A band saw is a valuable tool for practically any woodworker, carpenter, or general contractor. Strong and fast enough for a professional, but also safe and easy enough for a beginning DIYer., Band saws are among the most versatile and popular types of tools in the world. It combines features found in both table saws and jigsaws.
With so many options to choose from, finding the best band saw for your needs can feel daunting – but we’re here to help! The complete best band saw reviews guide below includes everything you need to know about band saws, including our favorite choices for 2020.
Best Band Saw Reviews
Not sure where to start? We’ve found the band saw reviews and they start right now:
If you need a band saw for big projects, but don’t have a ton of space at home, Wen’s Benchtop Band Saw might be the perfect solution. With a compact size but a powerful motor, it’s best benchtop band saw for completing most general projects around the house.
The saw’s powerful 2.5 amp motor spins the blades at an impressive 2500 feet per minute, which is on par with many larger saws. It creates cuts up to 3.5 inches deep and 9 inches wide.
Although the entire saw doesn’t take up much room in a garage, the work table provides abundant space to hold materials. It’s 12-1/4 by 11-78 inches with a bevel that adjusts up to 45 degrees.
Aside from the saw, you also get a quarter-inch blade, 2.5-inch dust port, rip fence, and miter gauge. Plus, Wen backs up their saws with a two-year warranty.
- Compact design fits in workshop or garage
- Bevel adjusts up to 45 degrees
- Ideal for most DIY woodworking needs
- The fence can bend over time
- The worktable isn’t large enough for the bigger jobs
One major feature here is the articulating LED work light. By providing a clear view of the cut line in the wood, you not only have increased control over the saw’s movements, but overall safety is dramatically increased.
Additionally, it’s a versatile saw. A rack-and-pinion adjustment allows you to make quick adjustments to the blade’s angle and height. SKIL also has an EZ View Blade Tracking that helps keep the blade properly aligned.
Finally, it’s priced lower than many similar saws, making it the best budget band saw on our list.
- Durable and lightweight
- Easy-to-adjust blade
- Built-in dust port
- Included blade isn’t as strong as we’d like
- Difficult to make fine adjustments
It has a large cutting capacity with a cutting capacity width of 13.5 inches and a cutting capacity height of 12 inches. With a blade guard that moves from zero to 12 inches, you don’t have to sacrifice ease of use for safety.
You don’t want to buy a new band saw every few years. The Jet is built to last with a cast-iron frame. It’s rigid, sturdy, and even stylish thanks to a recent redesign, and is one of the best 14 inch bandsaw products on the market.
- Durable enough for heavy-duty use
- Large cutting capacity (both width and height)
- Replacement parts can be difficult to find
It’s tough to name the best portable band saw, but DeWalt’s MAX is a serious contender. Small but mighty, it has a variable speed trigger and five-inch cutting capacity. You can also switch blades quickly and without the use of a separate tool.
You never know what conditions you’ll need to use a portable saw in, but this saw allows for work in all types of situations thanks to an LED work light with a 20-second delay. Not only will you see where you’re cutting, but the light also increases overall safety.
It’s a battery-powered saw, so you don’t have to worry about using it near an electrical outlet. On the downside, the battery and charger are both sold separately. However, it’s easy to store with a built-in hook. It hangs in a way that specifically prevents damage to the handle and base.
- Portable, battery-powered saw
- Integrated hook allows for easy storage
- Variable speed trigger
- Five-inch cutting capacity
- Recommended blade size is too large for the saw
- Battery and charger are sold separately
With an 18 volt motor, it handles even tough jobs with ease. The blade length is 44-7/8 inches, which is impressive for a saw that’s just 21 inches long and weighs 13 pounds.
Compared to the DeWalt listed above, it has some pros and cons. While it doesn’t have a built-in LED light, it does include the battery charger. If the DeWalt isn’t the right portable saw for your needs, this option from Milwaukee is an excellent alternative.
- A powerful cordless band saw
- Includes battery charger
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to transport
- Doesn’t include LED light
- The safety switch is difficult to use
All of the options on our list are well-made, powerful, and reliable. But what’s the top band saw of them all? Our favorite is the Wen 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw. It’s a well-made saw that can handle almost any type of woodworking project, but at the same time, it won’t take up a ton of space in a garage or home workshop.
Some of our favorite features include the saw’s 2.5 amp motor and a large work table. Although probably not ideal for heavy-duty construction work, it’s the best band saw for general purpose use around the home and is a good choice for both professional and amateur craftspeople.
Band Saw Buying Guide
Here’s a quick look at all the basics:
What is a Band Saw?
For over 200 years, band saws have remained a popular tool among professionals and DIYers alike. It has a unique design that allows for different uses than a traditional saw.
