Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Jan. 21, 2019

A highly useful tool to add to your workshop, band saws are primarily used to cut curves and irregular shapes, but they can be used to rip up lumber into thinner pieces. A high-quality band saw is one of the smoothest cutting tools which you can add to your workshop. One of the main advantages is to give you a stable environment from which you can steadily cut whatever you need.

But when you are making an investment such as this one, you need to take the time to make sure that you are making the right choice. You don’t want to rush in without a clear idea of exactly what you are buying. So, here we will give you some more information on some of the best band saws currently available.

The Best Band Saw

With its highly compact size and lightweight handling, you can wield this band saw with ease. It is even designed for one-handed cuts, and you can make as many as 150 from a single charge. One of the most useful features is the LED light, which highlights the cut line and makes your task more straightforward.

Another clever innovation is the variable speed feature, which allows you to start off slowly and increase the speed as desired. And it is also covered by a five-year warranty, which gives you peace of mind that it will stand the test of time.

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Key Features
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight design suitable for one-sided cuts
  • Variable speed feature
  • LED light to highlight the cut line
Specification
  • Brand Milwaukee
  • Model 2429-21XC
  • Weight 13.8 ounces

Suitable for all sorts of job site applications, the 10-amp motor offers controlled power, while the tool also provides a 5-inch deep cut capacity. To protect your safety, you have a steel shroud and rubber bumpers to withstand the wear and tear of a tough working environment.

If conditions start to get a little dark when you are working, you can use the LED side light to clearly see the cutline. A variable speed dial is included for different materials and applications. When you are not using it, you can hang it up via the integrated hook.

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Key Features
  • Powerful 10-amp motor with variable speed control
  • LED sight light indicates cut line
  • Ergonomic grip options
  • Integrated hanging hook
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DWM120K
  • Weight 15 pounds

An upright band saw that is suitable for cutting unusual shapes and ripping up lumber, this is an excellent option for novices. Speedy angle and height adjustments are easy thanks to the adjustable table.

When you need to align the blade of this Skil band saw, the EZ View Blade Tracking allows you to do this. There is also a dust port to ensure that your working area doesn’t get messy. By adjusting the LED work light, you give yourself a much better view of what you are doing.

Key Features
  • Rack and pinion table adjustment
  • Rip fence and miter gauge
  • Dust port to collect debris
  • Articulating LED work light
Specification
  • Brand Skil
  • Model 3386-01
  • Weight 36.4 pounds

Perfect for cutting multiple metal materials, faster cutting is provided by the Makita-built motor, which features a variable speed. For the protection of your tool, a built-in warning light will protect the motor if it is over-torque.

The thick, protective rubber bumper offers an additional level of durability, while the rubberized soft-grip handle provides greater comfort. When it is not in use, simply hang it up via the integrated tool hook.

Key Features
  • Protective rubber bumper
  • Build-in LED light
  • Rubberized soft grip handle
  • Brushes are externally accessible
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model XBP02Z
  • Weight 15 pounds

Another upright band saw, you can create cuts of up to six inches deep. Depending on the task that you have in mind, you can use 72-inch blades, ranging from 1/8 to 1/2 inches in size. Two operational speeds are available.

A work light is included on this Wen bandsaw to illuminate your job, while the 3-in-1 dust port ensures that any debris gets sucked up. There is also a 25-inch stand that is designed to keep the band saw elevated.

Key Features
  • 3-in-1 dust port
  • Two-speed operation
  • Bevel Cuts from 0° to 45°
  • Range of blade options
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 3962
  • Weight 73 pounds

This 14-inch bandsaw will cut through material of varying sizes, and there is also a built-in retractable blade guard to protect you. You can use it to take on jobs both large and small. Its powerful performance is assured with the cast-iron frame and quick blade speed.

The work table is designed to tilt left and right to make your work easier. When you are in the middle of a job, you can use the easy-to-view blade tracking window to check its position. The enclosed stand and useful storage shelf ensure that the band saw won’t take up too much room in your workspace.

