A band saw is a tool that makes precise cuts with ease, but it requires a lot of space. This is due to the fact that most band saws are fixed units, which means that you’ll need to set some space aside for it. Band saws are on a motor, a blade that’s exposed, and a table to make cuts on.
This is exactly why it’s important to know what you’re buying. Unlike a lot of smaller tools, a band saw is going to be an investment that you’ll want to last a long time. Plus, with a high price tag, you’ll want to make sure the product is equally high quality.
A band saw can be a great tool, as it will help you make cuts at any angle you may need. The only issue is that with so many different blades, tables, and motors, it can be difficult to know which is best for what you want to do. You’ll want a combination of good power, a great cutting angle, and strong materials.
- Features to Consider in Good Band Saws
- Top 9 Best Band Saws 2021
- 1. Best Overall Band Saw The Wen 3962 Band Saw
- 2. The Best Budget Band Saw The Wen 3959 Band Saw
- 3. The Best Portable Band Saw The DeWalt Portable Band Saw
- 4. Best Premium Band Saw The Delta 28-400 Band Saw
- 5. Best Alternative Portable Band Saw The Milwaukee Portable Band Saw
- 6. Best Industrial-Grade Band Saw The Grizzly G0555 Band Saw
- 7. The Best Professional Grade Band Saw The Wen 3966 Band Saw
- 8. The Wen 3970T Band Saw
- 9. Best Budget Portable Band Saw The Makita Portable Band Saw
- Guide to Buying the Best Band Saw
- Final Thoughts
Features to Consider in Good Band Saws
The throat size is an important consideration. This is due to the fact that the throat size is how much space you’ll have behind the blade of your band saw. When you think about the throat size, think about the overall size of the table too.
When you’re working with a larger throat size, you’ll have more room to work with larger materials. Therefore, if you’ll be using a band saw for larger projects, you’ll want to consider looking for a band saw that has a large throat size. Now, this does not mean that bigger is better, because for the average hobbyist, a smaller throat size will not be too much of an issue.
Also, throat sizes have a lot of variation. Some throat sizes may be as small as 9 inches, while larger machines will have a throat size above 20 inches. This is an important thing to consider, because if you do go for a larger throat size, you’ll need much more space for the actual band saw.
The bevel is another component of a band saw that is extremely important. This is due to the fact that the bevel of a band saw will allow you to make cuts at different angles, and when working with a band saw, this is exactly what you buy it for – precise cuts. Most band saws will be able to tilt to either the right or the left, and have a bevel of 45 degrees.
So what does this number mean? It means that you’ll be able to tilt the table by 45 degrees on either side. This is important, because it can help you make cuts at an angle you wouldn’t think is possible with a fixed table saw. Therefore, when you look at the best band saws we show you, keep the bevel in mind.
Band saws utilize a motor to power the blade. This measurement is done in feet per minute (FPM) and will tell you how strong the motor is. The faster the FPM number, the easier it will be to make cuts in wood using a band saw. When cutting metal, the FPM number should be lower to avoid wear and tear on the blade.
Also, when it comes to motors, it will be common to see a rating based on the amps of power. 10 amps will cut through anything, but most users won’t need that much power. Other bandsaws list their power in volts. The key thing, however, is the FPM number.
Here is a quick overview of the components you’ll find within a band saw.
Those are the basics and key things to look out for. Now, let’s look at the best ones available on the market today.
Top 9 Best Band Saws 2021
1. Best Overall Band Saw The Wen 3962 Band Saw
Motor: 4.5 amps and up to 2620 FPM
Bevel: 45 degrees
Throat size: 9.75 inches
The Wen Series 3962 Band saw comes packed with plenty features that make it one of the best band saws on the market. This is due to the fact that it functions like a bench-top band saw, but you actually get to stand it upon an included stand that helps it get close to the functionality of a professional band saw.
