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Band saws are powerful tools for making curvaceous woodcuts and they also work great for ripping lumber into thinner pieces. A good band saw needs to be able to make accurate crosscuts and work in the smoothest manner possible. It works on an old wheel and pulley system for motioning the blade and executing a downward cut. Band saws are usually safer than table saws for this reason as the ‘kickback’ from a table saw is basically completely removed thanks to the downward cutting action. You might also be interested in our articles about the best wood routers and the best detail sanders.
Band saws come in multiple shapes and sizes and there are bench top models as well as other more portable variants. If you’re a woodworking hobbyist or a professional who needs a brand new tool, you’ve come to the right place. This article will show you the most reliable and cost-effective band saws available on the current market. Before you check the individual reviews of these tools, let’s take a quick look at some essential band saw features to consider.
If you’re going with a typical band saw, the number one thing to analyze is the quality of the frame. Due to the fact that it represents the main support for the whole unit, it’s worth being careful when choosing. Some of the most used construction types for band saw frames are welded steel, cast iron, and die-cast. Cast iron is usually the one that’s most recommended due to its exceptional strength and the nice weighty feel which ensures a good level of stability for the entire unit.
2. Wheel weight
The weight of the wheel can matter if you want a cutting experience that’s more suited to your needs. Internal wheels are made of heavy cast iron for certain band saws but there are also models which use lighter aluminum wheels. This is a personal preference thing but if you’re not sure, it’s best to go with cast iron wheels as the cutting process feels steadier and more consistent.
If portability is a key factor for you and you don’t have enough space to handle a full band saw, the market also offers more portable saws that can help you achieve the same purpose. In this article, you should find many models that are cordless and simpler to maneuver.
Figuring out the quality of a cut made by a band saw is not an easy thing to do when shopping for this kind of tool, but hopefully, this little guide offered you some good indicators. Now it’s time to look at the following selection of the most cost-effective options for band saws, those models that stand out due to their superior performance and overall better quality.
Best Band Saw For The Money
The WEN 3962 represents the top choice on this list due to its reliable performance and the generous working surface. It operates with the help of a capable 3.5-amp motor that’s able to cut up to a maximum of 6 inches deep and 9-3/4 inches wide. The price seems reasonable considering the level of quality found in this band saw.
To maintain plenty of space on your workbench, the stand elevates the band saw in a smart manner and it’s also worth noting that it’s simple to assemble. Ensuring dependable service is important for such a complex machine, and one way to do this is by using high-quality ball-bearing such as the ones found here, which provide smooth wheel operation.
Depending on the intricacies needed, you can use a wide variety of blades with this model. Anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch, 72-inch blades should work without any issues. You can create angled cuts with a generous depth and to do this you will need to bevel the table to a maximum of 45 degrees to the right.
The blade can run at different speeds according to the project’s requirements. You can have it work at 1520 feet per minute or the increased speed of 2620 feet per minute. A 3-in-1 dust port has been integrated to accommodate multiple types of dust collection hose sizes.
As an extra bonus, this model comes equipped with a flexible workbench, but this is not all. There are other additional accessories included such as the miter gauge and the robust fence which is particularly useful when executing straight cuts.
While there’s a bit of work needed to make the correct adjustments, it’s safe to say that working with the WEN 3962 band saw is an absolute pleasure. You can expect a very reliable level of performance and, considering the overall value, this one is strongly recommended.
- Bevelling Table
- 25-Inch Stand
- Sliding Miter Gauge
- 3-in-1 Dust Collection Port
- Flexible Worklight
- Reversible Fence
- Ball-Bearing Operation
One solid portable option that offers a very high-quality blade is the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12, a band saw which you can use one-handed without any issues. There are many applications that this powerful saw can be used for. Some of its standout features are the high capacity battery, the variable speed trigger, and the outstanding metal cutting power.
This unit is incredibly compact, even for a cordless band saw. It’s easy to handle with one hand thanks to its weight which, compared to a conventional deep cut band saw, is reduced by more than a half. Any professionals such as electricians and other users could benefit from this enhanced level of portability.
In approximately three seconds, this saw can smoothly cut through 3/4” EMT. You can expect around 150 cuts on a single charge thanks to its Redlithium battery which has a solid capacity. The included charger should quickly get you back into action thanks to the 30 minutes charging time.
One solid aspect regarding this unit is the adjustable blade tracking as well as the low vibration. The 1-5/8 inches x 1-5/8 inches cut capacity is fairly decent too allowing the saw to perform clean cuts on many metal applications.
Some security features are also integrated such as the dual-latching lower guard which addresses the OSHA guarding requirements. If you’re working in low light conditions, you can use the LED light for enhanced visibility of the cut line.
Besides the power tool, the Milwaukee 2429-21XC M12 comes as a full kit with many useful accessories. Apart from the battery and the charger, there’s also a hard-plastic case provided to store everything more conveniently. All in all, this band saw works flawlessly and is extremely safe to use with one hand, which is very welcomed if you work in a place with very strict rules.
- Cordless unit
- Compact and lightweight
- Up to 150 cuts per charge
- 1-5/8″ Cut Capacity
- Suitable for One-Handed Use
- Adjustable blade tracking
Best Portable Band Saw
DeWalt managed to create a very balanced mix of durability and versatility through the DWM120K portable band saw. This one offers a strong 10-amp motor with variable speed control. There are many other enhancements in place to help you with the overall cutting process. Let’s see why this unit deserves a spot on this list.
The motor is strong enough for tackling more difficult cutting jobs. The speeds that it can reach range anywhere from 100 to 350 SFM and if you need a more precise adjustment, you can use the variable-speed dial.
Thanks to a durable and highly adjustable material guide, this band saw can be easily set to work with various materials while a bright LED light improves the visibility of the cutting area. The long life of this portable unit is also ensured by the integrated hang hook, the serviceable steel shroud, as well as the rubber bumpers.
Reducing the wear of the blade is done with the help of an accurate blade tracking adjustment system. This results in increased lifespan for the blade and for more reliability in time, the dual bearing blade guide rollers have a large contribution to the entire support system of the blade.
Comfort is another aspect that received some consideration from DeWalt. The grip is essential for a saw to perform well and this model features a very generously-sized front handle which can be used in multiple positions. It provides plenty of space to work so you can be sure that you’ll always be able to obtain accurate cutting results. The back handle has also received a soft ergonomic treatment.
As it’s able to cut a varied range of metals with ease, the DeWalt DWM120K is an extremely versatile power tool that doesn’t disappoint in terms of performance and comfort. The construction is pretty solid but without sacrificing portability. This one’s highly recommended for anyone who needs a powerful band saw for the money.
- 10-amp motor
- Ergonomic and comfortable
- Variable speed dial
- Adjustable material guide
- LED sight light
- Enhanced blade durability
With a solid steel design and a large sturdy cast iron table, the Rikon 10-305 is a very interesting option on the market for band saws. It provides ample cutting power and brings together a high-quality set of features that you’d normally expect in larger band saws. There’s some great potential in this model, especially for its cost.
The performance on this unit is brought by the 1/3 HP motor which delivers all the power you need to handle even tougher cutting jobs. To work more efficiently, you’ve got edge facing thrust bearings and a solid 4-5/8 inch cutting capacity.
One area where this band saw gets it right is the cast iron table which is large and convenient to work with. The table can be tilted from 0 to 45 degrees. Another handy feature is the large blade tension knob and the included rip fence. There’s a dust port for hooking up a vacuum and another integrated function is the safety paddle switch.
Performance-wise, the blade goes up to a maximum speed of 2780 feet per minute. Tracking adjustments can be done quite easily as opposed to more complex models out there. It’s worth noting that the construction feels very solid overall and the table looks very reliable considering that it’s flat and square.
Changing the blade for this band saw is only a matter of minutes and as long as you have multiple blades available, this machine can handle a wide range of woodworking tasks. There’s no significant vibration and the noise doesn’t pose a problem.
Considering everything about the Rikon 10-305, it can be said that this is a decent budget option for anyone who needs a reliable band saw. It’s especially recommended for those with more limited space in their workshops.
- Steel plate frame
- Cast iron table
- 1/3HP motor
- Micro Adjustable Guide Post
- Large work surface
Milwaukee is a very appreciated manufacturer of power tools and one of their best band saws is the 6232-21 model. It delivers in terms of durability and power promising a very large cut capacity at 5″ by 5″. It looks like Milwaukee is setting a new standard in the metalworking sector with this rich-featured band saw.
With the help of the All Metal Direct Drive system, this saw should last for longer and won’t require as much servicing compared to a model that uses a chain drive system. Something that also contributes to the overall durable impression of this band saw is the gear protecting clutch that absorbs the eventual impacts from blade lock-ups.
Another great technology integrated into this machine is the Constant Power Technology which enables you to maintain the optimal speed for your cuts, an aspect that can prove critical for certain projects. The 11-amp motor has enough power to ensure a great level of performance, but this unit seems to have other strengths too.
Obtaining precise cut results can only be done if you see what you’re doing more clearly. This is why the manufacturer went for a more slimmer motor housing that boosts the visibility of the cut. For extra productivity, there’s also an integrated LED light.
The body of this tool has been designed for natural holding and there are some ergonomic improvements to help with the comfort. One feature that really helps with the overall maneuverability is the low weight which guarantees a more reliable control with reduced fatigue for the user.
Taking into account all these amazing abilities, it can be concluded that the Milwaukee 6232-21 hits all the right spots for many professionals and hobbyists in need of a reliable band saw. If you want to upgrade from angle grinders, this tool can take you very far as it boasts a powerful combination of durability and versatility.
- All Metal Direct Drive
- Job Site Armor Technology
- Gear Protecting Clutch
- Powerful 11 Amp Motor
- Constant Power Technology
- Debris Protection System
- Tool-Free Locking Adjustable Shoe
For those in need of reliable cutting power suitable to a varied range of applications, the Makita XBP02TX 18V LXT looks like a great choice. This cordless unit offers a high torque motor and many convenient features to cut metal in the fastest and most efficient manner. The band saw also comes with two large batteries that don’t take long to charge.
The built-in motor on this model ensures a fast cutting speed, but you’re probably more interested in getting a precise cut. Controlling the speed can be done with the help of the handy control dial with six settings between 275 and 530 ft./min.
One particular innovation that’s found in Makita tools is the Star Protection Computer Controls communication technology. This enables for efficient real-time data exchange between the tool and battery so as to prevent any overloading and overheating issues.
This band saw is constructed with durability in mind as evidenced by its protective bumper design. It should have no issues with cutting all thread, pipe, sheet metal, and many more. The batteries included in this kit are also very reliable. One full charge takes only about 45 minutes which reasonable.
Comfort-wise, this band saw has some solid features. The main thing that stands out is obviously the compact design and the low weight of only 14.3 pounds including the battery. User’s fatigue will be further reduced thanks to the rubberized soft grip handle. A LED light is also integrated to illuminate your cutting area.
As with many other Makita tools, the XBP02TX 18V LXT is a very capable machine that can impress many people who work with band saws. The performance on this model is on point and the saw cuts exactly as advertised, working exceptionally well for those hard-to-reach places. This is a great specialized tool, intelligently-designed and very sturdily constructed. Highly recommended.
- 6-setting variable speed control dial
- 275-530 ft./min. cutting speed
- Low weight
- Built-in L.E.D. Protection circuit
- Adjustable foot
- Rubberized soft grip handle
- Star Protection Computer Controls
Best Band Saw Blade For Metal
If you’re looking to get your hands on a benchtop band saw that comes with a decent cost for its abilities, look no further than the WEN 3975. This compact model offers precise blade adjustment to ensure better material compatibility, a beveling blade and promises a long lifespan. Let’s see if this band saw is worth the money.
This unit’s blade speed can be adjusted without too much hassle. For ensuring the best compatibility with various metals, you can have it cut with a speed anywhere between 125-260 feet per minute. This is a decent level of performance, suitable for a more entry-level workshop.
Thanks to the beveling blade, cuts can be made from different angles, from 0 to a maximum of 60 degrees. If you need to cut pipes with a diameter of 5 inches, this tool can do the job and it’s also a good match for rectangular materials that don’t go over 5 x 4-7/8 inches in size. Adjustments can be done when you need to work on a different job thanks to the tilt knobs and the onboard blade tension.
Storing or transporting this benchtop band saw is a breeze due to the particularly compact design. Whether you need it on job site or for your home workshop, this won’t pose any problems. It’s also rugged enough to withstand the test of time. The ball bearing blade guides are proof of WEN’s dedication to creating a durable tool.
Copper, steel, aluminum, you name it – this band saw can tackle them all. Factoring in the versatility, the compact design, and the reliable beveling blade, the WEN 3975 is definitely worth the investment. Its cost is actually quite affordable considering that this is a tool better suited for less demanding projects. Those who want something more professional should probably look elsewhere, but if you’re a hobbyist, this is an excellent choice.
- Cuts various metals including aluminum, brass, steel, and others
- 125 to 260 feet per minute adjustable speed
- Beveling blade
- Compact design
- 4.5-amp motor
Milwaukee’s 2629-20 M18 band saw is an ideal tool for cutting metal in tighter spaces thanks to its compact design. Some of the features of this model are the blade ejection system, the reliable work light, and a convenient material guide that’s adjustable without the need for tools. You can make all sorts of cuts with this band saw, so let’s take a more in-depth look at its capabilities.
If you need a band saw to do work on various job sites, you are most likely going to need a portable model to make your life easier. This unit weighs only 10.25 pounds which is very simple to carry. It’s approximately 45% lighter than deep cut models and another advantage of its compact design is that it works much better for doing overhead cuttings or reaching tight spots.
The 3-1/4” cut capacity is not outstanding but it should handle most cutting applications that make use of standard materials. Adjusting the shoe can be done quickly and without the need for tools. There’s also the possibility to enable flush cuts when dealing with materials that are found against walls and ceilings.
Thanks to an advanced blade ejection system you can fit in another blade if a different project demands it. The whole blade changing process is much simplified by moving the material guide and using the blade ejection button. A LED work light has been included to facilitate working in low-light environments.
When it comes to construction, there have been some enhancements such as the shock resistance for the pulley guard. It’s been reinforced with high impact polymer. The gear case is also made of cast aluminum to be able to take some beatings on job site while it’s also helpful to maintain the best gear positioning.
This one’s only the bare tool so you will have to purchase both the blade and the battery separately. That’s not a very big issue considering the price. All things taken into account, the Milwaukee 2629-20 M18 is a decent band saw for the cost. There’s room for improvement on certain aspects but if you don’t work on particularly demanding projects, this makes some clean cuts on many metal materials.
- Compact lightweight design
- 3-1/4” Cut Capacity
- Tool-free adjustable material guide
- LED Work Light
- Blade Ejection System
- Cast Aluminum Gear Case