Best Band Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Best band Saw Reviews

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 bank saws makes them one of the most in-demand power tools out there.

FINDING THE BEST BAND SAW AT THE CHEAPEST PRICE

Before we talk about the best band saws out there, let's once again go over the facts that make a band saw great. First of all...

You can make straight cuts in almost any thickness of wood. With its narrow blade, you can also make outstanding curves. Also, band saw blades 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.

BAND SAW REVIEWS: What Are The Top Band Saws On The Market?

We all know that finding the right band saw is not easy. That is why today, we’ll look at 5 band saw reviews -  and help you choose the best band saw for your money and needs. We’ll also show you what to look out for when searching for the best band saw.

First thing’s first, a quick look at the 3 basic types of band saws:

  • Bench-top
  • Stand-mounted
  • Floor model

Below, we are describing each of these band saw types in detail:

  • BENCHTOP
  • STAND-MOUNTED
  • 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.

REVIEWS OF THE BEST band SAWS 2018 - COMPARISON CHART BY MITERSAWJUDGE.COM

Looking for the best band saw for sale can be overwhelming... Fortunately, we are here to take away the confusion.

Let’s take a quick look at 5 of the best band saw products available on the market 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, on the other hand, you’re looking for a precise and capable saw for home use, the WEN 3962 is well worth popping on your shortlist.

 With any budget power tool, you need to keep your expectations realistic so we’ll give you a frank and honest appraisal of the WEN and you can determine whether or not this smaller, lightweight band saw will be man enough for your cutting needs.
WEN3962 band saw

Arrived sooner than expected in great shape. Never had to adjust anytrhing. It was easy to set up, it'sa lot more quiet than any other band saw I've been around. Cut through elk antler bases with no trouble. No plastic! solid peice of equipment. I like it!

By Johnny T.

Main Features

  • 3.5-amp motor
  • 72-inch blades from 1/8-inch to ½-inch
  • 2 speed operation
  • Bevel cuts from 0-45 degrees
  • 3-in-1 dust port
  • Work light

This superb, rugged band saw has a very capable 3.5-amp motor for a 10-inch saw. It runs on 120 volts. You can carve through boards as thick as 6-inches and 9 ¾ inches wide without needing multiple passes. The WEN has a 9 ¾-inch throat so you’ll be able to accommodate more material than with many comparable 10-inch band saws. It’s man enough to deal with a range of timber including hardwood.

Although the performance is impressive, the WEN has a fairly small footprint so it won’t eat up too much space in your workshop. The unit measures up at 20 x 25 x 58 inches.

Getting up and running is straightforward. Simply slip the cross supports and legs into place, slot on the work table and you’re ready to install and tweak the blade…

This is where a few issues come to the fore. If the adjustment is not spot-on, you’ll find this band saw pretty unforgiving. This model is extremely sensitive and setting up the stock blade is a tricky and rather tiresome procedure. For this reason alone, we’d suggest that the WEN is much better suited to woodworkers with at least some experience.

For such an affordable saw, you get plenty of bang for your buck…

The work table is substantial so you can accommodate large pieces of timber without a headache. You can bevel to the right anywhere from 0 through 45 degrees to the right. This allows you to make angled cuts 6 inches deep.

The work light illuminates your cutting line perfectly. This allows you to beaver away with precision in complete safety even if your workshop is a little on the dim side.

You’ll get a superbly solid and stable base to operate from thanks to the stand included. This will help you achieve strong, clean cuts without warping or skewing. It also adds a nice element of 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. Band saw blades are rated according to TPI (teeth per inch) or PPI (points per inch). For most standard woodworking applications, 3 TPI will be adequate to deal with green wood and to make sure the sawdust is blitzed away and doesn’t clog up the works. For finer sawing, shoot for an extra set blade which has additional teeth.

You’ll get a miter gauge and rip fence thrown in for a bit of added cutting versatility.

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. There are 3 differently sized ports meaning it will connect to most standard shop vacs.

There are a couple minor flashpoints with the WEN worth drawing your attention to…

The principal 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.

Several users have complained about light reflecting back in your face off the table.

These drawbacks are certainly not deal-breakers but worth being aware of so you don’t end with a nasty surprise.

