I've been tasked with looking into Band Saw models which could be useful for in a Hackspace/Makerspace. This means the saw will be used fairly frequently, by many people, for a wide variety of tasks.
Ideally we'd like to be able to work with wood and metal. With this in mind we were considering getting a Vertical band saw for wood and a Horizontal one for metal.
My preliminary research has shown me a few dimensions to consider. They are
- Floor-standing cabinet model
- Depth of cut
- Throat capacity
- Size of motor
- 3/4 to 1 horsepower for most home models.
- Professional models will have larger motors with Variable Speed. This is convenient for switching from wood to metal work.
- should have a cast-iron, steel or aluminum alloy table
- should tilt up to 45-degrees for angled cuts.
- are typically be about 16-inches in both width and length
- best to equip it with a miter track
- Blade momentum
- Thicker blades have higher momentum, which helps prevent binding.
- Blade length
- Try to find a machine that uses common blade lengths
- Not sure what this is. I've heard I should aim to have one.
In terms of models the only brand I've looked at so far is Start Rite, but I have to be honest, I'm completely lost.
So, I guess my question boils down to:
Which features are must-haves for a Hackspace/Makerspace setup, and why? Am I on the right track?
Our budget would be in the £1,000 to £6,000 range.
I realise now that the scope of this question is might have been a bit too broad. I've received some good advice for vertical band saws (thank you) and have narrowed it down to two models. Ideally I'd spend a few weeks researching this, but unfortunately I don't have that time... so for now my picks are:
I'll probably start a new question specifically for the horizontal metal band saw.