Having the best band saw can rip cleanly, so long as it is properly tuned. This is more so with a carbide-tip blade, allowing accurate crosscuts with hand plane shooting, which is one of its powerful uses. Today, there are two basic types of band saws namely the two-wheel and the three-wheel.
For first-timers, going for the three-wheel type seems to the best option. This type of band saw provides heaps of throat when cutting large widths of wood. This equipment is never far behind, in spite the availability of the router as one of the most versatile tools in woodworking. Hence, such equipment is ideal for beginners, hobbyists, and the semi-serious woodworkers.
Shopping for the best bandsaw has become easy nowadays, considering the trusted brands behind every equipment and gear on the market. So, as a consumer, it is just wise to educate yourself with all the possible information, surrounding this equipment. Product and customer reviews are undoubtedly informative, including a comprehensive buying guide that will help you decide later on.
Best Band Saw Reviews
1. Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence
- Solid Steel Design- The 10-305 is a scaled down version of the popular 10-345 and 10-325. Frame is made of steel plate, stronger than plastic frames used by other manufactures
- Cast Iron Table-Large 13-3/4-Inch by 12-1/2-Inch sturdy work surface, a feature not typically found on a bandsaw of this size
- Rip Fence- A quality rip fence is now included. Easily removed to do free hand work
- Motor - 1/3HP motor provides ample power for cutting bowl and pen blanks
- Micro Adjustable Guide Post- Raise and lower the guide post height with the turn of a handle
Garnering an average rating of 4.5-Stars is the Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw with Fence. It claims to be the bench top model of band saws, giving you the great features of a full-size equipment. The Rikon 10-305 features a large cast-iron table with edge-facing thrust bearings. This benchtop bandsaw also boasts a 1/3 HP powerful induction motor, alongside a 4-5/8-inch (height) and 9-5/8-inch (width) cutting capacity.
You can expect all these impressive features from the standard Rikon model. Additionally, there is an optional stand for the floor model functionality. With a 2780 ft/min of speed, this equipment offers a safety paddle switch. The table measures at 13-3/4 inches by 12&1/2 inches with the blade ranging from 1/8- inch to ½-inch.
READ: Dewalt DWM120K Bandsaw Review
While it is a small band saw, the Rikon 10-305 offers the same qualities that are offered by larger bandsaws. It also features a fence with a micro-adjustable guide post height, allowing you to lower or raise it via an easy-to-reach handle. Another plus point is a 2&1/2-inch of dust port for keeping your work area clean.
Its overall design is constructed from solid steel, including a steel plate frame, making it more durable than plastic frames around. For its price and functionality, the Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw with Fence is undoubtedly a great buy.
Those with adequate experience, they will find this tool more than worthy, expecting all the necessary features to perform like a pro. In fact, this model can serve as a full-size, production type, but costs far less than other brands. Professional woodworkers greatly appreciate the overall design and functionality of this bench top bandsaw for wide range of woodwork applications.
2. SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw
- Rip fence for straight, accurate cuts; 6 TPI band saw blade cuts through a variety of wood materials
- Articulating LED work light for better view of work piece and cut line
- Features a 1-1/2 inch dust port that keeps work area clear of dust
- Rack and pinion table adjustment for quick angle and height adjustments
- Motor is 1 speed for wood or metal based materials
Meanwhile, the SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw receives a 4.1-Star as an average customer rating. This 120-volt, 9 inch band saw boasts a 2.5-amp motor, including a ribbed aluminum table, plus a tilting adjustment system, ranging from 0 to 45. For customized depth settings, it also features a blade guide adjustment.
It claims to be a very versatile model, which has been designed intelligently, providing a miter gauge and an attached flexible lamp that allows increased visibility. It has a full 11-13/16-inch square table top, 3-1/8-inch cutting depth, and 9 inches of throat depth. The entire design comes with a parallel guide and a hex key as well.
The beginners will surely find this version a significant part of their workshops, allowing lumber-ripping into thinner pieces and lumber-cutting into irregular shapes. Not only that the SKIL 3386 can tackle lumber, but also wide ranges of wood materials through its 6-TPI blade.
It’s easy to use in making quick angles and height changes through the rack and its adjustable pinion table. The unparalleled EZ View Blade Tracking design allows you to align the blade easily as well. Additional features also include the rip fence and dust port that helps you in keeping your work area free of dust.
The table dimensions measure at 12 inches by 11-3/4 inches, while its articulating LED light allows you to illuminate cut line while ensuring proper visibility. All the more, the rip fence is adjustable, which helps you guide the workpiece to result in straight and accurate cuts.
Certainly, the SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw is among the band saw brands that promise optimal efficiency when it comes to woodworking applications. Actual users have shared their sentiments about this model, saying that it has satisfied their expectations, despite its small construction.
