What Should I Look For In A BandSaw?

A sharp-edged bandsaw is what you need for cutting raw purified metal or making straight cuts in a block of wood. There are multiple uses of bandsaw in the industry. However, it is one of the most common tools you find in small shops to ease up the workload. A brandsaw provides perfect settings for multiple functions such as rip, resaw, and crosscut. You can use it to make compound cuts with angles and efficiently get the curves. From cutting metal and plastic to chopping meat and wood, a bandsaw has several applications. You may find them vertically mounted on a bench or in the form of a cordless model. 

What should I look for in a bandsaw

There are plenty of factors that you may consider while purchasing a budget-friendly band saw. However, we are here to eliminate the things you might generally consider. This article is to help you understand certain aspects that you may overlook.

Understand The Size

The size unit on the bandsaw is the size of its wheel’s diameter, the blade. There are size capacities to consider, throat capacity and thickness capacity. The throat capacity of bandsaw determines the width of the cuts you can make, while thickness capacity showcases how thick you can cut something. A standard shop bandsaw falls around 10 to 18 inches in wheel size.

Consider The Frame

Bandsaws are available in two frame styles, welded steel, and cast iron. While cast iron is cheaper, welded steel provides impeccable firmness. If you want to get the work done, a cast iron would be adequate. However, a welded steel frame absorbs vibrations efficiently to help with precision work. 

A Sturdy Base 

The base contributes to the absorption of the vibrations. There are four types of bases available for a bandsaw – Floor, Closed, Panel, and Open. A floor type is bolted to the floor while closed has a sturdy base. Panel or Open base are easier to move. For stability, floor or closed bandsaw bases are better. 

Horse Power Of The Motor

The unit you’ll see for the power of the motor is HorsePower. Most of the bandsaws fall under 3/4th Horse power and suffice for any material that is below the thickness of 3 inches. Anything higher would require at least 1 HP, which is equally effective for resawing. 

Some User-Friendly Features

There are a plethora of options in a bandsaw that you can get from the market. Here are some points that you can consider for your convenience:

  • A Riser Block: See if the bandsaw supports the integration of riser block in the future. It is a great addition to increase a saw’s cutting range from 6 to 12 inches.
  • Guide: Bandsaws have a guide that supports the blade. If you can get a block style guide, your adjustments will be seamless. Cool blocks are great for narrow blades, while Euro-style is effective for thicker blades.
  • Other Features: If you get a column switch, that’s better than any other bandsaw option. A hinged wheel mechanism is better than a removable wheel. Consider the placement of the tensioning knob before making a decision.

Different Types Of Saw Blades

Bandsaws come with different forms of tooth or blades, such as a precision blade for an accurate cut or a claw tooth blade for additional clearance. The question is, which one would suit you? 

This step requires specific considerations like length, width, and teeth per inch. First, let’s start with understand the tooth types and their use:

  • Skip Tooth: Fitting for a resaw requirement. 
  • Regular Tooth: Great for DIY, especially to carve wood. 
  • Hook Tooth: For tasks that require extra power. 

The length of your blade depends on the size of the item you plan on using the bandsaw on. Larger blades are better for more significant objects but require equally firm stability while operating. Smaller blades are better for a refinement process. 

Teeth per inch will affect the precision and smoothness of each cut. However, it doesn’t mean that you should invest in one with the most teeth. Thicker materials require fewer teeth per inch, while softer materials would need higher teeth per inch.  It allows you to carry out cutting more proficiently. 

Let’s Understand The Construct Of Each Bandsaw

There are three primary aspects of the construct that need your undivided attention:

  • Feed Mechanism: Gravity, hydraulics, or screw. If you’re looking for long-term efficient work, gravity saw would be ideal. Others are a budget-friendly option.
  • Fall Mechanism: Determines the movement and blades to use for the bandsaw. Pivot cuts in an arched position, Single column cuts upside down like a drill press, and dual column are for increase precision and performance, often comes in different varieties.
  • Common Tooth Forms: A claw tooth blade is excellent for extra clearance and delivers fast cuts, suitable for soft material. The buttress blade is better for large chip loads for efficient function. Precision blades are ideal for smooth finishing and accuracy in cuts. 

Bottom Line:

The more you study about a bandsaw, the more you will learn about various features. If you want to get a budget-friendly bandsaw, then you can consider some of these factors. This article aims to help you understand the factors that increase the cost and performance of the bandsaw. Correlatively, we elaborated on the segments that you can compromise to get cheaper but efficient bandsaw.


  1. Avatar
    jenny summers September 17, 2020
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    carol September 17, 2020

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