196 Bandsaw Blades. Big bandsaw

Bandsaws Accessories

If you have ever tried to resaw long stock on your Band saw then you know how difficult it can be with smaller Band saw tables. With the Super Wide Miter Guide the length of your stock is no longer an issue. The extra wide aluminum guide track fits into the standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ miter slot on your bandsaw table. The 36″ Super Wide Miter Guide has a standard size miter track milled right down the middle for the ability to use an endless amount of jigs and fixtures. This means you can use the Super Wide Guide on not only your bandsaw, but your router table and table saw too. See more product details

Super Wide Miter Guide /h3>

Working With Long Stock Just Got Easier! If you have ever tried to resaw long stock on your Band saw then you know how difficult it can be with smaller Band saw tables. With the Super Wide Miter Guide the length of your stock is no longer an issue. The extra wide aluminum guide track fits into the standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ miter slot on your bandsaw table. The 36″ Super Wide Miter Guide has a standard size miter track milled right down the middle for the ability to use an endless amount of jigs and fixtures. This means you can use the Super Wide Guide on not only your bandsaw, but your router table and table saw too.


  • Standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ Miter Slot
  • Included with the package are 2 hold down clamps
  • The legs simply connect on to the Super Wide Miter Guide with standard 1/4″ x 20tpi knobs
  • Easily adjustable Legs
  • Designed To Use Multiple Jigs

Package Includes

Note: Bandsaw Not Included

Standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ Miter Slot

The Super Wide Miter Guide has a miter milled on the bottom to allow it to fit into the miter on your Band saw table. It also has a standard miter on the top that allows for multiple jigs to be used with the Super Wide Miter Guide.

Included in the Hardware

Included with the package are 2 hold down clamps that secures the Super Wide Miter Guide to the Band saw table and locking it in place.

Leg Connections

The legs simply connect on to the Super Wide Miter Guide with standard 1/4″ x 20tpi knobs that slide into the t-slots on the front and back of the aluminum extrusion

Adjustable Legs

The legs are easily adjusted to the height of your Band saw table by loosening the knob and raise the leg up or down to level the Super Wide Miter Guide to the Band saw table. The foot is also adjustable for leveling the legs.

Designed To Use Multiple Jigs

Any jig that uses a standard 3/4″ miter slot will work with the Super Wide Miter Guide making this a perfect jig for Band saw tables, router tables and tablesaws. In the image above is Carters Products Log Mill be demonstrated.

Note: Carter Log Mill Not Included

  • Standard 3/4″ x 3/8″ Miter Slot
  • Included with the package are 2 hold down clamps
  • The legs simply connect on to the Super Wide Miter Guide with standard 1/4″ x 20tpi knobs
  • Easily adjustable Legs
  • Designed To Use Multiple Jigs

Note: Bandsaw Not Included

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Super Wide Miter Guide ADD-ON Track

For Use with the Super Wide Miter Guide

Add even more length to your Super Wide Miter Guide for extra long stock. The 36″ ADD-ON Track easily attaches to the miter guide with two attachment brackets (included) that slide into your bottom track and is secured with multiple set screws. Now your ready to make cuts on the extra long workpieces without any concern of falling off the back end of your table. When the ADD-On Track is added to the Super Wide Miter Guide it gives you a combined length of 72″

  • For Use with the Super Wide Miter Guide
  • Easily attaches to the miter guide with two attachment brackets
  • Make cuts on the extra long workpieces without any concern of falling off the back end of your table

Note: Bandsaw Not Included

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Precision Band Saw Fence

Bolster your Band saw’s accuracy with a precision Band saw Fence from Kreg. This fence is adjustable in two dimensions, and sets parallel to the blade with ease. A precision lens cursor reads off the included scale and enhances cutting accuracy and repeatability for high production work. The fence mounts to most 14-inch Band saws, including Jet, Delta, General, Grizzly and many others.

  • Precision lens cursor for pinpoint accuracy
  • Incredibly strong and rigid for optimal durability and tighter work pieces
  • Easy to attach and remove for less downtime and more productivity
  • Adjustable in two dimensions for setting parallel with the blade
  • Fits most 14-inch Band saws for versatility

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

4-1/2″ Resaw Guide Instructions

The Kreg Resaw Guide easily attaches to the Kreg Precision Band Saw Fence, allowing for a higher level of control and accuracy when adjusting for Band-saw blade drift. The curved face of the guide helps you steer the board into the cut and get the perfect results you’re looking for.

  • Durable anodized-aluminum
  • Actively compensates for blade drift
  • Attaches to Kreg Precision Band Saw Fence
  • Curved guide face helps steer board into cut
  • For small- and medium-sized work pieces
  • 4 1/2″ height for small and medium-size workpieces

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Micro Adjuster Instructions

Dial-in precise adjustments to your Kreg Precision Router Table or Precision Band Saw Fence – down to.005″ – with the simple turn of a thumb wheel.

  • Provides precise adjustments, down to.005″
  • Easy to adjust with the simple turn of a thumb wheel
  • For use with Kreg Precision Router Table and Precision Band Saw Fence
  • Anodized aluminum and brass construction

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence

The MAGFENCE II Universal Magnetic Fence is the fastest, easiest way to add a moveable and adjustable fence to your bandsaw. Since the MAGFENCE II attaches to your saw with switchable magnets ( 155 lbs of break away force each), it is readily adjusted and infinitely positionable. See more product details


Magfence II Universal Magnetic Fence

The MAGFENCE II Universal Magnetic Fence is the fastest, easiest way to add a moveable and adjustable fence to your bandsaw. Since the MAGFENCE II attaches to your saw with switchable magnets ( 155 lbs of break away force each), it is readily adjusted and infinitely positionable. You don’t even need any hardware or mounts when installing. Simply place in position and switch the magnets to the ON position and you are set. The fence has thin rubber strips on the bottom to make adjustments smooth and simple, they also keep the fence from scratching your table top surface. The unit also features multiple T-slots for attaching any number of accessories like a sub-fence, stops and is compatible with all of Carter’s original MAGFENCE accessories. The MAGFENCE II comes with two switchable magnets ( 155 lbs of break away force each) and measures 15″ in length by 3″ in height. Additional switchable magnets (sold separately) can be added to the fence for even more holding power


  • Fastest, easiest way to add a moveable and adjustable fence to your bandsaw
  • Attaches to your saw with switchable magnets
  • Readily adjusted and infinitely positionable
  • No hardware or mounts needed when installing
  • Thin rubber strips on the bottom to make adjustments smooth and simple
  • Multiple T-slots for attaching any number of accessories
  • Compatible with all of Carter’s original MAGFENCE accessories
  • Fastest, easiest way to add a moveable and adjustable fence to your bandsaw
  • Attaches to your saw with switchable magnets
  • Readily adjusted and infinitely positionable
  • No hardware or mounts needed for installing
  • Thin rubber strips on the bottom to make adjustments smooth and simple
  • Multiple T-slots for attaching accessories
  • Compatible with all of Carter’s original MAGFENCE accessories

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

5″ Sacrificial Fence for Magfence II

The 5″ SWF allows you to get the blade much closer to the fence without the fear of damaging your blade or your fence. This extended design gives you a taller face for resaw and larger wood operations. The face attaches easily at both ends via the existing slots in the MAGFENCE II face. The SWF is constructed out of ridgid non-warping plastic that will keep it’s shape, but will not damage the blade in case of accidental contact. Ideal for sawing super thin veneers or any application where the fence might come in contact with the tooling or blade.

Note:The SWF is designed to fit the Carter MAGFENCE II product only ( Not Included).

Note: 5″ SWF Sacrificial Fence Only Carter MAGFENCE II Not Included

California Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm. www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Blade Construction

Carbon Blades

Hard Back type:A one-piece blade made of carbon steel with a hardened back and tooth edge.

Flex Back type: A one-piece blade made of carbon steel with a hardened tooth edge and soft back.

Bi-metal Blades

A high speed steel edge material is electron beam welded to fatigue resistant spring steel backing. Such a construction provides the best combination of cutting performance and fatigue life.

Carbide Ground Tooth Blades

Teeth are formed in a high strength spring steel alloy backing material.

Carbide is bonded to the tooth using a proprietary welding operation. Tips are then side, face and top ground to form the shape of the tooth.

Set Style Carbide Tooth

Teeth are placed in a high strength spring alloy backing material. Carbide is bonded to the tooth and ground to form the shape of the tooth. The teeth are then set, providing for side clearance.


Cutting Wood using a Wood Bandsaw:

  • Flex-Back.Carbon Steel Blade. General Wood cutting operations
  • Neo-Type. Carbon Steel Blade (Hardback) tooth size 8 to 24 tpi for thin wood and plastics (originally for cutting metal but at 75 to 300 BFPM)
  • #32 Wood.Specialized Woodworking Applications
  • Diemaster 2. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Classic. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Woodmaster B. Bi-Metal blade specifically for use on Portable Band Mills also Horizontal and Vertical Re-Saws
  • Woodmaster CT. Carbide Tipped for use on Portable Band Mills also Horizontal and Vertical Re-Saws
  • Tri-Master. Carbide Tipped Precision triple chip grind results in smooth cuts and excellent finish.

Cutting Metal on a Wood Bandsaw:

  • Diemaster 2. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Matrix. Bi-Metal blade.020 thick, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Classic. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Classic Pro. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock

NOTE: When using a WOOD Cutting Band saw for cutting metal (saw running about 3000 BFPM) hardened metal will not be able to be cut. Bandsaw blade speeds between 75 and 300 BFPM are required to cut hardened materials and receive favorable blade life. If your wood saw has two speeds, use the slow speed for cutting soft metal.

