If you operate a machine shop, one of the tools you should be looking to install in 2020 is a horizontal & vertical metal bandsaw. This band saw type can cut virtually any metal and undoubtedly, is one of the top tools for increasing productivity in a machine workshop. Unlike typical saws, metal band saws are much effective, versatile, powerful, and long-lasting.
Hydraulics form the basis of the bandsaw’s operations, including control of the bow’s position, blade tension, and amount of pressure necessary for various cuts.
Choosing the best band saws can be quite tricky, especially if you don’t have an idea of what to look for. This article will guide you through some properties to consider as well as review some of the best vertical and horizontal cutting metal band saws on the 2020 market.
5 Best Metal Band Saws Reviewed
KAKA BS-712N Metal Cutting Horizontal Band Saw
Topping the list is the KAKA Industrial BS-712N band saw. This bandsaw features iron cast construction and tools that assure consistent performance even under heavy usage. Besides, the unit comes with a 7” * 12” rectangular capacity and has four speeds that allow you to cut metals of different densities, including the heavy ones such as steel and aluminum.
BS-712N incorporates several safety features that make it an ideal tool for industrial and home-based metalwork. The guards, automatic shut-off, and coolant systems serve to prevent injuries and losses during machine operation. By preventing injuries, the safety features keep you off unnecessary medical bills, of which some can take a significant toll on your personal or company’s expenses.
The unit is designed to ease cutting procedures. It has quick clamps that allow you to secure and unfasten your workpieces easily. Besides, the unit will enable you to switch the clamps from 0 to 45 degrees, giving you full control over your metalwork projects. The coolant protects the blade from overheating and thereby prolongs its lifespan while increasing its cutting precision.
The machine provides you with the versatility you would be looking for in a band saw. You can switch between vertical mode and horizontal mode, depending on the needs of your project. You will also love the fact that Kaka Industrial’s BS-712N band saw has a roller cabinet for material and tool storage.
Fixed to the bottom of the machine is a set of four wheels, which makes it easy for you to move the bandsaw around your shop. Hydraulic control enables you to set an ideal feed rate that determines the eventual pressure exerted by the blade to the workpiece.
- Straightforward switching of cut angles
- Can be used vertically and horizontally
- Highly portable
- Lacks wheel-locks, and hence, you have to find a mechanism to secure it in place.
- A 1-year warranty for a product costing close to $900
Jet HBS-916W 16” Capacity Horizontal Band Saw
- Quick positioning vise
- 9-Inch by 16-Inch Capacity
- Coolant is distributed through the blade quides
Are you looking for a band saw that offers you an ideal combination of functionality, precision, and efficiency? Here’s the Jet HBS-916W 16” Capacity Horizontal Band Saw. Some of the features that make this machine stand out from the rest are the massive handwheel and built-in gauges that make blade tension adjustment seamless.
Undoubtedly, you expect premium services from a tool that costs more than $3300. Powering this 9*16inch capacity unit is single-phase, 1.5HP, 415V motor that delivers enough power to handle demanding tasks. It weighs slightly above 620 pounds and measures 66*23*42 inches.
The unit’s reinvented cooling system distributes the coolant throughout the guides, a quality much needed for safety and cooling needs of extended operations. Something else you will love about this machine is that it keeps the blade guarded, irrespective of the position of the guides. The always-intact guide incorporates a double row of parallel ball bearing at its end for additional anchorage.
The quick-positioning vise, whose jaws can be rotated up to 45 degrees, holds your workpiece firmly in position while allowing you to work with a variety of cut angles. With the fully-adjustable hydraulic down feed featuring a separate on/off valve, you can be sure to enjoy relaxed moments when metal cutting.
JET HBS-916W comes with a two-year warranty.
