Band saws are certainly the most effective of all machine tools used in a workshop, and horizontal and vertical band saws are the two broadly classified types. In general, a best horizontal band saw is used to cut through hard metals, such as steel, which is mainly because of their ability to swivel easily, allowing you to make angular cuts.
When you use a horizontal band saw, your workpiece will be held stable and you will be able to make a cut by swinging the saw through it. Depending on your project requirements, you can use the saw to make both thin and thick cuts, and one of the highlights of the best horizontal band saw is that you can make a precise cut every single time.
Horizontal band saws are commonly known to be quiet in operation, especially when compared to the other power tools you would use. Furthermore, these machines are also known for not making a lot of mess, and since cleaning up after a sawing job is a huge concern for several workers, this benefit makes it one of the most preferred tools. In addition, these band saws can be used not just to cut metals, but also for a wide range of other materials, including plastics, graphite, soft metal, wood, and a lot more.
A horizontal band saw is widely used in larger companies, stores, and workshops, not just because of their size, but because they help cut larger pieces of stock to any required length. And since there are machines that can be set up to make cuts automatically, it makes the sawing job much easier for workers.
Top 5 Best Horizontal Band Saws 2020
1. WEN 3970T Metal-Cutting Horizontal Band Saw
Established in 1951, WEN is one of the few brands in the power tools industry that has been operating for decades now. The brand has produced a wide range of everyday tools, including chainsaws, pressure washers, snowblowers, generators, and accessories for the same. When you invest in a best horizontal band saw, you would obviously expect it to deliver consistent performance, which is exactly what the WEN 3970T is capable of doing.
Before anything, the highlighting feature of this horizontal saw is its ability to be converted into a vertical band saw in just seconds. Hence, you wouldn’t have to invest in a separate vertical unit. The machine comes with a stand, which has a pair of wheels, and this makes the unit a portable one.
It is rightly named Metal-Cutting Band Saw because it can be used to cut steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and a lot of other metal types easily, by adjusting the blade speed between 80, 120, and 200 feet per minute. The saw is able to deliver consistent sawing performance in both horizontal and vertical modes, regardless of whether you choose to bundle cut or make individual cuts. Priced under $400, this is an affordable model, and the features and performance you get for the amount are definitely worth it.
2. Grizzly Industrial G0561 Horizontal Band Saw
Grizzly Industrial, Inc., established in 1983, is one of the leading and largest machinery companies in the US, producing a wide range of tools that can be used in smaller machine shops and large industrial workshops alike. The Grizzly G0561 horizontal band saw is one of the bestselling units in the category, which is of high quality and comes with various features that can assist you in your fabrication project.
While the overall design of this machine is quite standard, what’s interesting is the inclusion of the hydraulic feed control, which basically allows you to use the saw without being concerned about encountering issues like muscle pain or fatigue. The machine is made from strong and durable materials, which in turn improve the durability of the saw itself. The wheels here are made from cast-iron and also come with heavy-duty ball bearings, which help improve the portability and stability of the unit.
The G0561 Band saw has the ability to operate vertically as well, and the adjustable blade guides on the saw allow you to saw material blocks of different dimensions easily and efficiently. The saw also has an automatic shut off switch, which is an essential safety feature. Though the machine is designed to cut metals, you can use it to saw other materials as well, with the right settings.
3. Shop Fox W1715 Band Saw
Operating in the industry for more than 25 years as the machinery line for Woodstock International, Shop Fox has slowly become one of the top brands in the country to produce metalworking and woodworking tools. Some of the products from the company include wood and metal lathes, table saws, dust collectors, drill presses, and a whole lot of other machinery for both DIY and commercial workers.
The Shop Fox W1715 horizontal band saw is one versatile machine that offers great quality and value for the price you pay. If you are looking for a multifaceted machine that is capable of handling almost any project you throw at it, then this could just be the one. Similar to some of the other saws on our list, even this horizontal band saw can be used for vertical cutting as well, which increases the number and types of cuts you can make with the machine. It has handles and wheels, which in addition to the built-in mobile base, make maneuvering the unit easy.
The W1715 allows you to make cuts in three different speeds – 78, 108, and 180 FPM, which you can adjust using the V-belt placement. With these different speeds, you can saw different materials that come in varying thicknesses. By choosing the higher speeds, you can also make bundle cuts whenever required. This horizontal band saw from Shop Fox is a bit highly-priced than some of the other models in the category, and the product comes with a 2-year warranty.
4. Eastwood Horizontal Bandsaw
Eastwood is one of the very few companies in the power tools and machinery industry that manufactures products with DIYers in mind. Over the years, the brand’s products also captured the interests of professional fabricators and woodworkers, and are now some of the widely used tools across workshops and home garages all around the country.
The Eastwood Band Saw is a heavy-duty machine built to be of professional quality, but priced reasonably, which together make it an attractive buy. As the name suggests, this band saw can be used both horizontally and vertically. The whole unit comes with a couple of rear roller wheels for easy transportation, and there is also a heavy-duty stand with built-in tool tray for easy access of tools without them getting in your way while sawing.
The 1HP motor on the machine makes it powerful enough to handle all DIY tasks and a wide range of professional sawing jobs as well. There are three cutting speeds you can choose from – 80, 120, and 200 FPM – to cut materials of different sizes and types. In addition, the band saw is capable of making angled cuts from 0 to 55 degrees, making it a suitable choice for many projects.
