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As a woodworker, it’s important that you’re able to make precision cuts. You need the best band saw possible to keep up with your high level of craftsmanship. But with so many units being sold, it can be a challenge just knowing where to start.
That’s where we come in. We have compiled a list of what we feel are the best band saws for your money. After rigorous reviewing, we’ve narrowed it down to 10 entries. We’re sure there is one that will fit your needs.
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It was difficult to decide, but the best overall went to Grizzly’s Industrial G0555LX. It performs remarkably well and comes at an acceptable price. Its high-quality construction puts it in a class of its own.
If you’re in need of getting some light woodworking done at an affordable price, POWERTEC’s BS900 will impress you greatly. It may be short on power, but it makes up for it in long-lasting performance.
Now that you’ve seen some of the best, let’s have a look at the other entries. Each band saw has its own strengths that may benefit you even better than the POWERTEC or Grizzly.
Thanks to some quality engineering, the Grizzly Industrial G0555LX band saw is both sturdy and durable. You certainly don’t have to worry about the frame getting out of whack. You can load it up with plenty of lumber and the table won’t bend or buckle.
The unit is pretty heavy, weighing in at 247 pounds. So if you’re looking for portability in your band saw, you may want to look elsewhere. But as it stands, the Grizzly G0555LX is built tough and will make a nice permanent addition to your shop.
You will find that this is a competent piece of equipment that helps you zip through cutting jobs with speed and accuracy. We did notice that it struggles on thicker wood, but it still gets through at a reasonable rate nonetheless.
You get a max cutting height of 6 inches with the included 3/8-inch blade. You may want to look into getting a better blade later on down the road. The one that comes with it is only mildly adequate.
Grizzly went with an all-ball bearing build, and it shows. You’ll have an easy time making adjustments and changing settings.
Assembling the Grizzly Industrial G0555LX is fairly straightforward. Lighter softwood and hardwood both cut reasonably well. Guides are a breeze to adjust, but the dust port doesn’t hold much. So you’ll likely be emptying it out often.
The Powertec BS900 has been around for nearly a decade. But it has proven to be a worthy contender that continues to perform. Thanks to quality craftsmanship, you can enjoy having a long-lasting band saw at a great price.
When considering the BS900, you have to set the proper expectations. This will by no means be able to handle large pieces of wood. It’s only a 9-inch band saw, after all. But if you’re wanting to do light woodworking, you will be pleased.
The tubular steel frame construction makes all the difference here. It’s a big reason why this band saw is able to hold up for as long as it has.
Yes, the power is low. And yes, it’s only meant for small jobs. But if you don’t expect this to replace your other saws, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better band saw for your money.
Its light design makes this entry great for those who need portability. At just 44 pounds, you’ll have no trouble moving it around your shop or garage.
For light woodworking and portability, you can’t go wrong with Powertec’s BS900. It’s perfect for making detailed cuts and is sure to last for years. It has decent horsepower, but don’t plan on using it to cut thick lumber.
Rikon’s 10-305 might be basic in its looks, and it is, but it comes at an affordable price with plenty of cutting prowess (after some minor modification). It doesn’t have much power, either, but that may not be an issue for you, as you’ll learn in a moment.
For those needing an inexpensive band saw for minor woodworking, we believe Rikon’s entry will serve you just fine. It’s true that it only has 1/3 horsepower. But it cut through thin wood without issue. Now, if you’re looking to take on bigger cutting jobs, you will be mightily disappointed.
The blade width measures in at a minimum of 1/8-inch, and a maximum of ½ an inch. You will probably want to get a replacement blade as soon as possible. The one included isn’t up to par and struggles right out of the gate. But when a quality blade is swapped out, the Rikon 10-305 does very well.
The overall build-quality of the saw is solid and respectable. Nothing feels loose or cheap. This is thanks to Rikon taking their time and using cast-iron and steel in the construction.
