There are many reasons why a band saw is one of the most versatile tools to add to your workshop. It has been popular since its inception in England at the turn of the 18th century. The concept works by using a rotating thin ribbon saw to make precision cuts. The smaller blades were better suited for the intricate Victorian furniture designs of that time. The original versions were steam and foot-powered.
It is hard to decide about the band saw to fulfill your business needs. This power tool is widely used in various construction projects. Tough construction materials can be cut easily with the unit as it will have sharp metal teeth. The selection of the saw should be made based on the specific task you would like to accomplish.
There are different kinds of band saws, which include benchtop, stand-mounted, floor standing. The frame, wheels, hub bearing, and tension system should be observed, and you should be able to use the tool efficiently. Now let’s look at the bandsaw comparison list.
Table of Contents
- Current List
- The Top 9 Best Band Saws on the Market
- What is a band saw?
- Buying Guide – How to buy a Bandsaw
- How to use a Band Saw
The Top 9 Best Band Saws on the Market
1. Grizzly G0457 Deluxe Bandsaw – Best for Woodworking
If you are thinking about which band saw to buy, the 14-inch Grizzly G0457 deluxe can perform a wide range of operations effortlessly. The band saw blade length is 106 inches. The blade speed is 3000 FPM. The cutting capacity is 13.5 inches. The unit has a 2 HP powerful motor. With an RPM of 1725, the unit delivers excellent performance. The weight of the item is 301 pounds.
The durability of the saw is very high. It can be used to perform various kinds of operations effortlessly. This tool is an excellent value for money product.
- The bandsaw is highly durable and lasts longer than other typical bandsaws as it’s made using a steel alloy frame. For further durability, the frame is kept in a one-piece steel frame to withstand challenging situations.
- Nearly all bandsaws are equipped with wheels, but this one features computer-balanced wheels that are relatively easier to move the machine.
- It features a ball bearing guide for blades that ensures maximum accuracy while beating many bandsaws in providing accurate cutting.
- The saw has a quick-release tensioning system for the bandsaw to work fine; this technology isn’t very common.
- It helps in providing easy cuts in narrow stock as there’s a resawing fence installed on the side of the saw.
- Its design itself is unique and not like many bandsaws.
- Durable product
- Meant for heavy-duty
- Excellent support from the manufacturer.
- It is a heavy piece.
- The dust port is shallow.
2. Rikon 10-325 Best for the Money
Rikon 14 inch band saw comes with quick release blade tension. There are two speeds associated with the saw. The unit has a hinged blade guard with a sight window. It has a large table with a size of 16 x 21.5 inches. The 4″ dust port facilitates the removal of waste very quickly.
You can take advantage of the safe operation of the power tool with blade tracking and tension windows. You can change the blade very easily.
- The saw features inset viewing windows that help you correctly set the blade and tension for accurate results.
- It allows you to cut a variety of materials, including wood and non-ferrous.
- Its motor is comparatively powerful than many band saws with multiple speed variations to give smooth cutting with ease.
- There’s a tool storage cabinet that keeps your tools while saving more space for other things in your workshop. Not all band saws are equipped with a storage cabinet.
- Its heavy cast iron table provides comparatively larger space for more material on your table for cutting.
- Also, you can tilt the wide-area table for cutting at different angles without bending the machine.
- Its sturdy steel frame not only lasts longer but also prevents vibration during heavy-duty cutting.
- It Delivers very smooth and stable performance.
- They are meant for different cutting applications.
- Enhanced functionality.
- Adjustable rip fence.
- Quick-release blades.
- The work area will be clean because of the dust ports.
- You can get it for under 1000 dollars
- The table should be adjusted to enhance functionality.
- The light should be appropriately adjusted.
3. Jet 708115K JWBS Best Beginner
The woodworking band saw comes with an enclosed stand. The cutting capacity of the band saw is 6″ x 13.5″. The blade will move at 3,000 strokes per minute, and it is fitted with 1 HP engine. The unit has a saw table and dust chute. The weight of the tool is 185 pounds. You can take advantage of the 15″ x 15″ table. The unit comes with a 5-year warranty.
