If you are a professional or a woodworking hobbyist, a bandsaw is an important tool in your arsenal of cutting instruments. They are the most versatile tools in the woodworking workshop. They are used for ripping, making coarse cuts, and making delicate curves on wood.
In this guide, we are breaking down everything you need to know so that after reading this review, you will be fully prepared to get the best budget bandsaw to suit your needs.
Comparison of the Best Budget Bandsaws
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Factors to Consider Before Buying a Budget Bandsaw
Finding the right band saw for your needs can be daunting with so many choices on the market. It can be even harder when you are on a tight budget and looking for a reliable band saw.
Here are some things to consider before buying one.
Before investing in one, consider the build quality of the bandsaw. Usually, high-quality band saws use aluminum, cast iron, or steel. The quality of the material also determines the durability of the bandsaw.
There are two main types of constructions: one type is the benchtop bandsaw, which mounts on flat raised surfaces like tabletops. These are compact and perfect for small workshops. The other is the floor-standing bandsaw that comes with a stand. They tend to be larger and can accommodate a larger blade suitable for cutting through thicker materials.
Just like any other cutting tool, the quality of the blade is crucial. Bandsaw blades are mostly made from a thin band of steel with grounded teeth on two ends linked together into a loop.
There are three elements to a blade: thickness, width, and teeth per inch (TPI)
The blade's tooth shape determines the use of the blade. Regular teeth are what you will find on most bandsaws. They produce a clean cut on boards.
The blade's thickness you choose depends on what type of cut you want. You would need a wider blade for ripping chunky pieces of wood, whereas if you are working on finishes, a thinner blade will afford you more control and precision.
Different blades perform different jobs. It is essential to find a bandsaw that is compatible with various blades, primarily if you work on various projects.
The more power you have, the easier it is to cut through materials. Most bandsaws are powered by 3/4 HP, which is sufficient to cut stock three inches and under.
If your work involves cutting through thicker stock or doing a lot of re-sawing, a 1-HP motor will perform better.
Hardwoods and metal pieces demand a powerful motor of more than 1.5 HP. So, if you are regularly cutting, you need to consider a bandsaw with higher-rated horsepower.
Dust is inevitable when working with a bandsaw. Since you are cutting into materials such as wood or metal, some bits and chunks will split. To ensure a clean and safe working space, ensure the bandsaw has a built-in dust port. For bigger projects, the port connects to a dust collector or a vacuum.
Being on a tight budget doesn't mean you compromise on what you get. Get a bandsaw that has all the accessories needed for the job. Look out for a rip fence, miter gauge, and adjusting racks.
These gadgets will help you make cleaner cuts with more precision. Ensure that the tool comes with a light for better visibility in low light conditions.
No matter the brand you decide to go with, ensure you get quality accessories that will last for a long time, ultimately reducing the cost of operating the tool in the long term.
Review of the Best Budget Bandsaws
After extensive research and analyzing several bandsaw brands, we've compiled a list of the top budget bandsaws. Let's look at our top picks and help you find out which one suits your needs.
Power: 3.5 amps
Weight: Approximately 75 pounds
Blade Speed: 2,780 RPM
Table Size: 13-3/4-Inch by 12-1/2-Inches
Straight off the bat, the solid steel and cast iron construction of the Rikon 10-305 make it very attractive.
The frame of the saw is made of steel, making it very durable. The sturdy table allows the user to handle heavy and wide stocks of hardwoods. An aluminum rip fence and 0-45 degree tilting table further reinforce this versatility.
This small bandsaw operates with a ⅓ HP motor that can run the blades at a high speed of up to 2,780 RPM. It features an adjustable guideline post that enables you to lower or raises its height with an effortless turn of the handle. Also, the bandsaw features a 2 ½" dust port for efficient dust cleaning.
What makes this bandsaw so attractive is durable steel construction and cast iron large working table. The bandsaw is easy to use and suitable for both beginners and seasoned woodworkers. If you are looking for a compact saw for your home workshop, the Rikon 10-305 is a good contender.