- Generous cutting range
- Easy adjustment of the blade’s tension
- Exemplary coolant distribution
- More expensive than most band saws
- Not portable
Grizzly Industrial G0613 Swivel Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
If you are keen on making extra cuts, Grizzly Industrial G0631 Band Saw is what you need. Grizzly manufactured this unit with productivity and accuracy in mind, considering it allows you to make cuts ranging from 0 to 60 degrees. Besides, it’s straightforward to set the cut angles, and this means that no time is lost in between the cuts, especially when you are keen on meeting a tight production deadline.
Something notable about this machine is its level-controlled guide locks that allow you to make adjustments up to the workpiece for optimum support. Pairing this support feature is the blade guide’s fully adjustable ball-bearings that assures straight cuts from this unit. Additional features are a stock length stop and a quick-release lever that enable users to move to subsequent cuts as quickly as possible.
Running the operations of the approximately 500pounds unit is 1HP, 110/220V single-phase motor, and a 1/8HP, 110/220V single-phase pump motor. Grizzly Industrial G0631 features a comfortable floor to table height, so be sure that you won’t struggle with back pain, strain, and fatigue when operating this machine.
The blade has a single speed of 314 feet/min, but you can use the fully-adjustable hydraulic down-feed to change the feed rates when switching between aluminum and steel. Furthermore, the saw has a deep-throated vise with a lever lock that offers optimum grip required for straight cuts.
The Grizzly Industrial G0613 has different capacities for cutting rectangular and circular metals, with the sizes varying with selected blade angles. Irrespective of the cut angles and the metal type you are working on, be sure that the twin coolant nozzles, one at each end, will keep the blade cool and functioning optimally for a long time.
- More cut angles than several competitors
- Designed for a long lifespan and heavy-duty use
- Easy to change workpieces
- The preset speed limits full control
- Lacks portability
WEN 3970 Metal-Cutting Band Saw with Stand
- Automatic shut-off
- Adjust the blade speed
- Create cuts anywhere from 0° to 60°
If you are searching for an affordable saw with exciting features and one that will offer you consistent performance, WEN 3970 is worth your consideration. This unit comes in a conventional design, although it’s worth mentioning that it can be converted to a vertical unit in seconds by simply lifting the head and attaching the vertical cutting table. The vertical mode will enable you to cut peculiar and complex shapes seamlessly.
This product also incorporates a relatively stable stand with two wheels, which significantly improves the machine’s portability. Unlike with the four-wheeled counterparts, you can expect this machine to remain stationary without concerns of accidental rolling.
This machine allows you to work with a variety of metals, including brass, steel, and copper. You want to pay attention to the blade’s speed when cutting different metals. In this regard, WEN 3970 allows you to change the operating speeds so that you can work accurately for a particular material’s density.
Another feature that distinguishes WEN 3970 from most of its competitors is the beveling vise that offers excellent grip while allowing you to cut your workpieces at any angle between 0 and 60 degrees.
Its capacity for cutting circular and rectangular materials is approximately 4.6inch diameter and 4” * 6”, respectively. The onboard tilt and blade tension knobs ease adjustments while the feed adjustment handle enables you to adjust the speed at which the bow drops during the horizontal mode.
- Affordable to most buyers
- Commendable two-year warranty for a budget product
- Portable with the ability to remain stationary at a workstation
- Unsuitable for large materials due to size limitations
- Some users complained about the weakness in the wheel makeup
- Low table height
JET 414559 Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
Here’s another JET product with almost everything you could be looking for in both horizontal and vertical bandsaws. First, it’s easy and quick to transform the model into a vertical unit, and vice versa, so that you can carry on a variety of metal cutting projects without limitations. The durable design featuring cast iron and steel construction guarantees consistent results and a long lifespan.
Finding a portable 285 -pound machine is quite uncommon, but the set of four wheels attached to the base of this unit makes it easy for you to move it around your machine shop. Besides, each wheel is made with sturdy construction, so you don’t have to fret about them breaking or failing in the nearby future.
