10 Best Band Saws | March 2017

We spent 27 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. A high quality band saw provides accurate cuts right where you need them, whether you're slicing through metals, woods, or plastics. No matter whether you have a professional or home workshop, one of the tough tools on this list, ranked by price, durability, performance, and ease of use, will be perfect for you. Skip to the best band saw on Amazon.
10 Best Band Saws | March 2017

Overall Rank: 4
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 6
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 2
Best Inexpensive
Get the job done quickly and efficiently with the Jet HVBS-56M, which is equipped with adjustable leveling pads, and a high-capacity swiveling vise to hold your workpiece. It features a handle and large rear wheels for easy movement.
Very few stand-mounted bandsaws are available for the price you can buy the Wen 3962, and those that are, tend to be under powered and packed with low quality components. This model can tackle wood up to 6" thick with smooth operation the whole time.
The Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe delivers uncompromising performance in a compact, but solid, frame, thanks to its ball bearing blade guides and computer-balanced cast iron wheels. It also comes with an adjustable T-shaped aluminum re-saw fence.
The handheld Makita XBP02Z brings plenty of metal-cutting power to any job, thanks to its easy portability, high torque motor, and long-lasting 18v lithium-ion slide-style battery. The unit weighs less than 15 pounds and offers speeds up to 530 SFPM.
  • adjustable foot protects materials
  • six-speed control dial
  • can be used for overhead cutting
Brand Makita
Model XBP02Z
Weight 16.9 pounds
Easily cut wood and non-ferrous materials alike with the Rikon 10-325. This tool was designed with two speeds for cutting versatility, and features a heavy-duty rip fence with a re-saw bar. It accepts blades from 1/8-inch to 3/4-inch thick.
  • table is easy to tilt and lock
  • convenient tool storage cabinet
  • 4-inch dust port
Brand RIKON Power Tools
Model 10-325
Weight 37.1 pounds
The Delta 28-400 has an aluminum trunnion table support, and nine-spoke, precision-balanced wheels for superior blade tracking and durability. It uses a standard 93.5-inch blade that can be adjusted with the easy-to-use tensioning system.
  • heavy-duty steel frame
  • integrated lower wheel dust brush
  • extra large worktable
Brand Delta
Model 28-400
Weight 186 pounds
The Jet JWBS-14DXPR Deluxe Pro is a great choice for serious woodworkers. It comes equipped with a massive cast iron frame that allows for impressive power and remarkable stability during use, plus its 2 speed poly-V belt drive system can be set to 1,500 or 3,000 SFPM.
  • easy-view blade tracking window
  • low-friction design
  • completely retractable blade guard
Brand Jet
Weight 256 pounds
The industrial-quality Laguna Tools MBand 1412 offers incredible rigidity and a vibration-free performance, thanks to the fine engineering of its pyramid-shaped spine and oversized trunnion. It also has wheels on the bottom for easier portability.
  • minimal blade flex when extended
  • smooth polished table surface
  • ceramic blade guides
Brand Laguna Tools
Model MBAND1412-175
Weight 267 pounds
The DeWalt DCS371B provides more accurate cuts and less user fatigue, thanks to its well-balanced, ergonomic design. It has a bright LED light to keep your workpiece illuminated and can be used for wood or pipes up to 2 inches thick.
  • convenient integrated hanging hook
  • tool-less blade changes
  • surprisingly powerful for its size
Model DCS371B
Weight 10.3 pounds
The Powermatic PWBS-14CS Deluxe has an integrated air pump to clear away chips of wood as you saw, ensuring you can always clearly see and cut exactly what you want to. It features a 1.5HP motor, a tilting table, and a combination of steel and cast iron construction.
  • micro-adjustable blade guide
  • quick-release tension system
  • produces minimal vibrations
Brand Powermatic
Model 1791216K
Weight 178 pounds

A Brief History Of The Bandsaw And Its Many Patents

Unlike many other inventions, patents for bandsaws actually predated the manufacture of such a device. The first ever patent for a bandsaw was issued in 1809 to William Newberry, but the first actual bandsaw wasn't built until the 1860s. This is because no one could manufacture a viable blade that could withstand the constant flexing a bandsaw's blade experiences.