The guide post is easy to adjust, needing only to turn a simple handle. All in all, it’s a well-made band saw that suffers only from a bad factory blade and low horsepower. The great thing, though, is that you can easily remedy both. One will be another out-of-pocket expense (the blade). The other is avoided by not using the saw for large jobs.
There are no confusing controls or buttons. And you’ll have no trouble cutting light wood accurately. If you want a machine you can move around, the 10-305’s weight makes it easy. At only 76 pounds, it’s a cinch to relocate.
For such a low price, you may not think the WEN 3962 has much to offer. As budget band saws go, the results can often be hit-or-miss.
But with this model, you get quality cutting capabilities and relatively high performance. There are some downsides, which we’ll get to. But for the price, it’s hard to beat what you get. And if you’re in the market for portability, this 73-pound machine delivers.
We found the assembly to be easy and straightforward. The included stand really helps out, too. Both of these went together quickly and didn’t require a whole lot of effort. The overall construction is nice and compact, taking up very little room.
You get a work light included with the package, but its quality is a bit lacking. You’ll appreciate the ball-bearing blade design, as it makes cutting smooth and precise. The biggest downside lies in swapping out blades.
Often times, your replacement blade will ride right off of the tires. This results in you spending unnecessary downtime trying to get everything back on track; literally. It’s a pain in the neck and could have been avoided with a little more attention to the bottom wheel.
Now, if you’re going to be sticking to the factory blade, this issue is moot. But for those needing to go back and forth, it’s going to take quite a bit of practice before you get it down-pat.
Aside from this issue, the WEN 3962 holds its own and works fairly well. Again, the price makes up for the hassles here and there. You also get a handy two-year warranty that covers any potential malfunctions along the way.
Not taking into account the troublesome blade issues, WEN’s 3962 is pretty easy to operate. It’s only the occasional adjustments that get in the way.
If you’re in the market for a band saw that’s capable of taking on heavy-duty woodworking, Laguna Tools has you covered. As the most powerful model among our reviews, the MBAND1412-175 can easily cut through thick lumber.
You get a motor with 1 ¾ horsepower. You’ll have no trouble buzzing through jobs at great speeds and precision.
Laguna Tools made good use of cast-iron in their band saw’s construction. The wheels are made of cast-iron and are electronically balanced. This ensures accurate cutting every time.
You will also appreciate the addition of tracking windows. This allows you to keep an eye on your work so you get the best cuts possible.
We were mighty impressed by how smoothly the MBAND1412-175 ran during operation. There are no vibrations to speak of, maintaining solid performance throughout use.
You’ll have no problems getting surgical-precision cuts thanks to the quality in Laguna Tools’ construction. You can tell a lot of effort went into crafting a sturdy and durable band saw. This results in giving you an easy-to-use tool that lasts.
Let’s get the bad right out of the way. This is a mighty expensive band saw. but you get exceptional craftsmanship with only a minor drawback.
And that is being an absolute bear to put together. It can easily take up most of your day. So if you’re wanting a band saw that you can start using straight away, you’d do best by looking into a different model.
However, once assembled, the Powermatic PWBS-14CS gives you plenty to work with. You are treated to an extra-large table that is tough and sturdy. Made from cast-iron, you can expand it to different sizes to better accommodate each job.
The total horsepower comes in at 1 ½. This helps to speed through cuts quickly and accurately. We were pleased with how well the Powermatic held up on its end. We also really appreciated the built-in air pump. One quick blast from it will clear off sawdust and debris in the blink of an eye.
Build-quality-wise, it’s a tough piece of equipment. You can tell Powermatic takes pride in building their tools. The color is a little off-putting, but that of course is completely subjective. It’s a dirty-school bus yellow or mustard shade, so do with that what you will.
Aside from that, you get a five-year warranty with the band saw. If you have any defects or malfunctions, Powermatic will make it right.
