Have no idea what band saw to purchase? Then you come to the right place as we’ll show you how to choose the best band saw in the market today. For convenient selection, we offer five band saw reviews highlighting each of their pros and cons.
Just like you, I want to have an easy way to cut wood for amazing woodwork. However, if you want to buy a good band saw, you should prepare to spend more than $200 as the machine comes in a solid construction and complex features. Before you make a big spend on a band saw of your choice, check the guidelines and our reviews below.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Types Of Band Saw
According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a band saw is a versatile machine that is made to cut through materials, like plastic, metals, and woods. It also comes in various shapes and sizes, each designed for a special purpose.
1. Portable Or Handheld Band Saw
If you like to carry a band saw anywhere you go or just limited with space, then a portable or handheld band saw would be a suitable choice. This type of band saw shows versatility by cutting materials into straight, curved, or irregular shapes. Such performance is possible with its steady band of serrated metal designed along two wheels.
Learn more about portable band saws here.
A portable band saw comes in handy if you’ll be cutting a large material that even a regular band saw can’t cut. You can also use it on material that can’t be brought to your workshop. Due to its stable pressure, pipes and metal can be cut cleanly with fewer vibrations.
2. Vertical Band Saw
A vertical band saw has a blade that is positioned vertically. Normally, this type of band saw is powered by an electric motor. The belt is built to allow speed adjustment while the blade stays fixed as it rotates to cut through the stock. To make the cut, just move the stock against the blade.
Learn how to use a vertical band saw in this video.
Nothing beats the vertical band saw when it comes to versatility. As compared to other types of band saw, the vertical type can cut complicated shapes and lines as well as make precise straight lines. Typically, this band saw is built with brush wheels to ensure that chips don’t get embedded in its metal teeth.
3. Horizontal Band Saw
A horizontal band saw is usually mounted on the floor. In contrast to its vertical counterpart, the blade of the horizontal type is positioned horizontally. This machine is primarily used to cut materials to length but may be not ideal for making complicated shapes.
You can watch how a horizontal band saw is operated in this video here.
This type of band saw works more quietly than most saws. Although it may not cut curved lines precisely, it can cut straight lines with high precision and accuracy. The best thing about is it automatically turns off once the cutting is complete.
What To Look For
1. Sturdy Frame
To get the best support for the whole unit, you need a strong and sturdy frame. The frame should be durable and thick enough to withstand the vibrations and pressure generated from the machine when in use. The most common frame materials include die-cast, cast iron, and welded steel. If we talk about durability, cast iron is a much- preferred choice.
2. Heavy Wheels
To create a flywheel effect or continuous oscillations, you need some heavy wheels. The internal wheels of a band saw can be made of aluminum or cast iron. Between these two materials, the cast iron is heavier, making it preferable for more consistent cutting performance.
3. Built-In Dust Port
A good band saw should have a built-in dust port so it can keep your workshop clean. This feature works by connecting your unit with a reliable dust collection system. Without dust and debris, your unit will offer constant smooth cutting performance.
4. Removable Fence
For more accuracy, it would be best if a band saw has a fence included. This feature works great for accurate resawing and ripping operations. You should be able to remove it easily to make hand work freely.
Since you’ll be investing a lot of money on buying this equipment, a good warranty is imperative to extend its life further. Most band saws offer 3 years limited warranty, but a longer warranty is more desired. You need a warranty to repair and replace any defective parts for better cutting performance.
Our Top 5 Choices
The DEWALT DCS371B is the cheapest model among these five choices. This battery-powered band saw is built with a 2-1/2-inch cut capacity to cut up to two inches of schedule 40 pipes. An ergonomically-designed centered handle position offers excellent balance and less fatigue.
For better accuracy even in dark areas, this portable band saw is made with an LED Work Light. Using its integrated hook, you can hang this anywhere for storage.
Several of its amazing features include a 3-year warranty, a special blade tracking adjustment for better blade tracking, and dual bearing guide rollers for enhancing durability.
- Cuts rigid pipes very smoothly and fast
- Has a comfortable handle
- Compact and portable
- Easy to store
- Batteries and blade guard are sold separately
- The blade may only last for a few cuts
- Maybe very heavy at first
The Rikon 10-305 is made of solid steel, which is more solid than plastic frames. It has a cast iron table which offers a durable work surface. What I love is its nice removable rip fence which can offer accurate ripping operations.
This vertical band saw has a motor of 1/3 horsepower (HP), which can be enough to cut bowl and pen blanks. You may also get a stand to transform this unit into a floor model and a 5-year limited warranty.
Other great features include a 2-1/2 dust port for a cleaner work area, a fence, and a micro-adjustable guide post height.
- Good warranty
- Great functionality and features for its price
- Small footprint
- Works well on softwood and hardwood stock
- The upper guide assembly seems to get misaligned a bit when being lowered
- The fence is not adjustable for blade drift
- Won’t resaw anything bigger than 4-5/8 inches
The DEWALT DWM120K cuts deeper than its predecessor, DEWALT DCS371B. At 5-inches deep cutting capacity, this portable band saw is one of the best 10-amp motor designed models in the market now. You can also modify the speed for particular materials by using its variable speed dial.
Built with a steel cover and rubber bumpers, this unit can endure any work abuse. Just like all DEWALT portable band saws, the DWM120K is built with an LED light to allow you to cut even in dark lighting conditions.
Other outstanding features include an adjustable material guide for maximum performance, integrated hook for easy storage, and a 3-year limited warranty.
- Durable and powerful
- Variable speed is amazing for cutting various materials
- Makes deeper cuts quickly and nicely to steel bars, tubes, and pipes
- Great price for its features
- The rubber bands designed around the drive wheels easily slip off
- The included blade doesn’t cut well
- The case seems to be cheaply made
The Grizzly G0561 is a horizontal band saw which automatically shuts off after completing its task. It has the ability to cut 7-inch round stocks and 7x12 inches of rectangular stocks.
This mobile band saw features a hydraulic feed control which offers complete control of cutting rate. You can be assured of its durability as its frame and wheels are made of cast iron.
Some other great features include a coolant system to prevent overheating, a powerful 1 HP motor, and quick positioning vise.
- Very durable and strong construction
- The quick positioning vise is great in speeding up material modifications
- Cuts through steel very well
- Easy to assemble
- Powerful motor
- The feed cylinder may start leaking after a few years
- The manual forgets to mention about the coolant feature
- Lacks a slot modification for the motor tension
- A bit pricey
The JET JWBS-14DXPRO is the most expensive band saw model in this group of choices. It’s built with a 12-inch saw resaw capacity to cut larger blocks of wood. Just like the Grizzly G0561, the JET is made of durable cast iron. What I’m impressed is its flexible work table that can tilt to certain degrees.
This vertical band saw is so versatile that it can cut small and large workpieces, thanks to its retractable blade. Most importantly, it features great bearing guides to help decrease friction. Other amazing features include a dust port, 5-year warranty, and 1.25 HP motor.
- Very powerful motor
- Durable cast iron construction
- Versatile and very functional
- Features are cut above the rest (e.g. quick-release blade tension, dust port, and blade guides)
- Good warranty
- The base is not good enough to balance the weight of the saw
- Doesn’t include a fence
Based on the band saw reviews, the winner is the JET JWBS-14DXPRO because it has met most of the features that you should look for. Such features include a long warranty, dust port, and cast iron frame. This could only mean that this unit is built to last for very long.
If you’ve bought or just planning to buy a band saw, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this post on the social media to help spread these wonderful reviews.