Selecting the Proper TPI (teeth per inch):

When cutting wood, the Rule of Thumb is 3 to 12 teeth in the work, with the most general purpose count being 6 TPI. The fewer teeth per inch provide a faster, but rougher cut; and more teeth per inch provide a smoother, but slower cut. When resawing use the widest blade suitable for your saw with the fewest number of teeth per inch. Make sure that you select a blade of proper thickness. The continual flexing of the blade causes metal fatigue and failure of the blade. Fatigue is the tendency of a metal to break under continued flexing. The thickness of the blade required depends upon the diameter of the wheels and the work to be done. Thick blades will withstand more strain from cutting than thin blades, but will break more easily from the bending action, especially when run on small wheels. Each revolution flexes the blade to near the elastic limit of the steel, which causes the metal to fatigue and break quickly. Thinner blades are recommended when the work is light.

Bandsaw Blade Speed BFPM is Band Feet Per Minute

The types of Lenox Band Saw Blade stock listed below are for general metal cutting to high performance metal cutting operations

LENOX Bi-Metal Band Saw Blades

  • Diemaster 2. Bi-Metal blade, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Matrix. Bi-Metal blade.020 thick, provides 6x the life of Carbon Steel blade stock
  • Classic. The Ultimate Multi-Purpose
  • Classic Pro.The Ultimate Multi-Purpose Blade for Production Cutting
  • QXP. Long Blade Life at High Cutting Rates
  • RX. Engineered to Cut Structurals, Tubing and Bundles
  • Armor RX. Engineered for Long Life
  • Contestor GT. High Performance Sawing

LENOX Carbide Band Saw Blades

High performance backing steel and optimized carbide grades give premium Band sawing performance. These Band saws will cut faster and last longer than any other Band saw blade in a wide variety of sawing applications.

  • ARMOR CT BLACK.For Extreme Cutting Rates
  • TNT GT. Extreme Performance on Super Alloys
  • CAST MASTER.Superior Performance When Sawing Castings
  • TRI-TECH CT.Set Style Carbide Blade for Difficult to Cut Metals
  • TRI-MASTER.Versatile Carbide Tipped Blade
  • ALUMINUM MASTER CT.Triple Chip Tooth Design
  • HRc.Carbide Tipped Blade for Case and Through-Hardened Materials
  • MASTER GRIT.Carbide Grit Edge Blade for Cutting Abrasive and Hardened Materials

Understanding Product Tag

H A = Hook Tooth, Alternate SetH L = Hook Tooth, Lenox SetH R = Hook Tooth, Raker SetS L = Standard Tooth, Lenox SetS R = Standard Tooth, Raker SetS W = Standard Tooth, Wavy SetV W = Vari-Tooth, Wavy SetV P = Vari-Tooth, Positive VP TR = Vari-Position, Triple ChipSTP R = Triple ChipSTP TR = Triple ChipVP TR = Varied Position, Triple ChipVP TR 051 = Varied Position, Triple Chip.051 kerfVP TR 065 = Varied Position, Triple Chip.065 kerfVP TR 072 = Varied Position, Triple Chip.072 kerfVP TR 085 = Varied Position, Triple Chip.085 kerfVP VR = Varied Position, Varied RakerVP VR EHS = Varied Position, Varied Raker, Extra Heavy Set

Bandsaw Blade Terms

A clear understanding of blade terminology can help avoid confusion when discussing cutting problems.

    1. Blade Back. The body of the blade not including tooth portion. 2. Gauge. The thickness of the blade. 3. Width. The nominal dimension of a saw blade as measured from the tip of the tooth to the back of the Band. 4. Set. The bending of teeth to right or left to allow clearance of the back of the blade through the cut. 5. Tooth. The cutting portion of a saw blade. 6. Tooth Pitch. The distance from the tip of one tooth to the tip of the next tooth. 7. TPI. The number of teeth per inch as measured from gullet to gullet. 8. Gullet. The curved area at the base of the tooth. The tooth tip to the bottom of the gullet is the gullet depth. 9. Gullet Depth. The distance from the tooth tip to the bottom of the gullet. 10. Tooth Face. The surface of the tooth on which the chip is formed. 11. Tooth Back. The surface of the tooth opposite the tooth face. 12. Tooth Back Clearance Angle. The angle of the tooth back measured in relation to the cutting direction of the saw. 13. Tooth Rake Angle. The angle of the tooth face measured with respect to a line perpendicular to the cutting direction of the saw. 14. Tooth Tip. The cutting edge of the saw tooth. 15. Kerf. Amount of material removed by the cut of the blade.

Band SPEEDThe rate at which the Band saw blade moves across the work to be cut. The rate is usually measured in feet per minute (fpm) or meters per minute (mpm).

BASE Band SPEEDList of recommended speeds for cutting various metals, based on a 4″ wide piece of that stock.

BI-METALA high speed steel edge material electron beam welded to a spring steel back. Such a construction provides the best combination of cutting performance and fatigue life.

BLADE WIDTHThe dimension of the Band saw blade from tooth tip to blade back.

CARBIDE TIPPED BLADECarbide tips welded to a high-strength alloy back, resulting in a longer lasting, smoother cutting blade.

CARBON FLEX BACKA solid one-piece blade of carbon steel with a soft back and a hardened tooth, providing longer blade life and generally lower cost per cut.

CARBON HARD BACKA one-piece blade of carbon steel with a hardened back and tooth edge that can take heavier feed pressures, resulting in faster cutting rates and longer life.

CUTTING RATEThe amount of material being removed over a period of time. Measured in square inches per minute.

DEPTH OF PENETRATIONThe distance into the material the tooth tip penetrates for each cut.

Tooth Form and Construction

As with a bi-metal blade design, there are advantages to differing tooth constructions. The carbide tipped tooth has carbide tips welded to a high strength alloy back. This results in a longer lasting, smoother cutting blade.

Tooth Form

The shape of the tooth’s cutting edge affects how efficiently the blade can cut through a piece of material while considering such factors as blade life, noise level, smoothness of cut and chip carrying capacity.

Variable Positive. Variable tooth spacing and gullet capacity of this design reduces noise and vibration, while allowing faster cutting rates, long blade life and smooth cuts.

Variable. A design with benefits similar to the variable positive form for use at slower cutting rates.

Standard. A good general purpose blade design for a wide range of applications.

Skip. The wide gullet design makes this blade suited for non-metallic applications such as wood, cork, plastics and composition materials.

Hook. Similar in design to the Skip form, this high raker blade can be used for materials which produce a discontinuous chip (such as cast iron), as well as for non-metallic materials.

Tooth Set

The number of teeth and the angle at which they are offset is referred to as “tooth set.” Tooth set affects cutting efficiency and chip carrying ability.

Raker:3 tooth sequence with a uniform set angle (Left, Right, Straight).

Modified Raker: 5 or 7 tooth sequence with a uniform set angle for greater cutting efficiency and smoother surface finish (Left, Right, Left, Right, Straight). The order of set teeth can vary by product.

Vari-Raker:The tooth sequence is dependent on the tooth pitch and product family. Typically Vari-Raker set provides quiet, efficient cutting and a smooth finish with less burr.

Alternate:Every tooth is set in an alternating sequence. Used for quick removal of material when finish is not critical.

Wavy:Groups of teeth set to each side within the overall set pattern. The teeth have varying amounts of set in a controlled pattern. Wavy set is typically used with fine pitch products to reduce noise, vibration and burr when cutting thin, interrupted applications.

Vari-Set:The tooth height / set pattern varies with product family and pitch. The teeth have varying set magnitudes and set angles, providing for quieter operation with reduced vibration. Vari-Set is efficient for difficult-tocut materials and larger cross sections.

Single Level Set:The blade geometry has a single tooth height dimension. Setting this geometry requires bending each tooth at the same position with the same amount of bend on each tooth.

Dual Level Set:This blade geometry has variable tooth height dimensions. Setting this product requires bending each tooth to variable heights and set magnitudes in order to achieve multiple cutting planes.

Selecting Bandsaw Blade Width, Thickness and TPI

Choosing the Correct Bandsaw Blade Width

Blade width is measured from the tips to the teeth to the back edge of the blade body. The instructions for the particular bandsaw being used should be followed when selecting blade width. If no such instructions exist, the blade width should be determined with the following guidelines:

Cut-Off Sawing (Re-sawing) The blade selected should be as wide as the machine will allow, keeping in mind the blade thickness and wheel diameter. The wider the bandsaw blade is, the straighter the cut will be.

Contour Sawing The bandsaw blade should be as wide as the machine allows, but still narrow enough so that it can cut the desired shape (radius). Minimum dimensions for different cutting radii are shown in the radius chart

How to Choose the Correct Number of Teeth Per Inch (TPI)

The number of teeth per inch (TPI) is important in obtaining the finish desired and the proper feed rate. A coarse tooth blade (2, 3 TPI) should be used for re-sawing wood and cutting thicker stock up to 8″ thick. A fine toothed blade (18 to 32 TPI) should be used for thinner metals and plastics under 1/4″. For general cutting of 3/4″ plywood 6 TPI will provide a fast cut and 14 TPI will cut much slower but leave a smooth finish on the cut.

  • TPI gives a smoother but slower cut.
  • Fewer TPI allows for a faster cut with a slightly rougher cut surface.
  • Should have at least 3 teeth and less than 12 teeth in the work piece.

The thickness of a bandsaw blade is determined by the thickness of the blade body. Bandsaw blades vary in thickness.014″.018″.020″.022″.025″.032″.035″.042″.050″.063″.Make sure that you select a blade of proper thickness. The continual flexing of the blade causes metal fatigue and failure of the blade. Fatigue is the tendency of a metal to break under continued flexing.The thickness of the blade required depends upon the diameter of the wheels and the work to be done. Thick blades will withstand more strain from cutting than thin blades, but will brake more easily from the bending action, especially when run on small wheels. Each revolution flexes the blade to near the elastic limit of the steel, which causes the metal to fatigue and brake quickly. Thinner blades are recommended when the work is light.

This chart offers Guidelines for selecting Blade Thickness for wheel diameters.

