The band saw is a must-have device for any commercial woodworking or home workshop. It has the ability to cut materials that are pretty thick. Likewise, it can cut curves perfectly.
In fact, with a band saw, you can achieve professional-level precision when it comes to cutting irregular, curvaceous shapes, even if you are a novice in the industry.
There are so many types and models of band saws on the market today. This means that it can be difficult to choose the right one for your needs. I once had a difficult time finding the best band-saw for my rather limited budget.
This inspired me to research and write band saw reviews, so you could have an easy time finding the band saw that suits your needs and budget.
That’s how I ended up writing this review about top 10 best band saws. I know it will help you make the right choice.
Types Of Band Saws
When categorized according to their uses, we have several types of band saws, namely:
- Wood band saw
- Metal band saw
- Meat band saw
Nonetheless, the most basic way of classifying band saws is the way we mount them. This gives us three types of bands saws, as outlined below.
Vertical Band Saws
A vertical band saw machine encompasses an idler wheel mounted on the worktable, and a drive wheel mounted underneath the worktable. The blade revolves around a fixed track between the wheels, cutting into the side of the material. You need to move the material against the blade in order to make a cut.
You can tilt the table sideways or front-to-back in order to make mitered cuts. The machine also allows for internal cutting as it can weld its own blades.
Horizontal Band Saws
A horizontal band saw is normally floor-mounted. It is ideal for simple cutting of odd-shaped materials, tubing, and solid steel. Its blade is also driven by an electric motor.
A horizontal band saw machine encompasses a belt and pulley system, which drives the motor. With this system, you can adjust the blade speed in discrete stages. The blade cutting position is horizontal. It cuts downward into the material.
In this type of band saw, the idler and drive wheels are mounted lengthwise on the machine frame. To cut a material, you need to mount it on a vice attached to the machine bed.
Horizontal band saw is the most versatile type. It is very handy when it comes to contour cutting, polishing, filing, as well as simple stock cutting.
Portable Band Saws
If you are looking to use your tool on the go, then a portable band saw would be your perfect choice. Portable /handheld band saws also exhibit some degree of versatility. You can use them to cut curved lines, straight edge cuts, as well as irregular shapes.
Besides being ideal for working on the go, a portable band saw can also be useful in cutting materials that are too large for an ordinary band saw. Likewise, it can be quite handy on a project where you cannot physically bring the work piece to the machine.
Portable band saws are a popular choice for both, professional and amateur carpenters, thanks to their versatility and convenience.
There is a number of models in each of these categories, but which one is the best band saw for you? We answer that question in the next section.
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10 Of The Best Band Saws
If you are looking for a competitively priced, but versatile bench-top band saw, then the POWERTEC BS900 could be your perfect choice.
This 9-inch deep band saw is ideal for small projects, which involve cutting light materials. Its cutting depth ranges between three and five inches. This should be sufficient for most household projects.
Rikon 10-305 is another compact and affordable band saw. However, it comes with loads of functionality. It delivers incredibly good quality, and you can use it for demanding tasks without any problem.
This band saw also comes with a metallic fence, which makes it safer to use and more durable when compared to similar models. Its electric motor comes in at a relatively moderate 0.75 horsepower.
Besides, its sturdy steel frame ensures that it doesn’t buck when you fire up the engine. While the motor is single speed, its 2780 feet/minute speed is sufficient for any sort of softwood fabrication.
Its 13.75 by 12.5 inches cutting table is made of cast iron, and is enough for cutting through woods for small projects. For a band saw that offers a remarkable combination of price and features, Rikon 10-305 is a great choice for both professionals and novices.
The craftsman 21400 is one of the best bench band saws on the market today. First, it features an adjustable brush, which prevents the accumulation of sawdust on the tire of the lower wheel. This 10-inch band saw has welded sheet metal frame, cast-iron table, and cast-alloy wheels.
The wheels are balanced for smoother running. It also sports beautiful extruded aluminium guide posts, which are extremely solid. The posts can adjust up and down, smoothly, through a rack-and-pinion system.
This band saw also features full ball-bearing and side guides. The guides adjust with an Allen wrench, and you can easily fine tune them for smooth operation.
When it comes to power, it is equipped with a 3.5-amp induction motor. It can cut through thick hardwoods. Likewise, it has been proven to resaw boards that are as wide as its 4-5⁄8″ cutting depth.
Generally, Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 is the best band-saw on the market today. If you are looking for a budget band saw however, it is a no-go zone for you. Namely, it is a top-of-the-range band saw that comes at a high price.
Made from steel and cast iron, the MBAND1412-175 can stand the test of time. It can also weather rough use. It is designed for professional use.
Hence, it is not the best band-saw for you if you are a beginner. Built using the latest technology, this band saw is energy-efficient and incredibly fast. Its electric motor is more powerful than all the models reviewed here.
Sometimes, a smaller blade just doesn’t deliver the desired results. That’s where a 14-inch blade comes in handy. When it comes to choosing the best 14-inch band saw, the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe 14-inch should be your first choice.
This freestanding band saw sports an all ball-bearing construction, a hard-wearing cast iron frame, as well as a precision-ground cast iron table.Its computer balanced wheels are also made of cast iron and have rubber tires.
This band saw comes with a durable floor stand, as well as a quick-release tension blade. It also features:
- An aluminum T-shape re-saw fence
- A mitre gauge
- A fence scale with handy magnifying window
The G0555LX Deluxe is equipped with a strong 1 HP, 11-amp electric motor. It also sports lower and upper ball-bearing blade guides. Besides, it has a rack-and-pinion guide post. These are a remarkable value for a freestanding band saw in this price range.
If you are looking for a compact 14-inch band saw that can fit virtually anywhere, but powerful enough to handle almost any cutting task, the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe should be your perfect choice.
