Bandsaws are very useful tools but mostly used in workshops rather than at home. Bandsaws can be used for cutting a variety of materials, not just wood. If you are into woodworking, a cheap bandsaw can be worth considering. It can save you a lot of time.
The bandsaw is older than most people think. The first bandsaws were developed in the first half of the 19th century. The early bandsaws were large but thanks to improved technology, bandsaws have become both smaller and cheaper.
As mentioned, in workshops the bandsaw is a very useful power tool. A bandsaw wastes less material than a circular saw. With the right blade, bandsaws can cut most materials. But if you are serious about woodworking, a bandsaw can be sound investment. But unfortunately, good bandsaws are relatively expensive.
So for what tasks are bandsaws good for? If you do a lot of wood turning, a bandsaw is the quickest way to prepare blanks. Sawing curves and cutting wedges are examples of work done quickest and easiest with a bandsaw.
The bandsaw is the best choice for resawing. Resawing means sawing lumber lengthwise into two smaller pieces. Although resawing using a bandsaw looks easy, you need to get three things right. First you need to use the right blade, too many teeth and you will be wasting wood. Next, the blade tension has to be right, too little tension and the blade may start move erratically. Lastly, you need to feed at the right speed. This takes some practice to get right.
But of course everything you can do with a bandsaw can also be done by cheaper tools. It will take longer and can be more awkward but you can get the same end result with other tools as well.
One of the main advantages of a bandsaw is that the blade is going in only one direction, no problems with kickbacks or bouncing. Most people who get used to using a bandsaw, can’t understand how they ever got by without one.
Obviously, a good bandsaw is not good enough. You need good blades as well. A good bandsaw with a poor blade will not produce good results. And as you probably already guessed, good blades can be expensive. But it is well worth investing in a couple of good blades.
Note that you also need to have the correct tension. Otherwise the blade will not cut optimally and the life time of the blade decreases. This means that you need to check tension regularly. Most manufacturers also recommend that you relieve the tension when the machine is not used. But be careful, too much tension is not good, the blade may break prematurely.