There are powerful features with the band saw. It has a very simple and straight forward design. The unit comes with easy-to-follow instructions. As the rip fence is excellent, there will be great comfort in handling the unit. You can expect a very high level of fit and finish the unit. The saw is free from friction and vibration.
- Its horizontal design gives much convenient cutting in a wide range of angles.
- When you unbox the saw, there are all the tools included required for assembly, making it easy and less time-consuming to start cutting right away.
- The dust chute system protects your gears against dust for prolonged life while keeping you safe as well.
- For cooler running blades, the saw has graphite integrated polymer blade guides.
- It provides protection against chipping and flaking the machine with its metal housing.
- One of the most appreciable features about this saw is the minimum requirement for maintenance to keep you at ease.
- Most importantly, you don’t have to be professional to operate this machine as it features a user-friendly structure for easy adjusting blade operations.
- A large tilting table offers excellent flexibility
- Vibration-free operation
- Heat and friction reducing blades
- Durable metal housing
- Faster results with a powerful engine
- User-friendly design
- You should renew the dust chute from time to time
- The device should be used as per the guidelines given by the manufacturer
4. Rikon 10-305 10 inch bandsaw
This is the scaled-down version of the 10-325 model. If you want a Rikon bandsaw and you want a smaller size, this one is a great choice. It will offer less power, but you will get a better price. It is still big enough for a smooth operation.
If you want to use it for larger pieces, the motor is not good enough. Using the handle you can tune the height in just a few moments. The sturdy frame lacks stability, and the table can go from 0 to 45 degrees.
It is preferable if you will use this model for woodworking because the 10-305 is not that great with other materials.
For most DIY-ers, this is still a great machine. The 10-305 is simple and easy to use. For the price it offers, it also has a rip fence and a bigger work surface. The unit was created for convenience, the levers and bars are within reach when using the band saw.
- The saw offers relatively less cutting capacity, making it suitable for those looking to cut smaller materials. Also, smaller size helps beginners in easily handling the small materials.
- In addition, the motor also has comparatively low power for handling small tasks — another beginner-oriented unique feature.
- Table tilting is also a lot easier, not for bigger operations, again, making the machine perfect for newbies.
- A few of the most updated bandsaws have rip-fence technology, but this one has the same technology that’s removable for further convenience.
- Its tensioning knob is quite easily accessible and is guarded with the finest safety gear.
- A guidepost is common, but the one this machine has is easy to turn to handle while making the adjustments quick and simple.
- rip fence for its price
- large work surface for its price
- Not so much power
- Lacks some stability
5. WEN 3962 Two-Speed
The WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw with stand and work light incorporates several attractive options that increase its overall usability. A 3.5 amp motor produces up to 2620 FPM giving you the power you need to tackle tough jobs. The 72″ blade can go down to 1/8 in size, and the worktable size has been increased to give you more workspace.
This unit operates smoother than most of the competition. The dual 10″-wheels are ball bearing balanced to reduce vibrations and increase accuracy. An innovative 3-in-1 dust port gives you added flexibility when attaching dust collection hoses.
- It is a lot safer than table saws and portable saws as this one lacks kickback when using it.
- The wheel using saws may cause a little movement when cutting heavy material, but this one features a stand that is not moveable.
- Also, it provides stability and safety but not moving the machine, which can cause accidents.
- Most band saws are made using steel only, but this one comprises aluminum and steel, making the saw more durable, stable, and safe.
- It comes with an LED light, miter gauge, and stand that you have to buy separately in case of other bandsaws.
- Its spacious table is not just beginner-friendly but instead designed for professionals who need heavy-duty work.
- The ability to switch between two speeds.
- Triple filter dust port on the back of the filter.
- It allows for 45-degree bevel cuts to be made.
- Extremely functional, helpful, and well-designed.
- It has the ability to cut through both wood and metal.
- Work lights that are adaptable and Headlights with LEDs.
- A variety of blade sizes ranging from 12 to 1/8 inches can be used.
- By adjusting the blade tension, the tune may become highly smooth.
- The ability to operate at two speeds is beneficial for a variety of tasks.
- The blade configuration can be highly frustrating at times.
- It is challenging to adjust and set up the blade and tilt on the sled.
- The tension knob is prone to breaking off because it is made of plastic.
- Some components are prone to failure as a result of a lack of quality control.
- It becomes increasingly difficult to achieve a perfect fit between the blade and the tire.
6. SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9 inch
The SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw features a rack and pinion table adjustment for quick angle and height corrections. The one-speed motor is easy to operate and runs smoothly. A 1 1/2″ dust port gives you the option to attach a dust collection hose to reduce sawdust.
The LED cut-line light makes woodworking in low light easier than ever. This unit is specially designed for cutting irregular shapes and ripping lumber into thinner pieces. The 6-TPI blade can cut through a variety of woods and metals with ease. The miter gauge makes crosscuts more accurate.
SKIL is known for producing quality tools, and this product is no exception. A 3-year manufacturer’s warranty comes included with your band saw. This device uses a 120-volt 2.5-amp motor to make your cuts smoother and more exact. The added power makes a big difference in performance. This product is designed to reduce your workload while increasing your productivity.
- Its motor is more powerful than many bandsaws, making it powerful enough to easily cut wood and metal with no vibration.
- The saw is compact and lightweight yet made using strong material for increased durability besides portability.
- Unlike many bandsaws, this one offers a single speed which can be not good for professionals, but newbies find it easy to operate with a single-speed blade.
- Its table isn’t that spacious but provides various angles to cut the material by just tilting the table instead of other parts.
- An LED light is common in nearly all the bandsaws, but this feature can fine-tune its position for high accuracy.
- Having sawdust in such a small bandsaw is surprising that it keeps the debris while protecting the user and the material.
- It comes with a dust storage bag.
- Blades can be changed in a matter of seconds.
- A miter gauge is a tool that is used to cut miter joints.
- The amount of noise and vibration is kept to a bare minimum.
- It is equipped with LED lighting to improve visibility on cutting lines.
- Stability and low vibration are enhanced by the use of a large cast-iron foundation.
- The outer shell is made of a solid metal alloy that is both durable and long-lasting.
- It is equipped with a rip fence, which allows users to make precise and accurate cuts.
- Overheating of the motor.
- Wheels that aren’t locked in place.
- Problems with the fence and miter.
- This model does not have variable speed control.
- The motor isn’t powerful enough to handle large-scale construction projects.
- Because some components are made of plastic, and they are susceptible to breaking at any time.
7. DEWALT DCS371B 20V Band saw
The DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion uses an innovative band saw blade tracking technology to improve your cuts’ accuracy. This unit can cut up to 2-1/2″ thick pieces of wood and 2″ of SCH 20 pipe. The center balanced padded handle provides better ergonomics and comfort. The lithium-ion battery charges quickly and can handle hours of heavy use.
- It features an excellent cutting capacity that means it can cut up to more measurements with more cutting speed.
- Its design offers a great balance for easy and accurate cutting as the blade is centralized while the battery and motor are on both sides for perfect balancing.
- The adjustable blade tracking extends blade life while making it budget-friendly by saving blade costs.
- The saw is a lot easier to move across multiple places because of its compact size and lightweight.
- There’s a hanging hook attached, so you can hang the saw when not being used to protect against damage for prolonged life.
- Most bandsaws have a battery, but the one this features has more life before you recharge it.
- The ability to lock the device.
- It comes with an LED work light.
- Can work with metal and other materials.
- It is lightweight and compact, making it portable.
- Compatibility with any other tool in the 20V Max product line.
- Blade replacement is simple and quick without the use of a tool.
- The handle is placed in a comfortable and convenient location for control.
- Blade tracking adjustment is beneficial for extending the life of the blade.
- Cutting width is restricted.
- Blades can be challenging to come by at times.
- There are no variable speed settings on this machine.
- The purchase does not include a charger or a battery.
- The weight of the battery has an impact on the balance of the tool.
8. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Kit
The Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 band saw Kit combines form with functionality. The ultra-portable design gives you added flexibility when working on your projects. This saw is designed to cut through conduit and pipe, with a max cut capacity of 2″. This unit comes with a hard plastic carry case with two 12-volt batteries, a charger, and extra band saw blades.