 The 2-year limited warranty means you can buy this band saw with complete peace of mind. You’ll also enjoy first-rate customer service if needed. If you’re based in the US, you can also avail yourself of the wide network of skilled WEN technicians at your disposal to right any wrongs.

Pros

  • 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
  • Dual-speed functionality cutting at 1520 or 2620 feet per minute
  • 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 debris
  • Light means you can work in dim conditions without your cutting line being obscured
  • Wheels spin smoothly thanks to rugged, high-grade ball bearings
  • Cuts through boards up to 6 inches thick with a single pass so enjoy extremely powerful and efficient cutting power
  • 2-year limited warranty combined with dedicated helpline and US-based technicians for a superb care package

Cons

  • Making adjustments can be awkward and tasky
  • Reported issues with light reflecting back off the table
  • Not cut out for professional use

Conclusion

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. If you compare it to band saws at a similar price point, it comes out very favorably in the mix.

 Check out the WEN 3962 today and you are highly unlikely to be disappointed.

2. SKIL 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. If you want something for prolonged commercial use, you’ll need to step things up in terms of size and budget.

Not everyone wants or needs a hulking floor model, though. If you are just starting out on your woodworking journey or you know you do not have ambitious cutting requirements in mind, this SKIL makes a wonderful entry point into band saws.

 We’ll take a quick glance at the core features before diving deeper into what makes this a smart choice for an inexpensive band saw…
SKIL 3386 Band Saw

I needed a small and portable band saw for a small work area and this fits the bill wonderfully! Easy to pick up and move yet heavy enough to topple or bump over. The blade that comes with is a course wood bit so if you're planning to cut metal be sure to order a blade to replace the one that comes with. Nicely designed and works very well for my small projects.

By Lorden L.

Main Features

  • 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 certainly doesn’t feel that way. Build quality is first-rate and little extras like the LED light are a nice touch for a pocket-friendly band saw.

Stability is uppermost with the SKIL. Although the casing is might from a durable but lightweight alloy, the base is fashioned from a much heavier cast-iron. This mix of weights delivers an extremely rigid experience and means you won’t need to attach the saw to a table.

When you are cutting, this light picks out the cutting line wherever you are working, even if it’s in a dull or gloomy workshop. Combined with the 1 ½-inch 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 necessary for extended commercial cutting but for home use it’s more than fit for purpose. As with all power tools, a crucial part of your buying decision should be an honest appraisal of your needs. It’s not a question of getting the right band saw, there’s no right or wrong answer to that. All that counts is getting the best band for your needs and budget. Casual hobbyists will find the SKIL more than able.

You’ll be able to cut some metal with the SKIL but it works best with lumber. Think about the materials you have in mind so you don’t fall for the manufacturer’s hype if you fancy cutting plenty of metal. Stick to non-ferrous metals (aluminum, nickel, zinc, tin and copper) while avoiding iron and steel and you’ll be just fine.

EZ View blade tracking makes fine-tuning your blade super-simple. There’s nothing worse than messing around trying to get the alignment right. Where the WEN is rather problematic in this area, with the SKIL you’ll be up and running in no time even if you’re an absolute beginner.

Cutting depth locks in to 3 1/8 inches which is respectable enough for a saw of this stature. You’ll be able to cut through fairly thick stock without any troublesome stalling. The throat is 9 inches deep. Think about the size of the workpieces you’ll be dealing with and make sure this is adequate for your needs.

There’s a safety on/off switch so if you run into any trouble, you can slash the power in a trice. This is essential, especially if you’re a novice not used to operating a band saw.

The SKIL comes with a rip fence for making straight cuts while the miter gauge helps you with cross-cuts. Many saws at this price point don’t come with these extras included so that’s a nice bonus. You’ll also be able to cut curved and irregular shapes. It’s even possible to rip lumber into thinner pieces so this SKIL is a versatile piece of kit.

There are 3mm side blade guides but these are sadly not equipped with blade tension release. That said, changing the blade is pretty simple. All you need to do is unhook the blade from the knob on top.

Adjusting the table couldn’t be more straightforward. A rack-and-pinion system allows you to alter the angle and height in a flash. You can tilt the table up to 45 degrees for rapid changes of height and angle fuss-free.