With a standard saw, the user has to stop cutting whenever the saw changes direction. However, a band saw operates continuously. It has a band of metal with sharp teeth. The band runs between two (or more) wheels. Overall, the saw doesn’t need to stop when cutting.
What are the Benefits of a Band Saw?
A simple hand saw can cut through almost any type of material. So, why should you use a band saw instead of another type? They have several unique benefits. Band saws are:
- Energy Efficient
A band saw can cut through just about any type of material such as wood, plastic, or metal. It’s a versatile tool for general purpose jobs. You don’t have to stop and switch blades. Later on, we’ll discuss in detail the type of materials a band saw will cut through, but for now, just know it’s one of the most versatile tools you can own.
Additionally, it’s fast. This saw tears through a high volume of material with ease. If you’re looking for the fastest way to cut, a band saw is far more efficient than a traditional hand saw.
Also, they allow for precise control. The even blade keeps the cuts free from irregularities. You get the same type of cut every time, and it’s easy to control the direction of the blade as you work.
Finally, they’re energy-efficient. While they do require electrical power, they don’t need more than a typical handheld appliance. Plus, cutting with a band saw is far faster than cutting by hand. You’ll save a ton of time and finish your project faster.
Different Types of Band Saws
Make sure you know what material you’ll need to cut, as there are different types of band saws:
While you probably know the basics of what each type does, many have key traits you might not be familiar with. Let’s take a look:
Wood Band Saws
Naturally, wood band saws cut wood. They’re the most popular type of band saw, and are often simply referred to as just “band saws.” They’re an essential tool in construction, carpentry, and general contracting.
Metal Band Saws
As you’d expect, these cut through metal. It’s important to never use a saw designed for cutting wood to cut metal, as it’ll likely damage the saw and can seriously injure you. Metal band saws have two key features. They have a design that keeps the blade cool, and they have brushes that help contain metal shards.
Vertical Band Saws
With a vertical saw, the blade spins in a fixed position. Material is fed into the blade. Vertical saws cut lots of wood quickly. They’re found throughout a variety of industries that rely heavily on wood, such as timber, flooring, and carpentry.
Horizontal Band Saws
A horizontal band saw is similar to a table saw. You bring the blade down onto the material. Generally, a horizontal band saw delivers a faster, cleaner cut than a table saw.
Portable Band Saw
If you need to take your bandsaw to a location, choose a portable model. Both electric and battery-powered options are available. While portable band saws are suitable for a wide range of jobs, they’re usually not as powerful as the top stationary band saws.
The Different Types of Blades
The blade makes a huge difference in the quality of the cut. Here are the three questions to ask when selecting a blade:
- What material are you cutting?
- What is the band saw’s maximum capacity?
- What is the minimum cut radius needed?
Check the owner’s manual for your saw to learn the specific blades required.
What are Feed and Speed?
“Feed” and “Speed” are two common terms related to using a band saw. Not sure what they are? Here’s a rundown:
The feed rate is how fast material (wood, metal, etc.) is pushed into the saw blade.
The speed rate is how fast the blade itself moves on its circuit, expressed in feet per minute.
The interplay between the two rates plays a major role in how well the saw cuts. Slow feeding, when you push the wood into the blade too slowly, can cause friction with the blade, which then singes the wood.
On the other hand, feeding too fast can jam the blade. The blade’s speed rate can’t keep up with the speed that the wood is fed into it, so it stops, usually accompanied by a high-pitched sound.
Band Saw Safety
When using a bandsaw, it only takes a momentary distraction to cause a serious injury. The American Society for Surgery of the Hand attributes most band saw injuries to a lack of proper safety precautions.
First, always pay attention to what you’re doing. While that likely seems obvious, it’s all-too-easy to lose focus, especially if you’re performing a fairly monotonous task such as making simple cuts repeatedly with many boards.
Also, always use the correct type of blade. As we mentioned earlier, using a blade meant for cutting wood to cut metal is a dangerous situation.
When cutting, always wear proper safety gear, including safety goggles and ear protection. What you don’t wear is important, too. Avoid jewelry, long sleeves, loose clothing, and anything else that could potentially catch on the blade.
Finally, give the band saw a thorough inspection before using it. Check for frayed cords, dull blades, or any other problems. Keep the workspace clear from debris at all times, and never attempt to clean around the saw while it’s running.
The ideal band saw for you is the one that meets your specific needs. Determine what materials you’ll need to cut and what tasks you want to complete. Then choose a saw with features that fulfill those requirements. Whether you’re new to woodworking or are an experienced pro, selecting the best band saw will boost your skills to a whole new level.