Key Features
  • Cutting capacity width of 13.5 inches and height of 12 inches
  • Retractable blade guard
  • Tilting work table
  • Durable and tough cast-iron frame
Specification
  • Brand Jet
  • Model JWBS-14DXPR
  • Weight 258 pounds

Made from a solid steel design, this is a durable model that is designed to keep working for years to come. As for the work table, it is made of cast iron, which provides you with a highly stable surface from which to complete your jobs.

The motor is 1/3HP, which provides plenty of power to cut bowl and pen blanks. As for the guide post, it is straightforward to raise or lower by simply turning a handle.

Key Features
  • Solid steel design
  • Cast iron work table
  • Quality rip fence
  • Micro adjustable guide post
Specification
  • Brand RIKON Power Tools
  • Model 10-305
  • Weight 76 pounds

A highly popular deluxe band saw, the frame and table are both made of cast iron, so you can be certain that it will provide you with a highly stable work station. As for the wheels, they are computer balanced.

Also included on the Grizzly bandsaw are upper and lower ball bearing blade guides and thrust bearing. The guides are easy to adjust as needed to make your cutting experience straightforward.

Key Features
  • Cast-iron frame
  • Heavy-duty stand
  • Computer balanced wheels with rubber tires
  • Fence scale with magnifying window and miter gauge
Specification
  • Brand Grizzly
  • Model G0555LX
  • Weight 247 pounds

A rigid and sturdy design is at the heart of this band saw. The construction is solid steel, and there is a pyramid spine as well as cast iron wheels. As for the table surface, it has been micro-polished and tilts left and right when you need it to.

The solid cast iron wheels have been electronically balanced for increased stability. Essentially, this is a tool that works effectively and can undertake the range of jobs that you would expect from a band saw.

Key Features
  • Illuminated on/off direct start switch with safety key
  • Steel frame construction
  • Cast iron, electronically balanced wheels
  • Heavy-duty enclosed stand
Specification
  • Brand Laguna Tools
  • Model MBAND1412-175
  • Weight 267 pounds

The final product on our list, this one features a patented guard adjustment that allows for simple blade changes. The table easily tilts to 45-degrees as required.

To keep a close eye how you are getting on, you can view the blade tracking window. When it comes to the blade width range, they can come anywhere between 1/8-inch to 3/8-inch.

Key Features
  • Patented blade guard adjustment
  • Blade tracking window
  • Table with easy tilt to 45-degrees
  • Quick-release blade tension lever
Specification
  • Brand POWERTEC
  • Model BS900
  • Weight 43.1 pounds

Best Band Saw Buying Guide & FAQ

Things To Consider When Buying a Band Saw

Before you take the decision to invest in any of the above band saws, it is a good idea to have a clearer idea of exactly what you are looking for. There are a few main points which are all worth considering in greater detail, so let’s look at them one-by-one here.

  • Intended Uses

Whenever you buy a tool, a good rule of thumb is to determine what you are going to use it for so you can match the features up with your intentions. For example, if you only intend on using the band saw from time to time, it is less likely that you need a complex and expensive model. Instead of a horizontal saw, a battery-operated model may be the better option. However, this is probably not going to cut it if you have a host of expensive and time-consuming jobs waiting to be completed.

  • Motor

The blade and motor both play a central role in what type of material you can expect your band saw to cut. Typically, band saw motors are rated in terms of horsepower. If this is less than 1.0 HP, it is a small bandsaw which is better for less demanding jobs. If you plan on cutting metal on a regular basis, 1.5 HP to 2.0 HP band saws may be better options for you.

  • Work Light

A simple addition which helps to improve the performance of your tool, having light in the right place makes operating your band saw so much easier, especially if you are making complex cuts. While you can mount a light on top of it, having a work light already there is convenient for the times you need it most.

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  • Safety

Obviously, you don’t want to buy anything which is going to put your safety at risk, so you should make sure that there are proper precautions in place. Band saws are usually protected against the risk of kickback as they move continuously in a single direction. The biggest risk you face is getting cut, but most band saws come with a blade guard to defend against this issue. You need to make sure that you position it into the right place. Also, the blade needs to be sharp enough for the job in hand. You don’t want to have to push harder than necessary.

