Band Saw Review

Band_Saw

We spent over 20 hours researching 14 different types of band saws and found that horsepower, cutting capacity, and blade speed were most important. Jet’s 14” Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit scored high marks in all categories, making it our top pick. We liked that we did not have to add a riser block and loved the high tension spring design. The cutting depth of 90” along with 12 different cutting angles, and a blade size that measures 93-105 x 1/8 -3/8, gave us all we needed for any project we wanted to do. There is nothing flimsy about this band saw.

Best Band Saw

maxwoodworkingA band saw might look intimidating, but in reality, it’s one of the easiest woodworking tools that you can use. And the safest. There are countless band saws out there, and that makes it a little daunting when you are narrowing down your search. Asking yourself key questions such as how you’ll be using the tool, what size cuts you want to make, and how much space you have, will help you to get closer to finding the band saw that you need. We’re going to give you a head start by sharing the top rated band saws on the market, while also highlighting the key features and design elements that make some models stand out from the rest.

No matter what band saw you choose, it cannot be emphasized enough that to get the most out of the tool, you have to be knowledgeable about its design. Educate yourself about how to properly set up, use, and maintain your band saw, and you’re going to see that this is the smart way to get the most out of your purchase. There’s really so much that this remarkable tool can do, so get yourself ready to experience a whole new level of precision, ease, and enjoyment in your woodworking.

Top 10 Band Saws

RankPictureBand SawThroat Depth (Inches)
Warranty (Years)
1
JET 14DXPRO
14.005
2Jet 10OS10.003
3
Rikon
10.005
4
Skil
9.003
5
POWERTEC
9.003
6
Shop Fox
14.002
7
Studio Pro
5.003
8
Rockwell
9.002
9
Laguna
13.631
10
Grizzly
14.002

Best Overall Band Saw

JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit

This 14 inch deluxe band saw from JET tools is specially designed to meet the needs of woodworkers who face even the most daunting tasks. You will not need to add a riser block with your 14 inch band saw, as it comes with a giant cast iron frame for enhanced power and performance. The saw also features a new high tension spring design, as well as countless other innovative features, which ensure that this is going to be your go-to band saw that will last for years to come. With a fine cutting depth of 90 inches, 12 different cutting angles, and blade size of 93-105 x 1/8-3/8, you can see that this saw is designed to outperform the rest. Also, there’s a built-in re-saw capacity of 12 inches when you’re cutting larger pieces of wood, and a handy 2-speed poly-V belt drive system.

This blade saw is all about giving you the features you crave, and the design elements you need, such as the new upper and lower cast iron frame for increased rigidity and strength. There’s an easy to view blade tracking window that allows for optimal precision and safety, as well as blade guide post with rack and pinion adjustment. The upper and lower ball bearing guides help to reduce friction, and this adds to longer blade life, while the quick-release blade tension enhances the convenience of using this blade saw. All in all, this is a top rated blade saw because it manages to outperform the rest. Experience for yourself why customers universally agree this is one of the best saws on the market.

Jet JWBS-10OS 10-Inch Band Saw with Stand

If space is at a minimum, but you still want a professional-quality band saw that you can trust, then it’s time to turn once again to the reliable folks at JET tools. Their 10 inch band saw is the ideal choice when you want all the features but less of the bulk. With its quick-release blade tension, upper and lower ball bearing blade guides, super large cast iron tilting table, and handy LED work light, you’re going to enjoy the convenience and precision that this saw provides without the hefty size. With its portable design and powerful results, this band saw will provide you with 110 volts of power at 67 1/2 x 1/4 x .025 inches in size.

This band saw can tackle even the toughest jobs. If you think that your work is simply too hard for a band saw this compact, then you’re mistaken. You’re going to see pretty early on that there’s simply no reason to get a bulkier band saw with a model like this that gives you such high performance. This is a top rated band saw because it provides users with a proficient cutting tool that features a smart design. It is constructed from the most durable materials, and gives you the results that you crave whether on the job, or at home in your shop.

Best Budget Band Saw

Rikon 10-305 BandsawWith Fence, 10-Inch

This bench top model of band saw from Rikon is the perfect way to get all the power of a full size saw without all the bulk. When space is limited, but you still need professional results, this 10 inch band saw is a fantastic choice. Featuring a large cast iron table, edge facing thrust bearings, powerful 1/3 HP induction motor, and 4-5/8 cutting capacity, you’re going to experience ease and precision in cutting as you never have before. You can even add the optional stand for extra functionality more like a floor model. With its powerful 1/3 HP, 3.5 amp motor, 2,780 ft/min speed and safety paddle switch, this band saw is fast, efficient, and safe to use.

