A band saw is an essential tool for any manufacturer
Band saw basics:
This machine’s blade is made up of a continuous band of metal with sharp teeth along one edge, and it usually rotates around two or more wheels.
Band saws can be used to cut metal or wood, and even other material types such as meat. Because the blade’s teeth are evenly distributed around the blade, it cuts uniformly, making it a very ideal machine for consistent production.
In the 1800’s, the band saw was first invented in Britain, and was later patented in France. America was first to mass-produce band saws for sale to the public.
Two common types of metalworking band saws are vertical and horizontal
A vertical band saw blade (1) spins in an upright position and remains stationary while material to be cut moves into the blade. This allows for complex cuts and shapes.
On the other hand, horizontal band saws hold the material still while the horizontal blade cuts downward straight through it. This is ideal for longer materials like bar stock and pipes, which makes the horizontal band saw an important staple in most modern machine shops.
Semi-automatic band saws cut costs and save time compared to manual saws
In comparison to manual sawing tools, semi-automatic band saws reduce labor costs by requiring very little from the operator during each cycle. After setting blade speed and feed rate, the operator must only open the vise and place the material; the semi-automatic machine handles the rest.
The vice clamps the material, the blade and coolant start up and the saw takes care of business, performing the cut automatically and returning the blade to its initial position. After this, the blade and coolant shut off, the vice opens up and the material is ready to be advanced or removed by the operator.
Since cutting is handled automatically, the accuracy is much higher than cuts performed manually, which also leads to extended blade life. Human operators tend to pull the blade down too hard on manual machines which heats up the blade and can cause blade distortion.
Improved accuracy, extended blade life and reduced labor intensity make semi-automatic band saws a great choice over manual saws for manufacturers looking to cut costs and speed up production.
Fully-automatic band saws provide the most accuracy and efficiency
The best sawing solution for high-volume manufacturers is a fully-automatic band saw. Cut settings are preset and completely automated, even down to the material feed and chip removal.
A fully-automatic band saw can run all day without any human operation, allowing large quantities of parts to be cut while saving the cost of labor completely. Multiple cut lengths can be set and finished parts can be automatically sorted to allow the combination of multiple jobs in a day’s run.
This “set and forget” capability is made possible by one of two possible material loading styles: roller feed or clamp feed. A roller feed will roll material into place against a stop, holding it still for the cutting process. A hydraulic clamp feed is usually higher priced, but this type also allows for miter cutting.
Automatic horizontal band saws are the most accurate and efficient kind of saws. They will save the most money in the long run by combining multiple jobs and cut lengths, and removing the cost of human operation. This type is a must-have for high-volume manufacturers.
Which band saw is right for me?
Semi-automatic band saws are great for job shops and those looking to reduce their costs from using manual saws. They’re priced very affordably, and provide efficient cutting solutions.
Fully-automatic band saws literally run themselves all day and are best for those seeking a high level of reliable automation. The cost up-front is higher than a semi-automatic, but it’s well worth it in the long run, saving the total cost of labor to load and unload parts between cycles.
Call today for a free consultation
At KAAST Machine Tools, we have many options available for those looking to purchase a horizontal band saw. Our experts are experienced with every production situation—we’ve worked with all types of customers with different needs, and we’d love to help you think through the best option for your manufacturing facility with no strings attached.
We have several band saws in stock, including semi-automatic and fully-automatic horizontal band saws with several configurations and options, and they’re ready to ship today. You can literally call and have a new band saw delivered anywhere in North America within a week.
If you’re planning ahead for a future purchase, we also have many other band saw styles available with short lead times of 8 weeks or less.