Best Band Saws Under $500 of 2018 – Reviews & Top Picks

A durable band-sawaWhether you’re a full-time professional or you just love DIYing as a hobby, everyone needs a new tool gadget every now and again. Getting yourself a new bandsaw may seem no different than going out and buying a hammer except there are hundreds of models to choose from, a varied price range (some can be over $2,000!) and some reviews show that certain models aren’t worth the money as the quality isn’t great. We have picked some of the best band saws under $500 and compiled them into a list from the best to help you in your decision-making process. Also included is a short buying guide to help you understand what to look out for when you’re purchasing a band saw and what is seen as good or bad.

Top 5 Bandsaws under 500 USD of 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
WEN 3962
WEN 3962
(Top Pick)

Check Price
73 lbs4.8/5
Rikon 10-305
Rikon 10-305

Check Price
76 lbs4.6/5
SKIL 3386-01
SKIL 3386-01
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
38 lbs4.5/5
WEN 3970
WEN 3970

Check Price
108 lbs4.2/5
Gryphon C-40CR
Gryphon C-40CR

Check Price
17 lbs3.9/5

5 Best Band Saws under $500 – Our Reviews

1. WEN 3962 – Top Pick

WEN 3962

This two-speed band saw has a stand and working light. It is great quality especially for the affordable price it stands at, it’s ability to amazingly cut 6 inches of capacity shows how durable and strong the saw is and that it’s worth an investment. It operates at either 1,520 or 2,620 feet per minute which is great if you need to do custom cutting and may want to change up how fast the saw cuts the material. It can also level up to 45 degrees and has a work table attached that is a good size allowing for the user to make use out of it without worrying there is limited space. It has two variations of 9 or 10-inches, whilst this is good in terms of hobbyists and their odd house jobs, it can sometimes be seen as flimsy compared to other variations offered such as the 14 inches. The initial set up is easy and the band saw bench is easy to clean down when you need too, plus it’s safe and easy to handle if you’re wanting to move it around. The likelihood of wanting to move it frequently isn’t high but the great thing about this model is that you can move it as much as you wish without worry or stress.

Pros

  • Easy to Set Up
  • Affordable
  • Two-speed settings
  • 6 inches cutting depth
  • Easy mobility

Cons

  • Flimsy cutting saw


2. Rikon 10-305 – The Runner-up

Rikon 10-305

This Rikon 10-305 is compact and durable, perfect for your cutting needs. For those looking for a beginner or starter band saw then this is ideal as it isn’t too expensive, and it is easy to set up and get started. However, it is also great for larger projects and anyone who wants a smaller version of their band saw. It is precise and considering it’s low price tag, we would say this is a great model if you’re wanting a great value product that performs well too. The cutting capacity for this model is around 8 to 9 inches wide by 4.5/8 inches high. The worktop is made out of cast iron and is great if you’re wanting to do some work on it as well as your sawing. The entire unit only weighs 66 pounds which is pretty light for such a great quality band saw. However, it does have some problems, it isn’t easy to set up initially and requires a lot of effort despite manufacturers claiming that it is easy. In addition to this, it is also only really ideal for starters, professionals may want to use it for when they’re doing the odd few jobs around their home, but they wouldn’t be able to use it professionally as it isn’t up to the standard they would need.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Ideal for Beginners or Hobbyists

Cons

  • Difficult to Set Up
  • Not Ideal for Professionals


3. SKIL 3386-01 – Best for the Money

SKIL 3386-01

If you’re on a budget then perhaps you’re looking for a band saw that is affordable, but you equally don’t want to reduce the quality of product you come out with. In reality, there are hundreds of models out there that are perfectly priced for people on a budget, but not many that satisfy needs and prove that good bandsaws don’t have to be really expensive. The Skil 3386-01 is definitely the best buy for the money, it has a one-speed motor that is speedy and cuts easily through plastic, metal and various metal materials. The user is able to adjust the height and angle that suits them most before going ahead and sawing or cutting what they need. Likewise, to our top pick, it is 9 inches which means that many professionals find it flimsy, but it is ideal for the beginner. Whilst it can be seen as lightweight, it can also be seen as too light as a stationary saw and now have enough power and stability as it normally needs. There is also a limited dust port so whilst the user can push the dust and clear their workspace of it, the workspace they would be working with is very limited thus meaning you can’t cut what you need and work normally on the worktop.

