Last updated: August 6, 2021

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No hobby workshop should be without a band saw. You can use it to saw even strong wood into precise shapes. Plastic and metal can also be worked with a band saw.

Working with a band saw requires practice, but the many possible uses are definitely worth it! In this guide, you will learn what is important when buying a band saw. We will introduce you to different models and their features to help you choose the best band saw for your use.




Summary

  • With a band saw you can work in a versatile and precise way. Even round and curved cuts are possible for experienced craftsmen.
  • Depending on the material to be cut, there is a suitable band saw. A classic wood band saw is suitable for delicate work with wood. If you want to cut metal, it is best to use a powerful metal band saw.
  • Alternative tools cannot replace the band saw: A circular saw cannot cut as precisely and scroll saws are not suitable for use with hard materials.

The Best Band Saw: Our Choices

Here we introduce you to various band saws and their qualities. You might find your ideal band saw among them!

Buying and evaluation criteria for band saws

So that you are not overwhelmed when buying a band saw and you know what is important, we have listed the most important buying criteria here:

Based on the criteria listed, you can recognise the qualities of the band saw and match them to your needs.

Power

The power of the band saw's motor is given in watts and indicates how much current the tool draws. Although it is often assumed, a high wattage does not automatically guarantee higher performance. The average power rating of a band saw for hobby use is between 100 and 750 watts.

Table size

The size of the table is especially important if you want to cut larger workpieces. Most band saws have a table of about the same size. Especially if you plan to cut free forms in panels, you need a band saw with a large table.

Cutting height

The cutting height is given in millimetres or centimetres and indicates the maximum thickness of the workpiece. Usually, the maximum cutting height for band saws is between 8 and 12 cm, which is perfectly adequate for DIY work.

Clearance height

The clearance height (rarely also called cutting width) is the maximum overall size of the workpiece. A clearance height of 15 cm is sufficient for home use. For work on construction sites or in the professional sector in general, the machine should have a maximum clearance height of 25 cm.

Cutting speed

You should also pay attention to the cutting speed, because this provides information about how fast the band saw works. This criterion is given in m/min. Depending on the work you want to use the band saw for, a high cutting speed can be advantageous. Often the cutting speed can also be regulated.

Equipment & ease of use

Another criterion is the equipment and ease of use of the band saw. For example, it should have a swivelling work table and the cutting height should be adjustable. For extra comfort, an included LED work light can also be practical.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about band saws answered in detail

In this section we answer other questions that often come up when buying a band saw:

Who is a band saw suitable for?

A band saw is suitable for all those who want to saw precise work and are already professionals or skilled DIYers. After all, using a band saw is not all that easy.

Mann verwendet Bandsäge für Projekt

Very precise work and even circular cuts can be made with a band saw. (Image source: Sneaky Elbow / Pixabay)

With such a device, curves and curves can also be sawn precisely. Especially when, for example, harder wood is to be processed, a band saw is a good choice.

What types of band saws are there?

A basic distinction is made between hand-held bandsaws and table bandsaws. Hand bandsaws are often battery-operated and the tool is usually U-shaped. The open side is closed by the saw blade. In contrast, table band saws are powered by a mains adapter.

The table band saw is, as the name suggests, permanently installed and not freely movable and as flexible as the hand band saw. To make the table band saw particularly stable, it is fixed to the floor with screws. Metal band saws should also be mentioned at this point. With one of these you can cut materials such as aluminium, iron, stainless steel and copper. However, the metal band saw is not suitable for sawing wood.

What does a band saw cost?

To give you an overview of the different price ranges of band saws and their features, we have listed them here:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (125 - 350 €) Devices for hobby use, few functions
Medium-priced (350 - 750 €) High max. cutting and passage height, usually already some additional functions
High-priced (from 750 €) Professional device, many setting options, powerful, high ease of use

The optimal band saw should be chosen according to use. For do-it-yourselfers, a low-priced model is often sufficient.

What do I need to bear in mind when operating a band saw?

When setting up the band saw, you should choose a location for the machine where there is enough space to ensure as much freedom of movement as possible. Before you start working, adjust the machine to the material you are working on and make sure that the workpiece cannot slip. To protect the saw blade, remove dirt from the wood beforehand. Now all you have to do is connect the band saw to the power source.

To protect yourself from chips, you should always wear protective goggles when operating the band saw. Make sure that your hands do not come close to the saw blade. If a distance of more than 10 cm cannot be guaranteed, a push stick is recommended. When working for a long time, take breaks in between to avoid overheating the saw blade. In addition, the saw bands must be changed as soon as they become blunt.

Conclusion

Very precise work can be produced with a band saw. However, handling such a machine requires practice. The versatility of band saws brings numerous advantages, because even circular or round cuts are possible with them.

Buying a band saw is definitely worthwhile if you want to realise your projects and, above all, if you want straight cuts to succeed perfectly. Not only for professionals, but also for do-it-yourselfers who value precision and quality, a band saw is an asset to the workshop.

(Cover photo: Tobikoz / Pixabay)

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