The 9.75-inch throat size makes it easy to make thick cuts, and you can even make such cuts on a 45-degree angle with the bevel. This is important, because it makes this band saw versatile. Also, there is a miter gauge for mitered cuts, and a fence for precise straight cuts. Plus, even if this saw kicks up a lot of dust, it has its own dust extraction hose system.
Finally, the Wen 3962 Series band saw comes with enough power to make any cut a smooth cut. This is due to the fact that the Wen 3962 Series bandsaw comes with two-speed settings to work with: 1520 or 2620 FPM.
So when it comes to power, ease of use, and durability, the Wen 3962 is a bandsaw that truly has it all. You get a professional band saw at an affordable price. There is also a 9-inch version to choose from.
- Comes with a 25-inch stand, which will allow you to save space in your workshop
- The two-speed motor is great for making sure that no project is too hard to cut through
- You can make cuts that are over 9 inches thick
- Includes a work light
- A lot of parts are made of plastic
- It doesn't have enough power to compete with some of the industrial-grade band saws
2. The Best Budget Band Saw The Wen 3959 Band Saw
Motor: 2.5 amps and 2500 FPM
Bevel: 45 degrees
Throat size: 9 inches
The Wen 3959 is an impressive band saw for what it is. This is due to the fact that it’s a bench-top band saw that’s very cheap. You’ll get a couple of blades right out of the box, and with those blades, you’ll be able to cut 9 inches wide and 3.25 inches deep. Even though the Wen 3959 is small, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad band saw, it just means you might not be able to tackle bigger projects.
The motor within this band saw is also exceptional. It uses a lot less power than 8 or 9 amp motors, but the 2,500 FPM speed makes up for this. Of course, it lags compared to other band saws, but it’s still powerful enough to tackle most projects.
This is not the only area where this band saw shines, because the Wen 3959 Band saw also comes with a 2.5-inch dust cleaner, to make sure that no job is a messy job. At 29 inches tall, it can fit in slightly smaller spaces too. It weighs only 40 pounds as well. If you’re a beginner, or are looking for a band saw on a budget, the Wen 3959 is definitely a great choice. While it may be relatively inexpensive, that doesn’t mean that it lacks quality parts.
- Small and light (comparatively)
- Comes with the essentials like a miter gauge, bevel, and rip fence
- Amazing quality for the price.
- 9 inches is not a large throat size, which makes this band saw less than ideal for large projects
3. The Best Portable Band Saw The DeWalt Portable Band Saw
Motor: 10 amps
Throat size: N/A
The DeWalt Portable Band Saw is exactly as the name suggests: portable. If you’re someone who will be using a band saw for jobs or projects on the go, the DeWalt Portable Band Saw is the one for you.
This band saw may be portable, but it doesn’t lack the power that you need. You’ll be able to cut with 10 amps of power, and you can adjust this motor between two-speed settings. External brushes are included, so if the motor begins to wear itself down, you can actually change the parts instead of replacing the unit.
The speed settings are 100 and 350 FPM, which is definitely fast for a portable band saw. The blade can cut up to 5 inches deep, and it’s all supported by rubber and steel to make sure that no job site is too much for this band saw.
The DeWalt Portable Band Saw also comes packed with an LED light to help you make sure that you can always see the work area, and the handle can be moved around to provide you with the best grip. Keep in mind that this tool is harder to use, and it’s definitely more suitable for professionals working in a mobile setting. That said, if you’re careful and experienced, there’s no reason you can’t get a lot out of this bandsaw.
- Portable design sets it apart from most band saws
- Two-speed settings
- Parts are replaceable
- It doesn't offer the same features that bench-top band saws do, because it's running on a portable system
- It's not ideal for the average hobbyist
Motor: 1HP motor with up to 3,340 FPM
Bevel: 45 degrees
Throat size: 14 inches
The Delta 28-400 14 inch Band saw may not be the most popular brand on the market, but you’ll be pleased to hear that they’ve been delivering quality power tools for 100 years. This means that you’ll be getting this band saw from a brand that you can trust, and a brand that knows their way around a saw.
