A bandsaw is an essential tool in any woodworking, metalworking, or lumbering workshop today.
Apart from the ability to cut circular and irregular shapes, this machine will give you uniform and professional cuts on all materials, thanks to the evenly distributed blade teeth.
Let’s look at some of the best metal cutting bandsaws today and how they can impact your craftsmanship.
Comparison of the Best Metal Cutting Bandsaws
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Bandsaw cutting machines come in a wide array of designs suited for different applications. Below we discuss some key pointers to keep in mind when sourcing for a bandsaw machine.
Vertical or Horizontal Bandsaw?
Vertical bandsaws are ideal in workshops with lots of intricate, curved, and sheet cutting requirements. They are associated more with woodworking but also do a great job in engineering. Due to their small footprint, they are also the best in workshops with limited space.
Horizontal bandsaws, on the other hand, are best for heavy-duty applications but not for intricate cutting. These saws are ideal for engineering and are very easy to use.
If you’re using a larger machine for heavy-duty applications, purchasing a bandsaw with a coolant would be the ideal option to help prolong your machine lifespan. For smaller machines, you just need to spray some coolant as you cut.
Blades and Accessories
Your metal cutting bandsaw performance is, to a larger degree, determined by the type of blade used. Although a standard tooth count of 6, 10, and 14tpi that most ‘stock’ metal cutting band saws come with will do a great job, variable pitch teeth of 6-10tpi or 10-14tpi are the best for cutting almost any material.
For optimum cutting, you’ll require different speeds depending on the material. Variable speed is the best, although most bandsaws come with three or four equally good belt drives.
Variable speed bandsaws will be easy to adjust and are very flexible when used across different materials. They will make your blade last longer.
Most metal cutting bandsaws use cast iron and solid steel, which is important in dampening vibration and may affect your cutting accuracy. The tough build will also help the machine withstand bigger and heavy workpieces.
During automatic functioning, a hydraulic downfeed helps in offering consistent blade pressure compared to basic spring systems found on smaller machines.
You also need a swivel head over swivel vice for accuracy, which is common with most bandsaws. You’ll also need a Mitre or Dual Mitre Cutting for enhanced cutting accuracy.
Other factors you also want to keep in mind include:
- Workshop Space
- Work Load
- Ease of Use
- Type of job
Review of the Best Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Now that you have an overview of some of the features that make a good bandsaw, let’s review some of the best metal-cutting bandsaws on the market today.
Weight: 14.75 Pounds
Blade Speed: 100-380 feet per minute
Dimensions: 21 x 6.5 x 12.5 inches
Milwaukee 6238-20 offers the industry's deepest cut at 5x5 inches. Compared to a chain drive, this saw has an all-metal direct gearing system. It requires less servicing and has a prolonged tool life.
With an 11 Amp motor, this tool provides maximum performance and is also highly portable at just 14.75 pounds.
The debris protection system clears all the dirt during use, which in turn increases the pulleys’ lifespan. The balance build design makes it comfortable in the hands for improved productivity.
The motor and gear life are extended by gear protecting clutch, which dampens forces resulting from blade lock-ups.
Milwaukee 6238-20 saw wraps up most of the qualities that make an ideal metal-cutting bandsaw.
These qualities range from its larger cutting capacity, lightweight for less fatigue and increased output, job site armor technology for prolonged rugged protection, and also its all-metal direct drive for maximum tool life.
The featured LED light will help you visualize the workpiece well for a more precise cut.
SHOP FOX W1715
Weight: 121.7 pounds
Blade Speed: 78-180 feet per minute
Dimensions: 41 x 17.5 x 14 inches
With a 1725 RPM ¾ HP single-phase motor, Shop Fox W1715 has enough power to cut in all kinds of applications. For protection, the machine has an automatic shut-off feature. It's also highly versatile, with six different blade speeds.
The machine will perform both horizontal and vertical cuts.
For consistent repeat cuts, Shop Fox W1715 features cast iron construction and an integrated vise that holds your material while you work.
The machine also features handles and wheels for easier portability between workstations when necessary.
Shop Fox W1715 variable speed is ideal for cutting just any material of any density, thanks to its adjustable V-belt. The machine has a vise to hold your workpiece in position and at any set angle of between 0 to 60°.
The bandsaw is easy to use and also includes a manual for absolute beginners.
Best for the Money:
Weight: 14.3 pounds
Blade Speed: 100-350 feet per minute
Dimensions: 20.67 x 6.5 x 11.42 inches
The saw cuts deep on different materials and has a variable speed of between 100-350 feet per minute adjustable for every application. It also features an LED light for a clear vision of the cut lines in dim environments.
The Anbull SPA0174 has moderate noise levels at 105 dB with a wide hand space for enhancing cutting accuracy. This machine will effortlessly cut iron, copper, aluminum, steel, and PVC among other materials.
With an adjustable base of between 0-45°, Anbull SPA0174 bandsaw will guarantee accurate cuts on most materials. The saw comes with a 14TPI standard blade and can also take up to three different types depending on the cutting needs.
This saw is powerful at 10 Amp motor and 100-350FPM, which makes it highly versatile.
