Innovative improvements to Band Saws

In industry, bandsaws are frequently used to cut metal & wood., particularly raised access floor tiles.
We engaged with students from Queen Elizabeth School to consider improvements to the most popular and frequently used type of saw, which has a manually adjustable guard and limited dust extraction due to the position of the saw’s dust extract below the blade cutting work area and below the vented area of the case, which allows for some heat removal for the electric motor.

The work that the students have carried out helps solves the existing issues with the saw giving operatives security of safety, knowing that they are always going to be protected from hazards of the vertical movement of the blade, allowing them to be able to focus on the important and time sensitive tasks, imperative to the outcome of their tasks without considering the guard position.
Also providing enhanced dust extraction.
The innovation stands out because the guard provides passive protection to the operative using the saw, without any active thought having to be put into the use of the guard and reduced hazards from breathing in wood dust.


During the site visits the students found that regularly operatives do not use the blade guard, because they found the manual guard movement tedious to reset each time; and to save their own time and make their life easier.
Operatives using ban saws often place the blade guard in its highest setting and leave it there so that they can cut any thickness of material.
The students wanted to prevent from happening and have achieved this with the operator not having to put in any extra effort.

They have a system developed that works with no user input needed. This therefore allows the operatives to work in the same way however, now they are much safer, as the blade guard works for them and with them.

This can be shared with the industry in many ways, with all types of saws.
The students design can be modified to fit a variety of different bandsaws and power saws, to improve the safety, without a massive cost because their solution can be retrofitted.

Key achievements

  • A fully automatically adjustable band saw blade guard meaning no human interaction is required beyond pushing the material through the blade.
  • The retrofit guard covers the blade from multiple angles, instead of one main direction guarding on the existing guard.
  • Great improvements to the existing dust extraction system allowing for significant dust exposure and providing a more precise cut due to enhanced visibility of the cutting surface.