READ: Skil 3386-01 Band Saw Review
3. JET JWBS-14DXPRO Band Saw
- Cuts Larger Pieces: Built-in 12" resaw capacity
- Increased Strength and Rigidity: Redesigned upper and lower cast iron frame
- Longer Blade Life: Upper and lower ball bearing guides reduce friction
- Added Convenience: Quick-release blade tension
- Handy Storage: Enclosed stand contains a storage shelf and easy access door
Next up on the list is the JET JWBS-14DXPRO Band Saw. Garnering an average rating of 4.5-Stars, this model is a deluxe bandsaw, featuring an optional fence, which has been designed to meet the growing needs of today’s woodworkers. It does not require a riser block as this good band saw includes a massive cast iron frame for an increased power; hence, making it prepared in meeting all re-saw applications instantly.
It is coupled with other incredible features such as a high tension spring design that also helps in retaining and lengthening the life of this machine. It provides a 90-inch cutting depth, 10-inch left cutting angle, and 45-inch right cutting angle. It comes with a stand and allows 1,500/3,000 SFPM cutting capacity.
This equipment measures at 29 inches in length, 28 inches in width, and 77 inches in height. Its built-in, 12-inch re-saw capacity is great for cutting large wood pieces, featuring a two-speed, poly-V belt drive system, unlike other models on the market.
Among its selling points is the newly-designed lower and the upper cast iron frame that tends to improve rigidity and strength at the same time. Its blade tracking window allows easy viewing, while the lower and upper ball bearing guides eliminate friction, resulting in a longer blade life.
It is among the best band saws, delivering extra convenience through the quick-release blade tension. The overall design also offers an enclosed stand with easy-access door and a storage shelf. Its internal retractable blade guard tends to move up and down, ranging from 0 to 12 inches. Indeed, the JET JWBS-14DXPRO Band Saw represents versatility, style, and function.
4. DEWALT DCS371B MAX Lithium-Ion 20V Band Saw
- 2-1/2-inch cut capacity of the metal band saw cuts up to 2-inch SCH 40 pipe
- Centered handle position of the portable band saw provides superior balance and ergonomics and allows for more accurate cuts and less user fatigue
- LED Work Light with 20 second delay illuminates dark work surfaces for accurate cutting of DEWALT band saw.
- Integrated hang hook allows user to hang the saw without damaging the front handle or base
- Blade tracking adjustment increases blade life by providing better blade tracking
Moreover, the DEWALT DCS371B MAX Lithium-Ion 20V Band Saw deserves the 4.9-Star average rating. This could be the best bandsaw for the money, considering its high customer rating. Apparently, this machine features a cutting capacity of 2&1/2 inches, having the ability cut even a 2-inch SCH pipe.
The design has the handle position in the center, providing superior balance. It also has an ergonomic design, allowing more precise cuts, while reducing user fatigue simultaneously. For better visibility, especially in the dark, the DEWALT DCS371B offers an LED light with a 20-second delay; thereby, illuminating work surfaces and allowing accurate cutting at the same time.
This tabletop bandsaw also boasts a built-in hang hook, allowing the user to hang the tool without damaging the base or the handle. Its unique blade tracking adjustment design helps in increasing the blade life as it provides an improved blade tracking. On the other hand, the blade-changing lever system of this machine does not require any tool and tends to loosen blade tension, hence, allowing easy blade change in a fuss.
READ: Rikon Power Tools 10-305 Band Saw Review
All the more, the DEWALT DCS371B features double-bearing, guide rollers that deliver increased durability within the support system of the blade. The ergonomic and soft-grip handle at the back allows comfortable and flexible use.
The DEWALT DCS371B kit includes the DCS371 MAX band saw, 14/18 of TPI blade, and a tracking wrench for its blade. It is a single-tool item as the charger and battery are sold separately. Nonetheless, band saw reviews indicate that this machine is much loved not only by woodworkers, but also by electricians, and other consumers from different walks of life.
5. DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw Kit
Finally, another DEWALT product garners a high rating of 4.8-Stars – the DEWALT DWM120K Portable Band Saw Kit. It is a 10-amp machine with a maximum rectangular cutting capacity of 5″ by 4-3/4″ and 5” as its maximum round cutting capacity.
The DEWALT DWM120K could be the best band saw for you. With a length of 21 inches and a total weight of 15 pounds, this kit includes the bandsaw, a hex wrench, and the standard 44-7/8″ by 1/2″ by .020″ blade. It also comes with a heavy-duty case, allowing you to carry it around and about your workplace.
Moreover, the DEWALT DWM120K features a 10-amp powerful motor, which has been engineered to tackle tough jobs. It also offers variable speed control, making quick cuts without delays. This high-performing machine has speeds between 100 SFM and 350 SFM, while the variable-speed dial lets you select the proper speed quickly and easily for every application.