Difficult assembly aside, Powermatic’s PWBS-14CS is pretty user-friendly. Thanks to quality components that work well, you’ll get accurate cuts with every use.
At only 30 pounds, Skil’s 3386-01 is a highly-portable and competent band saw. It has some capable features that will assist you in your woodworking, and comes at a decent price.
The built-in work light is a nice addition. The LEDs are bright, helping you to better see intricate cuts. You can move this light easily around the blade due to its flexible design.
The horsepower is rather low at 0.4. But if you’re only needing to make minor cuts, we believe this will be adequate power for most jobs. We found intricate cutting to be easy and precise.
Another great feature of the 3386-01 is its quiet operation. It performs exceptionally well in this area with solid performance.
Although it’s nice to see an included miter and fence, we found little use from these. The blade guide is also lacking in quality, as it is a pain to adjust.
You will want to keep an eye on the motor. We found our unit to get hot really quickly. It will also stall when trying to cut larger pieces of wood. There is definitely a limit to what this band saw can do. As long as you stay within the proper range, you should get good results.
If you’re in the market for a band saw that will handle small woodworking, Skil’s 3386-01 is more than adequate. Sure, it’s low on power. But if you’re not expecting heavy-duty cutting power, this may be the saw for you.
So far we’ve looked at band saws that are best-suited for lighter jobs. Jet’s 14DXPRO ups the ante with increased power and a wider range of cutting ability.
For those of you in need of high performance and versatility, we think you’ll find the 14DXPRO to be a worthy investment. It seems to work best on thicker wood, but it can certainly make small cuts, too.
Thanks to Jet’s inclusion of a tension-release spring, you can make adjustments quickly and easily. Cutting is smooth and precise. Your blade won’t burn your wood or leave chipping. Even larger lumber is handled well.
You get a tough cast-iron frame that serves to keep your cutting jobs steady and precise. Jet used ball-bearings in both the lower and upper guides. This goes a long way in providing smooth performance.
Other nice additions include a storage area at the base of the unit, and Jet includes a nice five-year warranty.
Keep in mind that this model is anything but portable. It clocks in at over 250 pounds, so you’ll likely want to pick a spot and leave it.
Jet provides plenty of horsepower to take care of a wide range of cutting. Its 2-speed belt system gives you greater flexibility over jobs. And the addition of a tracking window allows for more precise cuts.
Adequately-priced and with plenty of power, Shop Fox’s W1706 will make a great addition to any woodshop. Its solid construction provides you with a sturdy and stable band saw that will assist in a wide range of cutting.
The adjustable table is made of cast-iron. You can tilt it to several different degrees to give you more versatility and precision.
The motor clocks in at 1 horsepower and can easily cut through thicker lumber. The addition of a cast-iron miter gauge is nice to see. You can also adjust it to either minus or plus 30 degrees to get that perfect angle with every cut.
Shop Fox used ball-bearings in both the lower and upper blade guides. This provides effortless adjustments. You also get a handy storage area located in the unit’s base. This makes it easy to keep chisels and other tools on hand at all times.
If you’re just getting started with woodworking, the W1706 is a great entry-level band saw. It performs admirably and will help you learn the ropes along the way.
Thanks to some handy additions, Shop Fox’s W1706 is a cinch to operate. The tension release makes it easy to swap out blades. And the durable miter gauge is a huge assist in getting cuts just right.
If you’re a shop owner and in need of a quality band saw, Delta’s 28-400 will serve you well. They used heavy-duty steel to build the frame, providing you with a sturdy and long-lasting tool.
You get a belt system with two speeds, reducing the need for manual tensioning. The wheels are precision-balanced and have durable rubber coating. Made of aluminum, tracking is accurate and precise.
You’ll also like the blade guides on this unit. Delta used ball-bearings on both the lower and upper guides. This ensures your cuts are consistent with every use.
As a shop owner, you’ll find the included warranty especially useful. If you have any malfunctioning parts within the next five years after your purchase, Delta will cover you. They take care of both parts and labor in the event of a breakdown.
