Anyone who has ever needed a band saw to cut irregular shapes or curves in a piece of wood know how invaluable they really are. They allow furniture pieces such as cabriolet legs or reversed scroll legs to be quickly and easily finished. However, that’s not the only thing these tools are good for, and they can actually be used for a wide array of different projects.
Before anyone can use this amazing tool for their woodworking or metalworking needs, they have to find one that fits their needs as well as their budget. With that in mind, we’ve researched some of the best band saws available and have lifted the ten that we feel are truly the best models available. Anyone of these saws is a great tool for the home or professional workshop.
Best Band Saws – Top List
10SKIL 3386 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Saw
This basic band saw is a great tool for beginners to use and is a perfect combination of price and features. It’s 6-TPI saw blade cuts through a variety of different woods, and it has a rip fence to ensure that cuts are straight and accurate. This model also features a 1.5-inch dust port that helps to keep the work area clean and an articulating LED work light so the woodworker can see what they’re cutting. Other interesting features found on this unit include a rack and pinion table adjustment, a miter gauge for making crosscuts and a 1-speed 2.5-Amp motor to deliver just the right amount of power for most jobs.
9WEN 3970 Metal-Cutting Saw
Metalworking jobs require a saw that can get the job done and this one does the job quite well. The blade speed can be adjusted from 80 to 200 feet-per-minute and can be used to cut through all different types of metal. This tool can be used to cut rectangular materials 4-inches by 6-inches in size or can be used to cut metal pipes that have a diameter of 4.5-inches. It also features a beveling vise that creates cuts from zero to sixty degrees. Other features found on this extraordinary saw include onboard tilt knobs and blade-tensioning knobs, a stand with wheels and a 4.6-Amp motor.
8Rikon 10-305 10-Inch Saw With Fence
This quality bandsaw model features the power of a full-size band saw but is only a bench top model. It has a powerful 1/3rd horsepower motor, a 4-5/8-inches re-saw capacity and has a cast iron table that’s 13-3/4-inches by 12-1/2-inches. This saw also comes with a rip fence that allows the user to cut straight lines but can easily be removed if the woodworker needs to do freehand work. Aside from those features, this product also has a few more worth mentioning. This includes a micro-adjustable guidepost, a convenient safety paddle switch and a frame that’s made from steel plate.
7WEN 3962 Two-Speed Saw
Equipped with a 3.5-Amp motor and 72-inch blades, this saw is ready to perform cuts up to 9.75-inches wide and up to 6-inches deep. Its blade can provide cuts from 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch in size, and it’s capable of operating at two different speeds: 1,520 feet-per-minute or 2,620 feet-per-minute. This tool also has a 14-1/8-inch by 12-1/2-inch work table that bevels up to 45-degrees. To enhance the user’s line of sight and keep the work area clean, this tool also has a built-in work light with an independent light switch and a 3-in-1 dust port. All of which makes this a handy saw for the workshop.
6Grizzly G0555LX 14-Inch Saw
Grizzly has been making revolutionary tools for quite some time now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that they have put some pretty innovative features on this band saw. This tool is made with computer-balanced cast iron wheels that have been coated in rubber, a rack-and-pinion guidepost, and an extremely durable T-shape fence design. This tool sits on a sturdy cast iron heavy gauge steel stand for stability, and it’s equipped with ball bearing blade guides and thrust bearings. These features come together to create a pretty durable, reliable and accurate tool that should prove itself useful to any professional or DIY workshop.
5Jet 14-Inch Deluxe Saw Kit
This 14-inch deluxe bandsaw kit from Jet is designed to give the user professional results, regardless of whether they’re a professional woodworker or not. It has a cutting capacity width of 13.5-inches and a cutting capacity height of around 12-inches. It also has a 12-inch resaw capacity that’s useful for cutting larger pieces of wood. Equipped with a 15-inch by 15-inch work table that can tilt 10-degrees to the left and 45-degrees to the right, it’s also ready to meet the work requirements of whatever it’s tasked with doing. This saw is also equipped with a number of features which enable it to cut wood precisely and to allow it to operate safely.
4Dewalt 18-Volt Cordless Saw
Although some people will look at this bare saw and wonder why it’s made this list, the truth of the matter is that this unit’s portability makes it a top pick. It uses an 18-volt battery that gives it the power to have a 1/2-inch wood cutting capacity or the ability to cut through a 2-inch pipe. While the user has to purchase the battery and its charger separately when equipped this saw is ready to be used in the workshop or taken to the job site. This tool only weighs 10-pounds and measures 15-inches in length, so it can be taken virtually anywhere and can be packed into most work vehicles quite easily.
