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How Does a Band Saw Work – Step By Step Instructions

how does a Band Saw work
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If you’ve been looking to renovate your home, you may have looked at different tools necessary to complete the job. You probably went out and got all the tools, and realized you don’t know how to use some tools. That’s alright, because this tutorial will help you learn how to use the tools properly so you don’t hurt yourself. You probably have looked at your band saw, and wondered how that thing is supposed to work. Luckily, this tutorial will go through every step to help you understand how a band saw works.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

Having the right equipment will ensure you are ready to use the band saw. To operate the band saw properly, you will need:


  • You should have the material you need to cut ready to go. You can use the band saw to cut wood, metal, or tiles for your home.


  • Gloves are useful for preventing splinters and flying objects. You will have a better grip on the material when you’re cutting


  • Different materials require different blades and blade sizes. Wider blades are good for thick woods and straight cuts. There should be enough teeth on the blades to cut through the material.


  • Using glasses will prevent any injuries to your eyes while you’re cutting the material. The last thing you want to happen is have a flying splinter coming right at your eye and you’re not protected.

Level Surface

  • Since most band saws are situated on a table, you should make sure the saw is on a flat or level surface. You should be able to lock the wheels to prevent it from rolling around while you’re cutting.

How to Use a Band Saw

Now for the tutorials part of the article. When you have all your material ready to go, here is what you can do to make sure the band saw works right for you.


  • Cleaning the band saw is the first step. Even though you might have cleaned it after the last time you used it, taking a few minutes before you start is a good way to make sure you have all the leftover dust and particles out of the way. This will go a long way to enhancing your cuts, and you won’t have to worry about any splinters flying up while you’re cutting.

Pick the Right Blade

  • You should make sure you have the best blade on for the material you’re cutting. You may need a finer blade to ensure your cuts are nice and thin. For larger cuts, you may need a wider blade. Knowing what you’re cutting and how you’re going to cut the material will help you decide which blade to use. There are lots of different blades available, so you should choose the right one for your needs. Otherwise, you can damage the machine.

Tightening the Blade

  • You should make sure the blade is tightened before you start cutting. Some band saws allow you to see where the blade is in relation to what you’re cutting, which helps you line up your exact cuts perfectly. You want to make sure there is enough tension on the saw blade, but not so much that it is too tight. This can cause the blade to break. Once you have the right tension set, you should be good to start cutting away.

Adjust the Blade Guide

  • The blade guide is a holder that will keep the blade in the right place, and keep it level. There are two guides for the blades, so you will need to adjust both spots to ensure the blade is held together. There is a blade guide that is set up higher than the other, so you should make sure you get both of them before you start cutting. The guides should be set close to the blade to ensure the blades makes the right cut for you.

Set the Blade Guard

  • The blade guard should be put into position before you start cutting. The blade guard should be close to the material you’re cutting to ensure nothing flies up while you’re cutting. Not only that, but it will protect your hands. When you’re cutting, you can be easily distracted, which can lead to an accident. The blade guard will protect your hands while you’re gently guiding the material through the saw.

Power up the Saw

  • Once the saw is prepared, you can start powering it up. If you don’t leave it plugged in while you’re using it, you can plug it in now. Once it’s plugged in, you can start it up. You may need to adjust the speed and the length of the blade before you start feeding the material through the saw. Make sure the blade is going the speed you want, and make your adjustments. Before gliding the material through the saw, you should make sure it is cutting through the material fine. If not, stop it, unplug it, and readjust the blade and the settings.

Cut Your Design

  • Once you’ve gotten everything exactly where you want it, you can start cutting through the material for the design you want. Whether you’re trying to go thick, thin, or just cut a straight edge, gently push the material through. You shouldn’t have to press too hard to get it to pass through the saw, and if you’re having difficulty, you may need to increase the speed. Follow your guide lines you drew on the material to ensure you’re following the right path you want for the design. This will help you save time when it comes to finishing up the design.

Resawing Material

  • There may be a time where you will need to go back and recut material into a smaller piece. You can do this by lowering the blade to the right height for the work piece. You should feed the material through the blade, while putting light pressure on the material. When you start to get closer to the saw blade, and your hands hit the blade guard, you can use a stick to push it the rest of the way. This will cut the remaining material and protect your fingers in the process.

Cutting an Arch or Circle

  • If you’re cutting an arch, you want to position the material on the table of the saw. Draw your guidelines to form the arch, and slowly start cutting the excess material off. You will want to slowly turn the material so it will follow the guidelines you’ve drawn. If you’re cutting a circle, you can drill a hole near the guide lines. Make sure the drill bit is large enough to fit the blade through, and feed the blade through the hole. You can start cutting, and rotating the material while you’re cutting will make a perfect circle for you.

Cutting Multiple Pieces

  • Band saws are great for cutting several pieces at the same time. If you want to cut the same material at the same length, you will need to stack the material on top of each piece. You can secure the pieces with some masking tape, and you will need to adjust the band saw’s foot to the proper height. You can feed the material through the blade at once, and you will have several pieces that are the same length and cut. If you have a lot of ground to cover, this is the perfect way to ensure you have more material cut the same size.

Making Straight Cuts

  • For straight cuts, band saws work great. However, there may be times where you notice your band saw may be drifting off a little bit. You can adjust the blade guides to help you remain cutting straight. One of the best ways to ensure the blade is in the right position is to place an index card between the guide and the blade. While the blade and guard shouldn’t touch, the space between the two shouldn’t be more than the index card. You can use an Allen wrench to fix this small problem, and adjust the blade accordingly.


After reading this tutorial, we hope you enjoyed learning how to use a band saw. While band saws make for useful tools on any construction project, there are simple tips and tricks you can use to enhance your band saw. From having the right materials, to adjusting the settings properly, you can complete any project you want to take on.

There are plenty of people that use band saws on a daily basis, but for those that aren’t too confident, we hope this article helped you with any questions you have. If you have any questions or recommendations, or want to share this information, feel free to leave a comment. If you enjoyed this article, and want to share it with your friends and family, feel free to share on your social media account.

3 thoughts on “How Does a Band Saw Work – Step By Step Instructions”

  1. If I was into production work, I would make sure to install the optimal blade. However, personally, one day I might be cutting bowl blanks on the band saw and the next day I might be cutting out a chess piece. Even though I can probably change blades in under 2 minutes, I usually just leave a 1/4″ x 6 TPI blade on the saw. This allows me to cut very tight curves but still does an “okay” job on straight cuts. Thanks, Bill

  2. Great piece on how a bandsaw works. I thought I knew pretty much everything about bandsaws, but I actually learned a few new things reading this. I have a fair bit of experience with woodworking, and until recently I was using an old bandsaw that used to belong to my cousin. The blade basically turned to crap, and long story short, it’s no longer usable; now I’m looking for a good bandsaw to buy that’s easy to operate and delivers good performance. I have my eye on a few interesting models that I hear are very popular and do a great job for the price. I have checked out some sites for ideas from other site; for example, mentions some Rikon, JET and Grizzly models, but nothing else. Sorry if there’s a link somewhere on this page, but do you guys have any buying guide with recommendations for specific models of bandsaw?

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