If you’re looking for a band saw in 2019, this guide will help you find the best band saw, and top rated models, based on customer satisfaction.
We recommend some excellent band saws, such as the, Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe (shown above) and the JET JWBS-14DXPRO — with detailed information on each one.
Below you’ll find the current best selling (and rated) band saws for Aug 2019 :
What is a Band Saw?
Band saws are probably one of the most underrated woodworking tools in existence. They are never the first item on a novice woodworkers list, even though a band saws versatility and precision is nearly unmatched, greatly surpassing that of any table saw or miter saw. If you are an aspiring woodworker, a DIY enthusiast, or plan to set up your own little workshop at home, than you must definitely get a good band saw as it will allow you to create marvelous projects and extremely intricate cuts with great ease.
Do you need a cordless, portable band saw? Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12
Both table-top and stand mounted models are available, each with its own benefits and demerits. In this article, we shall discuss about the types of band saws, along with the differences between each type. Before that however, we shall discuss how a band saw works and elaborate on the most important parts inside a band saw. Then we will take a look at the features desired from a good band saw, and explain how you can select the perfect model for your specific woodworking needs.
Band Saws Uses/Applications?
If you’re not familiar with the concept of using a band saw, then you have been missing out on a really amazing world of opportunities. While band saws are normally used to carve and shape curvaceous wood stock, they can also be used for re-sawing and crosscuts.
Re-sawing is basically the process of taking a flat plank of wood, and cutting it into two thinner planks of equivalent area. You saw the board of wood along its width, like cutting open a long roll of bread to get it ready for use in a sub sandwich. The same method can be used to slice thinner slices out of thicker board, which is called veneering.
Veneers are like ply boards and are extensively used in cabinet doors, wooden windows, etc. Often times when you receive a set of boards or planks from the wooden mill, you will notice that the edges are not perfectly trim and have spiky extrusions coming out of the surface. This is because milling machines create a very coarse cut while processing wooden logs, since their blades rip through the wood instead of slicing through it. With a band saw however, you can trim away little slices from the cross section of wooden poles or boards, resulting in a perfectly clean and almost polished finish.
This is basically like freehand sawing with a handsaw, except this time you don’t have to be a skilled carpenter to create a precise and accurate cut across the line. Not to mention the several hours of time that you save by doing your work on a machine. While it might take you anywhere between 15 minutes to half an hour to re-saw a board, or reset the edge of a plank, the same can be done within a couple of minutes on a good band saw. And let’s not forget the fact that you barely break a sweat while pushing the wooden plank throw the running blade of a band saw.
Video | Band Saw Basics
Now compare that to working your way through a 12” wide wooden board made from mahogany with a handsaw. Only experience woodworkers have the skill and stamina to cut through a wide board made from hardwood, and you must remember that as the length and width of your board increases you also need a longer and heavier handsaw to cut across it. Heavier and longer handsaws are incredibly tough to handle for novices, so you end up spending more time on the sawing aspect while making your own cabinet or table, rather than thinking about the actual design and layout.
Another usage scenario for a band saw is when you need to cut curves into the wooden plank or stock. Unlike a table saw or miter saw, the band saw is extremely adept at freehand cutting. By decreasing the width of your blade, you can cut tighter curves. This comes in handy while making table legs, photo frames, cabinet -- panels, chair backrests, etc. You can go wherever your creativity takes you, as long as you know the basic operation principles of a band saw.
Cabriole legs, dovetails, ripping, crosscuts, re-sawing, and resetting edges – the band saw can handle it all. But before you rush out there and grab yourself a band saw, we suggest that you read on ahead in order to learn about the inner working of a band saw. It might be an incredibly simplistic machine but there are some things that you absolutely need to know in order to make the right selection. Not only that, unless you know which part does what, you cannot maintain the band saw and keep it running at max efficiency.
How a Band Saw Works?
The band saw is basically a metallic strip or “band” that is wrapped around 2 or 3 pulleys. Think of it like a chainsaw, except this time you have a band instead of a toothed chain with blades attached to the chain sections. The band saw blade can be narrow or wide, and it can have varying tooth densities. By tooth densities, we mean the number of cutting teeth per inch.
The fewer this number, the coarser the cut. With higher tooth densities, you get a finer cut. We shall talk more about this later, but for now you just need to know that the basic band saw is a stationary machine with two pulleys, and a toothed metal band wrapped around these two pulleys.
One of the pulleys is powered, I.E. attached to a motor of some type (electric or internal combustion). The other pulley spins freely, and serves as the tension adjustment wheel. What this means is that you can move the unpowered pulley up or down since it is attached to a sliding rail and spring system. When you loosen the tension, the top pulley moves closer towards the bottom pulley. This allows you to slide the band in and out with ease, or adjust the chain if it is not aligned properly.
If you increase the tension, you are moving the top pulley away from the bottom pulley. This secures the band in place and prevents it from slipping out during operation. Too much tension will prevent the machine from working properly, and might even break the band prematurely by putting excessive stress on it. Apply too little tension, and you will find that the band slips or gets jammed in hardwood stocks.
The amount of tension that you should apply to a band depends on its tensile strength. We shall talk about the different types of blades and how you can choose the right blade for your specific usage scenario in a later part.
Unlike a miter saw, there is no danger of kickback with a band saw. This is why it so safe to do freehand cutting with one of these machines, and since the blade always run from the top to bottom, you can slice through wood with a clean and consistent cut. When you re-saw a board or plank with a band saw, the consistent cutting action will ensure that you get an even and similar grain across the two faces. This will allow you to use the two boards side by side for a project such as a tabletop or the doors of a cabinet.
Major Band Saw Parts
The frame of a band saw is what holds all of the components together, nice and tight. If you choose to go with a plastic or wooden frame, you will succeed in lowering the costs but the overall usage experience will not be that good. Not only is a plastic frame lighter and less sturdy, but it will also develop cracks and dents over time if the pulleys are too big and heavy.
Normally, you should never exceed a pulley size of 12” on a plastic frame, since anything after that will simply be too heavy for the plastic to support. With cast iron or steel sheet frames you will not have to worry about your saw wobbling in the middle of cutting through a log of wood.
WEN 3962 | Inexpensive band saw for light-duty cutting
Yes, you can use a band saw to slice through a log of wood. That is with the correct blade and motor of course. Cast iron frames are the heaviest and sturdiest of them all, since they are built out of a solid, heavy chunk of molded iron with fewer welded joints or weak points. Sheet metal is also good, but only if you have multi-layer sheet support.
Make sure that a frame made from sheet metal has at least 2 layers or 2 separate frames in it. Check the gauge of the sheet metal used, as well as the weight of the machine. Heavier machines will stay steady no matter what type of wood you pass through the saw band. This allows you to execute more precise, clean cuts.
— Pulleys/ Blade Wheels
There may be 2 or 3 pulleys depending on the design of the band saw. If it is a portable or table-top band saw, then there will be 3 pulleys arranged in a triangular configuration. Of these, one will be attached to the motor while another one will be adjustable to increase or decrease the tension. The third pulley is there only to increase the cutting width, since table top or stand mounted machines often have smaller pulleys and a shorter cutting height (typically around 6”).
If the manufacturers were to implement the conventional top-bottom 2 pulley layout here, it would seriously hamper the cutting width (the distance from the inside face of the cutting band to the opposite edge of the cutting table). Try to check the material from which the wheels or pulleys have been made before you purchase the machine. If it is cast iron, then that is good.
Alloys tend to be lighter and hence carry less rotational momentum. Think of a heavier pulley as a flywheel – it will compensate for an under-powered motor and ensures a smooth, consistent spinning action. With a heavier pulley, you don’t have to worry about the teeth getting jammed in the wood as much as you would with a lighter pulley that is much easier to stop mid-rotation. Before starting the machine, you need to make sure that the pulleys are all properly aligned. This can be adjusted via the wheel/pulley alignment sidebar.
