October 14, 2021
So, you have decided to have extra stability and power in your cutting works, and thus, you’ve made up your mind to switch to using a portable bandsaw. But the moment you’ve decided to shop around for the best portable band saw, you find yourself confronted with unending brands of portable bandsaws. Choosing, therefore, becomes a pain. Nevertheless, if you know what experts recommend and the essential factors to consider when choosing a portable band saw, you can quickly zero in on the best portable bandsaw for your needs.
Despite the great potentials of the portable bandsaw, it has not yet gained much attention from many woodworkers and professionals. Moreover, many think that having a portable bandsaw is not pragmatic, for the fixed bandsaw can do the trick, while you can also use the jigsaw if you want portability. Hence, the portable bandsaw has not yet hugged the limelight. But if you know the potentials and the different uses of the portable bandsaw, you will surely push through with your desire to switch to a portable bandsaw.
Understanding the Bandsaw
You might have seen a bandsaw that comes with a sharp and long blade with a continuous toothed metal band that stretches between wheels. This bandsaw, of course, is fixed and stationary. Moreover, you can use this equipment in woodworking, lumbering, and metalworking. It can provide you with uniform cutting motion and results. It can also cut curved and irregular shapes.
Its blades, moreover, come in different sizes and TPI, allowing this machine to cut different materials. Most bandsaws nowadays come powered by electricity or electric motor.
The traditional bandsaws come fixed and stationary. So, you need to bring your materials to the bandsaw to have it cut. Yet, with the introduction of the portable bandsaw, you can now get the portable bandsaw to where you would need it.
As a floor-standing tool, the traditional bandsaw comes with a table for supporting your workpiece. It may also come with either horizontal or vertical forms. The vertical bandsaws come with a blade that can cut perpendicularly to your workpiece. This form allows you to cut woods, thin metals, and MDF.
On the other hand, the horizontal bandsaws feature sharp-toothed blades. This blade can cut parallel to your workpiece. This form is perfect for cutting metal. The stationary bandsaw also comes with an electric cord that you need to plug in to run the bandsaw.
What is a Portable Bandsaw?
The portable bandsaw is cordless. You can use it as a handheld device for cutting wood, metals, and plastic. It also comes with a serrated blade that moves horizontally. You can angle this saw blade according to your desired angle. Thus, the portable bandsaw is very flexible. The range of its angle is from 90 degrees to 180 degrees.
Moreover, you can manipulate the pressure you apply onto the portable bandsaw, depending on the material being cut. For example, you need to use a slow and steady pressure on the bandsaw if you’re cutting wood. But if you are cutting metals, you need to apply additional heavy pressure to get a clean cut.
Additionally, you can use the portable bandsaw to make notches and kerfs on your workpiece that can come in handy when creating ships and roofs. You can manipulate with ease the angle and pressure of the workpiece when using a portable bandsaw. Thus, it is better for creating highly accurate kerfs and notches. Nevertheless, the stationary bandsaws are best for achieving clean cuts.
One caveat, however, with a portable bandsaw is that you need to be an expert before you can produce excellent results with it. Moreover, the blade type and the angles you will use depend on the material used and the cut you need to make.
When cutting metal pieces, for example, you need to operate faster and use a thicker blade. When cutting wood and plastic, however, you can use a slower-speed blade and less pressure.
Important Features of a Portable Band Saw
Wise men say that knowledge is power. Well, there is some truth in that saying, for in choosing a portable band saw, you need to have the proper knowledge of how to operate it. Moreover, when selecting a portable bandsaw, it will also help if you know the following key features to consider:
When using a portable bandsaw, you need to consider the blade tension and know how to adjust it. You should adjust the blade tension perfectly. If you adjust it loosely, the blade might fail to cut through your material. But if you go too tight in your adjustment, the saw blade may wear quickly or may even snap or break.
Another helpful feature of the portable bandsaw is the cutting shoe. The cutting shoe keeps the teeth of the saw blade from dragging. It also keeps the saw blade from dragging the workpiece into the rear pully while you cut.
The portable bandsaw comes with guide rollers. The guide rollers support the bandsaw blade once you get the saw blade in action. In a way, the guide rollers belong to a safety feature of this saw. This additional support provided by the guide rollers keeps the saw blade from binding.
You can adjust the track of the saw blade with the tracking adjustment feature. With it, you can correct the saw blade’s path with ease. The forward and rear pulleys are the pivotal points of the bandsaw blade. So, you can adjust the saw blade’s track while the saw blade revolves around these two pulleys.
