Have you tried to get the best band saw all by yourself but to no avail? Going through hundreds of products can be time-consuming and frustrating especially if you are a beginner who doesn’t know the necessary steps to take before making your purchase.
In my experience, I’ve personally tested numerous band saws in my workshop, which has allowed me to identify the top-performing models available. I’m here to help you navigate through the selection process and make a well-informed decision.
Reviews of the Top Band Saws of 2023
1. Dewalt 20V MAX Portable Band Saw
The Dewalt 20V Max uses a centered handle position that makes the saw easy to use even in the most difficult jobs and long hours of work. It ensures that you can effectively balance your tool while working. You also have access to updated technological features with the LED work light with a 20-second delay.
As a 2 inch cutting band saw, this Dewalt product serves you in diverse ways. It has an integrated hang hook that makes hanging the saw easy without causing damages to other parts of the tool. With its blade tracking adjustment, you get to enjoy an increased blade life and enhance tracking.
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2. JET JWBS 15 1.75 HP BANDSAW
JET JWBS 15 1.75 HP Band Saw comes with a high price tag for a reason. For starters, the work surface is durable and the iron frame for the table will give you a solid support for large projects.
To make sure your blade width and blade length is well supported for hard cuts and your safety, the guide post is four-sided and has a rack and pinion fence adjustment. There are also different blade tension settings available ranging from full and partial tension to full quick release.
For enhanced visibility of the tracking or cut line, I’ve noticed that the JET JWBS 15-inch band saw features a helpful tracking window that offers a clear view. It’s worth noting that this model comes equipped with a 14″ resaw capacity, which is an improvement compared to the 12″ resaw capacity found in the JET JWBS 14DXPRO 14-inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit. Additionally, the inclusion of dual dust ports on the JET JWBS 15-inch band saw helps maintain a clean working environment.
Same as JET JWBS 14DXPRO 14 inch Deluxe, this heavy-duty machine comes with a 5 year warranty from the manufacturer.
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3. WEN 3962 Two Speed Band Saw
This Wen 3962 Two Speed Band Saw is a type that has a two blade speed feature that allows it to work effectively at 1520 or 2620 FPM. This lets you choose the ideal cutting speed for your project. As a power tool, this bandsaw meets up with the most advanced specification especially with its 3.5 amp motor and 9 ¾ inch throat capacity that has the ability to cut up to 6 inches deep. It’s 3.5 amp motor delivers enough power on sturdy materials and large wooden loads without much of a struggle.
The Wen 3962 uses a 3 in 1 dust collection. The saw table tilts to 45 degrees and that allows you to make angled cuts. The rip fence is adjustable for you as well. The structure makes it usable both as a floor standing or a benchtop bandsaw. This saw comes with a sliding meter gauge and a flexible worklight as well.
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4. RIKON 10 305 Bandsaw
Rikon 10 305 Bandsaw is made with a solid steel plate material that is stronger than regular plastic frames that easily wear out after it has been used for only a short while. With the Rikon 10 305, you get to use these cutting tools on wood for a long period of time.
The cast iron table of this circular saw measures 13 ¾ inches by 12 ½ inches, providing a sturdy surface for effectively cutting wood boards with the band saw. I’ve found that the guidepost is incredibly user-friendly and efficient, as it can be easily adjusted with a simple turn of the handle. In my experience, this bandsaw has consistently delivered great performance on the job.
If you’re after another quality model from Rikon Power Tools, you can also check out the Rikon 10-3061 bandsaw. The table tilts five degrees left and 45 degrees right.
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5. Shop Fox W1715 ¾ HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Not all band saws can cut through metal. However, for a DIYer that dabbles in metalworking, the Shop Fox W1715 is the ideal metal cutting band saw to add to your garage workshop.
The blade is very sturdy and is no match for the piece of scrap metal you wish to cut for your project. The product also comes with a stand complete with handles and tires for easy portability.
There are three cutting speeds to choose from and the bandsaw allows for vertical and horizontal cut. For your safety, the W1715 saw has an automatic shutoff and comes with a two-year warranty to protect its parts. Overall, it’s a great option if you want to cut metal.
(To know more about different power tools, I have a detailed infographic of power saws here)
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6. Grizzly Industrial G0555LX Deluxe Band Saw
Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe is a well-known name in the industrial field. They produce a wide variety of construction power tools including a good choice for a bandsaw. The band saw blade on the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe is guarded by an aluminum fence and rack and pinion guide that makes it easy to adjust cutting depth.
In my experience, the Grizzly G0555LX is a suitable choice for woodworkers dealing with thinner materials. Its 1 HP motor handles smaller and thinner pieces effectively, and it boasts a more compact design with a 14-inch by 14-inch working area. It also has variable cutting speed. This bandsaw is ideal for simple DIY woodworking projects especially for beginners.