 A quick glimpse now at where the SKIL stands and falls in summary before delivering our verdict on this nifty and inexpensive band saw…

Pros

  • Extremely cost-effective with no compromise on performance for a band saw in this price range
  • Cutting line lit up nicely by LED light
  • 2.5-amp single speed motor powerful enough for most regular cutting duties although this is based on home use rather than commercial projects
  • Rip fence allows you to make swift, precise cuts every time
  • Table is easy to adjust thanks to neat rack-and-pinion system and gives you plenty of room to work
  • Reasonable dimensions of table at 11 13/16-inches square so you can work with reasonably large pieces of material
  • Handy 1 ½-inch dust port lets you connect the SKIL to a shop vac to keep your working area clean of dust
  • Class-leading 3-year limited warranty shows how much SKIL stand behind this saw

Cons

  • Rather lightweight and lacking in raw power
  • Single speed motor so although it’s flagged as good for wood or metal, it really works best with timber
  • You need to remember to register the product within 30 days or the warranty will be invalidated

Conclusion

For a no-nonsense bench-top band saw that’s built to last, this 9-incher from SKIL merits further investigation if you’re a home woodworker with relatively lightweight cutting projects in mind.

The power is lacking if you have more ambitious work in mind so be aware of this so you don’t end up buying an unsuitable saw.

 As long as you make certain to register your saw within the first month, you’ll benefit from an impressive 3-year limited guarantee so you really have nothing to lose by road-testing this band saw today!

3. Grizzly G0513 17-Inch Band Saw

We have tried to include something for everyone in these band saw reviews so we’ll look now at a much beefier and bulkier band saw, this 17-inch freestanding model from Grizzly.

If you are returning to this site after a previous visit, you might wonder what happened to the anniversary edition GO513… Sadly, it’s been discontinued but this regular model packs just as heavy a punch.

If you are on the trail of a potent 17-inch saw that will deal with even large pieces of timber without straining, the GO513 might be the entry-level saw in the GO513 range but it’s certainly no lightweight. The 16 ¼-inch throat is more than enough for the vast majority of applications.

 We’ll give you a brief snapshot of its functionality before drilling down further…
Grizzly G0513 band Saw

Bottom line: I don't think there is a better value in this class of saw. You can get a lot of saw for the money. With a good blade, it is an impressive bandsaw. My advice to a novice woodworker is that the first stationary machine they purchase should be a bandsaw. A tablesaw is a wonderful tool, but a bandsaw has a wider range of capabilities for a limited budget.

By Larry B.

Main Features

  • Powerful 2HP motor
  • 2 dust ports (4-inches)
  • Cast-iron table
  • Aluminum fence
  • Miter gauge
  • Quick release blade tensioner and tension indicator

Grizzly has been in the power tools game since the 1980s and boasts over 20 different band saws in its fine 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 beyond reproach.

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 a maximum capacity of 12 inches while the 16 ¼-inch throat is man enough for most applications.

Weighing in at a hulking 342 pounds, you’ll get a rigid and stable addition to your workshop. This weight is crucial if you plan to work with larger pieces of material safely and precisely. It’s quite a sizeable saw at 73 x 32 x 32 inches so make sure you have the room to accommodate it in your workshop. Think also of how much room you’ll need for maneuver so remember to factor in the size of the boards as well.

The blade runs at 2 speeds, 1600 or 3500 feet per minute so you can switch things up or down to suit the job at hand.

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 apiece mean you can connect your band saw to a wide range of hoses and maintain a clean, safe working environment at all times.

The large table is cast-iron while the fence is made from aluminum. The sealed bearings are permanently lubricated giving you superb performance without the attendant maintenance. You’ll also get a miter gauge so all bases are covered. A standard fence comes with the Grizzly while a deluxe version is available at extra cost.

You’ll be able to easily make micro-adjustments to the table. It tilts to the left to 10 degrees and 45 degrees to the right. The table will lock neatly into place for a rock-solid cutting experience.

Wheels are computer-balanced and constructed of cast-aluminum. The covers are made from pre-formed steel. Tires are polyurethane.

There are a handful of minor issues worth pointing out with the Grizzly…

While you do get a blade supplied, it’s not particularly effective. In our opinion, supplying low caliber freebies like this is worse than including nothing at all. The simple solution is to be aware of this going in and replace it at your earliest convenience.