With this feature, you can ensure excellent results when cutting. You can also increase the level of safety of your work. Besides, it ensures that the saw will continue running with smoothness, sans any issues.
Different Applications and Uses of Portable Band saw
Aside from knowing the key features to consider when buying a portable bandsaw, it will also help if you know the different applications of the portable bandsaw:
1) Use it for Cutting Non-movable and Non-portable Materials
One succinct advantage of the portable bandsaw is its portability. You will not need to bring materials to the bandsaw. Instead, you can get the portable bandsaw to the materials. This advantage comes in handy when your material is difficult to move or non-portable. For example, you can cut materials, like met tubing and stock that are difficult to move or impossible to move.
2) You Can Use It in Your Fieldwork or Jobsite
You can never carry around the standard bandsaw to your fieldwork because it is heavy and fixed. On the other hand, the portable bandsaw is designed for carrying around anywhere you would like to use it. You can also bring in your fieldwork. So, if you are the type of woodworker whose work entails fieldwork, you will find the portable bandsaw your best option.
3) Bar Stock Cutting
You can also use the portable bandsaw for cutting purified raw metal like billet. The reason is that the bandsaw provides clean and fine cuts. Yet, when cutting a massive billet, you should go for a more powerful bandsaw.
You can also use the portable bandsaw for cutting and shaping pipes. If your job is cutting pipes, you need to bring your portable saw to where you will cut pipes. So, it will be a handy tool if you need to cut pipes in different places.
4) Billet Modelling
You can also use the portable bandsaw to cut bar stocks, or billet is the raw shaped metal. Manufacturers use the billet to create diverse metal parts. In cutting billets, manufacturers use the bandsaw to reduce billets to their basic shapes. You can cut bar stocks to form them into a square. But you would need a more powerful bandsaw to shape billets into the desired forms.
5) Cutting Structural Steels
You will find the portable bandsaw commonly in manufacturing industries engaged in metal fabrication to shape and cut steel. Manufacturers utilize powerful bandsaws with powerful blades to shape steels in their fabrication shops. Nevertheless, the portable bandsaw has minimal applications when cutting solid steel.
You can use the bandsaw for cutting massive timber. With its use, you can reshape timber according to the designed shapes. You don’t need to bring the enormous timber to your bandsaw. Instead, you can get the portable bandsaw to your work area for cutting massive timber.
7) Intricate Cuts
One primary use of the bandsaw is in making intricate cuts. Moreover, a portable bandsaw is better for making detailed cuts.
8) Tenon Joint Making
When engaged in woodworking, you will need to make mortise and tenon joints. These two different parts are pieced together to create an excellent joint. Moreover, you can use the portable bandsaw to make the tenon tongue. You will see the tenon tongue in the mortise hole.
9) Cutting Pipe
You may find the bandsaw handy when cutting pipes in the same manner that a reciprocating saw would cut pipes. Thus, it is convenient to use, knowing that a tool that can cut pipe is handy inside your home.
10) Making Notch and Carve Truss
You can make notches for building beautiful rooftops. These notches come with purlins using the portable bandsaw. Hence, the portable bandsaw can come in handy when engaged in making a beautiful rooftop.
You can create a truss circle using the portable bandsaw likewise. Moreover, it can make your job easier and more enjoyable.
11) Making Birdsmouth Cut
Since the bandsaw is lighter than the other tools, you can use it to make a birdsmouth cut. Its portability and ease of handling make it a better choice for making this cut.
12) Making Veneer and Bevel Cut
You can use the portable bandsaw when making different bevel cuts. You can use it with ease. Moreover, you can make a thin veneer out of a thick wood bar using the portable bandsaw. It can make cuts as thin as 0.6mm.
You can also use it to make scarf joints. The scarf joints can connect short bars to long beams. As a tool, the portable bandsaw can come in handy when making scarf joints.
13) Create Pergola and Corbel
You can use the portable bandsaw to make decorative cuts. For one, you can use it to make pergolas and corbels, and this tool is well-known for making such decorations.
A portable bandsaw is undoubtedly a handy tool that you can use for many applications. Its ability and potential are extensive. As such, if you are a woodworker or an aspiring woodworker, it will help if you know the abilities and potentials of this portable tool.
As mentioned above, the wide range of applications of the portable bandsaw is astonishing. So, if you considered before this tool as a decorative tool with not much pragmatic significance, you need to rethink your view. I hope this post lets you learn and realize the full potentials of the portable bandsaw.
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.