Band Saw is a powerful tool and it doesn’t come cheap. It is considered the king in the world of saws when designing with wood. If you are a serious woodworker you must invest in the best band saws of 2019. These machines are used to cut a variety of materials in woodworking, metalworking as well as lumbering. They are the best if you want to cut irregular shapes like a jigsaw and you can even cut lumber into thinner slabs by re-sawing or ripping. It is the main woodcutting tool of lumber sawyers, furniture makers, and wooden boat builders.
If you are looking to cut timber, band saw should be your first choice as it is easy to set up, safe and extremely versatile.
If you’re a DIYer or professional this is a true game-changer for every woodworker and a great power tool to have in the personal home collection. So if you want to purchase a band saw, you must check what it can be mainly used for, what are pros, cons of each.
We carefully looked at five of the most popular saws and tested them according to our rigorous standards. Our bandsaw reviews will let you know what saws to pass on and which ones are worth your investment. Finally, Our this guide of choosing a band saw for small woodshop will do the job for you.
(Best Value for Money)
The JET JWBS-14DXPRO is a more professional model out there if you want to do commercial work. The table of this saw was massive and is perhaps our favorite feature. It measures 15″ by 15″, which is large enough to handle nearly any project.
We also quite liked the blade adjustments on this model. They were incredibly fast and easy, more so than any other saw we reviewed. Plus, it has a rear-view window that allows you to see just how the blade is aligned. This helps ensure the blade is exactly where you want it to be and prevents you from making unnecessary mistakes.
The vertical capacity of this saw is also quite large. It can cut pieces up to 12 inches in height. The blade guard is adjustable from 0 to 12 inches as well. This massive adjustability helps you stay safe no matter what project you’re working on. This saw also includes a riser block, which allows you to adjust the cutting height faster. If you work on a lot of projects of varying heights, this feature can be a lifesaver. With all of these adjustable features, this saw really is designed to accommodate whatever project you are working on.
On top of the adjustability, this saw is also quite durable. We appreciated that is was made with high-quality materials. The frame itself is cast iron and can stand up to a lot of beating.
We did have some worries that the table would be flimsy due to its adjustability. However, these fears were quickly squished as we started using it. The table of quite sturdy and will likely last for decades to come. Perhaps the most significant feature that contributes to this saw’s durability is the ball bearing guides. These guides help cut down on friction and vibration, which contributes to the overall sturdiness of the machine. You don’t have to worry about this saw breaking anytime soon. It truly is designed to last forever.
The only complaint we had about this saw is that it doesn’t come with a fence. For the price, this feature really should be included. While there are aftermarket fences available, no one wants to spend even more money on an expensive saw.
This is a good band saw in its own way due to its features like cast iron frame, heavy-duty stand, and powder coating. In our opinion, this is a good unit for the serious home shop user at a reasonable price.
Like most saws, this one does require quite a bit of assembly. However, much of the process is very straightforward. It only took us a couple of hours to piece this saw together and get to work. Like you would expect, this saw is also quite heavy but less than out no #1 pick.
Once we get into cutting, we began to appreciate just how accurate this saw was. It cut exactly where we wanted it to every time. This machine is very quiet and produces little vibrations. To keep the saw accurate, you do have to perform a few alignment tasks every time you change the blade. However, we did not find this too time-consuming and it is definitely worth it for this level of accuracy. The fence included with the re-sawing attachment is very well made.
You need a clamp on hose to hold the dust collection port & still have to blow the dust out off the lower blade guides. But that’s doesn’t affect the performance of the saw.
Our only true complaint about this saw as that the trunnion can slip out of alignment quite easily.
Wen is known for making inexpensive yet high-quality machines, and their bandsaw is no different. While this saw was not as good as some of the others, it is a great value for the cost.
This machine is quite powerful. We were surprised by how much raw power it produced for such a little price tag. It has a 3.5-amp motor, which should be plenty for most consumers. We also liked that this saw allowed you to choose between two different cutting speeds. This was not a feature we expected to find on a budget bandsaw and we found it very useful for many of our projects.
One of our favorite features was this saw’s dust port. This might sound strange, but we really found the dust port quite awesome. It is designed to fit three different sized dust collection hoses. We had not seen this feature on another saw, and really enjoyed the versatility and options it gave us.
This saw is not as adjustable as some of the others. However, it can use different sized blade’s, which is always a plus. It fits blades between ⅛ to ½ of an inch. This should be more than enough options to fit your needs. Of course, you do have to buy all these extra sizes. Still, for how much this saw cost, the extra money you need to spend on blades shouldn’t be too large of an issue.
With all that said, you do get what you pay for with this saw. It is on the cheaper side, and that becomes obvious in a few places. Firstly, the assembly was not as easy as we would have liked. It took quite a while and the instructions were not exactly very straightforward. Secondly, there was also no tension scale or indicator. This isn’t necessarily a must-have feature, but we did miss it. This saw comes with 2-year warranty.
This band saw is great for entry-level woodworker but with less power. Being less powerful, it can still cut through the hard and softwood easily. It cuts straight, smooth and perfect for small wood.
We particularly appreciated the cast iron table, which is very even and smooth. Adjusting the saw is also quite easy. The instructions in the user’s manual are very straightforward and easy to follow. Adjustments only take a moment or two and don’t require a lot of trial and error. It is a perfect band saw for those on small space.
We liked that the fence was adjustable, though the adjustment mechanism didn’t work all the time. At about an 80% success rate, it failed just enough to be annoying without negatively impacting the performance of the saw. This saw’s miter slot is adequate but is of a non-standard size. Once again, this feature was frustrating, but not troublesome enough to knock the saw down to the fifth place.