WHEEL DIAMETER RECOMMENDEDBLADE THICKNESS 4-6 inches6-8 inches8-11 inches11-18 inches 18-24 inches24-30 inches30 inchesand over .014″.018″.020″.025″.032″.035″.042″.050″.063″ .014″.018″.020″ thicknesses are no longer available in Lenox brand

It is not always possible to adhere to the above recommendations due to the cutting operation you intend to perform and the particular Band saw you are using. To maintain extended fatigue life of the blade, select the thinnest blade possible that will offer you the appropriate number to TPI to perform you cutting operation.


If you have any experience with or knowledge about woodworking, then you know that there are many different types of saws, each with their pros and cons.

Today we are focused on one of the most versatile of all saws: the Band saw.

What do Band saws do? Band saws can do many exciting things, including woodworking, ripping lumber, and even cutting metals. You can make incredible curves and scrolls with a Band saw too. On top of that, you can resaw and reset edges and faces of the board. And you can make veneer, bent laminations, and small logs.

Today we’re going to discuss in more detail everything that you can do with a Band saw.

And if you’re in the market for a new machine, then we will give you several suggestions. But before we get to the saws, let’s go over some of the Band saw basics.

What Is a Band Saw?

A Band saw, sometimes written as a bandsaw, is a power saw that uses a long blade loop stretched between two wheels.

You can think of the blade like a ribbon that continually rotates along with the wheels.

Band saws are most often used for woodworking. However, you can also use them for lumbering and metalworking.

The main advantage of using a Band saw is that you can do the highly uniform cutting. This is thanks to the evenly distributed tooth load.

A bandsaw can easily cut curved or irregular shapes. It works a lot like a jigsaw, but it allows you to have more control.

Band saws aren’t the only saws that can make intricate cuts. But they are arguably the easiest to use.

Only a small part of the blade loop shows in the cutting area.

However, most Band saws allow you to make adjustments to expose more of the blade. This is helpful if you’re working on larger pieces of wood.

Because Band saws feature small-sized blades, you can use them to make detailed, intricate cuts.

With these machines, the blade loop comes up through the center of the table on the saw.

The table is where you place the wood before you move it to meet the blade.

Band saws also let you adjust the speed, and they let you make mitered and angled cuts, depending on the table surface of the saw.

There are several different types and sizes of Band saws. We’ll go over some of them in a minute.

To learn more about the basics of Band saws, watch this great video:

The Band saw’s history goes back a long way. And there were many different versions of this saw before the machine that we have now.

Notable dates in the history of Band saws include:

  • The first British patent for a Band saw went to William Newberry in 1809.
  • The first American patent for a Band saw went to Benjamin Barker in 1836.
  • A patent for the modern blade of the saw went to Anne Paulin Crepin in 1846.
  • In 1858 improvements in the mounting of the saws were made by Henry Wilson.
  • Wide commercial use of Band saws began around 1878 with the Cincinnati-based J. A. Fay and Company.
  • In 1908 a foot power Band saw was introduced by the Silver Manufacturing Company in Salem, Ohio.

The earliest versions of Band saws weren’t at all practical.

The problems that they faced were because the technology had not yet been invented to create durable, lasting blades.

Because the blade loops are continually bending and flexing around the wheels, the pressure caused the blades to break most of the time.

So it became a priority to improve the blades. Once a new welding method using new steel alloys and advanced tempering techniques was developed, everything changed for the Band saw.

The new functional blades instantly made the machine more feasible.

Since the 1800s, there have been significant improvements made to the Band saw.

Once the machine was commercially produced, it quickly became popular among builders and lumberyards.

You can read more about the interesting history of bandsaws here.

What’s the Difference Between a Band Saw and a Scroll Saw?

In the woodworking world, you will often find people debating about choosing between a Band saw and a scroll saw.

It can be a tough decision because both of these saws are excellent at handling curved cuts.

They can both make super accurate scrolling cuts that you can use for numerous applications.

The two saws are similar because of what they can do. But there are some significant differences too.

The main one has to do with the blades and how they move.

They have very different blades

Band saws use blades that are in a continuous loop around the saw’s wheels. With Band saws, the blade cutting direction is always downward.

This feature allows the Band saw to handle more substantial work, like cutting down large pieces of lumber.

Scroll saws look similar to Band saws, but they differ in how they work.

With a scroll saw, the blade moves up and down reciprocating rapidly. Scroll saws work more similarly to a jigsaw than a Band saw.

One benefit of the scroll saw is that it allows you to make cuts inside of the wood. That means that scroll saws don’t require an entry point cut.

For this application, you would first drill a hole in the wood. Next, you would thread the blade up through the hole. Then, you can begin your cutting from there.

The differences in the blades change the way the saws cut. The up and down movement of the scroll saw lets you make more precise cuts.

Scroll saws allow for tighter curves. They also leave you with a smoother surface after the cut. Often the pieces don’t need any sanding at all.

Band saws are king when it comes to versatility

While it’s true that scroll saws offer some advantages when it comes to precision, they can’t compete with the Band saw when it comes to versatility. It’s not even close.

One cool thing about the Band saw is that it can make cuts nearly as precise as a scroll saw while also giving you the ability to tackle more substantial cutting tasks. Band saws can also handle harder materials.

You can use a Band saw to do things like cutting irregular and curved pieces, plastics, pipes, and larger pieces of lumber.

Band saws will help you with ripping, resawing, and breaking down boards to smaller pieces.

While the Band saw offers much more versatility than a scroll saw, we believe that both are useful tools to have.

However, if you have to choose just one of them, we recommend the Band saw.

Types of Band Saws

As we’ve discussed, Band saws are mainly used for cutting wood. But they can also be used to cut metal.

There aren’t two different machines for cutting wood or metal. Either way, you use the same saw, it’s just the blade that is different.

But with that said, there are some different types of Band saws available on the market today.


These Band saws are most often used for cutting pieces at right angles or miter angles.

Horizontal Band saws are generally floor mounted. They are used for making basic cuts with different materials.

With this type of Band saw, the cutting position is horizontal. That means that the idler and drive wheels are positioned lengthwise on the saw.

This type of saw is driven by an electric motor that has a belt and pulley. And it lets you easily make adjustments and change the speed.


Vertical Band saws, also called contour saws, are very versatile.

You can use them for filing, polishing, and contours. They’re also great for all simple stock piece cutting.

Vertical Band saws are just as the name suggests, they are vertical machines that are usually driven by an electric motor with belt transmission.

You use this saw by moving your wood against the blade. This machine allows you to manipulate the wood in different ways, including at various angles.

The belt on these machines allows you to adjust the speed.

The loop blade works by rotating between the idler wheel, which is mounted above the worktable, and the drive wheel, which is located under the worktable.


This type of Band saw is extremely popular with woodworking hobbyists.

The great thing about benchtop Band saws is that they are more mobile than floor standing machines.

They also cost a lot less than floor standing saws. They are designed to be attached to a flat solid surface. This surface will serve as a stable base for the machine.

Believe it or not, benchtop Band saws can be just as versatile and powerful as large floor standing units.

And it’s a bonus that they are more portable. They also don’t take up much space.

Floor standing

These are the most expensive type of Band saw. They are ideal for contractors and professionals who have commercial cutting needs.

However, they are a bit much for home use. Most hobbyists go with smaller benchtop units.

Floor standing saws are extremely powerful, and they are capable of cutting significant sizes.

Beyond the power and size benefits, another major advantage with this type of saw is that it offers a larger workspace, positioning, and table size.

If you want to make some intricate cuts or rip large pieces, then you will find it much easier with a floor standing saw.


Portable and handheld Band saws are very different from other Band saws.

But because of the way that the blade moves, they have still considered Band saws.

Portable Band saws have a small cutting area and are about the same size as handheld circular saws. They are mainly used for job-site work.

Handheld machines are especially useful for plumbers who use them to trim pipe.

Some builders and contractors also use them for cutting small workpieces. It’s not unusual for these types of saws to be used on metal or plastic.


And finally, there are meat Band saws. These are used by butchers to trim down and cut large pieces of meat.

There are many affordable meat saws on the market, even floor standing machines. They are ideal for hunters who like to cut their own game after hunting.

Meat Band saws were designed to cut through flesh, fat, and bone with very little waste. They look similar to regular floor standing Band saws, but they use a special blade made just for meat.

One thing to note with meat Band saws is that they are not meant to cut any material other than meat.

The Woodworkers Guild of America has some more excellent information about Band saws in this short video.

As we’ve been discussing, Band saws are super versatile. They can handle intricate cuts easily.

You can also use them to size down larger pieces of wood. Here are some of the most common uses for Band saws.


Band saws are incredibly versatile for working with wood. And the more you cut with them, the better you’ll get at your craft.

Woodworking is the most common use for Band saws. You can do some amazing things with wood with this machine.

Band saws usually come with the angle, fences, and table. These things will allow you to make crosscuts, straight cuts, miter cuts, and a wide range of freehand cuts.

Band saws let you use wood in many different ways. For one, if you have a large piece of wood, you would first use the Band saw to cut it down to more manageable chunks.

Then you would use the saw again to get the exact size that you want. From there, you can use the machine to make curved cuts.


When the Band saw was first invented, it was intended to be used for ripping lumber. People still use it for that reason.

Ripping means cutting down large pieces of wood along the grain. When you rip the wood, you cut down a sizeable unworkable piece of lumber into smaller, more functional pieces.

The cutting capacity and large table size on a Band saw make it simple to line up various pieces in a row.

You can then run those pieces along a miter guide or fence to quickly turn them into even smaller pieces.

One example of this is to use the Band saw to cut down a big piece of lumber into fence pieces all the same size.

Cutting metal

As I’ve said, you can also use Band saws to cut metals. They’re accurate and useful for it.

Intricate detailed cuts are indeed more difficult when you’re cutting metal, but if you’re careful, you can do it.

You can cut many different metal materials with a Band saw.

Believe it or not, you can usually use the same saw to cut both metal and wood. You just need to use an appropriate blade.


Resawing is another thing that you can do with a Band saw. It means sawing a piece of wood along its width.

Using the saw this way turns the wood into two book-matched pieces. This feature is helpful when you’re trying to make things like matching cabinet doors.

