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Band Saws

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The Best Band Saws For The Money

WEN 3962 Band Saw Review

Size

20″ x 25″ x 58″

Weight

73 lbs

Motor

3.5 Amp ~ 0.65 HP

Cut Range

6″ Deep
9.75″ Wide

Warranty

2-year warranty

Size

29″ x 28″ x 77″

Weight

247 lbs

Motor

1.75 HP

Cut Range

12″ Deep
13.5″ Wide

Warranty

5-year warranty

Best Budget Band Saw

Size

18″ x 13″ x 35.5″

Weight

75.8 lbs

Motor

0.33 HP

Cut Range

4-5/8″ Deep
9-5/8″ Wide

Warranty

5-year warranty

Size

17.7″ x 11.4″ x 31.5″

Weight

44 lbs

Motor

0.5 HP

Cut Range

3-5/8″ Deep
9″ Wide

Warranty

1-year warranty

Size

23.5″ x 16.5″ x 67.5″

Weight

246 lbs

Motor

1 HP

Cut Range

6″ Deep
13.5″ Wide

Warranty

1-year warranty

Size

16.25″ x 12.75″ x 31.1″

Weight

16.5 lbs

Motor

0.5 HP

Cut Range

3.5″ Deep
9″ Wide

Warranty

3-year warranty

Size

12.2″ x 15.4″ x 8.7″

Weight

10.2 lbs

Motor

Cut Range

2.5″ Deep
Designed for 2″ SCH 40 pipe

Warranty

3-year warranty
1-year free service

WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight

WEN 3962 Band Saw Review

Summary & Features

This versatile bandsaw is available in 9-, 10-, and 14-inch models, although we’re specifically reviewing the 10-inch model here. The Wen 3962 two speed band saw is very advantageous because its stand is removable, meaning it can be a floor-standing or benchtop model depending on your needs and preferences. 

The Wen 3962 two speed bandsaw has a powerful 3.5 amp motor, and, as its name suggests, two-speed settings, at 1520 and 2620 feet per minute. These speed settings make this bandsaw particularly good for cutting a variety of wood types. It has a cutting capacity of 6 inches deep and 9 ¾ inches wide. It uses 72 inch long blades, with widths between ⅛ and ½ inches. The saw comes with a ¾ inch wide blade with 6 teeth per inch. 

The Wen 3962 saw has a spacious table measuring 14 ⅛ inches by 12 ½ inches. The table has a bevel mechanism of 45 degrees. The saw uses two-wheel operation with ball bearings for extra smoothness, and its 3-in-1 dust collection port fits several different sizes of vacuum hose. Finally, this saw comes equipped with a rip fence, a miter gauge, a work light with an individual power switch, and a generous 2-year warranty. 

Overall, the Wen band saw with stand is a fantastic choice for any woodworker. It is extremely versatile and offers tons of extra features at a relatively low price. 

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Lots of bonus features included, including rip fence, miter gauge, and LED work light
  • Can function as either a floor-standing or benchtop model 
  • 2-year warranty 

Cons

  • Ball bearing guides are susceptible to damage from excess dust, so be sure to utilize the dust collection mechanism
  • Motor might not be powerful enough for some metals and other materials 

Jet JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw

Summary & Features

If you’re looking for the highest quality floor-standing band saw on the market, you won’t find much better than the Jet JWBS 14DXPro Deluxe Band Saw Kit. This is an extremely sturdy model with a cast iron frame featuring 1.25 HP and a poly v-belt drive system with two speeds (1500 or 3000 SPFM). It’s a strong, fast, and remarkably powerful tool. 

The Jet deluxe model has a 14-inch throat and a 12-inch resaw cutting capability. It uses a 105-inch long blade, and has upper and lower ball bearing blade guides that minimize friction and maximize blade life. It features quick-release blade tension for added performance. 

The Jet saw features a large 14 inch by 14 inch work table. The table has a bevel capability of 10 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right, allowing for complex and intricate cuts. 

This bandsaw model also features a retractable blade guard that is adjustable between 0 and 12 inches and that includes a transparent viewing window. It’s a unique and valuable safety feature on an already impressive model. The saw comes with a 5-year warranty. 

