For making accurate cuts in wood, metals and a number of other materials, there is nothing to look beyond bandsaws. The frequency with which these machines are used at present determines exactly the type of saw to be used, in addition to factors like size of the motor, saw dimensions, depth and the throat. Most professionals including woodcutters, plumbers and the like swear by the use of these items, as much as laymen who find few models ideal to their requirements. At least, going by the bandsaw reviews, one would get some idea prior to the purchase.
Types of Bandsaws
Ideally, there are 2 types of bandsaws– floor-standing cabinet types and the shorter or mounted on dedicated stands or bench tops. Here’s taking a look at what the common ones:
#1. Benchtop Bandsaw
Whether wood or metal, the name itself indicates that they are portable and just perfect when it comes to home
pursuits. Usually these types of band saws are mounted on few stands or work tables. They are lightweight and the wheel size lies anywhere between 8-12 inches in diameter. Best meant for home handyman or cutting stationary objects like conduits or even light scroll cutting, the machine suffers on two grounds- limited sawing capacity as well as the work bench space.
#2. Stand Mounted Bandsaw
There is a distinct aspect to this style. The 14 inch wheel diameter coupled with a cast iron frame makes it either an open or an enclosed cabinet form. This bandsaw has its motor located below the stand where the connection to the wheel is via the use of a belt. Users like those involved in small workshop or related tasks who require something versatile yet inexpensive can opt for them.
#3. Floor-standing Bandsaw
In this style, the wheels usually range anywhere between 17-24 inches. Most professional woodworkers have positive bandsaw reviews to offer when it comes to floor-standing types. Their bigger and sturdier frame is what makes it preferable to use during curve work, decorative purposes for thick stock, heavy rip sawing and other jobs that stands out for consistency, stability and power.The option of choosing the most befitting one however, rests with the customer.
Factors to Consider While Buying Band Saws
You need to find the answers to the following questions before buying a band saw.
- How often will you use the band saw?
- What kind of materials will you cut with the band saw?
- What is the desired cutting capacity?
- What is your budget?
Common industrial uses of band saws
The band saw is quite commonplace in a number of industries. The power tool is extensively used in the metalworking industry for cutting conduit and galvanized pipes to preset lengths. These are also commonly used in restaurants and butcheries for cutting and slicing meat. It is used heavily by forestry industry workers for making initial cuts and shredding timber. Similarly, band saws are commonly used by woodworkers for ripping and crosscutting. However, many woodworkers prefer to use band saws for cutting curves and for intensive scrollwork. These power tools are not suitable for cutting timber inside a stock. Good-quality band saws cut flimsy shreds of veneer accurately. Rabbets and tenons can also be cut with the help of band saws.
What is your trade? What industry do you represent? What kind of materials you need to cut every day? These are some important questions to answer before buying band saws.
Know how to set up band saws before buying
One costly mistake many tradesmen commit before buying band saws is that they do not get a good grasp over the technicalities of operating band saws. It is true that good band saw reviews are educational. However, you need to know how to set up band saws before actually buying one. So, here it is.
Band saws consist of two pulleys holding a jagged steel band (commonly referred as ‘blades’). These considerably large pulleys actually allow the steel band to move in a nonstop circular motion. The position of the steel blade can be vertical or horizontal. The casing protects the pulleys, the motor and all the other internal components. If you are buying a band saw with a horizontal blade, the tool itself remains static, and the steel blade goes down for cutting the material. These blades are ideal for machine shops. However, these are not really suitable for cutting curves and intricate shapes.
On the flip side, if you are contemplating to buy a band saw with a vertical blade, you need to know that the basic operational mechanism is exactly the opposite to that of a horizontal band saw. Here, the blade remains static and the material you want to cut need to be placed right beneath the blade. These band saws are ideal for woodworkers as they need to manipulate their tools a lot to cut complex angles and shapes.
Now that you know the basic differences between horizontal band saws and vertical band saws, you would be able to pick the best band saw for your job. Isn’t it? However, you still need to read band saw reviews carefully as there are many other factors to consider apart from the alignment of the steel blade.
Band saws can well be mounted on an elevated platform, such as a bench or a table. However, some models of band saws come as freestanding cabinet units. The bench or tabletop models are highly recommended for metalworkers or woodworkers who work from their homes. Taller models come with additional features and a larger frame, and with higher price tags. These portable band saws can be powered by electricity, air, hydraulic power or battery packs. These band saws can cut material sized between 4 inches and 9 inches. Smaller and lighter models that they are, these portable power tools can handle a rich variety of materials including pipe, steel, wood or plastics.
Which size should you choose?
Band saws come in a broad range of sizes. The size of a saw is generally expressed by the diameter of the two pulleys. The width of the material that you want to cut needs to be limited to the gap between the steel blade and the band saw’s frame. This gap usually is 1/4 -3/8 inches less than the size of the pulleys. Therefore, a 10-inch mechanical band saw can handle materials with width up to 9 5/8 inches and so on.
Which band saw blades are ideal for you?
Band saw blades come in a variety of widths and these blades depend on the curve tightness of the material that is needed to be cut. If you use a thin blade on a wrong material, you run the risk of breaking the blades. Blade width varies from 1/8 to 1 inch. Number of teeth every inch is between 5 and 15. Thinner band saw blades and finer teeth are meant for tight curves, whereas the larger ones are for slights curves and straight cutting. Always use the largest size blades for straight cutting. What material you want to cut also determines the type of saw blade to choose. Regular tooth blades are ideal for wood cutting, whereas skip tooth blades are good for cutting soft woods. On the other hand, hooked tooth blades are good hard woods. Diamond blade band saws and hardened blade saws are also available. While former is great for cutting glass, the latter is recommended for cutting metallic substances.
Your primary considerations for buying band saws
Whether you are glancing through band saw reviews or you are shopping for band saws now, you need to take into consideration a number of factors such as throat, depth of cut, motor size as well as the available accessories.
Throat: The throat of the band saw is basically the width of the cut. Tabletop band saws come with 12-14 inches wide throat, whereas cabinet models come with wider threat.
Depth of Cut: This is basically the amount of material that can be removed by one pass. This is usually determined by the distance of the table from the upper blade. Depth of cut varies from 6 inches to 36 inches.
Motor size: Band saws are powered by electric motors. The smaller ones come with 3/4 -1 H.P. motors and the cabinet models come with larger motors. Many band saws come with variable motor speeds, which make room for further adjustment during industrial usage. Slower motor speed is required for cutting plastic.
Accessories: Ripping fences and meter gauges are the most common accessories compatible with band saws. These accessories are quite useful for re-sawing, ripping and crosscutting. You should choose your accessories based on the compatibility factor.
What features to look for while reading band saw reviews or while shopping for one?
While reading reviews on band saws or while shopping for band saws, you need to look for a number of safety and convenience features, such as:
- Does it come with a tension-controlling device? It is useful for adjusting and controlling blade tension.
- Is there a brake on one or both of the pullets? Brakes are great for minimizing the chances of gliding after the saw stops.
- Does it come with an inbuilt dust collection receptacle? These containers can mean more convenience for you.
- Can you see band wheels with cleaning brushes and tires?
These are few basic features you should check before buying band saws. The best band saw ideally comes with all or most of the above-mentioned features.
How to maintain band saws?
Maintenance of band saws should not be too complicated. Howbeit, it requires more care than other types of saws. Periodic cleaning is necessary to keep the band saw in full working order. It also enhances your or the operator’s safety and ensures quality cuts. Regular maintenance would reduce downtime and minimize unexpected repair costs. It merely takes 30 to 60 minutes to inspect a band saw. You can also perform maintenance tasks at regular intervals.
Keep in mind that even the best band saw can start malfunctioning after a few months or years if you do not perform regular maintenance.
How to find good band saws online?
A rich variety of band saws are available on the online shopping portals. You can also shop for accessories such as steel blades, blade sharpeners, miter guides and table specifically designed for band saw operators. Buying online should be quite uncomplicated a process. However, you may see band saws for woodworking, band saws for metalworking, band saws for manufacturing and band saws for forestry in the search results, as these are the primary categories to choose from. You need to choose the right category and take a wise buying decision. In this regard, reading band saw reviews can be extremely helpful since these reviews contain all the useful information about band saws that you might be specifically looking for. It is also important for you to check estimated delivery date, warranty, return and refund terms and several other things before finally buying band saws on the web.
Why reading reviews might help in taking the right decision?
You can gradually get familiar with different brands and product types and you can actually learn a lot more about the technical aspects of operating a band saw by reading reviews. You may have a broad familiarity with these power tools, but the world of industrial-grade machinery is ever changing. You can keep yourself updated by reading the band saw reviews on the top sites and then you can easily take a wise buying decision.
What non-technical factors to consider while buying a band saw?
Even the best band saw may not be the most suitable product for you as you need to do a price-value comparison before buying any product. You need to take into consideration the following factors before buying band saws.