You can also use resawing to turn thicker boards into thinner pieces of wood.

This video will show you more about resawing.

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty Band saw that could handle professional use and very thick wood, then you should take a look at the Jet JWBS-14DXPRO.

This saw provides increased control and power thanks to the high tension spring design.

It features a cast-iron frame and a unique stand that includes plenty of storage. On top of that, it also comes with an incredible five-year warranty.

The downside to the Jet saw is that it is quite expensive. It’s also too heavy to move around.

If you want a rip fence, you will have to purchase it separately. Another thing that was lacking on this machine is that the tension isn’t even across all blade sizes.

Powermatic 1791216K Model PWBS-14CS

The Powermatic 1791216K Model PWBS-14CS is another excellent Band saw that you should consider.

It’s another heavy-duty machine capable of professional work. It comes with a built-in halogen work lamp.

And the extra-large cast iron worktable is expandable for added stability. This saw does not require any assembly. As the Jet saw, it comes with a five-year warranty.

As great as this saw is, there are a few limitations that you should know about.

First, it’s difficult to make adjustments to this saw. The alignment, expandable worktable, and tensioning belt are all tricky to adjust. This saw is also too heavy to move around.

SKIL 3386-01

Another Band saw worth your time is the SKIL 3386-01. This saw is much smaller than the first two we looked at.

It’s lightweight and easy to move around the shop. We recommend this benchtop machine for beginners. It’s super affordable, and the adjustments are straightforward to make.

This saw also comes with an LED lamp to give you a clear view of your work.

One limitation to this saw is that it is not powerful enough to handle large or professional jobs.

We like that it’s lightweight and portable, but the lighter weight also makes it a bit more unstable than some of the others.

You should also know that this saw only has a one-speed engine with low horsepower.

WEN 3962

The WEN 3962 is another benchtop Band saw that comes with a stand. It offers excellent performance at a low price.

This saw is precise and powerful. It comes with a work light and a stand. And it is ideal for beginners.

One thing worth noting is that the ultrasensitive controls need frequent adjustments.

The initial setup with this machine is also a bit difficult. Another thing that we weren’t crazy about is that you have to remove and adjust the belt to change speeds.

This adjustment isn’t a significant problem, but it is a minor inconvenience.

Rikon 10-305

If you want one of the best benchtop Band saws on the market this year, then you should consider the Rikon 10-305.

The thing that stands out about this saw is the incredible price. You’ll also appreciate the durable cast iron table and the compact size.

Another thing we liked about this saw is that the tracking adjustments are easy to use. It also comes with a five-year warranty.

The downside to this saw is that it doesn’t come with multiple speeds. It also doesn’t come with a stand.

We found that the table tilt can be awkward to adjust too. Also, the machine’s horsepower doesn’t impress us.

Grizzly G0555LX

The final Band saw on our list this year is the Grizzly G0555LX. One of the things that stands out about this machine is the weight.

This is a particularly heavy piece of equipment, weighing 247 pounds. That means that it can handle a lot of pressure.

It has a sturdy cast iron frame. We also really like that it comes with a lower and upper ball bearing blade guide and an adjustable fence with a magnifying window. Another great feature on this saw is the computer balanced cast iron wheels.

We didn’t have too many complaints about this machine. If we could alter anything, it would be to add more horsepower. We’d also like it if the dust port was a little deeper.

A Final Thought

As you can see, Band saws are incredibly versatile machines. And you can find them at just about every price point.

Before you purchase a new Band saw it’s essential that you decide what you’ll be using the saw for.

That will help you to choose the right machine to meet your individual needs.

We recommend all six of the saws on our list. But our top pick this year is the Grizzly G0555LX.

It will do a great job, whether you’re a professional or a home hobbyist. And you can get it without breaking the bank.

Best of luck with your search, and happy woodworking!

Bandsaw Basics for Wood Bowl Turners

How important is it for a woodturner to have a bandsaw?

A bandsaw is an essential tool for woodturners, especially wood bowl turners. The bandsaw helps remove excess material in order to make the process of turning a wood bowl more efficient.

Understanding how the bandsaw works, using it safely, and showing it all due respect will make wood bowl turning quicker and easier.

A simple design, a thin metal continuous blade tensioned between two wheels powered by a motor, can save time, money, and bowl gouge steel. Understanding and safely operating a bandsaw to process wood bowl blanks is what this article will cover in detail.

Bandsaw basics for wood bowl turners will cover:

  • identifying the parts of a bandsaw
  • how to adjust the bandsaw blade
  • how to select an appropriate blade
  • how to handle the blades
  • how to safely operate the bandsaw
  • how to trim a wood bowl blank on the bandsaw

Why A Bandsaw?

You may be asking, why do I need a bandsaw? Well, if you do only a handful of turned wood bowls, or you have a friend that will let you borrow their saw, then you may not need one.

If you only occasionally make a turned bowl, yes, you can turn away rough cut squared excess bowl blank corners with the bowl gouge on the lathe. But once or twice rounding your bowl blanks through the bandsaw and it will be clear that the pounding you take when turning off square corners on the lathe is not worth the trouble.

If you plan to frequently turn wood bowls, a bandsaw is a huge time saver. And even if you are borrowing a friend’s saw, you will still want to acquaint yourself with the various components of a bandsaw and understand how to safely operate that bandsaw.

Bandsaw Identified

The parts of a bandsaw are pretty simple and straight-forward. Two wheels support a continuous metal saw blade. Power is provided usually by an electric motor which rotates the wheels and turns the blade.

Bandsaw wheels are usually metal and covered with rubber tires. Yes, these are called tires. The tires help cushion and center the blade as it revolves on the wheels.

On the right side of the machine, where the blade makes contact with the cutting material, the blade guide resides. The blade guide serves a couple purposes by helping to keep the blade straight and true while also safely shielding the rotating blade.

The table surface of the bandsaw in the business end of the machine where the rubber meets the road, or better, where the wood meets the teeth. Many bandsaw tables will have adjustments so they may be tilted to create angled cuts. Also, on the table surface is usually a straight groove, or miter slot designed to accept the rail of a sliding guide or jig.

Protective doors cover the two bandsaw turning wheels during operation. Latches keep the doors closed and secure.

Various knobs are located around the saw. Most of the knobs are designed to adjust the tracking, location, and tension of the blade.

Bandsaw adjustments

The most significant adjustment for any bandsaw is the blade tracking. The blade needs to track true and centered for ideal performance.

Stop. Before you start turning knobs to seek this “ideal performance,” take a minute to learn what is what.

I’m speaking from experience here. Turning a couple knobs seems innocent enough, but you can quickly create a major headache and have a bandsaw that appears to merely reject its own blade, over and over.

Here’s what I learned, the hard way. Typically the lower wheel is straight and does not have an angled adjustment. The upper wheel usually has an up and down adjustment and an angle adjustment. If you get all of these moving at the same time, you can go crazy trying to fix the mess.

Instead of just turning knobs, look carefully at how the blade is tracking. With the saw off and unplugged, rotate the top wheel by hand several times. Is the blade riding on the crown of the tire, on the wheel? If so, stop, don’t do anything else. You’re good to go.

If the blade is riding on the front or back of the tire and wheel, some adjustments need to be made. Read your owners manual to see how this is best done. Typically, it will only take a small modification of the wheel angle to recenter the bland on the wheel.

When making bandsaw blade adjustments, a little movement goes a long way. So, easy does it on the adjustment knobs.

Adjusting Blade Tension

Again, see your specific bandsaw manual for the details on how to appropriately adjust the tension of the blade.

On my machine, I loosen the blade guide and position it back a bit and away from the blade. With the blade snug, but not fully tensioned, the saw is turned on, and the blade rotates. The tension knob is then tightened until any flutter or vibration leaves the turning blade.

With the tension set and the saw off, the guide is then repositioned over the blade in its proper protective position.

Bandsaw Sizing

The space from the exposed blade to the left side of the table is called the bandsaw throat. This space determines the widest the material can be that passes to the left of the blade.

From the table surface up to the highest setting for the bandsaw blade guide is called the depth. This distance determines the limit of the height of the cutting material or bowl blank.

By the way, these dimensions for cutting space rarely match the named size of the bandsaw. Instead, the bandsaw is typically sized based on the wheel diameter.

For instance, I use a 17” Grizzly Bandsaw and its throat is 16 1/2” wide and the cutting depth is a little over 12” tall. The outer diameter of the turning wheels is 17” wide, hence the saw’s name. I have also, used a 10″ bandsaw and it was fantastic for specific tasks.

The throat and depth determine how much material the bandsaw potentially can cut. These are important dimensions to compare to the size of blanks you may want to trim on the bandsaw.

While a 17” bandsaw can easily handle a bowl blank that is eight inches tall and 16 or 18” in diameter, a 14” bandsaw may only have a cutting depth of five or six inches. With a six-inch cutting depth, or height, a 14” bandsaw cannot handle blanks taller than six inches.

The motor is also an essential component to size when selecting a bandsaw that’s right for you. If you will be cutting larger blanks, a more substantial two horsepower or larger motor is ideal. For blanks five inches and less, a one horsepower to one and a half horsepower motor should work fine.

Essentially, the larger the horsepower, the more force to cut the wood bowl blank. If there are options and you can afford a slightly larger motor, you will be thankful in the long run that you made the investment in more power.

Also, be sure to match the bandsaw motor voltage to what you have available. powerful units are sometimes available in both 110V and 220V, or just 220V.

Bandsaw Blade Sizing

When sizing bandsaw blades, there are four elements to consider:

1 – The bandsaw blade length is specific to each model bandsaw. For instance, my 17” Grizzly Bandsaw uses a 131.5” long blade. That’s the only length that will fit my machine, so there really are no options here. Use the length specific to your bandsaw.

2 – Bandsaw blade widths come in many options. There are a few tradeoffs here. The width of a blade will control how straight it cuts. For example, a 1/4” wide blade will move more freely than a 3/4” wide blade.