This statement is backed up by the powerful motor that has two adjustable speed settings of 1620 FPM or 3340 FPM. This power will allow you to make cuts through even the strongest types of wood, and if you use the right blade you can cut through metal easily.
As for the bevel and throat size, you’ll have plenty of room to maneuver and make precise cuts. The bevel works well up to 45 degrees, and there are miter cut features as well. Plus, even if you want to do straight cuts, there is a solid fence to make sure that your lumber remains in place. This is all done with a blade that can cut up to 6 inches wide. Finally, Aluminum rubber-coated wheels help prolong the life of the machine itself, and it has a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty.
Like most large band saws, it’s expensive, but if you’re embarking on a large project, this band saw won’t let you down.
- A 14-inch throat size
- Powerful motor
- Great for large products
- The saw can wear down under intense usage
5. Best Alternative Portable Band Saw The Milwaukee Portable Band Saw
Motor: 18 volts
Throat size: N/A
The Milwaukee Portable Band Saw is lightweight, rechargeable, and extremely effective. The blade can cut up to 5 inches deep, and you’ll have plenty of room to cut the circles that you need. If you need a band saw on the go, and don’t want to lug around a bench-top unit, this is a great band saw to consider.
The Milwaukee Portable Band Saw comes with a motor that packs a punch, and it even has 5 speeds to choose from. This means that if you want to cut wood, you can speed it up, and if you need to cut metal, you can slow it right down. This is what makes it appealing for on the go jobs, because you can make the adjustments you need in the field.
As for vision, this band saw comes with its own light to help illuminate dark areas. Also, there is no pesky cord to get in the way, which will definitely make your life easier if you’ll be making a lot of cuts at beveled angles.
- This band saw works really well for tradesmen who need to make custom cuts on the go
- The blades and parts are fully replaceable
- The handle is designed to withstand vibration, which will help you make a much more accurate cut
- There is no dust bag or vacuum to make cleaning up dust easier
6. Best Industrial-Grade Band Saw The Grizzly G0555 Band Saw
Motor: 1 HP and 1,500 or 3,200 FPM
Bevel: 45 degrees
Throat size: 14 inches
The Grizzly G0555 Ultimate Band Saw is an absolute monster of a saw. With a 14-inch throat size, you’ll have no problem cutting any lumber you come across. This is supported by a motor that puts out 1 horsepower, which helps make sure that your cuts are both smooth and quick.
While the angles, blades, and guides may be great, the technology is what sets this band saw apart from the rest. This is due to the fact that you’ll find a computer balanced wheel system, which makes sure that none of your cuts become imbalanced. If that’s not enough, a ball bearing system helps keep the blade in place to help make the toughest cuts with ease.
The Grizzly Ultimate Band Saw is a large unit. This is not a bench-top bandsaw, which means that you’ll need to create some space in your work area if you don’t have any. Also, this bandsaw comes with everything you need. There is a strong dust collection system, a light for working in the dark, and a whole lot more.
- Comes with its own workstation
- Made from stainless steel
- Resaw fence included
- Takes up a lot of space
7. The Best Professional Grade Band Saw The Wen 3966 Band Saw
Motor: 9.5 amps and 3280 FPM
Bevel: 45 degrees
Throat size: 13.3 inches
When looking for a professional-grade band saw, the Wen 3966 model is one of the best band saw on the market. This is a band saw that is made with the craftsmen in mind, and comes with plenty of excellent features to make all of your cuts enjoyable.
The Wen 3966 band saw is a saw that packs a punch. The motor puts down 9.5 amps of power, and can make cuts that are over 8 inches deep. While that may be a good amount of power alone, this is not where it ends. This motor is a dual motor, which means that you’ll be able to change between two-speed settings: 1420 FPM or 3280 FPM.
