A bandsaw is one of the easiest and safest power tools to use if you are into woodworking. It has a blade of continuous metal band with teeth along an edge to cut various pieces. Bandsaws come in two, three or four wheels but usual models feature two wheels turning in the same plane. Since tooth load is evenly distributed, uniform cut is produced, making the tool perfect for wood or metalworking. It is also useful for cutting curved or irregular shapes.
Even if it looks intimidating, a bandsaw is easy to use. Today, there are already so many bandsaws in the market and high quality ones can do more than cut precise wood curves. To help narrow down your choices if you are trying to find the right one, reviews of the best band saws are shared with you. It can be difficult to decide which is the best product to buy since there are countless options when it comes to this power tool. By reading these band saw reviews, you can explore your options and purchase the product that best suits your needs.
Top Rated Band Saws Comparison Table
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Different Types of Bandsaws
There are basically three types of band saws in the market, and each is designed to match your needs.
Bench-Top Band Saw
Bench-top type of band saws are shorter and smaller, and as the name implies, they are mounted on a bench. This type of band saw is ideal for use at home, but that does not mean you cannot get professional results. The advantage of choosing this is the price, for this is less expensive than the other types.
Stand Mounted Band Saw
Stand mounted type is constructed with the motor placed below the stand and connected to the wheel by a belt. The stand can either be an enclosed or open cabinet. This is the best band saw for those running a small-scale wood workshop for it can perform many woodworking tasks. Like bench-top models, they are economical considering the tasks it can perform.
Floor-Standing Band Saws
Floor-standing band saw is the professional type of band saw. It is designed for heavy-duty work on large workshops. It has larger wheels, ranging from 17 to 24 inches in diameter, bigger motors and tougher frames that are great for rip sawing and other tougher jobs. Compared to the other two, this band saw has unmatched consistency and cutting power. You can benefit from its stability though expect higher cost.
Overview of Our Top 5 Picks
Before visiting a shop, skim over the following bandsaw reviews if you are thinking of buying the power tool. This will help you get the essential information you need and get insights from people who have used the products themselves.
DEWALT DWM120K is a top rated band saw. It is popular among carpenters, construction workers, wood or metalworking professionals and even mechanics. This is because it is versatile, portable and affordable. It weighs 23 pounds and measures only 14.2-inch by 23.5-inch by 7.9-inch.
This model is known for its 5-inch deep cut capacity of rectangular or round stocks. It features a big front handle that can be adjusted in various positions. One important advantage of using this tool from DEWALT is that it helps users produce precise and appropriate cuts brought by its prime blade support feature. It also boasts adjustable speed, making it easier for you to do your work. Consider DEWALT DWM120K if you want a portable band saw at a great price.
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This band saw from DEWALT is another great choice if you are looking for the best band saw for the money. It can perform a variety of tools from cutting conduits, threaded dots to many other wood or metal materials. It is lighter than the previous DEWALT tool, weighing only 7.7 pounds. The product’s light design helps make accurate cuts without the hassle.
The blade is adjustable to extend the life of the belt. Many workers, including commercial plumbers, electricians and contractors will find this power tool helpful even for long hours’ usage. Blade tracking is improved while blade tension is lessened with this band saw’s superior blade system.
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If you are looking for a 9-inch band saw, SKIL 3386-01 should be your top consideration. It features tilting adjustment range of 0 to 45 degrees. The aluminum table is 11-13/16 inches, beating other 9-inch band saw competitor. The powerful motor comes in 2.5-Amp and 120 volts, capable of cutting wood and metal precisely.
It has deep cutting capacity of 3.5-inch in wood and 11/2-inch by 6-inch ironwood. The size of the band saw makes it compact and the table makes it easy to fit different wood sizes. This is certainly a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want extra big cutting machines for hobbyists and beginners. It is capable of performing tasks for day-to-day use.
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POWERTEC BS900 is also a good choice for band saws at its price range. It is heavy compared to the previous tools reviewed for it weighs 43.6 pounds. However, it is easy to assemble and use. The 2.5-Amp motor draws 120-volts, powerful enough to cut through wood for up to 3 inches. You will find the tray easy to use as well, for it is sturdy and does not take so much space.
It is durable, though it comes with some plastic parts. If you are working on small projects, you can buy this and benefit from its accuracy. It can be tilted to up to 45 degrees while the blade-tracking window lets you view the blade while using it. This product is also great for hobbyists looking for affordable band saws.
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Another band saw worth considering for price and performance is the 10-inch Rikon 10-305 band saw. This bench-top type, heavy-duty band saw can cut wood for various applications or perform re-sawing. In case you already have a bigger band saw, this one is a good addition to take care of the smaller jobs without having to change blades.