#1 Price comparison:
This is the most important factor to consider. It may be that one company has packed in a lot of wonderful features in their product for a higher price whereas another company has been offering a product with the same set of features at a lower price, and quite silently. You never know. There are brands that hardly advertise themselves, whereas there are more popular brands that may offer you less value for money.
You should always ALWAYS buy products that come with manufacturer’s warranty.
#3 Shipping costs:
If you are ordering products from a different country than that of the manufacturer, you need to know the shipping costs first. There are many manufacturers who won’t tell you at first about their shipping costs, but you may get unpleasantly surprised when the invoice finally reaches your doorstep.
#4 Customer service:
You may not find much info on after-sales service in the band saw reviews, but you can know about the after-sales service quality of a manufacturer by visiting the pertinent page on Amazon. Pour in your own comments if you are too happy or too disappointed with the customer service of a particular company.
As a final point, always try to find and buy the best band saw (within your budget), do not just settle for anything else. These tools are a workman’s best friend.
Purchasing a band saw is similar to making several other purchases wherein you will have to analyze a lot of factors and pit them one against the other. As already highlighted earlier, you will need to compare the prices of all bandsaw models under your range. But you must bear in mind that price comparison is not the only litmus you will use here. The performance of the bandsaw holds key too.
To judge the performance of saws you have not used yourself, you will find yourself heavily dependent on those who have already used the saw. There are several people who use band saws and publish reviews on them. Always mind the type of customer service that the company provides. As a final point, always try to find and buy the best band saw (within your budget), do not just settle for anything else. These tools are a workman’s best friend.
Check out the 10 Best Band Saws on the market right now:
#1. Powermatic PM1500 1791500 BandSaw, 15-inch
- The PM1500 packs many of the features traditionally only found on larger band saws and brings them to a new, category-redefining, 15” size
- As with every product Powermatic builds, the PM1500 pushes the limits of design, innovation and durabilit
- It truly is The Gold Standard
- 14 ½” of throat and 14″ of resaw provide more capacity than a traditional 14″ band saw
- Sturdy cast iron table and trunnion assembly offers maximum rigidity for heavy work pieces
- Exclusive Powermatic T-Square style Accu-Fence maximizes accuracy and safety
- The Accu-Fence has complete adjustability for aligning to blade and squaring to table
- Positive locking cam with pressure adjustment
Pros: free shipping, no shipping damage – it’s great, big fantastic bandsaw with many great features, you could not find a single complaint about its quality, it worth every penny, it is so quiet, no vibration, its a very smooth-running machine, its great for cut straight, 3-hp motor was to set up for resawing, fence and guides are easy to adjust, two ports dust control are great, built to last, long warranty …
Cons: none …
#2. Powermatic 1791216K Model PWBS-14CS Deluxe, 14-Inch
- 60 watt halogen lamp built into the body, providing direct light on blade and workpiece while cutting
- Chip blower ensures a clean, visible cut line
- Extra-large, two-piece cast iron table consists of a 15 x 15 tilting
- (45 degrees right, 10 degrees left) section and a fixed 15 x 5 extension for a total working surface area of 15×20
- Balanced, nine-spoke cast iron wheels run smoothly
- Easy-to-read tensioning gauge settings indicated in blade width increments
- CARTER quick tension release lever speeds blade changes
- Features durable micro-adjustable dual bearing blade guide system above and below the table
- Full 6 under-guide capacity with 13-1/2 frame-to-blade clearance
- Built in 4 dust port
- Poly V-belt maximizes power transmission while minimizing noise and vibration
- Frame mounted push-button switch
- Rigid one-piece welded stand requires no assembly
- Includes: 1791216K 14-inch band saw, adjustable rnitre gauge, rip fence with resaw assembly, 1/4-inch band saw blade, and gooseneck work light and chip blower, and stand
Pros: free delivery, this is a heavy machine and well made, it was packaged very well, very solid, one of top quality bandsaws, a good saw for the money, a workhorse with a great motor, runs and cuts beautifully, air blower keeps work area clearer and more visible than other saws, blade tension lever positions full tension, quick release makes blade changes a snap, no vibration, no problem cutting through …
Cons: if you are cutting anything over 1/2″ the stock blade is useless, you should do is toss the stock blade and put on a good quality blade …
#3. JET JWBS-14DXPRO Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit, 14-Inch