The Wen 3966 band saw is also highly customizable, and comes with additional features like miter guides, a fence for straight cuts, and a light that illuminates the workspace. It also has a 3-in-1 dust port to make cleaning hassle-free.
A circle cutting guide comes attached to this bandsaw that allows you to make circular cuts with a 32-degree circumference. It also has a 21-inch stand.
Keep in mind that this band saw is designed for intense and professional usage. This means that it can be a little much for the average hobbyist, because it can be a bit overwhelming and large to store. While this may be the case, the Wen 3966 band saw definitely deserves a look if you’ll be using a bandsaw in your shop to cut through materials like oakwood.
- 21-inch stand
- 3-in-1 dust port
- Large throat size for big projects
- Expensive, even with all the features.
Motor: 4.6 amps
Bevel: 60 degrees
Throat size: 6 inches
The Wen 3970T is a unique band saw on this list. It does not have a bench-top design or a portable design. The Wen 3970T is designed to cut metals and has an arm that can move to make horizontal and vertical cuts. There is a vice to make sure that you can cut up to a 60-degree bevel with no trouble at all.
The 4.6 amp motor may seem like it’s weak, but it’s actually designed this way. This is due to the fact that this band saw is designed to cut metal, which means that the FPM rating needs to be lower. These ratings include 80 FPM, 120 FPM, and up to 200 FPM. When it comes to the speed that you need to cut metal, the Wen 3970T has you covered.
- It can be operated at horizontal and vertical angles
- It comes with a bench to operate on
- It comes with 3 different speeds to help cut through any metals it comes into contact with
- It's not beginner-friendly, and is best used by professionals
9. Best Budget Portable Band Saw The Makita Portable Band Saw
Motor: 630 FPM
Throat size: 2.5 inches
The Makita Portable Band Saw delivers you performance at a bargain. The saw itself less expensive than other portable saws, and it’s lightweight design make it an excellent tool for those of you who need to work on the go. This band saw is especially good for cutting copper wire, threaded rods, and other metal-based materials. This is due to the fact that the slow FPM blade will cut through metal without wearing itself out too quickly.
The Makita Portable Band Saw is portable and handheld, which means that you can create the angles in which you cut. Therefore, even though there is no bevel angle listed, you can work towards making your own bevel cuts. This concept also applies to circle cuts, mitered cuts, and even cross cuts. So while these cuts may not be listed in the description, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to make them.
The motor for the Makita Portable Band Saw is also very strong. It puts out 630 FPM of cutting power, and with this power, you also get safety. This is due to the fact that the blade trackable, which will help you remove the blade before it damages your project, and it comes with a blade guard.
- It's very well suited to cut metals as opposed to woodworking projects
- It only weighs 9 pounds, which will allow you to operate this band saw with one hand
- It's fully cordless, and the lithium-ion battery charges within about 30-40 minutes
- The battery is sold separately
- It lacks the FPM for proper woodworking projects
Guide to Buying the Best Band Saw
Taking a glance over our best band saws, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of features to look out for. There are different types of motors, different types of blades, and even different materials. This is why it’s crucial that you understand each component of a band saw individually, because it will help you find the best band saw for you. Also, knowing what you need and don’t need is crucial.
A regular-tooth blade is exactly as it sounds. This means that this is the most common blade that you’ll find on a band saw, and most band saws actually come with this blade. The regular-tooth blade has teeth designed to cut through fine materials, but depending on the band saw, these blades can cut through most materials. For the average hobbyist, the regular-tooth blade works just fine.
A hook-tooth blade is a very common band saw blade that’s designed to use a lot of force when cutting. The reason that this blade variant is so strong is simple; the teeth are much larger, and the blade has a deeper gullet. Therefore, with a hook-tooth blade, you’ll be able to cut through most materials with ease. So if you’re working with a harder wood, or even a strong plastic, you’ll have no issue getting the cut you need with a hook-tooth blade.
