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Band saws are a very useful and versatile tool to have in your workshop.
They’re perfect not only for making intricate details and curves but can also tear through thicker pieces of wood efficiently.
If you’re wondering, what size do I need? – look no further. We’re here to help with our reviews and buyer’s guide.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Band Saw with Reviews
Here's a list of the best band saws we found on the market today:
1. Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw
Not so Good
The Grizzly G0555LX has a cast iron frame and table, which is important because it’s much more able withstand a lot of pressure and won’t warp or bend. It has two-speed settings and can perform well against any wood. The computer balanced cast iron wheels make is precise and easy to control.
The thing that stands out about this model is its weight. At 247 pounds, this is a heavy piece of equipment. It’s solid, durable, and can take a lot of pressure. The one downside? Its weight affects its portability drastically. It won’t be easy to move this one once you get it set up.
Whether or not you’ll be willing to invest in the Grizzly G0555LX depends on what you’ll be using it for. It’s quite expensive and has the chops to perform in a professional workshop, completing frequent, heavy-duty jobs without issue. For a hobbyist or for occasional work around the house, this might be too much of a financial investment. This is also the best metal band saw we reviewed, though some tweaks will have to be made.
One small downside to this one is that it’s only 1 HP. While that’s more than enough for jobs around the house, it’s at the low end of performance for a professional machine. Still, it cuts beautifully and is a reliable piece of equipment.
2. Rikon 10-305 Band Saw
Not so Good
The Rikon 10-305 is one of the best benchtop band saws on the market. It is compact and the perfect size to have in a home workshop. You’ll get the results you need even if you don’t have a lot of space. If you decide you want to use this on a stand instead of a benchtop, one is available but has to be ordered separately.
One thing that stands out about this model is the price. It’s the best value because, although you will find some that are less expensive, you will not get the same performance from them. Also, with the Rikon 10-305, you get the brand’s limited 5-year warranty.
If you’re looking for a model to take your woodworking to the next level, this is a great choice. It’s moderately priced and performs well despite the fact that it’s small enough to fit on top of your workbench.
It only has a ⅓ HP engine, which is a little on the low side and could mean it will bog down with thicker, heavier species of wood. For most jobs, though, this will be more than enough power to see you through to the end. It’s the best band saw for woodworking if that’s all you’ll be planning to use it for.
3. WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw
Not so Good
The WEN 3962 another benchtop model which comes with a stand and is a good saw for anyone just getting started. It’s a high performance saw for the price and can cut through just about anything you would need to do around the house for DIY projects or woodworking.
What stands out about this saw is how well it performs for its price. We’re calling it our best budget item and that’s precisely why – you can get great results for a fraction of the cost of some of the other models we reviewed.
That said, it’s important to point out that there are some downsides to buying this band saw, despite its fair price. The controls are super sensitive and a bit unforgiving so it might be hard to get the settings to exactly where you want them. This is especially true with smaller, thinner blades. But, once you find the sweet spot on the controls, this saw works as perfectly.
It comes with a work light that is a toss up – when you’re able to position it, it’s great. But sometimes, it shifts and ends up shining in the eyes of the user. Also, while this saw does have two speeds, the motor belt actually has to be removed and adjusted to switch between them. There’s no easy control to go back and forth between the fast speed and the slow one.
4. SKIL 3386-01 Bench Top Band Saw
Not so Good
The SKIL 3306-01 is a small, lightweight benchtop band saw that has a handful of attractive features. Despite being lightweight, the cast iron base helps give it stability to keep the saw stable during use. The controls are easy to understand and the large angle scale is easier to read.
What stands out about this saw is how user-friendly it is. The controls are easy to see and use and the EZ view blade tracking helps make precise cuts.
This is an ideal tool for a beginner. It’s very inexpensive and a great starter tool for someone just learning how to use a band saw. Because it has so few horsepower, it will only be useful for small DIY jobs or crafts and won’t be able to handle too much pressure without bogging down. But it does the job it was designed to do well.
If you try to use this model for large jobs or with thick, hardwood, you’ll probably be disappointed in its performance. It’s important to keep in mind that because it is so lightweight and only has 0.4 HP, it wasn’t designed to tackle difficult jobs. If you’re looking for something to do small jobs with, this one will work just fine without breaking the bank.
5. Powermatic PWBS-14CS Woodworking Bandsaw
Not so Good
The Powermatic PWBS-14CS has a large, expandable work table that’s so big, it’s made of two pieces, though it can be a little difficult to get the two pieces set up. The control gauges are easy to read and set to different size blades. Changing blades is also made easier with a quick release lever. It’s a user-friendly machine that’s perfect for hobbyists, woodworkers, and DIYers.
The 60-watt halogen lamp really makes this model stand out. It’s built right into the body and shines light directly onto the blade so you can easily see what you’re working with. You also get a lot of horsepower for the price.
This is one of the least expensive models we reviewed and it’s pretty impressive. The power alone is surprising for such a low price, as is the weight. This is a solid piece of equipment that should be able to tackle most home jobs and some light professional ones.
The assembly and operating instructions are confusing so initial setup might take awhile, as will learning how to make various adjustments to the machine. It comes with a 5-year limited warranty that’s one of the most generous in the business.
