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Horizontal Vs Vertical Band Saw: Which One is Better for You?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: December 26, 2021

The band saw is one of the most powerful and useful tools for every workshop. This machine can make both irregular and curved shapes, and it is not limited to wood only, since it is powerful enough to cut through hard and wide materials.

There are two main types of band saws – horizontal and vertical. We know it may be hard to make the perfect choice for you, that’s why here we are going to make comparisons between the two types to help you in your bandsaw journey!

General Overview

In general, vertical and horizontal band saws have some similarities, but the differences are more. The horizontal type is limited in its ability to cut intricate details, while the vertical one can do detailed cuts with ease, but needs more human intervention. 

The horizontal type of band saw is better when it comes to cutting through harder materials such as metal, aluminum, while the vertical type of band saw works better with soft materials.

Furthermore, you are most likely to see a DIYer using a vertical bandsaw, since it is smaller, portable and easier to be used. However, in a professional workshop you will surely see a horizontal band saw, because it is a massive and powerful machine that can accomplish many tasks with ease.

Vertical Band Saw


The vertical band saw is an amazing machine, here is more information about it.

What is it?

The vertical band saw is also known as a powerful machine, easy to use and ideal for home workshops where smaller pieces of work are handled. It is not large, and it does not need a lot of storage space.

To operate a vertical band saw, you will have to move the workpiece in order to make cuts, while the blade will remain stationary. This makes it a more dangerous option than other saws. However, with the vertical band saw you can make precise cuts and detailed designs.

Functionality


As we already mentioned, the vertical band saw is not as safe as the horizontal band saw, since it can not function without an operator that has to feed the material into the machine. That’s why it is considered to be dangerous in some situations.

However, it can make complicated cuts, shapes and edges. It doesn’t consume a lot of electricity and it tends to be less expensive, thanks to its size. They are easy to use and this makes them ideal for beginners and DIYers.

Versatility

The horizontal band saws can work better with small workpieces. It can make detailed cuts, but working with bigger and wider materials may not be possible. It requires less power and it can produce finished shapes with ease.

Most of these machines do not only cut, but also weld. They have welders that can create special blades for specific projects, or repair old ones. However, safety measures should always be taken when it comes to this type of saw.

When to use a vertical band saw?

If you have a small workshop and you do not have a lot of storage space, then you definitely need a vertical band saw. If you are going to make precise cuts, detailed designs and edges then you can only use this type of saw.

If you are a professional you can use a vertical band saw, but it is most often used by hobbyists and DIYers. Even though this type of saw is easy to use, It is better if you have experience, since dangerous situations may appear sometimes.

Pros: 

  • it can cut through a lot of materials
  • does not require a lot of power
  • can make curved shapes, detailed cuts and angles.
  • perfect for home projects

Cons:

  • Can’t handle large and wide materials
  • Dangerous to operate with it, because the material has to be moved through the blade with your own hands.

Horizontal Band Saw


The horizontal band saw is a great option and here you are going to learn more about it.

What is it?

The horizontal band saw is a useful tool that can perform straight and hard cuts. It looks like a metal box and is most often used in industries and companies by professionals.

To operate it you should hold your piece of work stationary while you put the blade through it. It is often referred to as the giant of all band saws thanks to its size. However, this band saw is also one of the most silent options available on the market.

Functionality


The horizontal band saws are using long blades to cut through large pieces of hard materials. It is excellent at making straight cuts. Furthermore, it can work with different blades which gives the owner the ability to experiment.

In addition, the horizontal band saw has the ability to perform cutting tasks automatically, which makes it a safe and easy machine to use.However, this band saw is pretty big and it may be hard to store it.

Versatility

When it comes to versatility, the horizontal band saw is one amazing choice. Thanks to its powerful motor and great size it can make cuts through almost any material. It is usable with wood, but it can be used with hard materials such as metal, aluminum and steel. This type of saw can even work with plastics.

When to use a horizontal band saw?

If you have a lot of storage space, then you can afford getting a horizontal band saw. It is the perfect choice for people that have to make routine cuts into large and hard materials. If you are going to cut through different materials such as titanium, graphite, metals and plastics, you need a powerful machine such as a horizontal band saw.

You will need some experience to use this machine, but you can be sure that it is one of the safest options in the market, since you can leave it to make the cuts automatically. Furthermore, it can perform great straight cuts because the material will not be moving.

Pros: 

  • It can be used for cutting different hard materials such as metals, plastic and wood.
  • Extremely powerful machine, but quite at the same time.
  • Safer than other saws, it can run automatically.

Cons:

  • Very large in size, needs a lot of storage space
  • It can’t make curved shapes and detailed cuts.

Best Selling Horizontal Band Saws

Similarities between Horizontal and Vertical Band Saw

There are not a lot of similarities between horizontal and vertical band saw. However, both of the machines can work with various blades and cut through different types of materials. Both of them are powerful enough, and used by many people.

Differences between Horizontal and Vertical Band Saw

There are several main differences between the horizontal and vertical bandsaw. Firstly, the horizontal type can make cuts through the hardest metals such as stainless steel, while the vertical type can cut only soft materials such as structural steel.

Secondly, the vertical type is used to cut curves and detailed shapes, while the horizontal type can not make detailed cuts. The horizontal band saws blades tend to have a longer lifespan than the other type.

Furthermore, the horizontal band saw is used mainly in industrial workshops and by professionals, while the horizontal type is most often used by DIYers and beginners that have small to medium size workshops.

Conclusion

To conclude we can say that both horizontal and vertical band saws are amazing machines that give their owner many opportunities. If you are going to cut large and hard materials, then you will need a horizontal band saw. However, if you are cutting smaller and thicker pieces of material and you want to make curved cuts, then a vertical band saw will be perfect for you.

You should make your decision based on the tasks you are going to accomplish. We hope we were helpful enough for you! Good luck with your bandsaw journey!

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