Bandsaws for Cutting Metal and Wood
I plan to buy a bandsaw, and I’d like one that can cut metal as
well as wood. I’ve seen some two-speed bandsaws advertised.
How well do they work to cut metal?
The slow speed on most two-speed bandsaws is only slightly
reduced from the normal 3,000 feet per minute (fpm) to around
2,500 fpm. The slower speed is designed to provide more power for resawing
wide stock, not to slow the blade enough for cutting metal. Dedicated metal
cutting bandsaws cut at speeds between 25 and 200 fpm, depending on the metal
and thickness of the stock. In a pinch, you can cut soft, nonferrous metals like
brass or aluminum on a woodworking bandsaw using a metal cutting blade, but
the blade speed is far too fast for cutting steel or iron.
This story originally appeared in American Woodworker October 2006, issue #124.