Butchery Equipment: The Art of Using a Band Saw

When you look at a band saw it can be quite an intimidating piece of butchery equipment, especially to the general public. It is a large piece of equipment that stands tall, takes up quite a bit of space and has this long saw that runs vertically and unimaginably fast. It takes skill to handle and use a band saw.

It is not wise to use a band saw if you don’t know how it works. A skilled butcher needs to train an apprentice first before they can use it confidently. There is a lot that needs to be considered when using this butcher equipment. The apprentice must understand the band saw structurally and learn how it works. Most large butcheries will have a floor standing band saw such as the Butcherquip Floor Standing Band Saw. Such a unit would be quite large weighing at 220 kilograms and very tall at 1.8 metres. The blade is 2845 millimetres long and 16 millimetres wide, plus the blade moves up and down with immense speed. It has cast iron saw wheels and heavy duty scrapers on both wheels. The metal guides support the blades and the tension scraper assemblies keep the blade free from debris. Seeing such a piece of butchery equipment for the first time can create a sense of apprehension in a young apprentice.

The young apprentice must be taught the exact dimensions of the band saw and have a good sense of spatial awareness. The butcher must show the apprentice how the blade moves and the speed it moves it at. He must be shown and understand how the metal guides and cast iron saw wheels work. The movement of the machine must be studied and respected. At first, the apprentice must approach the band saw with great care when placing a piece of meat on the unit. With steady hands and slow movement he should move the meat closer to the blade, whilst keeping his hands and fingers clear of the moving blade. Steadily, he should slide the meat through the blade.

Professional butchers have years of experience when it comes to using band saws so they are able to slice the meat quickly and effortlessly. They are well aware of the capability of this butchery equipment and they understand how dangerous it can be if they lose their sense of awareness while using it. When a butcher uses this machine, they must be one hundred percent focussed and not be distracted by anything whatsoever. Safety must be practiced each time one of these machines is used.