A bandsaw is one of the most powerful and the essential power tools you will ever need in your workshop. All of you who are professionals or semi-professionals will understand the importance and the benefits bandsaws offer. Of course, you are going to need the best band saw in order to get the best benefits.
Almost all bandsaws have wheels and blades that provide constant cutting capabilities. This design makes them essential for all who are looking for a tool to cut through the wood in irregular shapes and to cut it into thinner pieces.
Buying Guide: Factors to Consider
If you read our band saw reviews below, you will notice that we mention some features more than the others. This is simply due to the fact they are factors to consider when looking for the best band saw. Basically, they are features or the main elements of a band saw and they can make a difference in determining for which application, particular bandsaw has been designed. Here we will guide you through the entire process, so you can choose the best model all by yourself. You will know which features are the most important and which ones deserve your full attention.
This is probably the most important element of a bandsaw. It will determine which materials you can cut, the speed of the operation and also is that bandsaw professional or not. The things are actually very simple. All models with electric motors with 1 or less horsepower are entry-level units, or they have been designed for minor cutting operations. Of course, they cannot cut metal.
Units with 1.5HP or 2HP are more professional. They are used to cut any type of material, including thick and hardwood and they are professional units. Yes, their prices are higher as well, but after all, you are getting a professional bandsaw.
Variable speed control
As you may know by now, some bandsaws come with 2 speeds. The speed refers to the FPM of the blade and the slower ones are more desirable when performing careful and accurate cuts. Faster speeds are used for cutting wood as quickly as possible and when the accuracy isn’t very important. This is more than just important if you are planning to use that bandsaw to cut different materials and also to meet tough deadlines.
Most of you won’t even believe that frame is one of the most important features to look in. There are three main types. They are welded steel, die-cast, and cast iron. If you recall, we mentioned that most models on our list have cast-iron frames. They are simply the best and they offer all the advantages you will ever need.
First of all, the frame is the main element or the base where all other parts will be fitted on. Cast-iron units are the best simply because they are very strong and heavy. A heavy bandsaw will be more stable and therefore allow for you to make more accurate cuts. A bandsaw that isn’t stable and that moves as it operates won’t be very good. Important: Always look for frames which are made from steel or cast iron. They are the best and the safest alternative.
Blade tension adjustment system
The blade of a bandsaw must be perfectly set. If the tension is too low, the blade won’t cut in a straight line and this will probably compromise your work. If the tension is too high, the blade may break and it will definitely wear out much sooner. A blade tension adjustment indicator is basically a simple system which will allow for you to adjust the tension much better than without it. There are no a lot of bandsaws with this system on the market, so it may be a bit difficult to find one. Also, some systems are inaccurate, so they may be useless.
Keep in mind that with or without tension adjustment indicator, you should consult a user manual and set the blade properly. If the indicator is present on your bandsaw, use it to get the average tension of the blade. The finest adjustment must be done according to the user manual.
Having a bandsaw that has a table that bevels is a must nowadays. The system refers to the table of the bandsaw and its ability to bevel or tilt to one side. The best models have a bevel capacity of 45 degrees, while others have just 10 degrees. Also, most models have the ability to bevel to the right only and it is a preferable alternative. Entry-level units will bevel usually to the right.
Keep in mind that bevel capacity has a huge advantage due to the fact it allows you to make more complicated cuts. For demanding and advanced operations, it is the main feature to look for.
Wheels: Aluminum or cast iron
The next main factor is actually the wheels inside the bandsaw. There are two main types. You can get either made ones from aluminum or make from cast iron. Obviously, those made from cast iron are heavier, so they generate a much higher level of inertia. This transfers to the cutting capabilities, so a blade will cut much better. An interesting fact is that aluminum wheels usually can be found in more affordable, even cheap bandsaws.
LED or working light
If you like spending some time on details, you are going to appreciate this feature. In essence, it refers to the light which will be used to illuminate the cutting area. Nowadays, this is a standard feature and almost all models come with it. If yours doesn’t have it, you are free to add one all by yourself. This is a simple task that can be done in 30 minutes. Of course, you will have to find the light, make a support brackets and guide the power cord so it is annoying for some users. That’s why it is a much better option to simply get a bandsaw with a working light. It makes a huge difference when cutting at night or when the visibility is poor.
