If you are in the market for a band saw, you already know that a band saw can cut thicker stock than most table saws or radial arm saws, thin veneers effectively, and make tight curved cuts when equipped with narrow blades. But do you know what to consider when it comes down to making your choice? Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.
Bench-Top Band Saw
Floor-Model Band Saw
When shopping for band saws, you'll have to decide between have two basic model variations:
Bench-Top saws can be mounted directly on a workbench or on their own stands. Their compact size makes it the perfect choice for small shops and light scroll cutting.
Floor-Model saws are usually more stable and more powerful than bench top saws. The combination of increased stability and power make these saws excellent for heavy rip sawing and decorative work on thick stock.
Once you've decided on the model, compare the following:
Horsepower is the maximum power produced by the motor. Saws with high horsepower ratings are good for pattern cutting and cutting down thick stock. Higher horsepower also allows the saw to cut through thick stock without bogging down or burning the wood.
Throat Capacity is the distance between the saw's blade and frame. The throat determines the maximum width of the saw's cutting capacity. Saws with wide throats allow you to make wider straight cuts and scroll larger pieces without obstruction from the frame.
Blade Width is important when purchasing a band saw. Most saws accept narrow 1/8" blades for cutting detailed designs and tight curves. Better saws also accept wider blades. Wide blades don't flex as much as narrow ones, but they make accurate straight cuts in thick stock quicker. There are also some wide blades available that can cut metal.
When purchasing a band saw, check to see what accessories are standard and find out what other accessories the saw accepts. If you are just starting out, the bells and whistles may seem extravagant, but as your skill level rises, you will appreciate the added capabilities provided by the right accessories. Some common accessories include:
Width, number of teeth per inch (tpi), and material composition classify band saw blades. When making your blade selection, remember to match the blade width to the type of cutting you are doing. Also keep in mind: