Looking for a Metal Cutting Bandsaw?
Here are the basics of what to look for:
It’s generally accepted within the General Manufacturing industry that there will always come a point when you will need some sort of metal cutting machinery whether that be a circular saw, vertical band saw or horizontal band saw. The variety of saws available on the market today are vast and finding the exact one that meets your needs can be difficult, so we’ve put together this article on band saws to help you in your selection. A guide on circular saws will follow at a later date. If you are cutting high quantities or large stock size of metal, then both speed and accuracy is paramount, and these two reasons alone are well worth the investment. Of course, it goes without saying that if you work within a fabrication environment then investing in a reliable industrial saw is crucial to the profit of your business going forward.
Horizontal or Vertical band saws?
Horizontal band saw machines are invaluable for accuracy, ease and speed when cutting stock material but can take up a much larger footprint than a vertical band saw. It all depends on what you are wanting the machine to do. For curved or intricate work then a vertical option should be your choice whereas a horizontal saw is ideal for cutting large amounts of stock material. Prices vary greatly between band saws depending on specification and what you are expecting the machine to achieve for you. It might be wise to consider asking yourself why you need a band saw and listing the pro’s and cons of the options available, making note of the following:
• Volume of Work – this will determine the need for a band saw. If you are intending to cut small amounts, is there a need to dig deep and buy one? If, on the other hand volumes are high or material is difficult to cut then the next questions to consider is. ‘what brand, which model and what capacity?
• Budget – will determine specification, i.e. how large and powerful a machine you will be able to purchase and whether it will be second hand or brand new. It’s always good to factor in consumable costs such as blades, lubricant and servicing/repair costs and possible downtime.
• Workshop Space – always a significant factor to consider – where am I going to put it and will it fit in the space? It might be an idea to consider purchasing the largest machine you can to fit within the space as there might be a time when you will need to cut something bigger.
• Size of the Job – Anticipate the biggest size of job and then add some more capacity. You never know if there will come a time when the extra capacity will come in handy.
• Type of Work – will determine your need for either a horizontal or vertical. Horizontal if you are cutting stock material straight, horizontal mitre saws can cut at angles and vertical band saws are used for curved or intricate work generally.
• Ease of Use – Manual machines tend to require the operator to be on hand at all times to oversee operations, whereas automatic machines with hydraulic down feeds and cut-off switches enable the operator to get on with other tasks before coming back to the band saw. Then you have industry 4.0 enabled machinery – controllable from internet connected devices.
Key features to look out for.
Depending on what you want the machine to achieve for you and what size and spec you’re after will determine some of the features you need to look out for:
• Rigid Construction – Solid steel and cast-iron construction are very important factors in which type of machine you choose. Why? Because how heavy and rigid the machine determines how accurate it will be when cutting. Weight and size give the machine vibration dampening qualities that aid in the accuracy of the cut.
• Variable Speed – variable speed options are always preferable over belt driven 3-4 speed types and will give you a greater flexibility when cutting various materials. In addition you will have the overall benefit of your blades lasting much longer.
• Mitre / Dual Mitre Cutting – This feature is what makes band saws stand out from your powered hacksaws. Within the fabrication industry there can be times when extensive angle cutting is needed so having a band saw that can mitre cut is essential. Having a Dual Mitre option on your band saw is even more advantageous as cuts on non-symmetrical materials can easily be made.
Desirable But Not Essential Features to Consider..
• Swivel Head or Swivel Vice – If you are looking for accuracy in your cuts then choosing a machine with a swivel head is a much better option than one with a swivel vice
• Coolant System – It’s always best to consider a machine with this option as it does prove to be vital in prolonging the life of your blade. However if you have a smaller machine it’s always advisable to have coolant to spray on the job every so often.
• Hydraulic Down feed – A consistent blade pressure is maintained during the automatic functioning of the machine when this feature is included – greatly preferred over the basic spring systems found on smaller machines.
Blades & Consumables
Blades – Making the right decision as to what band saw machine to purchase is important but so too is your choice of blades – a factor that sometimes is overlooked. Most stock metal cutting blades will come with a standard tooth count (6, 10, 14 tpi) These blades will perform adequately but it’s best to purchase variable pitch teeth blades (6-10tpi / 10-14tpi) which allow the blade to cut through almost any material reducing the heat build-up while doing so.
Roller Tables – When cutting stock material, a roller table provides a stable structure that supports the weight of the material whilst it’s being fed into the machine.
Coolant – If your machine doesn’t have a coolant system fitted its always advisable to ensure that you spray coolant onto the material to aid in the cutting process and avoid heat build-up allowing for a more accurate cut and to preserve the life of your blade.
Brands & links
Here at Addison Saws we have a large selection of world renowned band saws both vertical and horizontal covering a huge range of applications including IMET, KESMAK, ADDISON JUBILEE and EVERISING. Whatever your application we have a band saw to fit.
Blades & Consumables
In addition we have a large selection of blades and lubricants that will ensure your band saw will perform at its best. Sawblades & Lubricants – Addison Saws (digitalglue.website)
Advice & Support
We have dedicated sales and support staff ready to advise on which machine is right for you, so please contact us on 01384 264 950 with your questions.
To view the full range of machinery we have to offer, visit www.addisonsaws.co.uk.