The business of buying machinery is vast and varied. It can actually be quite difficult to navigate at times – especially when two pieces of equipment seem so similar. When buying a bandsaw and bandsaw blades in particular, it may feel like you almost can’t tell two different products apart. How do you choose? In this blog, our four-step guide will help you answer that question.
#1: Know the intended purpose of the bandsaw
Before you invest time and money into researching all the different kinds of bandsaws, you need to be very clear on what exactly your ideal piece of machinery needs to be able to do. Some bandsaw blades are specifically designed for a certain type of cut, while others are relatively flexible – as far as bandsaws go.
Knowing what you want from a bandsaw helps you steer away from unsuitable machinery. For example, knowing that you need a bandsaw that will produce high-quality cuts of aluminium at the lowest cost-per-cut rate will mean you need to avoid machinery that is more suitable for thin wall tubing.
These are some questions you should be able to answer before looking for a bandsaw:
- What sort of material are you cutting?
- What kind of budget are you looking at?
- How durable do you need the bandsaw to be?
#2: Consider the characteristics of the blade
A bandsaw blade is surprisingly more complex than it seems. There are a lot of variables to consider that involve the blade alone. You need to consider the following blade characteristics:
- Wear resistance. Constant impact on materials is the most common way for bandsaw blades (especially tooth tips) to wear down. For instance, the simple act of cutting a tube exposes the tooth tips to two points of impact: the initial cut, then the second cut, which comes after an open space. The second cut is often far more impactful due to the open space that precedes it. This constant impact is then what causes tooth tips to wear down. As such, it’s important to find a blade that is suitable for the material you are cutting so that it is resistant to wear – in this case, you want to find a blade that is best for tube cutting.
- Blade width. This is typically measured from the tips of the teeth all the way to the back of the blade. Unless you are cutting contours or finer details, you should be using the widest blade that your bandsaw can fit.
- Tooth rake. This is the angle at which the tooth face is tilting, relative to the back of the blade. A positive tooth rake is best for cutting things like tubing, while a straight (or less positive) tooth rake is better for heavier bundles.
- Tooth type. There is a range of shapes available for bandsaw tooth blades. For example, the hook tooth is typically used to cut softer materials (such as nonferrous metals, wood and plastic).
- Blade pitch. This is the distance between two tooth tips. A ‘fine pitch’ refers to a lower distance between tips, while a ‘coarse pitch’ means that the distance is greater. A fine pitch is typically used for cutting thinner materials. In contrast, a coarse pitch is used for thicker sections.
#3: Think about all the variables before you make your choice
Additional variables must also be considered before you purchase a bandsaw. You should note:
- The condition of the equipment. Are you buying your bandsaw in a used condition? If so, you need to ensure you physically inspect it. You also need to check that the seller is reliable and that they will sell a used machine that is of good quality.
- The upkeep required to maintain the bandsaw. Pay attention to signs of wear; these indicate that the machine may need to be tweaked or fixed. As well as this, you need to know what kind of coolant is appropriate for your bandsaw blade. The correct coolant helps to maintain the life of the blade and can even improve the cut.
- How skilled your workers are. For the safety of your workers, you must ensure that adequate training is provided before they begin to operate a new piece of equipment. Those using the bandsaw should be able to troubleshoot, report any problems, and handle the equipment safely.
#4: Ask a trusted seller
Consulting a trusted seller can help you make your decision based on the expert analysis of your specific situation. As an established and reputable company, Acra Machinery has been trusted as a business for more than 40 years. With over 150 years of combined experience, our staff are rich with knowledge and can assist with any queries you may have about buying machinery.
Contact us today on 03 9794 6675 for any further enquiries on buying our new and used machinery.