You can use this machine to cut a variety of metals, including steel and aluminum, with the multiple speed settings allowing you to fine-tune the saw to achieve your cut objectives seamlessly. Besides, the unit’s rapid-action vise will enable you to adjust cut angles up to 45 degrees, allowing you to make several cuts effortlessly. A consistent coolant system guarantees smooth cutting while preventing overheating.
Although the automatic shut-off system present in this machine isn’t a new invention, it’s a feature worth highlighting. Built into this bandsaw is a chip-tray that ensures a clean and dust-free working surface for healthier and more comfortable machine operation. You will also find the built-in storage cabinet useful.
- High-quality and durable construction and components
- Though not cheap, has a praiseworthy price-to-quality ratio
- Chip-tray that enhances a healthier working environment
- Not an easy-to-use machine for beginners
- Small fluid collection pan means some fluid is spilled on the floor during operation
Characteristic to Look for in a Metal Band Saw
Horizontal and vertical metal band saws are available in various sizes, ranging from benchtop models to large floor versions. However, your choice will depend on the scale of your work.
Pay attention to the size of the saw table. You want one large enough to support a large workpiece and the materials you intend to use during the cutting process. To prevent strains and fatigue when operating the band saw, be sure to pick the right height of the table.
b. Variable Speeds
You want to go for a tool with multiple speed settings. Modern band saws incorporate various speed settings so that you can select the best operating option when cutting a variety of metals. Whereas steel and brass require a low cutting speed of about 100ft/min, aluminum works well with at about 1000ft/min.
c. Blade Angles
An excellent vertical/horizontal bandsaw has multiple cut angles. Whereas the typical cut angles are 30 and 45 degrees, some modern versions of band saws allow users to rotate the vise up to 60 degrees. As much as you are looking for multiple blade angles, you also want to be sure that the machine will allow you to switch from one angle to the other effortlessly.
The portability of a band saw becomes a critical factor if you work at multiple stations in a workshop or when there is a need to transport the machine to another place. In this regard, pick a bandsaw with wheel-portability.
You want to purchase a machine with wheel locks to prevent accidental rolling. The protective measure serves to eliminate the risk of personal injury and damage to the band saw and other equipment in your machine shop. A machine without wheel-locks can also suit your metal cutting needs, but be sure to put in place a mechanism that secures the band saw.
Safety is a critical factor when it comes to any machine operation, including eye and ear safety equipment. Hence, you want to go for a bandsaw with a variety of safety features for additional protection.
There are plenty of safety concerns associated with the blade. The blade’s idler wheel and guide wheel spin at high speed and pose a safety threat that you shouldn’t underestimate. The idler and guide should be hidden in the saw’s frame by metal covers.
A blade guard is essential for protecting the fingers from the risks associated with the sharp edges. Also, opt for a metal bandsaw with blade guides that stay in place irrespective of the cutting angle.
The quality of the machine’s coolant system also matters. You want to be sure that the motor and the pulley systems won’t overheat from extended operations.
Watch out for automatic shut-off when purchasing your horizontal/vertical band saw. The feature automatically stops the blade from spinning when you complete your cut.
How to Use a Horizontal and Vertical Metal Band Saw
You may feel intimidated by a metal bandsaw, especially if you are operating it the first time. Nonetheless, implementing the appropriate security measures and following the stipulated guidelines is the key to successful and safe machine operation.
Tension during first-time operations is common, but with time, it becomes easier for you to handle the cuts seamlessly. Here are instructions for using a band saw for metal cutting.
- First, mark the preferred cut line on your workpiece using appropriate tools. A digital height gauge can help you record accurate distances along your workpiece. A scriber will help you make visible cut lines.
- Pick the right blade, depending on the nature of the workpiece. They are packaged in the form of tight coils, and it’s wise to wear protective gear to protect your eyes and hands during the recoiling process.
- Disconnect the handsaw from the power source before installing the saw bands. A quick tip is to align it with the guide bearing and tighten the tension until it’s firmly held in place.