Skip-tooth blades are much different than hook-tooth blades, and they’re not designed for cutting stronger materials. The teeth are not large, but there is a lot of space between each individual tooth. This is helpful for managing resin build-up, and it helps the blade last much longer. Skip-tooth blades are best used on materials like soft woods and non-ferrous metals, because the build-up will cause less wear and tear.
If you’re still unsure what blade is right for you, check out this tutorial.
The next thing you’ll want to look out for with band saws is the motor. There are different motor options, and each one has their own benefits. While this may be the case, they’re typically rated with the same measurements (FPM and amps).
The Brushed Motor
The brushed motor is a staple of modern power tools. This is a motor that has been used in power tools for decades, and it really does get the job done. The brushed motor is made up of two key components: brushes and a commutator.
The brushes and commutator are used to help energy pass through the motor. These parts are sturdy, and are typically made out of carbon. The only downside to using a brushed motor is that the parts can actually wear themselves down with prolonged usage. Therefore, the more you use the saw, the less powerful it may be.
The Brushless Motor
The brushless motor is a newer motor that has less moving parts. This is due to the fact that a brushless motor relies on a circuit board to limit power output, which means that you’ll never use more power than you need for any given job. This helps keep wear and tear on the motor to a minimum, and these motors tend to last a lot longer when compared to brushed motors.
Tension and Tracking: Monitoring Your Band Saw Blades
Regardless of the blade that you use with your band saw, the blade will wear out over time. The more you use it, the more it will wear. So you’ll need to keep an eye on a few key things.
Tension is essentially how tight the blade is within the band saw. When you’re making cuts, you’ll want to keep the tension on the higher side. Then, when it’s time to change the blades out, you’ll want to keep the tension much lower. If you’d like to learn about changing out your band saw’s blade, this video tutorial has you covered.
One thing that separates the regular band saws from the best band saws is tracking. The best band saws will help you determine whether or not it’s time to swap the blade out or not. You’ll be able to check the condition of the blade’s teeth, the tension, and any other diagnostics you may end up needing. The difference between a fresh blade and a worn-out blade is startling.
The Cuts You Can Make With a Band Saw
Bevel cuts are one of the best cuts you can make with a band saw. This is due to the fact that bevel cuts will allow you to cut at an angle, which means that you’ll have no trouble getting the angled cut that you need. While it may seem easier to use a smaller saw for angled cuts, the band saw allows you to work with larger materials.
A cross-cut is an important cut to know, because it allows you to cut wood across the main grain. A cross-cut is one of the easiest cuts to make. This is due to the fact that there won’t be much resistance from the wood itself.
A Miter Cut
A band saw also excels at making miter cuts. This is a cut that will allow you to work on making two angles of two pieces of wood fit with one another. These angles vary, but both 45 degree and 90-degree miter angles are commonly used. This is what’s used to create miter joints with two pieces of wood.
Finally, and this is where the band saw really excels, we have unique cuts. This is a broad term, because these cuts depend on who is making them. This is due to the fact that, theoretically, you could actually cut out a perfect circle in a piece of wood using a band saw. Therefore, if you’re someone who wants to make creative cuts, a band saw is an essential tool to have handy.
Finding the best band saw is not about the saw itself, but the saw that you need for your projects. Each band saw you’ll find has different strengths, which means that finding the best band saw is really a matter of preference.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is whether or not you’ll be making large cuts. If that answer is yes, get the biggest band saw you can find. If that answer is no, you might benefit from a smaller band saw, and you might save some money too. As for blades, well, that’s also based on the project you have. One thing worth mentioning is that regular-tooth blades will usually be enough to get most jobs done.
Before you purchase one, be sure to consider what you’ll be using it for. A portable band saw might be great for a tradesman looking to cut metal or wood on the go, but a bench-top band saw may work great for someone with a woodworking shop. Enjoy your cuts and making your project become a reality.