William Newberry's wasn't the only bandsaw patent issued before the actual invention of such a tool. In 1817, Adam Stewart received the first American bandsaw patent. Unfortunately his patent was lost in the devastating patent office fire of 1836, so the only information left describing his invention is the title "band or belt saw." In 1836, the second American patent for a bandsaw was issued to Benjamin Barker. In his patent, Barker describes a bandsaw with a 34 foot long blade with a 5 foot diameter. He believed the enormous size of the wheel would reduce the flexing it experienced thereby allowing it to stand up to the rigors of bandsaw cutting. This also proved to be a dead end, and it was never manufactured.

Barker's patent was followed quickly by a third American bandsaw patent, which was issued to William Cary, also in 1836. His, featured an overly wide blade, also most likely to overcome problems with metallurgical properties in available steel at the time.

In 1846, a French women by the name of Anne Paulin Crepin developed a welding technique that was finally capable of creating a bandsaw blade that could handle the constant flexing. After patenting her method, she sold the rights to A. Perin & Company of Paris, who combined it with advanced tempering techniques and new steel alloys to create the first viable bandsaw blade. Once a blade was developed, bandsaws quickly spread throughout Europe and made their way to America by the end of the 1860s.

Types Of Band Saws

Stationary bandsaws can be differentiated into three main categories; metal bandsaws, wood bandsaws, and meat bandsaws. Metal bandsaws can be further broken down into vertical and horizontal models. Vertical versions are better for intricate work like contour cutting, polishing, and filing. Horizontal bandsaws are most often used to cut down stock to smaller sizes. Metal bandsaws can cut through a larger variety of materials than wood and meat bandsaws, making them the go-to choice for shops that need a versatile tool. They can even be used to cut blades for use in other types of bandsaws.

Wood bandsaws are often found in home and professional woodworking shops. There is no doubt that they are one of the most important power tools in any woodworkers arsenal. The blades of wood bandsaws are made with smaller kerfs to ensure less material is wasted when cutting. They operate in a similar manner to any other type of bandsaw, with a blade that is located on a continuous loop of metal. The main difference between metal and wood bandsaws, besides the blade which can be swapped for another type, is the speed at which they operate. A metal bandsaw is significantly slower and runs at speeds from 80 to 300 feet per second. A wood bandsaw runs at speeds from 2000 to 3000 feet per minute. Some models have a variable speed transmission and are capable of cutting both types of materials.

Meat bandsaws are often found in meat factories and butcher shops. They are designed to cut through meat and bone to make breaking down animals more efficient. Most meat bandsaws are constructed entirely from stainless steel and designed to be easily cleaned for obvious sanitary reasons.

What To Consider When Buying A Bandsaw

When it comes time to buy a bandsaw, the first thing to consider is what type of material you will be cutting most often. Next you should look at the throat and depth of cut specifications. The throat refers to the distance between the vertical frame and the blade. This will determine how wide of a cut a particular bandsaw is capable of of. When you see a bandsaw marketed as a "12-inch bandsaw" or a "20-inch bandsaw," they are referring to the throat.

In addition to the throat, the depth of cut measurement is very important as this will determine how thick of a piece of stock you can cut. A bandsaw's depth of cut is the distance between the upper blade guide and the cutting table. Some models may have a riser which can be attached to increase the depth of cut.

The next consideration is the horse power of the motor on the bandsaw you are looking at. If the motor is not large enough, it may struggle and bog down when trying to cut dense materials, which will result in a rougher cut. The average home models have a 3/4 to 1HP motor, while professional models may have 12HP or more.

For those cutting metal, a model with a variable speed motor is a smart choice, while those who cut wood should look for one that features built-in dust collector ports. No matter what material is being cut, most users can benefits from a model with a tilting cutting table, which allows for angled cuts.

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Last updated: 03/30/2017 | Authorship Information