What Does a Band Saw Do?

A band saw is a versatile power tool used for cutting materials like wood, metal, and plastic. It consists of a continuous toothed blade stretched between two wheels, allowing it to make straight and curved cuts, resawing, and other precise cuts. Band saws are valuable for woodworking, metalworking, and crafting due to their flexibility and accuracy. 

Moreover, they can also be used for shaping, thickness planing, and joinery tasks, depending on the accessories used. Safety precautions and the appropriate blade selection are essential when using a band saw.

How to achieve precise straight cuts with a band saw?

Achieving precise straight cuts with a band saw requires proper setup, technique, and attention to detail.

Straight Cuts

Band saws are known for their ability to make precise and straight cuts in various materials. This function is essential for basic tasks like cutting wooden boards to size for construction or crafting.

Straight cuts are fundamental in creating the foundational components of many projects, such as table legs, cabinet sides, or trim pieces.

Band saws can produce straight cuts with a high degree of accuracy, making them valuable for creating clean and uniform pieces.

Curved Cuts

Band saws excel at cutting curves, thanks to their narrow blade and maneuverability. They can create intricate shapes and artistic designs.

Curved cuts are essential in crafting and woodworking for creating decorative elements, scrollwork, and curved furniture parts like chair legs and arms.

Band saws allow for tight radius curves, making it possible to achieve intricate and artistic designs.


Resawing involves cutting a thick board into thinner slices. Band saws are ideal for this because they can create consistent and thin slices.

Resawing is commonly used to produce veneer, thinner boards from thicker stock, or to salvage usable wood from reclaimed timber.

Band saws offer precise control over the thickness of the slices, ensuring uniform results.

Rip Cuts

While not their primary function, band saws can perform rip cuts by cutting boards lengthwise along the grain.

This function is useful when you need to reduce the width of a board or make long, straight cuts parallel to the grain.

For extremely straight and precise rip cuts, many woodworkers prefer using a table saw.

Crosscuts (with attachments)

Band saws can make cross cuts when equipped with a miter gauge or fence attachment. Crosscuts are used to cut boards across their width or to make square ends.

Moreover, achieving square and precise crosscuts on a band saw often requires additional setup and accessories.

Metal Cutting (specialized blades)

Specialized band saws with metal-cutting blades are designed to cut various metals, such as steel, aluminum, and brass.

Metalworking shops use these band saws for tasks like cutting metal stock, pipes, or profiles.

Choosing the appropriate blade for the specific metal being cut is crucial for efficiency and safety.

Thickness Planing (with attachments)

Some band saws can be equipped with thickness planer attachments to plane down the thickness of wooden boards accurately.

Furthermore, this function helps woodworkers achieve precise thicknesses for components like tabletops or panels.

What are the key woodworking applications of a band saw?

How to achieve precise straight cuts with a band saw

A band saw is a versatile woodworking tool that can be used for a wide range of applications. 


Band saws are essential tools in woodworking shops for a wide range of tasks, including cutting, shaping, and joinery.

They are used to make furniture components, decorative elements, and intricate designs in woodworking projects. Woodworkers rely on band saws for their ability to make precise and intricate cuts in wood.


Specialized band saws equipped with metal-cutting blades are used in metalworking shops for cutting various metals. Moreover, they are employed to cut metal stock, pipes, and profiles accurately.

Metalworking band saws are designed to handle the rigors of cutting metal safely and efficiently.

Crafts and Artistic Projects

Band saws are popular among artists and craftsmen for their versatility in creating custom shapes and artistic designs.

Moreover, they enable the creation of sculptures, intricate patterns, and unique pieces across a variety of materials. Band saws offer a tool for creative expression and experimentation in artistic projects.

Final Words

In conclusion, a band saw is a versatile and powerful tool that serves various functions in both woodworking and metalworking. It can make straight, curved, and intricate cuts, allowing for precision and creativity in crafting. 

Additionally, it excels at resawing, metal cutting, and shaping, adding value to a wide range of applications. Whether you’re a woodworker creating furniture or an artist sculpting unique pieces, the band saw offers the flexibility to meet your needs. 

However, it’s essential to prioritize safety and choose the right blade for the material you’re working with. Overall, the band saw is a valuable addition to any workshop, enhancing productivity and enabling the realization of intricate designs and projects.