Guides for the blade
They do precisely as the name suggests. They keep the blade straight and eliminate the danger of the blade moving left or right. There are usually two of them on a bandsaw, one top and one at the bottom of the blade. Even the best portable band saw will have them and due to a specific reason. They allow for you to perform much safer and more accurate cuts without any risk.
Usually, manufacturers implement blade guides made of ceramics or sealed bearings. Both versions are great and they make a bandsaw so much better. Of course, this matter cannot be generalized, so pay a close attention to the specifications.
How accurate a bandsaw is when using it? This will depend on many reasons, alongside the overall accuracy the machine has to offer. The gauge meter is the essential part here. It must provide you all possible adjustments and they must be presented in inches or millimeters. Adjusting the cutting capability and the accuracy has the main role nowadays, due to the fact consumers want the most accurate cuts. Here we must point out that the gauge system can be present in in inches, centimeters or both. Some models, which are developed for the United States have only inches, so they won’t be very practical in Europe. Keep that in mind when purchasing your new bandsaw.
Weight isn’t one of the main factors unless you are looking or a portable bandsaw. Yes, they do exist and they are generally smaller and more compact. Of course, the weight of a bandsaw must be well-balanced, so when it cuts, there are no vibrations and the cuts are straightforward.
If you are looking for a smaller bandsaw that will be moved in a workshop, pay attention to the weight. In this case scenario, the lower, the better. On the other side, if you are looking or a bandsaw that will be positioned in a single place, get a heavier one. It is more stable.
Fence is used for accuracy as well. Earlier models had it made out of iron or steel, so they were impractical and heavy to use. Nowadays, most bandsaws have fences made out of aluminum and they are just great. In essence, they offer the best possible accuracy and adjustments which is extremely accurate.
This is the smallest feature of bandsaws that makes a huge difference. In general, users can choose between 4 inch and 2 ¼ inch dust ports. Obviously, the bigger the better and we recommend you to get a bandsaw with 4-inch dust port. Some units may have two dust ports, which is an even better choice. These ports must be hooked to the vacuum in order to extract the dust which will generate as we cut. If you forget to attach the vacuum the dust will soon be all over the place, which isn’t an appealing situation. The best band saw for woodworking will have to provide a dust port due to the fact it will generate massive amounts of dust daily.
Bandsaws are some of the best cutting machines on the planet. They can make a huge difference and they can cut through anything. That’s why there are a few safety features which are needed. The first one is blade guard which must be lowered when you make a cut. This will ensure that blade guides are doing their job and will reduce the risk of an injury.
The next main thing to consider is that when pushing wood, you should use the tips of your fingers. If the hands are getting closer than 2 inches to a blade, use a pushing stick. In addition, always wear safety goggles and a dust mask.
We must point out that a bandsaw has a blade that will continue to rotate for some time after you have turned off the machine. Always wait for the blade to stop before coming near it.
Top 5 Bandsaws Review
Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw- Best Professional Bandsaw
- Item may ship in more than one box and may arrive separately
- All ball bearing construction. Cast iron frame. Precision-ground cast iron...
- CSA certified meeting CSA C22
- Computer balanced cast iron wheels with rubber tires.
Here is the best bandsaw you can buy today and there are a lot of advantages. The bandsaw in question is well-made, comes with the latest features and it is easy to use. As such, it is commonly seen in workshops all over the world and it is one of the most popular units right now. Now, let’s see some main features.
Cast iron frame
The first thing you are going to notice regarding the bandsaw here is the frame. It is made from cast iron and it is very strong. Of course, this isn’t the only main advantage here. The unit comes with all ball bearing elements and precision ground table. Combined, these features make cutting more appealing than usual and also more precise. Now you know which bandsaw is the most appealing if you need accuracy and precision.
Computer balanced wheels
We mentioned that all bandsaws have wheels that are used to move the blade. This one is no different. But, the wheels have been computer balanced and layered with rubber. This makes the saw quieter while operating and also more accurate compared to conventional models.