- The JET 14in. Deluxe Band Saw shown with optional fence is designed to meet the needs of today’s most demanding woodworkers
- There is no need to add a riser block this 14in. band saw comes with a massive cast iron frame for increased power that makes it ready to meet all resaw applications head-on
- Couple this incredible feature with a new high tension spring design and many more amazing features, and you have a band saw that will last for years to come
- Built-in 12in. 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 rigidity
- Easy to view blade tracking window
- Blade guide post with rack and pinion adjustment
- Upper and lower ball bearing guides reduce friction for longer blade life
- Quick-release blade tension for convenience
- Enclosed stand with storage shelf and easy access door
- Built-in retractable blade guard moves up and down from 0-12in. resaw
- High tension spring design allows for greater blade tensioning
- 15in. x 15in. table 43 1/2in. table height
- 4in. dia. dust port 300 CFM minimum dust collection
- 14in. wheel diameter
Pros: excellent shipping, affordable machine, good build quality, set up is very easy, lots of small details make it awesome, the cabinet is top quality and very nice, accurate cuts, all adjustments while working are fast, runs smooth and quite, strong motor, heavy, durable, large re-saw size and table size …
Cons: the blade tightening system is not too well designed, the saw comes without a fence or miter gauge …
#4. Rikon 10-325 Deluxe Band Saw, 14-Inch
- Rikon Model 10-325 features two speeds (1445 and 2950 ft/min), a 13-inch resaw capacity and a powerful 1-1/2 HP 110/220V motor
- Blade tracking and tension windows add safety while aligning your blade
- Changing the blades (accepts 1/8-inch to 3/4-inch widths) is easy with a hinged blade guard that provides 2 inches of access; there’s no twisting to install or remove blades
- Quick release blade tension is designed to operate horizontally adding to the ease of use of this band saw
- The 16-inch x 20-1/2-inch cast iron table is supported by a one-piece trunnion system
- Hinged steel doors make access to the cast iron wheels easy and the tool holder keeps your tools accessible
- The enclosed cabinet is accessible for storage of extra blades and jigs
- Includes: micro adjustable blade guide bearings, work light, heavy-duty fence with resaw bar, and 4-inch dust port
- Shipping weight is 261 lbs.
Pros: customer support, outstanding technical, packed well for shipping, great band saw for the money, very well built machine, solid construction, runs quietly, excellent micro adjustments, the blade that came with the saw is fine, this saw cut through that hard wood like butter, it does a fantastic job of resawing, it rips the 4x4s without even a complaint …
Cons: the fence is useless and doesn’t adjust correctly, …
#5. Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw, 14-Inch
- Cast iron frame, deluxe heavy-duty stand and powder coated paint
- CSA certified meeting CSA C22.2 #71.2-10 and UL 987-7th standards!
- Computer balanced cast iron wheels with rubber tires
- Includes sturdy extruded aluminum T-shape re-saw fence, fence scale with magnifying window and miter gauge. Fence is adjustable for blade lead
- Features upper and lower ball bearing blade guides and rack-and-pinion guide post for the upper blade guides
Pros: nice saw for the price, it was well packed to minimize damage in shipment, plenty of power, worth every penny, fit and finish is first class, resaw fence is a nice bonus, set up very easily, the construction is solid and accurate, the flywheels were perfectly col-linear, you can resaw the full 6” without any difficulties, the blade guides adjust easily, very little noise or vibration …
Cons: blade guard with riser block does not work well …
#6. Shop Fox W1706 Bandsaw With Cast Iron Wheels, 14-Inch
- They took the most popular bandsaw size and added many features only found on larger and more expensive machines
- Features such as cast iron upper and lower wheels, extruded aluminum fence and rails, quick release blade tension, miter gauge, upper and lower ball bearing blade guides, enclosed cabinet stand with storage, 4-inch dust port and powerful 1 HP motor are all standard
- With its cast iron frame and table, this bandsaw will be a reliable shop fixture for many years to come
- This bandsaw sports a powerful 1-horsepower, single-phase motor that operates at 1,725 revolutions per minute (RPM)
- The W1706 includes a deluxe miter gauge for achieving precise angles and perfect cross-cuts
- The frame, wheels and table are made of durable cast iron
- An integrated cabinet can be used for storage
- The 4-inch dust port can be connected to a dust collection system to help keep your workshop clean
Pros: this saw is the real deal, user friendly controls, cast iron wheels with tires already installed, the cast-iron frame is very solid, the guide bearing are easy to adjust, it cut perfectly, runs quietly, 4″ built in dust control, the instructions were clear …
Cons: this saw does not have any wheels, rip fence not very good but usable, it doesn’t come with a miter gauge …
#7. Milwaukee 0729-21 28-Volt Lithium Cordless Band Saw, 4-3/4-inch
