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I asked a similar question here where I got some useful advice for selecting bandsaws in general. From the advice received I was able to select a few potentially interesting vertical woodcutting bandsaws.

This question is more specifically about what to consider when buying a Horizontal bandsaw for cutting metal stock, tubing, etc.

I assume there is some amount of overlap in the dimensions to consider such as:

  • Variable speed for multiple materials
  • Adjustable blade guides
  • Throat capacity

What are other dimensions to consider?

Are there any features that are clearly must-haves?

Because this tool will be used in a Hackspace/Makerspace it will be used by many different people on a wide variety of projects and probably with a wide variety of materials. It is also quite possible it'll be used for several hours a day (this is still unknown).

Our budget is roughly in the £1,000 to £3,000 range. Any advice would be appreciated.

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From my perspective, I cut lots of metal and cant live without my horizontal bandsaw, I cant tell you what is must-have, but I can tell you the features I like.

  • Auto off switch at the end of the cut (sometimes cutting large sections you dont want to sit at the saw.
  • Clampable vice which firmly holds the metal, and is degree adjustable BUT with quick release/adjustment coupler so you dont sit there winding the clamp to get the desired with.
  • Bin for cutting fluid should you buy the attachment to spray cutting fluid onto the blade.
  • A common blade size which is cheap and readily accessible
  • Hydraulic assisted arm which you can adjust the effective "weight" so that you can set the machine to apply a constant pressure to the cut.
  • An additional feature is a vice with 2 degrees of angle, (up down, Left right) - this will enable compound mitre cuts.
  • E-Stop, for when the blade snaps

Hope this helps

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