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Thread: what are the advantages of owning a band saw?

  1. #1

    Question what are the advantages of owning a band saw?

    Other than using a large band saw for re-sawing what are the advantages of owning a small band saw? What can it do that a jig saw cannnot?
    Member - Uncle Sam's Misguided Children '82-'85.
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  2. #2
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    Hi Aurelio.

    You can cut much smaller pieces with a band saw, and cut much faster too. Your work is more visible with a band saw, so following a line is easier. You can stack cut with a band saw, and that would be difficult with a jig saw. Cuts through thicker material or better suited for a band saw. Most (not all) jig saws allow the blade to wander, so curved cuts will not be at 90. A band saw will generally produce a straighter cut on a curve.

    However, no internal cuts can be made with a band saw, and it's certainly not as portable as a jig saw.

  3. #3
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    It is a very low impact , friendly machine to use. It is much safer than a tablesaw , especially with small pieces. I make architectural models and the bandsaw is very versitile and allows me to quickly scale small pieces that would be impossible to cut by other means. It will cut curves and resaw. I use it more than the tablesaw...it is very good for joinery.
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  4. #4

    Question thanks mark and todd but...

    Hi Todd and Mark. You both make very good and eye opening points! I can certainly see the benefits to owning a band saw now. So here's my second question, I can afford a small band saw but not a large one at this time, should I wait and save for a larger one or get the small 9 inch band saw? If I wait, it would be at least a year. I guess this question also pivits on how much I would use one as well as afordability.
    Member - Uncle Sam's Misguided Children '82-'85.
    Once, Now Former, But Always!

    "Among individuals, as among nations, the respect for the other's rights brings peace."
    Benito Juarez

  5. #5
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    A 14" Delta or Jet is a nice size that you will be happy with for years. It is about a $450 item. I would try to start with that level of bandsaw. Otherwise you will feel limited and want to upgrade very quickly.
    "All great work starts with love .... then it is no longer work"

  6. #6
    Aurelio,
    I once worked in a shop that used a bandsaw far more than a table saw. A bandsaw and routers did about everything.
    I waited for the right time and cost to get one that would do everything I wanted to do. Ultimately it was a good resaw ability and reviews that got me to a Grizzly 17". I'm glad I waited.
    Glenn Clabo
    Michigan

  7. #7

    Cutting curves

    Try cutting a curve on your table saw. If any of your work requires curves, then a bandsaw is what you need. Also there are times when you need to resaw something.

    I would suggest a 14" saw as well. Smaller ones are just too limited in capacity to be very useful. You can get a good 14" saw for about $400. If you watch the local paper, you can probably find one for sale. Just be sure that you buy one that has parts available from a reputable dealer.
    Lee Schierer
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  8. #8
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    I agree, a good quality 14" is a good starter...you can always add a riser block at a point when you decide you need it. I suggest checking blade availability if you by an off brand saw...some of these have a blade size that is difficult to find

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurelio alarcon
    Hi Todd and Mark. You both make very good and eye opening points! I can certainly see the benefits to owning a band saw now. So here's my second question, I can afford a small band saw but not a large one at this time, should I wait and save for a larger one or get the small 9 inch band saw? If I wait, it would be at least a year. I guess this question also pivits on how much I would use one as well as afordability.
    If the type of work you want to do with a bandsaw can wait - WAIT. I started with a 9" and was quickly frustrated. I replaced it with a 14" Jet and couldn't be happier! Frustrations with the 9" were low power, hard to track, 9" throat limiting what I wanted to do - cutting curves, and a few others that the 14" have made me forget.

    Essentially, you would be tossing out around $100 now and then another $450 or so in a year. You could possibly sell the 9" later - that is what I did.

    Dave

  10. #10
    If I could have only one power tool in my shop, it would be a band saw.
    Safer than a table saw (no kick back) and more versatile.
    Buying a tool that you can afford but will outgrow is not good economics. The tool will frustrate you and you will loose money on the resale. If you can wait, do some searches for bandsaws on this and other woodworking boards. Make a list of the saws that sound good to you. Then hit the road and if possible physically check them out. A 14" is a good starter saw. And buy good blades. Good luck on your tool hunt, they are always fun.

  11. #11
    You can cut bowl blanks, resaw thick boards, ITS SAFER!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by aurelio alarcon
    Hi Todd and Mark. You both make very good and eye opening points! I can certainly see the benefits to owning a band saw now. So here's my second question, I can afford a small band saw but not a large one at this time, should I wait and save for a larger one or get the small 9 inch band saw? If I wait, it would be at least a year. I guess this question also pivits on how much I would use one as well as afordability.
    Aurelio.....

    You don't HAVE to wait another year. Dude....do like I did and over a 3 month period...."odd job" it a couple of times each month. If you only made $50 from each odd job...over 3 months that would be an additional $300 to add to your already limited budget and then order you a 14" BS. You will be glad you did.

    This is not law....just what I did to get a few tools for my shop.
    Thanks & Happy Wood Chips,
    Dennis -
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    ....DEBT is nothing more than yesterday's spending taken from tomorrow's income.

  13. #13
    Dan Bussiere Guest
    A few years ago, when I first started woodworking as a hobby, I bought a 9 in Craftsman bandsaw thinking it would do everything I would need. I thought I would only be building bird houses, etc. Well after a year I was so frustrated with the cheap little bandsaw that wouldn't cut straight that I wouldn't start projects that required a good bandsaw. I was limited by the equipment and my ability to grow beyond the birdhouse stage was reduced. I ended up buying a Delta 14 in and I have since grown in my woodworking skills because of it. I kept the old 9 in for a year to use for small cuts, but I never did turn it on again. I finally gave it away and just lost the $100 it cost me. Save the money and get a good one. I learned from this experience and now I will not buy any equipment unless it is what I would upgrade to anyway.
    Dan

  14. #14
    Wait and save up for a good bandsaw. If you want to cut small intricate things, get yourself a scrollsaw and do the fancy small tight turn style cuts with it. Getting a small bandsaw will drive you nuts. I bought one of those 3 wheel jobs and can't hardly do anything with it. I have 3 scrollsaws and use each of them more than I do the bandsaw. I am saving up right now for a big Griz or Mini-Max - most likely a 17 incher.

    Save yourself the headache, you'll use a cheap scrollsaw more than a cheap bandsaw. If you want a $100.00 small stuff cutter - get a 16" Dremel, Ryobi or Craftsman Scroll-saw.

    Kurt

  15. #15

    Thanks a lot for the advice I will...

    I will wait and and save enough money to get a large band saw. From what I gather the minimum that I should be looking at is a 14 inch. I will do some odd jobs and save from those a little money each time and get the large model. Hell, I might even go bigger. Who knows. I like what Dan said when he says that he would not buy anything unless it is what he would upgrade to to begin with. I will try to quell my burning pocket until then. I know it is better this way, but oh so hard.
    Member - Uncle Sam's Misguided Children '82-'85.
    Once, Now Former, But Always!

    "Among individuals, as among nations, the respect for the other's rights brings peace."
    Benito Juarez

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