Are you looking for the best band saw to add on your workshop? You’re on the right page. Band saws are versatile equipment and indispensable for woodworkers. It can cut thick wood pieces in sweeping curves or custom shapes. But for projects to go smoothly, it’s imperative to find a band saw that suits the job.
Things to Consider when Buying a Band Saw
Getting the perfect band saw is a challenging task, much so for beginners. To guide you, here are some of the highlighted features to look for:
Band saws have two common frame styles: cast-iron and steel frame. Cast iron band saws have limited horsepower (HP) and cutting capacities. Meanwhile, steel frame band saws can be adjusted for higher cutting capacity without sacrificing strength.
Cutting capacity is the thickness that the band saw can accommodate. For example, a 24” band saw has a cutting capacity of 24” between the column and the blade. This will depend on what you need and the material you’ll cut most of the time.
Blade guides are usually made of metal but it would be better if you can find one made of ceramic or graphite. These last longer than usual steel.
Motor size and power
Band saws usually have ½ to 1 ½ HP. For cutting softwoods, ½ HP band saws are advisable. Meanwhile, the 1 ½ HP saws are for hardwoods used in cabinets and furniture pieces.
Fence and gauge
The fence and gauge must lock and move smoothly even for the smallest adjustments to the band. Also, it should be easy to remove whenever necessary.
Riser blocks are the rectangular iron slabs that can be adjusted up and down. Prefer well-machined riser blocks so there would be no need for further fiddling to have saw halves fit properly.
Always choose cast-iron wheels as it lasts longer. Also, ensure that the wheels are aligned for less vibration and smoother cuts.
When scouting for a band saw, check if you can easily acquire parts replacement in the event of repairs. This is important to prevent a long stall in your workshop.
If you’re looking for the best band saws, here are the top 10 picks:
Top 10 Best Band Saws to Level Up Your Woodwork
1. SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw
This 6-TPI band saw is guaranteed to produce accurate cuts for both metal and wood materials. As a benchtop band saw, it offers a maximum cutting capacity of 3.5 inches and 9” throat. Take note, though, that it only has 1-speed motor for all types of materials. Lastly, this can accommodate blades types ranging from 1/8” to 3/8” x 59-1/4” to 59-1/2”.
How to use this Bandsaw
Adjustable rack and pinion in different angles and height
Adjustable LED light for a better view
Dust port for a minimized mess
Smaller capacity but perfect for small workshops.
It can get caked with debris despite the wheel brush, still, it’s very easy to clean.
2. Delta 28-400 14 in. Steel Frame Band Saw
For larger workshops, the Delta Band Saw’s heavy-duty steel frame would be a catch. It uses a standard 93 ½” blade on its oversized precision cast-iron table. To ensure accuracy and balance, this has 9 aluminum, rubber-coated spoke wheels. This is a 14”, 1 HP band saw perfect for both soft and hardwood.
Easy tensioning system on its two-speed pulley
Oversized table for convenient cutting, twice as the old one
T-slot miter tilting from 3-45 degrees
More powerful motor than standard models
Impressive runout adjustments
Changing speeds takes more time, anyway, not all woodworkers this feature
3. Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence
The 10” Rikon Bandsaw is a combination of a steel frame and a cast-iron table. It’s equipped with a 1/3 HP motor perfect for very soft wood pieces like pen blanks. Also, this has a cutting capacity of 4 5/8” (height) by 9 5/8” (width). You can use a 70 1/8-1/2” blade on this band saw.
An improved and high-quality fence installed
It can cut thin wood strips with a 6 TPI blade
Flat and square table
Blade already included
The miter gauge isn’t included which isn’t a big reduction given that it’s compensated with a blade.
4. POWERTEC BS900 Band Saw
For easy cutting, it has a quick release blade that will allow you to change with no fuss. It’s the best bargain for price and features with its 9” cutting capacity and 1/2 HP motor. This POWERTEC band saw can accommodate a 62″ x 1/8″ x 3/8″ blade.
