Professional workers from various fields know the importance of a band saw, that’s why you hardly find them without a band saw in their toolbox. A part from helping you to finish your task fast, it also performs tasks better than any other cutting tool. A band saw is ideal for woodwork, metalwork and other lumbering task.
There are a lot of options in the market when it comes band saws, you may get confused when deciding to buy the right tool. In this review guide we’ll look at what band saws are, their types and uses, and also review the Bosch BSH180B Band Saw and some of its feature, and why every handy man should pick the tool for their project needs.
What’s A Band Saw?
The band saw is normally designed with sharp and long blade, it comes with continuous band that’s made from toothed metal and is placed between the wheels so that it’s capable of cutting different materials. As a professional woodworker having the normal cutting saw isn’t enough, if you realize how useful a band saw can be, you’ll definitely consider adding this valuable tool in your toolbox. A band saw has a lot of advantages over other cutting saws. It helps you achieve uniform cutting because of its tooth that are evenly distributed. It also has the power to cut irregular and curved shapes.
When it comes to woodwork you hardly find a better tool that can cut through curves than band saw. The band saw doesn’t only specialize in cutting curves, it also special in tenon cuttings and smaller rabbets, you can use a band saw to rip small stock pieces. You can see some the benefits of band saw, but with a lot of options in the market how do you know the one that’s right for you?
Types Of Band Saws
Basically there are 2 types of band saws; the floor standing-cabinet models and the dedicated-stand band saws. The dedicated stand are usually very short than the cabinet models. The cabinet model is for professionals that work casually with band saws while the dedicated stand is ideal for personal and home use. The cabinet models are equipped with more features and have powerful motor; they also have a stronger frame that offers consistent cutting. The dedicated stand also has a lot of great features, but its features are no match for the cabinet band saw.
Features Of Band Saws
Whenever you want to buy a band saw you need to consider 2 things; the throat and depth of cut. The depth of cut is measured from the table to upper blade guide. A lot of band saws are marketer on this feature because it shows the potential buyer the thickness of the stock it can handle. Some band saws come with 6” depth of cut, but the unit can still be raised with optional raiser to increase the depth from 6”-12”. Even less expensive band saws can be adjusted to cut thick stock more especially when re-sawing.
On the other hand the throat is the distance from the saws’ blade to vertical frame section of the saws’ body. The throat determines cutting width that can be completed with the band saw. When a band saw is advertized as “18 inch –band saw”, that refers to the throat measurement, most manufacturers that’s what they’re referring to.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Band Saw
Size of Motor
One of the most important things to consider before buying any band saw is its motor, typical home level comes with ¾-1 horsepower motor. While those professionals that use the saw for commercial use should go for bigger motors that are more efficient to handle their projects. For woodworkers you can use the small band saw but you need bigger blades to deal with hard plastics and metal cutting.
The band motor you choose should come with cast iron, aluminum alloy or steel table that capable of tilting the material up 45 degrees when making angle cuts. The normal table should be 16” in length and width; it should also be incorporated with miter track. Find a band wheel that comes with tires and also some brushes so that you can clean the wheels when necessary. Another useful feature to look for is the dust collection port, this is beneficial when adding shop vac to collect all the dust that has been generated.
There are 2 important things you should add to your band saw, they’re optional though, so it’s not necessary to include them if you want. Some manufacturers already include these 2 things in the package while most don’t. These are the miter gauge and fence. These 2 accessories will improve your performance in crosscutting, re-sawing and ripping.
How To Use A Band Saw
Before you start using any band saw you make sure that you wear your safety gloves, goggles or any other safety gear that’s applicable. This is not only for band saws; this also applies to every power tool.
Understand Your Machine
Band saws come with different speed which depends on the power of the motor that drives the machine, if the speed control is only one, that’s not a problem. You can find the power switch mostly on the left side of the machine, while the speed control and transmission lever are situated at the back of the band saw. The front of the tilt table allows you to move the materials you are working on with ease. The air blower blows airborne particles away from you.
Setting The Speed
Depending on the material you’re cutting, you should adjust the speed accordingly. When working on soft materials such as wood, you can set the speed to be high. But when working on hard materials more especially metals or aluminum you should set the speed low. Once you power on the machine, it’s going to take few seconds before it move at normal speed.
Once the device is ready you can then place the material you want to cut on the machine. And also before you even power on the device you should first check the blade teeth side you’re facing, that’s where you should view the material from. If you’re placing the cutting material with your hands ensure that your hands are not near the blade.
Bosch BSH180B Band Saw Review
We’ve now seen what band saws are, their types and how they can be operated. Now let’s take a look at one of the best band saws in the market and look some of its good features that make it stand among the best band saw. This device is none other than the Bosch BSH180B Band Saw.
The all new Bosch BSH180B Band Saw is an 18 volts cordless band saw, it a very lightweight device. The device is almost 60% lighter than other band saws; it’s a very handy and compact device. It has the capacity to cut though 2-1/2 x 2-1/2 inches. This Bosch model can cut most of the materials used by electricians, contractors and plumbers. The tool has flexible power that allow you to choose either slim pack or fat pack battery. It also has with it LED light that will guide you along you cutting lines; you can use this feature even on dark materials that are difficult to see marks.
This Bosch BSH180B Band Saw comes with 18V battery pack. The batteries last for hours before been exhausted, it can make about 150 cuts from a single charge. The Bosch BSH180B Band Saw is a perfect lightweight band saw weighing only 7.7 pounds together with the fatback batteries; this is unbelievable weight for a power tool. This makes the device very handy and used by most professionals such electricians that move daily from one jobsite to another. Just because it’s small it doesn’t mean it cannot handle tough jobs, it has rugged aluminum base which durable and enough take care of tough tasks like other bulky saws. The Bosch BSH180B Band Saw can cut through 2-1/2 inches in one single pass, the aluminum base it has offers more durability.
Features Bosch BSH180B Band Saw
- The tool is best used for overhead and when working with tight spaces.
- Can cut almost any material that is used in plumbing, electrical and mechanical jobs.
- The Bosch BSH180B Band Saw is a very portable device, weighing only 7.7 pounds.
- It’s a cordless device.
- It has cutting capacity of 2-1/2 inches.
- It comes with LED guiding light; it casts light on your cutting lines to help you make accurate cuts.
- It comes with rugged aluminum base; this makes the device to withstand tough jobs.
Uses Of The Bosch BSH180B Band Saw
You can use this power tool to cut different materials such electrical cable, metal, framing materials, copper pipes and a lot more other materials that are used in interior and office design. The Bosch BSH180B Band Saw can be used in most construction sites to take care of most of the cutting jobs that are involved.
If you want to know which are the best Band Saws in business, read the article 5 Best Band Saws – Band Saw Buying Guide.