About band saws

Just curious about the dimension of band saws. When a band saw is listed as a 10, 11, 12 inch and so on, are they referring to the depth of the blade to the back of the unit or something else? Does the height play a role in that dimension? What should I look for in a band saw?
Thank you
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It's the diameter of the two wheels that the blade rides on. The dimension from the blade to the column is usually about 1/2" less than that.
--Steve

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On Sat, 28 Jun 2008 15:06:39 -0700, "Steve"

Except on "3 wheel" band saws. Some are made with say, 14 inch wheels, and a 20-24" throat.
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Steve is right. Also, height does not play a roll in that dimension. That may be listed seperately as the maximum resaw dimension. I believe the most popular size is a 14 inch. That will give you about 6 inches resaw depending on the saw brand. Lots of people with 14 inch BS's get a riser block which increases resaw to about 12 inches or so. BS's smaller than 14 inches cannot be increased in resaw ability.
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wrote:

Yes, it is a nominal dimension that describes the clear dimension from the blade to the nearest obstruction in the direction of the overarm. Usually this is the rear blade guard. This will give an indication of the capacity regardless of the number of wheels.
In a two wheel corresoponds to the diameter of the wheel, but keep in mind it is usually slightly less than listed because of the blade guard projection in front of the overarm.
Does the

Only in a three wheel where the maximum listed throat dimension is only good through part of the depth of cut and may diminish as the cutting height is raised because of the angled overarrm.
What should I look for in a band

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Other replies explain the key dimension.
I cannot say what you should look for in a band saw.
My first band saw was a 14 inch unit. I eventually replaced this with an 18 inch unit since I wanted :
Greater ripping capacity. I found that I wanted to rip wider than the 14inch unit could accomodate. Although I have a table saw, there are times I do the first rip of a wide board on the band saw, due to the board being warped, or showing signs of internal stresses which could result in kickback when ripped on the table saw.
Larger blade width capability. The 14 inch could handle up to 3/4 inch. I wanted to be able to use 1inch for resawing.
Deeper resaw capability and rack and pinion adjustment method. The 14inch unit was clamp, move, measure, unclamp, move etc.
Ability to untension the blade between uses. Although there are kits to allow this, I wanted it built into the desigh.
More rigid table mount. The 14inch trunnion was attached to the steel frame, but this was not reinforced enough in my view causing flexing when I would be cutting long boards.
Fence with single clamp mechanism. The 14 inch unit had a fence which required screwing/unscrewing. More time than I wanted. The 18 inch replacement has the single clamp fence. These are also available as retrofit.
My replacement happens to have 2 HP motor. I was not looking for motor size increase. This size happens to be 110V/220V. I wired 220V since I had a run a 220V circuit in the workshop. If I had left using 110V, the closest 110V circuit did not have the desired amperage.
Dave Paine.

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Commonly on a 2 wheel saw the numbers represent the approximate width of cut capacity/wheel diameter. Height is not a factor in the description measurement.
What do you want to do with your band saw? Cut veneer, simple cuts, occasional cuts, resawing?
What I would look for in a saw, Balanced cast iron wheels. Ceramic Guides. Ample HP. Quiet operation.
I bought a 12" Craftsman Band Saw with 1/2 hp in 1983 and occasionally used it. In early 2006 I "thought I was upgrading" to a Rikon 18" BS. The Rikon was an improvement but I was far from satisfied with my $900 purchase. I returned the saw after 2 weeks. About 3 months later my Laguna LT16HD saw arrived and I am very pleased although the cost was about 2.5 times more than the Rikon. I feel the Laguna is a better value for my money.
IMHO something important to look for is the ease of changing the blades and adjusting the guides. The Craftsman and the Rikon were a royal PIA compared to the Laguna. For different cutting operations blades need to be changed. The correct blade makes sawing a lot more enjoyable and being able to change blades and adjust the guides quickly and with out it being a hassle encourages using the correct blade.
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