Are you cutting hardwoods and large wooden stock on a regular basis? Then you might need a motor that is rated at 1 horsepower or above. For DIY projects, and in-home workshops, a motor with anywhere between 0.5-0.75 horsepower should suffice. Remember that your motor has to work harder if it is weaker. When working harder, it will generate more heat and friction. So if your motor has to push 100% load at all times, that cannot be good for its lifetime.
If your primary workload is to do craft work and some occasional re-sawing of small 6” planks, then a weaker motor will suffice. But if you need to set up a workshop for making hardwood tables, cabinets, planks, veneers, ply, etc., then invest in a slightly larger motor for extra convenience.
Don’t try to force the wood through the saw blade if your motor is struggling – this will jam the band or stall the motor altogether. Feed rate should be adjusted according to the speed of the band and the load on the motor, as well as the thickness or hardness of the wood.
— Blade guides and thrust bearings
The blade tends to wobble and deviate from its idle shape while cutting through wood, since it is not a perfectly solid blade but a flexible band. In order to prevent this from happening, blade guides are installed on either side of the band. A thrust bearing is installed behind the band to prevent it from moving horizontally as the wood is fed into it. This entire assembly is called a “guide block”.
There are two guide blocks, one above the table and the other one underneath the table. The thrust bearings and guides are usually made of metal. You can adjust the lateral guides and thrust bearing on either of the two blocks via some screw mechanisms that will move the bearings towards the band, or away from it. Normally, you check for optimal positioning by sliding a piece of paper between the band and the guide bearing.
If the paper just manages to creep in, then you’ve got the perfect alignment. Many professional woodworkers replace their default metal guides with “cool blocks”. These are synthetic, graphite-impregnated metallic laminates that offer much lower friction than conventional metallic guide blocks. But they also cost more, and you don’t need them unless you use your machine on a regular basis.
Ceramic blocks are also a great way to reduce friction between the band and guide blocks, since ceramic is smoother than metal and will not wear out easily.
Recommended Safety Accessory | GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblock
— The band
You can’t have a band saw without a band, just like you can’t have a chainsaw without the chain. The band on a band saw is also known as the “blade”. It is a continuous looping saw blade, which is wrapped and tensioned around a pulley configuration. This never ending saw blade spins on the wheels or pulleys, and makes contact with them via a rubber track or “tire”.
There are a multitude of blade types out there, and some are engineered to do curvaceous cuts while the others are designed to rip through big hunks of hardwood. Some are so thin that you can cut precise dovetails or notches into the wooden board with them, while others are so wide that you will be better off sawing wooden logs with them. Some have steel teeth, so you can use them to slice through wood or softer metals such as aluminum, copper, tin, etc. Others have carbide-impregnated teeth that are so hard you can rip through stainless steel with them.
There are band saw blades with as few as 1-2 teeth per inch, while others have as many as 24 teeth per inch. Fewer teeth per inch are better for cutting through large, thick wooden logs and blocks. Finer cuts and precise machining of metal tubes requires an array of small teeth, spaced really close to each other.
This is the surface on top of which you shall unleash your creative tendencies. It is equipped with a throat plate in the center, and this is where the saw blade passes through. The table is supported by trunnions, which are semi-circular brackets that allow the table to tilt by as much as 45-degrees.
Grizzly G0513ANV | Affordable High Quality Band Saw
You will need to tilt the table in order to work on curved or cylindrical stock, so make sure that the trunnions are not made from some cheap metal like zinc alloy or pot metal. Stainless steel or cast iron trunnions are the best, as they are capable of handling the weight larger wooden stock as well as your own body weight since you will often find yourself pressing down on the table as you push the wooden pole or plank through the saw blade.
If the default table provided by the manufacturer of the band saw unit proves to be too small, you can always carve yourself a custom tabletop to put on top of the default table.
Two Types of Band Saws
— Vertical Band Saws
In a vertical band saw the cutting position of the blade is vertical, i.e. it cuts into the side of the stock. A basic vertical machine consists of two pulleys, one of which is idle and the other is attached to a motor through a belt drive. The belt is mated with a variable speed motor that allows for adjustment of blade speed. The idler wheel or pulley is mounted above the table, while the drive wheel is mounted beneath the table.
The wooden stock is moved against the blade in a horizontal manner to make cuts. The table on which the stock rests can be tilted forward, backward, or sideways to allow for mitered cuts. In this type of band saw, you need to manually feed the stock into the cutting blade.
— Horizontal Band Saws
In this case, the pulleys are mounted lengthwise on the frame, with the blade mounted horizontally and the teeth facing downwards. This is actually much closer to a chainsaw, except for the fact that it is fixed and is huge. With horizontal band saws, you have to put in much less effort while feeding the wooden stock into the blade, since most of the work is done by gravity. However, these are normally floor-mounted machines that take up much more space compared to a vertical band saw.
Horizontal Band Saw | Jet HBS-916W
Rather than wooden stock, horizontal band saws are more commonly used for cutting steel tubing, metal blocks, and other hard materials. This is not as versatile as the vertical band saw, since you will find that making cross cuts, curved cuts, etc. is much harder. But a horizontal band saw excels at cutting stock to length, which is why it is used for re edging or re sawing poles, tubes, pipes, and sticks.
Note, the band of a horizontal band saw is slightly different from that of a vertical band saw. It is not mounted laterally onto the tracks of the pulley, but vertically like a chainsaw blade.
— How to choose the right Band Saw
If you’ve come this far then you probably know how a band saw functions, and you must have also realized which parts determine the saws cutting speed, the size of what it can cut, etc. Now, we shall take a look at the factors that need to be considered while selecting a band saw.
Selecting the blade — (IMPORTANT)
There are six steps to selecting the perfect blade for your band saw, based on your specific requirements:
Step one : Choosing the material
For metal cutting band saws, we recommend that you use bimetal blades or carbon tool steel blades. Carbon tool steel blades will be cheaper than bi-metal blades, and can cut through mild steel fairly easily if you use blade speeds under 200 fpm (feet per minute). Use coolant on your carbon tool steel blades while cutting through metal if you want to keep the blade from wearing down too quick.
If you want your blades to last much longer, get a bi-metal blade. These are made by electron beam welding a strip of carbide onto a strip of high strength steel, and then the teeth are punched into the carbide strip. Bi-metal blades can last up to 10 times longer than carbon tool steel blades and will also cut into harder metals.
For woodworkers, we recommend standard carbon tool steel blades. If you’re going to be doing a lot of re-sawing then we recommend a special *low-kerf blade. These are thinner and generate less waste as they cut a finer line. Carbide impregnated re-saw blades are great for making plies and veneers as well, and can even cut through some soft (non-ferrous metals), albeit at reduced speeds. Take a look at the specs sheet on your blade package to learn more about what materials it can cut through, and at which speeds.
*What does “kerf” mean? from Wikipedia under “saw“
The width of a saw cut, which depends on several factors: the width of the saw blade; the set of the blade’s teeth; the amount of wobble created during cutting; and the amount of material pulled out of the sides of the cut. Although the term “kerf” is often used informally, to refer simply to the thickness of the saw blade, or to the width of the set, this can be misleading, because blades with the same thickness and set may create different kerfs. For example, a too-thin blade can cause excessive wobble, creating a wider-than-expected kerf.
For table-mounted two or three wheeler band saws, you should never use a standard thickness blade as the smaller wheels will cause the blade to flex beyond its normal tolerance limits, resulting in a shortened blade life. For these small band saws, you must get a very thin blade and there are special “three wheeler” band saw blades available in the market.
Video | Choosing the Right Band Saw Blade | +Installation
Step Two -- Choosing the blade width
Some horizontal metal cutting band saws are only capable of supporting a fixed blade width, so you must check with your manufacturer if you own one of those horizontal band saws designed to slice metal. But for most vertical band saws, you should be able to fit in a blade width ranging from as small as 1/8” to as big as ¾”, or even 1”.
