Band saws are the devices most often bought by DIY enthusiasts. They allow you to cut wood, metal, and some plastics quickly, aesthetically, and precisely. They are used both for cutting significant elements, as well as for cutting out details and making decorations.
To get the expected results of the band saw, however, you need to choose the right band saw for you. Before buying, it is necessary to answer the question, what materials will be most often treated, and how commonly the machine will be used.
Essential parameters of band saws
The most crucial parameter of band saws is engine power, height, and cutting width, closely related to the diameter of the mounted flywheel. Working height of band saw counts, distance from the frame to the cutting zone, type of guards and guides, and size of the minimum radius of curvature, are also the important parameter.
Most of the saws available on the market are mains powered, especially for large table models. We must bear in mind that not all such equipment can be connected to a regular 230 V socket. Some devices are powered from a three-phase 400 V network. When purchasing a saw that requires a power connection, check the length of the power cable.
Otherwise, after installing the machine in the workshop, you may find that the cord is too short, and you need to buy an extension cord to be able to use it freely. The small, hand-held saws are battery-powered so that they can be used anywhere, including outdoors. However, the battery is not always included with the tools, and the same applies to the charger. Besides, remember to connect the charging equipment regularly.
The more power the equipment has, the harder the materials can be cut. It also affects the strength of the engine and its fault tolerance. Usually, DIY devices have a power of no more than approx. 1200 W. The value of this parameter is higher in the case of professional models because they must be adapted to intensive work. They usually have an induction motor, which is not only well protected against failures but also does not generate too much noise.
The feed speed gives information on how quickly we can cut selected materials. Usually, you can adjust the equipment yourself and adapt the way it works to your needs. Typically, the band saw speed is in the range from 40 to even 1000 m / min.
Dimensions and weight
Band saws are sophisticated devices that need a lot of space in the room. This does not apply to manual models that can be easily held in your hands. They are also light because they usually do not weigh more than 10 lbs. The weight of machines with a large work table can be several hundred kilograms, but some of them can be easily moved from place to place due to the wheels in the base.
The equipment should not be responsive to damage, so make sure it is made of durable materials. This is very important because, as a result of frequent use, the saw can quickly worsen, and then it will be useless. It is also necessary that the structure is stable, then we will have an adequate level of safety during operation.
One of the additional functions that the band saw can be equipped with is the ability to tilt the work table. This can help you get the job done and keep your cutting precision. Sometimes this type of device also allows the suction of chips to keep order in the workplace. Models for professionals often have a cooling function, thanks to which the engine is better protected against overheating and malfunction.
The necessary elements that should be included with the saw is a tape of the appropriate length and width. Many manufacturers also attach to the equipment an LED lamp, keys, or stops (parallel, longitudinal or angled). Sometimes accessories that increase the comfort of work should be bought independently, and it can be a laser indicator of the cutting line (used to set the equipment correctly) or a hydraulic belt tension indicator.
Type of saw guides
The band saw is a precision device. Stable guides are responsible for its operation, which is best placed under and above the table. This will guarantee good leveling of the device vibration and will prevent the material from being moved.
Radius of curvature
This size determines the precision of cutting because it determines the most massive cutting band that can be installed in the device. It is worth remembering that regardless of the thickness, the tape should be of the best quality because the comfort of our work depends on it.
When buying a band saw, it is crucial whether the saw has a tilting work table, how the machine adjustment is solved, whether the belt tension indicators are visible, or whether the device is equipped with covers. Also, if the band saw has cast iron flywheels, it will be more stable and comfortable in guiding the cut element.