You may be thinking, if a wider blade equals a more accurate cut, then why not get a 1” or 1.5” wide blade. You can do this, but the take, from the “, give and take,” is turning small tight curves becomes more difficult with wider blades.

The width of the blade dictates the turning radius for that blade. Narrower blades can turn tighter small circles, while wider blades turn wider arcs.

3 – Teeth per inch (TPI) on a bandsaw blade will dictate how much material is cut and how clean a cut is made in a particular cut material.

There is a formula for calculating TPI, that looks like this.

Let’s look at this closer. If we are cutting a bowl blank that is six inches high at the highest point, the formula will look like 24 / 6” (high) = 4 TPI. So a three to four TPI blade should work well. This is a relatively course aggressive blade, precisely what we need to get through thick green wood bowl blanks.

Now, on the other hand, if we wanted to make some smooth cuts on a one-inch thick piece of plywood, our three to four TPI blade is going to rip and tear the plywood fibers. Instead, we need a different blade. Using the formula, 24 divided by 1” = 24 TPI, this is a much finer and smoother blade required for cutting plywood.

4 – The final measurement, blade thickness, seems to be an afterthought. I can share from experience, don’t overlook the blade thickness. At least not for turning green wood bowl blanks.

I ordered a 131.5” long, 1/2 wide, 3 to 4 TPI blade that happened to be.025” thick. The thickness didn’t even occur to me at the time. The blade cut fine, but when I’d move the green wood bowl blank, the blade would wander around and force me to twist and turn the wood blank to try to keep a normal path.

Later, I tried a blade that was exactly the same, except it was.030 thick. Guess what, it cut smooth and didn’t wander. I was shocked the amount of difference a mere five 1/1000 of an inch made.

If you’re only turning bowl blanks, you will probably only need a couple blades, one on the bandsaw and a duplicate backup blade. However, if you want to cut a variety of different materials on the bandsaw, be aware there is a proper blade for every task.

Don’t think the course three to four TPI, 1/2” blade is going to work for all of your woodworking tasks. Take the time and change out the blade when your needs change.

Changing Blades

Changing blades is not that difficult, especially after you’ve done it a couple times. Like always, read your manual and do what your manufacturer recommends.

With the power off and the bandsaw unplugged, open the two separate wheel cover doors. Depending on the brand and model of the bandsaw, there may be a quick release for the tension, or you may need to loosen the tension adjustment knob. Either way, tension on the blade needs to be released.

Just release the main tension and don’t accidentally adjust any of the fine tuning adjustment knobs mentioned above. Yes, I wandered down that road once too. LOL

Next, examine the table and move any inserts or guards that will be in the way of removing the blade.

Wear safety glasses and a pair of thick leather gloves and grip the blade while taking it off the bandsaw wheels. Watch where the bandsaw blade is contained and slowly free it from each section of the bandsaw. Usually, the blade needs to be rotated ninety-degrees to pass out of the table surface. Do that step last.

How to Fold A Bandsaw Blade

Here’s how to fold a bandsaw blade. With the blade free from the bandsaw, hold two ends of the loop up and out in front of you. While gripping the blade, twist your right hand clockwise while keeping your left-hand stationary. Be careful to not get scraped by the blade teeth when making this fold.

Fold the blade over until two distinct loops appear, then fold the remaining third loop up onto the first two loops. Gently hold the three loops and jiggle them until they even out into three equal folded loops.

Another way to fold the blade is to first step on the blade loop. Position the teeth away from you and twist your wrist as you lower the coiling bandsaw blade down into its folded loops.

The blade should collapse and fold into thirds in a tight, neat loop. Once the blade is contained, use twist ties or zip ties to secure the loops from springing open.

Hang the blade out of the way, but handy so it’s ready to be used when needed.

11 Bandsaw Safety Tips

  • First and foremost, read all the manufacturer’s instructions, safety tips, and advice specific to your bandsaw.
  • Whenever making any adjusts to the bandsaw, turn off the power and unplug the machine.
  • Lower the guide down to the lowest point over the bowl blank being cut. Do not leave the guide up too high, lower the guide as needed while making a cut
  • Keep any body parts at least 4 inches away from the Band saw blade at all times
  • If it is necessary to control material being cut within four inches of the blade, do so only with wood push sticks.
  • Never backup while making a cut. Reversing direction can potentially reposition or derail the blade.
  • Don’t pinch or bind the blade. It is ok to pull material out behind and away from the back of the blade if more the four inches from the blade. Be sure not to pinch the cut material together which can constrict the blade
  • Never freehand cut round material on its round end on a bandsaw. Round material, such as a small diameter limb, does not have a flat supported bottom and can potentially, twist, bind and damage the blade, or worse. Use a specific supportive jig when cutting any material without a solid flat, supportive bottom
  • Be sure the area around you is clear and clean at all times. Your body position and posture should be stable and secure. Never lean or reach towards the bandsaw.
  • Know all the ways to shut off and stop the bandsaw. Occasionally check that emergency shut off switches are operating properly.
  • Remember, even though you’ve turned off the bandsaw, the blade will continue to cut until it comes to a complete stop.

Cutting Bowl Blank

I use cardboard circle templates to quickly visualize and create round cuts on green wood bowl blanks. The cardboard circle is temporarily held in place by an awl which it tapped into place with a mallet.

With the circle template in place and safety glasses and respirator on, I turn on the bandsaw. When the blade is up to speed, I feed in the left edge of the green wood bowl blank and begin following the edge of the cardboard circle, without cutting the cardboard.

Here is the critical part of the process. When the awl, which is perfectly centered in the blank, is positioned approximately ninety-degrees off the right side of the blade, imagine the awl is now fixed.

bandsaw, blades

Instead of fixating on the cutting edge of the blade and its relationship to the cardboard circle template, I FOCUS on the awl and keeping it stationary. If the awl remains still and the wood gently rotates to the blade around the pivot point of the awl, a perfect circle will be formed with minimal effort.

Bandsaw Maintenance

Follow all guidelines indicated in your user manual and instructions first, as always. Clean, grease or oil any specific locations stated in your manual when necessary.

In general, keep the bandsaw and area around the saw clean. Remove any sawdust buildup in the wheel housings and anywhere on the bandsaw. A vacuum system attached to the saw’s dust ports and running during operation is the best way to keep dust under control.

Wax can be applied to the bandsaw table to make the movement of green wood bowl blanks more smooth. This also aids in the cutting process when rotating the bowl blanks.

If a particular blade seems to not be cutting too well or is getting bogged down, there are waxes and dressing that can be applied directly to the blade. Follow the instructions carefully when applying. Friction reduction can be helpful especially when turning very wet green wood, or very hard wood dry bowl blanks.

Just like bowl gouges, blades need to be sharp as well. If a blade is not cutting smooth, getting hot, smoking, or bogging down, sharpen the blade, if possible, or replace the blade with a sharp one as soon as possible.


The bandsaw can make quick work of bowl blank production. This gives us wood bowl turners more time at the lathe doing what we really enjoy doing, making bowls.

Even though the design of the bandsaw is quite simple, we do need to give this powerful machine the respect it deserves, and in exchange, it will provide us with countless pieces of readied material to turn at the lathe.

Click here to see what bandsaws I recommend. Let me know if you own a bandsaw, and what kind. What would you like to add to the article? Leave me a comment below.

Thanks, and Happy Turning!Kent

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Debra Traverse I have a question about bandsaw blades. My understanding is that a.035 thickness with 3 to 4 TPI is ideal for green wood bowl blanks. I have a significant supply of 100 year old chestnut and oak. Very dry, very dense. I know I’ll have to keep my gouges sharp to work with these pieces. My question is, what type of bandsaw blade would you recommend for cutting blanks out of dry seasoned hardwoods? Thanks!

Kent W Debra, Good question. The same blade will work for fresh green wood and the older dense pieces. And, by the way, ENJOY that wood! Chestnut is amazing. All the best to you and Happy Turning!

Jan Johnson you mentioned a bandsaw blade width of.035 inch instead of.025 width. curious, did the extra width cause an adj ustment of the blade saw bearings?

Kent W Jan, No bearing adjustment, but tension adjustment. This thicker blade guides very nicely and does not wander like thinner blades. Happy Turning! Kent

Ole Tater Not to be critical ” BUT” wearing long pants and sturdy shoes with socks should be a ” Safety Issue ” when working in any shop. Be it wood / metal / glass.

Kent W I completely agree. It is an unspoken “give and take” we have in Florida where the temps average in the mid-90s and the humidity can be at 100% each morning for months on end. Perhaps I’ll make new images when I’m able to actually wear long pants.