Best Horizontal Band Saw For Metal Cutting:
KAKA Industrial BS-712N
Weight: 392 pounds
Blade Speed: 27-78 MPM
Size: 50 x 20 x 45 inches
KAKA Industrial BS-712N is a heavy-duty band saw with an iron cast build to stand the most strenuous cutting applications.
The unit is versatile, with four different speeds for different metal densities that include aluminum and steel. Automatic shut-off, guards, and coolant systems make this machine safe for both home workshop and industrial use.
Quick clamps will fasten workpieces into position for improved accuracy. Depending on your project needs, this unit allows you to switch either to vertical or horizontal modes.
The adjustable clamps between 0 to 45° give full control and precise cuts. The coolant protects the blade from overheating hence accurate cutting and prolonged lifespans.
The unit has wheels for easy movement around the shop. Hydraulic control for ideal feed rate setting to help gauge the pressure required for a particular workpiece.
Best Benchtop Metal Cutting Band Saw:
Weight: 54.6 pounds
Blade Speed: 125-260 feet per minute
Dimensions: 29.5 x 18.82 x 15.91 inches
The unit is compact and perfect for a small home workspace. The beveling blade cuts between 0 to 60° and comes with an adjustable speed of between 125-260 FPM on different materials, making it a more versatile bandsaw.
The machine is incredibly rugged and durable and has an integrated vise to hold your workpieces firmly during cutting.
Reliable operations are made possible by onboard tilt knobs, ball-bearing blade guides, and blade tension adjustments for hassle-free tweak settings.
It’s easily portable, and its compact size will not eat into your storage space.
Its durable build and reliable operation settings that include onboard tilt knobs, blade tension adjustments, and coupled with adjustable speeds make this unit a go-to bandsaw best for the small home-based workshops.
The machine cuts deep on both pipes and rectangular shapes.
Best Small Metal Cutting Band Saw:
Weight: 47 pounds
Blade Speed: 100 – 260 feet per minute
Dimensions: 14 x 6.2 x 11.3 inches
Variable speed and pistol grip handle will give you full control over this bandsaw hence more accurate cuts. The saw will cut up to 3 1/4 inches deep on any material, including tubes and rectangular shapes.
Its miter cuts are adjustable between 45 and 90-degree angles. The adjustable blade tension knob will lock the pins in place when the bandsaw is not in use for improved safety.
Eastwood 388000 band saw has adjustable clamps that will hold the workpiece firmly in place for more accurate cuts.
Eastwood 388000 band saw will give you smooth miter cuts on angles between 45 and 90°. The unit is very safe to use thanks to its adjustable blade tension knob that will lock the pins safely when the saw is not underused.
The adjustable clamps, deep cutting of up to 31/4 inches, and its durable construction make this unit ideal for both home workshop and industrial use.
Best Portable Metal Cutting Band Saw:
Weight: 14.5 pounds
Blade Speed: 125-260 feet per minute
Dimensions: 20.25 x 13 x 8.25 inches
This bandsaw is highly versatile and will cut brass, mild steel, and hardened steel with the right variable speed setting.
The featured LED light helps when cutting in dim environments. The unit also comes with one of the widest cutting capacities of 5x5 inches. The saw will also give angle cuts of between 0 and 60°.
The beveling blade will create cuts of between 0 and 60°. The unit is highly versatile, with an adjustable blade speed range of between 125-260 feet per minute.
This bandsaw offers among the deepest cuts at 5x5 inches in the industry. The compact design is ideal for small workshops and is highly portable to move around to job sites.
Types of Metal Cutting Bandsaws
Bandsaws come in different types suited for different applications. Here are some common bandsaw types you’re likely going to meet.
Just as the name hints, this bandsaw is also referred to as the floor-standing bandsaw, which works by mounting on a frame whereby the machine stands on its own at an ideal height.
Standalone bandsaw design allows for easy and free cutting of larger pieces compared to other models.
Keeping its advantages in mind, it is equally important to read through the manual to ensure the model meets your needs. Also, keep in mind that this model will take a considerable amount of your workshop space compared to other designs.
These are bandsaws that you can easily carry to a worksite or move within a workshop. They are ideal for miscellaneous material cutting where you lack the option of bringing the workpiece to a standalone or a benchtop model.
These portable models are mostly cordless and share batteries with other related devices.
Benchtop bandsaws save a lot of space in the workshop since they are made to be mounted on already existing workbenches.
These machines can work well on small and delicate projects compared to heavy-duty designs like a standalone design. However, some models are efficient enough and capable of cutting larger workpieces just as their standalone counterparts.
Top Brands Who Are Known for Metal Cutting Bandsaws
The necessity of bandsaws in woodworking and metalworking workshops has witnessed a crop of so many manufacturers entering the market. Here are some top brands famous for the production of efficient and reliable bandsaw machines.
WEN was founded by Nick Anton to combine tools with electricity back in 1951. Based in Elgin, Illinois, WEN has been designing high-quality tools that range from miter saws, electric jigsaws, wet wheel sharpeners, and chainsaws.
