A metal cutting band saw is a band saw which has been specifically designed for use in cutting metals. While regular band saws can sometimes be equipped with blades which are capable of handling metal, they lack the special features of a true metal cutting band saw, which has been expressly customized for use in working with metals. These devices are manufactured by several companies, and they can be purchased through hardware stores or directly through manufacturers, depending on the specifications a consumer needs.
Band saws work by running a toothed belt between two wheels. When the band saw is turned on, the belt starts moving, allowing the operator to run objects though the saw to cut them. One of the advantages to a band saw is that it cuts very evenly, with a highly regular distribution of pressure. Another is that band saws can be used for curved, complex, or freehand cuts for which other kinds of saws are not appropriate.
In the case of a metal cutting band saw, the machine usually has a source of lubrication and cooling for the blade which is designed to prevent the blade from overheating while it cuts. This is especially important with thick or hard metals. Water is a simple form of lubricant, although others are available, with the liquid classically pouring continuously over the blade as the band saw is in operation. The coolant makes the band saw safer and more reliable to operate, and prolongs the life of the blade.
A metal cutting band saw can also be mounted with brushers which continuously clean the blade to remove burrs, chips of metal, and clumps of material. These brushers keep the surface of the blade clean, ensuring a clean cut which will result in crisp edges. Keeping the blade clean also keeps the pressure even, and reduces the risk of accidents, false cuts, and other problems in addition to limiting wear on the blade so that it will last longer.
Both bench-mounted and floor-mounted models of the metal cutting band saw are available, as well as models which can accommodate a range of blade types of and sizes for various applications. Vertical and horizontal metal cutting band saw options are also available. When evaluating band saws for purchase, consumers should think about the type of metal they will be cutting and the kind of cuts they meet to make, and they may want to think about the metal cutting band saw blades they will be using, as they want to be sure that they purchase a saw which will accommodate the blades they want to use.