Depending on the model, you’ll be lowering the blade in one of two ways. Most of the smaller saws will use gravity with a spring that can be adjusted to control the speed while larger models are more often powered by hydraulics. Some are handheld as well.
We’ve gone ahead and picked 4 of the best horizontal band saws on the market (and we go into detail what you should look for in selecting the right saw after our reviews). So let’s begin!
Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Bandsaw Kit
This is a portable horizontal bandsaw which makes a great addition to the tool-kit of pretty much anyone who has to work with pipes or trim. You’ll easily be able to slice through pipes up to 1 5/8” with an amazing amount of ease and trim pieces will be able to be cut quickly and easily. The saw weighs about 13lbs though, so you’ll need to have some strength to maneuver it properly.
The price makes it an absolute bargain for the amount of use nearly any home plumber is sure to see with it, and Miluakee makes highly durable tools that will last for a long time. Hands down, it’s one of the best horizontal band saws for the money.
Grizzly G0561 Metal Cutting Bandsaw, 7 x 12-Inch
Grizzly makes this fantastic freestanding horizontal bandsaw which is sure to impress. It features a large enough cutting area to handle almost any kind of metal you’ll need to put through it although you’ll need some extra supports for exceptionally long pieces.
Even better, the saw (see full specs) is hydraulically fed so you’ll have precise control over the blade’s descent. Add in the coolant system and you have a winning piece for your shop. If you’ve got the money, you’re sure to be able to make it back quickly with the G0561’s cutting capabilities.
DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit
If you’re a plumber or pipefitter and absolutely need the best saw you can find to use in the field, you need look no further. This portable band saw has an amazing amount of versatility and a wide cutting field which will let you take care of pretty much anything you’ll come across in your day-to-day work.
It also has a surprising amount of power, and you’ll be able to easily get pipes and lines cut to size with this handy tool. This should be on anyone’s list of the best horizontal band saws on the market.
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
This freestanding horizontal bandsaw is a bargain for the price. You’ll find that it’s able to easily chop whatever needs to be done and the variable speed controls will allow you to make sure that you get the right speed for the material you’re slicing.
It’s not super heavy-duty, and probably shouldn’t be used for full production runs in a machining shop, but it’s definitely a good contender if you’re the type who needs to occasionally slice some metal at home. You can also add attachment to convert it to a vertical band saw, which can make it quite a space-saver if you’re using it in your home shop or garage.
What to Look for in Your Horizontal Bandsaw
If you’re looking for the best horizontal bandsaw, it’s always a good idea to buy the highest-quality tool your wallet allows. With these versatile tool, there’s a lot of variety available and what you’re planning on doing with these tools is going to affect your choice more than anything.
The band saws attached to tables are most useful for those who have a dedicated shop for cutting metal. They’ll hold the blade straight nearly 100% of the time and will allow you to work on other parts of your projects while you’re waiting for them to cut. Most of them shouldn’t take up much more room than a standard table saw in your workshop, and if you run a dedicated machine shop you’ll definitely be able to find the floor space to fit one.
The portable saws, on the other hand, are quite useful for those who work in the field, particularly those who work with pipes for a living. Hand cutters can be tedious and take an exceeding amount of time where a portable bandsaw will make short work of the task. Consider something large like the DeWalt DWM120K (see full specs) and you’ll rarely have to worry about the size of the pipes you’re cutting at all.
As with any power tool, proper maintenance and not misusing it is sure to extend the lifespan of the machine. Be careful not to overheat them and give them an adequate cool off time between uses. But if you’re going to be performing rapid fabrication, keep an eye out for a tool with a coolant system. This will allow you to use the saw more frequently without it overheating, but keep in mind this can lead to a considerable jump in price.
If you go with a table mounted option, it’ll pay to keep an eye on the surface area of the saw, you’ll find it pretty hard to get any work done if you can’t fit your workpiece under the blade after all. If you opt for the portable option, you’ll also want to be looking at how wide the cutting area is. While a saw with only a couple inches of cutting surface is perfectly fine for working around the house, you’ll want something wider if you’re a professional and it would be a waste of money to have to purchase a second saw later.
Remember that you’ll want to use the standard safety equipment, and that when using a band saw you’re going to want to match the amount of teeth per inch you’re using to the material you’re cutting in order to save yourself from injury and frustration. Too few teeth per inch and you’ll encounter snags which can derail the saw blade and land you in a dangerous situation.
Once you have one of these versatile tools added to your collection, or even a couple of them, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without them. The best horizontal band saws can make normally time-consuming tasks almost effortless, and provide you with clean, even cuts that are sure to leave you pleased.