Best Band Saws Buying Guide

For all the people who love doing DIY projects and are serious about woodworking, they must have some power tools in order to make their work fast and efficient as well as high quality. One of those needed power tools is a band saw which is known best for versatility and precision. It easily surpasses the results of a table saw or miter saw. A band saw will help you out from clean and simple cuts to highly intricate designs. It won’t just enhance your woodworking skills but also assist you in every small to large home-based project.

If you are looking for a band saw that perfectly aligns with your needs and requirements but don’t know how to find that perfect one, then we have a buying guide for you that will help you decide better. For more convenience, we have also compiled a list of 4 best band saws of each category. Let’s get going.

Buying Guide

Types of Band Saws

Floor Model

A floor model band saw is a top choice for professionals who want to handle heavy-duty work. Flood model band saws are heavy and are able to kick out more power and performance than any other category. These are not recommended for home-use because they consume high electricity and require three-phase rather than single-phase electricity.

If you want to work on large projects and have enough space to use a top-notch power tool, then getting a floor model would be a great choice.

Bench-top Model

Bench-top band saws are a smart choice for all the professionals and DIY enthusiasts out there. These are portable and small in size. They can directly be mounted on a worktable, stand or a cabinet. Unlike the floor-model, bench-top band saws have a motor directly mounted into them which means there won’t be a belt below the worktable to help them run.

They perform extremely well in cutting tasks ranging from most small to extremely large.

Portable Model

For people who want a band saw that can easily be packed and carried away, they must get their hands on a portable model. Portable band saws are extremely versatile in working and can be used to cut curved lines, straight edge curls or irregular shapes.

Portable models are not just excellent in being handy, but they also help in cutting stock that’s too large for a normal bench-top or floor-standing band saw.

Where can they be used?

Small DIY Projects

Whether you are a DIY hobbyist or a pro, at some point you will need to make some curved or simple straight cuts when crafting crown molding, trim pieces, or any workpiece. A band saw will surely help you throughout that DIY project.

Cutting Metal

Band saws can also be used in cutting metal precisely and efficiently. A bench-top or a floor-model won’t be a good choice for metal cutting because of its irregular shape but a portable band saw would work perfectly on pipes, air ducts, framing and a variety of metal types that aren’t neatly arranged like wood logs or long planks usually are.

A handheld band saw can provide easy and precise cuts from a number of different angles, as long as the piece of metal fits into the cutting area.

Intricate cutting

A band saw especially a bench-top one is fully capable of ripping and providing intricate cutting of large pieces of wood. No matter how large and complex the piece of wood is, a bench-top and a floor-model would easily rip, re-saw, and make curved cuts without a problem.

Make sure you look for a more powerful motor if you want to perform heavy-duty tasks.

Features to Consider While Shopping For a Band Saw

Power

It is the most important feature to consider while buying any power tool. Power is one of those features that distinguish one band saw from another. The more powerful the motor is, the more easily it will cut through the materials. More power means dealing with denser and harder pieces of woods without any issue. If a band saw is underpowered, it won’t be able to maintain blade speed, torque, and precision while cutting into these pieces.

Cutting Capacity

Cutting capacity refers to how big a workpiece can a band saw manage to take on. Every band saw has different cutting capacities which depend on mostly two factors; throat and width.

The throat is the distance from the blades of the band saw to the vertical frame position while the depth refers to the distance from the table to the upper blade guide. In short, the depth of a band saw defines what thickness of material it can work with.

A bench-top model is easily adjustable, (you can adjust the upper and lower blade guards to match the size of the material) which means it can take on both large and small pieces.

Blade and Speed

There is a huge variety of blades when it comes to cutting different type of materials in various ways. A blade is that part of the tool that will be interacting with the workpiece so the blade needs to be according to the type of workpiece you are working on. For instance, blades that have smaller widths are better at cutting curves. Apart from the width of the blade, the tooth pattern also matters a lot. If you want to make finesse cuts, then a regular-toothed blade would work excellently and if you want to rip through the materials then consider getting a band saw with a hook-toothed blade.

Speed is another most important thing to consider in a band saw. Different materials require different speeds. For example, when working with certain metals, the speed should be lowered down. So, the better option here is to get a band saw with variable speed control that will enable you to work with a variety of materials by easily switching the blade speed.