The random orbital technology widely used today in polishers, buffers, and waxers was introduced by WEN. Apart from the high-quality bandsaws reviewed in this article, WEN also manufactures the WEN Two-Speed Band Saw.
Established by Leslie P. Sussman, JPW Industries are the owners of JET tools. The company has been around since 1958 where it started as a small business dealing in trolleys and chain hoists that were sold in its shops in Tacoma, Washington.
JET started producing metalworking products in 1980 followed by woodworking products five years later. The company presently manufactures all its products within the US without importing anything.
Among top products from JET in the woodworking and metalworking industry today is the JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14" Deluxe Pro Bandsaw Kit (710116K).
One of the products from Grizzly Industrial that stamps their credibility as a reliable manufacturer is Grizzly Industrial 9-Inch Benchtop Bandsaw.
Price Points of a Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Bandsaws come in different types and with varied features that distinguish them from each other best on the level of performance. Below are some price ranges of metal-cutting bandsaw machines you’ll find in the world of bandsaws today.
Most bandsaws in this price range are compact and lightweight suitable for single-handed cuts. These saws are mostly cordless and battery-powered and are predominantly used in woodworking and for cutting soft metals.
Some of the bandsaws within this price include Ryobi 18-Volt and Bosch Bare-Tool BSH 180B.
Band saws in this price range can make single-handed cuts and have handles located at either the center or the front. They have a blade tension adjuster and an LED light.
A few saws found in this price range are Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12, DEWALT 20V, Anbull Portable Band Saw, and SHOP FOX W1715.
$500 and Above
Most band saws within this price range are made of cast iron and have a stand or a table. They’re mostly heavy-duty and for industrial use. These saws have very powerful motors and are capable of making deep cuts.
Some of the saws you’ll find within this price range include Gryphon 37" AquaSaw Diamond Band Saw, Milwaukee 2729-22, DEWALT 20V MAX XR Band Saw.
How to Maintain a Metal Cutting Bandsaw
For optimum performance of a metal cutting band saw, the machine has to be properly maintained. Here are some maintenance tips.
A new blade, when fitted in a band saw, will need running-in, also called bedding-in.
This process is essential to help prevent premature blade wear and other related issues like broken teeth.
The best way is to run the saw at half speed with a reduced rate of as low as a third feed force to lessen the blades’ initial stress. The low running speed helps clear the blades’ extra-sharp edges; this, in turn, allows it to slowly bed into the material for prolonged service life.
Just like other workshop machinery, plan regular checks on the saw bearings and tensioners to keep the blade aligned and at the right tension.
Other maintenance routines should include after-use saw cleaning and bearing oiling. You can do most of the maintenance by yourself, but consider using a qualified engineer when it comes time to replace or service the bearings.
Coolant is Essential
Metals are different, and all bandsaws will require different coolants to keep your saw at optimum operation. Coolants are important in ensuring the cutting region is well lubricated and at an ideal cutting temperature.
If you have an oil-pump system or a reservoir, make sure the oil is replaced regularly during service and filters cleaned.
Check the Tension
The cutting blade will heat up, expand, and cause a stretch to the tensioners when the saw is subjected to a lot of continuous cutting. The blade is likely to develop small cracks if tension is not released off the blade.
After continuous rigorous work where a blade has become hot, release the blade tension back to prevent it from damage.
While there are many factors to look out for in an ideal metal cutting band saw, you want to keep the top three features that include construction type, coolant system, and cutting speed of the saw in mind.
In terms of speed, consider a variable speed option for easy and more versatile operation.
People Also Ask
Metal-cutting bandsaws are little complicated machines with diverse features that can make understanding some of their aspects confusing. Below we answer some common questions from users and those who intend to acquire a metal cutting bandsaw.
How Do I Choose a Metal Cutting Band Saw Blade?
When choosing a metal cutting band saw blade you want to consider factors like the types of materials you intend to cut.
Generally, the harder the material, the slower the cutting, and vice-versa. This will guide you on determining blade thickness and teeth type to go for.
When is it Time to Replace My Metal Cutting Bandsaw?
Bandsaws usually last a long time. The major circumstance that might require replacement is when you need an upgrade to a more advanced unit or in case of a break-down whereby the repair cost might be higher or equivalent to getting a new bandsaw.
What is the Difference Between a Wood Bandsaw and a Metal Bandsaw?
Metal bandsaws are more robust, run slowly, and have tighter blade tension, whereas wood bandsaws cut less dense material at higher speed and with less heat generated.
Wood bandsaws are specifically designed for wood cutting, while metal bandsaws are meant for cutting metal. However, there are usually some overlaps.
What is the Best TPI for Cutting Metal?
Use 18-24 TPI bi-metal for cutting thinner metals like a sheet that requires finer cut. To cut thicker metals like angle iron, tubing, or steel pipe, use 14-18 TPI bi-metal. For aluminum, an 8-10 TPI blade is recommended.
How Do You Break in a Metal Bandsaw Blade?
Set the machine to run at the normal surface feet per minute. For softer materials like aluminum and carbon steel, adjust the feed pressure to 50 percent of the normal cutting rate, which should be for the first 50 to 100 square feet.