If you have ever struggled to use a jigsaw to cut a huge piece of wood precisely, or if you have been working with a table saw and been annoyed at the cheap, imperfect cuts it makes – it is time to take your woodworking game to the next level (or metalworking, if that is the material you prefer). You need to invest in a good quality band saw!
Read on to learn more about these awesome tools and how they can improve your woodworking experience.
Comparison of the Best Band Saws
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What is a Band Saw?
Band saws are essentially a combination of two other kinds of handy wood working tools: jigsaws and table saws. Jigsaws are excellent for making fine, precise cuts on smaller pieces of wood, while table saws are efficient at cutting larger pieces of wood in a stable environment. Band saws combine the best of both worlds, in order to make the most precise cuts possible in the most efficient manner.
What is a Band Saw Best Used For?
As mentioned above, if you have a number of precise cuts you need to make as efficiently as you can, or on a larger piece of material, you would be greatly assisted in your goal by working with a band saw. If you have a type of material, whether a type of wood or a type of metal, that you need to make irregular or curved cuts in, this option is the tool for you.
Aspects to Consider Before Buying
Because there are such a wide range of different band saws out there, we compiled a list of qualities you should look out for when buying:
We guarantee that as soon as you see how much easier a band saw can make things for you, you will want to use it on absolutely everything! Find yourself a model that can cut through a wide range of different materials with ease.
Ease of Use
You are going to be making some complicated cuts on your band saw, so the best thing you can do for yourself is not make your life even harder by getting a tool that is also complicated to use. Make sure it is simple to set up and to adjust, so you can focus on your cutting.
Lack of Vibration and Noise
You will not be able to make the precise cuts you want if your saw is vibrating around all over the place, and you likely will not be able to focus if your saw is making an abominable racket. Invest in a model that runs quietly and smoothly to save your cuts and your sanity.
Review of the Best Band Saws
Now that you know more about what to look for when finding a band saw, here are some of the best options we found:
Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe 14” Band Saw
The Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe is such an impressive option, it was far and away our first choice for a best overall product pick. This saw is incredible! All of its components are well made of high quality material, including its fence and its miter gauge. Its guides are simple and easy to adjust, so operating this tool is fairly straightforward.
It is extremely durable – users report that this saw will still run like new even after they have put it through its paces with two years of almost daily use! Plus, it can cut through hard wood just as easily and quickly as it can cut through soft wood. It runs quietly and will not produce a large amount of vibration, either.
The Grizzly G0555LX is a stunner of a band saw that runs away with our top choice for best overall product. It is tough and can cut through anything with ease. Just know that you will need to have a clamp in order to keep your hose attached to your dust port.
Rikon 10-305 10 Inch Band Saw With Fence
The Rikon 10-305 10 Inch Band Saw With Fence is a fantastic option that is our runner-up choice for best overall, second only to the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe. But do not think there is anything second rate about this Rikon!
This band saw is accessible for anyone to use, even when performing more complicated tasks such as making tracking adjustments, thanks in part to its included instructions that are simple and easy to understand.
It is quiet, and will not vibrate a lot or make a loud noise when you are operating it. And no matter what kind of wood you are trying to cut, this tool can handle it, be it alder, black walnut, pine, or poplar. Users report this model can cut through wood up to three and a half inches in thickness!
The Rikon 10-305 With Fence is a phenomenal tool that can cut through pretty much anything you throw at it, giving it the title of runner-up for best overall. Keep in mind that the included knife is not great and you will likely want to trade up, though.
Best for the Money:
SKIL 3386-01 2.5 Amp 9 Inch Band Saw
If you are most interested in a high quality band saw that will cut like a top dollar model, but will be significantly easier on your wallet, you will not be able to go wrong with the SKIL 3386-01. This tool has a number of awesome features, including a dust port that is actually quite effective at catching sawdust, which cannot be said about a lot of competitor brands.
It is quiet and lightweight, so it is convenient to use and to move around your workshop. It can cut through different types of wood as easily as if they were made of butter, even woods up to four inches in thickness. And, it has a handy light included so you can illuminate your work area.
