The Best Bandsaw Reviews 2018: Buying Guide & Comparison

The bandsaw is a innovative and helpful tool to have in the garage or in the warehouse. This powerful tool can be used for a number of projects, from cutting pieces for weekend projects, to large scale commercial woodworking projects.

​The best bandsaws on the market offer plenty versatility and has almost become a necessity for any serious woodworker. These tools are mainly used to make curving cuts and for re-sawing.

These cuts are frequently used when making furniture, crafts and other goods. Like most tools today, there are a number of brands out there to chose from.​

If you’re curious (or in a hurry):

✅ This specific Band Saw is the most popular with our readers.

http://amzn.to/2HzT7j9​​​This powerful 14inch band saw is a great option for anyone looking for a good balance between affordability and performance.

Easy to assemble, this unit is versatile for most woodworking projects. You will not find a better option in this price range. In fact, you could easily pay double for a saw that performs no better.

If you can find this for below $1300, it is a steal! That is one great deal on a 14 inch free standing band saw with resawing capability! (check current price & read reviews here).

Which bandsaw is the best for woodworking?

top band saw models on the market


The folks at Amazon also have their own list of best bandsaws below – many are on sale.

When it comes to the benchtop, stand mounted and floor standing band saws with the best reviews, these are the top 3 band saws I have come across (compare these 5 band saws here).​​

Band Saws - Best Choices 

1. Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175

- info page

2. Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 Cordless

- info page

3. JET 414459 HVBS-7MW 7-Inch

- info page

4. Grizzly G0561

- info page

5. Powermatic PM1800-5

- info page

6. Dewalt DCS374B 20V Portable

- info page


Deciding which band saw brand to buy from, can become tiresome, stressful and down right boring. With this bandsaw buyers guide, I hope to make this decision easier.​

The main goal for Sawist is to give you bandsaw reviews for the latest and best band saws on the market in order to help you chose the best tool for the money…without being too awfully tiresome, stressful or boring for that matter.

Scroll down to learn more about the top rated band saws. Or check out our band saw comparison table for the best band saws of 2017.

My top-rated band saw picks for 2017​

Best 14 inch for Resawing

Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175

Specifications

  • Weight: 267lbs
  • Blade Length: 115 inches
  • Floor footprint: 25" x 18" x 70.25″
  • Motor: 1-3/4HP
laguna 14 inch for resawing wood

If you find yourself regularly making veneers, or book-matching, this model from Laguna should be at the top of your list. It is my nr 1 recommendation in the 14 inch size, and comes with a very impressive resawing capacity of 12 inches

This machine is compact, and would make a great addition to any small shop or home workshop that has limited space. Another thing I really like about this saw, is the ceramic guides which you typically only find on more expensive models. They are very easy to set, and makes this saw a pleasure to use.

This unit also comes with a great carbide-tipped blade (easily $150 if you have to buy it separate) which makes for smooth and accurate cuts.

Add the mobility system and the work light to take this well-engineered saw from good to great.

Great horizontal/vertical [EDITORS CHOICE]

JET HVBS-7MW Mini Review

Specifications

  • ​Weight: 318lbs
  • Blade Speed: 80, 130, 180, 235 SFPM​
  • Floor footprint: 20.5″ x 49.5″ x 38″​
  • Motor: 3/4HP​
jet-hvbs-7mw bandsaw reviews

There are very few bench top saws that are more effective and efficient than the JET HVBS-7MW. This saw is backed by a 3/4Hp motor and a 7-12″ cutting capacity. Due to the tiltable stand, this saw is good cutting horizontally and vertically. Jet set out with only 3 things in mind while creating this saw, quality, comfort, and safety. This saw meets and exceeds in all three categories.

​To ensure accidents are kept to a minimal, a key safety that the saw has is that it switches off after every single cut. This keeps the blade from being at idle for a prolonged period of time. Another special feature about this bench-top band saw is the coolant system that is incorporated. The Jet 414459 has a built is cooling system to ensure that the blade does not overheat therefore resulting in smooth cuts every time.

The 115V 3/4HP motor also has 4 different cutting speeds depending on the work needing done. The cutting speed can be set to 85, 130, 180, and 285 feet per minute. Add this to the hydraulic down feed and you get a cutting experience that will exceed all expectations.​

Great portable option

Dewalt DCS374B Deep Cut Portable

Specifications

  • Weight: 12.4lbs
  • Blade Speed: 0-490 FPM
  • Cut Capacity: 5″
  • Motor: Variable speed
top portable choice for home owners

This portable band saw from Dewalt makes light work of cutting through metal, wood and pvc, and at the price is a great buy if you regularly move between job sites. The battery life is very good even when heavily using the light, and the DCS374B is one of the first tools I grab when I go to a new site.

Whether you are cutting pvc rails with aluminium inside, 3 inch conduit and pallet corners, notching beams or cutting handrail corners, this model is very versatile.

Best under 500

Grizzly G0622

Specifications

  • Weight: 120lbs
  • Blade Speed: 1445/2950 ft/min
  • Floor footprint: 14″ x 39″ x 15"
  • Motor: 1-1/2HP
top choice under 500 dollars

This model comes in at under 500 dollars, and although models in this price range is not intended for commercial use, it comes with a handful of very nice features.

It is portable and is relatively small for a free standing band saw. The motor runs smooth, and cutting through pvc, wood and metal is as good as can be expected from a saw at this price.

Great value

Rikon 10-325 Deluxe Edition 14 inch Mini Review

Specifications

  • ​Weight: 305lbs
  • Blade Speed: 1445/2950 ft/min
  • Floor footprint: 16″ x 20.5″
  • Motor: 1-1/2HP
rikon-10-325-deluxe-edition bandsaw reviews

The Rikon 10-325 bandsaw (full review here) is an extraordinary tool that has won many awards and is very reliable to get the job done. It is a great tool no matter whether you are ripping, curve-cutting, re-sawing, or cutting in general. This saw outperforms most all stand-mounted saw in its class. A 1-1/2HP motor will ensure that your blade will not bind will cutting the thickest of materials.

The table that is included comes with ball bearing slides and tilt/locks in place for many different cutting angle options. The table also includes a viewing window and a 4-inch dust port. Since the saw is so large, two individuals may be needed for setup. With a shipping weight of 305lbs it is everything but lightweight. The rip fence that is included is made with very heavy construction to ensure it will not break while in use.

A 1-1/2HP motor with 2 speeds allows adjustability depending on what project you are working on. With the tool being the 14″ model, this ensures that you will have enough room for any woodworking or metalworking project.

Small, cheap and affordable

Skil 3386 9-inch

Specifications

  • Weight: 37.9lbs
  • Blade Speed: 2800 FPM
  • Floor footprint: 38″ x 38″
  • Motor: 5 HP
skil band saws

This corded table top band saw from Skil is small, and definitely fits in the budget category. If you are looking for a good option under 200 dollars, this is the saw for you.

It is one of the lightest 9 inch band saws available, and the build quality is surprisingly good for this price range. It comes with a useful rip fence, which is rare in models of this size. Another nice addition is the LED light mounted on a gooseneck.

At this inexpensive price, the bench top 3386 is aimed at hobbyists and beginners.

Best for gunsmiths and cutting metal

Grizzly G0561 7x12 inch

Specifications

  • Weight: 343lbs
  • Blade Speed: 90, 135, 195, 255 FPM
  • Floor footprint: 48 x 16 x 40"
  • Motor: 1 HP
metal cutting for use by gunsmiths

If you will be cutting metal regularly, or doing gunsmithing, this model from Grizzly is a great option. It is not cheap by any means, you are looking at a price tag of just under 1000 dollars.

It comes with automatic shut off for the added peace of mind that if something goes wrong, injuries won't be too serious.

In my mind, this is a contender for the best band saw for the money. It comes with a powerful motor, and outperforms models that are much more expensive.

Big work table [ideal for larger shops]

Powermatic PM1800 Mini Review

Specifications

  • ​Weight: 806lbs
  • Blade Speed: 1800/4200 SFPM
  • Floor footprint: 38″ x 38″
  • Motor: 5 HP
powermatic-pm1800 band saw review

Powermatic really hit it out of the ballpark with this tool. The PM1800 is a very large machine which is why it is categorized into the floor standing category. Whether you are a professional construction worker or an individual that wants to open a business, this tool with do exactly what you need. Many professional woodworkers face the challenge of picking a manufacturer that produces a machine that allows an easy transition. The more time that you have to spend on transitioning to a new piece of machinery, the more money you are losing out on.

Since this machine is very large and heavy, it may require two individuals to assemble. However, the instructions that are included are very in depth and provide well put together assembly instructions and ease of operation sections.

Some key features of this model of bandsaw include a two-step pulley system to provide a heavy duty and balanced transmission assembly. This 18 inch saw has the capability of 18 inches of resawing which allows satisfaction to most individuals in the industry. The 5HP motor is built to withstand heavy workloads and will last a greater amount of time due the fact that it is so large.

The 1 year warranty that is included with the Powermatic PM1800 covers manufacturer defects and parts. However, since this saw is so well put together, there is very little chance that you will ever have to put this warranty to use. This is a very fine piece of equipment and will make any individual that purchases one very happy.

More about band saws

Throughout this article you will find advantages of certain models over others and as well as the disadvantages. I have set up this easy 2017 Band Saw Comparison Table which will help make your choice easier. Hopefully by the time you leave this site you will have a good understanding of which tool may be right for you.​

crosscutting an inlay with a top rated band saw

Crosscutting an inlay with a band saw

To start off, there are three main types of band saws: bench-top, stand mounted, and floor standing. Each one of these has certain advantages and disadvantages that make it the best for a specific task. It all depends on how often you will be using the saw, the size of work pieces, your budget, and to a certain extent, your personal preference.

Comparison of Band Saw Types​

This is a summary of advantages and disadvantages of each bandsaw type to help you decide which band saw to buy.​

Bench Top

Bench-top band saws are for individuals that will need portability. Most bench-top band saws have anywhere from 8-12″ wheels depending on the brand you chose. The benchtop bandsaw is also the least expensive out of all the saws mentioned here. Benchtop bandsaws are arguably the best band saw to choose because of portability and weight, but the type of work you do might mean you have to consider one of the other types.

Best Suited for: Light usage; home handyman, hobby woodworker

Pros: Cheapest, lightest, portable

Cons: Cannot be used for internal cutting, small cutting capacity, limited cutting space

Stand Mounted

Stand mounted saws are typically sold in a 14″ diameter configuration. These saws are mounted on cast iron stands for safety or on top of metal cabinets. The stand mounted band saw falls in the medium price range band saw on the market.

Best Suited for: Most curve cutting, small wood shops, most to all wood working tasks

Pros: Very inexpensive compared to floor-standing models, versatile, small work shop footprint

Cons: Limited cut capacity, small motor so limited on board thickness

Floor Standing

This is the biggest type of bandsaw that you can purchase, typically coming with a 14-18″ diameter blade. Floor-standing band saws have the largest motors of the three types. The rugged frame construction and versatility make these saws the preferred choice of most woodworking professionals.

Best Suited for: Professional use, heavy woodworking, good for very thick board stock

Pros: stable, powerful, and very consistent

Cons: The most expensive of the three, large shop footprint

Portable

These are much smaller than the typical band saw, but has become quite popular with some users.

Check out my Dewalt DWM120 review here

Buying Guide: What to look for in a top-rated band saw

Now that we have discussed the three different types of band saws, we will discuss the main features that you should factor in when deciding which band saw to purchase. These features can make woodworking easier and some may even make your profession harder. These are things you must consider when determining the right fit for you.

Throat Size

The throat size is easily explained as the cutting width of the saw. For example, if there is a 17″ tool, that saw will have a cutting width of 17 inches.

Some higher priced models of band saws have the option to switch out blades for narrower cutting width.

It should be carefully noted that the narrower the blade, the less life you will get out of a blade.

Motor Power

This is the amount of power that the tool will have. It is recommended as a general rule of thumb to get a 2HP motor on a bandsaw to prevent binding.

For lighter usage, a 1HP motor may suffice. You will also get a longer life out of a larger motor running at a lower work load than a smaller motor running at a full work load. A smaller motor may burn up quickly if ran under a heavy work load for a considerable amount of time.

Wheel Size

Wheel size is one of the more important things to consider when deciding which tool to purchase. It is recommended that the bigger the wheel size the better. Smaller wheels perform worse than larger wheels because of the smaller blades having a high tendency to bend.

Blade Width

When selecting blade width you must decide on what kind of projects you will be dealing with. If you will be making intricate curves or fine cuts, you will want an 1/8″ wide blade, whereas if you are ripping lumber you may want to get a wider blade for greater cutting efficiency.

Table

When looking for a good table for your bandsaw you want to find a table that is very sturdy and does not flex. Most good tables are made of cast iron or heavy duty aluminum. A lot of individuals cut some spending on buying a sheetmetal table, however these tables bend and flex therefore do not last very long.

Types of Use

Whether you are looking for a band saw to use everyday or to use once a month, all of these factors come into play.

You also will want to factory in warranty and manufacturer reputation when choosing the right tool for the money.

Conclusion

If I were looking for a new bandsaw for my garage, I would have to choose the JET HVBS-7MW. This is the best bandaw for the money with great reviews and ratings. The lack of disadvantages and high star rating paired with an abundant amount of information would make me chose this tool. It is hard to ignore other peoples opinions on the product when the praise is so great. The versatility of the JET HVBS-7MW is extensive and overwhelming. This top-rated band saw would most definitely be my number 1 pick.

The other products reviewed under the Top-Rated section above will also point you towards very exceptional tools, however for my amount of work and needs, the best band saw for me is the JET. With so many great reviews, the JET is miles ahead of many others in it’s class.

The other products reviewed under the Top-Rated section above will also point you towards very exceptional tools, however for my amount of work and needs, the best band saw for me is the JET. With so many great reviews, the JET is miles ahead of many others in it’s class.​