One of the top rated band saws on the market, Rikon has proved yet again with this 10 inch model that they know how to deliver performance at a price consumers can afford, and that comes in a size that is convenient. The durable construction of the saw ensures that you’re going to get great use out of it for years to come, and the intuitive design makes it easy to operate, even for those who aren’t familiar with using a band saw. Perfect for any professional or residential work shop, this band saw will quickly become a welcome member to your tool arsenal.

Summary

These top rated band saws are praised by customers because they’re compact, efficient, and affordable. Perfect for those who practice woodworking at home, these band saws deliver superior performance, and are constructed of quality materials that are built to last. Whether one of these models is just right for you, or you want to continue your search, it’s a smart idea to refer to the buyer’s guide to learn all about this remarkable tool, and what features to look out for. Band saws are more versatile than ever, so once you know a bit more about them, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of this powerful woodworking tool.

Band Saw Comparison Chart


JET JWBS-14DXPRO
View

Jet JWBS-10OS
View

 
Rikon 10-305
View

SKIL 3386-01
View

POWERTEC BS900
View

Shop Fox W1706
View

Studio Pro Precision 2000
View

Rockwell RK7453
View

Laguna Tools
MBAND1412-175
View

Grizzly
G0555
View
Throat Depth
(inches)
14.0010.0010.009.009.0014.005.009.0013.6314.00
AC Voltage115 / 230 V115 / 230 V110 V120 V120 V110 / 220 V110 V110 V115 / 230 V110 / 220 V
Horsepower 1.25 0.75 1/3 1.5 0.5 1 1/8 0.85 1-3/4 1
Pre Wired Voltage 115 V 115 V 115 V 115 V 115 V 110 V 110 V 110 V 115 V 110 V
Blade Length105 Inches93-1/2 Inches70-1/2 Inches59.5 Inches62 Inches93-1/2 Inches37.2 Inches59.5 Inches115 Inches93-1/2 Inches
Blade Speed (SFM)1500 / 3000300027802800172517252500320030003100
Blade Width (Max)3/4 Inches3/4 Inches1/8 Inches0.375 Inches3/8 Inches3/8 Inches3/8 Inches0.5 Inches3/4 Inches3/4 Inches 
Blade Width (Min)1/8 Inches1/8 Inches1/2 Inches0.125 Inches1/8 Inches1/8 Inches1/16 Inches0.3 Inches1/3 Inches1/8 Inches
Table Dimensions15″ x 15″14″ x 14″13-3/4″ x 12-1/2″12″ x 11.75″11-3/4″ x 11-3/4″14″ x 14-1/2″9″ x 10″11″ x 11″21″ x 16″14″ x 14″
Table Height43-1/2 Inches44 Inches39-7/8 Inches30.75 Inches29.65 Inches43 Inches48 Inches40 Inches38 Inches43 Inches
Left Table Tilt10 Degrees10 Degrees0 Degrees0 Degrees0 Degrees0 Degrees0 Degrees0 Degrees7 Degrees10 Degrees
Right Table Tilt45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees45 Degrees
Dust Port Size4 Inches4 Inches2-1/2 Inches1-1/2 Inches2 Inches4 Inches2 Inches2 Inches4 Inches4 Inches
Cutting Capacity13-1/2″ x 12″13-1/2″ x 16″4-5/8″ x 9-5/8″11″ x 10″11″ x 10″14″ x 13-1/2″9″ x 8″10″ x 10″8″ x 13″14″ x 13-1/2″
Weight410 Pounds755 Pounds666 Pounds358 Pounds436 Pounds305 Pounds315 Pounds442 Pounds258 Pounds247 Pounds
Dimensions29″ x 28″ x 77″34.6″ x 17.7″ x 14.6″25.5″ x 19″ x 25″31.2″ x 16.2″ x 12.8″31.5″ x 18″ x 12″15-1/2″ x 18″ x 73″20 1/2″ L x 12″ W x 9 3/8″11.4″ x 30.1″ x 18.1″56″ X 23″ X 23″27″ x 67-1/4″ x 30″
Warranty5 Years3 Years5 Years3 Years3 Year2 Years3 Years2 Years1 Year 2 Years

Band Saw Buying Guide

Band Saw Reviews

What is a Band Saw?