The smaller your blade width, the tighter it can turn while cutting curves. We are going to leave it up to you to decide how big or small of a circle cut you wish to make, and there are several charts on the internet that provide you the blade widths along with their corresponding minimum circle radius (the radius of the smallest circle that you can cut with that particular blade). To give you a rough idea, a 1/8” blade can cut out a circle with a radius of 3/16”. With a 1” blade width, that radius increases to 7”.
Step Three : Choosing the tooth pattern
Use regular tooth blades for cutting thin materials, or where you require a fine finish. This pattern consists of proportionally spaced out teeth, and is good for both cut-off and contour sawing. With skip-tooth blades, you will notice that the teeth are more spaced out and have a 0° rake angle between them in order to prevent clogging.
Skip-tooth blades are good for cutting plastics, soft-wood, and non-ferrous metals (aluminum, tin, copper, etc.). If you wish to “rip” through stuff really fast, you need a hook-tooth blade. Just like the name indicates, the teeth on these blades are larger with a positive 10° angle, and a deeper gullet. Remember that hook tooth blades are not suited for cutting soft wood or plastic since they can clog and will deliver a coarser cut. Use them for cutting through metals or hardwood instead, as they will allow for faster cutting rates.
If you want to cut curves or do joinery, then select a variable pitch blade. These contain alternately arranged sets of teeth that feature varying sizes. The result is a smooth finish, with moderate-high cutting speed.
Step Four : Teeth per inch
More teeth per inch (TPI) will result in a smoother finish but lower feed rate. Fewer teeth per inch will give a faster feed rate at the cost of a coarser finish. Your goal is to get a perfect balance between finish and feed rate. The thickness and hardness of the material you’re cutting also plays a role in determining the TPI of your band saw blade. For precision cutting, we recommend 3 as the minimum number of teeth that should be embedded into the material at any given time.
For re-sawing and cutting through thicker materials, use a TPI of 2 or 3. Something in the range of 6 to 8 would serve as a decent general-purpose blade. For cutting thin metal pipes and tubes (under ¼” in thickness), we recommend a TPI anywhere between 18 and 32.
Step Five : Choosing the blade thickness
The blade thickness refers to the distance between the two flat sides of the blade, i.e. its lateral width. Thickness of blades should be determined based on the wheel size, and the work that is to be done. Thicker blades can be subjected to higher tension levels because of their higher tensile strength.
For wheels of diameter between 4 and 6 inches, we recommend a blade thickness of no more than 0.014”. For wheels between 6-8 inches, get a 0.018” thick blade. For a wheel sized in between 8-10”, the recommended blade thickness is 0.020”. There are simply too many wheel sizes and blade thicknesses out there, and we cannot cover them all since that itself would take up quite a lot of space and time…but you get the idea, right?
Thick blades can withstand more strain while doing straight cuts, but they don’t like to do curved cuts in which there is too much bending or twisting. Thinner blades are recommended for work that is done on softer wood, or requires a lot of tight curved cuts to be made.
Step Six: Selecting the right size
Confused as to what the length of the blade should be on your new machine, or the machine that you plan on buying? If you don’t have a manual, or if you have one and are too lazy to read through it then follow these simple steps to calculate the blade length for your band saw.
For a two-wheeled pulley:
- Set the pulleys in working position, i.e. align them properly and set some tension on the top wheel.
- Determine the distance between the central hubs of the lower and upper wheel. This is “C”.
- Determine radius of upper and lower wheels, call them “R1” and “R2” respectively.
- Let’s say blade length is “L”. Then, L = (R1 X 3.1416) + (R2 X 3.1416) + (2 X C).
For a three-wheeled pulley:
- Set the pulleys in working position, i.e. align them properly and set some tension on the top wheel.
- Measure the center to center distance between the two drive wheels, call this “C”.
- Measure the radius of the upper and lower drive wheels. Let them be R1 and R2 respectively.
- Blade length L = (R1 X 3.1416) + (R2 X 3.1416) + (2 X C).
Super simple, right?
How much horsepower do you need?
Normally, you don’t need more than 0.75 horsepower in your drive motor, unless you plan on doing a lot of re-sawing and thick stock cutting. Anything between 0.5 and 0.75 is good for basic carpentry work, and that includes craftwork, resetting edges, creating veneers, etc. If you will be working a lot with hardwoods such as oak, mahogany, etc. then invest in a motor that has at least 1 horsepower of power. Having a little extra muscle will never hurt, since you will have more headroom to work with and your motor will last longer as it runs cooler (because you are far from needing all of that power).
Important things to focus on:
- A large outlet port for all of the sawdust and fillings.
- Easily available spare parts and a solid warranty.
- Easy to adjust wheels, and low-friction blade guides.
- Table quality (metal/wood/plastic) and any included accessories such as fences, lights, etc.
- Frame design (Is it cast iron/ sheet steel? or wood/plastic?) and ease of access for maintenance (oiling, wheel alignment, replacing parts, etc.)
Some of the Best Band Saws on the Market
Now that you are familiar with the various components of a band saw and how it works, we would like to show you some of the best band saws currently available on the market. You can select any of these for your personal home/workshop use, as they are all great machines that feature superb build quality and industry-leading warranties. Each one of these models has been selected on the basis of customer reviews, design, specifications, and relative price/performance ratio. Just taking a look at the overview of each model will give you a good idea of what to expect from a great band saw.
Grizzly G0513ANV | 17″ | Best Band Saw
Note: This is a limited edition model but once they run out you will be able to buy the regular version (Model: G0513) without the beautiful graphics. They are the exact same model.
- Deluxe extruded-aluminum fence
- Includes miter gauge
- Two 4″ dust ports
- Quick-change blade release/tensioner
- Blade tension indicator
- Micro-adjusting geared table
- Blade height scale measurement
- Blade tracking window
- Includes 1/2″ 6-TPI hook blade
Documents for the Grizzly G0513ANV:
- ✓ View or download the MANUAL.
- ✓ View or download the SPEC SHEET.
- ✓ View or download the BLADE SELECTION chart.
Overview | Grizzly G0513ANV
The Grizzly G0513ANV is the anniversary edition model of the G0513. Exact same machine, but with some neat little paintjob mods that make it stand out from the rest of Grizzly’s product lineup. There is a large grizzly bear painted onto the top cabinet that houses the idler wheel. The bottom drive wheel is housed behind a cabinet door that has “Grizzly” painted in orange with a golden “30th Anniversary” badge embossed beneath.
The entire frame is made from solid sheet metal, while top and bottom cabinets feature locking doors for easy access to the wheels. Talking of wheels, this vertical band saw features 17” cast aluminum wheels on either end of the frame. The tension on the top wheel or idler wheel can easily be adjusted via a long lever on the back of the machine.
There is a little cutout toward the bottom left corner of the top cabinet door. This cutout is fitted with a glass window and it allows you to see how much tension you are putting on the wheel without having to open the cabinet door. There is a yellow hand that moves on a scale that is marked to give you an indication of how much tension you are applying. This feature is especially useful if you are scared of adjusting the tension while keeping the cabinet open, since a faulty blade or extra-wide blade might spring out of the wheel tracks and snap at you if your wheels are not aligned properly, or if you try to run the wheels while adjusting the tension.
In a way, this is as much of a security measure as it is a convenience add-in for the user. There is another cutout on the side of the cabinet for both the top as well as the bottom wheels. This will allow you to see if the band saw blade is running properly on the tracks, since these blades do tend to “derail” at times if the tension gets too low or if the blades have worn out.
