FAQ: best band saw

As with any power tool, familiarize yourself fully with the instructions first. Seek advice if you are unsure. There are plenty of resources online if you cannot find someone suitably qualified to help. Wear eye protection, a dust mask and ear defenders if necessary. Remove all jewelry and loose clothing like ties. Make sure the guards are in place at all times. Keep fingers well away from the blade and you should be good to go.

Blade tension describes how tight the blade is. Tension is expressed in PSI (pounds per square inch). This relates to the amount of force in each cross-sectional area. Cutting blades are tensioned anywhere from 15,000PSI to 25,000PSI. Slitting blades fall between 12,000 PSI and 20,000PSI. Correct blade tension is essential for optimum cutting results.

If you break in a new blade, not only will it last considerably longer but it will strengthen the already-sharp cutting edges. To break in a bi-metal blade, run it at the recommended speed but dial back the cutting rate by 50%. Cut like this for about 20 minutes then gradually ramp it up. To break in carbide blades, reduce the speed and the cutting rate by the same margin. Slowly increase this but watch out for any squealing from the saw.

It depends on what you want to cut. Carbon steel works best with wood, aluminum, plastic or anything else that’s easy to slice through. Bi-metal blades make light work of other metals. If you need to cut ultra-tough or abrasive metals, tungsten carbide blades are the answer.

No. It is key that you consult the manual and use the correct oil. Get this wrong and you can destroy seals, create oil leaks, cause overheating and even end up ruining the pump. Make absolutely certain that you use the right oil.

Set the guide as close to the material as you possibly can. All you need is just enough space for the vises to open. Get this right and you’ll enjoy swift, accurate cuts.

When you use your band saw, the workpiece and the teeth of the blade come together with great pressure and heat.  They can easily weld together. Cutting fluid contains lubricants to keep the heat down, additives to stop chip welding and water to help draw away excess heat. Check and maintain the ratio of this fluid mix as per the instruction manual.

A band saw is expressly designed to shut off in the event of a broken band, an opened door or an expired piece counter. The electrical circuit will be interrupted for your safety. Explore these issues before calling for professional help.

The most common is a toothed blade. If you want to slit soft material, knife-edge blades are tailor-made. Grit-edge blades deal with hard, abrasive or brittle materials. As always, think carefully about how you will be using your band saw and buy blades accordingly.

The most likely culprits are too much tension or the saw head being misaligned.

best band saw: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.