  • Your Own Experience

Even though it seems like it is easy enough to operate a bandsaw, the truth is that there is more to it than meets the eye. So, you need to consider your own experience before you decide to make an investment. Always read the guidelines to ensure that you are not getting out of your depth.

  • Price

The price point of different tools can vary significantly, so you should start by working out a budget of exactly how much you can afford. Once you have the limits of what you can pay, it is easier to do your own research to narrow down your options.

  • Brand

Reputable brands give you an extra indication of quality. You are better off avoiding rip-offs and copies if you can. Again, this is why adequate research is so important. Even if you end up having to pay more, this is better than putting your safety in jeopardy. Also, check out band saw reviews.

  • Availability of Parts

Most high-quality brands should offer spare parts, especially blades. The majority of trustworthy brands offer an abundance of spare parts at a reasonable price. When you are calculating the overall cost of the band saw, it is worth taking the cost of spare parts into account. After all, you are bound to have to change the blade after a certain amount of usage. And if you are buying a battery-operated model, you should take the cost of a spare into account as well.

Benefits of Using a Band Saw

You may be questioning why you would want to add a band saw to your arsenal of tools in the first place. Here are just a few of the main advantages which you can expect to receive.

  • Helps You to Make Straight Cuts

Whether you are cutting timber, wood or metal, band saws allow you to make straighter cuts. A few of the key features which ensure you can to do this include the rip fence, miter gauge, and LED light. You are likely to find that the results are significantly better than you would get with a tool like a chainsaw. One of the major differences is the thinner blades which come with band saws, affording a greater degree of accuracy.

  • Many Types of Band

Depending on the types of cut you are trying to undertake, there are plenty of different bands ranging between 1/8 inch to 1 inch. Of course, the amount that your particular saw can take is variable. If you are completing delicate work you can use a very thin band, but if you are cutting tougher materials like metal, a thicker band is the better option.

  • Safer Cutting

Modern band saws come fitted with a range of safety features to help protect yourself when you are cutting. Compared to a table saw, it is much easier to feed pressure and there is less of a chance of a kickback. The material should be pulled down towards the table while still holding it in place tightly, which should help to keep your fingers out of the way.

Different Types of Band Saw

There are several different types of band saw available. Check out this overview to get a better idea of which variety is most appropriate to your needs.

  • Vertical Saws

The ‘classic’ variety of band saw, vertical saws are what most professionals use. You will find them in many workshops due to their excellent versatility and precision. With an excellent cutting capacity, they are ideal for cutting curved and complex edges. They usually produce less noise and dust as well but tend to come at a higher price point than the other popular varieties.

  • Benchtop Saws

Generally lightweight and portable, table top bandsaws can be moved around as required. They are the compact and user-friendly version of vertical saws, and they also tend to be lower in price. One of the main downsides is that they are less effective when it comes to heavy-duty jobs. So, bear this in mind before making a purchase.

  • Horizontal Saws

Next up, we have horizontal saws which are generally used to resize materials rather than cutting unusual shapes. So, if you only plan on cutting objects down, they could prove to be an ideal option. Bear in mind that they also cut in straight lines well. It is only the more complex tasks when they start to fall down and not work as effectively.

  • Portable Saws

An increasingly popular choice, portable bandsaws are battery-powered. Not only are they lightweight and space-saving, but you can also take them anywhere without worrying about power source options. On the downside, they are limited by the battery life, and you only have a restricted number of cuts before a recharge is required.

Band Saw Safety Tips

A band saw features sharp blades which spin at very high speeds. If they are not used correctly, injuries can occur – and these can often be serious. So, here are a few safety tips which you should take note of.

  • Protect Your Hands

Your hands and fingers are at particular risk of getting cut, so you should make sure that they are adequately protected at all times. Ultimately, you need to stay concentrated and focused on the path of the blade to ensure that it doesn’t start to stray away from you. Of course, you can also invest in some protective gloves, but they can only offer you so much defence.