- Select the preferred angle of the vise and mount your stock, making sure it’s safely secured to prevent it from slipping during the cutting process.
- Inspect the blade guide’s alignment to ensure the appropriate positioning of the material on which you are about to work. Adjust the guide accordingly, if necessary.
- While checking the descent rate, lower the saw head until it’s just above the stock.
- Connect the machine to the mains. Check to ensure that the emergency button is disengaged and that the feed rate is zero at this point.
- Press the power button. The blade should start spinning, and the coolant system activated.
- Using the control, set the appropriate speed for the metal type and the desired cut type. Subsequently, push the band saw head towards the piece so that the blade slices through about a quarter-inch.
- Adjust the feed rate to obtain sufficient pressure to cut through the material. You should place your hand near the emergency stop, in case an accident occurs, but don’t hit it unnecessarily.
- To operate the band saw in vertical mode, you should raise the bow to an upright position and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when installing the vertical cutting table. During vertical operation, you push the material through the blade, unlike in horizontal mode, where the blade is pushed through the workpiece.
- The automatic shut-off system turns off the machine once the blade completes the cut. Press the emergency stop and pick your workpiece when the machine stops running.
- Remove burr, usually left on one side of the workpiece, using a file. Alternatively, flatten the burr by hitting it against a metallic surface.
Reasons to Buy a Horizontal/Vertical Cutting Metal Band Saw
- The top advantage of this kind of machine is that it’s versatile in that it allows you to undertake vertical and horizontal cutting projects on the same equipment. You don’t have to buy a horizontal band saw, and a vertical band saw separately.
- They are ideal for a high volume of work, with some featuring programmable functions to handle repeat tThey are ideal for a high volume of work, with some featuring programmable functions to handle repetitive tasks.
- These band saws are equipped with several safety features, including automatic shut-off, coolant system, and blade guard to prevent losses and injuries.
- You can use the saw to cut large metal workpieces to size and not forgetting their ability to cut different metal types, including copper, steel, brass, and aluminum.
There are numerous places where you could order one of these machines online – eBay, industrial sites, etc. Additionally, there are always people who post their offers on tech sites, which might or might not be related to your search. However, these machines aren’t toys, food, or something you should take too lightly – buying one will always be a costly investment, not to mention the risk of purchasing faulty equipment.
However, the safest place where you can order this tool online is Amazon. Apart from being the most popular and reliable online service, this online market has a strict set of rules that apply to users on both ends: vendors and buyers. They also provide free shipping to some areas.
One of the best things about Amazon is that you are entitled to use their return/refund policy. People ship their items overseas all the time, and even if your vendor local, an accident can occur at any time. Your package might be delivered to you in a damaged condition – that’s where return policies come into play. If you have a problem with your saw, you can also quickly and easily return the product.
There are several places to buy these machines. For worry-free return policies, transparency in terms of product quality and customer service, and fast and sometimes free shipping, head over to Amazon.
When you browse on Amazon, you can see what previous customers thought of the product they bought, and find out everything about things like material quality, protective features, and comfort. You don’t need to go out to compare features or find the best product for your needs.
A horizontal and vertical, metal cutting bandsaw can be a great addition to your machine shop or home garage. Versatility, multiple blade angles, and speed settings, and automatic shut-off are some of the key features you will find in the bandsaws reviewed above.
If you are looking for more cut angles, Grizzly Industrial G0613 and WEN 3970 are the right tools for you. If you are on a budget, pick WEN 3970, but you need to keep in mind that it has a lower table height compared to most options discussed above. However, you will need to decide between the WEN product’s 2-year warranty and Grizzly Industrial unit’s 1-year warranty.
You can expect any of the five bandsaws reviewed in this guide to meet your basic metal cutting needs. Nonetheless, be sure to reread the guide, comprehend what each machine offers you, and pick one that will suit your needs and budget.