3Dewalt 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Saw
The Dewalt DCS371B is very similar to the Dewalt DCS370B, except it’s designed to use 20-volt MAX lithium-ion batteries instead of the 18-volt models. Although it’s a bare saw that doesn’t come with a battery or charger, this unit does have a number of features which makes it an outstanding product. It’s equipped with a balanced and ergonomically designed soft-grip handle that makes it comfortable to use. This saw also has an LED work light with a 20-second delay that helps to illuminate dark work areas. This portable band saw also has 2.5-inch cut capacity and has tool-free blade changes.
2Milwaukee Cordless Sub-Compact Saw Kit
Often considered by many professionals and DIY enthusiasts to be one of the lightest and most compact band saws currently available, this Milwaukee sub-compact bandsaw is easy to use just about anywhere. It’s only 11-inches long, so it can be packed in many tool boxes quite easily, but it doesn’t sacrifice power to achieve this compact form. In fact, it’s 27-inch blade is capable of making 3/4-inch EMT quickly and its cordless battery will provide up to 150-cuts per charge. Other features found on this small but powerful saw include a 1-5/8-inch cut capacity, an LED light, and adjustable blade tracking.
1Dewalt 10-Amp 5-Inch Portable Saw
Versatility and power come together easily in the Dewalt DWM120K. It has an impressive 5-inch deep cut capacity and a well designed 10-amp power that makes short work of just about any woodworking job. This tool is also equipped with a quality material guide that’s adjustable and a LED sight light that allows the user to operate the tool even in darker work environments. Another innovation added to this saw is a blade tracking adjustment that helps to reduce blade wear and to improve the alignment of the blade. And finally, this blade is designed to be ergonomic, so the operator can use it without suffering undo hand or arm fatigue.
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Band Saw Guide
Often known as being safer than a lot of saws as well as reliable, a quality band saw can fast become the favorite tool for many DIY enthusiasts and experts alike. Because they are so versatile, they can be used for several cutting jobs meaning you will find many uses for them.
This is why you need to find one that lasts and there are a few things a band saw needs to be capable of before you consider purchasing a certain brand. To help clear up some of the must-have attributes, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In A Band Saw
- Blade Guides – To keep everything in place, a blade guide stops the blade from turning for an accurate cut. With high-end band saws, you tend to get two blade guides, one above and one below the saw table. If your budget is restrictive, you might have to settle for one blade guide.
- Throat Capacity – A lot of people consider this to be the most important attribute of a band saw because it is the space between the biggest blade guide and the table itself. You can get 10-inch boards that give you a lot of scope but for most uses, 8-inches is sufficient although we wouldn’t recommend settling for less.
- Blade Guide Wheels – The materials used can determine how durable the device is as a heavier guide wheel makes it easier to cut. It will give it more thrust as it goes and the two most common materials used are aluminum and cast iron. The latter is often higher quality, heavier and made to last longer making them a better option. However, this comes at a cost which is why aluminum, despite being less robust, is a popular and affordable option.
- Power – To make sure it is capable of multiple cutting jobs, you need a certain amount of power from a band saw. The standard minimal requirement is just 1 horsepower but if you can find a product that gives you more (typically, you can find anything between 1 and 2 horsepower) within your budget, then it is a good sign. The thicker the board you are cutting, the more power you need so make sure you give yourself as much to play with as possible.
- Adjustable Speeds – Most band saws give you a few options here and you will be hard-pressed to find one that doesn’t have at least a few speed settings to choose from. However, the better products tend to have even more and when resawing, you will be glad for some of the slower options for added accuracy. This is crucial when you want to create different curves and shapes.
- Dust Collection – The debris needs to go somewhere right? You’ll be glad when it isn’t all over the floor so finding a band saw with a dust collector is important. The depth can vary depending on the brand you go for but find one with as big a dust collector as possible to save you from multiple trips to the bin.
- Bevel – To create different shapes and make curves easier, find a band saw that offers different tilts. A lot of the better products give you at least 45 degrees worth of tilt.
- Value – A band saw can be an expensive purchase but you can find decent models that won’t set you back much more than a few hundred. The sky is pretty much the limit for high-end products but there isn’t always the need to spend more unless you are going to use the added features and capabilities.
Find a band saw with a warranty that lasts more than a couple of years and you can protect your purchase.
Band Saws: Bench Top Vs Floor Standing
These are the two main types you can buy and both have their benefits.
A lot of what will help you decide which is better is the amount of room you have. If space is scarce then you will want a bench top so it can fit onto into your workspace. Outside of that, floor-standing band saws tend to give you more. If you need a band saw that is more powerful and has more throat capacity then floor standing is the one to go for.
Keep in mind that this will also increase the price and weight of the saw so it is going to be less mobile.
Does A Band Saw Need A Work Light?
This might be something you scoff at, thinking it is a gimmick to shift a few more units. However, a lot of people comment on how useful an LED light can be when your band saw has one. The light in a room can help but only up to a point. The work light enables you to see clearly which can help in terms of accuracy and safety.