Updated: June 8, 2015

Band Saw Reviews:

Band saws come in 2 types - benchtop band saws or floor model band saws. A band saw is one of the most versatile and necessary saws you will find in a wood shop (tool shop). It can rip boards and cut joints like a table saw, cut curves like a scroll saw (also called a saber saw), and saw boards like a small mill. The bench-top band saw is usually mounted on a workbench or on their own stands and it's compact size is great for light scroll cutting in small shops. The floor-model saw is much more stable and powerful than bench top versions. They can handle heavy rip sawing and they do great decorative work on thick stock. Band saws with a lot of horsepower are good for cutting down thick stock and pattern cutting. The throat capacity (distance between the saw's blade and frame) is important as well. The throat will determine the maximum width of the saw's cutting capacity and band saws with wider throats let you make wider, straight cuts and scroll larger pieces without obstruction from the frame. Blade width is crucial as well - narrow blades (1/8") can cut detailed designs and tight curves while wide blades make accurate straight cuts in thick stock. Some wide blades can even cut metal.


Band Saw Buying Guide - What to look for

A band saw is very versatile and having accessory items for the saw will be a huge help. Height extensions may be need to cutting thick stock when you need to raise the guide on the saw. Miter gauges help in making angled cuts. Rip fences give you a stable guide for straight rip cuts. If you want to make beveled cuts, then having a tilting table is a must. A circle cutting attachment will create perfect 1 1/2" to 32" (in diameter) circles. Lastly, sanding loops installed in place of the blade will let you sand irregular surfaces. Try to match the blade you have in the band saw with the appropriate type of cutting you will be doing. Steel blades are cheap and do well on softwood but wear out fast in hardwood. Bimetal blades can cut thin metal or wood and carbide blades are meant for wood only (more expensive but stay sharper longer than steel blades). Narrow blades make tighter radius cuts, but don't do as well on longer, straighter cuts. The TPI (teeth per inch) is how you measure the speed that the blade cuts through stock. A high tpi cuts slowers but leaves edges smooth and are best used on detail work. A blade with a low tpi will be rougher but cuts faster. Keep reading below for the top band saws per reviewers and experts. We found some great Craftsman band saws listed on the Bobvila.com site (he is the expert after all). One saw that we have used, but didn't find any reviews on is the Diamond Laser 500 (Diamond Band Saw). It sells for $1295 but cuts tiles, stone, porcelain and glass up to 3/4" thick. The diamond coated steel blade enables radius cuts as tight as 1/2" and the three wheel system provides a 12" throat to cut large surfaces. It's the saw that is used often on "This Old House" tv show. See the entire list of most popular band saws here.

Best Band Saw:

After checking out sites that do reviews on band saws, we came up with the most popular and best selling models from all the various manufacturers. Many of these band saws are listed on Amazon.com where you can go and view owners opinions and their ratings of how they work. On several woodworking websites we found the Grizzly G0555 The Ultimate 14 to be a clear winner. At less than $400 it's affordable and provides a solid name in the industry. The 1 HP motor offers 2 speeds and a cutting capacity/throat of 13 1/2 inches. Maximum cutting height is 6" and you can buy an optional riser block kit to go with the saw. This 14" band saw Reviews are more than positive on this model and owners say things like "quality band saw", "very impressive", and "top performer". Another top rated band saw was the JET 710115K JWBS-14DX which is slightly more expensive than the Grizzly, but the Jet features a 1 1/4 HP motor and a micro adjustable blade. The construction is noticeable better on Jet band saws compared to lesser brands. The higher end Powermatic 1791216K Model PWBS-14CS Deluxe is closer to $1200 and you get a table that tips 45 degrees right and 10 degrees left. Probably meant for the professional woodworker compared to the Jet and Grizzly that are designed for the average guy. See the entire lineup of top rated band saws online.


Portable Band Saw:

A portable band saw is an essential piece of equipment to any handyman as not all work can be done in the shop. Often jobs require a portable saw to be taken to job sites and we have listed some of the most popular portable band saws here. The DEWALT DWM120K 10 Amp 5-Inch Deep Cut Portable Band Saw Kit is top rated on Amazon and features a deep cut capacity to cut 4 3/4" rectangular or round stock. The 6 amp motor is powerful enough to take on all jobs and the sight light lets the user see when working in darker spots. Owners agree the price gives this saw a "best value" and it's easy to transport. Experts also RECOMMEND the Milwaukee 6238 Portable Band Saw for it's durability and you get a 5 year limited warranty. See the entire list of top selling portable band saws on Amazon.

Metal Band Saw:

A metal band saw will generally cost you more than $1000 for the better Wilton and Jet models. We, however, found a few bargains on the Amazon.com site. Some of the top rated metal band saws are the Wilton 8201K, Wilton 3130, and the Jet. 414482. You can view the entire selection of best selling metal band saws on Amazon.com.

Band Saw Blades - Where to Buy:

Band saw blades do break and need replacement periodically because they also wear out. We recommend shopping online at Woodworker.com and search their band saw blade section. They carry blades that fit Sears, DELTA and JET models. You can buy regular bandsaw blades or bi-metal blades or carbide tipped bandsaw blades. The carbide blade costs the most at $115 while regular band saw blades are priced at about $15. Lowes and Home Depot should carry a variety of blades as well if you want to purchase them in person versus via the Internet.