Pros

  • Adjustable height and angle system
  • Compact
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Flimsy
  • Too Light
  • Small dust port


4. WEN 3970

WEN 3970

Whilst we would agree this isn’t the best model on the market there are definitely some great features included and it’s worth purchasing if you have the money for it. It has 3 operating speeds which is a definite bonus and is something that makes this model stand out compared to the other variations. It is also corded which means whilst the cord limits what you can do and how far you can take the band saw, you also have a powerful source of energy. The auto-shutoff feature seems handy for anyone who is very forgetful but previous customer reviews have suggested it doesn’t always work and this is a serious problem. It also isn’t the cheapest model you can get and for the price, you don’t a great deal of quality pay off. You could essentially buy another model for the same price and get a better-quality machine. It lacks so much and is disappointing considering it’s price tag. It is also very hard to adjust so if you do want to use the vertical feature of the band saw, you might have a few problems actually doing it.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • 3 Operating Speeds

Cons

  • Difficult to Adjust
  • Tricky Auto-Shutoff
  • High Price Point
  • Inconsistent


5. Gryphon C-40CR

Gryphon C-40CR

This overly priced, bad quality band saw is nothing we could ever suggest a user buys. It isn’t precise and struggles to cut even the finest pieces of wood or plastic. It also lacks a lot of the basic features that the other models have, such as multiple speed options and a good sturdy build. Despite having a lightweight item weight of just over 17 pounds, it one of the worse products to use if you want anything slightly precise. The saw included is very flimsy and doesn’t allow the user to cut straight or even curvy. Unlike the other models available it also doesn’t have a workspace to do the rest of the cutting. One of the only positive things we can say about this model is that there is a water reservoir underneath the machine that allows the user to have something extra if they need it. However, this doesn’t mean to say we are suggesting that anyone buys it.

Pros

  • Water Reservoir

Cons

  • Bad Quality
  • Overpriced
  • Flimsy
  • One-Speed Motor
  • Struggles to Cut


Buyer’s Guide

Tips for Buying a Band Saw

In an ideal world, every band saw that had good reviews and a good price point would be anyone’s dream purchase. Yet, there are certain tips you may need to know before you decide to purchase an item and make your judgment on it. Getting yourself a perfect band saw to suit all your needs is all you want, ensure that you’re getting that by following these tips carefully.

  • The more speeds the better, this is kind of an unspoken rule with band saws, but it is always better when there are multiple speeds to choose from. Those with only one will be very limiting and you may have problems when it comes to precise work, however, if you have multiple different options to choose from then there is nothing to worry about.
  • Try a cheaper model, make sure if you’re going to do this that you check out the reviews before buying as often the cheaper models are bad quality. However, there are a good few models that really do prove that money isn’t everything. Cheaper models are perfect for beginners and hobbyists as they don’t break the bank and they’re practical too.
  • Stick with a trusted brand, it’s always the best option if you don’t really know what you’re doing in terms of purchasing a band saw and what the features are that it should or shouldn’t have.

More content on band saws:

Which horizontal band saw is our favorite? See here

Which portable band saw is our favorite? Learn here

Conclusion

It is clear that our winner is the Wen 3962, this is down to its great features and price all combined. As well as the fact that it’s a perfect addition to your tool shed. We hope that this article has helped you along your journey in buying the perfect band saw and that you find one that suits all your needs.

Best Band Saws Under $500 of 2018 – Reviews & Top Picks
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