The other niggle is a relatively poor cutting speed. If you’re a home woodworker and not in any particular rush, this is a non-issue. If, on the other hand, you want to press the Grizzly into action in a commercial setting, it’s worth considering whether or not this lack of pace will impact upon your productivity and bottom line.

 Overall, though, these are negligible grumbles when offset against the shower of benefits you’ll get from this powerful 17-inch bandsaw.

Pros

  • Powerful 2HP motor means you can undertake pretty ambitious projects with complete confidence
  • Impressive 12-inch cutting capacity so great for larger projects
  • 2 dust ports (4-inches) allow you to maintain a spotless working environment
  • Geared table made from precision-ground cast-iron with micro-adjusting functionality is user-friendly and extremely durable
  • Table tilts 10 degrees to the left and  45 degrees to the right
  • Swap and adjust blade with quick release system for your convenience
  • ½-inch hook blade (6 TPI) thrown in so get going straight out the box
  • Lock disc-style blade guides into place using nifty thumbscrews
  • Handy indicator displays blade tension to make things super-simple
  • Build quality rivals band saw costing much more. The Grizzly is dependable and built to last

Cons

  • Expensive compared to much of the opposition
  • Blade supplied is poor quality – swap it out immediately
  • Relatively slow blade speed might be problematic if you need to cut large volumes of lumber to tight timescales

Conclusion

For an extremely capable band saw capable of chewing its way through whatever you throw its way, the Grizzly G0513 takes some beating. It rivals a Bridgewood in most respects despite being more keenly priced.

 This 17-inch saw is not the cheapest option but it represents exceptional overall 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. With any power tools, you’re much better off saving and buying the best you can comfortably afford rather than rushing in and picking up something substandard that is likely to let you down.

4. Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 14/12-Inch Band Saw

As we near the end of our band saw reviews, here’s a pricier model from Laguna Tools. This neat 14 ½-inch offers 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. Although it’s not cheap, the best things in life seldom are.

 We’ll take a swift glance at some of the main features before we break down this highly capable band saw in more detail…
Laguna MBAND Band saw

Delivered yesterday by UPS freight, on a pallet, wrapped in plastic. Very well packaged and everything in good shape. The Manual is on top of styrofoam inserts. Assembly and use is very well documented. The video on assembly and set-up is worth watching. It left out a few details covered in the manual, but it visually communicates better.

By Rajit B.

Main Features

  • 1 ¾ HP motor
  • 12-inch resaw capacity
  • 14-inch throat
  • Steel frame
  • 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 pretty ambitious projects without worrying about your equipment letting you down. The motor works on 120V but you can rewire it for 240V if necessary.

The table is spacious and super-stable. It measures 21 ½ inches by 16 inches so you’ll be able to work with substantial pieces without feeling cramped. It’s flat as a pancake and precision ground to a mirrored finish. Even when you tilt it, the saw still feels remarkably solid. You can tilt the table 45 degrees to the right and 7 degrees to the left. There’s a positive stop at 90 degrees for your convenience with a micro-adjust facility.

Upscale ceramic guides are a bonus and usually reserved for even more expensive band saws. The upper guide is perfect for helping you resaw or make curved cuts. The fence can be flipped down if you need to make some rip cuts so you enjoy complete flexibility along with absolute precision.

One of the key strengths of the Laguna is resawing. This can often be problematic but you’ll get a seamless experience with this band saw. You’ll get a superb quality of cut to an extremely close tolerance. Resaw capacity is claimed to be 12 inches. Not only does this hold true, if anything it’s on the conservative side. This is a refreshing change from manufacturers making claims that are not delivered.

As well as resawing, the Laguna also acquits itself well when it comes to making curved cuts. Those accurate ceramic guides ensure that there’s very little deflection as the blade is steered and the workpiece is shepherded through the cut.

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. With no moving parts to maintain, you’ll get top-tier results without the need for tedious maintenance.

There’s a 4-inch dust port located under and to the rear of the guides. You can connect your preferred shop vac and make sure you keep things spick and span in the workshop so you can beaver away in comfort and safety with a clear line of sight on your workpiece. A second port would be ideal but the single unit does a decent job so that’s not a deal-breaker.

The cast-iron wheels with polyurethane tires give you smooth operation without being attacked by vibration. You can get an optional mobility kit featuring a foot-activated lever so you can easily maneuver the saw around the shop if required. This is a handy addition with a heavy saw like this.