It features 1/3-HP motor, toggle switch and adjustable guide post for safety. For convenience of use, it has plastic knobs and roller bearings to align the blade while in use. It weighs 77 pounds, but once you have set it up, it could keep you satisfied for a long time.
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Top Band Saw Brands to Consider
When it comes to band saws, no single brand leads the race for there are several names that offer powerful products with impressive features, offering value for your money. The best band saw brands that always make it on professional reviews include DEWALT, Rikon, SKIL, POWERTEC and JET. However, this does not mean that band saws from Milwaukee, Craftsman, Laguna, Rigid and Ryobi are not anymore worth considering.
It helps if you will do a band saw comparison to make it easier for you to narrow down your choices and pick the right one that suits your needs. For instance, if you are looking to buy portable band saws at 150-200 price range, you can pick the products under this category and compare the features.
DEWALT is known for its powerful, deep cut, portable band saws. As seen from the list of top five products above, two of them are from DEWALT. Since 1922, the company has been making woodworking tools. It introduced a revolutionary system featuring cordless tools. You can buy a complete band saw kit from the brand, or a single tool as an addition to your system.
Rikon features appealing floor-standing band saws in iconic blue color. The brand boasts 10, 14, 18 to 22-inch saws for personal and professional use. Cutting capacity ranges from 4-5/8-inch to 13-inches high and 9-5/8-inch, 13-5/8-inch and 17-1/2-inch wide. You can also choose from various sizes of table and blade.
If Rikon has its easily recognizable blue band saws, SKIL features red-colored band saw. SKIL for now has only one 9-inch band saw to offer, but this single product has always made it to the list of top band saws to buy. The brand offers other powerful tools such as drills, circular saws, sanders and more.
Like SKIL, POWERTEC band saw is the only band saw that the brand offers but is also consistently well reviewed. The brand is known for powerful woodworking tools such as belt disc sanders and bench grinders. It offers different band saw blades and accessories as well. It has everything you need to perfect your project.
Like Rikon, JET boasts a range of band saws that suit the needs of various workers. Their latest tool is the 14-inch band saw designed with a steel frame but you can choose from 10 to 20 ½ size range, 9 ½ to 20-inch cutting capacity (width), or ½ to 5-HP motor power. Table sizes range from 14X14 to 21-1/2X16 inches.
What to Consider before Buying Band Saw
If you have already decided on the type of band saw to buy, it is important to pick the right one considering the following factors.
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Depth of Cut – It is how much material you can remove from a single cut or the distance of the upper blade from the table. It will tell you the thickness of the material that can be cut by the saw. Band saws vary in depth of cut, ranging from 6 to 36 inches.
Throat – This is the width of the cut. Band saws can go anywhere from 12 to 14 inches wide but cabinet-type units offer wider throat. On the other hand, most bench-top models have smaller throat.
Motor – The motor obviously powers the saw. Smaller models come with ¾ to 1-HP motor while cabinet-type units come with bigger ones to power heavy-duty projects. Band saws are also available in variable speeds to adjust to different cutting requirements.
Table – It is best to purchase band saws that feature aluminum alloy, steel or cast-iron table that can tilt up to 45 degrees, or around 16-inches long and wide.
Accessories – Accessories such as the miter gauge and rip fence are good features that improve crosscutting, re-sawing and ripping and are good additions to your power tool.
Tires – Band saws with tires and cleaning brushes help keep the wheels dirt-free. Pick units that have smoothly working tires.
Dust Port – There are models that come with dust port to keep the area clean.
Safety – Some safety features add to the value of a band saw, but this tool is generally safe to use among all power tools. You can find some with tension controlling feature that is essential in adjusting the blade tension. Others have brakes on the pulley, which are helpful in reducing chances of gliding when the saw stops.
Convenience – If you expect to use your band saw more frequently, convenience features like portability should matter to you. Among these are the already mentioned cleaning brushes and tires on the wheels, the tension-controlling device and built-in dust port.
To Sum It All Up…
Band saw is an essential tool for wood and metalworkers alike. This power tool can do many things besides producing curved woods. The best products in the market today offer durability and precision. You do not need to be overwhelmed by the wealth of choices you have. Finding the one that suits you most is easier than you think.
The first thing you should do is determining what you want and need. The band saw reviews presented above may tell you the key advantages of the top products but in the end, the right one depends on your preference and working requirement. Your goal is to efficiently work on your project regardless if you are a professional or a hobbyist.
If this is your first time to buy a band saw, you will find satisfaction in the things that this power tool will allow you to accomplish.
Also looking for a chainsaw? Also read our reviews on the best chainsaws for 2018!