Horizontal VS Vertical Band Saw: Which one do you need?

Horizontal vs vertical bandsaw

A bandsaw is a common type of power cutting machine to almost every carpenter that is made up of an endless group of a toothed metal blade. This type of saw can make any straight or irregular or curved shape. A bandsaw is used mostly in woodworking projects. But this is not limited to use on just wood. With the proper blade set, you can easily use a resaw bandsaw for cutting any kind of materials like metal, plastic, etc.

The two most widespread types of bandsaw are horizontal and vertical band saw based on their shape and size. Experts know their choice. But if you are a beginner you need to know the details and the differences between the horizontal and vertical band saw to make your work more efficient.

After reading this article you will be able to make your ultimate choice among these two types of the bandsaw.

Horizontal Band Saw

Horizontal bandsaws are those types of bandsaw where the blade head position remains horizontal to the worktop. There is a clamp to set the position of the material. You need not move the material through the blade. Hold the blade head and then firmly down the blade to cut through the materials.

Comparing to the vertical bandsaws, horizontal bandsaws produce more precise cuts as the materials remain fixed to the workbench.

Horizontal bandsaws need more expertise from you to operate than the vertical saws as they have a more complex design. But horizontal bandsaws are safer than vertical saws because you need not move the material through the blade where your hands also pass through near the saw blade.

This type of bandsaw is mostly used for industrial purposes and heavy work as they can cut different kinds of materials like soft metals, plastics, titanium, graphite, etc. Horizontal band saws are more powerful than vertical saws but they produce less vibration and noise.

Horizontal bandsaw is a great choice for those people who need to cut their large volume of stock down to the preferred size. This saw is also suitable for large-scale models at timber projects. Horizontal bandsaw performs best at straight cuts than vertical types because the material doesn’t move during the cutting process.


  • Versatile to use for cutting different kinds of materials including metals, plastics, etc.
  • Powerful but extremely quiet while running.
  • Horizontal bandsaws can run automatically.
  • Safer than other types of band saw.


  • Not ideal for home workshops.
  • It can’t produce any complex curved shape.

Vertical Band Saw

Vertical bandsaws, also known as contour saws, are those types of bandsaws where the blade remains vertically to the workbench. In vertical bandsaws, the blade is kept in place where the workpiece need to move periodically through the blade.

Vertical bandsaws are quite easy to use than the horizontal types. These saws are ideal for home workshops and local workshops where small scale work is handled.

This type of saw is commonly used for cutting woods in different curved shapes because you can move the materials through the blade to make your desired shapes. Vertical bandsaws require less power than horizontal bandsaws and can produce more finished cuts of different shapes.

While operating the vertical bandsaw you have to ensure much safety precautions as the materials need to feed through the blade with your hands.

This type of saw is a great choice for the hobbyist woodworker who works occasionally with small pieces of materials.


  • Vertical bandsaw can cut any kind of materials like wood, metal, plastics, etc.
  • Require less power to operate.
  • Able to cut any complex curved shapes.
  • Ideal for small home projects.


  • Not able to handle large scale materials.
  • Quite risky to operate as the materials need to move through the blade to cut.

Horizontal VS Vertical Bandsaw Comparison Table

Horizontal BandsawVertical Bandsaw
Ideal for only straight and irregular cutsIdeal for complex curved cuts
Complex design, requires more power to operateRequires less power to operate
Safer to use than vertical bandsawQuite risky to use
Materials remain fixed, blade needs to move downward to cut throughBlade remains fixed, materials need to feed through the blade
Can cut any kind of materials in large scalePerfect for small scale woodworking
Most commonly used for industrial purposeIdeal for home workshops
ExpensiveLess expensive than horizontal saw

Final Words

Horizontal vs vertical bandsaw: which one is perfect for you, truly is a question without the “choice answer” because each type is unique to their characteristics and applications.

So we suggest you make a list of your work requirements. If you are a small home carpenter, you work occasionally, you deal with small workpieces, and you need curved shapes for your work then go for the vertical bandsaw. This type of saw will cost you less also for their simpler design.

On the other hand, if you deal with industrial works in large volume where the size of the materials matter and you just need to cut down the workpiece to small sizes then you need to buy the horizontal saws. This type of saw is more expensive than vertical saws because of their complex design. You need to be professional in the use of the horizontal saw.

Again, sometimes you may need both types of bandsaw according to your working needs. If you have enough space in your workshop and you have a budget then you may experience horizontal/vertical band saw to enhance your routine works.