Best Band Saws of 2020 – Ultimate Round-up

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The power and versatility of the often-overlooked bandsaw make it a valuable purchase for anyone who wants to invest in their workshop. From fun craftwork and decorative moldings to heavy-duty lumbering, there’s a lot you can do with it. So, wouldn’t you like to know more about it all? 

​Snapshot​! Best ​Band Saws

​In a hurry? Here are our top picks​:

Best Overall
Runner-up
Best for the Money

​Comparison Chart of the ​Best Band Saws

Product

Our Rating

​Price

Grizzly Industrial G0513X2

​Best Overall

Shop Fox W1825

​Runner-up

Laguna Tools MBAND144200

​Best for the Money

Rikon 10-3061

Best Bandsaw Under $500

Jet 708115K JWBS-14CS

Best Bandsaw Under $1000

Jet 714400K Jwbs-14SFX

Best 14 Inch Bandsaw

WEN 3939T

Best Benchtop Bandsaw

What ​Is a Band Saw? 

A bandsaw is a motor-powered tool that relies on a long blade with saw teeth, set into motion by two or three wheels, depending on the model. It comes with a flat work table, on which the blade runs perpendicularly, right to its center. 

It has many different applications, from woodworking and lumbering to metalworking. But what sets it apart is the ability to perform various cuts for artistic work. Curves, edges, laminations, detailed intricate cuts are all easy with a band saw. 

Depending on what you need your bandsaw for, you might have to particularly look at some details. The cutting capacity – throat capacity and resaw capacity – are important. But so are the tensioning and the quick-release features. The more design details it can provide, the better.

How to Choose a Bandsaw 

Buy talk is never easy, with so many different bandsaw models on the market. To make it easier for you, let us underline some of the most important features you should be looking into:

Sizing

The size of a band saw is given, first and foremost, by its cutting capacity. This capacity comes down to the distance between the blade and the column of the bandsaw. If you’re planning on doing resaw work with it, there’s another size to consider: the distance between the work table and the blade guide assembly’s highest elevation.

Design

You’ll notice you get to choose between cast-iron bandsaws and steel frame bandsaws. The cast-iron models are two massive machined castings with upper and lower assemblies.

They usually feature a 14-inch size and a 1 to 1-1/2HP motor, perfect for regular bandsaw operations. The steel ones vary from 12 to 24-inch sizes, with more powerful motors and higher cutting capacities.

Power

As mentioned above, the typical products, for the average homeowner, feature motors of 1 or 1-1/2HP. Working with hardwood or even doing your own veneer while resawing large wood will move you to the top league. For this purpose, you’ll have to look at the more powerful, 2-1/2 or even 3HP motors.

Quick Take: Best ​Band Saws

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best ​band saws:

  1. ​Best Overall: Grizzly Industrial G0513X2
  2. ​Runner-up: Shop Fox W1825
  3. ​Best for the Mo​ney: Laguna Tools MBAND144200

Review of the Best Band Saws 

Knowing what a bandsaw is and what to look for when choosing one, you’re probably eager to learn more about your specific options. Coming up next, we have reviewed for you some of the best band saws from top manufacturers. Take a look at it and see what works best for you, price-wise included!

​Best Overall:
​Grizzly Industrial G0513X2

PROS

  • Powerful engine for heavy-duty cutting
  • Extra-wide, precision-ground work table
  • Designed with computer-balanced wheels
  • Generous size, with a large cutting capacity
  • Straightforward tensioning and blade release systems

CONS

  • Only 1-year warranty
  • Can be expensive for new or amateur woodworkers

Our Review

A solid option ready to perform with most cutting applications, this 17-inch bandsaw from Grizzly Industrial stands out as the best overall. It comes with a sturdy 2HP motor, and it boasts a large cutting capacity. You’re looking at a 12-inch cutting height, with a resaw capacity of 16-1/4-inch.