Here are the top 4 band saws:

Product
Visual
Where to Buy
WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-Inch Band Saw
SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw
DeWalt DWM 120K 5-Inch Band Saw
JET JWBS-14DXPRO

1. WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-Inch Band Saw

Coming up first in our list is WEN 3962, a stand-mounted band saw that is one of the top selling band saws on Amazon. This smaller and lightweight power tool is able to carve through boards as thick as 6-inches deep and 9 ¾ inches wide with the help of its 3.5-amp powerful motor that is more than enough for a 10-inch saw.

The work light on it helps you cut precisely even if there is a dim lighting condition. The work table also bevels up to 45 degrees to the right so you can easily create angled cuts. One of the best features of this band saw is its ability to cut at two different speeds; 1520 or 2620 feet per minute.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Powerful motor
  • Dual-speed feature
  • Additional accessories included, such as a worktable, a sturdy fence, a work light, etc.
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Complaints about the work light reflecting back off the table
  • Complexities in the beginning while aligning the blades and guides correctly.

2. SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw

The SKIL 3386-01, which is a bench-top band saw, is a great option for the beginners who are just starting out their woodworking journey. It is one of the cheapest band saws that doesn’t feel this way because of the features it offers. It is a combination of lightweight alloy and heavier cast-iron base that together make this band saw a rigid power tool to use. It is equipped with a 2.5-amp motor that is enough for home use.

To cut at different angles, a convenient rack and pinion table is also found on it. You can also attach a vacuum hose to its dust port, to minimize dust in the workspace. It has a 9-inch throat and a 3 1/8 cutting depth, so make sure that if it aligns perfectly with your work requirements.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Equipped with a LED work light
  • Powerful 2.5-amp motor
  • Comes with a rip fence for precise cutting
  • Dust port
  • Rack-and-pinion system for angle and height adjustments
  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Single-speed motor
  • If you forget to register it within 30 days, the warranty will be invalidated

3. DeWalt DWM 120K 5-Inch Band Saw

This one’s a portable band saw offered by a well-renowned power tool brand, DeWalt. If you are looking for a handheld band saw that is able to provide an outstanding performance at home, workshop or on a job-site then look no more because this one will indeed fulfill your cutting demands.

This lightweight bandsaw is equipped with a powerful 10-amp motor that can easily cut through stocks up to 5-inches in depth. It also has a variable speed dial which can help you shift from 100SPM (strokes per minute) all the way up to 350SPM. Working for extended periods is not at all a problem with this tool; thanks to its ergonomic handle design.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Powerful 10-amp motor
  • LED work light
  • Equipped with a hanging hook
  • Adjustable speed
  • Comes with a 3-year limited warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive

4. JET JWBS-14DXPRO

The JET JWBS is a 14-inch highly-professional band saw that is much more powerful than similar range models and has better resawing capabilities as well. It is equipped with a powerful 1.25HP dual-speed (1500/3000SPM) motor that can cut through the material of various sizes with ease. Its cutting capacity includes a 12-inch throat and a 13.5-inch depth.

It includes a poly-v belt system and a spacious 15×15 inch table to handle bigger pieces conveniently. It is made of cast-iron from top to bottom which makes this machine much more rigid and stable.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality
  • Powerful and fast motor
  • Dust collector ports
  • Adjustable table
  • Can cut at 1500 and 3000 SFPM (surface feet per minute)

Cons:

  • Extremely heavy
  • Doesn’t include a fence or miler gauge (can be bought separately)
  • Expensive

Final Verdict

Band saws are famous among woodworkers for a reason. In some cases, a band saw can complete the work all alone depending on the project you are working on. Now as you are well-versed about the information necessary to make a strong buying decision regarding a band saw, it won’t be a problem for you to find the one that fits perfectly with your needs and requirements.

Once you determine your major requirements, you will be one step closer to choose the right one for you. All of the above-mentioned band saws are excellent in performance and working but if you are still confused about selecting one then don’t worry we can help you out again. If your search is for a high quality, fully professional band saw, then opt for JET JWBS-14DXPRO. It might be expensive but there isn’t any material that can resist its powerful blades and superior performance. If you are on a tight budget and still want a band saw that can help you out in many woodworking tasks then consider buying SKIL 3386-01 9-Inch Band Saw.