Three-Wheeled or Two-Wheeled Band Saw?

There are quite a number of factors to be considered when buying a band saw machine. Such factors are going to enable you go for the right saw that will work efficiently for you and one of such factors include the type of band saw machine. There are two kinds of band saw machines available. They include a 3-wheeled band saw machine and a 2 wheeled one. Each one of the two machines has its own unique merits and demerits. It is therefore important for one to understand each one of them before making a decision on which one to buy.

Depending on your needs, you may choose a 2-wheeled band saw whereas another person may go for the other type.

A good question that one may ask is, between the two types of saws, which one is the best?

Anyone buying this machine for the first time may be tempted to go for a band saw machine with three wheels but, it is good to have a good look at the two types of saws – i.e. both their advantages as well as their disadvantages so as to find out which of the two machines is the best.

The 3-wheeled type

three wheeled bandsaw

  • One of the advantageous thing that make this band saw machine very popular is the fact that it offers distance of cut between the upward return side and the cutting side (down traveling) of the blade. The good thing about this is that it cuts larger widths of the wood.

Note that, because of its three wheels, there are several disadvantages that are associated with it. Such include:

  • In one revolution, a three-wheeled band changes direction 3 times. This increases wear thus resulting in premature breaking of its blades resulting to hardening of work.
  • Compared to those of its counterpart, its wheels are smaller and therefore it uses thinner blade. As a result, the blade turns tightly in a circle consequently causing premature blade breakage because of metal fatigue this obviously shortens the lifespan of the blade.
  • There is little contact drive because the wheels are of small diameter and in heavy cuttings, slippage may occur.
  • A three –wheeled band saw has no self run-on and this makes it to easily stall because of the smaller wheels as compared to the other machine.

Looking at the above shortcomings, you can definitely say that despite the fact that this machine offers an advantage, it also comes with several problems as compared to the other band saw.

This machine is mainly used by people in need of special purpose bands and they obtain these blades from the manufactures directly on the basis of special order therefore in high prices. This is the main reason why many operators will go for the other band saw instead of this.

The 2-wheeled type


This type of saw is much easier to handle than the three wheeled machine and this is what makes it more advantageous. During the process of cutting, aligning it properly is much easier than the three-wheeled one and keeping it aligned is also easy.

Generally, below are the merits of this type of saw:

  • The blade life of this machine is 1/3 longer than that of the three blade band saw and this is because the direction of its blade changes only two times.
  • Because its wheels are larger, it produces the “flywheel effect” that helps to inhibit premature blade breakage.
  • This type of machine offers a larger surface area thus avoiding metal fatigue & work hardening.
  • It gives a positive result because of its performance in cutting as compared to the three wheeled band saw.
  • Aside from the many advantages, this machine also has its own shortcomings and the main one is the fact that, it does not cut the wood into larger widths.

It is mainly used in general application e.g. wood cutting and even in metal cutting.


Before you buy a band saw machine, you should look at quite a number of factors (as mentioned earlier) and some of those factors have been mentioned above. Doing this will help you get a machine that will work efficiently for you and this will ensure that you get the value for your money. Choose well and you will get the best deal.

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