The Best Band Saws of 2017 – Buying Guide & Reviews

a band saw in actionA band saw is a great tool for decorative cutting. If you want your home furnishings and cabinets to have a new look, you definitely have to own this tool! It’s perfect for making curve cuts, which is essential for wood designs.

The good band saws are able to cut through the thickest lumber! This feature is essential when making cabriole legs and cross-cutting short pieces of wood.

However, the standard purpose of a band saw is cutting irregular shapes and patterns. Aside from that, it can also be helpful when reshaping lumber into thin slabs. And what’s really useful is that if you combine this tool with the right blade, it can cut through other objects like metal.

Therefore, a band saw is a must-have tool for the ambitious handyman and woodworker. It can serve a lot of purposes and extend the flexibility in your everyday life.

Our Top Band Saw Picks

MODELOVERALL DIMENSIONOVERALL WEIGHTUSER RATINGPRICE
Rikon 10-305
Rikon 10-305 Band Saw With Fence, 10-Inch
35.5 inches x 18 inches x 13 inches
73.6 pounds
4.3/5
$$$
Check Latest Price on Amazon
Delta 28-400
Delta 28-400 Steel Frame Band Saw
45 inches x 18 inches x 21 inches
164.9 pounds
4.3/5
$$$$$
Check Latest Price on Amazon
SKIL 3386-01
SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw
31.1 inches x 16.2 inches x 12.8 inches
37.9 pounds
4.0/5
$
Check Latest Price on Amazon

We’ve compiled these reviews for you and all the woodworkers out there. We’ve listed the best models from the best brands. Furthermore, we’ve also included a comprehensive band saw buying guide that will help you make the initial buying decision. Without further ado, here is our popular list of band saws. The band saws are ranked from #1 to #3.

#1 SKIL 3386-01 – Our Top Pick

SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band SawIf you’re looking for a high quality-band saw for a decent price, then you have found the right one. The SKIL 33806-01 will not disappoint you.

The SKIL 3386-01 has a cutting depth of 3-1/8 inch. It’s not as deep as the WEN 3962 band saw, but the depth is definitely more than needed. With this specification, you can easily cut lumber with precision. Moreover, the throat depth of this tool is 9 inches, which enables you to make those intricate cuts.

This band saw uses a 2.5 amp motor to power its blade. It’s a 120-volt machine that can deliver powerful cuts without you having to exert a lot of effort! You’ll love that this tool uses a power cord so that you won’t have to buy new batteries all the time.

It uses a sturdy aluminum table that has ribbed patterns to ensure full control of the cut. Moreover, you can expect that its working space is pretty spacious too! The table has an adjustment setting that enables you to tilt it from 0 degrees to 45 degrees!

You will also find its blade guide adjustment useful for different projects. This feature will give you the versatility to make cuts with customized depths! Working with this band saw is not troubling indeed. It comes with a flexible lamp that gives you visibility. The lamp is also a great help for those who are working in areas that have limited illumination.

Its miter gauge will give you the ability to make the best-angled cuts!

Even though it only has a 1-speed setting, this tool can perfectly cut through metals and other sturdy material. With all these features, it’s no doub that the SKIL 3386-01 is our favorite band saw. It also comes at a fair price, and with a decent warranty.

Specifications:

Overall weight37.9 pounds
Overall dimension31.1 inches x 16.2 inches x 12.8 inches
Power SourceCord (Electric powered)
Additional componentsBare-tool

#2 Rikon 10-305 – The Best Benchtop Band Saw

Rikon 10-305 Band Saw With Fence, 10-InchMost of the serious woodworkers like you, enjoy the benefit of portability. If you treasure portability, you’ll love the Rikon 10-305 bandsaw. It’s considered one of the most portable band saws because of its compact design and features!

The Rikon 10-305 is the opus of Rikon Power Tools. It came as an improved version of its predecessors, 10-345 and 10-325. Those two are popular because of their performance and versatility in different projects. Therefore, you can expect that the Rikon 10-305 is here to surpass them all!

One of the best features of this band saw is its frame. It uses steel plating to improve its rigidity and reliability.

Moreover, the Rikon 10-305 is a full-size band saw that has a benchtop design. This enables this product to be portable, which is essential for the woodworker that’s always on the go.

Also, this band saw has a cast iron table, with the dimensions: 13 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches! It’s a very rigid and large working space that can ensure the stability of your work.

When it comes to power, this machine is a monster! Its motor has has a speed of 2,780 FPM, And its cutting capacity is 4 5/8 inches deep and 9 5/8 inches wide.

It also has a removable rip fence so that you can do free-hand-work comfortably! Working with this tool will also give you precise and accurate cuts. This is because of its micro adjustable guide post, which you can control by the use of a handle. This band saw comes with a safety paddle switch, too!

Specifications:

Overall weight73.6 pounds
Overall dimension35.5 inches x 18 inches x 13 inches
Power SourceCord (Electric powered)
Additional componentsStand

#3 Delta 28-400 – An Honorable Mention

Delta 28-400 Steel Frame Band SawFirst, you should know that this machine has a heavy-duty steel frame construction. It’s definitely one of the top choices for professionals. This steel frame prevents the flexing of this band saw every time you are dealing with heavy materials. Of course, the frame comes with a smooth finish to ensure its durability.