It works with blades ranging from 1/8 to 1 inch wide, easily adjustable for either 1700 or 3500 FPM. The whole unit is sturdy and packed with lots of useful features. It boasts dual dust ports, quick-release blade tensioning and blade tension indicator, miter gauge and height scale measurements, plus a couple of other handy details.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This 17-inch bandsaw comes with fully balanced cast-iron wheels, double-ball bearing blade guides, and micro-adjusting geared table. Also, the heavy-duty trunnion made of cast-iron is designed with angle dents that allow micro-adjustments. And whenever you need to work on heavier tasks, you can lock an extra-wide table on the double.

​Runner-up:
​Shop Fox W1825

PROS

  • Outstanding motor capacity
  • Built with an extra-wide throat
  • Features lots of practical design details
  • Includes a couple of welcomed accessories
  • Facilitates smooth and vibration-free operation

CONS

  • Quite massive and heavy

Our Review

The Shop Fox W1825 comes with an outstanding 3HP motor. Sized to facilitate a cutting capacity of up to 19-inches, it weighs a whopping 500 lbs. Just like the best overall, this runner up model features lots of practical design details. But it stays in second place because it can actually be a bit too much.

For most people, such a powerful tool will rarely be used at full capacity with a DIY project. Still, just like in terms of design, accessory-wise, there’s plenty in it for you. It comes with an extra-wide table and a 6-inch tall, deluxe fence for resawing without worries. The latter can easily work as a fence with super low-profile, giving you extra flexibility with your projects.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This bandsaw from Shop Fox is the largest model in our selection. Not just size-wise, but also in terms of cutting capacity and motor power. It’s a tough call trying to choose between the best overall and the runner-up, for sure. And all the extra design details that the W1825 is bringing to the table won’t make your decision any easier.

​Best for the Money:
​Laguna Tools MBAND144200

PROS

  • Features a lighter profile
  • Easy to set up and adjust
  • Supports rack & pinion table tilt
  • Provides excellent value for the money
  • Upgraded version with lots of improvements

CONS

  • Blades must be purchased separately

Our Review

Without a doubt, you’ll get the most value for this price range from Laguna’s MBAND144200 upgraded 14-inch bandsaw. It comes with a 3HP Leeson motor. And its 13-1/4-inch throat makes it perfect for resawing work of up to 14 inches. It is an award-winning product, specifically recommended for the woodworking industry. And it comes with a fence in the package.

The list of features includes, but it is not limited to the famous Laguna guides, dual dust ports, and foot-brake designed with microswitch. It comes with quick-release tension mechanisms and a rack & pinion design for the table tilt and upper guide. Quite straightforward to adjust, it cuts perfectly, even when it comes to thin veneers.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This Laguna bandsaw stands out through the excellent value it provides for the money. It comes equipped with a motor just as powerful as the runner-up from Shop Fox, though its cutting capacity is somewhat smaller. Clearly, you won’t easily find a bandsaw with a motor like this, for a 14-inch resaw capacity, and for this price!

Best Bandsaw Under $500:
Rikon 10-3061

PROS

  • Comes with a 5-year warranty
  • Includes a dust port to hook up a vacuum
  • ​Great for small and medium-sized projects
  • ​Built with a good range of practical features
  • Works with a wide range of materials, not just wood

CONS

  • Has some plastic parts
  • Not the best choice for resawing

Our Review

With this model from Rikon, you’re getting pretty much everything you want in a bandsaw. The 2 blade speeds and the tool-less guides, the quick-release system and the 45-degree tilting table, the blade tension knob, and the sturdy cast iron construction are all available. The standard 1/2HP motor works nicely. And the fence carrier, adjustable, along with the rip fence system, will come in handy.

For small to medium projects, whether you want to work with wood, metal, or some other material, this bandsaw will serve you well. What’s more, you’re looking at a 5-year limited warranty, which should make you feel comfortable allocating your limited budget to it.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This bandsaw from RIKON can make a good choice for any enthusiast or hobbyist out there. If you’re tight on money, the 10-inch 10-3061 Deluxe Bandsaw is well worth the attention. As an upgraded version from the 10-306 model, it will work flawlessly on small projects. It is also more compact and lightweight, so you’ll easily find a place for it in your workshop.

