If you simply want to know what we chose as our #1 pick for the best band saw, then we recommend the POWERTEC BS900 as the best choice.
When it comes to the wide variety of electric saws that woodworkers use on a day-to-day basis, arguably the most versatile of the bunch is the ‘band saw’. A very popular tool among beginner and pro woodworkers alike, this saw cuts wood with a rotating thin ribbon saw, an electric motor, and wheels – that’s it.
Perfect for both intricate woodcutting and quick jobs, the bandsaw can help any woodworker take the next step in their career by allowing them the ability to make precise cuts that other electric saws are not capable of doing.
Since this saw is so versatile, it can really be used for an array of woodcutting work; that said, there are different kinds of band saws (which we will get into) that each has its own set of benefits and specialties. Overall, the band saw is a widely used piece of woodworking machinery that allows for an efficient and precise woodcutting experience.
If you have yet to add an electric hand saw into your arsenal of woodworking tools, then let this article guide you to do – a high-quality band saw is a great way to take the next step in advancing your skill in the craft.
In this article, we will go over the top five best band saws available for purchase online today – but, before that, we will go over some important factors that you must consider to choose the best band saw for you.
The five band saws we are going to review are:
Factors To Consider (Band Saw Buyer’s Guide)
Since the band saw is such a popular and commonly-used tool in the woodworking community, it is no surprise that there are many different brands and model options to purchase from, each with its own price, features, accessories, etc.
The following section is meant to provide you with all the information you could ever need so that you can make an educated band saw purchase.
Types of Band Saws
Although there are literally thousands of available band saw models on the market, all of them fall (mostly) under one of two categories; benchtop or floor-standing band saws.
Both types have their own unique pros and cons, so it’s worth describing the difference between the two band saw types.
This type of band saw is called ‘floor-standing’ because it is literally that – a saw that sits upon a stand or legs.
If you have space in your own workshop to place a bandsaw, then a floor-standing model would be great for you.
This type of band saw allows you to cut longer pieces of lumber more easily, and give you the option of maneuvering yourself around it when cutting.
Overall, floor-standing band saws are easier to use due to their design.
A benchtop band saw is best if you don’t have the space to accommodate a floor-standing model.
As you might expect from the name, this type of bandsaw sits upon a bench or table to use – when they aren’t being used, they can be more easily tucked away than a floor-standing saw.
The major benefit of a benchtop saw is simply that it doesn’t take up as much floor space as a floor-standing saw; however, this type of saw requires a workbench which can be a downside of itself.
Although a benchtop band saw is generally smaller than a floor-standing one, they are usually by no means ‘small’ which means finding the space to store and use it on your bench may be difficult.
Band Saw Uses
Before we really get into features, it makes sense to go over the typical uses intended for a band saw.
This is because before you invest in any type of woodworking machinery, you must know exactly what you intend to use your tool for – this way, you can narrow down the vast field of saw options and find the ones that will work best for you.
First off, band saws are mostly used for woodworking projects. There are certain models that can be used with metal, but since this is a woodworking website, we will not be going into this type of band saw.
Second, as far as the type of wood cutting this saw is meant for; mostly precise cuts and curves, except it can obviously be used for other types of cuts as well.
For the most part, all of the band saws we’ve featured in our ‘Top 5’ are quite versatile and able to perform a variety of different cuts and projects
Thirdly, certain band saws have a more powerful motor and can therefore handle larger quantities (and harder types) of wood – how much power you need in your band saw depends entirely on the type of lumber you are cutting and the scale of the projects you take on.
This is why it is necessary to determine exactly what you intend to use your band saw for before purchasing – it will greatly influence your buying decision and you won’t risk losing your hard-earned money.
Yes, your budget is a very important aspect to consider before you invest in any type of product, let alone one as expensive as a piece of electric woodworking machinery.
Woodworking is a great passion for many but at the end of the day – for most people – it is only a hobby. So, there is no need to dip into your savings or go broke in order to buy an expensive band saw that you don’t absolutely need in the first place.
Identifying your budget before you start looking for an available band saw models will allow you to significantly narrow down your options to only the saws you can afford; also, when you have a strict budget in mind before you start shopping, you avoid getting sucked into the persuasive sales marketing tactics or the intrigue of a high-quality (but too expensive) band saw.
All that said, there’s another side to this coin – purchasing a cheap saw that will only break in a few months can be much more costly than making the investment for a higher quality one.
Since everyone has their own budget and resources, it’s crucial to evaluate your own and decide what is the smarted financial option in the long run before you purchase.
The frame of the band saw is a big part of how durable and long-lasting it is.
For the most part, a cast-iron frame is the best you can get. Although saws built with cast-iron material will weigh more than saws built with other materials, they are worth it just for their longevity.
Other materials used to build the frames are steel and die-cast; these are less durable, lighter, and less expensive.