6. JET JWBS-14DXPRO Deluxe Pro Band Saw
Not so Good
The Jet JWBS-14XD PRO is a powerful, versatile tool. It can handle material 13.5 inches wide and 12 inches thick but can also work with smaller, more delicate pieces thanks to the retractable blade guard. The cast iron frame keeps the saw steady and no riser block is needed to help with the toughest jobs. To make sure this saw keeps up its level of performance year after year, a high tension spring provides consistency and the quick release tension makes it easy to make quick adjustments.
In addition to how powerful and precise this model is, it also comes with a unique stand that includes storage to help you keep your workspace less cluttered and more organized.
This saw in a pretty big financial investment but is a great, powerful tool to have for heavy duty projects or any kind of professional, long-term work.
With the upper and lower ball bearing guides, quick adjustment, and blade tracking window, this tool is powerful and precise enough for professional use. There are some issues with the tension spring not holding onto wider blades well, but once you play with it and get a feel for how it’s supposed to go, this problem usually rectifies itself.
7. POWERTEC BS900 Benchtop Band Saw
Not so Good
For a lightweight band saw that’s perfect for light use in a home workshop, the Powertec BS900 is ideal. It’s easy to adjust the blade and has a patented window so that the user can see where the blade is cutting at all times.
What makes this one special is how many functions you get for the price. This is the least expensive model in our reviews and it still has a lot of features to offer. Its quick release blade action makes it easy to make adjustments. Although it’s lightweight, it comes with an aluminum cast table for stability when in use.
The Powertec BS900 is really affordably priced and worth it as long as you use it as it was intended. It’s ideal for small workshops, crafts, or small DIY projects but can’t handle much else because of its low horsepower and slow blade speed.
The downsides are that it’s only really useful for thinner materials and can only hold blades up to ⅜ inch. That said, if you’re looking for something with not a lot of frills that’s easily affordable, the Powertec BS900 is a great tool for anyone just learning or someone looking for something for small jobs.
How to buy a Band Saw
Because there are so many different models on the market, it might be a little overwhelming to try to figure out which one it the best for you. There are some things you should consider before you decide to purchase a band saw to make sure that you get the one that has exactly what you need, without having too few or too many features.
If you’re interested in buying a band saw, you probably know that they’re ideal for making intricate, precise cuts and curves but they’re also great for resawing thin strips of wood and ripping larger ones. There are so many different specifications available, the very first thing you’ll need to do is decide what you’re going to be using it for.
Do you want something for occasional, light, detailed work? Or are you looking for something that can handle thicker material and heavier jobs? Once you figure this out, you’ll know what specs you’ll need.
There are two basic kinds types:
- Floor-standing Cabinet Models: are larger, heavier, and built to be able to handle a lot of heavy work. These are usually the kind that professional woodworkers or contractors prefer. They’re usually more sturdy and stable but are also more expensive.
- Bench Top Models: are smaller and lighter. They’re ideal for home use and can be set on the top of a workbench. You can still get great results from a bench top model and some have stands designed for them that you can buy separately if you don’t want to take up too much space on your work area.
Here are the features you should be aware of when choosing a band saw:
- Frame – support for the whole unit. You want this to be made of steel or cast iron. Plastic frames aren’t good for much beyond very light work as they’re not as sturdy or durable as more solid metals. If you’re planning on using larger pieces of material, this is particularly important.
- Horsepower – how much power the motor is able to produce. Most bandsaws have around 1 HP. Professional ones will be more than 1 HP while band saws meant for light home use will often be less, often around ½ HP. The heavier the jobs you’re planning, the more horsepower you need. Keep in mind that if your band saw has an HP less than 1, it will only be good for smaller jobs around the house. Even if you’re not planning on using it for large jobs right away, if you anticipate you will in the future, it’s worth investing in a more powerful saw so that you have more options.
- Throat – distance from the blade to the vertical frame. This will determine the width that your model will be able to handle. Again, even if you don’t plan to right away, if you’re planning to use large pieces of material down the line it’s worth looking for a band saw that can accommodate larger material.
- Table – The work table should be made or cast iron, steel, or an aluminum alloy in order to provide a strong, sturdy support for your material while you work. Some are quite large and even have options to extend them. Most will also tilt to the right and/or left. A common tilt for a band saw table is 45 degrees to the right. This will give you more options and make your saw more versatile.
- Blade Width – the size of the blade that can be used. This will typically be given as a minimum measurement and maximum measurement. The saw will be able to use blades that fit within the range.
- Weight – Some models are really heavy. So heavy that one person will not be able to move them. Others are quite lightweight to be moved around.
- Extras – Some come with things you don’t necessarily need but are really convenient and nice to have, including a quick release for fast blade changes, work lights, windows to see the blade and where you’re cutting, onboard storage.
If you’re looking for a band saw, the first thing you need to do is decide the kind of jobs you’ll be using it for. Then, you can figure out which one will suit your needs. Use our buying guide to help figure out what specs you need to look for. If you’re looking for something versatile and powerful, we recommend the Grizzly G0555LX. It’s perfect for a professional or a DIYer and can handle any job, big or small.
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