What is a band saw used for– Learn More About This Power Tool

All the carpenters and metal workers use a band saw as their cutting tool for efficiency and preciseness. Even the DIY projects become more accessible with the band saw. But how much do you know about band saw? What is a band saw used for exactly?

The band saw is a powerful cutting tool with long, strong blades. It can continuously cut through metal and wood pieces with the help of wheels.

Depending on the blade type, you can easily cut plastic, metal, wood, etc. It's also possible to make curves and different angles in the wood/metal with a band saw as the blades are flexible.

The wide range of applications makes the band saw popular among the workers. You will have complete control over power delivery, rotations, angles, etc.

History Of Band Saw

William Newberry was the first to come up with the idea of a band saw in 1809 and got a British patent. However, the practical outcome was impossible at that time because no blades could sustain such a high-powered application.

But after 40 years, Frenchwoman Anne Paulin Crepin developed a welding technique related to this theory. Advanced tempering techniques with new steel alloys make it possible to produce a modern blade that can sustain such high-powered applications.

A commercial factory was developed in the U.S.A. to produce modern band saw blades. Benjamin Barker of Ellsworth established this factory. He also patented the American band saw in 1836.

A wide range of bands saw commercial usage and were introduced in 1878. In the first decade of the 20th century, in 1908, footwear band saws were introduced to the public by a company named silver manufacturing company in Ohio.

Before the band saw, power hack saws were popular in wood and metal cutting industries as they had reciprocating blades. But after introducing the band and cold saws to the market, they displaced the power hack saw.

What's a Band Saw?

Band saws are power saws with long blade loops stretched between two wheels. The blade has many teeth on the outside that move outwards and cut various wood materials.

A band saw is used in woodworking, metal cutting, and lumbering. Several blades can be used with the band saw to serve purposes like ripping, cutting curves in different angles, resawing, crosscutting, and other woodworking projects.

The cutting tool uses a blade in a continuous loop with metal frames. The blade is pretty solid but flexible. This formation of the band has the power to cut through any wood or metal. You can choose the saw size based on the type of materials and the size of the blade.

A narrow blade saw is ideal for cutting curves, and the wide blades are usually for resawing and crosscutting.

Types Of Band Saw

Several types of band saws are available on the market based on cutting materials and usage. It's best to know the types you want for your carpentry.

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Benchtop
  • Floor Standing
  • Portable

Horizontal Band Saw

Most craftsmen and artisans use the horizontal band saw because it has more cutting power. A horizontal band saw can easily cut larger pieces and convert them into workable wood.

Vertical Band Saw

Such band saws are well known for metal cutting works. That's because it has a tougher blade that can cut through metals.

Benchtop Band Saw

A table saw, and a jigsaw combined create a benchtop saw. It has small blades with a higher power, but the workplace is small. Artisans use it for intricate cutting.

Benchtop Band Saw

Floor Standing Band Saw

The floor-standing band saws are pretty similar to the benchtop ones. However, it's primarily used to cut the woods at right or miter angles. That's why it's an ideal choice for professionals and contractors for commercial use.

Portable Band Saw

This bandsaw is small and compact so that you can carry it along. It doesn't need a power outlet nearby.

However, it can't deliver power like the other ones. The portable band saw will mainly be helpful for your DIY projects, plumbing tasks, etc.

There are several types of portable band saws, such as compact band saws, deep cut band saws. Compact band saws are the most popular for its ultimate performance and lightweight.

Portable Band Saw

Anatomy Of Bandsaw

A band saw has several parts that combine and help through smooth cutting tasks. Let's have at the parts of a bandsaw to understand it better:

Motors: You can call it the heart of the machine. The motor gives adequate power to the band saw. Otherwise, the blade may break or stop in the middle of a task due to a lack of power.

Band Saw Fences: The fences are pretty essential to ensure accurate cutting of the wood pieces. However, you should get one with adjustable fences to ensure it goes with all the sizes you need.

Blade Guides: It ensures that a blade should not twist while cutting. There's also an adjustment option so it can barely contact the blade.

