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Band Saws

The band saw is a versatile floor standing or bench mounted tool that can be used to make wide cuts through thick material or parallel to the material's surface.

When buying a band saw, here is what to look for:

  • Throat size - the distance between the blade and the frame determines how large of piece you can work with. Sizes range from 9"-18" with 14" thought to be the most versatile.
  • Motor horsepower determines the maximum resistance the blade can cut through. Higher horsepower helps with tougher materials and broader cuts.
  • Blade widths - the smallest size most can accommodate is 1/8" but look for thicker (up to 3/4") to allow greater flexibility.
  • A cast iron frame and table to minimize vibration.

Blades

Since the cutting action is performed by the blade, proper blade selection will help ensure satisfactory results. Choose blades as follows:

  • width - narrowness allows tighter turns at the expense of straightness
  • teeth per inch - the more teeth, the finer but slower the cut
  • material - the most common blades are made from steel but they wear quicker. Other materials such as carbide and bi-metal are designed to last longer or to cut metal

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