Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the difference between an automatic saw and a semi-automatic saw?

An automatic saw will continue to automatically feed material and make cuts according to a specific program, until the job is complete or the saw runs out of material. A semi-automatic saw will make one cut, raise the blade back up out of the material and stop. The material must than be repositioned by the operator in order to make another cut.

Why do similar size saws from various manufacturers, often utilize different width blades?

A wider saw blade generates better quality cuts and holds closer tolerances, and also offers extended blade life over a smaller blade, due to its greater beam strength. However, to be effective these wider blades require greater band tension, which certain saw designs cannot maintain. It requires a very rigid and strong saw to stand up to the blade tension requirements (often as high as 65,000 pounds). A fabricated or lightweight saw simply cannot hold the higher tension requirements of a wider blade, and therefore is forced to use a smaller size blade. (Ex: Utilizing a 1 1/2" blade in lieu of a 1 1/4" supplies 117% greater beam strength).

What is the advantage of a horizontal saw over a swing frame saw?

A horizontal saw, particularly one utilizing dual column design, is much more rigid than the unsupported head in a swing frame design. A swing frame saw can generally not maintain the equivalent band tension of a horizontal saw, thus causing squareness problems. A swing frame design has a much longer cutting path requiring longer cut times and has wider guide spacing which has less support for, and thus shorter blade life.

When should I consider a circular saw over a band saw and vice versa?

Historically, the primary advantage of circular sawing has always been recognized as speed of cutting. With the advancement in band saw technology and their improved bundle cutting capabilities however, this argument has been somewhat diminished. The primary considerations are generally based on diameter and finish. When looking for fast cutting of single piece smaller diameter material, a circular saw may be preferable.

Is a saw with higher horsepower going to deliver better performance than those with less horsepower?

Some manufacturers promote their higher horsepower as a selling feature over competitors. However, it is critical to recognize that horsepower is not the determining criteria on saw performance, but instead it is how much torque is delivered to the band wheels. The amount of torque delivered to the wheels is based on the quality and ratio of the gearbox. Today, the higher technology saws can both run more efficiently and deliver more torque to the band wheels, with lower horsepower than on older saws.