The precision and reliability of your tools dictate how successful the projects you take on turn out to be. That’s why finding a dependable band saw is crucial, especially when you want to cut irregular shapes into your material.
Some models come with additional accessories like a stand or a table to help you get the best out of your product. You can also buy a tabletop band saw to enable you to store your tool when not in use.
If you’re not sure which model to get, check out the list I made of the best band saws you’ll find on the market.
The 8 Best Band Saws for 2020
1. Grizzly G0555LX – Best for Professional Work
The Grizzly G0555LX comes with a cast-iron frame and table that enable it to withstand a ton of pressure without bending or warping.
It runs on a 1 HP motor and two speeds, 1800 and 3100 FPM. This means that it can cut through any type of wood, especially with the computer-balanced cast-iron wheels that make it more precise and easy to control.
Moreover, it’s not hard to notice how heavy the Grizzly G0555LX is. It weighs 247 pounds, which makes it impossible to move but maximizes its stability, durability, and enables it to take a lot of pressure.
However, there’s a downside to this model. Its dust collection port is very poorly designed and may require some trial and error on your side to make sure it’s compatible with your dust collection system.
- Robust cast-iron frame
- Reduced vibration
- Quality fence
- Computer-balanced cast iron wheels
- Adjustable fence with magnifying window
- Lower and upper ball bearing blade guide
- Low horsepower compared to other professional use models
- Shallow dust port
The Grizzly G0555LX is an expensive model that’s able to handle professional work as well as complete frequent heavy-duty jobs with no trouble. However, if you’re looking for something to work around the house with for DIY jobs or hobbyist work, you should skip this one.
If you’re looking for a highly durable band saw, you should opt for the Grizzly G0555LX. It has a sturdy cast iron frame, durable design, and comes with a table.
2. WEN 3959 – Best Benchtop Band Saw
Running on a 2.5-amp motor, 3.5” cutting capacity with 45-degree bevel cuts, and operating at a speed of 2,500 FPM, the WEN 3959 is a capable benchtop that combines compactness and affordability. It has a 19 x 14.1 x 29-inch footprint and weighs 40 pounds.
To keep your work area clean of any dust or debris caused by sawing materials, it comes with a 2.5-inch dust port vacuum attachment built-in. Besides that, it also comes with a miter gauge and rip fence, though the latter isn’t of the best quality.
The rip fence affects the saw because while on paper, the WEN 3959 seems pretty solid, that’s not exactly the case on wood. The saw’s blade tends to drift a little and might ruin your boards if you’re not cautious.
In addition, the spacious 12-1/4 x 11-7/8-inch work table would have been amazing if it weren’t for the warps that make its surface a little uneven. This prevents the workpieces from sliding as smoothly over the table.
Apart from that, it comes at an affordable price relative to the work it allows you to tackle.
- 45-degree table tilt
- Comes with a dust port, rip fence, and miter gauge
- The rip fence is of low quality
- Tabletop isn’t absolutely flat
- The blade tends to drift
The WEN 3959 is a good benchtop band saw that gives you satisfactory operation at an affordable price. And with a 2-year warranty, you can be sure you’ll get plenty of work done out of this unit.
3. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 – Best Portable Band Saw
When you’re working on a light and quick cutting task, you’d want a band saw that’s easy to operate, and the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 is an ideal choice. In fact, it’s so easy to operate that you can do so using only one hand and still achieve great cuts.
Its powerful motor can make ¾” cuts in only 3 seconds, has a cutting capacity of 1-5/8” and can achieve 150 cuts on a single charge. All this enables this saw to tackle many applications easily.
Moreover, the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 comes with LED lighting to help you follow your cutting paths.
Finally, it meets and surpasses the OSHA guarding requirements, which is a guarantee that this saw can be operated one-handedly without compromising safety. Of course, that’s made even more possible thanks to the saw’s lightness as it weighs only 6.75 pounds.
- The blade tension adjusts in order to let you cut through your depths with ease
- Easy blade tracking
- Simple operation and easy handling
- Very durable
- Runs on 12v batteries
- Doesn’t suit professional work
- Requires a lot of maintenance and repairs
The Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12’s band saw kit is perfect for mobility, multi-tasking, and single-handed use. It’s pretty easy to operate, but it does require hefty maintenance.
4. Rikon 10-305 – Compact Choice
The Rikon 10-305 is one of the most compact benchtop band saws on the market. Its size makes it suitable for working in a home workshop with no hassle. You can also separately order a stand if you’d rather have that instead of a benchtop.
It gives you such amazing value for the price as it’s not that expensive but performs better than some of the more expensive choices.
With a combination of a 1/3 HP (3.5-amp) motor and a speed of 2780 SPM, the Rikon 10-305 can finish all woodworking jobs. However, it might bog down a little with thicker or heavier species of wood. It also has a micro-adjust handle and doesn’t vibrate as much as other units, which enables you to make cleaner cuts.
