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Horizontal Band Saws

Updated on August 31, 2013

If you were not aware just exactly what a horizontal band saw is used for, then it might be useful to know especially of you intend having large pieces of wood or sheets of metal cut in the near future. Alternatively, you may be considering purchasing a horizontal band saw to compliment your own home workshop or a larger industrial workshop set up.

In any case, it always helps to know just what a piece of equipment is used for and what it is capable of doing. This hub page has been created to do exactly that. To bring you some useful information of the uses that you may have for a horizontal band saw for yourself or business, or even if you merely intend having some metal or wood cut for a home improvement project or similar.

How does a Horizontal Band Saw Work?

A horizontal band saw works slightly differently from the more usual vertical band saw: In this case, instead of the operator moving the work piece (steel tubing or wooden planks, posts etc) into the blade, the work piece is clamped in place and the saw blade is drawn down onto and through the work piece to produce the cut.

The blade itself is a continuous loop of steel with its bladed cutting edge on the outer edge. It runs on a band saw guide between two main wheels to keep it in alignment and in most cases one of the wheels is adjustable to alter the blade's tension for cutting different materials. A band saw table supports the machine at a convenient working height.

Generally the blade of the machine is anchored safely on one side and then is guided downwards onto and through the work piece by gravity. With a wood cutting horizontal band saw, the wood is usually cut dry, but with a metal horizontal band saw, lubrication is essential to protect and prolong the life of the blade. For this, there is usually a sprayer with a pump which ensures the work piece is completely covered in a special cutting fluid. To preserve the fluid, this is recirculated and reused throughout the machine.

Horizontal Band Saw Uses

There are several uses for a horizontal band saw in a workshop setting, whether it is a private workshop in a garage, or an industrial band saw set up in a commercial work shop. They are mainly used for cutting large size work pieces and not for smaller, intricate cuts which are handled by different cutting machines.

The band saw blades are capable of cutting through quite thick pieces of metal or wood depending upon the needs of the client or the personal needs of the individual working from home. They are perfect for cutting long wooden posts or joists for home improvement projects and for cutting steel pipes or tubes for engineering projects large or small.

The width of the work pieces is limited by the width of the band saw guides, so wide wooden or steel sheets are not suitable for this type of cutting machine.

When considering the purchase of a horizontal band saw to compliment an existing workshop or to be used as a standalone machine for specialized work, it pays to shop around for a new machine. This is because several manufacturers make different sized models with varying power ratings and work piece size restrictions.

Used horizontal band saws are trickier to purchase as you need to be very sure that a machine is in good working order and has not been overused to the point where parts may need to be replaced at considerable expense. In this case it could actually work out cheaper to buy a new machine, although on the other hand you could also find a real bargain used machine that is in perfect working condition.

The ultimate choice is yours, of course.


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  • profile image

    Camero68 5 years ago

    Wow! what a powerful machine, handling the toughest jobs in a shop. Makes work more efficient and giving the operator more time to do other stuff so means more projects to come.

  • Authorite profile image

    Authorite 7 years ago from UK

    Thanks, Greg. They are superb machines for getting the job done!

  • Greg Palmer profile image

    Greg Palmer 7 years ago

    Great Hub; horizontal units are great for high volume work. The operator simply loads and unloads the machine while the band saw blades do all the work!