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In this article, we will be clearing up any confusion attached with Band Saws and Jig Saws. You should be able to decide which of the 2 is best for your project.
To get a more in depth look at how to use these tools for your projects, check out my favorite woodworking program: Teds Woodworking – The best on the internet.
Basics of Band Saws
A Band Saw essentially consists of thick and large blades and a blade connected end to end to form a circular band. This circular band is rolled over two wheels placed at top and bottom of the machine set up.
The rotation of the wheels enables the blade to move at a high speed in circular fashion, allowing it to cut the wood in required shapes and sizes.
There are several types of Band Saws available in the market by both reputed and lesser-known brands. They produce different types of models like cabinet models, mounted band saw, benchtop models, shorter band saws and band saws with large motors.
The Band Saw also comes with variety of blades designed for different needs. You can select the blade according to the need of your project so that you could achieve what you are set for.
There are several brands and companies that manufacture quality Band Saws. You may find it difficult to pick one. One of our top favorites is this Delta 28-400. This machine meets all the criteria for a top-notch Band Saw
Basics of a Jigsaw
A Jigsaw is basically a handheld saw and employs relatively thin blades compared to the Band Saw. Jigsaws are mainly used in minor projects where wooden panels of certain thickness have to be cut. All cutting is done in an up and down motion on a Jigsaw.
They are a relatively lightweight and can be carried easily from one place to another. It runs on electricity and comes in both corded and cordless varieties.
Apart from performing perpendicular cuts, a Jigsaw accurately makes circular cuts of different curvatures. The different varieties of blades available with the Jigsaw are designed to obtain clean and accurate circular cuts.
One of the best Jigsaws on the market is the DEWALT Bare-Tool DC330B. It operates on an 18-volt battery and is cordless.
Band Saw Vs Jigsaw
Now that you have some idea of Band Saws and Jigsaws, let’s see how they differ from each other in aspects like functionality, usage, versatility etc.
We tried to make the process of understanding each machine through these aspects so that you can decide based on the needs of your current or future projects.
How a machine functions decides the ability of the machine to make clean, accurate and precise cuts. Each saw is designed differently hence, each machine functions according to the mechanism employed during manufacturing.
As explained briefly before, a Band Saw moves in circular fashion with the help of two large wheels to make required cuts. It is called a “Band Saw” because the blade of the saw is join to form a band.
The width of the super thin blade varies between 8 to 11 inch. The cut is achieved when a wooden panel is placed on the table and passed through the teeth of the blades from one end to the other end.
A Jigsaw functions using a C-shaped hand and it consists of blades about 5 inches long. The cut is achieved due to the up and down motion of the blade. The movement of the blade mainly helps in making perpendicular cuts.
Since the blades come in smaller sizes, Jigsaw is also used to cut complicated curves. You can also achieve cuts in holes, which are mainly done to insert steel rods or glasses in wooden panels.
The Jigsaw comes with a variety of blades, which can be easily separated and re-mounted. This helps in achieving flawless internal and external cuts.
Versatility of any machine defines how best it can perform different tasks with minimal adjustment to the entire setup of the machine. The same applies to the saws whether it is a Band Saw or Jigsaw.
Though the Band Saw is versatile machine in its own right, it demands several adjustments to achieve a particular task. For some special tasks, you have to change blade, adjust wheels, finishing of the band and positioning of the table you are working on.
These adjustments take a lot of time and energy but once you finish with them, you can get clean and accurate cuts, which can’t be achieved with other saws.
Compared to Band Saws, Jigsaws make both straight and curved cuts. Only thing is you can’t make long straight cuts or elaborate circular cuts with Jigsaws. One more advantage of a Jigsaw is that it can cut not only wood but also plastic, metal and drywall.
With the right kind of blade, you can achieve accurate cuts on virtual surfaces. The ability of Jigsaws to perform different types of cuts on variety of surfaces has given it a moniker ‘poor man’s saw’.
Selection of Blades
The blade is the most important part of any mechanical saw. Even if all the parts of the machine work well and the blade fails you won’t get the desired cut. Hence, variety and functioning of the blade in any saw is essential.
The Band Saw setup comes with guiding guards, which always keep the wood in the direction you have aligned. This helps in enhancing the safety of the user by preventing the accidents.
Once you fix the right type of blade to the machine, there are very little chances of wood pieces flying into your eyes or hitting your head. You need to sharpen the blades periodically to prevent injuries.
A Jigsaw is one of the saws that come with variety of blades that can be used to get different type of cuts. You have to make the right choice while using this saw.
For instance, if you are opting for longer and straighter cuts, you should choose a wider blade so that you can achieve the cut in one go. For making curves, you should choose narrow blades, which help in negating accidents. Blades with larger teeth help in getting cuts in short time where as smaller teeth take time but give smooth cuts.
Areas of Usage
You might have already got a fair idea as to where to use the Band Saw and Jigsaw.
Band Saws are useful in achieving straight cuts and in some cases angular cuts. Band Saws are exclusively used for re-sawing. They are also used in getting thin layers of wood out of veneers.
A Jigsaw is used when you want to achieve curved or circular cuts. It is especially useful when you want to make interior cuts in wooden panels. The beauty of making interior cuts with Jigsaw is that it doesn’t disturb the outer edge.
The world is filled with machines that have made life on earth easy and bearable. They take load out of work and help us finish a job on time. Machines have entered every aspect of our life be it exercising, travelling, cleaning or even cooking we see machines playing a major role in easing things out.
The world of woodwork, carpentry, carvers or DIY workers is not devoid of machines. Be it furniture of your home or the wooden artwork hanging on your wall, one or two machines have been used in achieving the intended shape or design.
The most important tool that professional woodworkers or DIYers keep in their tool kit is the Saw. You can’t accomplish an accurate, efficient or fast wood project without a reliable saw. And that is where the problem arises.
Choosing an appropriate saw for your project in today’s world of overwhelming variety and aggressive marketing is as difficult as choosing a flavor for your ice cream.
It might sound a little cheesy but it is the fact. If you go to market or browse websites, you see numerous saws each having there own advantages and disadvantages. And when it comes to Band Saw Vs Jig Saw the matter becomes even more complex.
Though both saws are mainly made for backyard works, minor projects or carpentry, making a choice between them might confuse even a professional.
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