You’ll find the price to be more than acceptable for everything you’re getting. The high build-quality gives you assurance that the 28-400 will last for years.
Thanks to quality crafting, Delta’s 28-400 is a commendable entry. You’ll find your cuts to be easy to perform because of the attention that went into construction.
Now that you are aware of our top choices, you should learn how to do a bit of your research. Better yet, you should learn what to look for in bandsaws.
You know that a band saw can cut through different materials like wood, metal, glass, and even meat. Bandsaws also help you to make curving cuts through thick blocks of wood-a feature unknown to table saws.
Bandsaws give you the power to make extremely precise cuts while keeping the dust to a minimum. You can make precise stock cuts, which almost eliminates the need for sanding.
All in all, bandsaws are awesome tools for intricate cuts that aren’t achievable with other types of saws.
When it comes to types of band saws, there are three types created for different jobs. All of them work on a similar principle. If you know how a chainsaw works, then you can guess how a bandsaw works. Two large wheels spin around a loop of metal teeth that saw through wood, metal, glass, and other materials.
Think about the type of work you plan to do, and you will easily find out which type of bandsaw works the best for you.
If you have ever used a table saw, you will have no problems with vertical band saws.
Vertical band saws are a good choice if you plan to make curved cuts and scroll cuts. You can also use them to resaw thick pieces of wood. Of course, you don’t have to focus only on wood.
You will notice that most of the vertical units come with two sets of blade guides. The guides support the flexible blade and ensure it doesn’t bend and turn during work. Another characteristic of the blade guides is to limit the length of the exposed blade, which adds to the safety of a bandsaw.
Vertical band saws can be split into two categories:
Horizontal band saws are most commonly used for cutting metal. They differ from vertical models in the way material is cut. You don’t push the material into the blade, but you lower the blade into the piece being sawed.
We didn’t focus on horizontal units on our top 10 list since the majority of them are professional tools that don’t come cheap. They feature built-in coolant systems that keep the blade cool. They also come with built-in brushes that clean metal shavings and shards.
They are not very versatile, and most hobbyists and DIY-ers won’t get much use out of them.
Horizontal band saws aren’t meant for intricate cuts, although some models allow you to use them as vertical units.
All in all, if you are not a professional, then a horizontal band saw will do you more harm than good.
Portable models are a nice alternative to circular saws that are used for onsite jobs. Portable band saws allow you to saw metal pipes and stock that is too thick for other saws.
Most of the portable units are lightweight. They come in cases which only boost their portability. Some of the portable models come with a hook that you can use to hang them on a wall.
An awesome feature of portable units is that they can be mounted and used to cut curved lines. You can even use them to cut irregular shapes.
If you are often on the move but you don’t want to lug a heavy machine with you, a portable band saw is a smart choice. They are easy to pack and carry, and they provide you with plenty of versatility. Some of them are corded, while others use a battery.
Now that you are aware of the types of band saws, you can learn about the important features. Not all of the features on the list are a must, but the more important ones are on the top.
While band saws are safer than other types of saws, there are a few things you should be aware of.
The most obvious danger is getting cut. Band saws are efficient cutters, so make sure that your new machine comes with a blade guard. Never push the material into the blade with your thumb braced behind the material. Hold your fingers on the top of the material, and then push the material into the blade. If the task requires you to bring your hands within two inches of the blade, use a stick to push the material.
Never let your blade go dull. If you notice that a task which took you a minute to complete now takes longer, the blade is getting dull. Always keep your blade sharp. The machine will struggle less, and you won’t have to push hard on the material that can put yourself in danger. Note that the blade doesn’t stop instantly once you turn off the motor.
You should always read the manual. Learn everything there is to learn about your band saw. The manual will teach you how to use your new tool safely.
Finally, wear protective gear like goggles, gloves, and ear protection.