The SKIL 3386-01 2.5 Amp 9 Inch Band Saw is an amazing product that will get your smaller projects done for you without needing you to break the bank. If you are using this saw and you experience an unexpected drop in power, check the drive belt – it may need to be tightened up.
Best Benchtop Band Saw:
DEWALT DCS374B 20V Max Deep Cut
The DEWALT DCS374B is the very best benchtop band saw we were able to find (it is also portable, too!). You will likely be thrown off by how lightweight it is, but do not think its lighter weight – which also happens to make it very easy to move around – somehow translates into less power.
This saw is powerful enough to handle anything you could ever want or need it to handle: wood, metal, plastic tubing, copper pipe, aluminum, electrical conduit, PVC piping, rebar, and more!
It is straightforward to operate and accessible for anyone to use, even those entirely new to working with these specific types of tools. Plus, the cutting speed can be adjusted in multiple ways, by both a dial system and by the trigger, so there is some versatility in working with this product option.
The DEWALT DCS374B 20V Max Deep Cut is a top notch band saw and our best benchtop option. But keep in mind that you will need to buy your own replacement blades.
Best for Metal:
WEN 5” Metal Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
The WEN 5” Metal Cutting Benchtop Band Saw is the premiere bandsaw if you are looking for a tool primarily for cutting metal. This model can get the job done for you! It works well right out of the box, so no need for a tedious set up process. It has a variable speed motor that is adjusted by a dial rather than a belt system, making it far easier to use than many of its competitor models.
Since you are working with metal, you will need a lot of replacement blades, and thankfully replacement blades for this tool are both cheap and easy to find. Finally, it cuts through metal like butter – what more could you want?
The WEN 5” Metal Cutting Benchtop Band Saw is the absolute best option for a tool that can cut through metal. You will be nothing but impressed with what this saw can do. Keep in mind the blade guides can be difficult to adjust, though.
Best Horizontal Band Saw:
Grizzly G0561 Metal Cutting Band Saw
The Grizzly G0561 is the best horizontal band saw we were able to find. It is also one of the most convenient to set up and to use – its included instruction manual is simple and easy to follow, and users report that the whole process of setting up this tool is quick and will take as little time as forty minutes in total.
Plus, this model comes with everything already adjusted and lubed up, so it is ready to go. And you will be excited to get it going! It is excellent at cutting metals such as steels, aluminum, and iron, and its blade tuning adjustment is simple. It is a pure joy to cut with the Grizzly G0561.
The Grizzly G0561 Metal Cutting Band Saw is a top notch tool that is our best choice for a horizontal model, mostly thanks to its convenient features. Just know that you may have to stabilize the saw base.
Best for Hard Wood:
JET JWBS 14DXPRO 14 Inch Deluxe Band Saw
The JET JWBS 14DXPRO is a phenomenal band saw and the best one we could find when it comes to cutting hard wood. If you anticipate cutting walnut or maple, you have got to invest in this tool! It is well built and made out of high quality material. One thing that will pop out at you when you are looking at it is the incredible attention to detail in its construction.
This quality manifests itself in a tool that is easy to set up and will run extremely smoothly. Plus, it is simple to use, particularly when adjusting the tension and the tracking mechanisms. And it will chomp through anything you put in front of it – what is not to like?
The JET JWBS 14DXPRO is a fantastic band saw that is especially adept at cutting through thick, hard woods such as maple. Just keep in mind it can sometimes be a pain to make guide adjustments with this tool.
Best for Woodworking:
Powermatic Deluxe 14 Inch 1-3/4 Inch Woodworking Band Saw
The Powermatic Deluxe 14 Inch 1-3/4 Inch Woodworking Band Saw is a top notch band saw, and the very best option we could find when it comes to woodworking. This tool can make any cut you ask of it, whether straight or curved, through any type of wood (including harder woods!) and it will be able to handle it without causing any burning at all.
