What is a Band Saw Used For?

what is a band saw used for

Your home workshop may be in need of another cutting device that can make accurate cuts in a variety of configurations. A band saw would be an ideal addition to your workspace. It is the perfect machine to make precision cuts in a series of angles, curves, and straightedges. 

With a band saw, you will be able to expand your woodworking abilities as well as your capabilities to cut a range of different material types.

Even with these advantages, you may be wondering what is a band saw used for and if it is right for you. 

We’ve helped to provide you the answer to this question. Check to see if a band saw would enhance your woodworking skills.

A woodworker makes precise cuts with a bandsaw

​Band Saw Applications

There are a lot of different ways you can use this saw, but we'll go through the most common ones.

Intricate Cuts

A band saw is most commonly used to make intricate cuts in wood, metal, or plastic. It works better than the majority of other saws on the market.

This versatile cutting device incorporates a long, circular blade to make these cuts. The long, sharp edge of the blade is able to flex and cut in a variety of directions as you move your piece of wood.

A tabletop surface supports your band saw and provides you support to rest and move your wood item as necessary when cutting. You will see a band saw used most often in woodworking projects that need precise and jigsaw type cuts.

Because a band saw allows you to turn your wood piece to create a curve, you can get very precise cuts to create a custom and unique shape. Unlike the scroll saw, the band saw can achieve this precision with really thick wood. 


Resawing involves cutting a board across its thickness. This is a very challenging cut to make for most saws (and quite dangerous, in some cases). However, the band saw was built to handle it with ease.

Many woodworkers own a top notch bandsaw just for this type of cut alone.

Rip Cuts

Band saws are also used to rip lumber into strips as it provides a thin cutting edge that does not splinter the wood. The wood then can be cut to varying dimensions with ease.

Rip cuts are similar to resawing. The difference is that rip cuts are any cuts across grain, whereas resawing is the specific process of cutting a board across its thickness.

Often you would use a table saw for rip cuts, as they are perfectly designed for this. But, if you don't own this type of saw, a bandsaw makes a very ample substitute.

Metal Cuts

You can also use a band saw in metalworking applications if you have the right blade for the application. Here, your band saw will seamlessly cut through dense metals, providing you an accurate cut exactly where you need it.

​Band Saw Benefits

The main benefit of using a band saw is its ability to cut to the exact template you have designed for your woodworking piece. This will create a personalized wood project that has an individualized look to it.

intricate cuts for woodworking projects
main benefit of using band saw

The curving ability of the blade makes it possible to create virtually any type of cut you would need to create cabinetry pieces, molding, craft items, and furniture. You are able to cut according to the guide you have created for your band saw to follow. This leaves very little waste or roughness as you work.

Your band saw will increase your capabilities in your workshop as you will find you can build a variety of wood pieces with little to no hassle. By simply moving your wood piece along the guided line you have created, you can cut savvy designs and cutouts. These can easily be repeated to create complementary wood projects.

​Band Saw Types

There are several different types of band saws to consider for use in your home. Choosing the right type of band saw for your application can help provide you with the right tool for the job. It will give you all the versatility you need while making sure your cutting project is done to the highest standard and quality.

These are the most commonly purchased band saws and what they can be used for:

  • Metal band saw:

As you may have figured out a metal band saw is used to cut metal. These saws come in vertical and horizontal models and can be used to cut metal pieces down or make contoured cuts. They can cut through dense metals and provide a precise cut right where it is needed.

  • Wood band saw:

If you are engaging in woodworking projects, you would opt to invest in a wood band saw. These types of saws range in size from smaller home use models to very large timber stripping models used in commercial and industrial applications.

  • Meat band saw:

Band saws are even used by butchers to cut down meat. They are constructed of stainless steel and are designed to be cleaned regularly to remain sanitary for the meat they cut.

  • Horizontal band saw:

If you are looking for a band saw where you can easily cut wood material down to size, a horizontal band saw will provide you the optimum tool. These saws are ideal for woodworkers but do not allow for very intricate cutting.

They are more of a cutdown saw that will allow you to take larger wood pieces and cut them to size. They can also cut plastics and metal.

  • Vertical band saw:

This type of saw is really ideal for woodworkers as it allows you to make straight cuts like a horizontal saw while also providing the ability to make contoured and precision cuts. This type of saw will give you the most versatility when cutting and allow you make most any type of wood project you have in mind.

  • Portable band saw:

Band saws are also made into portable or handheld models that allow you to move them around your workshop with ease. Like a vertical band saw, these saws have a range of capabilities that allow for cutting straightedges, contours, curves, angles, and irregular shapes.

This is an ideal saw for a woodworker who doesn’t have space for a full tabletop or cabinet band saw, but wants all the abilities that a vertical band saw offers.


Hopefully, you have a full understanding of what is a band saw used for and can identify how it can help you to perform you a range of cutting applications.

Choosing the right band saw for the job is key to producing a successful result in your wood, metal, or plastic project. It will also ensure you are able to get the most use and function out of your band saw no matter what type of application you have planned for it.

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