5. JET 414559 Horizontal Band Saw
Started in 1958, JET Tools is yet again a top brand that offers woodworking, metalworking, and air tools, and their tools lineup includes bandsaws, table saws, dust collectors, lathes, milling tools, drilling tools, grinding tools, and also lifting systems.
The JET 414550 Horizontal Bandsaw from the brand is basically a metalworking bandsaw, which has the ability to handle even some of the toughest tasks you have going. The design of the machine is rather simple, with no bells and whistles. Though there are wheels attached to the unit to make it portable, they are just rubber wheels, which means you can expect them to wear down with constant use.
The motor you get with the machine is a 3/4HP motor, which some of you may not find sufficient for larger metal or woodworks. The stand has a built-in storage cabinet and chip tray, which is a useful addition, and there is also the auto shut-off feature, which will shut the machine off after a cut for safety reasons. The unit comes with a 2-year warranty.
Horizontal Band Saw Buyer’s Guide
If you are thinking about investing in a horizontal band saw for your workshop, know that this is not a decision that you can make easily, simply because there are a lot of different models from several manufacturers available in the market. So, to make sure that the best horizontal band saw you choose will best suit your needs, there are a few factors you should consider or features you should look for, which are as follows:
Manual, Automatic, or Semi-Automatic
Manual horizontal band saws happen to be the most widely used type of the three, and these work great as entry-level options. As the name suggests, with a manual saw, you will be required to load the workpiece into the machine, clamp it, and start cutting, every single action manually. And once the cutting action is complete, the saw will shut down. Of course, these saws do provide hydraulic assistance, but that is pretty much it, and everything else requires manual assistance.
Semi-automatic horizontal band saws enable you to perform the single cutting of different materials easily, quickly, as well as efficiently. With these machines, you can have many of your tasks automated, such as workpiece clamping, starting of the saw blade, implementing blade speed variations, maintaining blade tension, and more. However, there are tasks that require your intervention.
Automatic horizontal band saws, as the name suggests, perform the entire sawing process, right from the very beginning to the end, on their own, and only need you to load the workpiece and begin the program sequence. Since these machines work based on pre-set programs, you can set it up to make multiple cuts of different lengths and different angles, making the job completely easy for you.
Similar to the construction of any power tool, the best horizontal band saws should also be built using high quality and extremely sturdy materials, like cast iron, steel, etc. This makes sure that the unit can withstand the level of force it exerts to make the cuts you need. Also, the use of such sturdy materials will help with vibration dampening, thereby enabling the machine to make precise cuts.
When you are working on a fabrication project, you are likely to encounter times where miter cutting becomes an absolute necessity for completion, and at times, miter cuts could be the way to make the end result more appealing. A horizontal band saw that allows you to make miter cuts would be one of the most viable features to have in any workshop.
Depending on the material you work on, the speed of the horizontal band saw will differ accordingly. In general, harder material should be sawed at slower speeds, whereas softer materials can be sawed apart at higher speeds. When you choose your machine, making sure that it offers variable speeds will be helpful for a lot of your projects.
This is a feature you can commonly find in automatic horizontal band saws, with which you can cut materials in bundles, rather than sawing one piece at a time, thus saving a lot of time, effort, and other resources. Bundle cuts are typically done for materials like tubes, pipes, bar stocks, etc., which come pre-bound from suppliers.
Cutting capacity of the horizontal saw you choose depends on the type of project you normally undertake. With these machines, as their cutting capacity increases, so will their horsepower to facilitate the same, which in turn will increase their pricing as well. A wise way to choose your saw’s cutting capacity would be to go a couple of inches higher than the type and size of materials you regularly cut in your workshop.
While most horizontal band saws models come with this feature, it is always best to double-check the same. Having a safety switch on your machine will prevent unforeseen accidents by making sure that the ON switch doesn’t turn on accidentally.
The table refers to the surface where you will place the material that needs to be sawed. The table you get should be neither too high nor too low, but positioned at a height comfortable to you, with proper traction on the floor. The legs of the table should be properly balanced and not wobbly, as this helps prevent safety hazards on the work floor. If your workshop is huge and you will be moving the machine around at times, you may look at getting a roller stand, which will make the maneuver easy.
Without a doubt, the blades you will be using in your horizontal band saw is a vital factor to be considered when you invest in the machine. In general, blades come with standard tooth counts of 6, 8, 10 teeth-per-inch (TPI), which will be suitable for general-purpose sawing performance. However, you should think about investing in a variable-pitch blade, in which the variable-pitch teeth, like 10 to 14 TPI, etc., enable the blade to saw almost all material types.
Yes, a horizontal band saw is an important tool to add to your arsenal; but, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t have a limited budget. So, as always, your budget is another aspect to consider when making your purchase. But, also keep in mind that a machine that falls within your budget may not always be the one that fits your needs. Therefore, know what you need to get your projects done efficiently and plan accordingly.
A horizontal band saw is an amazing tool that will be of help to you in a variety of ways. The ability to produce precise cuts even on larger pieces of the material makes it a highly viable machine to have in any workshop. The saws that we have reviewed above will serve different purposes of different buyers, which means you are most likely to find a model that is ideal to complete your projects.