Circular saw machines and band saw machines each have their place in a shop. Selecting one over the other will affect your productivity and your ability to cut certain materials--so, which one is the better investment?
Circular Saw Machines Produce High-Quality Finishes
Circular saw machines, or cold saws, use blades that are thicker and more rigid compared to band saw blades, to reduce vibration and provide a better finish. They require more power consumption and a rigid machine structure because they cut wider slots. Cutting wider slots does have the downfall of losing more material to scrap.
Circular saw machines with carbide tipped blades cut faster through the material without creating excess heat--especially on high alloy or stainless steel. This develops an accurate cut and high-quality finish that doesn’t require secondary finishing operations.
Band Saw Machines for Larger Stock Sizes
If there isn’t a need for higher productivity, a band saw is the better option. Band saw machines use thinner blades and cut fewer chips. The power consumption of band saws is significantly less than that of a circular saw, and the kerf loss (slot width) is about .08” (2 mm) compared to .25” (6 mm) or more.
Band saw machines are versatile and cut larger cross sections than circular saw machines, which are limited to a 80” (2 m) blade diameter. Bundle-cutting is also an option for band saws, but they tend to fall short when it comes to quality finishes.
If a job requires thinner cuts, the kerf loss will help determine if a band saw machine is a better option; however, compared to cutting rates (speed), a carbide circular saw machine is hard to beat. While band saws are more economical, circular saw machines provide higher productivity.
What to Consider When Selecting a Sawing System
When trying to decide what sawing system works best for your application, consider the following:
- Required cutting rate (square inches of cut per minute, factoring in the linear speed and the thickness of the metal)
- Required floor spacing
- Cutting with coolant or dry
- Length accuracy
- Surface finish
- Future production increases
What are your needs and overall goals? Speak with one of our sawing experts for assistance. Once you answer these questions, you should be able to determine if a band saw machine or circular saw machine is more appropriate for your shop.
It's only fair to share...