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7. WEN 3959 2.5-Amp Benchtop Band Saw
This Wen 3959 2.5-Amp Band Saw is a high-quality bench top saw that rotates its 2.5 amp motor 2500 feet per minute. As a DIY woodworker, you can use this saw up to 3 1/2 inches deep and a 9 inch maximum width. It also uses an extremely spacious and stable work table, which bevels up to 45 degrees. Furthermore, you can also work comfortably and cut as much as you like because this 9 inch band saw is built for long woodworking projects.
This 9-inch band saw also comes with additional equipment tools to enhance your work. There includes in the package a ¼ inch wide blade, 2 1/2 inch dust port, a rip fence, and a miter gauge.
(If you’re on a tight budget, you can check the top-tier bandsaws fit for your budget here)
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Band Saw Buyer’s Guide
Type of Band Saw
I’ve categorized band saws into different groups based on their purpose, wheel diameter, shape, or design. Let’s explore what makes each category unique.
Meat Band Saws
As you can imagine, the meat band saw is for meats. Often seen in a butcher shop, this saw often has a heavy duty steel frame and blade as it’s easy to maintain, clean, and is resistant to corrosion.
Metal Band Saws
The metal cutting band saw’s specialty is to cut through metal.
Moreover, excellent metal cutting band saws are known to be some of the most heavy-duty saws around and are constructed of harder materials. If you’re cutting metal as well, aside from wood boards and plastic, this is definitely the tool to buy.
Wood Band Saws
Among the most prevalent types of band saws, those designed for woodwork are particularly popular. These versatile machines are essential for every woodworker, as they can easily handle both small wood pieces and larger timber.
Floor Standing Saws
If categorized by design, the floor standing band saw ones are the options that take up the most space. Floor standing saws are band saws with a heavy-duty stand.
I won’t say the greatest band saws are always of a certain design, because it’s what you need and what you can accommodate. Keep in mind that floor standing band saws can take up a lot of floor space.
Benchtop Band Saws
Benchtop band saws are a good space saver option for those that have a small workshop. They can be placed on any flat surface and take less floor space.
While they’re great for getting some extra space, just know that benchtop saws are a less powerful tool when compared to freestanding bandsaws. They’re not suitable for industrial use. But if you’re only using a band saw for small projects or other usual DIY projects, a benchtop model would have the basic features you need. For instance, the Ryobi 9-inch bandsaw is an excellent example. It has an induction motor, aluminum wheels, and a blade-tracking window. It can’t cut off large materials, but it will do just fine for amateur woodworkers.
Vertical Band Saws
Contrary to horizontal ones, vertical band saws cut through wood, boards, and other stock vertically by quick rotation of the blades between two wheels situated vertically.
Handheld or portable Band Saws
Lastly, there are portable bandsaws that are small in size and easy to transport. Portable band saws are great tool options for construction workers or most woodworkers that are on-the-go from site to site. They can be corded or cordless.
The horsepower is the power behind the band saw. Most band saws will have a horsepower range between 0.5 to 1.5.
Depending on the type of projects you often undertake and the materials you need to cut through, you can go lower on horsepower for lighter woodworking projects and a higher horsepower for big tasks.
Of course, the teeth per inch will also affect the cutting power. The TPI (teeth per inch) of a blade is usually listed within the product specifications that come with a new blade.
0.5-1 horsepower, or HP band saws will be smaller in size. These are the handheld and compact options you might see on the market, like the Milwaukee 2429-20 unit. For more power, anything over 1 (HP) Horsepower motor will be the larger models. You can even find heavy duty band saws that go up to 2 (HP) Horsepower motor if you need to cut through large and robust hardwood pieces.
(If you are looking for power tool with great horsepower, you can also check the best Jet bandsaws listed here)
Now, let’s delve into the throat capacity, often referred to as throat depth, of a band saw. This measurement signifies the space between the blade and the frame of the power tool. The throat depth is a critical consideration because it directly impacts your ability to maneuver wood pieces, especially for intricate cuts.
Given its significant impact on both blade performance and maneuverability, I recommend making the throat capacity one of your top priorities when shopping for a band saw. It plays a vital role in achieving precise cuts in your woodworking projects.
Having the right blade width is important, especially if you deal with different cuts and projects. For straight cuts, you want a wider blade. For curved cuts, thinner blades work best. Cutting curves is a delicate job, so a narrow blade is the ideal choice.
But generally speaking, most DIYers use 1/8 inch to 1 inch blade widths.
How durable and hard-wearing your new band saw is depends on the material of the frame. The construction of the frame will set a precedence for how long the saw will last. You will most often see us mention cast iron tables because they’re solid and stable. A cast iron frame is also common, but other frame materials include aluminum or stainless steel. Die-cast and welded steel frames also exist, but this type of metal is not as durable.
I recommend a cast iron frame if possible. Yes, they are much heavier than the alternatives, but they will also hold up much longer. You can find cast iron frames in a 9-inch band saw machine or larger.
The band saw blades and the frame can be two different materials, so don’t be alarmed if they say the band saw is cast iron, it’s more likely referring to the construction of the entire saw than just the blades.