Band Saw1Band saws are used to cut precise curves in wood, and quite frankly, there is no better tool in the world for this specific task. However, a quality band saw will do much more than this. They are also designed to cut tenons and some smaller rabbets, as well as for ripping small pieces of stock and re-sawing thin strips from extra large pieces of wood. There are literally countless types, sizes, and options when it comes to band saws, so this can make it hard to decide which is just right for you. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explore what options are out there for you, so you can make the right decision, and purchase the saw that perfectly suits your needs.

Types

There are really only two types of band saws on the market. Each of these is designed to suit different needs and requirements.

  • Floor-Standing Cabinet Models: These models are typically built for professional use. They tend to have more features and larger motors, and they are constructed with a stronger frame for more consistent cutting. Due to the advanced nature of these saws, they’re going to be more expensive to own.
  • Bench Top Models: These units tend to be smaller and shorter, and they are mounted on either a stand or bench. These band saws are better suited for home-based work, as opposed to professional. Keep in mind, however, that you can get professional results from a bench-mounted band saw, and they tend to be less expensive in price.

Main Features

There are many things to consider when purchasing a band saw, but the two main things are depth of cut and the throat of the saw.

  1. The depth of cut refers to the distance from the table to the upper blade guides. You will find this measurement of depth on the packaging of the saw, as this is one of the main marketing specs of this kind of tool. This is meant to tell the prospective buyer what thickness of stock can be cut using the band saw. In instances where a saw only has a 6”depth of cut, you have the option of adding a riser to the unit to extend the depth by as much as 12”. This allows you to enhance a less expensive saw so that you can cut thicker stock.
  2. Band Saw2

  3. The throat refers to the distance from the blade to the vertical frame section of the body of the saw. The distance of the throat will determine the width of cut that is possible with your band saw. The cabinet band saw will have a larger throat, reaching 12 to 14 inches, while a bench top model will be smaller than this.

Motor Size

It’s important to consider the size of your band saw’s motor. Typically, home-level models come with a 3/4 to 1 HP motor, but professional band saws will have much larger motors that feature variable speeds. If you’re a woodworker, then having variable speeds on your motor will be obsolete, as this is used for cutting metals and hard plastics.

Additional Features

  • Table: Always make sure that your band saw has a steel, cast-iron, or aluminum alloy table which can tilt up to 45˚for angled cuts. This table will generally be about 16 inches in length and width, and features a miter track.
  • Tires: It’s best to get a band saw that has tires with cleaning brushes, as this keeps the wheels clean. You also want tires that are built to move smoothly and efficiently.
  • Dust Port: Many band saws have a dust collection port which connects to your shop vacuum. This is a wonderful added bonus and helps to keep your shop clean more effortlessly.
  • Rip Fence and Miter Gauge: These are great features that you can add to your band saw, and they will greatly enhance your ripping, re-sawing, and cross cutting.

Saw Set-Up

It’s important to always read the instructions before you attempt to set up your band saw. There are tons of fine adjustments that are quite necessary if you want the band saw to cut properly. If you fail to follow these directions, which include rules for setting up the blade tension and making adjustments to blade guides, side bearings, and thrust bearings, this will decrease the overall performance of your saw and will put you at risk for breaking your blade.

Safety Considerations

Band Saw3Not only is learning about proper set up essential, but you also want to learn the proper methods for safely cutting with your new band saw. Even if you think you know, it’s best to brush-up your skills and learn more. Working with a band saw is one of the safest in terms of power woodworking tools, but it really is important that you set the tool up properly. Band saws can be quite fun to work with, but that is only true when you are using it correctly.

Conclusion

Owning and operating a band saw is essential for woodworkers, but there’s so much that a band saw can do besides cutting curves in wood. These remarkable tools can serve a number of functions, and the best band saws on the market today are built for durability, precision, and safety. If you’re on the market for a band saw, then you might be overwhelmed by all the choices that are out there, but take heart. Finding the right saw for you is easier than you think, and comes down to knowing how you work and what you need. The above mentioned top rated band saws are going to be a great choice for most home woodworkers, but should you desire to explore other options, then the buyer’s guide should assist you in narrowing down your search.

Once you know all about these remarkable tools, and how to get the most of them, then you’ll be well on your way to the easiest, most efficient woodworking you’ve ever experienced. Whether you’re a professional, or just a home craftsman, you’re going to be delighted by what these remarkable tools allow you to accomplish.

Resources

  1. Jet: http://www.jettools.com/
  2. Jet 10 inch: http://www.jettools.com/
  3. Rikon: http://www.rikontools.com