​Best Bandsaw Under $1000:
Jet 708115K JWBS-14CS

PROS

  • Great 5-year warranty
  • Blade features a profile that reduces heat and friction
  • ​Wheels are meant to operate with minimum vibrations
  • Nice combo of powerful features & straightforward design
  • Built with a user-friendly design that facilitates safe operation

CONS

  • Dust collection could be better
  • Doesn’t come with accessories

Our Review

Jet power tools are notorious for excellent value. If you’re limited to only $1000 with this purchase, make haste in checking the Jet 708115K JWBS-14CS model. It has a 1 HP motor and a 14-inch throat, which means the cutting capacity goes to 13-1/2 inches. Its design is moderately lightweight but overall compact. And its warranty will undoubtedly please you.

The micro-adjustable lower blade guide lets you easily adjust the blade. It doesn’t just reduce friction, for a smooth operation, but also goes easy on your blade, extending its lifespan. Setup is a breeze, and with the quick-connect power cord, there’s no need to walk around your workshop following the endless cord to the outlet if you need to pause it for a minute.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

This product was designed as a woodworking bandsaw. It boasts a graphite guide block and graphite impregnated polymer blade. And it will prove reliable for years to come, whether you’ll use it occasionally or push it with heavy-duty projects. Speaking of various projects, whatever settings you need to tweak, it’s all easy and intuitive with it. 

​​Best 14-Inch Bandsaw:
Jet 714400K Jwbs-14SFX

PROS

  • ​Decent resaw capacity
  • ​Welcomed 5-year warranty
  • ​Powerful motor for the size
  • ​Intuitive to assemble and easy to use
  • ​Allows effective dust collection, with dual ports

CONS

  • ​Blades sold separately
  • ​A bit on the heavy side

Our Review

The 14-inch bandsaws are considered some of the most versatile models, given their optimal size. With this particular bandsaw from Jet, the good size is backed by a great 1.75HP motor, ready to tackle any challenge.  Functional and, equally important, affordable, it comes with a fence system in the package.

The attention to detail is impressive, given the measurement markings on the aluminum machined fence and the intuitive adjustment system for the blade. Add the 5-year warranty to all the technical features, and you won’t help but want to have this 14-inch bandsaw from Jet.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

The 360 square inches cast iron work table will catch the eye, as it will provide sturdy support for just about any larger workpiece. What’s more, its heavy-duty construction of welded tubular steel totaling 300 lbs makes this bandsaw very stable. In a nutshell, it sets the premises for an impeccable, vibration-free operation.

PROS

  • ​Nicely-sized work table
  • ​Reliable customer support
  • ​Package includes accessories
  • ​Flexible design that tilts up to 45 degrees
  • ​Small and lightweight bench top bandsaw

CONS

  • ​Only one dust port
  • ​Only 2-year warranty

Our Review

Weighing less than 50 lbs, the 9-inch bandsaw from WEN will sit tightly on your benchtop. Its 2.8-amp motor will speed up the blade with up to 2460 FPM. Whereas the 62-inch blade can cut workpieces of up to 3-5/8 inches depth and 9 inches width. If you’re looking to juggle with different projects and different cutting needs, expect it to accommodate blades from 1/8 to 3/8 inches.

Through it all, the product is easy to assemble and provides good value for the money. The 2-year warranty isn’t the best you can get, but it’s still more than the 1-year that other manufacturers would offer. And WEN is also well-known for its outstanding customer support, which makes this option even more alluring.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Almost like a miniature bandsaw, WEN’s 9-inch benchtop model is an irresistible option in this size range. As opposed to many other bandsaws, it comes with its own blade in the package, and a miter gauge. For this price, it’s an outstanding choice if you’re really after a benchtop unit.

What Do You Use a Bandsaw For? 

Just because a bandsaw can do a lot of different works doesn’t mean it will perform at an excellent level with any of it. Here are the top 3 uses for a bandsaw, the ones guaranteed to give you the best results when you pick up this particular tool:

Straight Line Cuts

Woodworking relies on straight cuts, and so, cutting a straight line is the most basic operation you’ll perform with your bandsaw. You have the option to use a fence to guide the workpiece, especially if you’re just starting out and your hands are a bit shaky.

