A band saw is a very versatile tool and is, therefore, part of the tool step of every woodworker. However, these days there are a ton of manufacturers who have come out with a variety of models with different features and this huge variance in features and models has made buying a band saw a difficult decision for many. I
We have therefore crafted this article to help you decide on the model to fit your needs. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different models, provide you with tips on choosing the right bandsaw for you, reviews on top-rated bandsaws and a bandsaw comparison chart on all of the top models.
Table of Contents
POWERTEC BS900 9-inch Band Saw Review
There are a few things to consider when it comes to deciding which kind of band saw that you need. Both the throat and depth measurements are important, although there are no “ideal” numbers for these. It all depends on the kind of materials you’re trying to cut and how wide/thick they are. There are also band saws designed for either home use or for professional use. The POWERTEC BS900, in particular, was designed mostly for hobby projects.
With the POWERTEC BS900, you can cut small to medium-sized boards and panels with up to 8 inches of cutting depth. It’s certainly not a product that you would use for professional work, but for hobbyists who don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new band saw, it can do the job quite well.
The BS900 has a 9-inch throat, allowing you to cut some smaller boards and panels. As mentioned, it’s definitely not designed for professional work, but it’s great for home projects. Combined with the 3-5 inch cutting depth, it should be adequate for most of your projects and needs. The 9-inch throat is certainly not the biggest width cut you can make, but it’s good for some smaller jobs.
This band saw has a motor capable of ½ horsepower at 2.5 amps with 1725 RPM. This makes it good for lighter materials like thin wood and thin plastic. It may have difficulty with some forms of metal, but it’s otherwise a nice saw to use. The motor also makes a relatively small amount of noise, making it more pleasant to be around. The rate at which the blade rotates may look low, but it makes cuts pretty well.
This band saw offers a couple of unique features that make replacing the saw blade much easier. Both patented, the blade guard adjustment and quick release lever for blade tension make this saw much nicer to maintain than a lot of other band saws.
Another great feature is the ability for the table to be tilted down to 45 degrees with rack and pinion adjustments, making some cuts a little easier. At this angle, it can make cuts up to 2 inches deep. On any angle, the table can support up to 50 lbs. You definitely don’t want to try cutting some of the more heavyweight boards out there, although this band saw wasn’t made for such workloads anyway.
This band saw is comparably priced compared to the competitors, but still on the low side of the price range. It’s a fantastic choice for your home workshop or garage and will do its job pretty well for the most part.
For heavier workloads, you might want to look elsewhere, but for what it’s designed for, it will last for quite a long time. Its only issue is that the alignment can be a little fidgety as you try to replace the saw blade; the adjustments can be sensitive as they move to one direction a little too quickly. Otherwise, the saw blade works as advertised and is a pleasure to use. Overall, this Powertec band saw gets a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Jet 708718R Band Saw Rip Fence Review
A band saw by itself is great for most cutting jobs, but something that can be a little difficult to pull off correctly is straight cuts. Making it look perfectly even is the goal, and it’s nice to have something like a rip fence to make everything cut as cleanly as possible. Having to waste materials because a cut was made incorrectly is something that you always want to avoid, and with a rip fence, it’s a lot easier to be precise when doing straight lines.
The Jet 708718R, designed to be fit onto Jet band saws, is a nice 18-inch rip fence with resaw guide. It does a pretty good job compensating for the fact that band saw blades have a small amount of drift in one way or another. And while it’s designed mainly for Jet 14-inch band saws, it may also fit other 14-inch band saws as well.
As mentioned, this rip fence is made for 14-inch band saws, which means that it’s made for higher-end work; most band saws with that kind of size are the more expensive ones. After mounting the rip fence it’s simply a matter of adjusting and tilting it until it matches the table’s alignment.
Included with this rip fence is a resaw guide, allowing for even better precision in your saw blade, preventing drift from occurring. It’s especially handy when making your straight cuts, which is something that’s difficult to do with band saws in general, no matter which one you buy or how much you spend.
Additionally, the aluminum fence has low-friction contact points made of plastic, making it easier for everything to move around as you slide a wood or metal panel though, while also preventing scratches from occurring. Its dual guide bars will assist you in keeping everything aligned correctly.
This is one of the cheapest band saws you can buy. Compared to the cost of the band saws that it’s designed for, it’s nearly a drop in the bucket. If you have a rather straightforward job, it does it quite well, especially for the relatively small price you will pay for it. A lot of other rip fences on the market can cost quite a bit more, and it may be the case that you don’t need any of the extra features that they provide, or it’s not compatible with your band saw.
This rip fence from Jet works is a pretty straightforward product. It does its job as advertised, and it lasts for quite a while. The only downside is that, depending on how often you use it, the fence can start to lose its grip over a long period of time. It’s to be expected for something this cheap, but it’s something to keep in mind before you start spending your money.
For some people, this problem can make itself apparent in a week or two, and for others, it may take months. Overall, though, this rip fence does the job and will complement your Jet band saw nicely. As such, it gets a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
Rockwell RK7321 BladeRunner Band Saw Review
For many, the desire is there to take on more do-it-yourself projects around the house. It’s the space that’s the problem. For those who don’t have tons of room for a large workbench and bulky tools, there are still portable options that give you the ability to take on those projects.
