How a Band Saw Works

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The Saw

One of the most useful tools in a woodworking shop, the band saw is also one of the easiest to use and maintain due to its simplicity. A woodworker using this tool can produce everything from quick projects to fine furniture that he can be proud of for years to come.

Mechanical Design

The name band saw comes from the blade that is a continuous toothed metal band running around two or more large wheels. These wheels have a rubber thread in the outer grove to provide traction to the blade. The rubber also reduces noise and blade wobble.The wheel is driven by the motor, and may be direct coupled or belt driven. The upper wheel has adjustments for blade tension and tracking. The diameter of the wheels determines the depth of cut, or throat, of the saw. Additional wheels are sometimes used to increase the throat while still maintaining a small saw size overall.

Using the Saw

Work is fed to the saw blade on a table mounted between the wheels on one side of the saw. The blade runs down through the center of the table, causing the teeth on the blade to cut the material. With proper blade selection band saws can cut curves and circles or resaw heavy lumber.

About this Author

K.K. Lowell is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with, and writing about, his family and friends. He has been writing professionally since June 2008 and has recently returned to college where he is pursuing a degree in English. His articles appear on several websites, including

Photo by: Photo by pikelbrat @

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