Curve Cuts

The band saw is one of the few tools out there that can make an excellent curve cut. You’ll have to learn how to make relief cuts in the waste parts of the working material, to avoid binding the blade. And you will have to work with drawn patterns, stopping at each relief cut and making curvature gradually.

Resawing

Resawing implies cutting thick sheets into thinner pieces. As you can imagine, this technique is letting you make the most out of any wood, crafting great products even when you have little resources. Veneer sawing, door panels, and really any large log are common, practical applications of a bandsaw.

​Pros and Cons of ​Bandsaws

​Given its generous utility, the advantages are obvious, whereas the disadvantages not so much. Still, here is what you should pounder when considering whether to buy a bandsaw or not.

​Bandsaw Pros

  • ​Can Cut In Almost All Shapes

    If you can picture it, chances are you can also cut it with a bandsaw. This applies to pretty much anything, except for internal cutting. So, versatility is one of the biggest advantages it provides, and it applies to large logs and tiny workpieces just as well.
  • ​Powerful & Safe

    With motors that go as high as to 3HP, shortage of power shouldn’t worry you. What’s more, these tools are designed to allow safe operation, despite the blade’s sharpness and high speed. The rule of thumb is to use the fence and keep your hands on the sides of the workpiece.
  • ​Fast & Easy To Use

    Suffices to put the working material on the table, bring in your pattern, and get to work. The bandsaw will cut fast and, provided you work your hand on doing all the basic cuts – straight, relief, curve – you’re going to enjoy working on it. Perhaps even more than on your table saw.

​Bandsaw Cons

  • ​Takes Up A Lot Of Space

    It only takes one look at it, and you’ll think twice on whether it can fit your workspace or not. These tools can be quite large, and they are certainly heavy. So, you must clear up a specific area just for it. Also, if it doesn’t come with a built-in stand, you will have to put it on a workbench.
  • ​Far From Portable

    Needless to say, once you put your bandsaw weighing a few thousand pounds somewhere, you’ll want to leave it there. It’s a compromise you have to make if you want to have access to great power and handle large workpieces. Accept its portability issues and you’ll be fine!

How to Use a Bandsaw 

While it doesn’t take much science to getting started with a bandsaw, there are some settings and prep work on the material. Other than that, the process is straightforward, and you’ll have to do the following:

  • First, ensure the proper tension on the blade;

  • Then, set the guide bearings that control the lateral and backward movement of the blade;

  • Adjust the height of the blade guard, depending on how thick is the wood piece you are about to cut, and lock it in place;

  • Pick the type of blade you’re going to use, depending on what material you will cut, and what type of cut you want to perform;

    • The thinner the blade you choose, the tighter the cut you will be able to perform, and the more suitable for curved cuts;

    • To resaw, you need a more stable blade, with a wider surface;

    • A ½-inch blade works best for general cutting, ripping, and crosscutting;

  • To cut a piece of wood by free-handing it, you can begin by cutting outside the line, and then sand the cut to make it perfect;

  • With the lines drawn on the wood, turn on the saw and slowly push the wood into the blade.

For a clearer, full overview of the steps we just described above, take a look at the following video.

Comparison Overview: How Do They Compare?

If you are to compare the band saw with any other type of saw, you should begin by learning the strengths of each one.

Scroll Saw vs Band Saw

Both have a working table and a blade perpendicular to it. Yet the band saw has a continuous blade that continually moves in one direction, downward. And the scroll saw has a shorter and thinner blade that moves up and down, repeatedly.

The band saw can handle all kinds of materials and perform a wide range of cuts, except for internal cuts. The scroll saw is very limited regarding the size of the working material, but it is perfect for detailed work. Plus, a scroll saw can perform inside cuts.

Band Saw vs Table Saw

The table saw relies on a fixed round blade, and it is considered even more versatile than a band saw. However, working with a table saw is riskier than with a band saw, whose blade will cut downward and pull the material into the table.

