Imagine yourself belaboring to rip a thin board using a circular saw. Such a task would be very challenging given the thicker kerf of the circular saw, even if you are using a specialty blade with a very thin kerf. For such a task, you need another saw like a bandsaw. The bandsaw comes with thinner kerf. Thin-kerf bandsaw blades can be as thin as .014″.
The bandsaw, of course, is a powerful tool that comes with a sharp and long blade, made of a continuous toothed metal band, stretching between two wheels or more. Its blade is more like a ribbon.
The blade constantly rotates around two wheels, like the ribbon of the cassette tape. But you will only see a small part of the blade that is responsible for cutting the material. Besides, you need to move the workpiece through the saw to cut it. Since the saw blade is of the small kerf, you can create intricate and detailed cuts using this saw.
Table of Contents
- Usage of Bandsaws
- Types of Bandsaws According to Purpose
- Types of Bandsaws According to Shape or Form
Usage of Bandsaws
Many woodworkers use the bandsaw in their woodworking jobs. Additionally, those who work with metals also use bandsaws to cut metals into various shapes. The bandsaw, of course, comes with some obvious advantages like its capability to provide uniform cutting action. You can also use them to cut curved and other irregular shapes on your materials as if you are using a jigsaw.
Bandsaws, of course, do not have the popular status held by other saws like circular saws. But they are slowly becoming popular among woodworkers. Moreover, their designs quickly evolved from the simplistically designed vertical bandsaws to the more complicated horizontal bandsaws. Besides, nowadays, you will find many types of portable bandsaws, allowing for more flexibility and versatility.
Find out more about different usages and applications of band saw.
As you search for the best bandsaw for your needs, you will soon discover that bandsaws have different types. Experts usually classify bandsaws according to specific categories like applications and shapes. Below is a rundown of these different classifications based on purpose and shape:
Types of Bandsaws According to Purpose
Bandsaws can be classified according to purpose. Below are the different types of bandsaws based on their applications or purposes:
1) Metal Bandsaw
Metal bandsaws come with a design meant for cutting rigid metal. But as you peruse the different components of the metal bandsaw, you will soon find out that their parts are almost the same as wood bandsaws. However, they differ from each other in their blades. The metal bandsaw blades come with a design for cutting metals. Moreover, they cut at a slower speed and come with a higher TPI.
Metal bandsaw blades also come in two types: vertical and horizontal. The horizontal bandsaws are more common. These bandsaws usually cut metals using a downward position.
Vertical metal bandsaws, however, can deal with more intricate cutting jobs. Contractors and craftsmen usually make use of these bandsaws for polishing, filing, and contour cutting.
Metal bandsaws likewise come with added features like having some cooling features for added lubrication and cooling. They also come with brush wheels for preventing metal chips from flying. Hence, you can prevent these metal chips from lodging onto the blade. These power saws, of course, do not require much maintenance.
2) Meat Bandsaw
If ever you happen to visit butcheries, you will notice that they use a specific type of bandsaw. Butchers call this bandsaw meat bandsaw. This bandsaw makes the cutting process of meat a breeze for butchers. Moreover, this bandsaw is usually wrought in stainless steel. It is likewise easy to clean after every use. With this bandsaw, butchers can make perfect cuts on steak and lamb.
Meat bandsaw also comes with some added features like sausage-making spout and mincer. These features make this tool even more useful to butchers.
Meat bandsaws can also cut through bones, even if these bones are thick. They can also cut through fatty tissues with ease.
3) Wood Bandsaw
Bandsaws have been initially designed for cutting wood. Hence, what people usually picture when they hear the term bandsaw is the wood bandsaw. The wood bandsaw, of course, is less popular than the table saw. Yet, its popularity is growing due to its remarkable versatility, allowing you to use it for various applications.
Wood bandsaws also come in different sizes. You will find smaller bandsaws that suit smaller workshops. Yet, you will also find huge bandsaws that are great for industrial purposes and usage. The thinner kerf of the bandsaw allows it to cut timber sans wastage. Thus, you will often find bandsaws in timber mills.
