Selection of horizontal and vertical bandsaws, like any other decision, depends on things like need, capabilities, and fit. Both can be used for woodworking and in metal fabrication shops.
Horizontal bandsaw machines have the capacity to cut materials from soft woods to thick metals. Vertical bandsaw machines are used for cutting wood, metal, and plastic.
Vertical bandsaws are ideal for contour cutting while horizontal bandsaws are typically used in large cutting applications.
The horizontal bandsaw is not useful for cutting curves or complicated patterns and shapes while the vertical bandsaw is capable of cutting these intricate angles and shapes. Horizontal bandsaws are safer to operate than the vertical bandsaw because there is no need for the operator to have to make contact with the cutting surface.
With a vertical saw, there is the ability to clamp on both sides of the cut, offering more material stability during the cutting process. The blade pivots around the miter or datum point on a vertical saw whereas on the horizontal bandsaw, the arm swings away from the clamping when mitering.
The set-up of horizontal bandsaws is for use in cutting stock to length and any desired angle, using a lot of power; a critical consideration with regard to shop capabilities from an output perspective. Vertical saws require less power to make continuous cuts.