Band Saws for Cutting Metal

Metal Cutting

Band Saws & Metal

Band Saw Blades


Band Saws & Blades Designed to Cut Metal
By: The Working Man

The band saw has a long, toothed, narrow, straight band
blade that can be powered by steam, wind, electricity, water
or even animal. The band is connected vertically by two
connectors. Band Saws are used in metal working, woodworking
or sometimes for cutting other materials besides metal or
wood. It is very good at making irregular cut shapes. The
radius of the cut curve is determined by the width of the
band saw blade.

The proper method of cutting metal with a band saw differs
from cutting wood with a band saw. Often when a band saw is
used to cut metal a coolant is used to prolong the blade's
life. Sometimes wire brush wheels are used to clean the band
saw blade from chips and encrustations as it exits the

Metal cutting band saw blades are available in both vertical
and horizontal designs and range from manually operated
machines to fully automatic machines. The speed ranges from
forty feet per minute to five thousand feet per minute.

Band saws designed for machine shops come in the two styles
of horizontal and vertical blades, but the smaller shops
employ the band saws that have the blade fed by gravity. The
blade falls in an arc around a pivot point and is fed

To operate a metal-cutting band saw manually, the person
operating the band saw raises the saw up at a forty-five
degree angle position and then the material is loaded onto
the saw, clamped down and the saw is turned on. The blade
slowly cuts the material while the band saw moves. After the
blade cuts through the material the saw is normally turned
off by an automatically tripped switch.

There are a few different feed mechanisms for band saws. One
is the gravity feed saw on which the blade which falls under
its own weight up against a hydraulic cylinder that has a
control valve. This method is common in small band saws.
Another is a hydraulically fed saw that uses the positive
pressure of the hydraulic piston to feed the saw's material.
This is common in production band saws. There is yet another
type, the screw feed, which employs a lead screw to move the

The fall mechanism of band saws varies as well. There is a
saw that has a pivot and hinges in an arc to slowly advance
through the material being cut. A single column band saw has
a large diameter column that the saw moves up and down on,
similar to a radial drill. A duel column band saw has two
large columns so that the material being cut is held rigidly
and can be cut more precisely. But the duel column band saw
fall mechanism can not use the miter base because of the
design of the fall mechanism. The dual column band saw is
the largest machine band saw available and can be used on a
rotary table and X-axis for complex cutting.

Automated band saws have a preset feed rate, return, fall,
part feeding and part clamping features. They are used in
big production companies where having an operator per band
saw is impractical. This way one person can feed and unload
a great many saws. Some of the automatic band saws rely on
NC/CNC control so that they can cut faster and be more
precise. These can perform complex miter cuts, all under
automatic operation.

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