The blade of the wood bandsaw features a continuous metal teeth loop for more precise cuts. Wood bandsaws may also come in three types: resaws, head saws, and cut saws.
4) Head Saws
Head saws can cut hardwood with ease. Their cutting blades also come with widely spaced teeth made of silver. These teeth are usually two to three inches apart. They make a profound impact on the material. Moreover, they got a design that allows their teeth to come out without any snag out of the timber.
5) Band Saw for Resaws
Resaws, on the other hand, are large bandsaw types. They can cut the larger stock into smaller sizes. They usually go against the grain of the timber. Moreover, they come with thinner kerfs for minimal wastage.
6) Double Cut Saws
Double cut saws can function as multipurpose saws. They got on both sides cutting teeth. Hence, you can set these saws on your workbench top. They are either portable or of an industrial size. They are likewise versatile, allowing you to cut metals, plastic, and other materials.
Types of Bandsaws According to Shape or Form
Bandsaws can also be classified according to shape. Below are the different types of bandsaws according to shapes:
1) Floor Standing Bandsaw
You will discover that most bandsaws used by professionals are floor-standing bandsaws. These floor-standing bandsaws come with powerful motors. They are large and take more space in your workshop. Yet, they are powerful enough to make significant cuts.
Floor-standing bandsaws are also not cheap. They are expensive. These bandsaws are perfect for contractors and professionals who cut materials for commercial usage. If you are a DIYer, it will be best to buy smaller bandsaws instead.
The floor-standing bandsaws come with one distinct advantage. It offers a large workspace allowing you to position your material better. Thus, you can rip and cut large pieces of wood using this bandsaw.
2) Horizontal Bandsaw
The horizontal bandsaws can cut through stock horizontally. Hence, they are called horizontal bandsaws. You can use this bandsaw by placing the stock on the bandsaw bed. You can use a vise in clamping the material.
Once you’ve set up the material, you can then let the blade down horizontally to cut through the stock. To use this bandsaw, you need to position the saw on the floor. The saw holds the material downwards as it works with ease. It also provides highly accurate cuts.
If you’re a professional or beginner in the use of bandsaw, you will indeed like this bandsaw type. Nevertheless, it may not do well with intricate cuts that entail cutting curves.
3) Vertical Bandsaw
You will also find vertical bandsaws. These bandsaws come with blades that rotate between dual wheels, one above and one below. The upper wheel is called the idler, while the lower wheel is called the driver wheel.
The material usually moves from end to end, while the blade cuts through this material. Thus, carpenters find this saw useful in making curved and intricate cuts. You can achieve very complicated cuts using this bandsaw.
You can also produce straight lines with utmost accuracy using this saw. Hence, this saw is very versatile and flexible and a must-have tool for most industries.
4) Benchtop Bandsaws
Benchtop bandsaws are like floor-standing bandsaws. Yet, they are more mobile. They come with a design that allows them to be attached to any flat surface that serves as its base or stand. Plus, they do not leave a large footprint.
DIYers also prefer and like the benchtop bandsaws. The benchtop bandsaws, however, come in varied sizes. You will find, for example, small benchtop bandsaws that you can easily carry around. You can also clamp them to your workbench.
5) Portable Bandsaws
If you think bandsaws are stationary only, then you should rethink your idea. The reason is that you will also find portable bandsaw. When using the standard bandsaw, you would usually bring your material to the bandsaw. Yet, if you use a portable bandsaw, you can get the bandsaw to your materials instead.
Moreover, portable bandsaws are flexible and portable. You can use them to create curved cuts as well as edge cuts. You can also use them for irregular and intricate cuts. Besides, you can count on them for cutting huge timbers.
Since there are different applications for which you can use bandsaws, there are also various designs of bandsaws. Thus, before, there were only vertical bandsaws that had simple designs. Nowadays, you will find horizontal bandsaws as well as portable bandsaws.
When choosing a bandsaw for your workshop, it will be best to be familiar with the different types of bandsaws. In this way, you can readily figure out the design and type of bandsaw that fits well to your cutting needs.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.