The black and orange color scheme on this anniversary edition machine make it different and better looking than any other band saw out there, and since it is available in limited numbers you might want to get yours while stocks last. But hold on a minute – we are not saying that the impressive color scheme and unique body finish are the only reasons this machine is so good. Even the innovative cutouts in the cabinet are not enough to make us recommend a particular band saw machine. It needs to perform.
Well, does the Grizzly G05013ANV perform? The answer is “Yes!”, and much better than you would expect from a band saw in this price range. It features a powerful 2hp motor which provides more than enough power for re-sawing through wood as thick as 12”. By wood, we mean the hardest ones. Such as cherry wood, green oak, teak, etc.
You can actually split logs of green cherry wood in less than 20 seconds with this band saw, just snap a 1” wide 3TPI blade onto it and watch the log glide across the blade. You won’t even have to apply any force while feeding the log into this machine – it packs enough power to slice through hardwood logs like a knife through butter.
Video | Grizzly G05013ANV
The heavy 17” cast aluminum wheels allow for smooth and consistent rotatory motion, while the dual 4” dust ports suck make sure that no sawdust accumulates on the precision-ground cast iron working table. The European style blade guides unsure that the blade never distorts or bends even when you expose all 12” of the cutting edge by raising the blade guard. That’s right, this saw has a maximum sawing height of 12”, and a 17” throat (because of the 17” wheels, duh).
The thrust bearings for the blade are sealed and permanently lubricated to reduce maintenance, and increase lifetime. There are two blade speeds – 1700 rpm and 3500 rpm. The wheels are computer-balanced for precise alignment, and feature polyurethane tires on the top to increase grip between the blade and wheel. This will prevent jamming and slipping while cutting through hard wood.
The table also comes with an extruded aluminum fence, and a miter gauge. A micro-adjusting geared table has also been thrown for precise cutting.
Specs (Grizzly G0513ANV):
- Motor: 2 HP, 110V/220V, single-phase, TEFC capacitor start induction, 1725 RPM, 60 Hz, prewired 220V
- Amps: 20A at 110V, 10A at 220V
- Power transfer: Belt drive
- Precision-ground cast-iron table
- Table size: 17″ x 17″ x 1-1/2″
- Table tilt: 10° left, 45° right
- Floor to table height: 37.5″
- Cutting capacity/throat: 16.25″ left of blade
- Maximum cutting height: 12-1/8″
- Blade size: 131.5″ long
- Blade width range: 1/8″ to 1″ wide
- 2 blade speeds: 1700 and 3500 FPM
- Wheels: Computer-balanced cast-aluminum with polyurethane tires
- Wheel covers: Pre-formed steel
- Blade guides: Euro-style roller disc with full enclosure protection
- Bearings: Sealed and permanently lubricated
- Overall size: 73″ H x 32″ W x 32″ D
- Approximate shipping weight: 342 lbs.
JET JWBS-14DXPRO | 14″ PRO | Best Band Saw
- Built-in 12″ resaw capacity for cutting larger pieces of wood
- 2 Speed poly-v belt drive system
- 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 vertically from 0-12” resaw
- High tension spring design allows for greater blade tensioning
Overview | JET JWBS-14DXPRO
While this is indeed a compact stand-mounted vertical band saw, the JET JWBS-14DXPRO actually performs like a large cabinet style band saw. One of the pros to having a stand mounted band saw where the motor does not reside in the lower stand cabinet, is the fact that the entire lower cabinet can be used like a little storage compartment for all of your wood cutting tools such as fence, gauge, blade, etc.
Despite its small footprint, the Jet JWBS-14DXPRO boasts a 12” re-saw height thanks to the built-in 6” riser mechanism. Blade speed can switch between 1500/3000 feet per minute, depending on your needs. The drive wheel is rotated with a v-belt drive that is connected to a 1.25hp electric motor. Both the top and bottom wheels are made from cast iron, and are 14” in diameter.
One thing to be noted here is that the lower 14” size does not mean that these wheels are not as smooth as the larger 16” and 18” wheels. In fact, the very fact that they are made from cast iron means that they will be heavier than 16” and even some 18” wheels that are made from aluminum. This extra weight allows for smoother motion, and the added rotational momentum will allow the slightly under-powered motor to slice through 12” thick boards or logs of hardwood with relative ease.
There is a single 4” dust port below the cast iron 15” x 15” table. The entire frame is made from cast iron, so this machine is pretty heavy despite its small size. You can attach roller wheels beneath the base if you wish to move it around inside your workshop. Minimum saw blade width is 1/8”, while the maximum is 3/4″. Maximum cutting width is 13.5”, while the table height from the floor is 43.5”. One of the best things about this particular band saw is the 5 year warranty that is anywhere between 1-2 years more than what most of the competitors offer.
- Band Saw Size/Wheel Diameter : 14″
- Cutting Capacity Width : 13.5″
- Cutting Capacity Height: 12″
- Blade Length : 105″
- Blade Speed (SFPM) : 1500/3000
- Table Size (L x W) : 15 x 15″
- Maximum Saw Blade Width : 3/4″
- Minimum Saw Blade Width : 1/8″
- Table Tilt (Deg.) : 10 L, 45 R
- Table Height from Floor : 43.5″
- Dust Collection Minimum CFM Required (CFM) : 300
- Dust Port Outside Diameter : 4″
- Motor Power : 1.25 Hp
WEN 3962 | 10″ : 2-Speed | Best Band Saw
- 3.5 amp motor creates cuts up to six inches deep and 9-3/4 inches wide.
- Uses 72-inch blades anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inches in size.
- Spacious 14-1/8 x 12-1/2 inch work table bevels up to 45 degrees.
- Operates at two speeds of either 1520 or 2620 FPM.
- Includes a 2-year warranty, a work light, a 3-in-1 dust port, a fence and a miter gauge.
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the WEN 3962 band saw.
Overview | WEN 3962
Just like the JET model that we reviewed above, the WEN model 3962 is a stand-mounted vertical band saw. However, it does not include a 6” riser like the JET model. This means that the maximum cutting height of the 3962 is limited to 6”, which is half of what the JET has to offer. You can install a riser by purchasing one from the market and fitting it in yourself, but that will add an extra 60 or 70 bucks to the price.
But worry not – this is definitely one of the most affordable band saws out there, and even if you include the price of the riser the total will still end up to be less than most of the other stand mounted band saws that offer a 12” re-saw capability. The throat depth is 9.75”, and this might be a little too small for anyone who runs a carpentry shop or home-based workshop. It is perfect for basic woodworking though, and will allow you to create veneers, plies, and boards for small to medium sized tables and cabinets.
You will find this band saw to be perfect for craft work, and for carving small but intricate patterns that require a lot of precision. Examples – dovetails, frames, cabriole legs, etc. The worktable is small, but at least you get a built-in work light that allows you to work in places which are not naturally illuminated, or in low light conditions. This built-in light is a feature that we haven’t seen on a lot of band saws, even the expensive 17” models that cost twice as much as this 10” band saw.
It’s these little things that make working on this WEN band saw a truly enjoyable experience, thanks to the light with which you can make incredibly complex cuts. There are European style roller guides on the blades, and the thrust bearing is sealed and self-lubricating for extra lifetime and lower maintenance. The work table is 14.12” x 12.5”, and comes with a built-in miter gauge as well as a precision machined aluminum fence.
The tiny 3.5A electric motor can spin at two different speeds, and those will spin the blade at speeds of 1520/2620 fpm. The 3-in-1 extractor hose on this machine is a welcome addition, a feature that we don’t find on band saws this cheap. What it allows you do is fit extractor hoses of three different sizes – 1.75”, 2.75”, and 4”. You can fit one hose at a time of course, but the fact that you can attach hoses of different sizes into the port means that you don’t have to rush out there and buy a new hose if you don’t have the appropriate size (which is the case with a lot of band saws that have their own specific hose sizes).
Also, you can attach a smaller hose while working on a small project, and a larger hose while working on something such as a softwood pole, log, etc.