The Delta 28-400 uses a 1 HP motor that has an 115V and 230V power rating. This TEFC motor allows you to operate this machine in two-speed settings (1,620 FPM and 3,340 FPM). The 3,340 FPM is already adequate for cutting non-ferrous metals! Adjusting the speed is easy too, thanks to its pulley.

Now, with all these features, you may ask us why the Delta 28-400 is just an honorable mention. First and foremost, this blade of this band saw can only do one operation at a time. Therefore, there is a need for you to change blades if you are dealing with different projects. It can somehow cause hassle and delay your work.

Moreover, we find the Delta 280-400 less robust compared to its predecessors. It’s quite surprising because we are expecting that this machine should perform better that its old counterparts.

But overall, we think that Delta 280-400 band saw is still one of the decent band saws out there. It’s just that a there are some better models out there.

Specifications:

Overall weight164.9 pounds
Overall dimension45 inches x 18 inches x 21 inches
Power SourceCord (Electric powered)
Additional componentsStand

Band Saw Buying Guide

Here are the general factors that you should consider before buying a band saw.

Size

Normally, the size of a band saw is gauged by its wheels’ diameter. In most brands of band saws, their throat width has a standard size of 1 inch or less. This also sets the parameters to the widest board that this tool will allow to pass through its blade and column. On the other hand, the resaw capacity refers to the maximum thickness that this tool can cut.

If you own a small shop, we recommend that you choose a band saw that has a size of 14 inches. Of course, you can opt for 16 inch band saws because they are versatile. If you are usually doing large projects, then you should go for the 18 inches to 20 inches saws.

Moreover, we advise you to choose a band saw that has a resaw height of 12 inches. Take note. That is only the minimum. The higher the resaw height, the more versatile the band saw is!

Type

Currently, the most popular choices for the frame design of a band saw are the welded steel and cast iron. In the past, the 14-inch stand-mounted band saw that has a cast iron frame is the standard for any shops. This type of machine has a 6 inches resaw height, which is not recommended today. Although they have a mechanism to increase the height by using a riser block, this tool has a low power rating. Specifically, they cannot cut 12 inches of hardwood.

Because of the changes in technology, the availability of band saws that have welded sheet steel has increased. We recommend our users to go for this type of construction. This is because they are highly powered. Of course, a band saw model with a motor that can go up to more than 2 HP will perform better.

One of the advantages of welded steel from cast iron is space. Specifically, welded steel band saws eat little floor space compared to cast-irons. Moreover, you may need mobility kits to ensure that you can transport this tool. These kits are essential when it comes to dealing with long materials.

However, in doing so, you should first consider the space of your shop and the band saw’s weight!

Features and Utilities

Spring

The spring is the part of a band saw that preserves the appropriate blade tension. You can freely adjust it, depending on the design of your machine. Typically, it is quite hard to distinguish the quality of the spring. Despite this, you should still choose a band saw that has this feature. It makes your tool excellent and reliable when doing large projects!

Wheels

A great band saw comes with high-quality wheels. This part is essential to the operation of this machine. Specifically, it produces a strong “flywheel” motion that allows a straight and steadfast cut. On the other hand, the blade of the bandsaw follows the rubber path that is found on the rims of its wheels.

The standard design of tires is flat or almost flat. This design enables the band saw to track its blades of 1 inch or more in width. By essence, this function is highly essential for resawing activities.

Guidepost

The guidepost usually includes a blade guard and blade guide assembly. Most band saw models let you adjust this part by the use of pinion and rack. This allows you to cater the thickness of the material that you are cutting.

The Size of the Table

Of course, you will need a band saw that has a sufficient working space. Therefore, you will need tables that have a size of atleast: 16 x 20 inches.

Fence

The fence is necessary to improve your precision while cutting. You will need a fence that has a micro-adjustable mechanism so that you can adequately control your cuts.


Tips on Buying A Band Saw

Here are some tips for a foolproof selection of band saws:

The Depth Of The Cut

Technically, the depth of cut refers to the number of materials being removed in a single pass of this tool. Usually, you can determine the depth through the distance from the upper blade guides to the table. Most of the band saws today have a depth of cut rating that ranges from 6 inches to 36 inches.

Throat

On woodworking, the throat means the width of the cut of the band saw. Those bench top band saws have a throat rating of 12 inches to 14 inches. Meanwhile, you can expect that cabinet-type band saws have wider throats than other versions!

Accessories

You will need a band saw that has ripping fences and miter gauges. These two enable versatility in resawing, ripping, and crosscutting.

However, we should remind you that a radial arm saw and bench saw are more accurate in making these cuts than a band saw!

Other Necessary Features

  • Brakes that prevent the gliding of saw when you switch the tool off
  • Dust collection port

Conclusion

In general, a band saw is a valuable tool for the serious woodworker. This tool gives you the ability to unleash your creativity when working with wood materials and home furnishing. With the best band saw on your hand, you can even fully take your craft to the next level.

However, we all know that there are a lot of band saws on the market today. Each of them has various offers that make choosing quite confusing! This is the reason that we made this review to make sure that buyers like you will find the right band saw.

Moreover, we also recommend that you should try those brands of band saws that we recommended. We already subject them to different tests and scrutiny to ensure their quality. Aside from that, we also consulted the opinions of several expert woodworkers. Doing those made us conclude that our selected brand saws are the best on the market today!

We are also hoping that our buying guide was able to teach you a thing or two about brand saws. We are expecting that after reading this review, you’re able to find the band saw that you need!