What are Scissor Action Bandsaws?

A term used by a few suppliers in the UK to describe bandsaws with an angled downward cutting action starting at one side of the bow. Imagine a pair of scissors and how the shears move around a centre point. The theory is the same here, the bandsaw’s bow pivots on a bearing on one side of the head and starts the cut at an angle – which ensures a clean, straight-lined cut as the bandsaw blade doesn’t wander, but can mean a longer cutting cycle. This element isn’t that important to smaller operations, light-duty work, or thin-walled materials but may make the saw inappropriate for thicker-walled materials – this is where Twin Column Horizontal Bandsaws are the best choice.

Scissor action bandsaws are available in fixed-head or swivel-head designs for straight cuts and mitred cuts, respectively. Where a mitre bandsaw is needed, consider whether a manual, semi-automatic, or automatic head movement is best. Generally speaking, the larger the capacity of the saw, the more you’ll want a powered head movement. The largest capacity manual saw we offer in this style is 310mm and can be found here: BS 400 GH

Our range of manual pivot bandsaws is gravity-fed, which means the bow descends gradually with a helping hand from gravity – no manual downward pressure is required through the cut. An operator will be required to lift the bow again, however, on semi-automatic and automatic models this is a powered operation. Automatic models have the benefit of automatic material feeding.

Also known as…

Scissor action bandsaws are also known as pivot bandsaws or in some cases general-purpose bandsaws. Read descriptions thoroughly, terminology can change by brand or supplier. If you’re stuck, you can call our technical sales team on 01384 264 950 who will help to guide you on the type of saw you need.

Busting the no bundle-cutting myth.

A question seen a lot on metal cutting forums is whether scissor action or pivot-style bandsaws can cut bundles of metal material. The simple answer is yes – however, the machine has to offer the right kind of vice to hold the bundles of solid materials or tubes. Sometimes this is a standard feature, like on the Kesmak KMS 280 V, or an optional extra.


We hope you’ve found this little guide useful and feel more prepared to make informed decisions when it comes to finding the right bandsaw for your business. If you want to see the selection of scissor action bandsaws we offer, just follow the links below.

Manual Bandsaws

Semi-Automatic Bandsaws 

Automatic Bandsaws 

Automatic Bandsaws with manual miter

If you still feel like you need extra help, give our team a call on 01384 264950. Our metal cutting machinery experts are here to make sure you get the best machine for the job.