- Motor: 120 V, 60 Hz, 375W, 3.5A
- Throat: 9.75-inches
- Cutting Depth: 6-inches
- Speeds: 1520/2620 FPM
- Table Angle: 0 to 45 degrees
- Working Table: 14-1/8 x 12-1/2 inches
- Blade Length: 72-inches
- Blade Width: 1/8 to 1/2 inches
- Weight: 83.3 lbs.
Rikon 10-305 | 10″ (with fence) | Best Band Saw
- Solid Steel Design — The Rikon 10-305 is a scaled down version of the popular Rikon 10-345 (18-inch) and 10-325. Frame is made of steel plate, stronger than plastic frames used by other manufactures.
- Cast Iron Table-Large 13-3/4-Inch by 12-1/2-Inch sturdy work surface, a feature not typically found on a bandsaw of this size.
- Rip Fence- A quality rip fence is now included. Easily removed to do free hand work.
- Motor -- 1/3 HP motor provides ample power for cutting bowl and pen blanks.
- Micro Adjustable Guide Post- Raise and lower the guide post height with the turn of a handle.
- Balanced cast wheels.
- 2.5″ dust port.
- Safety toggle switch.
- Impressive 5-year warranty.
Overview | Rikon 10-305
This tiny marvel from Rikon is a 10” vertical, stand-mounted band saw that provides amazing performance at a very affordable price. While Rikon is not as popular of a power tools company as WEN or Grizzly, they do manufacture some damn good products from time to time. The best part is that every single Rikon band saw is designed and assembled on American soil, so you can rest assured that these machines will be built with nothing but top-notch parts.
If the 4-5/8” re-saw capacity seems a little low, you can install an aftermarket riser to further expand on this machines capacity. The initial cost is so low, that you will end up spending less than you would have on a comparable 10” vertical band saw from a competitor, even after installing the riser. The frame is made from cast iron, just like the 13.75” x 12.5” cutting table.
Video | Complete Product Tour | Rikon 10-305
The maximum cutting width (throat depth) is 9-5/8”. It features a measly 1/3 hp electric motor that seems slightly under-powered at first, but if you think about the fact that the re-saw capacity is just 4-5/8”, this number does seem bad at all. For reference, a ½ or 0.5hp motor is all you need for re-sawing 6” tall boards. The maximum speed that this 4.5A motor can push the blades at, is a pretty respectable 2780 feet/min. The 10” cast iron flywheels are coated with polyurethane tracks, and can accommodate blades anywhere between 1/8” and ½” in width.
Although this saw includes a nice little rip fence on the table with an integral inch scale, it does not come with a miter gauge. The dust port on the back can accept hoses of size 2.5”, and the whole unit measures just 32.5” tall, while weighing only 66 pounds (pretty light for a vertical band saw with a cast iron frame). This saw serves as a nice little band saw for beginners, as well as a brilliant dedicated small re-sawing and ripping machine.
Delta 28-400 | 14″ | Best Band Saw
- Heavy duty steel frame design reduces flexing and features a superior finish and aluminum trunnion table support for long-lasting durability.
- Two speed drive system featuring tool less belt tensioning.
- Durable aluminum, rubber-coated upper and lower 9 spoke wheels are precision balanced for superior blade tracking.
- Standard size t-slot accepts all 3/4 in. x 3/8 in. miter gauges.
- Precision ball bearing upper and lower blade guides ensure consistent tracking for accurate cutting performance.
- Oversized table insert provides visibility when adjusting lower blade guides.
- Larger insert for visibility when changing lower guide settings.
- Includes 4″ integral dust port, steel stand and a 93 1/2″ wood-cutting blade.
Overview | Delta 28-400
Delta Machinery always impressed us with their rock solid build quality, and this time is no different. The model 28-400 from Delta packs one of the best frames that we have ever seen on a vertical band saw, along with a really well-built cutting table that is a joy to work on. The frame of this stand mounted 14” band saw is made from steel, and the 9-spoke wheels on either end are built with cast aluminum.
The coating on these wheels is rubber, and although this is not polyurethane you should not worry about the lifetime or grip. In fact, a rubber track on the wheels ensures silent operation, and allows for smoother removal as well as installation of a new blade. The precision milled upper and lower ball bearing guides guarantee rock solid tracking, which means that you can focus on the wood instead of adjusting the blade alignment every 5 minutes.
Changing the guide settings is super easy thanks to an oversized table insert. Along with this saw, you also get a black steel stand, on which you shall mount the unit with the help of some screws and bolts. There is a 4” dust port built-in, along with a standard T-slot to accept miter gauges. Unfortunately, there is no built-in fence on the working table.
The two speed drive system can be controlled by an easy to access switch on the back, and right next to that you will find the tool-less belt adjustment system. Now, you can adjust the v-belt that connects the 1hp motor with the drive wheel without even having to open the lower cabinet door. Aluminum trunnions beneath the tilting work table ensure stability and longer lifespan.
- Motor : 1 HP, 120V
- Cutting Capacity -- Height : 6″
- Cutting Capacity -- Width : 13-5/8″
- Minimum Blade Width : 1/8″
- Maximum Blade Width : 3/4″
- Blade Length : 93-1/2″
- Blade Speed -- Low : 1620 ft./min (490m/min.)
- Blade Speed -- High : 3340 ft./min (990m/min)
- Table Size : 15-3/4″ X 18-7/8″
- Table T-Slot Size (DxW) : 3/8″ X 3/4″
- Table Height From Floor : 40-3/4″
- Table Tilt : 3° left -- 45° right
- Dust Port Diameter : 4″
- Overall Dimensions (HxWxD) : 27″ X 19″ X 65-1/2″
- Net Weight : 180 Lbs.
Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 | Best Band Saw
- Motor: 1¾ HP, TEFC, 60Hz.
- Amperage: 14/7 (115/230V)
- 6′ Cord with Nema 5-15P Plug
- Illuminated On/Off Direct Start Switch with Safety Key
- Steel Frame Construction, Pyramid Spine, Cast Iron Wheels
- Cast Iron 21½” X 16″ Micro-Polished Table Surface
- Table Height: 38″
- Lock Handle Secures Table Flatness
- Heavy Duty Cast Iron Trunion 8″ X 13″
- Table Tilts Right: 45°, Left: 7°
- Positive Stop at 90° with Micro Adjust
- Aluminum Rip Fence: 18″ X 5 ½” X ½” with High/Low Feature
- Fence Rail: 1″ X 28″ Tubular Steel
- Adjustable Nylon Glide Pad”
- Quick Release Blade Tensioner w. 6 & 11 O’clock stops
- Precision Tension Scale
- Hand Wheel Conveniently Mounted under Upper Cabinet
- 4″ Dust Port. Innovative Table Insert Forces Dust into Port
- Laguna 10 Point Ceramic Blade Guides, no moving parts
- Magnetic Blade Guard
- Ultra Smooth Worm Gear-driven Rack & Pinion
- Minimum Flex in Guide Post even when fully Extended
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175.
Overview | Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175
The Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 is a vertical 14” band saw. But what makes this unique? Since there is already an overflow of 14” vertical band saws on the market (14” is the most widely used band saw size), why should you purchase this particular band saw? Well, this is the first 100V band saw that Laguna has made. But they did a damn good job with it.
The entire frame is made from steel, while the 14” blade wheels are built from cast iron. The pyramid spine guarantees superior stability, while a cast iron micro-polished working table makes sawing and cutting a truly premium experience. Wood glides on the table surface like paper on top of a glass table. The precision milled aluminum rip fence has a high/low operating mode, and measures 18” x 5.5” x 0.5”. An adjustable nylon glide pad and tubular steel fence rail make the whole experience even more seamless.
