There are many advantages to the advancement of the band saw over the course of 75 years. A primary focus was on developing the “continuous cutting action” you’re aware of today. Throughout the years band saw technology changes have been consistent and gradual. As the band saw advanced, the question then surfaced: “how do we effectively slow or stop the band saw?” At Ambi-Tech, we’ve offered our electronic motor brakes for more than 50 years. In fact, you can request a quote on our website, or call us directly to discuss your braking needs.

In this post, we’ll be sharing the history of the band saw, and how it’s development influenced the use of braking systems to replace the coast-to-stop method used for more than a century.

Six Band Saw Advantages

After more than 75 years of development and advancement, the band saw now offers us six distinct advantages when it comes to woodworking.

Blade heat issues are less of a problem

Only a small percentage of the blade is cutting at any one time, which means heat dissipation is less of an issue. Also, the longer blade increases the time interval for cooling to lessen any heat issues.

The band blade cuts in a relatively straight line

The blade is slightly inclined at the perpendicular, but the cut-line is straight, meaning the saw is always cutting at the same angle. In comparison, the circular saw cuts in a sweeping motion, which results in a slightly more curved path.

Kickbacks occur less with the band saw

The downward cutting force is applied to the material, which holds it snugly in place unlike the circular saw, which applies an outward cutting force and increases chance of kickback

Wood yield is greater

Band saws typically use thinner blades, which results in less sawdust and a better wood yield.

Less power to operate

The band saw uses less power than a circular saw to operate, which means less power to slow or stop the machine. This increases safety and efficiency.

Cut intricate shapes

The narrow blade on band saws allow for the cutting of intricate shapes and detailed patterns. The furniture industry is known for this use of the band saw, and it’s a unique advantage the band saw offers over most other woodworking machinery.

The History of the Band Saw

1808: The Band Saw is Introduced

An Englishman by the name of William Newberry patented a “machine for sawing wood” in 1808. This machine would later be titled the band saw, a piece of woodworking machinery. His idea for operation was to use it for woodwork to ease the process of sawing wood “manually.” As time passed, the invention was not used due to having trouble finding metal-toothed bands long and durable enough to be consistently used in the application. William found difficulty in “rejoining the saws when broken,” which led to another Englishman, Henry Wilson, and improvement patents.

1858: The Band Saw Improved

The London-based inventor Henry Wilson secured a patent in 1858 to improve the mountings of band saws. His focus revolved around bettering the band saw functionality in relation to sudden strain while in use. He aimed to do the following:

Prevent breaking or snapping of blades
Allow ready adjustment of pulley bearings
Reduce heat-based issues

1865: The Band Saw is Introduced to America

From 1865 moving forward, the band saw was slowly introduced to America. The use of it was seen mostly in industrial applications, and as time passed, the band saw found its way into homeowners sheds, barns, and other exterior buildings for personal use. Around 1878, a band saw model produced by J. A. Fay Vibration out of Cincinnati improved the machine further, requiring high-grade steel to reduce the chance of band-snapping significantly. Another improvement called “band tension” was introduced to modulate the strain and effectiveness of the blade on the band saw.

1908: The Foot-Powered Band Saw

Silver Manufacturing Co. in Salem, Ohio developed an improved version of the foot-powered band saw. The adjustments made created easy access to the mechanical operation of the machine by the operator without having to change the position of the saw to do so.

Band Saw Electronic Motor Brakes

Ambi-Tech has been serving the induction and machine brake industry for more than 50 years. If you’re in need of an electronic brake for your band saw, give us a call today! We’ll discuss your machine and get you a quote.