buy a used bandsaw

Every year, shiny new models of machine tools and pieces of metal fabrication equipment come off the assembly line and reach the metalworking market, offering tempting advancements lacking in the dusty machines of yesteryear. Yet, fancy bells and whistles don’t necessarily make a machine better, and the time-tested qualities of many older models have proven their reliability again and again. When it’s time to buy a used bandsaw it may be worth it to first look at the used models on the market.

Buying a used metal-cutting bandsaw can be a cost-effective solution for not only hobbyists and workshops, but also for small metal fabrication businesses looking to expand their capabilities without breaking the bank. However, purchasing any used equipment requires careful consideration to ensure you get reliable machines that meet your actual needs.

The following are some steps you can take to buy a used bandsaw confidently:

1- Determine Your Needs

Before you start browsing listings, take some time to assess your needs. Consider the types of materials you’ll be cutting, the thicknesses you’ll be working with, and the frequency of use. This will help you determine the size and specifications of the bandsaw that will best suit your requirements.

2- Research Brands and Models

Research various brands and models of metal-cutting bandsaws to understand their features, capabilities, and reputations. Look for brands known for durability and reliability (and ease of maintenance can also be a useful criteria). Online forums, reviews, and industry publications can provide valuable insights into the performance of different bandsaws. If a model of saw is being sold new, chances are that there are older used versions of it out in the market.

3- Set a Budget

Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a used bandsaw. Consider not only the upfront cost but also potential maintenance and repair expenses. Setting a budget will help narrow down your options and should prevent you from overspending.

4- Inspect the Bandsaw

Inspecting any previously owned machine is critical prior to purchase. When inspecting a used bandsaw, pay close attention to the following components: Frame and Structure—check for any signs of damage, such as cracks or welds. The frame should be sturdy and free from excessive rust or corrosion. Blade and Guides—inspect the blade and guides for wear and damage. Ensure that the blade tensioning mechanism is functioning properly.

5- Motor and Drive System

Test the motor and drive system to ensure they operate smoothly and without unusual noise or vibrations. Coolant System—if the bandsaw is equipped with a coolant system, check for leaks, and ensure that it functions correctly. Controls and Safety Features—test the controls and safety features, such as emergency stop buttons and blade guards, to ensure they work as intended.

6- Check for Wear and Tear

Used machines like bandsaws will likely show some signs of wear and tear, but excessive wear can indicate potential problems. Look for worn-out or damaged components, such as bearings, gears, and pulleys. Inspect the table and vise for signs of uneven wear or damage that may affect cutting accuracy.

7- Test the Bandsaw

If possible, ask the seller to demonstrate the bandsaw in operation, allowing you to personally run it yourself. Test various cutting speeds and feed rates to ensure smooth and accurate cutting performance. Pay attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or inconsistencies during operation.

8- Verify Maintenance History

Ask the seller for the bandsaw’s maintenance history, including all repairs and any upgrades performed. A well-maintained machine is likely to have fewer issues and a longer lifespan. Look for signs that regular maintenance tasks, such as blade lubrication and tension adjustment, have been performed regularly.

9- Negotiate the Price

Once you’ve thoroughly inspected the bandsaw and are satisfied with its condition, negotiate the price with the seller. Be prepared to walk away if the seller is unwilling to meet your budget or if you learn that the bandsaw has significant issues that were not disclosed upfront.

10- Arrange Transportation and Installation

Before finalizing the purchase, ensure that you have the necessary equipment and manpower to safely move and install the machine. Consider hiring a professional for rigging and/or transportation if you’re unsure about the process or if the bandsaw is particularly large or heavy.

11- Perform Routine Maintenance

Once the bandsaw is on your shop floor, establish a routine maintenance schedule to keep it in optimal condition. Regularly inspect and clean the machine, lubricate moving parts, and replace worn-out components as needed. Proper maintenance will prolong the life of your bandsaw and ensure reliable performance.

Buying a used metal-cutting bandsaw can be a smart investment, whether you are running a fast-paced fabrication business or just tinkering around with metalworking projects in your garage at home. Buying any used machine, however, requires a very thorough inspection and careful consideration. Remember to prioritize reliability, performance, and safety when evaluating a potential purchase, and if necessary, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a professional in the field with metal-cutting experience.



At Revolution Machine Tools, it is our passion to help others succeed. We believe that manufacturing is the backbone of our economy and that by providing the best solutions to make our customers successful is how we measure our own success.


In the words of the late (and fictional) Big Tom Callahan, "A Guarantee is only as good as the man who backs it up." We stand behind our machines and our customers are like partners. We work with you to make sure your machines run efficiently.


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Filed Under: Machine Tools, Bandsaws, Saws