The band saw, aside from being a safer option, also allows you to make curves and intricate work. The table saw is better for ripping and crosscuts, and it is more of a tool for professional woodworkers.

Band Saw vs Jigsaw

Despite both tools being able to cut curves, their functionality is significantly different. A band saw will work well with wider cuts. The narrower the cut needs to be, the more skilled the operator has to be and know how to rely on relief cuts. With the jigsaw, on the other hand, you will efficiently perform narrow, sophisticated cuts.

​Bandsaw Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Success

A bandsaw is meant to help you in many ways. But some tips and tricks will make your work even easier. Instead of taking years to discover them through practice, you’d better look it up and learn from others. To get you started, here are some of the best aces to keep up the sleeve when working with your bandsaw. 

Smoothing Wood Edges 

Bandsaws are known to leave some kind of saw marks. Are you looking after a perfect finish in your works? Then it is best that you leave some extra material, just so you can smooth the edges, once you’ve finished the cutting. To do so, cut on the outside edge of the line you’re using as guidance. 

Cutting Nonferrous Materials 

You need a particular type of blade if you’re planning on working with aluminum, copper, brass, or other thin-walled nonferrous metals. Pick one that has numerous fine teeth, and that are hardened! If the teeth are not hardened, the blade will easily get dull and become useless. 

Taking Advantage Of Relief Cuts 

Curved cuts are easier to handle with relief cuts. Basically, you get to cut along the curved line pattern. And, thanks to the relief cuts, the waste material will fall gradually when you move on to sawing the profile. The blade no longer needs to put up with the pressure of all that waste material. So the cutting will then come down to a series of smaller, shorter cuts that are more manageable.

Conclusion 

A bandsaw is guaranteed to bring a lot of different cutting capabilities to your work. Whether you’re a hobbyist or you make a living sawing, one of these band saws is guaranteed to find its place in your workshop. From Grizzly to Jet and Wen, you now have plenty of options to choose from.

People Also Ask

Finally, here’s a concise roundup of what you need to know about a bandsaw, built around the most common questions buyers have.

How Does A Bandsaw Work?

A bandsaw moves a blade with teeth between two wheels that rotate in the same plane. An electric motor powers one of the wheels, and it sets the blade in a continuous movement, always downward, through the work table. Once you start the bandsaw and the blade moves, you place your workpiece on the working table and push it into the blade.

How Much Is A Bandsaw?

The price of a bandsaw varies depending on many aspects, but the size is one of the most important. For a small model, around 9 inches, you can expect to find an excellent offer of around $200. Whereas for the larger ones, sized at 17 - 19 inches, especially when coming from reputable manufacturers, prices can go as high as to $1,500-$2,000.

What Is Resawing On A Bandsaw Mill?

A bandsaw mill is capable of turning large boards into slices with a milling accessory. Resawing would require a stable blade, one of at least 1/2-inch wide. Its sharpness is also important, and it would have to have 3-4TPI. Then, you just place the board on the work table, using a tall fence against which the board will ride once you turn it on.

What Is A Portable Bandsaw Used For?

A portable bandsaw can be an excellent choice for a wide range of decorative cuts and carpentry applications. The meat and butchering industry also makes great use of it. And if you’re determined to use it creatively, consider shaping tenons, notches, scarf joints, pergola ends, compound miter cuts, and, of course, resawing large pieces of wood.

How To Fold A Bandsaw Blade

First, place it away from your body, completely loosen, and with your wrists down. Then, put one toe on it, firmly enough to hold it in place. Start pushing it down until you turn it into an oval. Next, begin folding that oval in half by bringing your wrists closer together and pulling the sides of the blade closer. Finally, cross your hands, bringing the blade’s two halves over each other, and its sides will coil up.

How To Measure Bandsaw Tires

To find the measure of your bandsaw tires, measure the diameter of one wheel. They both have the same size, so it doesn’t matter which one you pick. And after you get that number, subtract 2 inches, and you’ve found the tire size.