of great reasons. Bandsaws work for personal household or professional usage and are useful for cutting wood, metal, and a wide variety of other materials including meat and fish.
Usually, they come with a thin flexible blade that allows you to carve interesting patterns on the material you're working with. It is a powerful tool that does not only allow you to replace the blade easily to fit the material type but also helps you reach the desired cut and achieve a perfect finish!
It can be quite bothersome to explore the different makes, models, and saw types, etc. to find the right bandsaw for the job. Lucky for you, we've listed the most relevant pieces of information about this tool in this section to help you make a decent purchase.
What Are The Different Types Of Bandsaws?
Generally, bandsaws are classified into two main types:
- Freestanding (benchtop) bandsaw.
- Compact bandsaw.
Both these types have their own pros and cons. Let's dig in!
Free Standing / Benchtop Bandsaw
This type of bandsaw requires a constant flow of power through any electric source/power outlet. They are usually made with two different frame materials – cast iron and steel. Both materials are durable and come with a longer lifespan. Benchtop bandsaws are useful for both personal and professional use due to their resawing ability!
A compact bandsaw is a cordless and portable bandsaw that generates power through a rechargeable battery. You can easily use this type of bandsaw anywhere and anytime - thanks to no cord and compact design.
What Things Should You Consider Before Buying A Bandsaw?
Here are some of the major things that you should take into account before buying your band saw.
This is a crucial component of the bandsaw. A bandsaw’s motor provides the essential power for the blade to cut through the required material. Motor power is measured in Watts or Horsepower. The speed of the motor is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and the cutting speed in feet per minute (FPM) – the distance moved by the blade in a minute, through the material. The higher the speed value the more will be the motor’s capability to work.
The motors can be categorized into two main types;
This motor has been around for a long time. It is the most common type of motor found in various power tools. Brushed motors come with two main parts – brushes and a commutator. Energy is passed within the motor by the commutator. This helps make the saw blade function properly. The brushes (usually made of carbon) may get worn down after some time and thereby you lose efficiency and quality.
As opposed to a brushed motor’s carbon brushes and commutator, this motor comes with a small electronic circuit board. Brushed motors are more powerful because they provide a constant flow of energy by eliminating unnecessary friction.
The blade of a bandsaw is a large loop that is welded together with teeth at one side. The finish and the cut quality of the saw’s blade can be measured in the number of teeth per inch (TPI). The higher this value, the more quality cut you will get from your saw. Lower TPI will result in a faster cut but usually leave a rough finish. To make the best choice, you have to also consider the length and width of the blade along with its TPI.
Most of the bandsaw models will come with a feature that allows you to track blade wear and tear and also adjust the blade tension to the desired level. This assists you to monitor the lifespan of the blade as well as point out any inherent damages.
Types of Blades
Bandsaws usually require different types of blades as one blade cannot fit all of the applications. Here are some of the few common bandsaw blades:
This type is perfect for cutting quickly with extreme ferocity. It works well on various materials like thick woods, certain metals, hardwoods, plastic, etc. It comes with larger teeth and deeper gullet.
To prevent the resin build-up on the blade, this type of bandsaw blade comes with more space between the teeth. It is widely used for cutting non-ferrous materials, plastics, and softwoods.
Regular Tooth Blade
This is a common type of blade that is usually tried in all applications. It performs well while cutting various materials which are thinner and finer than others. Because it provides such excellent flexibility to use on various materials, it has been universally accepted as an all-rounder blade.
This refers to the angle at which the worktable can be tilted from either right or left. Tables with tilting options add some variation to the cutting and are perfect for angled cuts. Generally, the benchtops come with a bevel ability of 45-degree.
You will need to cut different materials with different levels of thickness and a universal speed set is just not going to cut it every time. Your bandsaw should come with variable speed triggers/dials option to get better control over the speed. This feature is helpful to those who work with a variety of materials and it promotes quality cuts.
Throat Size / Capacity
The throat size is the space behind the blade that reaches out to the furthest point of the table (column). It is essential for benchtop/free-standing bandsaw. The larger table comes with a larger throat size and the smaller tables have a smaller throat size. For most models of free-standing bandsaws, the throat size will range from 9 – 21 inches.
Bandsaw frames usually come in two styles; cast iron and welded steel. The steel frame resists more vibration under heavy cutting load than cast iron frames. Also, the steel saw enables you to cut capacities without reducing the strength and deflection. The steel frames come in various sizes that range from 12 – 24 inches. The cast-iron frame is great for day-to-day bandsaw operations even if their cutting capacities have limited operations.