Moreover, it comes with an oversized cast iron table and steel frame, not plastic parts, as you’d expect at such an affordable price. This model comes with a 5-year limited warranty, so you’ll definitely be able to milk it for all its worth.
However, its dust port is a little too small, so you may be stuck with more cleaning up that you’d find convenient.
- Appropriately sized
- Durable cast iron table
- Tracking adjustments are easy to use
- Superior 5-year limited warranty
- Low horsepower compared to other models
- Doesn’t include a stand
- Adjusting the table’s tilt is a bit difficult
- Single-speed operation
The Rikon 10-305 is an amazing choice for anyone that’s doing smaller projects. It does lack the power to cut through harder woods, but if you’re not going to go for thicker wood, it’s the perfect choice.
5. DeWalt DWM120K – Best for Cutting Capacity
If you get the DeWalt DWM120K with the mobility kit, you’ll also get a hex wrench, two blades, and the case.
It runs on a powerful 10-amp motor and a speed ranging from 100 to 350 SPM, which gives it some versatility to handle various applications. The large, multi-position, adjustable handle gives you plenty of space to move your hands and hit the accurate angle for your cut.
You can rest assured that the DeWalt DWM120K will endure rugged conditions as it comes with serviceable steel shroud and rubber bumpers on the guards. In addition, the blade tracking adjustment increases the lifespan of the blade while the dual bearing blade guide rollers increase the blade support system’s durability.
This saw comes in a hard case that is very useful and protects your saw from damage. It also has plenty of space to hold spare blades.
While the specs state a 5” cutting capacity, you might be able to squeeze it up to 6” depending on the shape of your cut.
Moreover, it comes with an LED light that’s placed at exactly the right location to give you perfect visibility over your cutting line.
- Powerful 10-amp motor
- Blade tracking is easy to monitor
- Ergonomic design
- Useful 4” dust port to keep the cutting line clean
- Quite pricey
- Mobility kit has to be bought separately
Although the DeWalt DWM120K is a little pricey, it packs a lot of power and versatility that makes it worth the money. It’s also pretty durable with lots of adjustability options and comes with a 3-year warranty.
6. DeWalt DCS371B – Best Cordless Band Saw
The DeWalt DCS371B comes as a bare tool, which means you won’t get the battery and charger included. This tabletop band saw offers a 2.5″ cut capacity and a 570 SPM speed with a centered handle to guarantee superior balance and control.
As for ergonomics, the DCS371B comes with an LED work light that comes with a 20-second delay to provide effective working conditions while the blade tracking adjustment and dual bearing blade guide rollers give you the most precise cuts and efficient action.
At 10.2 pounds, it’s one of the more lightweight, portable options. It’s also pretty compact as it measures only 12.2 x 15.38 x 8.7 inches. Being cordless means that you won’t have to deal with the hassle of cables or the risk of cutting them as you operate the saw.
However, the 20V lithium-ion battery it runs on can only last for around 30 minutes, so you shouldn’t expect continuous vigorous work from this one.
- Lightweight, compact, and portable
- Cuts through both wood and metal
- LED headlight
- Hanging hook
- Lock feature
- Bare tool –doesn’t come with a charger or battery
- Small cutting width
The DeWalt DCS371B is one of the best cordless band saws on the market. It’s not flawless, but it gets the job done effectively. It’s ideal for light and medium-duty jobs.
7. WEN 3962 – Best Woodworking Band Saw
The WEN 3962 is a great 10” benchtop band saw that comes with a stand and is simple enough for anyone to get started. Once it’s set up, that is. Its assembly and setting up is indeed a bit of a hassle.
For its price point, it’s a pretty high-performance tool that can cut through whatever material thanks to the 1/3 HP motor and its two-speed options -1520 and 2620- make it more versatile.
Although you get lots of features and amazing performance that’s comparable to saws twice its price, it does have some downsides. For one, the controls are very sensitive, so you might have a hard time adjusting them accurately.
Additionally, despite having two speeds, it’s not a true 2-speed model as you’ll have to remove the belt and adjust it to switch between them.
On the bright side, it comes with a work light that you can position according to your convenience. It also comes with a 3-in-1 dust port that’s probably compatible with whatever dust collection system you might already own.
- Comes with a stand
- Affordable price
- Precise and powerful
- Work light provides better visibility
- Belt must be adjusted to change speeds
- Setting up is a bit of a hassle
- Needs frequent tweaking due to the hypersensitivity of the controls
The WEN 3962 is a two-speed band saw that gives you all you need to work with a wide variety of projects, whether home ones or more professional-grade ones. However, you must have patience when you’re setting up this tool as well as during operation because it needs frequent tweaking and belt adjustments.
