Cold Saw v. Band Saw Cutting–Best Service for Precision & Volume?

Band saw or circular cold saw for an application? This is a common question that has a lot of opinions depending on what and how a material is being cut. Make the wrong choice and productivity / long-term potential to compete with any given project could be compromised. Before a few technological upgrades to various saw types, the choice between a circular cold saw and band saw was a bit simpler. A high-volume, high-production application likely would require a circular cold saw. If tolerance and finish were not critical, a less expensive band saw probably would have sufficed. But today, because of technical advancements, the answer is less clear-cut. Some things to keep in mind:

Choose a cold saw if:

  • The job requires higher quality results
  • You need a tight tolerance cut
  • You require better finishing that is “burr-free”

Choose a band saw if:

  • Slightly rougher edges/burrs aren’t a problem
  • You want the largest capacity for your budget
  • You need it done quickly with a degree of quality
  • Requires bundle cutting

When faced with a cutting need that demands high precision and safety, cold cutting is an ideal option. SEPCO provides cold cutting services that deliver cost-effective, efficient, and reliable results. Using our cold saw cutting technology, SEPCO offers you close-tolerance, almost burr-free, smooth finished parts ready for production or end use.

Precision Cold Saw Cutting Capabilities

Cold saws make clean, “burr-free” cuts like no other machine. The most important difference between cold saws and band saws is the amount of burr on the cuts that they produce. A band saw gives good quality cuts, but can’t match the smoothness of results from a cold saw. If you choose a band saw, deburring is always required. Cold saws save time by making pristine cuts that don’t require any finishing, plus the cold saw blades are reusable and can be sharpened numerous times before disposal. Additional cold saw cutting capabilities include:

  • Accuracy is +/- .004” (tighter tolerance cutting than a band saw)
  • No charge for set-up time because it is so quick
  • 4 inches in diameter cut limit
  • “Burr-free” precision cutting
  • Time and cost saving capabilities
  • Eliminates the need for another mechanical operation

Band Saw Cutting Capabilities

Advantages for using a band saw include performing a uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load. Also, a band saw gives the ability to cut irregular or curved shapes like a jigsaw. Although a band saw is rarely the first stationary power tool purchased for a job shop, it is one of the most versatile. Band saws are significantly cheaper than cold cutting saws and can cut harder ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Even though band saws are not as accurate as cold saws, they can provide more cut part per bar. Additional band saw cutting capabilities include:

  • Cuts all small/large diameter applications with both low and high volume
  • Has an accuracy of +/- .015”
  • Has a thinner saw then a cold saw
  • Cuts irregular shapes
  • Bundle cutting is an option

Additional Factors to Keep in Mind when Deciding Between Cold Saws & Band Saws

As a rule of thumb, the application will dictate your options for metal cutting. A few things to keep in mind when determining whether a cold saw or a band saw is the right tool for the job include:

  • The hardness of material working with
  • The size of the material
  • Kerf
  • Practicality


Material hardness also comes in to play when determining the best saw for any given application. A cold saw has limits on the material hardness it can cut. On the other hand, band saw blades have many different configurations and teeth hardness options to give quality results for cutting hard material. However, even with these great options, there are still a few applications that a cold saw or band saw cannot handle and will require a different cutting machine.


The size of the material being cut is a determining factor in whether you need a band saw or cold saw. A band saw gives a larger cutting capacity, whereas a cold saw limits your cutting capacity.


If saving material and money is a concern, then the kerf cut must be figured into the cost of a job. A standard cold saw blade uses a triple grind, which gives chip clearance, but also means that the kerf is the same size as the thickness of the blade. A standard band saw blade uses a wavy grind, or offset tooth design, keeping the blade kerf to a minimum.


While the initial price of a cold saw blade may be higher than a band saw blade, it’s important to remember that a cold saw blade can be re-sharpened. A band saw blade needs to be discarded once it goes bad. The re-sharpening aspect of cold saw blade is a major cost saving advantage when comparing between the two saws. However, if using a cold saw for the wrong application just to save money, you will end up paying more in the long run to replace the saw.

SEPCO Uses Cold Saws for Cut-to-Size Rods, Pipes & Bars to Custom Length

At SEPCO, we provide a band saw cutting and precision cold cutting saws that are both accurate and fast. With tolerances as close as +/-.004″, we can cold-saw cut one piece, or thousands of articles depending on your requirements. Our saws are suited for low & high volume, repeating applications, and are reliable. SEPCO’s team and superior cutting saws are equipped to handle the material and load per packaging specifications. We can accurately, efficiently, and safely cut almost any material. SEPCO has a proven safety record and strictly follows all environmental compliance requirements when performing cold cutting services.