Re-saw capacity is 12″, while the throat depth is 13-5/8”. Blade width capacity ranges from 1/8” to ¾”. The dual tone powder-coated paint looks and feels premium, while also providing amazing anti-corrosive protection. A magnetic blade guard has been provided to prevent the guard from sliding down by its own, which is pretty common with regular rack and pinion systems. This means that the blade guard is now much more secure, and stays right where you put it.
The blade guides are Laguna 10-point ceramic types, which last much longer than steel guides, and carry next to zero friction so that your blade will not get damaged or worn down as it scrubs against the guide while spinning. The heavy duty stand has locking wheels on the bottom so that you can move the stand around inside the workshop, and there are rubber pads on the bottom so that the base does not damage the floor.
Video Overview | Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175
- Resaw Capacity: 12″
- Throat Capacity: 13⅝”
- Blade Length: 115″
- Blade Width: ⅛” – ¾”
- Miter T-Slot: ⅜” X ¾”
- Overall Height: 70¼”
- Guide Post Protrudes 3″ in full up Position
- Compact 25″ X 18″ Footprint
- Shipping Dimensions: 56″ X 23″ X 23″
- Weight : Net: 258 lbs. / Shipping Weight: 312 Lbs.
SHOP FOX W1729 | 19″ | Best Band Saw
- Motor: 2 HP, 115V/230V, pre-wired 230V, single-phase, TEFC capacitor start induction, 1725 RPM, 20A/10A
- Amps: 20 @ 110 / 10 @ 220V
- Precision-ground cast-iron table size: 26-3/4″ x 19″ x 1-1/2″ thick
- Table tilt: 45° right, 5° left
- Table size: 26-3/4″ x 19″ x 1-1/2″ thick
- Overall size: 36″W x 76″H x 32″D
- Floor to table height: 37-1/2″
- Cutting capacity/throat: 18-1/4″
- Max. cutting height: 12″
- Blade length: 143″ long
- Blade length range: 141-1/2″–143″
- Blade width range: 1/8″ -- 1″
- Blade speeds: 1700, 3500 FPM
- Wheels: computer-balanced cast-iron with polyurethane tires
- Wheel covers: pre-formed, hinged steel
- Blade guides: Euro-disc style with full enclosure protection and ball bearing rear support
- Motor bearings: sealed and permanently lubricated
- Blade tension indicator
- Micro adjusting rack-and-pinion table tilt
- Height scale measurement
- Two 4″ dust ports
- Quick-release blade tension lever
- Includes deluxe extruded-aluminum fence with scale and magnifying window, 3/4″ blade, and miter gauge
- Rack-and-pinion upper guide adjustments
- Includes 3/4″ blade
- Weight: New : 367 lbs. / Shipping weight: 435 lbs.
Documents for the SHOP FOX W1729:
Powermatic PWBS-14CS Deluxe (1791216K) | Best Band Saw
- CARTER quick tension lever speeds blade changes, and the de-tension setting extends blade life during non-use.
- Extra-large, two piece cast iron table consists of a 15″ x 15″ tilting section and a fixed 15″ x 5″ extension for a total working surface area of 15″ x 20″
- Chip blower ensures a clean, visible cut line.
- Durable micro-adjustable dual bearing blade guide system above and below the table for close blade control with less friction.
- Exclusive design, quick-release precision T-square style rip fence with 4″ resaw attachment.
- Precision balanced, nine spoke cast iron wheels reduce vibration.
- Easy to read tensioning gauge settings indicated in “blade width” increments.
- Full 6″ Resaw capacity (12″ with riser block) with 13-1/2″ width capacity.
- 60 watt adjustable lamp built into the body provides direct light on blade and work piece while cutting (bulb not included).
- Rigid one-piece welded stand requires no assembly.
Overview | Powermatic PWBS-14CS Deluxe
The Powermatic 1791216K (PWBS-14CS Deluxe), 14” stand-mounted vertical band saw is definitely one of the finest woodworking machines ever created. The machine offers amazing value for money, and is used by a wide variety of people such as professional woodworkers, workshop trainers in schools and colleges, and DIY enthusiasts at home.
From the outside, it seems like any other regular 14” vertical band saw. You have the usual cast iron frame with dual cabinet doors on the top and bottom for easy access to the wheels and blades. The wheels are made from cast iron and feature 9 spokes. They have a nice rubber coating on the tracks to keep the blade in place, and have been precision mounted with the help of computerized equipment, right from the factory.
There is the usual tension adjustment knob on the top of the idler wheel cabinet, so that you can increase and decrease tension in precise, discreet steps. Everything is powered by a nice little 1.5hp 11A electric motor which is located in the bottom cabinet towards the rear of the machine. But what is it that makes this machine so enjoyable to operate? Sure the specs look very impressive, but you can find similar specs on competing models at the same price.
But here are a few things that you probably won’t find on the competitors – a dedicated 60W lamp for spot lighting, an air hose to blow away the saw dust, a quick-release lever for adjusting tension in seconds, and a conveniently located 4” dust hose right beneath the cast iron working table. You can look at specs and materials all you want, but the end user experience is influenced by these little things. When you don’t have proper ambient lighting, you simply cannot make those precise cuts no matter how precise your machine, or how experienced your hands are. In that case, just use the built-in lamp.
When your table is clogged up with saw dust, you can’t slide that board of wood along a perfectly straight line without messing up the cut. That is where the included air hose comes in. Need to buy a fence or miter gauge with other models? Not with this one, since both of those extremely crucial accessories are already included, and snap onto the working table within seconds.
Watch this Video Review | Powermatic 1791216K
Need to adjust the tension in the middle of work, but don’t have the time to turn the tension adjustment knob 30 times? Well, just use the quick release lever on the back to set the tension on any one of the following levels – minimum, medium, and max. Just flip the lever, and you saved yourself from a couple minutes of knob-turning.
- Band Saw Size/Wheel Diameter (In.) : 14
- Cutting Capacity Width (In.) : 13-1/2
- Cutting Capacity Height (In.): 6
- Blade Length (In.) : 93-1/2
- Minimum Saw Blade Width (In.): 1/8
- Maximum Saw Blade Width (In.) : 3/4
- Blade Speed (SFPM) : 3,000
- Table Size (L x W) (In.) : 15 x 15
- Table Height from Floor (In.): 44
- Table Tilt (Deg.) : 10 Left, 45 Right
- Table Size with Extension (L x W): 15 x 20-1/2
- Dust Port Outside Diameter (In.) : 4
- Motor Power (HP): 1-1/2
- Motor Voltage (V.): 115/230
- Motor Current (Amps): 11/5.5
Grizzly G0561 | Swivel Metal Cutting Band Saw
- Built for accuracy and production. Easy angle set-ups between 0 and 60 degrees means no wasted time between cuts.
- Designed for metal cutting.
- Lever controlled blade guide locks allow adjustments right up to the work piece for optimum support.
- Quick release lever and stock length stop to get on with the next cut.
- Automatic shut-off
- Hydraulic feed control
- Quick positioning vise
- Cooling system
- Includes blade
- Swivel mast with degree scale
- Centralized control panel
- Heavy-duty all steel, one piece base
- Adjustable hydraulic downfeed (just dial your feed rate)
- Deep throated vise with lever lock
- Quick release vise
- 0° to 60° swivel
- Tooth selection chart
- Built-in coolant system
- Adjustable ball bearing blade guide system
- Blade wheels have heavy-duty ball bearings
Documents for the Grizzly G0561:
Overview | Grizzly G0561
Do you need a compact and lightweight machine to cut metal pipes and sheets? Have limited space in your already crowded workshop, but don’t want to compromise on speed and quality? Well, Grizzly Industrial has got your back with their G0561 metal cutting band saw. It is a horizontal band saw designed especially for cutting metal, although you can cut almost anything with it as long as the thickness is less than 7”.
