Band Saw Speed

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Blog entry by Farhad posted 03-28-2013 05:36 PM 2157 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi, I have 1 HP band saw which has 2 speeds. When should I use the lo speed and when the hi ??

-- Farhad

6 comments so far

View GlennsGrandson's profile


442 posts in 2307 days

#1 posted 03-28-2013 06:31 PM

I don’t know what to tell you but my first cheaper bandsaw (craftsman) also had two speeds (two different sized pulleys) and I always used it on high. My older, better, Delta saw, like many I believe, only has one speed so I don’t concern myself with it. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the slower speed may be used for plastics…?. not positive on that though.

Sorry, not much help but personally I’d keep it on the higher speed and not worry about it.

-- Grant - N Dakota

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3332 days

#2 posted 03-28-2013 07:08 PM

Most bandsaws with two speeds have this feature so you can cut metal (and maybe plastic) with it on the slow speed. The high speed is for wood. So unless you intend to cut metal with a metal cutting blade, you will never have to use the slow speed.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DamnYankee's profile


3301 posts in 2559 days

#3 posted 03-28-2013 07:44 PM

Slow for non-ferus metal
fast for wood.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2657 days

#4 posted 03-29-2013 05:47 AM

I would always keep it on the faster speed. The slower speed is designed for metal cutting however; unless it was designed to be a metal cutting band saw, chances are the slower speed is still too fast for most metals. The main issue is manufacturers will put on the two speeds as a way to list additional features to the tool. Problem is the required speed for cutting metal is very slow and most two speed wood saws are too fast for metal cutting. I have a two speed band saw and always keep it on the fast speed and with a bi metal blade have cut soft thin metal like brass and aluminum. But on the slower speed it is still way too fast for cutting steel so I just always keep it on the faster speed.

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View Farhad's profile


14 posts in 2132 days

#5 posted 03-31-2013 12:54 AM

Thanks 4 ur comments. Now I’m more confident.

-- Farhad

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 3381 days

#6 posted 03-31-2013 12:58 AM

Thanks for posting this. I bought a new saw about three years ago and put it on the slow setting to see how well it worked there. I planned on using it there for a while, then switching to the higher speed for a comparison. I forgot all about it and have left it on the slow speed. It works great that way and I’m a firm believer in “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, but I guess to see if it could be even better, I should switch it now.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

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