If you are serious about woodworking, it makes sense to invest in a number of top-notch power tools over time. In terms of pure versatility, a router is hard to beat. The best band saw runs it a very close second, though.
Whatever woodworking project you take on, there’s a strong chance you’ll need a band saw. From clean and simple cuts on classic furniture through to highly intricate designs, the flexibility of a band saw is one if its key selling points.
You can make straight cuts in almost any thickness of wood. With its narrow blade, you can also make outstanding curves.
Band saws are mainly used for cutting wood but they can also deal with plastics or metal. Band saws are frequently used in the food processing industry to cut meat.
The band saw is named for its blade. This is a thin, narrow band of steel with teeth along one edge. It’s welded together so as to form a loop. This blade is stretched over 2 or 3 big wheels. These are driven by an electric motor. While the wheels begin to rotate, the blade will orbit them tightly. This creates an efficient, continuous cutting action.
Most cutting machines make use of a circular blade or a spinning bit. The band saw blade moves smoothly and applied constant downward pressure on the workpiece for great stability. It’s also safer to operate than a circular saw. There is not the same danger of kickback.
Today, we’ll look at 5 band saw reviews to help you choose the best tool for your needs. We’ll also show you what to look out for when you’re looking for the best band saw.
First thing’s first, a quick look at the 3 basic styles of band saw:
- Floor model
- FLOOR MODEL
Bench-top band saws are small and highly portable. You can mount them directly on the worktable. The alternative is to use a stand or cabinet. You can buy or make these. These lightweight saws usually have wheels from 8 to 12 inches in diameter. If you want a great cutting tool for a small project at home or in a little workshop, the bench-top is a smart choice.
A bench-top saw has the motor directly mounted on the unit. This means there is no belt system below the table.
2 wheels has now become the standard design. While a 3-wheeled saw offers a wide throat, it can be awkward to align the wheels and track the blades. Blades also tend to wear more quickly. For these reasons, the 2-wheel band saw is now much more common.
Stand-mounted models are characteristically 14-inch band saw with a cast-iron frame and a steel stand. The design can be open frame or feature an enclosed cabinet. The motor is generally mounted under the saw in the stand. A drive belt connects it to the lower wheel.
Stand-mounted saws are multi-purpose, compact and relatively cheap. As more manufacturers crowd the market, so prices keep falling.
You can undertake a wide range of heavy cutting duties with ease. Opt for a larger saw with a more powerful motor if you plan to take on really ambitious projects.
At the upper range of band saws come the freestanding floor models. They are very heavy and stable. Floor band saws also kick out much more power and performance.
If you are looking to start ripping or resawing thicker material, the stable and capable floor saw is just what you need.
This type of saw is not advisable for home use. Most households run on single-phase electricity. A floor band saw demands three-phase which would mean installing a phase converter. A larger 20-inch saw makes a good substitute for the home workshop.
For extended commercial projects carving up heavy material, a floor band saw remains the best option.
Top 5 Best Band Saw Reviews 2017 - Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com
It can seem overwhelming when you are looking for the best band saw. We’re here to take away the confusion.
Let’s take a quick look at 5 of the best band saws available today…
Detailed Band Saw Reviews
1. WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-inch Band Saw
First up on our list of the best band saws is a neat 10-inch from WEN coming with a stand and work light.
Not everyone wants a colossal powerhouse that costs a fortune. If you want a precise and capable saw for home use, the WEN 3962 is well worth popping on your shortlist.
- 3.5-amp motor
- 72-inch blades from 1/8-inch to ½-inch
- 2 speed operation
- Bevel range: 45 degrees
- 3-in-1 dust port
- work light
This superb, rugged band saw has a very capable motor for a 10-inch saw. You can carve through boards as thick as 6-inches without needing multiple passes.
For such an affordable saw, you get plenty of extras. The work table is substantial so you can accommodate large pieces of timber without a headache. The work light illuminates your cutting line perfectly. Work precisely and in complete safety.
The WEN takes 72-inch blades which can be anywhere from 1/8-inch in thickness up to ½-inch so it’s a very versatile piece of kit.
You can bevel anywhere from 0 through 45 degrees.
Hooking up your band saw to a dust collection hose is a cinch. There’s nothing worse than working surrounded by sawdust and particles. Stay clean and stay safe.
The only real downside of this saw is that making adjustments can be a testing process. Take the time to become familiar with this procedure as it will make all the difference when you are cutting.
The 2-year limited warranty means you can buy this band saw with complete peace of mind.
- Extremely affordable with no sacrifice of quality
- Powerful 3-5-amp motor so you can cut up to 6 inches deep and 9 ¾-inches wide
- Work table included is spacious so cut larger pieces with ease
- Most dust collection hoses will fit nicely onto 3-in-1 dust port so work without being menaced by dust
- Light means you can work without your cutting line being obscured
- Cuts through boards up to 6 inches thick with a single pass so enjoy extremely powerful and efficient cutting
- Adjustment can be awkward and tasky
If you want the performance of a larger saw without spending a fortune, the WEN 3962 is a strong contender for the best band saw.