Power: 10 amps
Weight: 15 pounds
Table Size: 5 x 4-3/4 inches
Blade Speed: 100-350 FPM
Dewalt is a well-established company with a long history of great products behind them. This particular one isn't any different. The 10-amp motor is capable of cutting through a wide variety of materials.
The saw has two-speed settings giving the user control when cutting different materials. The 5-inch table gives good clearance when dealing with thick blocks.
The casing is made of metal and plastic and is protected by rubber shrouds, minimizing wear and tear in the long run.
This bandsaw is well constructed with ergonomic handles to better grip. It's lightweight for easy transport to your worksite.
This Dewalt bandsaw provides LED lighting that illuminates the work area in dark conditions. An integrated hook is provided and is very useful for storing the saw safely.
The DWM120K is simply one of the best portable band saws you can buy. The combination of power, handling, and cutting capacity makes it truly stand out. This portable bandsaw packs enough punch for all your woodworking needs.
Best for the Money:
Power: 3.5 amps
Weight: 73 pounds
Table Size: 14-1/8 x 12-1/2 inches
Blade Speed: 1520 or 2620 FPM
The Wen 3962 bandsaw packs a powerful 3.5-amp motor perfect for ripping and making clean cuts. With a 6-inch resaw capacity and 9 3/4-inch throat, the bandsaw can deal with thick blocks of wood effortlessly.
This bandsaw comes with 6 TPI thick blades capable of handling most applications and can run on either 1520 or 2620 FPM, depending on the project's needs. The saw can make angled cuts of up to 45 degrees and six inches deep.
The bandsaw has a spacious 14-inch tabletop with a miter gauge and rip fence, everything you need to make bevel cuts.
This bandsaw includes a 3-in-1 dust port to keep your workplace clean and a work light for better visibility.
The Wen 3962 is a powerful bandsaw boasting a powerful motor and a wide throat for making deep cuts. The 9-inch blades allow for powerful and intricate cuts, and the dual-speed operations give the user more control. This compact saw is perfect for home use for small to medium projects.
Power: 2.5 amps
Weight: 44 pounds
Table Size: 11-3/4 x 11-3/4 inches
Blade Speed: 1,725 RPM
The Powertec BS900 bandsaw is one of the more affordable yet studier vertical saws on the market. Weighing 44.1 pounds, it's highly portable as you can transport it easily to the worksite.
This bandsaw comes with a patented blade guard adjustment that allows for easy blade switching with a quick release tension lever.
Powered by a 1/2 HP 2.5-amp motor with 1725RPM, the motor offers sufficient torque for small projects. The machine has a blade tracking window that is great for performing intricate cuts.
The 11-inch table is sufficient for small wood pieces. It comes with a rack and pinion adjustment that allows for tilting up to 45 degrees.
The built quality is good, and the tool is sturdy and quite straightforward to use. Although it might not appeal to a serious woodworker, the PowerTec BS900 is beginner-friendly with all the features needed for woodworking.
Weight: 16 pounds
Blade Speed: 2,800 FPM
Table Size: 12 x 11-3/4 inches
The SKIL 3386-01 features a compact design and a powerful motor for small to medium woodworking projects. This is a perfect bandsaw for newbies who are just starting their woodworking journey. The saw will make cuts and create designs flawlessly.
The first thing that catches your attention is its diminutive design. It's a portable saw powered by a 2.5 amp motor that works well with softwoods thanks to a 6TPI blade.
The adjustable rack and pinion table make quick angles and height changes. Plus, the dust port ensures that your working area remains free of dirt and sawdust.
This bandsaw is best suited for a novice woodworker who doesn't need a lot of power in a saw. Its portable design allows you to work in different locations. Overall, the bandsaw is sturdy, compact, and offers good value for money.
Major Parts of a Bandsaw
There are different bandsaws on the market, and they are all a little different. Every part plays an important role in making the bandsaw work effectively.
A bandsaw frame is the largest part of the tool where all of the other parts are attached. The motor, table, blades, and other parts join the frame to make up the whole bandsaw system.
Frames are generally made of plastic and rugged steel or aluminum. The stronger the frame, the more durable the bandsaw is.
The motor runs the blades. It enables the blades to rotate, and the speed at which they rotate will depend on the motor's power. The motor is the backbone of the machine; the bandsaw won't work if the motor fails.
