A band saw machine is a power tool with a blade that has teeth on one edge to cut various materials. It is designed to cut curves, circles and irregular shapes on pieces of wood or metal although it can also cut straight lines. The band in the machine rides on two wheels that rotate on the same plane.
There are basically 2 important types of band saws depending on their use, Timber cutting band saws are used in timber mills to rip lumber. This type of band saw need to be serviced regularly by saw filers.
Metal cutting band saws are built for friction cutting of metal and they have brush wheels that prevent chips from being stuck between teeth. A metal cutting blade also has a metal cooling system to wash away chips and keep the blade lubricated and cool. This article is going to focus on band saws for cutting metal.
Types of Band Saw Machines Available for Metal Work
- Horizontal band saw machines are used in holding the work piece stationary while the blades swing down via the cut. These are used to make cuts in large pieces such as bar stock or pipe to length. It is normally used in big manufacturing companies and metal fabrication stores because it’s able to cut materials from plastics, soft metal, titanium, graphite and even exotic metal. It is conveniently small in size and is able to hold the work piece in place so the blade can cut through. Vibration free and smooth functioning with lesser noise and reduced wastage are features of a modern horizontal band saw machine used in industrial applications.
- Vertical band saws machine is also known as the contour saw because the blade is kept stationery and the work piece is moved periodically across it. This type of a band saw is usually found at home and local shops. They are small in size and require less power. It is used to cut pliable metal using its circular endless blade for complicated cuts. Vertical band saws have an inbuilt blade welder for repairing broken blades or allow the blade to be purposely cut in order to do interior cutting. It also has a blower for blade cooling and to blow away the chips from the work area.
Differences between Horizontal Band Saw Machine and Vertical Band Saw Machine
- Horizontal band saw is used to cut large pieces of metal while vertical band saw can only cut small pieces.
- Horizontal band saw can cut the hardest metals but a vertical band saw can only cut pliable soft metals.
- The horizontal saws use a lot of power to cut hard metals while vertical saws only use less power.
- A vertical band saw is used to cut curves and complicated shapes while the horizontal saw cannot cut curves because it applies gravity only.
- In horizontal band saw machines, it is the blade that moves to cut the material but in vertical band saws machines the work piece is the one that is moved across the stationery band.
- Vertical band saws are used in homes and small shops while horizontal band saws are used in big industries.
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