What is the best way of sawing small sections?
- Peter Dawber
Should you choose a circular saw or a pull down bandsaw? Many workshops would use a circular saw - otherwise known as a chop saw or cold saw - as the default machine for cutting box section, small angles, channels and circular hollow section. Actually in most cases they would benefit from switching to a pull down bandsaw.
While circular saws can cope quite well with cutting these products they are typically quite noisy with a lot of vibration when cutting. When cutting square or rectangular hollow section, especially at the higher end of their capacity, they can also be quite slow. So, what are the advantages of a pull down bandsaw?
Quicker cutting on box and rectangular section
Cutting with a band rather than a circular blade has significant time saving when cutting across the width at the bottom of rectangular section. Cutting a product of maybe 150mm wide with a circular blade makes little sense when compared to cutting with a band across the whole width.
Ease of use
A pull down bandsaw is a lot less noisy and cuts with much less vibration than a circular saw. Anyone that has a circular saw cutting next to an office will know that it’s difficult to carry on a conversation when in use! With a pull down bandsaw it would be possible to carry on a phone conversation while using the machine.
Cost of saw blades
Bandsaw blades are a lot less costly than circular saw blades and are scrapped after use. A circular saw blade needs re-sharpening at intervals and loses capacity each time material is removed from the blade. Overall using bandsaw blades would be expected to cost less and involve less inconvenience.
What else should you consider? Are there situations when a circular saw is better or shouldn’t be used at all?
Cutting thin wall tube
When cutting thin wall tube, especially stainless steel, some fabricators will insist that a circular saw is more accurate. While similar results can be obtained using the correct tooth pitch on a bandsaw, if this is the only use for the machine then a circular saw may still be preferred for this application.
Cutting solid bars
Circular saws do struggle with solid bar especially when cutting stainless steel or high tensile material such as rebar. Cutting these materials causes a lot of vibration and can result in premature wear to the machine. A pull down bandsaw will cut these easily and quickly and would nearly always be the preferred choice.
Still unsure which machine to purchase?
Why not visit a machinery showroom and trial both machines side by side on your material? This is normally conclusive in a very short space of time! Contact Bison Machinery to arrange a demonstration.