Pros

  • Suitable for professional use 
  • Extremely sturdy construction and reliable performance 
  • 12-inch resaw capacity allows you to cut larger pieces of wood 
  • 5-year guarantee

Cons

  • Most expensive model we’re reviewing here 
  • Very heavy model—almost 250 pounds

Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence, 10-Inch

Summary & Features

If you don’t have the space or the budget for a professional floor-standing model like the one we reviewed above, don’t worry—you can still find plenty of options that will give you the quality and versatility of a great band saw. Take the Rikon 10-305 band saw, for instance. It’s a small but impressive benchtop model that includes many advantages of larger, more expensive saws. 

The Rikon 10-305 band saw features a steel frame construction that is sturdy enough for quality work but lightweight enough to move around on your bench and to transport if necessary. Meanwhile, its cast iron table is remarkably large for a 10-inch model (it measures 13 ¾ by 12 ½ inches). The table has an impressive 45 degree bevel capacity. 

The Rikon 10-305 band saw features a 3.5 amp, ⅓ HP motor. That’s not quite as powerful as some other options we’re reviewing here, but still is plenty for most basic woodworking projects. It has a 4 ⅝ inch cutting depth, and uses 70-inch band saw blades between ⅛ and ½ inches wide (the saw comes with a ¼ inch blade included). It features adjustable guide post height with a convenient handle. 

This benchtop saw also comes with a 2 ½ inch dust port to keep your workspace clean, as well as a removable rip fence. Rikon power tools are well established, and the company offers a 5-year guarantee.  

Pros

  • Great for smaller spaces
  • Excellent choice for resawing 
  • Affordable price
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • Not as powerful as other models
  • Not as sturdy as other models 

POWERTEC BS900 9 Inch Benchtop Bandsaw

Summary & Features

Our best budget pick for a band saw is the Powertec BS900. This model is an extremely affordable benchtop saw suitable for hobbyists and light-duty woodworking projects. It has a throat size of 9 inches and a cutting depth of 3 ⅝ inches. It uses 62-inch long band saw blades and is compatible with ⅛, ¼, and ⅜ inch wide blades (a ¼ inch blade comes included with the saw). 

The Powertec BS900 band saw has a decently powerful ½ HP, 2.5 amp motor. It has one speed setting of 1725 RPM. Its table can tilt to 45 degrees, and the saw comes equipped with a quick-release blade tension lever. 

This benchtop saw model also features a 2 ½ inch dust collection port as well as an adjustable blade guard with a transparent viewing window. It includes a miter gauge and a 1-year warranty. 

If you’re a professional woodworker looking for a sturdy tool, this probably isn’t the model for you. However. If you’re a carpentry novice looking for a quality option at an unbeatable price, this little Powertec saw is worth a look.  

Pros

  • Extremely affordable—least expensive option included in our review 
  • Transportable benchtop model 
  • Safety features such as patented blade guard and quick-release blade tension lever
  • Excellent for light-duty projects and woodworking hobbyists 

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty woodworking projects 
  • Doesn’t feature as much cutting depth as other models 

Grizzly Industrial G0555LX – 14″ 1 HP Deluxe Bandsaw

Summary & Features

Similar to the Jet model we reviewed earlier in this article, the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw is a heavy-duty floor-mounted band saw model suitable for professional woodworkers. However, this saw has the advantage of being considerably less expensive than the Jet model. 

The Grizzly G055LX Deluxe Bandsaw features all-over cast iron construction with ball bearings for maximum stability and smooth performance. Weighing in at 247 pounds, this saw is ideal for all your extreme wood and metalworking projects. It has a 13 ½ inch throat and a 6-inch cutting height (risers are available for separate purchase if you need more depth in your cut). It has a one HP motor and a blade speed of 1725 RPM. 

The Grizzly G055LX Deluxe Bandsaw uses a 93 ½ inch long saw blade, and is compatible with blades measuring ⅛ to ¾ inches wide (it comes with a ⅜ inch wide blade included). This floor-standing model features easy guide post adjustment for the upper blade. Like the Jet model, its table bevels 10 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right, making it an extremely flexible option.

The Grizzly saw includes a 4-inch dust collection port compatible with most shop vacuum hoses. It features unique computer-engineered cast iron wheels with rubber tires, and comes with a one-year guarantee. 