- The Milwaukee 0729 Cordless V28 Portable Band Saw uses a high powered Milwaukee built motor to deliver optimal cutting speed and performance
- Powering the 0729 is the revolutionary 28-Volt Lithium-Ion battery Pack exclusively from Milwaukee
- The 28-Volt battery Pack weighs less than an 18-Volt Pack yet delivers two times the run-time, expanding the list of tools that can be driven on this platform
- The battery is positioned so that the balance and line of sight to the cut are not compromised
- This band saw has the deep cut capacity of 4-3/4 in. by 4-3/4-Inch which makes this tool extremely versatile and productive
- The variable speed trigger delivers optimal cutting speeds of 0-225/0-350 surface-Feet per minute
- The LED light aids in making cuts in dark places
- A comfortable non-slip soft grip handle provides a better gripping surface and reduces operator fatigue
Pros: it is not very heavy saw, powerful battery powered, more convenient than corded saw, 28 volts band saw could do most anything you ask for, quick charge, ability to cut thick metals with a switch of the blade, the blade is easy to switch, can cut beautiful straight and square cuts …
Cons: this saw is a lot heavier and bigger than the 18 volts saws …
#8. Makita BPB180Z 18-Volt LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw, 4-3/4-inch
- The Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Portable Band Saw delivers cordless metal cutting power to the jobsite
- The BPB180Z has a Makita-built high-torque motor and a compact design with less weight for a range of cutting applications in a variety of metal materials
- The BPB180Z features a Makita-built high-torque motor and a 6-setting variable speed dial that delivers a no load speed of 275-530 ft./min. for faster metal cutting through Unistrut, all thread, channel, corrugated, conduit, pipe, sheet metal, square tubing, and more
- The adjustable foot protects material and provides positive support for more accurate cuts
- The BPB180Z weighs just 14.1 pounds (with battery, sold separately) with a more compact design at 20-5/8 inches long and an ergonomic shape that fits like a glove for reduced operator fatigue
- The BPB180Z is also equipped with a built-in L.E.D. light that illuminates the work area for more efficient work, as well as rubber bumpers and a removable hook
- The BPB180Z is engineered for a range of metal cutting tasks, and it’s perfect for electrical, HVAC, installation, metal building, metal fabrication, plumbing, and any pro contractor who requires a best-in-class engineered cordless portable band saw
Pros: fast shipping, nice and portable, very versatile and handy, it’s very powerful and durable, plenty of torque, it will give you more cuts out of the battery, delivers faster cutting with 275-530 ft./min, the led light is pretty good, 3 years warranty is great, it will last a long time …
#9. DEWALT DWM120K Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit, 10 Amp, 5-Inch
- Durable and versatile, the DEWALT Deep-Cut Portable Band Saw Kit features a powerful 10 amp motor with variable speed control for material-specific and application-specific cutting performance
- Also offering an LED sight that indicates the cut line, ergonomic grip options, and an integrated hanging hook, this work-horse saw is packed with little details that make your life easier
- Thanks to a 10 amp motor designed to withstand tough jobs, this portable band saw to make quick cuts without getting bogged down
- It can perform at speeds ranging from 100 sfm to 350 sfm, and its variable-speed dial allows you to quickly and easily select the perfect speed for each application
- This versatile deep-cut DEWALT saw offers a 5-inch capacity when working with round stock and 5 by 4-3/4-inch capacity when working with rectangular stock
- This band saw’s accurate blade tracking adjustment improves blade alignment and reduces wear, resulting in increased blade life, while dual bearing blade guide rollers increase durability in the blade support system for overall dependability
Pros: fast shipping, well-made, light weight, well balanced, quiet when running, perfect deep cut portable, its a perfect machine, the head light is very useful, cuts and preforms like a dream, good for metal and wood cutting, cuts steal like butter, it is easy to hold and can be guided to cut straight and true, the front handle is adjustable which is a nice feature …
Cons: none …
#10. POWERTEC BS900 Band Saw, 9-Inch
- Patented blade guard adjustment for quick and easy blade change
- Table with rack and pinion adjustment for easy tilt to 45 degrees
- Blade tracking window
- Quick release blade tension lever makes blade changing easy (patented)
- Blade width range 1/8-Inch to 3/8-Inch increased versatility for scroll cutting and resawing
Pros: it arrived in perfect condition, this is a good little bench-top saw, the price was great, can’t be beat for the price, its compact and work well, easy to set up, this work great for small curves and dovetails, basic lumber cutting, perfect for small jobs, change the blade immediately, it’s quiet, doesn’t take up much room …
Cons: you can not resaw with this …