For cutting projects, the Rockwell BladeRunner is a portable and versatile jigsaw that cuts through a variety of materials including wood, plastic, metal, ceramic tile or aluminum. It features a quick-release wall mount or table mount and is just 13 pounds for easy portability. The BladeRunner has a stainless steel table and fits any T-shank jigsaw blade. It runs on a 5.5 amps of power and has variable speed control allowing the user to determine the amount of power needed, whether it’s a powerful rip cut or a slower speed precision cut. It also boasts a dust port that can attach to any shop vacuum to make for easy cleaning.
With its fixed blade placement, the BladeRunner allows you to place both hands on the material you are cutting instead of using one hand to hold the saw. This also allows for more precise cuts. No more wondering where you’re going to house that bad saw. With the BladeRunner, just hang it up.
The BladeRunner cuts wood pieces as large as 1-1/2 inches, a 1/8 inch piece of steel, a 3-8 inch piece of ceramic tile, up to 1-1/4 inches of PVC pipe and up to 3/8-inch of aluminum. It’s not the capacity of larger table jigsaws but it is heartier than most portable models.
Its 5.5. amp motor is sturdier and more powerful than a majority of other portable jigsaws. The BladeRunner’s added power also provides for faster and more precise cutting and its variable speed control lets you determine how much power you need.
One of the BladeRunner’s best features is its easy mounting ability to the wall or a table. This makes it easily one of the most portable smaller jigsaws on the market. It also comes complete with the mounting screws and kit. At 13 pounds, it is also among the lightest portable saws. My experience is that changing blades is easy, and this model fits all T-shank jigsaw blades.
This Rockwell band saw comes prepackaged with five T-shank blades, which is slightly less than other small jigsaws include. Those five blades, however, cover a range of material types with a blade for wood, one for metal, one for aluminum and two all-purpose blades.
This band saw is among the lowest priced, portable jigsaws in a market that sees some smaller jigsaws cost as much as $300. Since it also comes with five T-shank blades and mounting screws, there is also nothing else to buy to get started with the BladeRunner.
With price, portability and features better than most other small jigsaws on the market, the Rockwell BladeRunner is an excellent option for the home do-it-yourself project or for the construction professional who needs portable cutting power on the go. Overall, it gets a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. It is a great starter, feature-rich tool.
DEWALT DWM120K 5-Inch Portable Band Saw Review
A band saw is a very handy thing to have when you’re in the hobby or business of crafting things out of wood, plastic, or metal. Typically a band saw comes in the form of a large, almost body-sized unit that sits in a garage or workshop somewhere, remaining stationary while you move materials through the blade. It’s not something that you would usually think of as being portable.
But portable versions do exist. The DEWALT DWM120K is a portable band saw kit that allows you to make 5-inch deep cuts. It’s completely hand-operated and offers features that you’d find even in professional-grade band saws, all at a very good price for what it is.
As mentioned, it can make 5-inch cuts for a variety of round or rectangular stock. It’s about as much as you would expect for a portable unit; any larger and it starts to become unwieldy, heavy, and bulky. It’s great for smaller projects that don’t require extreme precision. Overall this DeWalt band saw is great for cutting things like tubes or pipes and similarly-sized objects.
Included is a 10-amp motor with variable speed control. An interesting thing is that some non-portable band saws do not have variable speed. It’s typically a feature that’s limited to more expensive band saws, so it’s nice that it exists in this DeWalt kit. Motor speeds range from 100 sfm to 350 sfm with a dial that allows you to precisely control the speed according to the current task at hand.
A nice thing about this portable band saw is that you can also use it in dark rooms. An LED light on the side helps you see what you’re doing even in the darkest of situations. This is especially useful on a portable unit since it can be used in places other than a garage or workshop.
It also has a lot of emphasis on ergonomics and comfort. The front handle on the unit as adjustable to multiple positions, so that you can comfortably hold the saw even at odd angles.
When the blade needs to be replaced, the unit includes a lever that eases tension on the blade, allowing for an easy way to replace the blade so that you can get back to work as soon as possible.
Finally, when you want to store this band saw, it includes a special hanging hook so that you don’t end up damaging any of the components. This was a feature that wasn’t strictly necessary, but it’s nice to have nonetheless.
This is one of the cheaper band saws that you can buy compared to the competing products. It’s not the cheapest on the market, but it’s solidly built and works exactly as advertised. It can cut through quite a number of objects, and you may be surprised at what you can use it for. As an investment, it will take you pretty far, and is recommended for the smaller jobs that require a little bit of cutting muscle.
This DeWalt 5-inch band saw is an excellent tool. Staying true to the DeWalt reputation, the DWM120K comes with their signature warranty which covers wear and tears along with manufacturer defects. Nevertheless, this is a high-quality tool which will surely last a long time. If you need a portable band saw for home use, this is the one to go with. Overall, it gets a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Despite all this, the JET 414459 HVBS-7MW 7-Inch 3/4-HP Horizontal/Vertical Band saw is one of the handiest tools suited for home shops and projects use. It is comfortable, reliable and dependable, and comes with unique features. Its versatility is also a huge plus and gives the value for the money. I highly recommend it!!!
What is a Band Saw?
A band saw is a popular power tool which consists of a band of metal with serrated teeth that can efficiently cut through wood, metal and other materials. A band saw can create either perfectly straight, curved or irregular shapes, making it an essential tool in any woodworking or metalworking shop.