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 relatively compact unit. The trunnions also help considerably at dampening vibration and also help to reduce any flexing during your cuts.

The fence comes from the more upscale Laguna saws meaning you’re getting fantastic value. The innovative design means you leave it upright for your resawing projects and move it to a lower profile for making rip cuts. Removing the fence could be easier but it’s still not a Herculean task so that’s a very inconsequential grumble.

There’s no worklight provided but there is the option of a halogen light at extra cost.

 We’ll give you a summary of the pros and cons now before rounding out with our verdict and moving on to our final bandsaw review…

Pros

  • Powerful motor develops 1 ¾HP and fit for most cutting duties
  • Runs on 120V but adapts to 240V if you rewire it making it perfect for all set-ups whether residential or commercial
  • Monitor blade tracking with ease through viewing window
  • Resaw with precision and accuracy while also enjoying the flexibility of making curved cuts to a very high standard
  • Large 14-inch throat simplifies changing blades
  • Kiss goodbye to sawdust and debris with 4-inch dust port allowing you to connect the saw to a shop vac
  • Large table ultra-stable even when tilted
  • Easy to wheel around and even simpler if you purchase the mobility kit
  • Ceramic guides very easy to set and perfect for a range of cuts

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option but still excellent value for money
  • Need to pay for mobility kit and work light so factor this into the equation

Conclusion

Price should not be the only factor when you are looking for the best band saw. It’s obviously an important consideration but you should also consider what you expect to get from your equipment and think of value for money rather than focusing purely on the price tag.

 If you’ve got a generous budget 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.
DeWalt DWM120K Band Saw

've been using this bandsaw for over 6 months straight now on my current project. (many hours of use) Changed my review to 5 stars. I replaced the original blade and have been having good luck with the replacement. I discovered matching tooth count to material thickness is very important to long blade life.

By Diggy T.

Main Features

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Not cheap

Conclusion

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?

man-with-mitersaw

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.

Buying Guide

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.

Band saw buying guide

 Here are some crucial elements to consider if you want the best band saw you can get…

  • Blade
    The blade is made from a very thin band of steel. The teeth will be ground or punched on one edge. The two ends are welded together into a loop. Mounted on wheels, the blade moves as the wheels rotate so you get a continuous and steady cutting action. Replacement blades are easily available. More expensive blades are carbide-tipped. While these cost 10 times as much as spring steel alternatives, they’ll last 100 times as long. Getting the right blade for the job is half the battle won.
  • Frame type and Weight
    The frame is support system for the entire saw. Don't be tempted to buy a band saw with a cheap, unreliable frame. A bench-top saw weighs anywhere from 75 to 200 pounds. You need to bolt them down for stability although these saws remain fairly portable. Stand-mounted saws weigh between 200 and 300 pounds. they can be disassembled. Floor saws come in anywhere from 4000 pounds to 3000 pounds and cannot really be taken apart once they are bolted to the concrete
  • Motor
    A standard commercial band saw comes with a ¾ HP or 1 HP motor. This should be sufficient for most regular cutting requirements. You should step this up to 1 ½ HP if you plan to resaw large volumes of bulky material. Converting your band saw motor from 120V to 220V is a possibility and increases its efficiency. It’s hard to have too much power in a band saw so make sure you choose a motor suited to your cutting needs.
  • Wheels
    Many characteristics and abilities of a band saw are determined by the size of the wheels. These wheels are normally made from cast aluminum. There is a hub and thick spokes. The rim can be flat or crowned. This rim is generally covered with a strip of rubber referred to as a tire. This cushions the blade and prevents the teeth from getting damaged against the wheel. The bottom wheel is the drive wheel. This is attached directly or via a V-belt on pulleys. The top wheel is not powered. This rotates through contact with the blade which is driven from below. You can make adjustments on the top wheel for tension, tracking and centering.
  • Wheel Covers
    When you are using your band saw, the wheel covers protect you from both the blade and the rapidly spinning wheels. In the event of the blade breaking, these covers will contain the pieces. Some band saws have covers with hinges while others clip on with knobs. Wheel covers are made from plastic or metal. Plastic is quieter and vibrates less. You can to securely tighten a metal cover to bring down noise and vibration.
  • Tension Screw
    A band saw blade will operate most effectively under a degree of tension. The amount of tension required is largely dependent on the width of the blade. You make adjustments using a threaded screw to move the top wheel up and down. By rotating the tension screw, the spring inside the block is compressed. A well-tuned band saw minimizes the chance of accidents and enhances your confidence and cutting power.
  • Tilt Knob
    The top wheel on the band saw balances or centers the blade. This is called tracking the blade. You use an adjustable tilt mechanism. By rotating the knob counterclockwise, the top wheel will tilt forward. Clockwise rotation tilts the wheel backward. Exercise real care when tracking. Tiny tweaks can affect blade travel quite significantly.
  • Table
    The band saw table is attached to the frame with 2 semicircular metal pieces called trunnions. Your workpiece rests on the table as it is fed into the blade. The table completely surrounds the blade which pokes out through a large hole in the center. The table has a throat plate, a slot where the blade enters, a miter gauge slot, a tilt mechanism and a fence rail.