Overall, this Grizzly model is an extremely sturdy, professional floor-standing saw choice that is somewhat more affordable than the Jet version.  

Pros

  • Long blade length 
  • High-quality wheel design—cast iron with rubber tires, balanced by a computer
  • Extremely sturdy cast iron construction
  • More affordable than other cast iron floor-standing models 

Cons

  • Depth capacity is slightly disproportionate to throat size
  • Parts may ship separately 

SKIL 3386-01 120-Volt 9-Inch Band Saw

Summary & Features

SKIL is a terrific and reputable tool brand, and this offering from them demonstrates their quality. The SKIL 3386-01 band saw is a small but mighty benchtop model, with a 2.5 amp motor that is extremely powerful for its size. The smallest saw we’re reviewing here, the SKIL model uses a 59 ½ inch long blade, and is compatible with blades between ⅛ and ⅜ inches wide. It includes a blade with 6 teeth per inch. 

The SKIL 3386-01 band saw has a throat size of 9 inches and a depth cutting capability of 3.5 inches. Its table measures 12 by 11 ¾ inches—not a badly sized table for such a small model. The table tilts up to 45 degrees, allowing for plenty of flexibility in your woodworking. This saw also has a remarkably fast blade speed of 2800 RPM. 

This is an extremely affordable option that includes not only the saw itself and a saw blade, but a miter gauge, rip fence, and adjustable LED work light. It has a 1 ½ inch dust collection port as well as a 3-year warranty. Overall, it is a fantastic choice for novices and hobbyists and will give you plenty of years of enjoyment.  

Pros

  • Very affordable, with extra features included
  • Powerful motor for a small benchtop model
  • Great for novices
  • 3-year guarantee

Cons

  • Small blade capacity
  • Not suitable for professionals or heavy-duty projects 

DEWALT 20V MAX Portable Band Saw

Summary & Features

Pros

  • Cordless design is perfect for awkward or detailed cuts
  • Affordable price
  • Easy, tool-free blade change mechanism 
  • 3-year guarantee

Cons

  • Cordless design means less speed and power than corded models
  • Not the best choice for extended projects 

Introduction

Of all the electric saws and power tools a woodworker can have, a band saw might just be the most versatile and useful. A good band saw can perform several different functions, from rip cuts to resawing to detailed cross cuts. The best band saws can cut many different types of wood, as well as metal, plastic, and other materials. 

Finding the best band saw for the money can be a challenge. Since the tool is so versatile, there are a lot of options, and trying to find the best one can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for the best band saw, this article is for you.

This article’s table of contents includes the uses and benefits of band saws, as well as a buyers’ guide to use when purchasing one of these excellent cutting tools. It will also review seven of the best band saws available on the market today. 

What Is A Band Saw? 

The concept of a band saw is a relatively simple one. It includes a flexible steel blade wrapped around a set of wheels mounted on a frame. The blade passes through the frame or an attached table. 

Band saws became popular during Victorian England, when modern fashion demanded intricately carved and detailed furniture. These original band saws were steam and foot-powered. Nowadays, band saws run on powerful electric motors. 

There are several different types of band saws, but most models can fit into one of two categories: floor-standing and benchtop. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each type of model later in the article. 

Uses & Benefits of Band Saws 

Woodworkers of all experience levels love band saws for their versatility. Like other types of electric saws, you can use a band saw for large rip cuts and for splitting wood. However, you can also use a band saw for curved or uniquely shaped cuts as well as intricate details. 

Band saws can cut metal in addition to wood, provided you use the correct type of blade. Blades for band saws are mostly interchangeable, so you can purchase several different styles and sizes for use with one saw. 

Another advantage of band saws is that they are generally much safer to use than other types of table saws. This is due to their downward cutting action (in comparison to table saw circular cutting action), which virtually eliminates kickback and the risk of flying particles and dust. The downward cutting of band saws also allows for extremely steady, accurate cuts. 

Band saws are an excellent addition to any woodworker’s shop, whether you’re a seasoned professional or a complete carpentry novice. 

Buyers’ Guide 

As with any major purchase, there are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right band saw model for your purposes. Read on for our buying guide for when you’re looking for the best band saw for your shop. 

