That was our top criteria for selecting the best band saw.
If you want to cut to the chase the Jet’s 14” Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit scored high marks in all categories, making it our top pick.
Band Saw Comparison
|AC Voltage||115 / 230 V||115 / 230 V||110 V||120 V||120 V||110 / 220 V||110 V||110 V||115 / 230 V||110 / 220 V|
|Pre Wired Voltage||115 V||115 V||115 V||115 V||115 V||110 V||110 V||110 V||115 V||110 V|
|Blade Length||105 Inches||93-1/2 Inches||70-1/2 Inches||59.5 Inches||62 Inches||93-1/2 Inches||37.2 Inches||59.5 Inches||115 Inches||93-1/2 Inches|
|Blade Speed (SFM)||1,500 / 3,000||3,000||2,780||2,800||1,725||1,725||2,500||3,200||3,000||3,100|
|Blade Width (Max)||3/4 Inches||3/4 Inches||1/8 Inches||0.375 Inches||3/8 Inches||3/8 Inches||3/8 Inches||0.5 Inches||3/4 Inches||3/4 Inches|
|Blade Width (Min)||1/8 Inches||1/8 Inches||1/2 Inches||0.125 Inches||1/8 Inches||1/8 Inches||1/16 Inches||0.3 Inches||1/3 Inches||1/8 Inches|
|Table Dimensions||15″ 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 Height||43-1/2 Inches||44 Inches||39-7/8 Inches||30.75 Inches||29.65 Inches||43 Inches||48 Inches||40 Inches||38 Inches||43 Inches|
|Left Table Tilt||10 Degrees||10 Degrees||0 Degrees||0 Degrees||0 Degrees||0 Degrees||0 Degrees||0 Degrees||7 Degrees||10 Degrees|
|Right Table Tilt||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees||45 Degrees|
|Dust Port Size||4 Inches||4 Inches||2-1/2 Inches||1-1/2 Inches||2 Inches||4 Inches||2 Inches||2 Inches||4 Inches||4 Inches|
|Cutting Capacity||13-1/2″ 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″|
|Warranty||5 Years||3 Years||5 Years||3 Years||3 Year||2 Years||3 Years||2 Years||1 Year||2 Years|
Band Saw Buying Guide
What is a Band Saw?
Band 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
Not 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.
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.