The adjustable shoe feature helps you to make exact changes with ease. The LED guide light automatically turns on during use; to give you increased visibility of your cutting surface. After you see how easy this unit cuts through pipes, you will never want to use a hacksaw again.
This product weighs 12.4 pounds and its dimensions are 11.6″ x 16.8″ x 6.5″. The lithium-ion batteries are rechargeable and can be exchanged with red lithium batteries, significantly increasing your operating time. A 5-year manufacturer’s warranty adds to the overall appeal of this product.
- You can easily handle and operate this saw using one hand because of its compact design, user-friendly structure, and lightweight.
- Its powerful battery lasts longer and gives more cuts than many bandsaws before you recharge it.
- In addition, the battery doesn’t take much time to get fully charged, and its weight is less to not add extra weight to the saw.
- There’s an attached LED light that helps you out while working in a dark and dim environment besides providing accurate cuts.
- Not most bandsaws come with a battery, spare blades, and charging stations. However, this one includes all of these tools that you would have to buy separately in case of other saws, so this one is quite budget-friendly.
- Trigger with variable speed
- It is intended for one-handed cutting.
- Easy to use, small and lightweight.
- Comes with a large and durable carrying case.
- The blade cuts smoothly, cleanly, and precisely.
- Because it is battery-operated, the cord will not get in the way.
- An LED light illuminates the cut line, allowing for quick and accurate cuts.
- Operates at a slow pace
- Uncertainty about the quality.
- The depth of the cut is limited.
- They have less power than corded tools.
- Insufficient capacity of the accompanying battery.
- The blades that come with the kit are of poor quality.
9. DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch
The DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit gives you access to everything you need to start cutting. The 5″ deep cut capacity is the best in the industry. An easy to use speed adjustment knob allows you to vary your blade speed, depending on your job.
The quick charge 10-amp motor provides you with extended cutting times. An integrated hang hook allows you to hang this saw and avoid any damage from laying it on the ground. A built-in LED light gives you better visibility in low light scenarios.
- Easy for changing the blade.
- The weight of the machine is easy to transport.
- The durability of the equipment is unquestionable.
- The blades can be adjusted and used over a longer life.
- Triggers variable speed to adjust and control the shape.
- The best engine for heavy-duty applications in the industry
- An LED light is available that can be used in non-light rooms.
- Lightweight that contributes to combating user fatigue via bad arms.
- No tough case for blade protection.
- No lock trigger to be constantly cut.
- The machine would not be suitable for budget users.
- You may need to purchase separate blades as those that do not last very long.
- Getting an ergonomically designed band saw made using high-quality material at the same time is rare. However, this one is designed for easy operations and made using premium quality material for longevity.
- There’s a couple of rubbing shrouds that protect its casing, making it surprising for many woodworkers to protect external parts as well.
- Since the saw offers variable speeds and ergonomic design simultaneously, it can be perfect for both professionals and occasional users.
- Multiple speeds aren’t a unique feature, but at the price range and in the same category, it’s better than many one-speed saws.
- Most importantly, it doesn’t require more adjustments and fine-tuning coming out of the box.
- Besides being compact for comfortable portability within and outside the house, it has a hanging hook, so you can hang for added protection.
What is a band saw?
All band saws share a common characteristic with jigsaws, a thin blade. A band saw can cut smaller pieces than a jigsaw. This type of saw allows you to see your work better than a jigsaw to make cuts faster. Introducing a band saw to your shop will add many different cutting capabilities. Another significant advantage of a band saw over a jigsaw is the ability to stack cut. Band saws are better suited for cutting thicker materials because the blade does not wonder.
The innovative design of the band saw provided more accuracy than a circular saw while using less power to operate. By using a long ribbon saw blade, the heat created is dramatically reduced. This is because only a small portion of the blade is being used at a given time. The cutting blades long looped design is ideally suited for this type of use. The downward force of the blade hitting your wood helps to hold your wood snug to your saw table. This improves the overall accuracy of your cuts and reduces the amount of sawdust created.
When WWII broke out, specific tools and products became increasingly difficult to obtain due to price or scarcity. This led many craftsmen of that time to build their own, by using directions printed in Popular Mechanics magazines. These became very popular, and homemade furniture began to become a regular site again.