The three pulleys perform specific functions on the bandsaw.
The drive pulley is mounted on the motor and moves the drive belt, which controls the blade speed. This speed is measured in revolutions per minute. The vector drive pulley runs the blades at a very high speed during the cutting process.
The third drive pulley allows the user to change speed without changing belts and clusters.
A bandsaw blade is a long, thin strip of metal with a serrated edge for cutting through wood and other materials, including metal. The strength of the blade and the teeth determines the type of material it can cut.
The table is the worktop of the bandsaw located in the middle of the bandsaw. They come in many different widths and lengths. The table is made from steel, aluminum, or plastic.
The magnetic switch is the on/off button and turns the machine on and off. All band saws have a switch. The only difference is where it is and the design.
Dust ports have become a standard feature on band saws. The dust ports are used for removing the material from the saw blade and out of the port into a dust collector. This is important for maintaining a clean and safe workspace.
Blade guides keep the bandsaw blade in place, directing the cutting path. They keep the blade in place and help to reduce vibrations leading to good quality cuts.
The foot brake is used to stop the cutting process without switching the bandsaw off. When pushed, it stops the wheels from rotating and the blade from cutting when there is an emergency.
Price Points of a Budget Bandsaw
The price of a bandsaw will depend on the brand and features of the saw.
The band saws in this price range are mostly entry-level. They are affordable, easy to use, and best used for small to medium-sized projects. Powertec's BS900 bandsaw falls under this category.
$250 and Up
Typically, you will have to pay more to get well-constructed, durable band saws that can be used for large projects. Band saws in this price range boast more features and durable materials. WEN's bandsaw model 3962 suffices here.
Who Should Not Buy a Budget Bandsaw?
A budget bandsaw is best for a user with a tight budget looking for a suitable home or workshop tool.
You should not buy a budget saw if you are looking for a machine with more power. If you are looking for more horsepower, you will need to adjust your budget significantly.
With a bigger budget, you can purchase a tool with a more powerful motor that is capable of handling larger projects.
Budget bandsaws are generally made for woodworking and are best suited for softwoods. If you are working with hardwoods and other materials such as metals, this type may not work effectively.
You should not buy a budget if you are working on large projects or for commercial use. Band saws for extensive projects will have to have more power, be made of quality materials, have more features, and thus command a higher price.
A bandsaw is a versatile tool to have in your workshop for both DIYers and pros. Ultimately, the best bandsaw for you will depend on your needs and budget. Contrary to popular opinion, cheaper or budget products do not always equate to poor quality.
As we have seen, the bandsaws we have reviewed will work with different materials to deliver the best cuts and thus offer great value for your money.
People Also Ask
In this section, we take time to answer some common questions regarding band saws.
How Safe Are Bandsaws?
A bandsaw is not always the safest woodworking or metalwork tool on the market. The saw has safety features such as a blade guard, a blade tracking window, and a removable start key that add to the machine's safety.
However, care should be taken when dealing with any tool with a blade. Wear protective gear, adhere to the user manual, and seek help if you are unsure of what to do.
Which is a Better Table Saw or Bandsaw?
These two machines are equally important in any workshop. Both tools can resaw, rip, and make precision cuts effectively. A bandsaw is more versatile and therefore better. If your budget and space were to allow, there is no harm in having the two at the same time.
What Safety Precautions Should I Follow While Using a Band Saw?
Make sure the bandsaw is stable and plugged in. Wear protective gear such as heavy-duty gloves and goggles to protect your eyes. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your workspace tidy to prevent tripping, which can cause fatal accidents when dealing with sharp blades.
What Motor Should You Look for?
For small projects, a bandsaw with 2.5 amps is sufficient for woodworking on a small scale. If you are working on a large project, a commercial unit will be more suitable. The motor power you need will depend on what you need the bandsaw for.
Why Invest in a Band Saw?
A bandsaw is a versatile tool that will perform many tasks, including cutting thick blocks of wood and other material such as plastic and metals. It's also great for making curves and patterns. A quality bandsaw is a great investment that will serve you for a long time.