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  • Follow the Instructions

Even if you are the kind of person who usually tosses the instruction manual to one side, we highly recommend reading your band saw manual thoroughly. Not all of them work the same way, and you need to learn more about the individual features of your machine. You may have used a band saw before, but there could be some significant differences to take into account.

  • Shut the Wheel Cover

Some band saw operators forget to close the wheel cover, while others simply ignore it entirely. Both scenarios can be dangerous. Since both the wheel and blade spin so quickly, they can easily cut through your body. Also, if the blade snaps and the covers have not been shut, there is every chance that it will fly in your direction. So, taking this simple precaution is certainly worthwhile.

  • Make Adjustments Safely

If you are changing the blade or making any adjustments to your tool, you should always unplug it from the power source. And if you have a battery-operated model, it is worth removing the battery entirely before undertaking any work on it.

  • Use the Fence and Push Sticks

No matter how much experience you have using your band saw, it is still a good idea to use push sticks for more precise and complete cuts. Even if they are inconvenient, they are still a great safety precaution. You should also look at the models which come with a fence already built into their design.

  • Keep Your Concentration

Finally, you need to stay on high-alert, ensuring that you retain your concentration and vigilance. Listening to music can pull your attention away. The same is true if you are feeling tired, sick, or otherwise not 100 percent.

Best Band Saw FAQ:

Q: What is a band saw?

A band saw is a versatile power tool which can be used for tasks like cutting curves, irregular shapes, and ripping lumber into thinner slabs. This type of saw is well-known for its ability to make smooth cuts, as well as its capability of cutting through metal. Many of these are upright models which stay in place, but there are also battery-powered portable models available as well.

Q: Can I use my band saw to cut metal?

You should be able to cut metal using most band saws as long as you have the appropriate blade installed. However, you need to know the capabilities of your saw. While some can make handle all metals, others will only be able to deal with non-ferrous metals.

Q: Can I sharpen my band saw blade?

You can sharpen band saw blades, but it takes skill and patience. The most common way of doing this is with a grinder or a Dremel. Of course, if you are using inexpensive saw blades, you may want to make a replacement rather than going to the effort of sharpening them up. Sometimes, when you are sharpening your band saw, you only need to take care of the parts of the blade which have been dulled by foreign objects. Other times, you are going to need to give the whole blade some car and attention. Before undertaking this task, you should always unplug the saw to make sure that it doesn’t start up again while you are trying to sharpen it. As this is the kind of job which requires patience and concentration, you are going to need decent lighting and a comfortable chair to sit on. Make sure that you wear the proper protective equipment including gloves, eye protection, and a dust mask. There are plenty of step-by-step guides out there which will take you through the entire process, but it is also worth watching a video or two to make sure that you are fully comfortable that you can take on the task in-hand.

Q: Which type of band saw blade do I use?

The type of band saw blade you use should depend on the type of materials which you are cutting. This is especially important if you are cutting tougher things such as metals. For example, when you are cutting curves, it is advised that you use a wide blade. When you are resawing, you need the widest blade that your saw allows.

Q: What is the relationship between feed and speed?

The relationship between feed and speed is one which is essential to the proper functioning of a bandsaw. When you are operating the saw, you need to give it your complete attention. Otherwise, the saw will not perform as intended. The speed of the blade is measured at S.F.P.M. or Surface Foot Per Minute. You need to make sure that this is optimum for the application. The lower the percentage rating of material machineability, the slower the band saw speed should be. The blade selection also has its role to play. If you notice a great deal of cutting noise and vibration, you should decrease your operational speed as the blade life could be in jeopardy. If the cut is being made dry without the use of coolant, you should reduce the cutting speed by as much as 40 to 50 percent.

Our Top Pick

Designed with portability and ease-of-use very much in mind, this is one of the lightest band saws which you can buy. Not only is the size compact, but you can even make one-handed cuts when using it. You can make as many as 350 cuts from a single charge.

The motor is powerful enough to support a wide range of applications and functions. Using the LED light, you can easily highlight the cut line.

Taking all of this into account, we have chosen this tool as the best band saw currently on the market.

Sources:

  1. Speed and Feed Rates – BandSawBlog

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