Power tools play a very definitive part in a professional’s day to day tasks. As a matter of fact, it has also become a necessity even for small and household DIY projects. They make the users’ life a lot easier. These power tools can range from power drills to crushers and be lighter tools or industrial machinery.
A significant portion of these power tools is different kinds of Saws. These saws are classified depending on their usage, blade types, power consumptions, cutting technique, etc. One can use them to cut woods, metals, and other materials very easily.
These saws can be convenient and save a lot of time and effort for the user. Two varieties of them are Dry Cut Saws and Band Saws. They are instrumental for any cutting job. You will hardly find any workshop that doesn’t have them.
Comparison Between Dry Cut Saw And Band Saw
A Dry cut saw and a Band saw might be equally helpful, but they couldn’t be more different in design, usage, and techniques. Both of them have a separate area of expertise and pros and cons. One must know how to use them, where they shine the brightest, and their key differences to get the most out of them.
I have tried to simplify their differences, their use cases, and their key strengths. By the end of this article, you will have enough knowledge to choose the right one for your project.
Dry Cut Saw
A dry cut saw is a kind of Cold Cut saw. This name comes from the fact that this saw can cut materials without generating heat. Most of the saws generate heat when cutting. The friction of the blade and the material creates this high heat. But a dry saw passes the heat to the chips from the tooth of the blade. Unlike some cold saws, a dry saw doesn’t use any coolant to lower the temperature. They can quickly cut lumber, steel, and alloy. But for stronger metals such as hardened steel or titanium, they are not a good fit.
The dry cut saws can be of small to medium sizes. They house a large blade and a powerful motor. One can use them using just one hand as the machine’s base usually has a fence and other parts to hold the cutting material in place. The blade has a safety cover that comes off just before the contact. The machine doesn’t require extra hand pressure to cut.
Blade and Motor
A dry cut saw blade is large, which can get up to 14 inches in diameter. The blade has teeth around the edges. Usually, the carbide teeth are wielded on the high-speed steel body of the blade. The motor is bigger and stronger. But slower than typical power saws. It rotates, maintaining constant torque. The blade’s thickness, teeth count, and motor’s speed is varied depending on the material which needs to be cut. For example, softer metal will require less number of teeth, then harder metals. A dry cut saw’s blade is comparatively costlier. But they can last a long time if used properly. It is relatively easy to resharpen the blades. One can weld in a new tooth if necessary.
Typical Usage & Cut Quality
Dry cut saws are the perfect tool for straight or angled cuts and right-angle cuts on wood, metal bars, pipes, or angles. You can position the material using the fence and support at any angle you need, and the saw will cut through it like a hot knife through butter. It is swift and smooth.
The edges will have little to no burrs. The cut pieces will hardly require any polishing. Also, this machine creates very few sparks while cutting. If it is producing sparks, check for a broken tooth. But, it produces high noise. The chips it makes are coarser than typical abrasive saw chips. So the user won’t inhale them accidentally.
Dry cut saws are quite safe to use and provide built-in safety features. But make sure to use them properly. Always Position and clamp the material tightly so that it cannot move. Use eye protection to keep your eyes safe from chips. To save your hearing from high noise, use hearing protection. Wearing a mask is not mandatory for a dry cut saw.
- Dry cut saws are fast, clean, and precise in cutting;
- They are compact and require less place in the workshop;
- They don’t generate many sparks and keep the cuts cool;
- Good quality dry cut saws are reasonably priced and affordable.
- They make loud noises while cutting;
- It cannot make curved cuts;
- The blade can be damaged easily if not used properly;
- The blade price is very high;
- The fence and angle measurement systems of particular models might not be accurate.
A band saw is the single most versatile power tool you will find in a workshop. It can do both vertical cuts like hacksaws and curved cuts like a jigsaw. The name comes from the blade. The blade in a band saw is a continuous band that goes around two wheels. A band saw cuts in a constant downward motion and created very little mess while doing so.
Band saws have a large frame. Usually, they cut vertically, but horizontal band saws can cut horizontally, kind of like the hacksaws. They are quite big and stationary. Some manufacturers make portable band saws.
The base of the frame consists of the table. It has gauges and fences on it. The blade has a blade guard, lowered or raised to expose the blade’s required amount. A couple of bearings guides the blades. A height adjustment mechanism is usually there to adjust blade height.
An additional cooling system can be used with this type of saws. They can spray liquid coolants over the material while cutting to keep them cool.
Blade and Motor
The blade of the band saw is interesting. Its width can be as narrow as eight of an inch. Some brands even make them 16th of an inch. These thin blades are perfect for curved cuts. The narrower the blade is, the sharper curves it can make. It can cut non-ferrous metals like aluminum, brass, copper, etc., using fine-toothed blades.
On the other hand, a half-inch width blade can be perfect for cutting straight cuts and resawing. Resawing means cutting big lumbers through the width to make thinner pieces out of it. The blade’s exposed height can be extended to fit the lumber’s width while cutting. Teeth count is also an essential factor. The aggressive toothing of the blade will help in resawing.
The motor of a band saw is strong. As it is housed inside the large body of the machine, it produces low noise. It can easily cut through lumber and metals. That, too silently and smoothly.
Typical Usage & Cut Quality
Band saws can make vertical cuts and almost all kinds of materials. But curved cuts are its specialty. It can cut almost jigsaw level tight curves. They are suitable for pen turnings, cutting round corners, or creating round pieces. They produce high-quality decor materials.
They can cover a significant amount of thickness while cutting because of their structure, which helps cut large logs or resawing.
The cut quality is very smooth. Band Saws take a little more time to cut, compared to a dry cut saw. But they provide clean cuts with minimal burrs.
The blade of a band saw cuts in a downward motion. It creates a very low vibration while doing so. So there is no kickback from it, unlike other table saws. Band saws generate minimum sparks, and the chips are quite large. So face masks are not a necessity while using them. As they provide quieter sound, hearing protection is also not mandatory. The user should use eye protection if he is close to the machine while cutting.
- A very flexible tool; it can cut both vertical cuts and round cuts;
- Can cut through a very thick width, Perfect for resawing;
- Produces lower noise, creates clean, burr-free cuts;
- Safer than most other power saws;
- Blade lasts longer.
- These machines are quite large. Occupy a significant amount of places;
- Cutting speed is not as fast as a dry cut saw;
- Depending on the bearing type, it can get damaged over time;
- Band saws are usually expensive machines.
Dry cut saws and Band saws are both very instrumental power tools. They cover a lot of expertise areas required in a workshop. So choosing between them might be a difficult choice. A dry cut saw is excellent for vertical cutting if you don’t mind the sound. It is better in it than the band saws as the band saw is not as fast. But if you need to make round cuts, very few tools can beat the band saw. Just make sure you have enough space in your workshop.