Floor-Standing vs. Benchtop

As we described above, band saws normally fall into two categories: floor-standing or benchtop. Whether you choose a floor-mounted band saw or a benchtop band saw depends on how you plan to use it. 

In general, floor-standing band saws, also called cabinet band saws, are preferable, because they will give you a lot more flexibility in maneuvering wood while you’re cutting it. Floor-mounted band saws also are usually sturdier than benchtop models, and allow for faster speeds, longer blades, and more powerful motors. 

However, benchtop saws have several advantages of their own. If you have a smaller woodworking shop or studio, or if you transport your tools often, a benchtop model is a great choice. They are also normally less expensive than floor-mounted band saws. 

If you’re a professional carpenter, or if you plan on using your saw very often and for heavy-duty projects, we recommend a floor-mounted model. On the other hand, if you’re a woodworking novice or if you’re tight on space, a benchtop model is a terrific option. 

Brand

While it’s not the top consideration, it’s important to think about manufacturer reputation when purchasing a band saw. Choosing a product from a well-established company will help ensure that you have a safe, high-quality item. Trusted power tool companies are also more likely to include a warranty with your purchase—we recommend purchasing a saw with a warranty of at least one year. 

Some excellent names in power tools are Dewalt, Wen, Jet, and Rikon; although some of the best band saws may come from other manufacturers. 

Power & Speed

The materials you’re able to cut with your band saw will depend largely on how much power and speed your saw has. Manufacturers normally measure band saw power in amps, volts, and horsepower (HP). Anywhere between .5 and 1.5 HP is perfectly acceptable for a saw, although heavy-duty projects will probably require at least 1 HP. 

Hardware companies usually measure band saw speed in feet per minute (FPM) or surface feet per minute (SFPM), although sometimes they measure speed in rotations per minute (RPM). Some saws have adjustable speed settings (such as two speed band saw models) while others only have one speed available. 

Corded vs. Cordless 

Most of the best band saws are corded; however, there are cordless models available as well. Cordless models are particularly useful for projects that require tricky maneuvering, as well as for woodworkers who travel with their tools a lot. 

Keep in mind that corded models will be more powerful than cordless options. If you opt for a cordless model, make sure to check whether the saw’s battery is included with the purchase, or if you’ll need to buy it separately. 

Frame Material & Construction

It’s critical for a band saw to have a sturdy frame, particularly if it’s a floor-standing saw. A strong frame will ensure smooth and accurate cuts, and will provide the correct amount of tension for your saw’s blade. 

The sturdiest, most durable band saw models are made of cast iron; however, cast iron is also extremely heavy and expensive. Other good materials include die-cast or welded steel, which are more lightweight and less expensive while still being strong and relatively durable. 

Throat Size

A band saw’s throat refers to the amount of space between its blade and its frame. It essentially determines how much space you have to navigate and work with, as well as the width of the cuts you can make. Normally, when a manufacturer describes a saw as being a “14 inch band saw”, you can assume they are referring to its throat size. 

A floor-mounted saw model will typically have a longer throat than a benchtop model will. Throat size can range from under 10 inches all the way up to 24 inches. 

Depth of Cut 

Another fundamental measurement to consider when comparing band saw models is its depth of cut capacity. This measurement is the amount of space between the saw’s table and its upper blade guides, and it determines the thickness of wood and other materials that you can cut with your band saw. Some manufacturers may also refer to this distance as recut capacity or cutting height. 

Depending on the model of saw you choose, you may be able to purchase risers to increase the depth of cut. For instance, some band saws that only have a 6 inch cutting height have optional risers that can increase the cutting capacity to over 12 inches. 

Blade

There are a few separate factors to consider regarding your band saw’s blade. You should look for a model that allows for several different blade widths—this will ensure maximum versatility from your tool. In general, blades that measure between ⅛ and 1 inch will serve most woodworking and metalworking purposes. Wider blades are best for long, straight cuts, while narrower blades are preferable for detailed, intricate cuts. 

When purchasing additional blades, make sure that they are the correct length. Larger cabinet band saws normally have longer blades, while benchtop models have shorter ones. 

