[Picture of the Bandsaw]

JET Horizontal/Vertical 4x6" Metal Bandsaw HVBS-463

After I used a large commercial metal bandsaw to cut some stock for a project I was hooked. For my small garage workshop I got a Jet 4x6" bandsaw at my local Western Tool Supply. You can order it from their catalog or look at the Jet catalog entry (try this other page if they broke that link).


There's not much to assemble. One person can put it together, but two would make it a lot easier. The bandsaw and vise are all one piece which together weigh about 100lbs. It is bolted closed but the motor is free to flop around until late in the installation. When you are laying it on its side to attach the base be sure to do it switch-side-up so you can get to the bracket that's holding it closed, which is blocking one of the mounting holes for the base.

They supply you with one 12/14mm crescent wrench (spanner) but it is a lot easier to assemble with a 12mm ratchet. After you attach the base and stand it up, put a level on it. You'll probably want to loosen the bolts holding it on the stand (not too much or it will collapse!) and wrench it around until it's level and tighten it again.

First Impressions

The saw is very sturdy. The saw and vise are primarily cast iron. The blade is pre-installed and the tension, tracking and guides are set at the factory (you can only set the tracking with the saw running). Mine was spot on out of the box. All I had to do was set the feed pressure.

The wheels are incredibly cheezy. Their only value is to allow you to move the saw with a slightly less hideous screeching sound than you'd get by dragging it on its metal base. The plastic pulley cover that came with mine is slightly warped and rattles against the drive pulley. I might not have noticed except that was the only real source of noise or vibration on the whole saw.

Other things I liked: There's a flip up bracket which lets you rest the saw just above the work. When you're ready to cut you just lift it slightly and the bracket drops out of the way (those of you with hydraulic feed controls are laughing now). The vise has witness marks for 0-45 degrees which are accurate as long as you pick a consistent spot for the pivoting end. It will hold short stock even at 45 degrees because the travelling end can be adjusted forward (but be sure to move the blade guides way back or your cut will end when a bearing comes to rest on the vise).

Things I haven't tried: The table is sitting on the tray in the original bag, gathering metal shavings. I haven't changed the blade (looks straightforward) or set the tracking (looks dangerous) or changed the gear box oil (looks messy -- recommended after the first 90 days and every six months thereafter).

My first project with the saw was an infeed stand for long stock. Soon it will be joined by a sibling to keep the outfeed from crashing to the floor.

Oh yeah, does it cut metal?

It's not as fast as an abrasive chopsaw, but it leaves near perfect edges. It doesn't heat the metal much. It's pretty quiet except on angle iron which can make quite a racket.

Example of the clean cut: I shortened a stainless bolt and the the resulting end threads were still nice enough to thread a nut on with no resistance. I had put a nut on during the cut to back off and clean up any burr but I was able to spin it off with one flick of my finger.

250 Day Update

After the saw sat idle for a few months I fired it up to make some cuts and found it had developed an alarming vibration. I checked the drive pulleys and discovered that they were neither parallel nor coplanar, and the mounting plate was loose at the pivot, allowing it to twist as the tensioner was tightened. I'm assuming all of these factors are interrelated. I tightened up the bolts that form the hinge of the pivot plate, and I completely repositioned the motor on the plate to align the pulleys. The vibration went away.