Today, the band saw is a staple of the woodworker’s community, with a variety of different styles and configurations available.
Buying Guide – How to buy a Bandsaw
The overall craftsmanship of any potential band saws should also be reviewed, with particular attention paid to the length and terms of the product’s warranty. It would be best if you ever considered how much continuous use time you would require. Will you be sawing for a hobby or a profession? What is your budget?
Home workshops will benefit the most from a table band saws capability. When operated correctly, a good band saw can easily straight cut through wood and metal with little to no loss of accuracy. A table band saw provides you with a stable platform to cut on. This type of saw allows you to cut pieces at angles, such as beveled cuts. Make intricate cuts with precision, and raise your craftsmanship to the next level.
Band saws can come in many variations to fit your workspace. If you are cutting pipe in an area with reduced visibility, you should consider a band saw with an interior light. This will improve your low light visibility and accuracy. A wireless unit is going to give you more flexibility, but you will want to bring your backup batteries to ensure you don’t run out of power.
A band saw should feel smooth when cutting. This smoothness is attained by using ball-bearing stabilizers, located around the axles of the saw wheels. These wheels can come in two configurations, V-belt pulley, and solid steel.
These can come in many different sizes. Larger wheels will provide a smoother cut with 1″ being one of the most popular formats on the market. The main thing to understand about band saw wheels is; they must be a good round. If your band saw wheels are not balanced, this will cause harmonic vibrations to occur. Harmonic vibrations are the worst thing for band saws. They will cause unnecessary wear and inaccuracy.
Band saws come in two variations, a 2-wheel, and a 3-wheel configuration. Depending on your workload, you may find one better suited for the job. A 3-wheel band saw gives added throat but has some disadvantages. The throat is the distance between the down cutting side and the return blade.
A 2-wheel configuration is preferred in most scenarios. This is because fewer directional changes are resulting in less blade wear. Below are some other subcategories of band saws.
These large saws are used to make the first cuts into a log. This type of band saw has a wider tooth spacing and silver teeth on the reverse side of the blade. Silver teeth are used to clear debris from the cut.
Small Shop Saw
This type of saw is very similar to a head saw design, but a much smaller band saw. This saw is usually found in home workshops. This is the perfect saw for the hobbyist.
This type of band saw is designed to cut along the grain of the timber to split it into veneers. Resaws use a wide blade to reduce the waste produced.
This type of band saw is very large. Double cut band saws have blades on both sides for cutting while removing from deep cuts.
This type of band saw is used to cut metals and comes in vertical or horizontal arrangements. The vertical band saw is called a contour saw. It is common for this design to have brushes to prevent residue from getting into the wheels.
Before you buy any band saw, you should consider the amount of use you predict. You don’t want to buy a band saw designed for a hobbyist if you plan on commercial usage. You also don’t need to spend the same amount of cash on a hobbyist band saw, as you would on a professional saw. If you are purchasing a used band saw, you should change the blades before use.
3TPI blades, in extra-set, are great for woodturning. They can produce excellent results. You should always try to get at least a 1-hp motor. This ensures your cutting power is adequate to complete your projects. A 6″ cutting height should be your minimum requirement.
Inspect all guides and rollers to make sure they are firm. Consider the manufacturer’s warranty length and the quality of the brands. Not all band saws are created equal; many have subpar craftsmanship that causes reduced durability. Avoid this by sticking with well-known manufacturers, most of whom provide 1-year plus warranties.
There are so many varieties of band saws available on the market today. With so many choices, it can seem overwhelming to choose the right one. This versatile machine has been a vital part of woodworking for over a century.
Before its invention, the majority of detailed woodcraft required handmade tools. Today, we can all benefit from the intelligent design of this product. Technology continues to shape band saws by adding new features. Safety has become a primary concern of manufacturers, who are eager to prove their product is the best value. A well-maintained band saw can last a lifetime.
By doing your homework, you can find the perfect band saw for your use. Use this band saw buying guide to help you make an informed decision. Quality is going to be the main determining factor when considering the choice.