Garry I know about the weather in Florida 36 years east coast I also worked outside for those years, now in Tennessee with four seasons and great hard woods

Choosing, Setting up and Using a Bandsaw

In times past, a decade or two before I apprenticed in the 1960s, the only bandsaws really available in the UK at any rate were those developed for industry. In some countries bandsaws are still the rarity and scarcity, not the norm at all. We shouldn’t assume that all peoples have access to them. I’m fortunate, they have always been there, so it has been more a matter of which one to choose. And with several to choose from through the ensuing decades, the problem was which one to buy. In some ways even that problem has lessened since the turn of the millennia. On the domestic front, bandsaw machines seem no longer to be made in Britain, the USA and now perhaps more surprisingly, Europe with its multinational community of 28 uniquely different countries and no common language except the euro; it’s interesting to see how domestic countries now import their bandsaw machines. I think Italy may possibly make bandsaws but often manufacturers in the EU suggest a domestic product using their history of manufacture banner when in fact they import or assemble imported parts and they mostly give the impression of being domestic products, which may not be the reality. Most bandsaws today are now made to high standards in Taiwan. There is no true British manufacturer of bandsaws left as far as I know. Together with east European and USA makers, they now have their machines made in Asia, usually China or Taiwan, and ship from their to their largest outlet the USA. You will find past makers now importing their machines and or component parts as sub assemblies and fully assembled with their own brand names emblazoned proudly. Take a look at a Rikon fence alone, a machine made for the US market, it is identical to a Record Power version or a US Laguna. Reality hits. Most bandsaw machines made today are imports from one source and most manufacturers and dealers are highly disingenuous in what they present. One company will put ‘patent pending’ on a feature and then you might find the same said on another importer as if it is indeed their patent they are applying for. They are all mostly the same

The good thing is that, large or small, most bandsaws comprise the same basic features evolved during the late 1800s and early 1900s. With regards to wheels, bearings, tensioners, and general adjustment mechanisms, amazingly I think, nothing has really changed much since the 1960s. Perhaps the methods of bandsaw manufacture stand out the most to me. Today, manufacturers rely heavily on CNC production methods which have led to consistently high levels in the manufacture of repeatable replication of components. The greatest switch of all came when manufacturers changed from very heavy and strong cast iron body frames to folded box sections seam-welded. This alone enhanced manufacturing speeds, lowered manufacturing and material costs, reduced shipping weights and distribution costs etc. The outcome is indeed a reality. A machine costing a few hundred pounds/dollars/euros will last for decades of use. Amortising that over say as little as 10 years (when it could be 20-30) results in relative costs, perhaps as little as 20-50 pence a week. I bought one secondhand bandsaw in an estate sale that was then 60 year old for 25—a Delta with a solid cast iron body—I repainted it battleship grey as per Delta’s livery but never actually used it because of travel and repatriation. Another I bought for £60 here in the and used it over a number of years before passing it on but still it was worth the same price I bought it for. It was not particularly well made or even as popular as the US Delta model, in fact it was probably the cheapest on the UK market at the time, but I tweaked it, fine tuned the parts, and for my basic needs it served me perfectly well.

Currently I still own one of the early model box section Startrite 532 bandsaw models used by professionals and also school woodworking workshops. I bought for £400 nine years ago and it works flawlessly. I personally think it beats many modern machines with its simple fence, well thought through inside alignment adjustment for the top wheel and more. I know that some will dislike this but the guide blacks are simply solid steel blocks that slip nicely against the sides of the blade as was the case at one time in all bandsaws. You will be surprised that these blocks, still the originals from 40 years, show no sign of wear. You simply nudge them against the side of the blade when tensioned, lock them in place via hex-head bolts and that is it for just about ever. And there is no rear thrust bearing either, just a stem of round stock, hardened on the end and adjusted to the back of the blade as shown in the silhouette pic below.

Buying new is a good move Secondhand is not everyone’s choice and nor is fixing one up without the practical experience of understanding bandsaws and indeed machines. But, like #4 hand plane, it can be a good way to get to know the parts early on. It does stand to reason that buying new is a good way forward. It will most likely come without needs, some modest setting up on your part, and within an hour you will indeed be cutting wood. The unfortunate part with secondhand is the evidence of abuse may not show at first. I think generally you can tell if a machine has been abused or damaged. Remember too that any machine has a sale price whether it is new or secondhand so you can sell on straightaway or down the road for an upgrade and without much loss at all usually. It’s inconvenient to sell on large and heavy machines but that’s OK.

It’s your choice Only you can choose the bandsaw you want or need because you will assess what you need according to your considerations. If you know nothing about bandsaws and have never used one it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for or how and what to choose. Of all the woodworking machines the bandsaw is indeed the most different. When all the other machines have fixed blades and cutters rotating from a centre-point rotary shaft or spindle on a rigid and fixed axis; that’s circular saws (tablesawsUSA) chop saws, surface planers (jointers USA) and thicknessing planers, spindle moulders (shapers USA), the bandsaw is uniquely different. Whereas the direct drive may work in similar fashion to these other machines, it’s the twin wheels that are the game changer. These two wheels must in some way be balanced and aligned in unison via the very same stretched Band of steel that has the thousand and more cutting teeth aligned in a single row to cut through wood. The tensioning and the flexing this brings within the whole frame of the machine, together with the dynamic momentum not dissimilar to the twin wheels aligned like a bicycle, give you a straight cut. It’s this that ultimately separates the bandsaw from any and all other machine types. As with many things in life, it is not usually predictability that adds unique dynamism to our endeavour but more the unpredictability of heightened risk. The bandsaw was and still is the most remarkable of inventions. Its strengths come to us with a sort of rigid flex via the thinnest of thin blades and from its cutting teeth we create as many diverse shapes as we can imagine. Often it is not the flexibility of shaping that causes the greatest problem, more the inline straight cuts that sometimes result in a minor or major meandering when the straightness is the more important track. Minimise this tendency, knowing how to, and you find the independence of a single machine that equips your hand tool woodworking in the most complementary way.

The bandsaw in and of itself is indeed one of the quietest of machines. Switch it on, let it gather its full momentum and with fine tuning it will indeed spin quietly on the lines of a spinning top. The two main wheels back up the motor with the fly-press fling of a flywheel and the machine should run quite quietly all day, raising its voice only when the actual wood engages with the teeth. The unfortunate element in all machines in a small domestic workshop is usually the vacuum system used to extract the dust as near to source as possible. I use a twin motored version that is very efficient in terms of extraction and one that is also compact in size. It’s noisy, but it works too well not to have it.

Using this quadruples the noise factor. Without it I would be in danger of filling the atmosphere with the harmful dust you cannot see with the naked eye. That’s why I have it. This clouding of issues is unacceptable so the dust extractor is a must. With it, my dust levels max out way, way below anywhere near levels that are harmful to anyone. Even when running all day, which `i never do, the levels per m³ are near to normal. That said, anyone with particular allergies must take any precautions deemed necessary to them so you may need to do more research.- The flywheel effect

Though much less so on lightweight wheels of smaller bandsaws, the heavy cast wheels of larger bandsaws work to provide a flywheel effect. The flywheel works mechanically to efficiently transfer rotational energy in the flinging action of the rotation. By their nature, working as flywheels, bandsaw wheels resist changes to the rotational speed by energy stored in the wheels. This moment of inertia evens out any resistance in progressing the cut, this gives us smoothness as a continuum from the the drive of the motor. Whereas this is a good reason to buy a heavier machine, smaller machines using smaller blades require much less energy and so should not be dismissed as an option if indeed our only option is a smaller and less expensive machine with a smaller footprint to fit our workspace. I would much rather have a small and compact bandsaw for a tighter space than none at all. Even a small bandsaw with a 1/3HP motor will cut through 6″ of solid oak if the machine is set up properly and the blade is sharp with the appropriate sized teeth. That being fact, most Band-sawing work for most woodworkers will be under the 3″ mark and on down. It’s not the big and deep cuts that are common to us but the small and narrow cuts continuously made throughout the day. Whereas larger machines have larger motors, they are often subject to much greater pressures and the combination of motor power and flywheel work in union to resist the higher pressures. Smaller bandsaws rely on more fine tuning. Both can work well for us. Advise is sometimes good and sometimes awkward

Ask advice from others you know who have experience if you have never owned or used a bandsaw, but keep an open mind on options and tell them that you are just looking so that you can make a more educated decision. There is a tendency for people to suggest you buy what they have or the biggest and best known version. Also, ask any 10 woodworkers which bandsaw to buy and you’ll get 10 different answers. Ask 10 woodworkers what size to buy and you’ll get 10 more, so on it goes. You see outlay cost, placement, footprint consumption, manoeuvrability and so on all figure into the equation. Of course it’s probably good advice when people tell others to buy the best they can afford. On the other hand I have been advised by self-professed ‘experts in the know‘ to “ditch those Aldi chisels and buy the better UK brand” or then again the US or Canadian brands. Well, I already own most all of those and more, used them, tested them and found them lacking by some measure one way or another. Actually, I found some to be somewhat pretentious. Some even snapped, ferrules fell off, edges kept dulling, fracturing. So the things wrong with them were things I couldn’t altogether accept. At 10-15 times the price of the Aldi’s I own I could accept them even less. My Aldi chisels on the other hand were, are, unpretentious. They have worked flawlessly well for me for about ten years to date. The others either snapped, bent or cut my fingers and hands because of poor ‘design features’. My Aldis on the other hand are now well proven to have excellent steel, edge retention and have proved wholly acceptable in design features and qualities. I’m enjoying them yet! It’s an unfortunate step that they may have dropped them for the UK market to replace them with carpenter type chisels they only think we need. What about a small and compact bandsaw? I would have no problem living with a compact and inexpensive bandsaw, even one underpowered. A bandsaw like this will not work in a commercial setting, where several users work on it throughout the day, but in a small home setting it will work well for most tasks provided you always use a sharp blade, one that’s the right size, the right thickness and you remain always conscious that you alone provide and control the feed rate. It’s important to note here that feed rate is also reliant on gullet expulsion and that different woods affect the cut. Hardwoods such as oak and ash are quite easy on bandsaw blades whereas more resinous and soft-grained woods tend to leave wood in the gullet to become compressed in the curve of the gullet just behind the cutting edge. Tooth geometry gives us options. This must all be considered when using different wood species and choosing which blade best suits the work and wood type. So, bandsaws! Bandsaws do seem somewhat different than chisels of course. Bandsaws do tend to be priced according to size. The wheels tend to govern this size. A 10″ bandsaw will have wheels slightly bigger than that in diameter. To get near to the 10″ width of cut, often a half inch or so less, 9 1/2″, the wheels would be somewhere around 11″. It’s surprising how much bigger the overall machine will be when you shoot for the 14″ or 16″ versions. The picture below shows a 10″ and 16″ bandsaw for size comparison, The one looks minuscule in every way.

In my view the bandsaw is of course not really a tool but definitively a machine. I’m outnumbered a thousand to one with that view but that doesn’t make the majority right. Just that they accept being raised to think a tool is what gets the job done. I don’t even try to get them to think about it a little. Programming leaves no margin for an alternative possibility. I was raised to question authority. This is not rebellious. That wasn’t what it meant. It meant to find out what the authoritative statements were based on. What’s nice about bandsaws is, large or small, domestic or industrial types, they all follow some very basic principles. Most bandsaws comprise the main frame that supports the motor for uniting drive power to two rotating wheels that carry, drive and tension the bandsaw’s cutting blade on an inline path. The motor needs no reference as it engages the machine to action with the push of an on/off switch.