Table: The table is typically made of cast iron, giving a solid flat surface for your task. It also absorbs most vibration of the band saw. On top of that, you can easily tilt the table from -5 degrees to +45 degrees.

Blade Tensioning: It's another crucial element because if the blade is loose, how can it provide a uniform and precise cut? The spring tightens the blade and can withstand 20000 psi force while tightening.

Frame: The frame is made of sheet steel, and it can withstand the pressure created due to the tension of the blades.

Band wheels: These are the medium by which power produced from the motor transmits to the blade. They need to be well balanced to minimize the vibration during the task.

You may reach the article to increase your bandsaw knowledge on How to Install Band Saw Tires

What is a band saw used for–Top 7 Usage Of Band Saw

A band saw can be used for different purposes because it's super versatile.

Here is the top usage of a band saw:

  • Meat Cutting
  • Woodwork: Cutting Straight Lines, Curves, Circles & Irregular Shapes
  • Making Relief Cuts
  • Ripping
  • Resawing & Making Veneer
  • Milling Lumber
  • Non-wood Materials

Meat Cutting

Band saws are an excellent choice for cutting meat, especially frozen meat. The bones have a tough time with standard meat cutters.

Woodwork: Cutting Straight Lines, Curves, Circles & Irregular Shapes

A band saw makes the woodwork easier, like jelly cutting with a knife. You can cut a straight line or make some curves.

The blades are pretty flexible, so you won't have any trouble making various angles. It also won't matter even if there are irregular shapes.

Making Relief Cuts

You can cut a contorted profile easily with a band saw. It can make a relief cut whenever you reach the edges. Sleek and smooth!


It refers to cutting the more prominent pieces along the grain. Though it was the initial purpose of the band saw, you can still use it for ripping.

Resawing & Making Veneer

Resawing refers to cutting a piece of wood along with the width. And it's possible with the band saw because of the blade varieties. It helps with the thinner boards and cabinets.

The Dresser drawer needs several small pieces to match. So, you can use a band saw and cut it into small pieces to make the veneer.

Milling Lumber

With a strong blade in the band saw, you can easily cut big chunks of lumbers and convert them into small logs.

Non-wood Materials

Band saws are not only for wood materials. You can also cut through metals, plastics, fiber wood, etc. However, it would be best if you chose the individual blades for the job.

Band Saw Vs. Scroll Saw

Don't mix up the band saw and scroll saw. They are different from quite a few angles. They can make super accurate scrolling cuts.

In the continuous loop, the band saw's blade moves downwards in the continuous loop for more substantial work.

But the scroll saw's blade moved up and down like it was reciprocating. That's why it's similar to a jigsaw rather than a band saw.

A scroll saw doesn't need any entry point as the band saw. On top of that, it can make a more precise cut than a band saw because of the up and down movement of the blade.

Scroll saws allow tighter curves, and you don't need sanding after the cut. But with a band saw, you will need sanding.

However, the band saw is the versatility king because of a massive range of applications. But scroll saws have limited usage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is my bandsaw squealing?

The reason for the squealing sound is not very uncommon. When you cut through a thick stack of wood (10 cm or higher), your band saw will make large squealing sounds.

Most people find it pretty annoying and want to get rid of it. When the sound gets louder, you will see cuts with ripples.

How loud are bandsaws?

As band saws are designed to use in woodwork, it goes pretty loud if you don't take any measures. Therefore, it can produce noise of 85dB to 100dB depending on the operation. Such loud noise can lead to potential harm to the ears.

How long does a bandsaw blade last?

Typically, a band saw machine can last about six months to years. The lifespan of a band saw depends on your operation types, condition of blade and machine, usage time of the blade, cutting type, and your feed to the wood. You can increase the lifespan with great care.


Band saws are always on the top when choosing woodwork and metal work. Their versatility increases their popularity. With the right blade, you can use a bandsaw for any woodwork.

Hopefully, the what's band saw discussion has provided everything you need to know. From cutting large logs to small DIY pieces, a band saw can be applicable in all of them. So, ensure you know the features and proper operating procedure before using one.

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