Choosing which bandsaw is right for you is an important workshop choice. The bandsaw will be your most used and most versatile machine, but with so many out there, which one should you buy? As part of our Skill Centre At Home Series, Woodworking Tutor, Craig Steele takes you through the Axminster Craft bandsaw range.
The bandsaw is the one machine everybody should have in their workshop. Hugely versatile, the bandsaw can make a wide range of cuts. From mitre, bevel and crosscuts to compound and rip cuts. You can also perform a wide range of shaping tasks and even cut tenons.
Axminster Craft Bandsaws
There are many options out there, some far better than others. If you are are looking for your first bandsaw or looking to upgrade on an existing one, an Axminster Craft machine might just be for you.
Bandsaw Purchase considerations
Benchtop or freestanding?
Both have their advantages. A benchtop machine is a great option if space is tight or you are using it for smaller work. If that is the case the Axminster Craft AC1400B could be right for you. Weighing 20kg it does lend itself to being moved around the workshop and even taken to wherever you are working. A freestanding bandsaw is quite a bit heavier. Thankfully, most can be made portable by fitting them with a mobile base. These will generally have a larger capacity.
What size throat do you need?
The throat is the distance between the blade and the neck of the machine. If you are looking at cutting wide boards then a larger throat size is required. A large throat will offer you greater support to manage the weight of the material.
What depth of material are you cutting?
A good rule when buying a bandsaw is to go with one that has a 20% larger throat depth capacity than you will be cutting. You don’t want to be cutting at its limits all the time as this will put stress on parts and the motor.
Many cheaper machines will have a plastic or a soft metal table. When cutting with a bandsaw most of the pressure is going down on to the table. Always buy a bandsaw with a cast iron table.
Most machines will have a table that can tilt, however, many will not have a positive stop. This means it’s not easily possible to get the table exactly flat again. All Axminster Craft bandsaws have strong cast iron tables with a 45° tilt capacity and a positive stop.
Compare the models
|Power||250 W||550 W||1.1 kW|
|Voltage||230 V||230 V||230 V|
|Blade Speed||800 m/min||660 & 840 m/min||600 & 840 m/min|
|Blade Length||1,400 mm (55”)||1,950 mm (77”)||2,606 mm (102.3/4”)|
|Blade Blade Width Min/Max||6 mm to 13 mm||6 mm to 13 mm||6 mm to 25 mm|
|Max Width of Cut||200 mm||260 mm||360 mm|
|Max Width of Cut with Fence||102 mm||185 mm||260 mm|
|Max Cutting Height||80 mm||135 mm||200 mm|
|Table Size||300 x 300 mm||350 x 330 mm||480 x 550 mm|
|Table Tilt||0° – 45°||0° – 45°||0° – 45°|
|Table Height||290 mm||1,035 mm (on stand)||1,060 mm (on stand)|
|Wheel Diameter||200 mm||270 mm||370 mm|
|Min Extraction Airflow Required||200 m³/hr||390 m³/hr||1,000 m³/hr|
|Dust Extraction Outlet||40 mm||63 mm||100 mm|
|Overall L x W x H||450 x 430 x 700 mm||790 x 620 x 1,570 mm||980 x 630 x 1,740 mm|
|Weight||20 kg||39 kg||85 kg|
Watch Craig’s video on choosing the right bandsaw blade.
This simple bit of kit is a unique blade aligning tool. It allows you to check the alignment of the blade to the face of the fence quickly and easily.
Always buy a bandsaw with a 20% greater capacity than you need. Make sure the table is made from strong cast iron. Use a good quality blade.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, keep an eye out for our next project of our Skill Centre At Home Series.
If you’re searching for Skill Centre At Home projects, you’ll find them on the Knowledge website. Alternatively, follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on all the latest from our Skill Centre At Home series. Connect with us using #SkillCentreAtHome to @AxminsterTools.