The two wheels are both in line, one above the other, the bottom one immovably fixed to the main body of the machine, the top with built-in adjustability. The top one relies on its being adjusted to align readily, whereas the bottom one needs more mechanical tools and it’s the rare that we ever need to alter its alignment rather than the norm. Usually a worn bearing or housing necessitates a change out but we are talking after years of service working. So it’s the top wheel that needs more flexibility and all of our adjustments come through micro- and macro-adjust the top wheel alone. Two primary fields enable us to optimise our bandsaw’s performance, tension and alignment. It is here that we use these two areas of adjustability to produce a good cutting strategy. Tension and alignment are inextricably linked to one another and both are exerted via the steel Band we call the bandsaw bade. Tensioning the blade Tension is simple enough to understand. By raising the top wheel we effectively stretch the blade between the fixed lower wheel and then the moveable top wheel that ultimately becomes fixed when the tension is right. Unfortunately the alignment of the blade in relation to both wheels is usually a fine balance and it takes a little time gain confidence making adjustments.

In narrower material (above), say 2″ or so, this flexing can actually develop wave-like undulations in the walls either side of the kerf cut because the blade is going from left to right intermittently. When the kerf is revealed by being opened up it has diagonal undulations running close together and parallel to one another. The pictures show these types of undulations as a rhythmic phenomenon that shows the development and its recession. Tension, pressure and feed rate produce the altering rhythm reflected in the textures developed. Increasing tension stretches the blade between wheels which generally reduces and prevents diversion and undulation.

Looking inside the hinged covers of the top and bottom sections exposes the bandsaw frame and the wheel support, adjustment mechanisms and the access for blade changing, bearing adjustment and so on. It’s here that we look to centralise the blade to the wheels as closely as possible. It’s also at this point where you must make a decision. The debate surrounds the word centralise. The goal in some users view is to get the teeth as near to the centre of the wheels as possible. Sometimes, often, where wider blades are preferred, this then becomes quite impractical for a couple of reasons not the least of which is the majority of the blade is moved so far back the edge of the blade actually overhangs the back of the wheels. This can mean metal on metal as bandsaw wheels have an upstand to the front and back edges of the wheel that form lips. This also results in too much pressure on the rear half of the wheel which on the smaller, lightweight bandsaws can cause torque you don’t want because this results in early wear leading to malfunction in the wheels and bearings. In cases like this, trying to keep the blade on a consistently even path then necessitates an undue amount of tilt to the top wheel and often a reliance on the rear thrust bearings above and below the table. The alternative, and one I generally prefer, is to align the fore edge of blade, the toothed side or edge, just forward of centre. This is by no means rigid and with some bandsaw wheels it will be impossible because the wheel may only be a small fraction wider than the blade itself. The idea is to minimise unnecessary pressures and wear to all the component parts which includes the wheels themselves, the bearings in the wheels, the guide and thrust bearings, rubber wheel bands, the main bandsaw frame, tension mechanisms and so on (Don’t be put off. This is not as complicated as writing it down here makes it sound). The blade width, that’s the measurement from the front cutting edge of the teeth to straight back edge, not the thickness, means that locating the fore edge of the blade is/can/will be affected by where the teeth are in relation to the centreline of the wheel. It’s the blade itself that most directly affects delivery of balance between the two wheels as alignment and the applied tension through the tensioning mechanism—the blade size, blade type, blade thickness and so on each have influence here.

The smaller the machine the less bandsaw blade width you can install. Small bandsaws such as the 10″ shown above and below means that the maximum size of blade will be around 1/2″ but no more. It’s more practical then to use narrow bandsaw blades for narrower wheeled bandsaws. A 1/4″ blade is a good size for small bandsaws. Unfortunately, narrower blades run the higher the risk of snapping, usually around the weld area, and when you least expect it too. It almost always make you jump. There is also the reality that narrow blades, say 1/8″ to 1/4″, are harder to track on the wheels and then keep tracked, so they may well need micro-adjusting to keep them in line. Certainly this will likely be more than with the wider blades but don’t be put off using them. They are a different experience than wide blades and give extremely tight turning circles. Just work down from the 3/4″ down to 1/2″ and through to 3/8″. That way you can increase your comfort levels as you develop the ever important sensitivity and familiarity you need for your machine.

On this bandsaw above the wheels are only 5/8″(16mm) wide so to position a 1/2″ blade with the teeth near to centrality means that the back of the blade would need to overhang the back by far too much. It also means the pressure applied is on the rear half of the wheel and on the fore-edge of the blade. Because steel stretches and the rubberised wheel bands supporting and cushioning the blade becomes compressed, this creates a constant tendency to thrust the bandsaw blade towards the rear of the wheel which then must be countered by balancing the wheel via the alignment knob at the rear of the top wheel. In my view, based on my experience, it will be better to move the blade tracking slightly forward and quite off centre as shown in the drawing below. In my case here the 1/2″ blade on the 5/8″ wheel has been working just fine with the same blade being used now for about 3 weeks of occasional use but many times a day. Remember, in changing blades and adjusting alignment, tensions etc, it is best to release the rear upper and lower thrust bearings to allow them to ‘float‘ until tensioning and alignment are complete. Once tension and alignment are set you can adjust the thrust bearing accordingly. Thrust bearings act as a back up to prevent the blade from being pushed too far towards the back of the wheels which would then result in pushing the blade out of alignment front to back or even off one or both wheels altogether. It also results in a cut that is unpredictably out of square which on straightforward thrust cuts may not matter but on shoulder cuts as in tenon shoulders would be unacceptable. Special blades for small machines are available as a general rule by suppliers. They offer these small blades in thinner blade stock to reduce the amount of tension pressure necessary to adequately tension the blade. These blades are again made from high carbon steel with hardened teeth, usually.014”. around.33mm in thickness. Standard blades are about twice this thickness depending on the blade type, steel type etc.

Some times the blade will be centred on the bottom wheel and less centred on the top or indeed set further forward on the bottom wheel facilitating better centring margins to the top wheel. We aim to reduce this margin of centrality as much as possible but slightly forwards or backwards is usually inconsequential. The adjustment knob just below centre of the top wheel (shown previous picture) at the rear of the machine enables us to tilt the top wheel on its axis by large and small amounts. Though the bottom wheel has no adjustability, being fixed, altering the angle of the top wheel via the rear adjuster moves the blade backwards and forwards depending on which ay you turn the knob. Turning adjuster clockwise when facing the back of the bandsaw will bring the top of the top bandsaw wheel towards you. On rotation of the bandsaw wheels, this then serves to move the bandsaw blade towards the front of the top wheel and also, to a lesser degree, forward on the bottom wheel. A counterclockwise turn will bring the bandsaw blade towards you, towards the back of the bandsaw wheel. Again, this will move the blade back on the bottom wheel also but usually by a lesser amount. Once you have a blade aligned, subsequent blade changes usually fall closely to this alignment and only micro adjustments are usually necessary. What can also make a difference is any variation in blade length. Though you should expect manufacturers to make blades to the correct measurement, that sometimes varies. An extra 1/4″ makes a huge difference and even a much smaller miscut length means a shift will need making. Try to guard against creating a ‘yoyo effect’ by excessively turning the adjustment knob one way or the other and creating a quick move. Turning even a small amount will make the blade move forwards or backwards. If this happens then the blade will ultimately pop off and will keep popping off until you narrow the excessive discrepancy. If the blade keeps popping off the front of the top wheel then turn the adjuster counterclockwise. This will send the top of the wheel forward and the blade, when rotated, will move towards the back with each rotation. If it pops off the back of the top wheel, turn the adjustment knob clockwise to tilt the top of the top wheel backwards. These actions will work the blade in alignment on both top and bottom wheels. Also, a good place to start aligning the blade to its centralised positioning is with less blade tension. Once you feel it is to a point of centrality you can add more pressure by adding tension and rotating the top wheel as you do. Blade tensioning extra Blade tensioning is something we often misunderstand and that is because the methods of measuring the tensions are more complex on the one hand and dirt simple enough on the other. Mostly we none of us have the more sophisticated equipment necessary to measure with exactness how much tension there is when we stretch the blade between the top and bottom wheels of a bandsaw. In the day to day of life we actually don’t need such exactitude but it would be somewhat nice if we could indeed dial in a tension and get a digital readout as with say a digital vernier or such.

Asking how much tension is needed or has been applied is like asking how long is a piece of string? True and accurate testing only occurs when we have the right equipment for testing. Bandsaws being the only machine where we actually tension the cutting edge or edges makes them unique. Often nowadays they do come with a gauge built into the machine that registers the tension applied. Supposedly, watching the pointer on the gauge enables you to set the blade according to the width of the blade with the widest blades requiring the highest levels of tension. Taking two points in the given length of a blade and seeing how much difference there is helps you set the tension. That is not what we actually do because we don’t have the device to do this and neither do we want to or need to. In reality these gauges are merely a rough guide, a very rough guide. On one of my bandsaws I installed a half inch blade but to get anywhere near an appropriate tension I had to register for a blade correlating on the gauge to one of 1 1/8″ in width. The simpler test is to tension the blade using the adjuster and listen for the change in pitch as you ping the blade whilst applying tension. Some might suggest an E-flat corresponding to a guitar note. Not being any kind of musician this is unhelpful and therefore doesn’t work for almost all of us. The other test, after the ping test, is the distance measurement we use to press the blade from its central taut position. Raise up the top bearing guide column to expose a maximum mount of blade between the top bearings and the table ofd the bandsaw. Press on a central point in the blade laterally to see how far the blade pushes off its stretched taut centrality. Move of about 4-5mm on the lower side has generally been my aim and has proven reliable for me. Tip for guidance To help guide my tensioning I set a square ended offcut of wood against the side of the blade as shown.