You can’t talk of the best 14-inch band saws without mentioning JET JWBS-14DXPRO. JET JWBS-14DXPRO Deluxe is a completely new, well-built model that comes with advanced features.
You can use it for virtually any application. What does it have to offer?
Besides the modern look, this 2-speed.band saw also features a blade tracking window. It is also of high quality and can withstand rough use. It is expensive and not an ideal choice if you are looking for an entry level band saw.
If you are a novice, looking for an entry level band saw that can handle even more advanced tasks without any problems, SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp Band Saw could be your ideal choice. This band saw is equipped with a powerful electric motor and amazing features.
It’s also a great choice if you are looking for a compact and perfectly sized band saw, thanks to its perfect dimensions. What’s more, it is based on the latest technology and is uniquely built, which makes it stand out among its competitors.
If you are an amateur looking for a band saw that will serve you well, you can’t go wrong with SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp Band Saw.
Have you tried cutting a piece of pipe with a saw? It can be quite challenging. Normally, the saw just bounces around all over the surface. In fact, it may take 2-3 people to make the cut. This is the kind of situation where a horizontal band saw comes in handy.
When it comes to choosing the best horizontal band saw, Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless Sub-Compact Bandsaw Kit tops the list. This band saw delivers reliable cordless operation, thanks to its high-rated lithium battery. It is ideal for places where electricity is not available.
Moreover, its drill grip design allows you to make one-handed cuts easily. The saw comes with a powerful motor, which can cut completely through a piece of ¾ EMT in less than 3 seconds. This band saw is ideal for both professional and home-improvement projects.
Looking for the best portable band saw? DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit could be your ideal choice. Equipped with a powerful 10-amp motor, the saw offers a best-in-class cut capacity for rectangular and circular materials.
You can use the DEWALT DWM120K band saw for virtually any kind of work, enjoying its exceptional performance and convenience. You’ll have utmost comfort even after using it long time periods. Moreover, it features a LED light, which allows you to work in dark environments without trouble.
It sports a steel surface and rubber protectors, which make it hard-wearing. However, the DEWALT DWM120K is quite heavy when compared to other portable band saws in its range. Hence, it may not suit you if you are looking for a lighter tool.
If you are looking for the best portable band saw for the metalworking industry, you can’t go wrong with Milwaukee 6238-20 band saw. Running on a top-of-the-range AC/DC motor, this saw can cut through materials that are as strong as steel. Likewise, it boasts an incredibly deep cut capacity and two options of speed.
In fact, you can’t find another portable band saw in this range with this kind of motor power and cut capacity. With a 5-year warranty, you have nothing to worry about when using Milwaukee 6238-20 band saw, at least for the next five years.
The only notable setback is that this band saw doesn’t come with a blade. Therefore, you will have to spend more money in buying some blades. Also, don’t forget that this saw is specially designed for cutting metal. As such, you may experience challenges if you will be using it for cutting wood.
Speaking of buying your own blade, you can’t settle for any blade that you come across. You need to get the appropriate blade for your needs. In the next section, we explore some of the best band-saw blades.
Best Band Saw Blades
There’s no single blade that can cut everything. Therefore, it is imperative that you get the right blade for the job at hand. Moreover, there are several models and types of band saw blades on the market, but which is the best one for you?
Here’s a summary of 4 best band-saw blades that you can buy:
Material: Carbon steel
- Eliminates work hardening zones
- Doesn’t require so much power.
- Works with low tension
- Blade welding might cause some vibration.
Material: premium grade steel
- Best for cutting narrow stock.
- Cuts metal well.
- Easy to sharpen.
- Resists the build up of heat for prolonged life.
- Optimized tooth geometry for improved cutting performance.
- Holds up well for years of use.
- Heats quite a bit when used for long time periods.
- Designed for heavy duty use.
- Not prone to overheating.
- Doesn’t frequent sharpening
- The blade is somewhat weak
Material: High silicon, low carbide steel.
- Narrow Kerf
- Not prone to overheating
- Works well with low power band saws
- Designed for continuous use
- Combines the premium features of a skip and hook tooth.
- Blade dulls fast according to some users
What Projects can use a band saw for?
A band saw allows you to use a material to its maximum potential. Here are examples of ways that you can use a band saw:
- Resaw – With a band saw, you can saw a board along its width. This will give you two pieces with book matched inner faces.
You can use this to great effect as, for instance, panels in a pair of side-by-side cupboard doors. You can also use resawing to make thinner pieces from thicker boards. It is not only an economical use of materials but also the best way to get pieces with consistent color.
- Process Small Logs – You can use a band saw as a mini mill for processing small logs. For, instance, you can have fun processing the logs you get from your backyard.
- Make Veneer – With a band saw, you can saw a thick board into several thin slices. Then, you can use the slices as a matched set in a piece, like a set of curved doors. This is an excellent way to make maximum use of an extraordinary, highly figured board. It allows you to make your work look more sophisticated.
- Reset The Face of a Board – With a band saw, you can enhance the effects of grain and figure in a piece of material. For instance, you can curve table legs, and orient the annual ring grain pattern in any way you want.
The band saw excels at very many projects, which can enhance the quality of your work and make it stand out.
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If you are a carpenter, a woodworker, a metalworker, or just a DIY enthusiast, a band saw is a worthy investment. It can be a game changer for you as it allows you to use materials to their maximum potential. It significantly expands your creativity.
There are different types of band saws for different uses. It is imperative that you get the right saw for the right job. There are different models of band saws on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
It can be challenging to choose the right one for your needs. That’s where band saw reviews come in handy.
I hope this review will help you get the best band-saw that meets your needs and budget. If you have any questions or comments, add them in the comment sections below. Don’t forget to share this piece with your awesome friends.