8. JET JWBS-14DXPRO – Best Metal Band Saw
Powerful and versatile, the JET JWBS-14DXPRO can handle material that is 13.5 inches wide and 12 inches thick as well as smaller, more delicate pieces thanks to the retractable blade guard.
It runs on a 1-1/4 HP motor and a speed of 1500 – 3000 FPM, which is quite powerful and fast. This makes it capable of making tough cuts and working with various materials –from wood to metal.
It’s also very durable as it has a cast-iron frame that helps it operate steadily and with no need for a riser block to help with tougher jobs. On top of that, it’s equipped with a high-tension spring that provides consistency as well as a quick-release tension mechanism that facilitates making quick adjustments.
Moreover, it comes with a stand that has a storage compartment where you can keep your tools instead of cluttering your workspace. Yes, it’s a little pricey, but it’s definitely a worthy investment.
To suit professional use, the JET JWBS-14DXPRO comes with an upper and lower ball bearing guides, quick adjustments, and a blade tracking window. Although there are some issues with the tension spring securely gripping wider blades, you can figure it out by moving it around and getting a feel for how it’s supposed to go.
- High tension spring gives you more power and control over the unit
- Durable cast iron frame
- Built-in storage space
- 5-year limited warranty
- Too heavy to be moved around
- Rip fence isn’t included with the purchase
- Tension may not be even across all size blades
Admittedly, the JET JWBS-14DXPRO is a little pricey, but it’s quite fully integrated. Any project enthusiast will absolutely love the great features and power that this saw has to offer.
How to Pick a Band Saw
Types of Band Saw
When you’re shopping for a band saw, you should decide whether you want one that’s equipped with a table or stand.
A tabletop model is generally more compact and lighter, so it can be stored more easily. Contrarily, a standing model is heavier and can take on heavy-duty work that requires stability and sturdiness, so it’s more suited for professionals.
Other types include fixed band saws that are positioned on a frame or a table and portable band saws that can be held freely using two handles against the wood. The latter are naturally lighter and provide easier blade changes, so they’re ideal for working at height or for jobs that need a lot of maneuverability.
The type of blade you use has a direct impact on your work. You should consider the length of the blade to make sure it fits your band saw and the material you’re cutting. The width is also important as wider blades give you more strength and are able to endure greater pressures.
Moreover, you should consider whether you’re going to make straight or curved cuts. The teeth on your blade may be affected if you switch between straight and curved cuts, so keep separate blades for each mode of cutting.
If you’re going to do rip cutting, you should go for a skip tooth blade that cuts with the grain. On the other hand, a triangular tooth blade is ideal for cross-cutting, where your blade cuts across the grain.
A skip tooth blade is a coarse one with 3, 4, or 6 teeth per inch (TPI). The deeper the cuts and the less you care about the smoothness of the finish, the lower the TPI you should go for.
4 TPI is good for general-purpose cutting and, in particular cross-cutting. It results in a reasonable finish that isn’t too rough.
Furthermore, the 6 TPI is the perfect blade for making rip cuts up to 50 mm or cross-cutting up to 150 mm.
Finally, if you’re going to cut through plastic, MDF or plywood, you should go for a 10 TPI blade.
Safety Tips for Using Band Saws:
- Wear safety goggles. Better yet, a face shield with the goggles or glasses
- Wear hearing protection that keeps your ears safe during the operation of the noisy tools
- Wear protective footwear
- Don’t keep anything loose. This includes your hair, jewelry, and clothes that can get caught up in the moving blade
- Make sure that the guards on your blades are adjusted and firmly in place and that all band wheels are enclosed
- Double-check that the blade is position on the track before you turn the saw on and that it runs freely in and against the upper and lower guide rollers
- Make sure the blade is under proper tension to prevent it from breaking
- Always use the blades that are suitable for the job at hand in terms of tooth pitch, tooth form, and blade width
- Hold the stock firmly on the table and don’t let it turn to draw your fingers against the blade and use a push stick when you’re removing the pieces you cut from between the saw blade and the fence
- Wait for the blade to stop completely before you remove your stock
- Keep your machine lubricated and well-maintained
Final Tip: Make Sure Your Blade Is Sharp Enough
When you’re using a band saw, a lot of friction is bound to happen, which in turn produces heat. This combination causes the teeth to lose their sharpness and may reduce the accuracy of your cuts.
To make sure your blades are sharp enough, run your fingers against the teeth. If it’s dull, it won’t hook onto your skin like a fish hook would, and that means you’ll have to sharpen it or get another one.
It’s tough to decide which of the eight choices above is the best band saw overall as they’re all top-tier machines.
But if you’re looking for something powerful and versatile that fits professional-grade work, you should opt for the Grizzly G0555LX.
If you want something more portable, however, you can opt for the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 or the WEN 3959.
Finally, the Rikon 10-305 is a solid choice for anyone that’s looking for an affordable unit that fits light to medium-duty jobs.