This machine comes with some really cool features such as automatic shut-off, hydraulic feed control, etc. Here is what the automatic shutoff does- it detects when the top arm has reached the end of its cycle, i.e. when it has reached the lowest point. It means that the machine has cut through the stock of wood or metal, and the system will turn off automatically. This is of course activated by pressure sensing elements on the bottom rail, which can detect when the top arm is open or closed.
The hydraulic feed rate adjustment is designed so that you don’t have to manually feed the saw blade. Gravity pulls the top arm down into the stock, and you can control the speed at which it falls by adjusting the valve flow rate of the hydraulic suspension. Just turn a tiny little knob to control the valve, just like you would control the flow of a tap. Then leave the machine come back after a certain time period to find the work completed, and the machine turned off automatically.
There is a coolant pump that drips coolant onto the blades, and you absolutely need this feature while cutting metals other than tin or copper. There is a blade brush to scrape away all of the metal fillings and powder that get stuck onto the blade, so that you don’t have to manually clean every single bit of it afterwards. You still need to clean the machine, just not as much as you normally would have to if the brush wasn’t there. The footprint of this machine is just 13” x 38”, and shipping weight is nearly 343 pounds. Blade speed can be varied between 90, 135, 195, and 255 FPM (feet per minute).
- Motor: 1 HP, 110V/220V, single-phase, prewired 110V
- Maximum capacity circular @ 90 degrees: 7″
- Maximum capacity rectangular @ 90 degrees: 7″ x 12″
- Maximum capacity circular @ 45 degrees: 5″
- Maximum capacity rectangular @ 45 degrees: 4-3/4″ x 4-1/2″
- Blade speeds: 90, 135, 195, 255 FPM
- Footprint: 13″ x 38″
- Coolant capacity: 2-1/2 gal.
- Blade size: 93″ x 3/4″
- Included blade size: 93″ x 3/4″ x 6 TPI (similar to Grizzly model G5124)
- Overall dimensions: 48″L x 16″W x 40″H
- Approximate shipping weight: 343 lbs.
Shop Fox W1706 | 14″ Wheels & Fence
- Motor: 1 HP, 110V/220V, prewired 110V, single-phase, TEFC, 1725 RPM, 11A/5.5A
- Blade size: 93-1/2″ (1/8″ to 3/4″ wide)
- Precision-ground cast-iron table size: 14″ x 14″ x 1-1/2″
- Cutting capacity (throat): 13-1/2″
- Max. cutting height: 6″
- Table height above floor: 43″
- Table tilt: 45° right, 10° left
- Blade speeds: 1800 & 3100 FPM
- Cast-iron frame and wheels
- Precision ground cast iron table
- Cast iron blade wheels
- Deluxe extruded aluminum fence
- Ball bearing blade guides
- Footprint: 18″W x 15-1/2″D
- Heavy-duty cabinet-type stand with storage space
- Quick-change blade release/tensioning
- Upper and lower ball bearing blade guides
- All ball bearing construction
- 4″ dust port
- Includes one 3/8″ blade, fence and miter gauge
- Fence scale with magnifying window
- Approximate shipping weight: 270 lbs
Documents for the Shop Fox W1706:
Overview | Shop Fox W1706
The Shop Fox W1706 is small on size, but big on features. It is a 14” band saw, but has most of the stuff that you would normally find only on larger and more expensive models. Things like a built-in aluminum fence, miter gauge, enclosed cabinet stand, and hinged wheel covers are some of the really likeable aspects of this machine.
You even get a 4” dust port to remove all of that saw dust, even though most 14” vertical band saws only come with a 2.5” port. Now, if Shop Fox threw in all of these fancy features, how did they manage to keep costs low? This machine costs no more than a standard 14” vertical band saw. They must have compromised on quality then? Absolutely not, since the entire frame is made from cast iron. Even the 14” x 14” x 1.5” working table is made from precision ground cast iron. Heck, even the 14” blade wheels are cast iron.
The extruded fence is aluminum. There are ball bearing blade guides for extra precision and durability. The bottom cabinet is empty since the 1hp motor is located towards the back of the machine. This means that you can use this cabinet as a storage space for all your hand tools, and even the locking latch on the cabinet door feels and looks premium.
There is a quick-release tension lever on the back, so that you can instantly engage or disengage the blade without having to tinker with the tension knob. All in all, this is a solidly built machine at a great price. You can even obtain an optional 6” riser kit to extend the cutting height from 6” to 12”, and the machine is fully compliant with CSA and UL standards.
DEWALT DWM120K | Portable Band Saw Kit
- Industry best 10 amp motor designed with controlled power to withstand any jobsite application.
- Industry best 5″ deep cut capacity for round or rectangular stock.
- Serviceable steel shroud and rubber bumpers allow guards to withstand jobsite abuse without damage.
- LED sight light make it easy to see and work in dark places or at night.
- Integrated hang hook enables you to hang the band saw easily.
- Variable speed dial allows user to vary speed for different materials and various applications (100-350 spm)
- Multi-position adjustable large front handle ensures you are always comfortable.
- Superior balance and ergonomics allows for more accurate cuts and less user fatigue.
- Blade tracking adjustment increases blade life by providing better blade tracking.
- Dual bearing blade guide rollers increase durability in the blade support system.
- Durable and adjustable material guide allows user to adjust for various jobsite materials.
- Ergonomic soft grip back handle makes it comfortable to use.
- Blade changing lever for fast and efficient blade changes.
- Externally replaceable brushes make it easy to repair anywhere.
Overview | DEWALT DWM120K
Well, this one is not your typical stationary band saw. It does not weigh 100 pounds and it does not sit on top of a stand or table. In fact, this is a hand-held power tool that you can literally hold in your hands and carry around on the jobsite, or even inside your workshop. It can cut rectangular stock up to 5” deep, and has a super ergonomic two-hand grip with an adjustable handle on the front end.
This adjustable handle can switch between three different positions to give you the best grip, while the rear handle has a curved handle guard around it as well as a nice textured grip so that you don’t lose grip. There is a trigger on the rear handle that lets you control the 10A motor inside this little beast, just like you will find on a power drill or jackhammer.
There are two wheels on either side of the machine that hold the blade, just like the wheels on a regular vertical band saw. This handheld saw is corded, so you will be limited by the length of the power cord or extension. If there are no outlets nearby, you can always hook this up with a portable generator. The whole machine is about 21” long, and weighs nearly 15 pounds with the blade attached.
Tool-less blade tracking adjustment ensures hassle free blade adjustments, while a simple lever push allows you to remove and replace a broken blade. One of the really neat convenience add-ins that we loved is the LED lamp that allows you to see what you’re cutting even in low light conditions such as indoor sessions during the evening or dusk time. There are steel bumpers on the bottom and front, and these have been coated with tough rubber pads to allow for rough jobsite handling.
JET VBS-18MW : 18″ | Metal/Wood | Best Band Saw
- Quick-release, precision T-square style rip fence.
- Built-in cutting height scale, easy to read upper blade guide height.
- Extra large 19″ x 19″ cast iron table.
- Convenient speed changes with no tools required.
- Ball bearing guide system reduces friction for longer blade life.
- Saw blade completely guarded with easy access for blade changing.
- Speed(s): 80, 150, 265 feet per minute (Metal); 1,000, 1,800, 3,200 feet per minute (Wood)
- Lower blade wheel brush and dust collection port.
- Heavy-duty gear box.
- Roller bearing guides.
- Miter gauge.
- Fence and rail assembly.
- 4″ dust chute.
- 3/4″ carbon steel blade.
- Two year warranty.
Overview | JET VBS-18MW
The JET 18″ VBS-18MW is a premium 18” vertical band saw that is designed to be used by woodworking professionals as well as carpentry trainers. It packs some really amazing features such as a quick release lever for easy tension adjustment, a miter gauge for easy cross-cutting, precision T-square style rip fence for precise re-sawing, and a built-in cutting height scale so that you can measure the exact height at which you’re cutting into the board or plank.
