Bandsaw Safety – Tips and Tricks

A bandsaw is one of the most useful tools when it comes to cutting materials like wood but at the same time, it is a very dangerous tool if someone is not using it carefully. You need to follow all the bandsaw safety measures in order to avoid any kind of casualties.

Why is Bandsaw Risky to Use?

When you’re working with a normal or a portable bandsaw, you are already exposed to a lot of risks. All the risks that are associated with a band saw are given below.

Exposure to the Sharp Blades: When you are working with a bandsaw, your skin is exposed to sharp blades. If you are not careful while working, your hands can slip at any time the sharp blade can cut the exposed parts of your body.

Contact with dirt and sawdust: Usually, tools like bandsaws eject a lot of dirt, dust and sawdust during the work process. The projectile of sawdust can irritate your skin, hurt your eyes, cut different parts of your skin and so on. Besides, dirt and dust are harmful to the eyes, lungs and even can cause cancer.

Painful for the body: Working with a bandsaw can be really tiring. It can cause body ache, pain in the muscles, headache, physical fatigue and so on.

Exposure to harmful chemicals: Sometimes harmful chemicals are used while working with a bandsaw. These types of chemicals can cause breathing issues and affect health severely.

Exposure to heavy noise: Tools like bandsaws create a lot of noise which can cause hearing issues.

Slipping or falling of the tool: If by accident the tool slips or falls from your hand, it will cause a severe injury.

Bandsaw Safety Tools to Use

  • Use an earmuff or ear protector to avoid heavy noise.
  • Use any kind of safety goggles or safety glasses to protect your eyes. You can also wear a face shield for extra protection.
  • Use a foot protector like a working boot to protect your feet from any accident.
  • Wear a respiratory protector, eye protector and hand gloves.

Bandsaw Safety Precaution – What to do before starting?

Ensure the safety elements: Wear the safety tools like earmuffs, working boots, respiratory protectors, hand gloves, face shield to protect yourself. If you are wearing any kind of jewelry make sure you remove it. If you have long hair then tie it back and avoid wearing loose clothes.

Check the tool: Before starting, ensure that the guards are finely tuned and in their places. The band wheels should be surrounded and the blades need to be sharp. The blades have to be set correctly. The width of the blade, formation of the tooth and TPI needs to be according to the material. Make sure to oil the machine properly. Check whether it needs servicing or not.

Check the blade: Blades are a crucial part of a bandsaw. Make sure that the tracking of the blades is right and they are flexible with the rollers. Make sure that the blade is having the needed traction. If you find a bandsaw that has an auto-tension control feature then it’ll be perfect for you.

Have a push stick: Make sure that you are using a push stick while removing the cutout parts. Ensure that your hands are on one side not aligned with the blade.

Cleanse the area: Clean the area around you and make sure that there’s no obstacle that’ll cause any sort of accident.

Check the lighting: When you are using tools like a bandsaw, you need to have good lighting around you. It should be bright enough so that you can see even after wearing a face shield.

Bandsaw Safety While Working

Avoid any distraction: when you are working with a bandsaw, try to avoid any kind of distraction. Give your full focus to what you’re doing.

Look at your hand position: your hands should be on either side not in front of the saw. So, place your hand on one side of the saw while you’re working.

Fix the material: the guard of your blade and the guide should be close to the material you’re cutting. This will keep your fingers safe.

Remove the ejected pieces: do not use your hands to remove the pieces you’ve cut. Always use a push stick to remove the cut pieces.

Cut carefully: always cut one material at one time. Don’t try to use a wider blade to work faster. Do not stack materials to work fast as they can move and cause an accident.

Use a braking system: blades tend to run down quickly. In order to reduce that time, you can use a braking device. Make sure you know how to use them and they are not harmful to your surroundings.

Look at your position: ensure that your hands are not on the table where they come between the blade. Have a firm grip over the stock so that your fingers don’t come under the blade. The guide’s upper side and the guard need to be within 6.35 mm of the material.

Check the height of the blades: the height of the blade guard should be around 0.1 inches to 0.2 inches above the material that you are going to cut. If the gap is more than that, it will cause the blade to break.

Use a pitch blade: the circular saw blade you are using should be according to the type and thickness of your material. For example, if you are cutting steel it should be 3 teeth blade and if you are cutting aluminum it should be a two teeth blade.

Work slowly: don’t try to rush when you are working with a sharp tool like a bandsaw. Try to work slowly with full focus.

Bandsaw Safety after Finishing the Work

Change the blades: The blades of the bandsaw need to be changed after every usage. You can use it multiple times if you want to but it’s better to change once you’re done working. Another way to know that the blade needs to be changed is to notice the click sound. If you hear the sound then turn the engine off immediately.
Clean the surface: once you are done working clean the area around you. Even after you are finished, you trip over and hurt yourself. So, cleanse the area as soon as you’re done.

Turn off the engine: if you have finished working and planning to check the areas that need some retouching, then first turn off the engine. Then look for the flaws. Never leave a bandsaw unattended.

Clean the machine: Finally, when you are done with everything, clean the machine properly and keep it in a safe place.

Bandsaw Safety Tips and Tricks

  • Try to be in control while you’re shoving the material towards the blade. Don’t be too forceful with the blade.
  • When the bandsaw is running, don’t pull the stock apart from the saw blade.
  • Never take out the sawdust or ejected pieces with your hand or a vacuum cleaner. Always use a push stick to do the job.
  • When the saw is running, always have your full focus on it. When you’re leaving the area, make sure the saw is turned off. Never leave it unattended.

Bottom Line

Every tool has its merits and demerits. A bandsaw is no different and the demerits of a bandsaw entirely depend on its users. So, make sure you are following all the safety tips and taking all the measures properly to avoid any type of casualties.