- Motor: 1HP
- Speed: 1800 and 3100 FPM
- Construction: All ball bearing
- Frame: Cast iron
- Wheels: Computer balanced and layered with rubber
- Weight: 247 pounds
- Very accurate and professional
- All ball bearing design
- Great T-shaped fence
- Computer balanced wheels
- Meets the latest regulations
- Complicated user manual
JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw- Best Bandsaw Kit
- Built in 12 Inch resaw Capacity for cutting Larger pieces of wood
- 2 Speed poly v belt drive system
- Newly Designed upper and lower cast iron frame for increased strength and...
- Easy to view blade tracking window
This model was redesigned recently, so now it comes with advanced features and significant improvements. Nevertheless, it is considered as the best overall kit on the market and it has a lot to offer.
Increased resaw capacity
This may be the best bandsaw for resawing period. As we have mentioned already, it has been redesigned, so now it comes with the latest advantages and benefits. This one allows for you to cut larger pieces of wood, so it is perfect for experienced woodworkers.
2-speed drive system
There are 2 speeds available. They are possible thanks to the all-new V-belt drive system, which has been implemented in the unit and which makes it even more special. There is no need in telling you that the electric motor stayed the same, so we know it is a durable and powerful unit.
Newly designed upper and lower frame
As the title suggests, the frame is completely new. It has been made specifically for this model and designed so it can withstand a heavy duty application and provide a high level of accuracy. After all, this kit is impressive and made to meet the highest expectations.
- Motor: 1.25 HP
- Speed: 2
- Drive system: V-belt drive
- Work area: 15×15 inches
- Weight: 258 pounds
- Color: White
- Warranty: 5 years
- The overall great kit that has it all you are going to need
- Modern and sophisticated design
- Powerful electric motor
- Cast iron construction
- A bit complicated to use
RIKON Power Tools 10-324- Best Open Stand Bandsaw
- Ball-Bearing Blade Guides - Upper and lower ball-bearing blade guides and thrust...
- Rack and Pinion Guide Post – Adjust the cutting depth easily with the turn of...
- Extra Tall Rip Fence – Increased fence and re-saw bar heights of 6" give added...
- Rear 115V Power Outlet – Handy electrical outlet for plugging in lights,...
If you are looking for a bandsaw with extremely tall fence and also paired with the latest specifications and systems, this one is just right. And, there are a few more facts you should know about it.
Easy depth adjustments
Adjusting the cutting depth is as easy as possible. All you have to do is to turn a knob and you are done. This is possible thanks to the latest rack and pinion system, implemented into this bandsaw for the first time.
Extra-tall rip fence
The height of the fence is 6 inches, so it is one of the highest among bandsaws available on the market. This allows you to cut easier and larger pieces of wood without any complications. Paired with the best band saw blade for resawing you will get a perfect band saw in general.
Reduced friction of the blade
Thanks to the implementation of the ball bearings at the upper and bottom parts of the saw, the blade runs with less friction, meaning that it will heat less and last longer.
- Manufacturer: RIKON Power Tools
- Voltage: 115
- Wattage: 1125
- Weight: 218 pounds
- Warranty: 5 years
- Dimensions: 25 x 30 x 75 inches
- High attention to details
- Extra-tall fence
- Long warranty
- Available only in metric measurement system
- Complicated to set it up
Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence- Best For Beginners
- Solid Steel Design- The 10-305 is a scaled down version of the popular 10-345...
- Cast Iron Table-Large 13-3/4-Inch by 12-1/2-Inch sturdy work surface, a feature...
- Rip Fence- A quality rip fence is now included. Easily removed to do free hand...
- Motor - 1/3HP motor provides ample power for cutting bowl and pen blanks
The model in question is just great for beginners, thanks to the simplicity it offers, decent quality and features. It has it all, but it simply isn’t designed for more demanding operations.
Solid steel construction
Yes, this unit is actually made entirely out of steel. The manufacturer uses strong and high-quality steel plates, so this unit is going to last and it can meet heavy-duty requirements.
Micro adjustable guide post
The main advantage of this unit is in the adjustment capabilities. They can be easily charged with a turn of a knob and they are extremely accurate. In addition, this is one of the main advantages the tested model had to offer. It is also something that makes it ideal for beginners who are planning to become professionals any time soon.