I press/prod the blade with the end of my forefinger towards the wood and then release the blade to spring back in line. Usually it is enough to gauge this release distance by eye but equally so you can measure the exact distance to see what you have.

Now I am not saying it’s scientific because you and I will have different press registers. We know that. I press hard, liker a good poke in the ribs, but watch you don’t slip. bandsaw blades, even when they are not running, can certainly bite back. Bandsaws If I were a wealthy man of unlimited means I probably would still not spend too much money on a bandsaw if I was doing as I have always done and that is making a piece and selling a piece for my living. I don’t need premium anythings, I just need equipment and tools that work well. I buy according to my needs and not for status or to project an image. Taking no sponsorship from hand tool suppliers nor machines means I am unencumbered, free to speak the truth in what I find. Of course we want a bandsaw powerful enough not to baulk mid cut or have insufficient adjustment capabilities such as tensioning and alignment. Small machines are not meant for heavyweight cuts nor the loading of logs onto the table. In my lifetime, days of near being broke and such, I have had to compromise. I usually felt reluctant to buy a small machine secondhand yet looking back the two or three £100 bargains did in fact turn out to be bargains that suited my needs and my A little tweak here and there and I was soon in action. The important part never to neglect is mostly the blade itself. Blades get dull and we are often reluctant to change them out so we use them for too long to maximise our false economy concepts. Dulled out blades prey on our wellbeing, and our economic use of our time, but beyond that they put strain on everything surrounding ourselves and our machine. Small bandsaws have shorter bandsaw blades and the fewer teeth per blade means that short blades will wear much more quickly. Be prepared to change them out much sooner than the larger versions—perhaps even twice as often! Another aspect to consider with small-scale bandsaws is the width of blade. Most small bandsaws disallow anything wider than 1/2″. That said, my preferred blade width is around 1/2″ to 5/8″. These ‘stretch‘ well and have enough weld to withhold the tensioning needed for straight cutting without flexing away from the thrust in the cut. Any bandsaw can be set up to give decent cuts. The issue ultimately comes down to how will the low priced ones hold up long term and whether I need an expensive make for the type of work I do. For around £1,250 I can buy a decent bandsaw designed to last around 50 years. Such a machine can be readily repaired by myself using standard replaceable bearings. Bearings do ultimately develop wear and will need replacing. How soon this happens depends of course on the amount of use, the type of use, the user and the quality of the machine and the parts. Expect to get 10 years use from your bandsaw bearings no matter the make. They are simple enough to replaces generally. The bearing details are etched into the side of the existing bearings and are standard bearings you can buy from any bearing supplier. Generally, on bandsaws and indeed most machines, it’s the bearings that go out first over any other part followed then by drive belts on pulleys. I generally would advise anyone to buy a bandsaw large enough and with enough capacity to cut a variety materials—everything from veneers, sheet goods, plastics, solid woods of both hard and soft types; everything from logs and spoon blanks to turning blanks for bowls. This is my criteria. Capacity is the key word in choosing your machine. Capacity does not necessarily mean buy the biggest. Not at all. Capacity should reflect certain features surrounding robustness, motor power and solid stability in use. In addition adjustability should be as simple and quick as possible without too many wrenches of different sizes to keep track of. I am afraid many of the old bandsaws were better in this regard. Seems like each new generation loses track of simplicity sometimes. To advise anyone on which bandsaw to buy is almost an impossible task simply because when you ask six different woodworkers which bandsaw to buy they will each give a different answer. Personally I have lived successfully with every size from 14″ US Deltas of vintage years to 30″ behemoths on massive castings ten men could not lift. These two extremes are pretty much gone these days. As I have said, most modern-day machines are indeed made in Asia, China and Taiwan. mostly Today they make excellent machines.

Bandsaws now come with outriggers lined with sliding tables and rollers. Mostly they will take up a lot more room than the basic bandsaw itself. We could just assume that you want to spend somewhere between £1,000 and £1,500. That way you will end up with a decent machine like mine that will cut everything you will ever need in furniture making, lathe turning and general woodworking. In my experience a 14″ to 16″ bandsaw is usually large enough for all of my work. Big bandsaws take big space. At what point you make the shift to larger I don’t really know. Mostly the advantage of larger machines is the depth of cut between the blade and the upright section of the frame to the left of the blade. If you are like me, most woodworkers don’t have that space to give up to a dedicated large machine. A 16″ bandsaw will everything I need except cut a width wider than 16″. But a 16″ machine cuts everything I need to make just about any kind of furniture and I can use it for cutting turning blanks larger than any lathe I have ever owned. I can set it up for log ripping up to around 12″. and combine this capacity with strategic log splitting and I have all I ever really need. Now then, whereas benchtop and lightweight bandsaws will cut wood as a light capacity machine, we usually consider that a machine must have enough strength combined with weight to take the kind of pressure needed to get the tension between upper and lower wheels. This makes sense. The lightweights can be used for more lightweight cuts say up to 6″ thick. If you are resawing materials from larger sections to downsize materials they will indeed do quite a lot of the work. The one featured here is one I have been using to try it out for a few weeks and it works fine, especially for thinner materials up to 2″ thick, but I have sliced through 7″ oak just fine and without any waver. I just needed to give the saw time to cut. One such machine I owned as a secondhand import worked for me for years. Capacity was an issue but when I worked within its limits I was generally always happy. I suppose `i am saying don’t dismiss smaller and more lightweight machines. They will resize small sections of wood and they will cut veneer stock too. Try to buy a machine that stays put when push comes to shove though. You certainly do not want to be chasing it around the shop. Motor size and blade sharpness My 16″ bandsaws have 2HP motors, a good size that suits my needs for just about any depth of cut in any materials I might need really. Remember that you can have the most powerful motor but then all other features have to line up too. Blade tensioning, blade sharpness and so on. The most neglected element in bandsaw work is the sharpness of the blades. The sharper the blade the less the strain and effort on everything including you. I cannot emphasise enough the sharpness of the blade. I have been in more workshops than I care to remember where the owners were using blades way past their use by date simply because they never realised that blades are a consumable item.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Fantastic guide! Thank you! Bookmarking this for future reference. I think in my work, I would most likely use the bandsaw for resawing. (though I may be missing other valuable functions since I’ve never owned one before) What do you think is the minimum hight resaw capacity that would make sense for standard furniture making? Also, I see on YouTube bandsaw crosscut sleds and zero clearance inserts and other jigs. I’m assuming you don’t really use things like this? Looking forward to how you use this in your workflow.

Wow, that was some posting Paul. Thank you! Just what I was looking for. It’s confirmed some (indeed most) of my setup on my bandsaw and also given me food for thought on a few aspects of setting up that I may have got wrong. I have been looking to purchase an extractor (preferably second hand) similar to the type you use but the 2nd hand market here in Ireland isn’t bearing much fruit. I will have to buy brand new I’m thinking. Not looking forward to the extra noise but I can confirm that the amount of sawdust the machine produces and that finds its way into all sorts of internal places (including my lungs!) really has to be dealt with effectively. The hidden air-bourne dust is certainly a worry. Thank you again for a very comprehensive run-down.

One of the best articles I’ve read. Thank you! Will you be writing about drift at some point? One comment about blade centering: My wheels are crowned, that is, the surface is not flat, but has a gentle camber from front to back making a peak in the middle. I place my blades similar to the way you showed, but I’d comment that, no matter what, I make sure the tips of the teeth are “in the air.” In other words, I don’t want to move the blade so far back that the back of the blade is on the low part of the crown and the tips of the teeth are biting into the tire at the top of the crown. This is only something to watch for on narrower blades. You drawings in this article could have come right out of Aldren Watson’s book!

bandsaw, blades

Your advise and observation is spot on ,I think. The one item that I have recently found that is a benefit to all master or student is from the Stockroom Supply in Canada. They make a product called the little ripper for Band saws. check it out I think you will see the benefit for yourself. His YouTube demo https://youtu.be/4k-r5utmU2Q

I already have a couple books on bandsaws (written mostly for the US market). Paul’s latest single instructional posting basically condenses both those books into one article! Use Paul’s last post and perhaps view a couple YouTube videos and you will be well set up!

I bought a small Britsh made bandsaw from a well known manufacturer about 40 years ago. Had a pressed steel table which was never flat. Arrived with the tension knob broken and then found the fence out of allignment due to sloppy welding, plus it was simply underpowered. Not surprised bandsaws are no longer made here. Recently bought a larger one very similar to yours Paul. Good machine, but arrived in inadequate cardboard packaging with top door caved in, replaced.

When you ask 10 woodworkers a question I get 13-14 answers. Boat builders 17-19. A bandsaw might be in the near future, but which one? I’ll go ask the usual visitors on the WoodenBoat Forum and report back Now a ship saw, THAT is what I must really need! Cheers Clark

That is an excellent article which covers a huge amount of information. During a furniture making course I attended about 18 months ago I was advised that if you buy one machine for your workshop it should be a bandsaw. I therefore recently purchased my first Band saw after spending nearly a year researching the different makes, sizes, methods of setting up, uses, types and sizes of blades required for different roles and one that would suit my requirements. If only this article had been available it would have saved me many hours of reading and searching the internet. Virtually all the points I used to select my final saw are mentioned here. Understanding tilt of the top wheel and positioning of the blade would have come much easier to me if I had seen those drawings before. The only addition I would make would be some mention of the requirements for sawing logs.

Hi Mike Could you tell me what type of bandsaw you went for in the end and if you are happy with the results Regards, Rob

“Europe with its multinational community of 28 uniquely different countries and no common language except the euro” But in Europe they still make nice machinery including excellent bandsaws eg: http://www.klaeger.com

Not at all. These machines you send the link to are massive industrial grade machines and not for our audience in any way. Please read the blog properly. Show me a bandsaw made in France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Czech republic, England, wales, Scotland, Ireland etc and all of the rest that makes a machine suited to the small garage or shed workshop.

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