It’s up to each woodworker to decide which they prefer.
The distance from the frame of a band saw to the blade is called the ‘throat’.
This measurement is important to be aware of because it determines the size of the cut-off you can do as well as how much flexibility you have in moving a piece of wood to make more complicated cuts.
The throat size of each band saw will be easy to find because it is such a necessary factor to consider.
Obviously, the power of your band saw will play a large role in the type of woodcutting you can do and the wood materials you can handle.
Also, the more powerful your band saw is, the more ‘efficient’ your woodcutting will be – working with a weak electric saw, no matter what kind it is, is more trouble than it’s worth especially if you are doing a significant amount of woodcutting and taking on larger projects.
Anywhere from a .5 to 1.5 horsepower band saw is solid, however, you will want at least a 1 horsepower saw if you are dealing with hard woods or big projects.
The weight of a band saw should be considered before purchasing; this is because portability and stability are important factors when choosing any piece of electric woodworking machinery.
Generally, the heavier the saw the more stable… which is ideal.
But, if you will be moving your band saw around a lot then you might want a lighter model – it’s totally up to you.
It also depends on which type of band saw you choose; if you are wanting a benchtop model, then obviously do not pick a saw that is too heavy for you to carry.
The blade is a major factor that should influence your buying decision for any type of electric saw.
When it comes to band saws, luckily you are able to swap out blades whenever you want with ease – but, choosing a band saw with a poor blade that will not accomplish what you need it to can result in loss of money and time.
Also, it’s important to note that different band saws can accompany different ranges of band saw blades; choosing a saw that has a wide range of compatibility is ideal.
The width of the blade is very important; a wide blade allows you to straight cuts, but thinner blades make intricate curve-y work easy.
Safety concerns are a big factor that should be considered when evaluating various band saws.
Generally, band saws will not offer the same amount of safety features as a more ‘intense’ electric saw (such as a table saw) – this is because other saws are more dangerous and far more powerful.
But, a band saw is an electric saw and can certainly do some damage, even causing lifelong injury or loss of extremities. So, it’s never a bad idea to pick a band saw that offers a wide range of safety features.
Some safety features to look out for include:
- blade guards (these protect you, the woodworker, from the dangerous moving blade during the use of the saw)
- big stop buttons (every saw has a stop button that allows you to shut off the electric power during use, however, the bigger the button the safer it is)
- trigger safety (this prevents band saws from accidentally turning on)
- keys (certain band saws require a key to activate the power switch, which prevents users without a key to turn it on – accidental or otherwise)
- sliding bevel and tension gauges (these allow woodworkers the ability to make precise cuts while keeping their hands safe from the moving blade)
- dust port (many band saws offer dust collection which collects hazardous sawdust from getting in the woodworkers’ space during use – luckily, band saws don’t produce as much sawdust as other types of electric saws but a dust port is still valuable)
Whether safety is important to you or not is entirely up to you – if it is, be sure to only look for band saws that have most (if not all) of the safety features we’ve discussed.
Lastly, the brand of the band saw is a factor that should always be considered.
There is nothing wrong with brand loyalty; paying more to purchase equipment from a company you know and trust is better than spending money on a brand you’ve never heard of.
Typically, the ‘big brands’ in the woodworking world are well-known for a reason – because they make good products.
While it’s perfectly okay to opt for a band saw from an unknown company, why risk it?
All that said, it’s entirely up to you, the woodworker.
Now that we’ve gone over all the various factors that you must consider in order to make an educated band saw purchase, let’s get into our top picks of the best band saws you can buy online today.
5 Best Band Saws Reviewed
Based on all the ‘things to consider’ that we’ve gone over, we came up with five of the very best band saws that money can buy.
It’s important to note that all of the following saws have their own price, features, accessories, capabilities, power, safety features, etc.
What might be a perfect band saw to one woodworker may be the worst for another – so, please do your own research to determine the best model for your specific wants and needs.
So, without further ado, here are our top five best band saws:
1.POWERTEC 9-inch Benchtop Bandsaw (BS900)
- Includes: (1) BS900 110 Volt 9” band saw, (1) miter gauge and (1) 1/4” x 62 inch band saw blade
- Function: an essential woodworking tool for delivering precision cuts, cutting irregular shapes Up to 3-5/8 inches deep & 9 inches wide, or ripping lumber into thinner pieces
- Special features: patented blade guard adjustment for quick and easy blade replacement, A blade tracking window, and a 2” dust port that keeps work area clean and clear from dust
- Quick adjustments: table with rack and Pinion adjustment for easy 45 Degree angle tilt
- Power: band saw has ½ HP, 2. 5 amp motor – perfect for an assortment of wood based projects
Our #1 choice for best band saw is this model from the brand ‘Powertec’.
Despite a lower horsepower (0.5 HP), it can still do some efficient woodcutting.