One of the biggest cons of this tool was the blade that came with it. We didn’t that it has low-quality blades. The teeth were terribly malformed and even smashed in a few places. While this saw isn’t the most expensive on this list, it still costs quite a bit of money. The fact that we had to buy another blade was very disappointing.
If you are a small shop hobbyist, this is your band saw.
This is the lightest and cheap bandsaw we came across. You know when you buy a cheap product, there may some downsides to it. You may like some features in this saw but most of the time you will end being frustrated about frequent breakdowns.
Most of this saw is made out of plastic which is not durable as heavier materials. This saw might be good for light, infrequent jobs, but we do not recommend it for cutting heavier stock. The tension knob, in particular, is rather flimsy and prone to breaking.
This saw also uses non-standard dust collectors. That means you will either have a hunt down a dust collector that just happens to fit, which is rather difficult from our experience. Or, buy an adapter. This saw is decently cheap, so we can’t really complain there. However, the extra money we had to shell out on an adapter was still extra we didn’t want to spend.
Assembly was also not as easy as we would like. We recommend reading the assembly instructions thoroughly multiple times before you begin assembling this saw. You also might want to have an extra blade or two on hand.
Of course, everything was not all bad. This saw is cheaper than many others, which explains the low-quality materials used. For a hobby saw, this one might be a decent choice. It is decently durable in most cases despite being made almost entirely of plastic. However, it still isn’t our value pick. The motor isn’t the most powerful thing out there, but if you let it cut at its own pace, it does quite well.
The frame is what holds your whole band saw together. If it is weak and not durable, your saw probably isn’t going to last long. The frame is also the only thing on the bandsaw that you can’t change, so you have to be sure it is made of strong material.
Frames made of cast iron and steel are the most durable and high-quality. Cast iron is going to be heavy, but it will provide plenty of stability. Steel frames are going to be more lightweight and often come in bigger sizes. There are some saws with plastic frames, but these should be avoided due to their unreliability.
The tension system is vital to a band saw. However, it is also the part that tends to break the most. Tensioning systems should be easy to use and durable. All too often tension knobs break, which makes the whole system unusable.
There are two main types if tension systems: wheels and knobs. Truthfully, there isn’t much difference between them. Wheel systems tend to be a little more expensive and in our experience, don’t break as often. However, in the long run, what type of system you get really doesn’t matter.
The table is where your wood sits when you’re cutting it. The 16″ x 20″ table on any bandsaw works well even for large projects. This surface should be made out of cast iron or steel preferably & set on stout trunnions. Aluminum is also used in cheaper saws, but it is also less durable. The table sees a lot of wear-and-tear, so it is essential that it is made of strong material.
Most tables are also adjustable. In a perfect world, you would purchase a table that can adjust by 45 degrees in both directions. However, these saws are hard to come by and might not necessarily be high-quality in other areas. Practically, consider your needs when purchasing a saw. If you need it to adjust, make sure you get one that adjusts. However, be ready to sacrifice in other areas.
If you want your band saw to be accurate, you need a high-quality rip fence. This fence helps keep everything in line while you’re cutting, making straight lines far easier than they would be otherwise. Not all band saws come with fences, and even those that do often don’t come with high-quality fences. In fact, fences were often the lowest quality feature on a saw during our testing. Luckily, there are a couple of saws out there that do have quality fences included. So, if you want to make accurate straight cuts, you aren’t absolutely out of luck.
You can also purchase aftermarket fences. However, these do not go on every saw out there, so it is important to pay attention when purchasing them. Often, fences will be made as universally as possible. But, it is, of course, impossible for a fence to fit every saw out there. Buying a fence will also cost you extra money on top of a saw, which isn’t always practical.
Most saws come with a blade. However, this blade can be of varying quality. Most important this is they are big beasts (12 feet or more in length) and moves really fast. Sometimes, the blades are great. Other times, they hardly work at all and break after a use or two. Of course, you can always purchase a new blade. But, this is extra money out of your pocket. If you’ve already spent a lot on a band saw, you probably don’t want to turn around and spend even more money to get a decent blade. So, always be sure you check out the blade it comes with before you purchase a saw.
The motor is obviously an important part of a band saw. Without a good motor, you probably aren’t going to be doing much cutting. How powerful of a motor you need depends on what you’re cutting. For very light, home DIY projects, a saw with less than 1 horsepower might be enough. But, a saw with only this much power is not going to be strong enough to cut through hardwoods or handle bigger projects. For that, you’re going to need something with at least a couple horsepower.
A good band saw should be able to cut all kinds of soft & hardwood, timber metal in big timber mills. They can cut any kind of irregular shapes most common use is in resawing or ripping lumber into thinner slabs. Saws with little horsepower may have difficulty cutting harder woods, though. The size of the band saw also affects what wood it can cut. A small band saw will not have enough room to cut big pieces of wood. The only wood that turns average saw is going to have difficulty with is petrified wood.
It can be difficult to get extremely straight cuts with a band saw. If your saw isn’t cutting straight, there are a couple of things that could be going wrong. Firstly, your blade could be dull. A dull blade will drift and there isn’t much you can do about it. Secondly, your blade could be installed incorrectly. Double check to make sure it is in there right. Thirdly, your blade tension might be off. Refer to your user manual and try adjusting the tension. Fourthly, the bandsaw wheels could be worn or incorrectly set. If the blade is barely on the wheel, it likely isn’t going to be guided straight.
Band saws can be expensive, so it is important to do all your research before purchasing one. We carefully crafted reviews of these bandsaws to help you choose the best. For the professionals, we recommend the JET JWBS-14DXPRO. This saw is about as perfect as they come. It is made of strong, durable material and is very adjustable. For a more cost-effective option and beginner level, we recommend purchasing the WEN 3962. It was not as good as the JET, but it is an amazing value. We particularly liked its strong motor.
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