When it comes to cutting large pieces of wood, most people’s first tool choice would probably be the table saw, but what if we told you that there was a better tool for cutting wood? Well, that option exists, and it is called the band saw.
These tools are a great alternative to your traditional table saw because they can not only cut bulk wood, but they can also make more accurate cuts, as well as things like curved cuts. This makes them a more versatile tool overall.
If the idea of using a band saw appeals to you, then you have come to the right article. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of the best band saws currently on the market. If you want to know right away which product is the best of the best, it is the Woodskil 3A Band Saw.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Band Saws 2021:
Rikon 10-3061 Deluxe Band saw
To start off our review list, we wanted to do a review of a very high-end band saw that can really show off what a well-made version of these tools can do. We wanted something that offers reliable performance in every respect.
While there are a few different candidates (all of which will appear on our list), the bandsaw that we ultimately decided to start off reviewing was the Rikon 10-3061 Deluxe Band saw. This is a band saw that really does a good job of showing off the utility of these tools and why they are good alternatives to circular saws.
The first thing that we want to note in this review is how powerful this particular saw is. You can probably understand why, since everyone’s primary concern when it comes to cutting tools like saws is ensuring that the tool has the horsepower necessary to saw through even the toughest, thickest pieces of wood. As you might imagine, given the quality of this saw, it is pretty powerful saw.
The motor on this is rated for 5.5 amps, which is more than good enough for the vast majority of jobs that one is going to need a band saw for. Furthermore, in terms of RPM, this is also a pretty impressive saw. It can reach outputs of up to 1720 RPM. We haven’t covered what this means yet, but it essentially refers to how fast the blade rotates. A higher RPM is a sign of a more efficient saw.
A feature on this band saw that we really like is the ability to have the table be tilted. It can be tilted up to 45 degrees, which can make it easier to maneuver certain pieces of wood into the blade. It can also help when it comes to making angled or curved cuts, which is obviously one of the main jobs of a band saw, so any feature that helps in that regard is very important.
While this may seem like a very minor feature at first, we personally like the fact that this saw comes with a built-in vacuum port, which aids in dust removal. It can seem small, but like all saws, band saws produce a ton of dust and being able to get rid of it quickly is helpful.
- Decent amps and RPM.
- Good, high-end saw.
- Pretty sturdy and well-built.
- Doesn’t take up as much space as you would think.
- The fence on the saw is a bit too flimsy.
General International Wood Cutting Band Saw
Following up that last review, we are once again going to be taking a look at yet another band saw that is going to appeal to those of you who are looking for something that is really well-made and professional.
While the price of the General International Wood Cutting Band Saw may be a bit difficult to stomach at first, trust us when we say that those of you willing to push through it are going to be getting one of the absolute best band saws on the market at this moment, and from a relatively unknown brand as well.
Easily the best thing about this band saw is just how well-made it is. If you are looking for a tool that is extremely durable and well-made, then this band saw is easily the right option for you. At the same time, this is also a tool that is pretty powerful. With its high-quality motor, the General International Wood Cutting Band Saw is a great option for bulk cutting of tough wood.
Really, the only issue that we can really think of when it comes to this particular band saw has to do with its price. Unless you are an extremely dedicated professional, it is safe to say that spending over $500 on any tool is a bit much. Well, that is how much this saw from General International costs, and we know that this might make it a bit less appealing for many of you reading this article. That is why we will be looking at some more inexpensive options down the line.
- Extremely powerful band saw.
- Built very well.
- Can stand up to continuous heavy use.
- The priciest band saw that will be on this list.
WEN 3939T Benchtop Band Saw
After so many pricey, high-end options on our best band saws list, we decided that it would be a good idea to take a look at something that is a bit more affordable, while still being up to the standards of the other products that have appeared on this review list. The affordable option that we decided on was the WEN 3939T Benchtop Band Saw.
The WEN is definitely a decent benchtop band saw. The 2.8 amp motor isn’t great, at least by the standards of this list, but it certainly isn’t bad either.
The machine is also still capable of delivering up to 2460 feet worth of rotations per minute, which makes for fairly efficient cut. You will also want to consider that this saw has a dust port and the ability to fairly accurate mitre cuts. Overall, this is definitely not bad for
In the beginning we highlighted the price of this saw as one of its major selling points, so let’s move onto discussing exactly what this saw will cost you.
You can get it for a decent bit under $200. Now, whether that is “cheap” is going to depend on your own personal tolerances for spending money. But it is undeniable that being able to get a decent band saw for that much is impressive. Likewise, the price certainly sets it apart from a lot of the other band saws that you have seen, which often go well above $300.
As you can probably imagine, the main issue with the WEN 3939T Benchtop Band Saw has to do with the fact that, at the end of the day, this is still a cheaper band saw, so it is going to have to compromise in some areas.
In the case of this particular saw, the compromise comes in the form of the power output. Sadly, the WEN, with its under 3 amp motor, just isn’t quite as powerful as some of the beefier saws that we have reviewed on this list.
- A great, inexpensive band saw.
- Great for those buying for the first time or those on a budget.
- Decently powered motor when you factor in price.
- Not as powerful as some of the more expensive options.
SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw – Compact Option
Portable band saws that are meant for cutting wood, as opposed to metal, can be tricky to find. However, there are a few band saws that, while technically still benchtop saws, are a lot smaller and much better for those who either need something portable or at the very least, something that takes up less space. One of the best examples of what we are talking about is the SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw.
While the SKIL may not fit into your own definition of “compact,” when compared to a lot of the other band saws that you are going to find on the market or on our best band saws list, you can see why we consider this to be a more compact option. It is the option that we would personally recommend to anyone with a smaller than average garage or tool shed, since they may not have the room for one of the larger band saws.
As for how the saw performs, it does alright. While we have some concerns about its overall power output (which we will cover shortly), you can’t fault this saw’s accuracy. It is more than capable of making the sort of accurate cuts that one expects any standard band saw to be able to make. As a sort of little bonus, it has an LED for working in low-light conditions.
While the fact that this is a smaller, more mobile band saw certainly has its advantages, it does also mean that there are some downsides. The most notable issue that we could find has to do with the fact that this saw just isn’t that powerful.
With only 2.5 amps of power, this is one of the weaker band saws that we are reviewing on this list. While 2.5 amps might not seem that bad on its own, the fact that this is also a lot pricier than some saws with a similar power output (like the WEN band saw) makes it a bit harder to swallow.
- A bit more compact than average.
- Has an attached LED for low-light working.
- A fairly accurate and easy to use band saw.
- Small size makes it a bit underpowered.
Woodskil 3A Band Saw – Under $200
For the final product on our best band saws list, we are going to be reviewing another option that is designed for those of you who want something that is both high-performing and easy on your wallet (much like the WEN).
The band saw that we are referring to is the Woodskil 3A Band Saw. As you will see in this review, aside from just being cheap, this product also has a ton of great features that any handyman is sure to appreciate.
In terms of power, the Woodskil isn’t going to blow you away if you have been following along with this list simply because we have reviewed so many other, professional-quality band saws, so the bar is quite high. In spite of this, the Woodskil isn’t too bad. It has a 3 amp motor and an RPM of around 1720.
So, like we just said, it isn’t amazing by any stretch, but it is adequate enough for quite a few jobs, and when you factor in the very reasonable price of this tool (it costs under $200), it is hard to really complain too much.
Once you get past looking at pure power output, you start to really see the value of this band saw. The Woodskil 3A Band Saw is equipped with a surprising number of features given its price point that just help to set the tool apart.
First off, there is the fact that the table can be titled to make cutting at certain angles much easier. We mentioned before that we though a tilting table was a very useful feature to have on this type of tool and we are happy to see it on the Woodskil.
Secondly, there is the anti-vibration features. Band saws, regardless of how powerful they actually are, have a tendency to vibrate, with some vibrating more than others. This vibration is annoying, and it can impact the overall accuracy of the saw. So, the fact that this particular option comes with strong anti-vibration features is also a major plus.
Before ending off this review, we want to mention what we think are two flaws with this saw. First off, it is very noisy. Secondly, the saw does seem to take up a bit more space than usual. Still, despite these flaws, we would consider this to be the best band saw in our list.
- Great anti-vibration features.
- Relatively moderate price for its quality.
- Decent enough power output.
- Takes up a lot of space.
- Makes an extreme amount of noise.
Band Saw Buying Guide
Given that these saws aren’t anywhere near as popular as either circular saws or table saws, we thought that it would be a very good idea to include a short buying guide to go along with our reviews, as this will contain useful information that explains some things about these saws.
What Band Saws Are Used For
Just quickly we want to explain what these saws are used for. Band saws are, obviously, meant for cutting wood, but they fill a different role then circular saws or table saws.
Whereas neither of those saws are good for cutting at an angle or cutting curves into wood, band saws are perfect for that. As a result, these are a slightly more versatile cutting tool, and they are the perfect option for any sort of intricate woodworking.
Measuring Their Power
Even though band saws are meant to be a bit more intricate than many other types of saws, raw power output is still extremely important. For a benchtop table saw, measuring power requires you to look at a few different things and weigh various factors.
Firstly, there is the power of the tool’s motor. Like all corded tools, this is measured in amps, the more amps, the better the motor.
Secondly, there is a concept called rotations per minute or feet per minute, which are often used interchangeably when talking about band saws. Both essentially refer to how fast the saw moves per minute. Again, the higher the number, the better the saw’s power is. Finally, you want to consider the quality of the blade. A sharper blade is going to cut through material a lot easier.
The Size of the Saw
While the vast majority of “portable” band saws are meant for cutting metal (and therefore aren’t good for wood, as we will explain shortly), you can find benchtop band saws that don’t take up quite as much room.
So, if you are limited in terms of space, don’t settle for a larger option because you can find some compact band saws, as our review list showed.
A Note of Caution
If you are completely new to band saws, we want to leave you with a quick word of caution. There are essentially two types of band saws. Those that are meant to cut wood and those meant to cut metal.
While you might think that the metal cutting saws would be good for wood due their power, the truth is that they are actually too strong. Band saws need to make clean cuts and metal-cutting band saws aren’t good for that as they leave the wood splintered and scarred.
What Is a Band Saw Used For?
Band saws have many uses. Some saws have more teeth than others, but basically any band saw will be able to do most anything you need it to do. But even though there are band saws with multiple teeth, not all of them are the same. A band saw blade is designed to cut certain types of materials. There are four main types of band saw blades.
Types Of Blades
These four types of band saw blades can be classified by the teeth per inch of the blade itself. This means the blade type is not nearly as important as the tooth count or how big the blade is in relation to the saw’s size. Band saws have become increasingly popular over the years, and many manufacturers make them, but there are some things that remain the same no matter which brand you choose.
Most saws will be one of four types of teeth per inch. The teeth are known as arbor, straight, cross, or miter. The miter option is considered the ideal option because it uses a cross shape with a single tooth on each side of the cross. Cross teeth per inch are considered to be the best option if you are a contractor and you need to cut long beams. These are made up of two straight teeth and a single straight tooth. If you need to cut thinner materials, the straight option is usually better because it will produce a straighter cut.
Not all four types of teeth per inch are the same.
The width of the band saw blade varies by type. Two band saw blades of the same width may vary by one half of an inch. When the width is small, you may not need to cross the teeth to cut the material. If you need this function, it can be achieved by purchasing a machine with a small band saw blade.
Another function that you may see in a saw is what is a band saw used for construction purposes. Construction companies use these machines often because they are much more efficient than a normal wood lathe. The width of the saw is also much smaller, which allows the company to perform many more tasks in a shorter period of time.
Some homeowners know what is a band saw used for at least once in their life.
This machine is used quite frequently in woodworking shops. People who need to raw materials into smaller pieces will often turn to a band saw to accomplish their goal. It is also good for people who do not want to deal with any complex assembly or cutting process.
A band saw also has a couple of advantages over a lathe. A band saw is less expensive and takes up less space. Also, the ability to make very intricate cuts is a distinct advantage over using two tools. The ability to make intricate cuts also makes it easier for the homeowner to complete detailed projects. A band saw used for what is a wood working project is one tool that can make the project simpler.
The size of the blade is one factor that will determine the type of band saw that you purchase. The band saw blades come in a variety of sizes and shapes. If the project you need to work on has a specific size requirement, you may have to look for a brand that meets or exceeds that size requirement. Also, the width of the blade is another important factor when making a decision. The band saw blades come in widths that range from six inches to four feet.
Band Saw Safety Standards
Any professional band saw user would definitely advise you to follow all the band saw safety procedures to avoid any untoward incidents. Even any careless and inattentive handling of the band saw by an individual can cause an immediate serious injury on your body. So, your first and primary responsibility while starting your task with the band saw is to read and learn the complete guideline procedures for operating it safely.
Firstly, the safety procedures include making sure that the band saw is in good working condition. Make sure the saw blade is not dull and it is properly sharpened and cleaned. Before starting your work, you should ensure that the blades are oiled to avoid the cutting problems that may arise during the session.
Another important aspect of band saw safety is the proper storage of the machine. You should store it away from the area where there is moisture. The best place to keep it is in a dry area such as a basement or garage.
Secondly, another band saw safety procedure that you should strictly follow is keeping the blades clear of your fingers. This is because if you touch the blades with your finger or hands then it will cut off the flow of the blade, which is very dangerous. Even if the band saw is not in use then you should always keep the blade guard under your control.
This guard prevents the blade from hitting your fingers and hands when you’re operating the saw.
Maintain a Safe Distance When Using a Band Saw
Another important point that you should always remember while operating the band saw is maintaining the right safe distance from the cutting line. The safe distance is especially required while cutting large pieces and when you’re working with small pieces.
For example, when cutting large boards you should be at least 2 feet away from the board. Similarly, when cutting small pieces such as plates you should keep at least a foot of distance from the plate. Maintaining the right distance ensures that you don’t accidentally hit your fingers.
Another important point for band saw safety is ensuring that the blade is kept clean and free from nicks. Nicks occur when you accidentally hit the blade with the saw. Blade guards ensure that your blade remains free from nicks. While using the machine you should keep your fingers out of the blade guard.
An additional band saw safety guard that you can use to maintain your machine is a plastic or rubber band. These bands ensure that the blade is safe from accidental cuts. Keep the plastic band snug against the saw and move it back and forth.
Blade Safety – Important PPE
The blade will slide along the plastic band and ensure that it remains unobstructed. Band saws use saw blades with diamond composite carbide wheels which are very hard. Using saw blades with carbide wheels will ensure that the wheels stay sharp and that they last longer.
You should also follow three other band saw safety rules. First, you should always wear goggles even when using the band saw at home. Goggles will provide eye protection and will ensure that you are not blinded by sawdust.
Second, you should always make sure that your hands are well protected even when you are not using the band saw at home. It is important to protect your hands so that you don’t accidentally slice your finger off while using the machine.
Keep It Clean
Last, but certainly not least, you should always make sure that you always keep the saw clean. To maintain the best quality control, you should keep the blades clean. By regularly cleaning your blade you will reduce the chances of any accidents related to unsafe blade sharpening.
The band saw safety standards you have to follow will help you to prevent the accidents related to the band saw blades. By following these standards, the chances of injury due to band saw accidents will be significantly reduced.
Below you can find a comment section where we welcome any and all feedback regarding our best band saws article.
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