The bandsaw is a cutting tool used for both woodworking and metalworking. Because of its design, this type of saw can cut all kinds of materials in all kinds of shapes. It can cut curved shapes like a jigsaw would, but can also be used for fast uniform cutting action, which is useful for jobs like lumbering. But how to use a band saw? Just reading about the bandsaw will show you how useful this tool can be.
However, none of it will matter unless you learn how to use a bandsaw properly. In order to help you out, we’ve decided to provide you with some practical tips and tricks on how to properly use a bandsaw. Keep on reading this article and you will find out how to do the following:
- Cutting wood and plastic with a bandsaw
- Using aregular wood-cutting bandsaw to cut metal
- Handling a portable bandsaw
Apart from teaching you the basics of bandsaw handling, we will also give you valuable guidelines on how to choose the ideal saw how to choose the ideal saw. So, with no further ado, here are the tips for using a regular bandsaw!
How to Use the Bandsaw to Chop Wood and Plastic?
Probably the most common use of this type of saw is cutting logs of wood. In fact, the bandsaw seems as a perfect tool for that. Using it will save you a lot of time and effort, not to mention that the chops of wood you cut with it will be cut proportionally, regardless of the shape of the log.
The first thing to do is mark a line on the log where you want to cut through.
The next step is putting the log onto the bandsaw sled. At this point, you need to make sure that the saw is stable and that the log won’t roll down.
Now it’s time to make the initial cut. You should know that this is the most difficult part, so make sure to push the log slowly, but steadily. Depending on the sharpness of the blades, it may require a bit of force from you.
Making the first cut is the hardest job, but from there, everything will go smoothly.
The images above show that using a bandsaw to cut wood is actually a very easy job. The same goes for cutting chinks of plastic or some other material. You can even chop metal, but in order to do this, you would need a different kind of blades.
Cutting Metal with a Bandsaw
Different materials require different speeds of the saw, which is why some people think that cutting metal with a regular bandsaw is not possible. The experience has shown otherwise. Not only can a wood-chopping bandsaw cut through metal, it can do it quite fast and easy.
If your bandsaw has different speed settings, make sure to set it to the lowest possible speed. The lower the speed, the better it will deal with materials like aluminum.
Another thing to pay attention to is the type of the blade you’re using. This type of blade needs to be tougher than the one used for wood chopping. Furthermore, the teeth on the blade must be much smaller.
Once you’ve set the speed and placed a metal-cutting blade, it’s time to start cutting. The process of metal cutting with the bandsaw is basically the same as cutting wood, which we’ve explained earlier. But, if you need step-by-step instructions, make sure to check out this video:
Once the cutting is done, your work is still not finished. You need to clean the blade! Depending on the type of metal you cut, the blade might be all covered with tiny particles. This is especially true for aluminum.
One of the best solutions is to run a chunk of steel after finishing with chopping aluminum. This way, most of tiny aluminum bits will go away. However, the most efficient way to clean the blade is by using a brush.
Handling a Portable Bandsaw
Portable versions of bandsaws have become very popular lately, especially among contractors who need to carry their tools with them. Apart from being moveable, there’s another great thing about this type of bandsaw – they allow you to cut irregular shapes, the same as you would with a jigsaw.
Because the saw is mobile, you can’t just put a piece of wood or metal on it and start cutting. Instead, before turning the tool on, you need to press the cutting item closely against the bandsaw. Being patient is the best advice we can give you. If you cut the piece slowly, no problems will occur.
Work your way slowly through the cut until the cutting job is finished. Then turn off the saw and wait until it stops working completely. When the saw blade stops moving, it is a sign that you can move to another piece.
How to Choose the Best Bandsaw?
There’s a saying that when you get a bandsaw, you can throw away all other saws. Although it’s meant to be funny, there’s some truth to this. The bandsaw can actually replace several other tools.
Because you can use it to chop all kinds of materials, this type of saw definitely deserves your attention. Most people use it to chop wood, but the best band saws usually can cut through plastic and similar materials. Furthermore, if you have proper blades, you can even cut certain types of metal.
Of course, it all depends on what kind of bandsaw you get. In order to be versatile, this tool needs to have an option for speed control. This means that depending on the type of the material you’re cutting, you can change the speed settings.
When it comes to the blades, even if the bandsaw doesn’t come with a set of different blades, you can find one you need at a cheap price. In fact, a bandsaw blade costs even less than a couple of dollars.
Speaking of money, you also need to pay attention to the price of the bandsaw. In fact, the price is one of the decisive factors for picking the bandsaw. Usually the rule is the more money you pay, the better saw you get.