The weight of the band saw directly correlates to the material of construction. Like I said, cast iron will be the heaviest, and most of the options suggested are made from this material. It’s difficult to qualify as one of the best band saws if it isn’t built to last.
However, unless you have a portable bandsaw, you will still need the machine to have some weight to it. This is because a weighty design that’s not overly heavy will provide the right amount of support when you’re working.
Floorstanding models tend to be heavier and larger, but they can offer more stability. The lighter weight bench top band models will be less supported, but are still heavy enough to ground the machine.
What you need to keep in mind are the portable band saws and table saw models. These designs will depend greatly on your own strength for support, so I advise beginners to not go for these models for tougher jobs.
The bevel capacity is in regards to the tilt of the blade to make bevel cuts. You might only find band saws that tilt to the right, which may or may not be preferred by lefties. This is just due to the design, although you may find some that will tilt to the left just a little, usually around 10 degrees.
The bevel capacity of the regular blades of a band saw can usually be lifted to about 45 degrees of cutting height. The cutting height is determined by the throat capacity, which corresponds to the distance between the table and the end of the structure that guides the saw blade. The bevel capacity is an adjustable feature, so be sure the adjustment is easily accessible. You want to be able to make bevel adjustments while completing a woodworking task with minimal hassle.
The dust collection feature is essential to a band saw, but it doesn’t get enough attention compared to features like the blade tracking window, cutting capacity, and ball bearing blade guides that help reduce friction.
A dust collection port is essential for easy cleanup and minimal mess when woodworking. Unfortunately, the cutting capacity of the band saw cannot compete with that of the miter or circular saws. Due to this, it’s more likely for a band saw to accumulate dust over time and create a messier workspace.
In my experience, there’s a workaround for this inconvenience if you have the correct couplings to link your workshop with your 1-inch dust port.
A tension indicator can be a handy feature when you’re using your band saw for cutting different materials. In my list, I’ve included the JET model as an example that comes with this useful feature. Keep in mind that tension indicators may be more common in higher-end models, so if it’s important to you, be prepared to allocate a bit more budget for a band saw that offers this convenience.
The tension is an adjustable feature and the indicator will inform you of your settings. You have to know and choose the right tension setting for the object you are cutting.
Two speed bandsaws will require more research into different settings at different speeds. A saw blade with a tension that’s too high could cause it to snap or wear out sooner than later. Cross cuts and more intricate designs will also require different tensions.
However, if you are attempting to cut through materials with a tension setting that’s too loose, the cuts may be uneven and messy. The tension indicator may not always be super accurate, so it will take experience coupled with the guidance of the indicator to perfect your settings.
You cannot have a smooth operation without paying proper attention to the safety saw features. The blade guard or guides for one thing, such as ball-bearing guides that are present in some models, will help guide the blade along a specific track and minimize woodworking accidents.
I also would like to remind you about the kickback. Pay special attention to the project at hand when you’re cutting wood at an angle or lift. Cutting curves is a bit difficult, so make sure you proceed with precision and caution. Reading the user manual and fully understanding how to use your band saw will also help reduce the risk of accidents when you’re woodworking.
When working with tools and accessories, wear the proper safety gear such as gloves if necessary and goggles. I suggest looking for emergency brakes and stop buttons. Blades are sharp, and these two features are the ones you can rely on in case of an emergency.
(To make your workplace safer, you can also consider getting some of popular band saws fence I listed here. It will make your work less dangerous while ensuring straight and accurate cuts)
Of course, price is another thing to consider when buying a band saw, which is why some woodworkers choose to buy a pre-owned band saw instead. Brands may determine the cost, but don’t make the price tag the deciding factor in purchasing this machine. A band saw should meet your requirements for motor power, blades, precision, speed, throat capacity, quality, cut depth, resawing capability, and cutting capacity. It should be equipped with good range of features.
How do I choose a band saw?
You can choose a band saw by determining your needs. How much space do you have for the saw, the features you want and the types of objects you want to cut will help you narrow down your choices.
What size band saw should I buy?
The size of the saw you should buy is determined by the space you have and the materials you want to cut through. If you have a lot of space, a floor standing saw will offer the most support, but they can be heavy. If you have a small shop, a benchtop bandsaw or portable model are the best choices.
Should I buy a band saw?
Yes, you should buy a bandsaw if you plan on cutting wood on large amounts of wood and other materials. A band saw is also a safer option compared to a table saw. If you have the space and the quantity, you should buy one.
My Top Pick: DEWALT 20V
My top choice for this band saws review is the Dewalt 20V Max Portable Band Saw. Although it is a portable design that requires more effort to use on your part, it comes with many features that catapult it to the top of our list.
The centered handle will give you balance, so you won’t have to worry about stability. It can cut up to 2-inch SCH 40 pipes, which is pretty impressive. There is also an LED light to clearly illuminate the blade track. The dual bearing blade guide will keep the blade on track and supported. Overall, it’s the best choice for a band saw right now.