This will not be any use for constant commercial use but if you want a heavyweight cutting beast for woodworking at home, the 3962 is a great starting point.
2. SKILL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw
Next up is another budget band saw from the highly reputable SKIL. This really is a fairly lightweight saw best for home woodworking enthusiasts who do not demand too much power.
Not everyone wants or needs a hulking floor model. If you are just starting out in woodworking or you know you do not have ambitious cutting requirements, this SKIL makes a wonderful entry point into band saws.
- 2.5-amp motor
- 1 1/2 –inch dust port
- LED work light
- Rip fence
- Single speed motor for wood or metal
- Rack-and-pinion table adjustment
Although this saw is cheap, it doesn’t feel that way. Build quality is first-rate and little extras like the LED light are a nice touch for an inexpensive tool.
When you are cutting, this light picks out the cutting line wherever you are working. Combined with the dust port, you can kick back and focus on your woodworking without straining your eyes or being niggled by sawdust.
The 2.5-amp motor is not capable of generating the power for extended commercial cutting but for home use it’s more than fit for purpose.
You’ll be able to cut some metal with the SKIL but it works best with lumber.
EZ View blade tracking makes fine-tuning your blade super-simple. There’s nothing worse than messing around trying to get the alignment right.
The SKIL comes with a rip fence for making straight cuts while the miter gauge helps you with cross-cuts.
Adjusting the table couldn’t be more straightforward. A rack-and-pinion system allows you to alter the angle and height in a flash.
- Extremely cost-effective with no compromise on performance
- Cutting line lit up nicely by LED light
- 2.5-amp single speed motor powerful enough for most regular cutting duties
- Rip fence allows you to make swift, precise cuts every time
- Table is easy to adjust and gives you plenty of room to work
- Handy dust port keeps your working area clean of dust
- Rather lightweight and lacking in raw power
For a no-nonsense bench-top band saw that’s built to last, this 9-incher from SKIL merits further investigation.
If you want to use your band saw in the home workshop and you do not plan to go over the top with the demands you make of it, the 3386-01 will not disappoint.
3. Grizzly G0513ANV 17-Inch Band Saw Anniversary Edition
We’ll look now at a much beefier and bulkier band saw, this 17-inch freestanding model from Grizzly.
If you are looking for a potent 17-inch saw that will deal with even large pieces of timber without straining, the G0513ANV will deliver in fine style. The special black and orange design helps the legendary Grizzly celebrate 30 years in the game.
- Powerful 2HP motor
- 2 dust ports (4-inches)
- Cast-iron table
- Aluminum fence
- Miter gauge
- Quick release blade tensioner and tension indicator
Grizzly has over 20 different band saws in its range. Although this saw is not particularly cheap, you’ll get a fence and miter gauge thrown in free of charge and the overall quality is first-class.
The 2HP motor runs on single-phase electricity so you can use it at home without any complications. You’ll be able to cut wood up to 12 inches while the 16 ¼-inch throat is man enough for most applications.
Any adjustments to the blade are quick and easy thanks to the quick release system. You can tweak the tension and monitor it using the little indicator.
2 dust ports of 4 inches mean you can connect your band saw to a range of hoses and maintain a clean, safe working environment.
The large table is cast-iron and the fence is made from aluminum. You’ll also get a miter gauge so all bases are covered.
Wheels are computer-balanced and constructed of cast-aluminum. Tires are polyurethane.
- Powerful 2HP motor
- 2 dust ports (4-inches)
- Swap and adjust blade with quick release system for your convenience
- Handy indicator displays blade tension to make things easy
- Impressive 12-inch cutting capacity so great for larger projects
- Build quality rivals band saw costing much more
- Expensive compared to the other options
- Blade supplied is poor quality – swap it out immediately
For an extremely capable band saw capable of chewing its way through whatever you throw its way, the Grizzly G0513ANV Anniversary Edition takes some beating.
This 17-inch saw is not the cheapest option but it represents exceptional value for money. If you invest in the best band saw, you can enjoy the rewards with many years of precise woodworking without breaking a sweat.
4. Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 14/12-Inch Band Saw
As we near the end of our band saw reviews, a pricier model from Laguna Tools, this neat 14/12-inch offering incredible performance and build quality for the discerning user.
Maybe you want a top-notch band saw in your home workshop or perhaps you need the saw for work. Whatever your cutting requirements, the MBAND1412-175 is the connoisseur’s choice.
- 1 ¾ HP motor
- 12-inch resaw capacity
- 14-inch throat
- Cast-iron wheels
- Window for blade tracking
- 4-inch dust collection port
With a 1 ¾HP motor capable of resawing 12 inch pieces, you can undertake even bigger projects without worrying about your tools letting you down. The motor works on 120V but you can rewire it for 240V if necessary.
The table is spacious and super-stable. Even when you tilt it, the saw still feels remarkably solid.
