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Metal Cutting Band Saws

Updated on August 15, 2009

Metal and metal working shops rely heavily on their main tools, one of which is the metal cutting band saws that are really must have tools. They tend to be used for cutting down to size the larger sheets or tubular cross sections of metal as well as some of the more precise cutting jobs that need to be carried out on a day to day basis.

For anyone who has an interest in metalwork and how some of the larger tasks are carried out in the industrial metal shops, this Hub Page takes a look at the metal cutting band saws and their major functions in the processing of metals.

It also looks at some of the safety aspects of working with this kind of tool while taking comparing and contrasting views of the versatility and labour saving aspects of these highly useful and used tools.

How Metal Cutting Band Saws Work

Metal cutting band saws work by employing a toughened continuous saw blade that is in a circular layout with its blade or cutting edge facing to the outside. The blade is then spun at very high speed which allows it to grind its way through the metal that is to be cut.

Some metal band saws require the operator to push the workpiece towards and through the path of the cutting blade. Other band saws employ a gravity driven moving blade that cuts its way through the workpiece which is first clamped into place on a specially adapted bench.

This makes them very efficient at cutting their way through vast quantities of metal with very low levels of manual work and a high efficiency rate.

A point that is wroth noting here is that while a wood cutting band saw cuts through wood with a blade with teeth, a band saw for metal has a different action. It actually grinds its way through metal with an abrasive edge consisting of silicon carbide or diamond in the more expensive blades. This makes replacement blades very expensive and in order to avoid causing damage or breakage of what is a relatively delicate blade, the blade tension needs to be set correctly and not too high. When pressure is applied to the blade while cutting, ensure that it is not too much to avoid breaking the blade. Similarly, avoid twisting the metal blade while it is in the cutting process as this can also lead to breakage or excessive wear of the cutting edge.

Metal Cutting Band Saw Safety First

From a safety standpoint, it is important to be wearing industrial eye protection as well as using cutting fluid which maximizes the efficiency as well as the safety of the blade while cutting through metal. It goes without saying that while operating the blade, extra care should be taken to ensure you don't get your arms or hands too close to the cutting edge. While safety guards are there to prevent accidents, they cannot cater for stupidity!

As a further safety warning, it is vital that you never operate dangerous machinery while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and that includes the some of the kinds of health drugs you can buy at the pharmacist for colds, coughs or flu. Always read the label and if it states that you should not operate machinery while taking the medicine, then heed that warning and stay clear of your metal cutting band saw!

Domestic Uses

For domestic workshop tasks, it is possible to obtain a metal cutting band saw for your own personal use. The amount of different metal working jobs that you will be able to perform will increase immensely and you might even consider investigating the possibility of purchasing more special use powered tools for taking on some of the less common and more precise jobs that will enable you to diversify on the things you can make and create.

All safety observations should be taken into consideration when operating domestic versions of heavy machinery to avoid accidents.


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  • Authorite profile image

    Authorite 7 years ago from UK

    Thanks Greg -- yep, a safe workshop is a happy workshop!

  • Greg Palmer profile image

    Greg Palmer 7 years ago

    Great Hub on band saws -- they really are the workhorse of any metalworking shop. An emphasis on safety is the cornerstone of a good shop.

  • profile image

    metalbandsaw 7 years ago

    I guess this metal saw is from China.