This saw has a 9-inch throat capacity and can take multiple blade widths, although the blade it ships with is good enough to be used right out of the packaging.
As far as the build goes, this band saw has an aluminum die-cast table – certainly not as durable as a cast-iron tabletop but it is still pretty solid.
This saw comes with a blade guard as well as a dust port, which many other band saws do not.
The table and saw can be easily adjusted, which makes for an easy woodcutting experience.
This band saw is our #1 pick because it is an all-around great band saw that is worth every penny – if you are on a budget and can’t dole out tons of money for a more expensive model, this is a perfect choice for you.
- all-around solid build
- dust port
- easily adjustable table
- good blade
- low HP motor
2.SKIL 9-inch Band Saw with Light (3386-01)
- Rip fence for straight, accurate cuts; 6 TPI band saw blade cuts through a variety of wood materials
- Articulating LED work light for better view of work piece and cut line
- Features a 1-1/2 inch dust port that keeps work area clear of dust
- Rack and pinion table adjustment for quick angle and height adjustments
- Motor is 1 speed for wood or metal based materials
This band saw model from the well-known brand ‘Skil’ is a great option for any woodworker who is not ready to pay for a high-end electric saw.
Despite the moderate price (which is similar to the Powertec BS900) this thing gets the job done.
Weighing just over 16 pounds, it is not the most sturdy saw – it is a benchtop saw, so it’s not built to be very heavy.
A unique benefit offered by this saw is the LED light which helps you stay accurate when making longer woodcuts.
Also, this saw is made from aluminum diecast. It does come with a dust port, which is an excellent feature, and a rip fence and miter gauge as well (which helps for accurate cutting).
Overall, this is a lightweight band saw that is worth every penny; that said, if you are doing some serious woodwork with hardwoods, this model will not suffice.
- small & lightweight
- LED light
- dust port
- comes with rip fence & miter gauge
- weaker motor
- not sturdy or very durable
3.Grizzly Industrial 17-inch Bandsaw (G0513ANV)
- Deluxe extruded-aluminum fence
- Quick-change blade release/tensioner
- Blade tension indicator
Okay, these next couple of band saws we featured are very different from the first two.
The ‘SKIL’ and ‘Powertec’ models we featured in our #1 and #2 spot were chosen because they are great and affordable options for the ‘weekend warrior’ type of woodworker; they work well, have great features, and are affordable for everyone.
This band saw from Grizzly (and the next one featured) are not for any woodworker with a small budget.
That said, if you can afford it, this is a beast of a band saw that is sturdy, powerful, and efficient.
With a 2 HP motor, this saw can cut through anything. It comes with dust ports, a miter gauge, blade height measurement scale, an aluminum fence, a blade tracking window, and rolling wheels.
If you are looking for an excellent band saw that is intended to be placed in one workshop and never moved again, this is a great option (if you can afford it).
- dust ports (more than one)
- rolling wheels
- great features
- heavy (not portable)
- very expensive
4.Jet 14-inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit (JWBS-14DXPRO)
- 12" DEPTH RESAW CAPACITY: For cutting larger pieces of wood.
- STRENGTH AND RIGIDITY: Upper and lower cast iron frame.
- CONVENIENCE: Quick-release blade tension.
- LONGER BLADE LIFE: Upper and lower ball bearing guides reduce friction.
- STORAGE: Enclosed stand includes a storage shelf and easy access door
Similar to the band saw we featured from Grizzly, this is once again not intended for the weekend warrior woodworker on a budget.
This is a high-quality band saw that can cut through any wood you throw at it – and, for the record, metal as well (to be expected with a 1.25 HP motor).
This band saw is extra precise and offers a two-tier speed function so that you can optimize your woodcutting depending on the material.
With from a full cast iron frame, this machine will last a life time.
Also, this saw comes with all the safety features you could ask for (such as blade guards and a see-through window)… and more.
- cast-iron frame
- good safety features
- very precise
- not portable
5.Ryobi 9-inch Bandsaw (BS904G)
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with all relevant accessories, and may arrive in a generic box
This is another good option for woodworkers on a budget.
The BS904G from the well-known brand Ryobi is a sturdy one, despite its cheap price.
It has built-in wheels that allow for easy movement within a workshop; but, this is not a benchtop saw and is not meant to be transported from location to location.
If you are a beginner to intermediate woodworker, this is a greatband saw purchase.
- works well
- not very durable
- not portable
There you have it – five great options for band saws that are available for purchase online today.
Every single band saw that we’ve included in this article is worth looking at – when considering the various factors that we’ve outlined in the first part of this post, you should be able to choose the band saw that is best for you.
The POWERTEC BS900 was our #1 pick for the best band saw – it is affordable, efficient, and an all-around great piece of woodworking equipment.
That said, there are many options out there… so, do your own research to determine which band saw is best for you and your woodworking needs.