For many metalworking shops, owning both a band saw and a circular cold saw is ideal. These powerful machines are reliable and increase production output. But due to budget issues, shops often choose one or the other.
Making the wrong choice hurts your short-term productivity. In the long run, it can limit your chances of earning clients that need certain cuts in specific material.
To help you make the right choice, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of band saws and circular cold saws.
The Pros and Cons of Band Saws
Band Saw Pros:
Above all else, most band saws are versatile and affordable. With gear speed and horsepower ratings that vary by design, they cut a wide range of materials. These include metals and non-metals. What’s more, they capably cut thick materials that other saws struggle to handle. This makes band saws the go-to option for layer- and bundle-cutting. Plus, programmable work stations let these saws complete repetitive, heavy-duty jobs.
Band Saw Cons:
Unfortunately, band saws don’t achieve the same high-quality surface finishes as circular cold saws. And although some band saws were built to cut miters, many shops avoid using them for this purpose. Instead, they use circular saws for their efficiency and ease-of-use.
The Pros and Cons of Circular Cold Saws
Circular Cold Saw Pros:
All grades of steel as well as stainless and high carbon materials lend themselves to cold saws. They are often used for cutting thin wall tubing where the quality of the cut is critical. They quickly enter and exit steel without creating excess heat. As a result, these saws deliver clean and straight cuts that don’t need secondary finishing operations. Due to these qualities, circular cold saws are ideal for a variety of materials and profiles.
Circular Cold Saw Cons:
Circular cold saws have a clear disadvantage when it comes to large material. Generally, they can only deal with diameters under six inches. Though you can use cold saws for layer- and bundle-cuts, they only handle small material.
The Right Saw for Your Shop
Each shop has a unique set of needs. It’s important to choose a saw that addresses these needs and ensures you will meet production goals.
Look for a band saw if your shop:
- Cuts thick metals
- Must produce clean cuts on a wide-range of material and sizes
- Does a large amount of bundle- and layer-cutting
- Is looking for an affordable option
Look for a circular cold saw if your shop:
- Cuts materials that generally aren’t too large
- Does a large amount of miter cutting
- Must produce clean finishes that require no secondary operations
- Needs to avoid heating material or creating burrs on cut edges
- Is willing to pay more, but receive a higher ROI
Remember, these saws are long-term investments. Consider your shop’s current and future needs when you’re making a choice. The right saw will boost your profitability and efficiency for years.
>>Interested in a new saw, or still debating which kind to buy? Contact Westway Machinery today for expert advice and unbeatable selection.
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