In addition to length and width, you should consider the teeth per inch, or TPI, of the saw’s blade. This measurement refers to the amount of teeth on an inch of the blade. Metalworking blades will normally have a higher TPI—about 6 to 24—than woodworking blades—about 3 to 6. 

Wheels

All band saws include wheels as part of their main function. The amount of wheels that a particular saw has varies by model—some have 2-wheel operation and some have 3-wheel operation. 3-wheel band saws have larger throat sizes, giving you more area to work with; however, 2-wheel band saws are less likely to wear out because there are fewer directional shifts involved.

The size of the wheels will also affect your saw’s performance. Larger wheels ensure a smoother cut. The best band saws have wheels with tires and built-in brushes that keep them clean. 

It’s critical that your band saw’s wheels are balanced. Balanced wheels prevent harmonic vibrations, which can cause unnecessary wear and inaccuracies in your cutting. 

Weight

Closely related to the issue of floor-standing versus benchtop models is the factor of your band saw’s weight. Generally, floor-mounted models will be much heavier than benchtop models, with the heaviest cabinet band saws weighing in at close to 300 pounds. Heavier frames ensure stability, which can increase the quality of your workmanship. 

If you opt for a benchtop model, make sure it’s light enough for you to move around if need be. 

Dust Collection

Band saws come with unique issues related to dust collection. Unlike other types of electric saws, such as circular saws and table saws, band saws don’t send dust flying in all directions. This is advantageous because it prevents kickback and the risk of debris hitting your face. However, this means that dust often accumulates inside the machinery rather than making it to the dust ports. 

To optimize your saw’s dust collection, make sure its 1 dust port is compatible with your shop’s vacuum. Additionally, be prepared to clean out dust from the machinery from time to time. 

Safety Mechanisms

Proper safety mechanisms are a critical aspect of any power tool, and a woodworking bandsaw is no exception. In addition to proper dust collection, band saws may include safety features such as oversized stop buttons, blade guards, and adjustable bevel and tension gauges. 

Extra Features 

There are any number of interesting bonus features that various band saw models might offer. For instance, some models include an LED work light which can prove useful for ensuring accuracy in your work. Other saws might include a rip fence, which runs parallel to the saw’s blade and serves as a cutting guide, and a miter gauge, which lets you make angled cross cuts with ease. 

You’ll also want to make note of the table’s size as well as its tilt, or bevel capacity.

FAQ

Do you still have questions? If so, we may be able to address them with these FAQs.

How much does a band saw cost?

How much money you spend on a band saw depends on a number of factors, including size, construction material, brand, and more. Benchtop models are generally cheaper and will cost you somewhere between $200 and $600. Floor-standing models are more expensive, particularly cast iron options, and can cost anywhere from $500 to over $1,200. 

Can I use a band saw to cut metal?

Yes, bandsaws are suitable for many materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. However, you’ll want to make sure to use an appropriate blade for cutting metal. Look for a blade with over 6 teeth per inch.

What is the difference between throat length and depth of cut? 

Throat length and depth of cut (cutting capacity) are two main measurements used by band saw manufacturers. Throat length refers to the distance between the band saw’s blade and frame and determines the width of the cuts you can make. 

Depth of cut, or cutting capacity, refers to the distance between the band saw’s table and upper blade guides, and determines the thickness of the materials you can cut. 

Normally, when a manufacturer refers to the “size” of a bandsaw, they are referring to the bandsaw’s throat length. 

What does TPI mean on a band saw blade? 

TPI stands for teeth per inch. It refers to the number of individual teeth in one inch of a saw’s blade. Different materials need different TPI measurements—for instance, you’ll need a blade with a higher TPI to cut metal than to cut wood.

Final Thoughts

Band saws are a fantastically versatile and necessary tool for any level of woodworker. The best ones allow you to cut a variety of woods, metals, plastics, and other materials, and let you achieve complex curves and other detailed and intricate cuts. The best band saw is a terrific addition to any carpentry shop. 

We recommend any of the models included in our band saw reviews if you’re looking for one of the best band saws available on the market today. If you’re in search of a sturdy, professional choice, check out the Jet JWBS 14DXPro or the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe. If you’re just starting out or are tight on space, we recommend the Powertec BS900 or the SKIL 3386-01. 

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