- Manufacturer: Rikon
- Motor: 1/3HP
- Weight: 78 pounds
- Warranty: 5 years
- Material: Steel
- Table: Cast iron
- Made out of high-quality steel plates
- Reasonably accurate
- Easy to adjust and set up
- Small and compact
- Underpowered electric motor
- Too small for more demanding operations
WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw With Stand And Worklight- Best Budget Bandsaw + Most popular
- 3.5 amp motor creates cuts up to six inches deep and 9-3/4 inches wide
- Uses 72-inch blades anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inches in size
- Spacious 14-1/8 x 12-1/2 inch cast aluminum work table bevels up to 45 degrees
- Operates at two speeds of either 1520 or 2620 FPM
Here we have a unit which is more than just desirable at the moment. This bandsaw has been known for providing excellent features and quality for the lowest possible price. This is just one of many reasons why it is currently the most popular, affordable model on the market.
Table that bevels
The table on this unit can bevel up to 45 degrees when needed. This made it extremely popular and desirable for users who are planning to perform more demanding cuts. It is a real pleasure being able to use this feature on an affordable bandsaw as this one.
Two different cutting speeds
Yes, the unit comes with two speeds that can be chosen at any moment. The slower one will generate 1520 FPM while the second one offers 2620 FPM. Regardless of the fact do you need a slow cut off the quick one, the bandsaw we tested will meet your expectations.
Available in different sizes
The model we tested is 10-inches, but the same unit, with the same performances is available in 9 and 14 inches sizes. Of course, the prices will vary and they depend on a model.
- Manufacturer: Wen
- Color: Black
- Motor: 3.5 Amps
- Table: bevels up to 45 degrees
- Size: 10 inch
- Speed: 2
- Warranty: 2 years
- A very affordable model one of the best budget bandsaw
- Available in different sizes
- Table bevels up to 45 degrees
- Offers 2 speeds for cutting
- The motor could use more power
- Isn’t suitable for more demanding cuts
Secrets to Quality Cuttings Using a Band Saw
Making irregular shapes can be one of the toughest things for any person to do whether a pro or a novice in woodwork. As long as they don’t have the right equipment, the results will always be awful. But thanks to modern technology that we have tools like band saws that can efficiently do the job.
Getting a great band saw can be a hustle sometimes if you don’t have some guiding principles. Fortunately, you already know the factors to look into when buying the best band saws that we have listed. But what is the secret to having great cuttings using your high-quality band saw? Here are the secrets:
- Having optimum coolant level
The importance of coolant cannot be emphasized because of the great job that it does in flushing the chips away from your workpiece. Besides, a coolant usually transfers the heat away from the workpiece and act as a cooling agent which in turn lubricates the blade causing it to last longer. You must keep on replacing the coolant just as you replace oil in a car.
The acceptable ratios of water to coolant should 10:1 or 12:1 for steel and 8:1 for tough materials. If you don’t have enough coolant, you will end up tearing down the blade and the performance efficiency of the machine will decrease.
- Keeping your blade sharp and clean
Having a dull and blunt blade will result in overheating which sometimes may exceed the correct coolant ability to handle it. Always ensure you are using the right tooth pitch for the right material. Having a pitch that has coarse tooth is more effective and efficient. The chippings should always be curled. If the chips are blue, then there is overheating. Ensure the speed is right and on its optimum level.
- Controlling the pressure and the downfeed rate
If you don’t keep on resetting your downfeed rate according to the material thickness, then be prepared to have very poor quality output. Whether it is automatic or manual ensure you set the rate at its proper function.
- Ensuring that the workpiece is well supported
Ensure your workpiece is firm and in the right position before you start working on it. Also, provide support with your arms. Never work on a workpiece that is wandering.
- Maintaining the machine
The entire machine needs to be checked regularly for repairs. Lubricating moving parts is one way to give the machine a long lifespan. Inspect the blades, wheel bearings, and pivot bar among other parts.
Here we tested and compared the best bandsaws available on the market right now. There are a lot of models out there, so getting the one that meets all your requirements can be a tricky business. But, after a lot of testing, comparison and discussion, we determined that the Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe is the best bandsaw. It has 4.5 out of 5 stars and it offers superb quality, even better performances, and a great warranty. This model is preferable if you are planning to use it for professional applications or you want to perfect your experience and your skills. Pay attention to the other models here as well. They are known for offering the best features in a specific segment or for being the best for a specific type of a user.
If you are interested in tile saws read our best tile saws reviews as well.
Last update on 2020-02-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API