How to Use a Band Saw – Expert Guide


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Band saws are powered saws which can cut through different types of materials, such as wood, metal, plastic etc.

It helps cut through materials in straight lines as well as curves with ease and accuracy. A good band saw is a must-have power tool in a workshop.

With the correct combination of blades and size, a quality band saw can be used for resawing, cutting big logs into smaller pieces and some are even used for interior designing.

Narrower blades are for tighter cuts whereas wider blades are for straight cuts. The smoothness of the cut depends on the higher number of teeth of the blade and vice versa.

So, if you are a beginner and want to try your hand at band saws, keep reading, and by the end of this, you will know how to setup a band saw, its uses and types.

How to Set Up a Band Saw

Set Up a Band Saw

The first step is to make sure that the power is off before fixing the blades and the locking bolts. Then reduce the tension by adjusting the tensioner, insert the blade with the teeth facing the table top into the bottom wheel and roll it to the top wheel.

Once the blade is placed, fix the tension to keep the blade taut and adjust the top wheel so that the blade is in the middle of the wheels.

To ensure the blades are in position and ready to be used, loosen the locking bolts and adjust the thrust bearing to the distance of a card thickness away from the blade and the guide blocks at the side of the blade so that it is at the distance of a paper thickness away from the blade.

The guide bocks should be in line with the throat between the teeth and fix the lower guide in the same way.

Place the guards close to the piece being cut. Now, fix the table and it is ready for some cutting.
Most importantly, read the manual provided with the machine for setting it up to perfection.

Types of Band Saw

There are various sizes and varieties of band saws. Let us look into the different types and find a good band saw for you.

Metal Band Saw

They are used for cutting metals both vertically and horizontally. The horizontal one can be used to cut large chunk of metals into smaller pieces.

Wood Band Saw

They are made for cutting wooden logs into timber. The head saw is used for cutting logs. Resaws are used in sawing precut timber and double cut saws are like head saws with teeth on either side of the blade.

Meat Cutting Saw

Just as the name suggests, it is used to cut through meat. The machine also comes with functions to make sausage shapes as well as a mincer.

Horizontal Band Saw

A favorite for both professionals and amateurs, this saw gives the most precision. It is easy to handle, cuts through most materials and is safe as it switches off automatically when the cutting is done. This saw is mostly used for downsizing.

Vertical Band Saw

Commonly used for shaping the materials due to its intricate cuts with ease. The machine comes with built-in welder and can also be used to make interior cuts.

Portable Band Saw

Making the work a lot easier, this band saw can be carried to work sites and can be used to make straight, curvy and irregular cuts. This is definitely a good band saw to buy.

How To Use A Band Saw

Here’s the step-by-step process that you should follow while using a band saw;

• Use a blade of width ¼ inch as it can be multipurpose
• Measure and mark before cutting
• Try cutting scrap pieces before cutting the main piece
• Start cutting from a shallow angle to a steep angle
• Cut in small portions if there are too many angles
• Replace the blades when they become dull
• Release the tension after use
• Unplug the machine once the work is over
• Clean the table before reusing

Safety Tips for you

Here are some safety tips you should follow;

Wear goggles while working with the band saw
• Wear gloves before you get started
• Turn off the band saw before changing the blades
• Turn off the machine before cleaning or removing the bits which get stuck
• Do not place hands in front of the blade on the moving piece of material


Among all the band saws, the portable band saw is very handy and can be used almost anywhere, but it needs to be controlled and thus can be a good band saw for professionals. But for beginners, the right band saw would be the vertical one, which comes in the medium size and can be placed on a table.

Band saws are easy to work with and provides precise cuts with minimum efforts. Now that you know which one will be the perfect band saw for you, let the sawing begin.


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