Upscale ceramic guides are a bonus and usually reserved for even more expensive band saws. The upper guide is perfect for helping you resaw. The fence can be flipped down if you need to make some rip cuts so you enjoy complete flexibility.
There’s a 4-inch dust port located under and to the rear of the guides.
The cast-iron wheels with polyurethane tires give you smooth operation without being attacked by vibration.
The deep 14-inch throat, steel frame and cast-iron trunnions give you the feel of a really big band saw in what is still a fairly compact unit.
- Not the cheapest choice but still good value for money
- Need to pay for mobility kit and work light
Price should not be the only factor when you are looking for the best band saw. Consider what you expect to get from your equipment and think of value for money rather than purely the price tag.
If your budget is reasonable and you want a rugged, adaptable band saw capable of delivering the powerful cuts you need, this 14/12-inch from Laguna Tools punches above its weight.
5. DeWalt DWM 120K 5-Inch Band Saw
Since everyone as varying needs when it comes to the best power tools, we’ll finish up our band saw reviews with a dinky 5-inch model from the industry giant DeWalt.
If you are hunting out a powerful but portable band saw that will be equally at home in your workshop or on a job site, look no further.
- 10-amp motor
- LED light
- 5-inch cutting depth
- Hanging hook
- Variable speed dial
- 3 blades included
For woodworking hobbyists and building contractors alike, this 5-inch band saw from DeWalt offers a great deal of bang for your buck.
You’ll be able to cut up to 5 inches in depth which is admirable for such a lightweight and portable unit.
If you are moving from one job to another on site, a huge band saw is of very little use to you. It only weighs 15 pounds but kicks out performance in line with a far larger saw.
The variable speed dial means you can shift from 100SPM all the way up to 350SPM. Whatever material you want to work with, this fine-tuning of speed will give optimum results.
The LED light along the cutting line lets you work in even gloomy spots with total accuracy.
With a roomy and comfortable handle, you can work even for extended periods without sore, blistered hands.
You’ll enjoy a 3-year limited warranty with the DeWalt showing how much the manufacturer stands behind this product.
- Controlled performance of 10-amp motor allows you to cut with confidence
- LED light illuminates cutting line so you can work without straining your eyes
- Hanging hook means you won’t damage the casings or handle when you’re not using your saw
- Ultra-compact so perfect for carrying from job to job
- Adjust speed from 100-350SPM so you can work easily with different materials
- Bonus of 3 blades chucked in free of charge
- Not cheap
For a truly lightweight and ultra-mobile cutting solution, this 5-inch band saw from DeWalt gives you excellent performance in a highly durable package.
Whether you are a casual home woodworker or a commercial contractor, the DWM120K will not let you down. Although you can find cheaper band saws, when you consider the lifespan of a tool like this, the price tag starts to seem pretty reasonable.
Who Needs Band Saws?
If you want to make curved cuts on wood, even with thicker lumber, a band saw is ideal.
You can rip or resaw lumber into smaller pieces with ease. They really come into their own for cutting irregular shapes. Smooth, precise and capable of taking many different blades, band saws are real multi-tasking tools.
Whether you want to make cross-cuts or relief cuts, to cut off square corners or make chair legs, there’s little to rival a band saw.
For home and commercial use, there’s a band saw to suit every budget and situation.
We’ll walk you through now 8 of the main features to think about when you’re on the trail of the best band saw.
If you narrow down your choice by type of saw and budget, you’ll already be most of the way there.
As well as researching the models that interest you, it’s also a good call to check out user reviews. Most people offer pretty genuine feedback when they have spent good money on a product. They will be keen to share both the positives and the drawbacks.
Here are some crucial elements to consider if you want the best band saw you can get…
Usage and Maintenance Tips
Using a band saw efficiently is hinged on making correct adjustments. You need to make certain that the blade is properly tuned and the guides are neatly adjusted.
With the band saw switched off and unplugged, leave the blade guard open. By turning the wheel a few times, you should be able to check if the blade is aligned. Close the guard, turn on the saw and see how the blade is tracking.
Be sure that the back of the guide and the rear of the blade are not in contact. Teeth should be free to run clear of the guide.
Maintenance with a band saw is fuss-free. As with all power tools, make sure you keep it clean and free of sawdust or debris. That aside, there should be very little demanded of you by the way of routine maintenance.
If you have never used a band saw before, practice with some offcuts and, as you grow in confidence, so you can start off with some small woodworking projects to put it through its paces.
We hope that you’ve found these band saw reviews have helped with your buying decision.
Getting the best band saw is really not so difficult if you take your time, analyze your requirements honestly and do plenty of research.
There’s no sense in buying a colossal floor model if you want to make a few casual cuts at home. Equally, if you plan on using your band saw for heavy commercial projects, it’s pointless getting a dinky bench-top saw. As with any purchase, it’s not a question of getting the right product but rather the right product for your needs.
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any queries or feedback. We are always more than happy to help in any way we can.