Usage and Maintenance Tips

safety

 

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.

A Final Word On Band Saws

We hope that you’ve found these band saw reviews have helped with your buying decision.

Getting the best band saw at the cheapest price 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.

Happy sawing!

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FAQ:

1. WHAT SAFETY PRECAUTIONS ARE NECESSARY WHEN USING A BAND SAW?
?As with any power tool, familiarize yourself fully with the instructions first. Seek advice if you are unsure. There are plenty of resources online if you cannot find someone suitably qualified to help. Wear eye protection, a dust mask and ear defenders if necessary. Remove all jewelry and loose clothing like ties. Make sure the guards are in place at all times. Keep fingers well away from the blade and you should be good to go.

2. WHAT IS BLADE TENSION?
Blade tension describes how tight the blade is. Tension is expressed in PSI (pounds per square inch). This relates to the amount of force in each cross-sectional area. Cutting blades are tensioned anywhere from 15,000PSI to 25,000PSI. Slitting blades fall between 12,000 PSI and 20,000PSI. Correct blade tension is essential for optimum cutting results.

3. HOW DO I BREAK IN A BAND SAW BLADE?
If you break in a new blade, not only will it last considerably longer but it will strengthen the already-sharp cutting edges. To break in a bi-metal blade, run it at the recommended speed but dial back the cutting rate by 50%. Cut like this for about 20 minutes then gradually ramp it up. To break in carbide blades, reduce the speed and the cutting rate by the same margin. Slowly increase this but watch out for any squealing from the saw.

4. WHICH BLADES ARE BEST?
It depends on what you want to cut. Carbon steel works best with wood, aluminum, plastic or anything else that’s easy to slice through. Bi-metal blades make light work of other metals. If you need to cut ultra-tough or abrasive metals, tungsten carbide blades are the answer.

5. CAN I USE ANY KIND OF HYDRAULIC OIL?
No. It is key that you consult the manual and use the correct oil. Get this wrong and you can destroy seals, create oil leaks, cause overheating and even end up ruining the pump. Make absolutely certain that you use the right oil.

6. HOW CLOSE SHOULD THE GUIDE ARM BE TO THE WORKPIECE?
Set the guide as close to the material as you possibly can. All you need is just enough space for the vises to open. Get this right and you’ll enjoy swift, accurate cuts.

7. WHY DO I NEED CUTTING FLUID?
When you use your band saw, the workpiece and the teeth of the blade come together with great pressure and heat.  They can easily weld together. Cutting fluid contains lubricants to keep the heat down, additives to stop chip welding and water to help draw away excess heat. Check and maintain the ratio of this fluid mix as per the instruction manual.

8. WHY DOES MY BAND SAW START BUT NOT STAY RUNNING?
A band saw is expressly designed to shut off in the event of a broken band, an opened door or an expired piece counter. The electrical circuit will be interrupted for your safety. Explore these issues before calling for professional help.

9. WHAT KINDS OF BAND SAW BLADES ARE THERE?
The most common is a toothed blade. If you want to slit soft material, knife-edge blades are tailor-made. Grit-edge blades deal with hard, abrasive or brittle materials. As always, think carefully about how you will be using your band saw and buy blades accordingly.

10. WHY ARE MY BLADES BREAKING LONG BEFORE THE TEETH ARE WORN OUT?
The most likely culprits are too much tension or the saw head being misaligned.

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