Plus, its assembly is relatively straightforward – it can even be set up by just one person (but be aware, with one person, setting it up will probably take quite a while). And it has a handy little flexible light, so you can point your light wherever you most need illumination in your shop.
The Powermatic Deluxe 14 Inch 1-3/4 Inch Woodworking Band Saw is a great tool and the best we could find when it comes to woodworking. Just know that you may have to look up some of the parts, as they are not clearly outlined in the instruction manual.
Best Under $500:
WEN Two Speed 10” Band Saw with Stand and Worklight
The WEN Two Speed 10” Band Saw with Stand and Worklight is a stunningly efficient model that you will be able to own for under $500! With such a low price tag, you may suspect that you will be compromising on some quality when working with this tool, but never fear. This saw is a star. It easily cuts through a wide variety of different kinds of wood, including thick, harder woods.
Its attached workspace is mobile and can be swiveled in different directions so you are enabled to make angled, complicated cuts. Its motor is just as powerful as its competitors, with its two speed operation system that gives you the option of either making slower, more precise cuts, or faster, more efficient cuts. And its dust collection system is compatible with all extraction hose sizes!
The WEN Two Speed 10” Band Saw with Stand and Worklight is a great product option that you will not believe you can buy for under $500. The only thing to watch out for is its tendency to vibrate more than its competitors.
Best Portable Band Saw:
DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5 Inch Portable Band Saw
If you have ever wished that you could find a band saw that cut efficiently and effectively, but was also simple to pack up and take along with you to your work site, you will be extremely pleased with the DEWALT DWM120K! This tool is super easy to transport, so you can bring your saw to your work, not your work to your saw. And it is especially adept at cutting metal – users report this model can chomp through mild steel, copper, tool steel, aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, and brass with complete and total ease.
It comes with a built in LED light so that you will always be able to illuminate your workspace, wherever your work space may be. Plus, its handle is adjustable and can be locked into three different positions, lending this tool even more versatility.
The DEWALT DWM120K is an impressive little band saw that you will be able to take along with you wherever you go. You may want to invest in your own carrying case for the saw, though.
Types of Band Saws
As we are sure you saw above from the product list, there are many different types of product options. Here are the main categories:
Stand Mounted Band Saws
Stand mounted band saws are fairly self explanatory – they are designed to be mounted to a stand. These stands are often sold separately and can cost quite a lot of money, but they also result in a more stable band saw that can make more precise cuts.
Benchtop Band Saws
These are the most versatile of the band saws as they are highly portable and designed to be able to be used anywhere there is a work bench. On the negative side, the smaller size of these types often means they have less power.
Floor Standing Band Saws
These saws do not need stands or benchtops, because they are large enough to be worked on just sitting on the floor! These are the most powerful of the band saws, but are mostly designed for professional use and are therefore extremely expensive.
Band saws can really change the game when it comes to fine, precise woodworking – or metalworking, or really any task that requires exact cuts on large pieces of material! Make sure you invest in the right option for you, keeping in mind which type of material you want to cut, whether you want a tool that is more portable or more stable, the amount of power you will need in order to make good cuts, and more. We guarantee that no matter your needs, you will not go wrong with a product from our list.
People Also Ask
We have compiled a list of some of the most common questions we hear from people curious about band saws. Here are the answers to your FAQs:
Can I Use My Band Saw to Cut Metal?
The short answer is yes – if you have the right kind of saw AND kind of blade. Not all band saws are designed for cutting metal, and the results can be disastrous if you use a wood saw or wood blade on a metal surface. Make sure your tool can handle the intensity of cutting metal before you try it out.
Can I Sharpen My Band Saw Blade?
It is possible to sharpen your band saw blade yourself so that you are not always having to switch out blades, but it is a rather complicated process. You will need a sharpening stone, a flat edged tool, and a cylindrical filing tool, and you will likely have to watch some instructional videos in order to get the sharpening process right.
Band Saw Buyer Guides
Looking for all of our band saw buyer guides? You've come to the right place: