Last updated on January 17th, 2023 at 11:28 pm
A band saw might not look like much but it’s actually one of the most important cutting tools every woodworker and metalworker or fabricator should have in their workshop.
It’s one of the major machines that will make your job or projects easier to undertake.
There are many uses for it, from resawing thick lumber, processing small logs, making veneers to cutting shapes in wood, you’ll find it hard to do without one at your disposal.
It’s equally important for metal fabrication. Horizontal bandsaws used for cutting metal have some important advantages over other metal cutting tools. One of such advantages is that you can clamp your workpiece to the bandsaw and allow it to cut through it all by itself, while you attend to another task. It will cut through it and stop automatically once the cut is done without your intervention. This saves you time, allowing you to multi-task while carrying out a project.
Although it shouldn’t be the first, a bandsaw should however be one of the first types of saws you should get as a woodworker just starting out.
This is because it’s a very versatile tool that will help you tackle or expand the range of projects you carry out in your shop.
Unless you’re not really going to be using it frequently, if you’re buying a band saw, you should go for a high capacity and a high quality one. At least, the best your budget allows.
This is because the higher the capacity and quality, the more versatile it will be and the higher the quality of the cuts you’ll get with it.
Band saws are sized according to the diameter of their wheels. A 14 inch band saw have wheels that are 14 inches in diameter. There are 9 inch, 10 inch, 14 inch, 17 inch band saws and so on.
The larger the wheel is, the larger the machine will be, and depending on the quality of the material of the wheel, the greater the momentum it will produce making it easier to make cuts with it.
Large wheeled band saws also makes use of longer and thicker blades which are better for resawing and cutting larger stocks.
This review covers the 10 best band saws you can get today for your woodworking and metal fabrication projects.
There are two main types covered here, which are vertical and horizontal bandsaws.
The vertical types are mainly for cutting wood and non-ferrous metals, while the horizontal units are best for cutting steel like rebar, angle iron, round bars, steel beams and so on. There are also portable handheld units, also for cutting metal.
1. Grizzly Industrial G0555 14 inch band saw
If you need a top quality industrial-grade band saw for use in your workshop, Grizzly produces some of the best ones.
This particular model is the Grizzly G0555. It’s a 14 inch wheel band saw with a lot of capacity and quality to help you carry out the top jobs that can and should be done on a band saw.
Equipped with a 1 hp, 110/220V compatible single-phase motor, the band saw blade spins at a variable speed of 1500 and 3200 feets per minute.
A 14 inch by 14 inch table provides a large cutting area for you to handle large jobs, and with a maximum cutting height of 6 inches, the machine is clearly built to handle large stocks of wood.
The frame and table is made of precision-ground cast iron to provide a steady work surface with minimum vibration.
Aiding that is a heavy-duty cast stand and cast aluminum wheels with rubber tires for easy movement of the blade.
It comes equipped with a quick-release blade tension lever to remove or add tension to the blade.
Overall, the Grizzly G0555 comes equipped with all the features you’d need in a bandsaw.
If you plan on doing a lot of resawing, you can always opt for the Grizzly G0555XH which is a higher model with a height capacity of 12 inches and comes equipped with a resaw fence to make resawing with it very easy.
2. Powermatic PM1500 band saw
If you’re thinking about getting power tools like this, Powermatic is always one of the best brands to go for.
Although relatively more expensive than the competition, their 15 inch band saw comes packed with features that makes it worth the while.
In contrast with other 15 inch band saws, this Powermatic PM1500 features a 14-1/2 inch of throat 14 inches of resaw capacity.
It makes use of blades with a lenth of 153 inches and a minimum and maximum blade width of 1/8 inches and 1 inch respectively.
The bandsaw features a sturdy cast iron table with dimensions of 21-1/2 by 16 inches and a trunnion assembly provides a wide, strong and solid platform for heavy work pieces.
Easy blade tension and release mechanism comes with an electrical interlock feature that prevents the bandsaw from accidental startups when the blade is released or de-tensioned.
Powermatic’s exclusive T-Square style Accu-Fence system ensures maximum accuracy and safety when making use of the band saw machine.
The upper and lower 15 inch wheels are made of solid cast iron which helps create momentum needed for heavy duty resawing projects. If you need to stop the saw in case of an emergency, the foot brake that comes with it provides a hands-free means to get that done.
3. Delta 28-400 14 inch band saw
This 14 inch wheel band saw from Delta houses a 1 hp motor that allows you to cut at speeds of 1620 FPM and 3,340 FPM.
The first speed for cutting wood, and the later higher speed for cutting non-ferrous metals.
An oversized 15 ¾ inch by 18 7/8 inch precision ground cast iron table featuring a T miter slot provides a steady work surface to handle your projects.
The two aluminum rubber coated upper and lower 9 spoke wheels are precision balanced for easy tracking of the blade.
There’s little to no vibration in the machine as the Delta 28-400 is designed and constructed with a heavy duty steel frame.
With up to 6 inches height capacity and 13-5/8 inches width capacity, you can accommodate and work on large materials with the saw.
A poly v-belt drive keeps the wheels running smoothly and a dust brush on the lower wheel keeps the blade clean and sharp as you work with the machine.
4. Jet Jwbs-14SFX 14 inch bandsaw
Talking about band saws, some of the best ones are made by JET. Run some wood stocks through this Jet Jwbs-14SFX 14 inch bandsaw and you’d surely agree with us.
Weighing over 300 lbs, this bandsaw is a heavy duty machine designed and constructed with high quality tubular steel.
The 14 inch wheels provides enough leverage and power to saw through even the hardest of woods, and with over 13 inches of resaw capacity, you can be sure that it can handle large workpieces conveniently.
You need no tools to adjust the upper and lower ball bearings. The saw comes equipped with JET’s easily adjustable tool-less blade guide system which makes it easier to use and ensuring there’s very little downtime.
This saw has the capacity to really handle large stocks of wood as the cast iron table features up to 360 sq. in of work surface which really gives you enough space to handle large stocks on it.
With all the work you can do with this machine, dust collection is very important to keep a neat work surface. That’s why the Jwbs-14SFX comes equipped with 4 inch dust ports to make collecting the dust produced very easy.
5. Shop Fox W1706 14 Inch band saw
The Shop Fox W1706 comes with some features you’d only find in larger and more expensive band saws. Some of the features include cast iron upper and lower wheels and an enclosed cabinet base with storage space for tools and accessories.
Equipped with a 1 HP, TEFC single-phase motor, the Shop Fox produces enough power to slice through the hardest of wood materials.
It has a 13-1/2 inch cutting or throat capacity and a maximum cutting height of 6 inches. Shop Fox produces an optional extension kit you can use to increase the cutting height to 12 inches if you want to.
The saw features a powerful 1 hp single-phase motor producing up to 1725 RPM of speed to power through cuts.
A deluxe miter gauge comes with it, allowing you to make precise angle cuts as well as cross cuts with ease.
You can tilter the cast iron table up to 45 degrees to the right and up to 10 degrees to the left, making it easy for you to carry out even more complicated cuts with the saw.
It comes with a deluxe extruded aluminum fence with a hairline scale which is very easy to read, adjust and provides a solid support for the work piece.
Overall, the Shop Fox W1706 offers some of the best features that makes it one of the best 14 inch band saws you can get your hands on today.
6. KAKA Industrial BS-912B Horizontal Bandsaw
As a metal fabricator, having a dedicated metal cutting bandsaw in the workshop is quite necessary. It will make your job easier, because you can just clamp the metal piece or steel on the bandsaw, switch it on and allow it do all the cutting by itself without you lifting a finger.
Once the cut is complete, an automatic electric cut-out switch stops the machine and the blade from running continuously, so you don’t have to worry about turning it off by yourself.
If I should recommend a few to choose from, this KAKA Industrial BS-912B horizontal band saw will definitely make the list.
It makes both straight 90 degree cuts and bevel / miter cuts up to 45 degrees, which makes it a very versatile piece of equipment.
The KAKA BS-912 features a built-in coolant system on both blade guides and a flow control valve to help the machine cut efficiently and safely without the blade overheating.
It comes equipped with a 2HP motor pre-wired to work at 1 phase, but you can rewire it to work at 3 phases, if that’s what you’re okay with.
It has a maximum circular cutting depth of 9 inches or 229mm at 90 degrees and 6 inches at 45 degrees.
The rectangular cutting depth at 90 degrees and 45 degrees are 7 inch by 12 inches and 5 inches by 6 inches respectively.
A hydraulic cylinder controls the falling speed of the saw bow, which ensures maximum safety and efficiency as the blade cuts through the saw.
The ideal blade size for it is 27 mm wide, 0.9 mm thick and 2655mm long.
7. Grizzly Industrial G0513X2 17 Inch bandsaw
Equipped with a 2 HP motor producing up to 1725 RPM with a dual blade speed of 1700 and 3500 FPM, this Grizzly G0513X2 band saw comes fully equipped with everything you need in a bandsaw.
Apart from that, the 17 inch wheel it comes with makes it even more powerful and ideal for the most demanding projects you can carry out on a band saw.
The wheels are heavy and comes balanced with computers to ensure they run smoothly while working with it.
With up to 12 inches of cutting height capacity and 16-1/4 inch throat capacity, you can use it to tackle a wide range of projects or applications without difficulty.
As for the working table, it’s a large precision-ground cast iron table with dimensions of 23-5/8 inches by 17-1/4 inches, affording you enough room to tackle large projects easily.
The table can be micro-adjusted to allow for even the most intricate of cuts.
From top to bottom, this bandsaw is built to stand the test of time. It comes built with a heavy duty stout steel frame to keep the whole machine rigid and reduce vibration to a bare minimum especially when making resaws with it.
Releasing and tensioning the blade requires no use of tools as it comes with a quick-change blade release and tensioner.
Overall, this G0513X2 17 inch bandsaw from Grizzly Industrial Tools is the ideal saw for woodworkers looking for a large or high capacity band saw to tackle their woodworking projects in the woodshop.
8. WEN 3962 – 10 inch
Although it’s a 10 inch band saw, this WEN 3962 band saw comes with a heavy duty stand that elevates it high enough, making it easier to use.
It features a 3.5 amp motor which can be operated at 2 speeds of 1520 FPM and 2620 FPM.
The saw comes with a 14-1/8 inch by 12-1/2 inch work table which can be beveled up to 45 degrees for more complicated cuts.
It accepts 72 inch long blades that vary in width from 1/8 inch to ½ inches.
With a full 6 inch resaw capacity combined with a 9-3/4 inch throat capacity, the WEN 3962 band saw allows you to handle impressive sizes of wood.
The aluminum fence that comes with it is very sturdy and very easy to adjust as you work with the saw.
A 3-n-1 inch dust port allows you to use different sizes of dust collection hoses for the band saw.
It also features a flexible work light you can switch on to illuminate your work area when it’s dark.
All in all, the WEN 3962 comes with some of the best features you’ll find in any 10 inch bandsaw.
9. Dewalt DCS374B Cordless Portable Band Saw
Not all band saws are big and bulky. Some are small and portable, and sometimes can even go head to head with the big guys on the jobsite.
One of such is the Dewalt DCS374B. When I say go head-to-head, I didn’t mean cutting the same materials. No, most portable band saws like this Dewalt DCS374B are specifically designed for cutting metal or steel, like rebar, angle iron, pipes, square and rectangular tubing, and double strut on the job.
In fact, with its 5 inch cut capacity, the Dewalt DCS374B is capable of cutting SCH 40 pipes up to 4 inches with ease.
It comes with every feature you need to take your metal-cutting to the next level on the job. The 20V Max battery pairs well with the brushless motor powering the saw to ensure it cuts through materials with ease.
Changing the blade is easy and seamless, requiring nothing but simply turning a lever by the side of the saw to release the tension of the blade and swap it with a new one.
Earlier models of this saw like the DCS371B does not have the variable speed option. But with this DCS374B, the speed of the blade can be varied to suit the material being cut, making it very versatile and allowing the user more control over the tool.
It also features a bright LED work light which helps illuminate the work surface and material being cut.
10. Laguna Tools 14bx
This is the Laguna Tools 14bx bands saw with 14 inch wheels and a 12 inch resaw or height capacity.
There are two models of this Laguna tools band saw. One with a 1.75 HP, 110 volt motor and the other with a 2.5 HP, 220 volt motor which is more powerful and slightly more expensive than the first one.
The saw makes use of blades with a minimum width of 1/8 inches, and it occupies a footprint of 17-1/2 inch by 22-1/2 inches.
It’s built with heavy gauge solid steel frame which ensures durability and keeps the machine stable, minimizing vibration during operation.
You can tilt the cast iron table 7 degrees left and 45 degrees right, allowing you to tackle a wide range of projects.
The massive cast trunnion is 8 inches by 13 inches.
Also, the wheels are also made of heavy cast iron which further adds momentum to the blades making it easier to cut through hard materials.
It comes with a magnetic on and off switch and dual mounting positions you can use to mount an optional pro light system to illuminate the work surface.
A quick release and tension lever makes it easy to release or add tension to the band saw blade.
All in all, this band saw by Laguna tools is definitely one of the best band saws you can get today because it’s powerful, made of high quality steel, and there’s no doubt it will be a very durable addition to any woodworking shop.