The integrity and strength of any band saw is absolutely essential when it comes do accuracy and quality. The head of the band saw must be still when cutting to ensure the cut remains on track as you intended. There’s a big difference between a cheap band saw and a professional band saw such as this JET VBS-18MW (or any JET band saw); my point of this is to reassure you that you will find there is NO give or movement in this wonderfully designed band saw and is easily on of the best band saws for your money. It’s not cheap but you get exactly what you pay for — a JET band saw that exemplifies why JET has the reputation it does; and lucky for customers who invest their hard-earned money.
The super large 19” x 19” cast iron working table makes sure that you never run out of space while making a cross cut or while sawing into a wooden board. You can even process metal sheets on this saw, since the motor is rated at 1.5hp. The blade width can be adjusted between 1/8” and 1.5”. Note the maximum blade width compatibility of 1.5”. This is twice as much as what a standard 14” machine would offer, and about 0.5” more than most machines at this price range.
While even large 16” and 17”/18” band saws top out their blade widths at 1”, this one goes the extra length to make sure that you get more than what you pay for. Thanks to the extra-large 19” x 19” board and this super wide blade capacity, you can process logs and thick wooden stock with ease on this machine.
The entire frame is made from cast aluminum and there are cabinet doors for both the bottom and top wheels. You can select from one of 6 blade speeds (in surface feet per minute) -- 80, 150, 265, 1000, 1800, and 3200. The final speed is only to be used on woods since it would be too fast of a feed rate while cutting through metal, and you could potentially damage the blade or jam the motor.
The table tilts 10° to the left, and 45° to the right. The maximum height capacity is 12”, while the throat capacity is 18-3/8”. Overall dimensions are 42” x 38” x 74”, while total weight is a massive 456 pounds.
- Model Number : VBS-18MW
- Cutting Capacity (height) : 12″
- Cutting Capacity (width) : 18-3/8″
- Maximum Rip Left of Blade w/Fence : 16-1/2″
- Blade Length : 137″
- Blade Speeds (SFPM):
- High Gear : 1000, 1800, 3200
- Low Gear : 80, 150, 265
- Minimum Blade Width : 1/8″
- Maximum Blade Width – Wood : 1-1/2″
- Maximum Blade Width – Metal : 1″
- Table Size : 19 x 19″”
- Front of Table to Center of Blade : 10″
- Table Tilt (deg.) : 45°R to 10°L
- Table Height from Floor : 37-1/2″
- Wheel Diameter : 18-5/8″
- Dust Port Diameter : 4″
- Base Footprint : 18 x 29″
- Overall Dimensions (HxWxD) : 74″ x 42″ x 38″
- Motor : 1-1/2 HP, 1Ph, 115/230V (pre-wired 115V)
- Net Weight – approximate : 456 lbs.
- Shipping Weight – approximate : 582 lbs.
- Height Capacity (Max.) : 12″
- Throat Capacity : 18-3/8″
WEN 3920 | 16″ Scroll Saw
- Variable speed goes from 400 to 1600 strokes per minute
- Cuts wood up to 1.9 inches thick with a 16-inch throat depth
- Spacious 16 by 10 inch table bevels up to 45 degrees to the left for angled cuts
- Cast iron body provides a stable base with limited vibration
- Includes air pump, flex light, dust port, foot lock clamp, and two blades
- 1.5″ dust port.
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the WEN 3920 Scroll Saw.
Overview | WEN 3920
Strictly speaking, the WEN model 3920 isn’t exactly a typical band saw. Instead, this is a type of saw known as a “scroll saw”. Unlike the continuous blade movement of a band saw, scroll saws feature a reciprocating blade that oscillates up and down to make the cut. Scroll saws are equipped with a band-like blade that has teeth on one side, just like band saws. However, these machines are capable of making more precise cuts than a band saw because of the way their blades work.
Also, the blade itself has little to no kerf, and is extremely thin. The entire frame is made from cast iron to add some weight and rigidity to the machine, while also assisting with stability. When you have a reciprocating motion going on in the body, the machine as well as its work table may tend to vibrate. In order to counter this, WEN threw in a heavier frame to keep the whole thing rock steady even when you slice through wood at the machines maximum speed of 1600 strokes per minute.
The minimum is only 400, which is a little on the lower side, when you consider that there are machines out there which feature minimum speeds in excess of 500 strokes per minute. The tilting table (can tilt 45° to the left for angled cuts) is built from polished cast iron, and has a working space of 16” x 10”. This saw has a generous 9/16” stroke that is great for cutting wood of up to 1.9” in thickness.
One of the really neat features on this saw that you’ll not find on most of the band saws out there is the integrated air blower which automatically blows away all of the dust from the top of the table. There is also a working light on the top of the C-shaped body that can be adjusted to point exactly at the work that you’re doing. This, when combined with a conveniently placed 1.5” dust port, ensures that you never have to worry about dust clogging your workspace ever again, or insufficient light. There is a foot lock clamp for you to place your incomplete pieces while you’re working on the rest of the project.
- Motor : 120V, 60 Hz, 1.2A
- Speed : 400 -- 1600 SPM (no load)
- Throat Depth: 16 inch
- Blade : 5″ Pinned & Pin-less
- Blade Stroke : 9/16 inch
- Cutting Capacity : 2 inch at 90°
- Table Tilt : 0° to 45° Left
- Overall Dimensions : 26-3/8 x 13 x14-3/8″
- Includes : Scroll Saw, Extra Pin Blade, Wrench and Instruction Manual
- Shipping Dimensions : 26-1/2x13-1/4x14-1/2″
- Shipping Weight : 28″
Some Tips to Operate your Band Saw Safely
- Keep your fingers out of the blade path at all times (a lot of people make this silly, yet very dangerous mistake).
- Always keep the wheel cabinet covers shut while running the band saw. You never know when the blade might snap and fly out at you.
- Always keep the upper blade guide at least 0.25” above the wood/metal piece before beginning work.
- Never change blades without disconnecting the band saw from the power source. Also, make sure that the tension lever is set to its lowest position before you open the wheel covers.
Video | Band Saw Safety | from Woodworkers Guild of America
- If some small pieces have choked the throat plate, remove them with a stick instead of your fingers, that too after stopping the saw.
- If your saw has snapped its blade, or if the blade has slipped off the track, then don’t try to open the cabinet without stopping the saw completely.
- Always wear eye protection while operating or maintaining the band saw. Wear thick protective gloves while replacing the blades, or carrying out maintenance tasks.
- Never start sawing or cutting without checking the status of the blade guides. If your blade guides or thrust bearings are too far away from the blade, it could bend too much and break itself while cutting through a tall piece of wood.
- Never cut through hard metals without using lubricating coolants on the blade, even if it is a bimetal blade.
- Never operate the band saw in dimly light environments unless you have a bright light source pointing at the work table.
How to Maintain your Band Saw
- Never forget to “wear-in” a new blade. You do this by setting the cutting speed to 50%, and cutting through about 50 square inches of stock material. This will wear away the extra sharpness of the teeth, and they won’t break down when you try to cut something at higher speeds.
- Lubricate your blade while cutting metals, especially ferrous metals. You can create some band saw blade lubricant by mixing equal parts of diesel and high adhesion chainsaw bar oil. Apply to both sides of the blade.
- The blade expands while cutting, since it heats up. After you’re done cutting, remember to release the tension. Not only will this prevent the blade from damaging itself in the contraction process when cool, but it will also prevent the blade from doing much damage if someone accidentally turns on the motor.
- Sharpen your blade occasionally. A dull blade does more harm than you think, and it may cause the motor to stall abruptly while going through a thick stock of hardwood. Not only will this damage the motor, but it will also wear down the tracks on your blade wheels very quickly.