Indeed, it is a versatile tabletop bandsaw with durability and convenience in mind. For optimal performance, it has a sturdy and adjustable material guide, allowing you to set the equipment when tackling varieties of materials. A convenient LED work light also allows optimum visibility, letting you clearly see the cutting area, especially in environments with poor lighting.
Similar to its brother, this model also offers a built-in hang hook for less user fatigue. This feature also contributes to the longer life of the band saw. Furthermore, a serviceable steel shroud, plus rubber bumpers allows the equipment’s guards to withstand workplace abuse. All in all, the DEWALT DWM120K is the best band saw for the money with easy maintenance and longer blade life.
Band Saw Buying Guide
Learning about the top-rated bandsaws and band saw ratings is certainly helpful when shopping for this machine. However, there are more things you need to learn about this high-performing tool. This section of the article talks about further information, surrounding bandsaws – all things you need to know as a probable buyer.
READ: JET JWBS-14DXPRO Band Saw Review
Size and Kind
Keep in mind that bandsaws come in different sizes and types such as the table top bandsaws and the benchtop band saw. Each type may vary greatly in size. So, identifying what you really need, based on your level of proficiency and extra space, or job site is equally important.
Bandsaws are supposedly sized by their wheels’ diameter, while the throat width is instantly recognizable as nearly 1-inch less. The throat width also defines the widest board, which can be passed between the column and the blade. On the other hand, the resaw capacity is equivalent to the maximum height or thickness that can be tackled.
For the small-shop furniture makers, at least a 14-inch table top band saw is highly recommended by professionals, although a 16-inch would be a better option. For people who are performing larger workloads, considering an 18-inch or a 20-inch machine will do well. A minimum of 12-inch re-saw height is also commended for versatility.
The frame design is another major consideration to take note. When choosing between the bandsaw brands, you will usually encounter between the welded steel frame and the cast iron frame, such as most of the reviewed products in this article.
In small shops, you will usually see the classic 14-inch stand-mounted equipment with a cast iron frame, plus a 6-inch resaw height. While the resaw height can expand up to 12 inches, a riser block can greatly aid in maximizing the efficiency of this machine.
While the welded sheet steel frame has gained popularity, the cast iron counterpart is more preferred by other users. These frames greatly differ such as the welded steel sheet with recognizable rectangular design. Therefore, your personal preference may play a substantial part when faced with decision-making.
Among the best things about these big saws is that they take very little floor space, compared to the cast-iron counterpart. Keep in mind that mobility plays a crucial role in any tool, allowing you to move it when necessary. It is wise to consider the weight of the equipment and the height of your workplace as your limitations.
Reading about the bench top bandsaw reviews will also give you a grasp on the importance of the wheels. Typically, high-quality steel frames will have heavy-duty cast iron wheels that can create a flywheel effect during operation. This effect largely contributes to a strong and steady cut.
The wheels on most steel frame bandsaws are nearly flat or flat, helping to track blades 1-inch or more in width. This feature comes in handy for heavy resawing. On the contrary, the crowned tires on classic cast iron bandsaws are incapable of doing such task.
READ: Dewalt DCS371B Band Saw Review
Additionally, the spring is found behind the wheel, which is typically adjustable so as to retain proper blade tension. You may want to consider this key feature when shopping for the best bandsaws. Of course, you cannot directly assess the spring’s quality, before your purchase, but considering a bandsaw with an adjustable thick spring would be an excellent investment.
The guidepost is an essential component of this machine, containing the blade guard and the upper blade guide assembly. This is also an adjustable feature by using a rack and pinion so as to accommodate the wood’s thickness. The exact setting of the guides in correlation to the blade should be retained by the post assembly all through the height range.
The best benchtop bandsaw or tabletop bandsaw features a heavy fence with a convenient adjustment mechanism in sufficing most works. Depending on your choice, an aftermarket fence with a micro adjustable mechanism is available for most models. Otherwise, you can opt for a shop-made fence for resawing.
When it comes to all purchases such as getting the best band saw for woodworking, it is important that you know exactly what you’re getting. It is also essential to know the exact use of this machine, prior to your purchase. These tips will allow you to make a wise decision ahead of time. You can also identify your future projects in the next couple of months to make sure that you’re buying the right tool for that job.
Reading about product specifications and wood band saw reviews will provide you with adequate knowledge about these machines. These articles will likewise help you compare the available equipment and brands on the market, while helping you arrive at the best bandsaw possible. It is worth-considering the reviewed products in this article, including the key features throughout the buying guideline section.
Keep in mind that bandsaws are used primarily in cutting curves, and odd or irregular shapes. Besides the curvaceous cuts, these machines are also used in ripping lumber into thinner pieces, while allowing accurate cross cuts at the same time. All in all, a woodworking bandsaw is among the smoothest cutting tools you will ever have.