How to use a Band Saw
Understanding the proper use of a band saw is the first step on your journey to finding the right band saw for you. There a couple of settings you must have set up to use the band saw. First, before setting up anything on your band saw you should unplug it. This will prevent accidental turn on and shocks.
Next, you need to tune your saw. If not correctly optimized, your band saw will cut more like a chainsaw, and if your blade is drifting, your cuts will not be as accurate. Your guide bearings must also be set to control the side-to-side movement of the blade.
Next, you should consider what type of cut you are making. Then, what kind of blade is required. Blades come in all different thicknesses, and tooth counts. The fewer teeth you have per square inch, the coarser your cuts will be, but the faster it will cut. A smooth cut will require more teeth per square inch. The number of teeth on your blade will influence your feed rate.
Then, consider your cut radius. A curved cut will require a thinner blade. The thinner the blade, the sharper the curve you can create. This is opposed to resawing that requires a wide blade, usually close to 1″ in thickness.
Before installing your blade, you want to make sure your throat plate has been removed, and your guide has been taken completely off. Also, make sure your table pin is removed. The tension should be backed off, so the wheels are closer together.
Safety glasses should always be worn when working with band saws. Before installing your blades, clean the wheels with a small piece of 220-grit sandpaper. Now place your blade around the lower wheel first. Then, place the blade around the top wheel and center it between the guides.
Once installed, you must center and track the blade. Do this by adding tension to the blade to pull it taught. Once you have tension, start turning the top blade wheel by hand. Now, turn the tracking knob to turn the center of the wheel. Do this until it is centered.
You must have proper blade tension to operate your band saw correctly by adjusting your tension to one size larger than the blade installed. For example, if you have a 1/2″ blade, you would take your blade tension to the 3/4″ setting. You should always take the time to fine-tune your blade tension. It is essential to back this tension off when the saw is not in use. If you keep the pressure on, it will compress the tires on the wheels and cause premature wear and tear. If you operate the saw with not enough tension, your cuts will be inaccurate.
Once your tracking and tension are correct, you are ready to adjust your blade guides. The upper guide consists of a thrust bearing that turns to provide support. There are also side guides to prevent the blade from sway. These should be set to the width of a card from the blade, almost touching it. The lower guide should be set up the same way, keeping the width to that of a card. A business card can be used to get you as close as possible to the blade without any crossover.
One of the main things to adjust prior to making any cuts is the blade guard height. This moves up and down to expose only the cutting part of the blade reducing vibrations. This guard should be set 1/4″ above the surface of your cutting area. If this is not properly set up, you will lose accuracy during your cut.
Rotate the wheels by hand and check for any blade obstructions. If everything is still smooth, plug your band saw in and turn it on. Check to make sure nothing is binding. Now, unplug the saw and raise the guard. Take a square and check your square to the blade. This will ensure your cut is square to the table. You don’t want to cut from an uneven table unless your plans call for such an action.
Blade drift is the natural tendency for blades to angle. Adjusting the fence can correct this. The fence is the adjustable wall on the table. Once these items are set up, you are ready to start sawing.
When you start your cut, you don’t want to be making contact with the saw until the blade is on. Once the blade is on, you want to begin slowly moving your wood into the blade, steering it from behind. When cutting, you can feel the cut-rate your saw blade requires to operate correctly. This is called your feed-rate. This should feel smooth and even and it’s necessary for you to adjust your speed to get the best feed-rate possible.
For the money, Rikon 10-325 14-Inch Deluxe Band Saw is the best band saw from this review. The band saw should deliver a very smooth performance, and it should be durable as well. Lumbar sizing can be done very easily. You can enjoy the uniform operation of the blade with the help of 1.5 HP motor. Two speeds facilitated by the unit delivers a wide range of applications. If you follow the guidelines present in the manual you can operate, the band saw in the best possible way.
The heavy-duty and adjustable rip fence and quick release blades will let you make the most of your time and effort, and well. The work area will be immaculate as the dust port will let you maintain very high standards. The dust will be out of air. The selection of the band saw should be done as per the functionality, budget, and user-friendly features. You should also find the warranty and support offered by the manufacturer. If you have access to spare parts, there will be excellent value for the money.