Patented blade guard adjustment you can’t see in other models
Tilting and adjustable rack and opinion
Long-lasting and durable for years
Perfect for both hobby and professional woodworking
Affordable than most band saws
It doesn’t come with a dust collector device but the 2” dust port allows easy vacuuming.
5. WEN 3960 2.8-Amp Benchtop Band Saw
The 9” benchtop band saw from WEN has a 2.8-amp motor that can cut 3 5/8” deep and 9” wide. It also has a spacious 12 x 12 table that can tilt in 45 degrees. This is a complete band saw kit since it already includes a miter gauge, a fence, and a dust port. Since it can rotate the blade for up to 2,460 feet per minute, this is guaranteed to cut smoothly.
Wider work table
Fence and miter gauge already included
Very easy cleanup due to enough space for vacuuming
Very little assembly needed
Although the plastic material on the upper blade isn’t 100% precise, it doesn’t affect the cutting of the band saw.
6. JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw
With a 12” resaw capacity, this band saw from JET is fit to cut large wood pieces. It also uses a 2-speed v-belt drive for efficiency and convenience. This band saw comes with a blade guide post paired with an adjustable rack and pinion.
The upper and lower frames are redesigned for better stability.
It already comes with a dust port
Very little assembly to get it operational
Comes with an optional fence in case you want to purchase it all together
There’s a mild rubbing noise when adjusting the tracking which doesn’t affect the results.
7. Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw
If you’re looking for accuracy, don’t miss the Grizzly Deluxe Bandsaw. This has computer-balanced rubber tires and cast-iron wheels. It uses an all-ball bearing construction that meets the CSA 22 Code. The 1 HP motor is paired with a maximum cutting capacity of 13”.
Already includes a T-shaped resaw fence and miter gauge
Perfect for both soft and hardwood cutting
Sturdier base and frame
A little complicated to assemble but worth it due to the cutting precision.
A bit expensive than other models but built to last even for professional use.
8. Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 Band saw
For professional woodworking, the Laguna Tools Band saw’s 1 ¾ HP is a must-have. It bears a micro-polished table paired with an aluminum high/low fence. Also, the solid cast wheels are computer-balanced for utmost accuracy. This is also CSA-certified and it even bears an illuminated on/off switch.
Comes with a safety key
A pre-wired light outlet for installing lamps
Quick release blade tensioner
Plastic blade shroud for better dust collection
You have to purchase some of the accessories separately which, on the other hand, lets you choose what you need.
9. Grizzly G0513ANV Band saw Anniversary Edition
On Grizzly’s 35th anniversary, the brand celebrated by making a special edition color of their two band saws. This model has an extruded aluminum fence and a quick-change blade tensioner. The 2 HP motor is a cutting powerhouse paired with the maximum cutting capacity of 16 ¼”. Function and construction-wise, this is a very sturdy band saw.
Higher horsepower for hardwood cutting
Computer-balanced aluminum wheels
Aesthetic colored frame
Full-featured band saw model
Contains upper and lower bearing guides
Two dust collection ports
Comically heavy but worth the hassle since it comes with a full circle of features
10. Shop Fox W1706 1Band saw With Cast Iron Wheels
Washed in white color, the Shop Fox’ 1 HP band saw has a 13 ½” cutting capacity. Its oversized working table can be tilted in 45 degrees for easier wood cutting. The aluminum fence is paired with a hairline scale for accurate adjustments that can be locked in position.
Optional extension block if you need more resaw capacity
4” dust port is bigger than what you can find in other models
Fence scale with magnifying windows
Perfect as a professional band saw
A full circle of features
Very little drop on saw speed for hardwood cutting
Since this is a workshop quality band saw, it’s more expensive than the usual hobby models.
Band saws are staples for woodwork. Be it for hobbyists and professional woodworkers, the perfect model is a must-have. It pays to invest than to purchase a cheap but dud machine.