Bandsaws, known for handling curved workpieces, are one of the most flexible woodworking tools out there. There are two types: free-standing and portable bandsaws, although the first one is the more common of the two.
Because of their power, stability, and usability, benchtop or free-standing bandsaws are commonly sought-after for job sites. However, what exactly are the best picks out there if you’re looking for an ideal bandsaw for your intended use? In this article, I’ll review some of the picks I found.
The Delta 28-400 14-Inch Steel Frame Bandsaw, which bears a 1-HP TEFC motor with a dual-voltage feature (115V/230V single-phase), has two speeds of 1,620 FPM and 3,340 FPM, which makes it ideal for cutting both wood and metal workpieces. Made with a heavy-duty steel frame, this adds to its durability for long-term use, especially on a job site.
Adding to that is the aluminum trunnion table support to keep it stable and less likely to corrode. As for the miter capacity (t-slot), it can go from 3 to 45 degrees with a 90-degree positive stop. Its cast-iron table is precision-ground for sturdiness and measures 15 3/4 by 18 7/8 inches, so it has extra room for larger materials, so you can cut without feeling awkward.
To make each operation more convenient, it has an easy tensioning system with a two-speed pulley. As for its smooth operation, it has nine-spoke wheels (lower and upper), which are all made from rubber-coated aluminum.
In addition to that, it has five ball-bearing guides that make tracking less jittery to quickly finish the job. Blades up to 3/4-inch are accommodated with up to 6 inches of cutting height and 13 5/8 inches of cutting width.
Things I Like About This Product: It has great dust collection while the construction of the tensioning system and guides allows smooth operation with less noise.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The instructions were a bit difficult to understand.
A smaller size than my last pick, the Rikon 10-3061 10-Inch Deluxe Bandsaw is capable of cutting into wood and most metal with its 1/2-HP motor, which runs at 5.5 amps (110V 60 Hz) with a speed of 1720 RPM. The unit comes with a 5/16-inch x 6TPI regular blade that’s ready to be used right off the bat.
Slightly lighter in weight than most bandsaws at 77.5 pounds, this tool is easier to transport between rooms. It has a tilting capacity of up to 45 degrees (right) and 5 degrees (left) for workplace flexibility and it sports a 13-3/4 x 12-1/2-inch table size.
Since it has tool-less blade guides, it will be easier to position your item without sacrificing accuracy. What’s more, the quick-release blade tension lever will simplify each cut (and easily adjust it) while the large blade tracking knob and the viewing window allows you to smoothly work on your material with minimal chance of errors.
As for cutting capacity, it can cut as wide as 9 5/8 inches and as high as 5 inches. Due to the dust port being positioned 10 degrees upwards, setting up your dust extraction system will be much simpler. It is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: The compact design and easy setup allows you to easily move it from room to room.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The fence could use an upgrade, due to minor alignment issues.
If you are a beginner, the WEN 3939T 2.8-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Bandsaw is a good choice for you due to its smaller size. This one can cut up to 2,460 FPM with its 2.8-amp motor and can cut up to 9 inches wide and 3 5/8 inches vertically.
As a benchtop bandsaw, it allows the use of any 62-inch blade that has 1/8 to 3/8-inch widths so you have many options for this unit (although it already comes with its default 3/8-inch blade for you to get started). A blade tension gauge on the upper housing will help in terms of accuracy (and the lifespan of your blade) while the stand can be lifted when necessary without taking up too much space.
For usability, it has a 45-degree bevel capacity with its 12 x 12 work area to accommodate most pieces. This portable bandsaw has a dust port for easy setup on your Shop-Vac while it has an adjustable blade guard to keep your hands safe when operating the unit. As with most bandsaws, it has a fence and a miter gauge for quick setup.
Things I Like About This Product: The unit has rubber feet guards for stability, has easy adjustability on the bevel, and the whole bandsaw is easy to set up.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The dust collection port doesn’t fit 5-gallon Shop-Vacs. The rip fence is not entirely square (but can be replaced, anyway).
If you prefer investing in a high-spec unit, the Jet 714400K Jwbs-14SFX Steel Frame Bandsaw is the choice for you. With a large 14-inch size and a 13-inch resaw capacity for wood, veneer, panels, and other large materials, this one has up to 360 square inches of cast iron with its table construction so it will handle heavier workpieces, making it ideal for the job site.
With a solid weight of 300 pounds, this heavy-duty bandsaw has a blade speed of up to 3,000 FPM, which makes it stand out from the other bandsaws I’ve reviewed here. Moreover, it has two 4-inch dust ports with wide compatibility while the aluminum fence will ensure material guidance while keeping your work area visible.
It also has ball bearing blade guides for a smooth operation. With a 1.75-HP single-phase motor (115V/230V 60 Hz), this tool has a tilting capacity of up to 45 degrees on its table with a 40-inch table height from the floor. Its trunnion is made with cast iron, as well as the band wheels (ground cast iron for the entire table) for durability, while anodized aluminum is used to make the table insert. It is backed by a 5-year warranty.
Things I Like About This Product: It is a dual-voltage saw, has very durable parts, has a large work area, and runs quietly.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The bandsaw is heavy to lift from one area to another.
If you want the best portable unit, I would recommend the Milwaukee 2829-20 M18 FUEL Compact Bandsaw. This model has a cutting capacity of 3-1/4 x 3-1/4 inches, which will be sufficient for most on-site tasks or even just home garage woodworking. With a weight of only 7.7 pounds, it is easy to take to your work area and cut anywhere.
Powered by any M18-type battery, this unit uses the REDLINK PLUS Intelligence to ensure that the battery and tool will be safe from overloading and over-discharging. In addition to that, it has an LED work light that helps you see the material you’re working on in dim areas.
Moreover, the tool has a rafter hook so you can hang it up easily when not in use. To make this bandsaw ready to be used right out of the box, it already comes with an 8/10-inch TPI extreme metal cutting bandsaw blade. Nonetheless, it will fit any bandsaw blade that has up to 35 3/8 inches of size.
Things I Like About This Product: It is lightweight and comes with a rafter hook for storage and a wheel brush for maintenance.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The new trigger safety design might not appeal to some users.
For more recommendations, check my guide to the best portable bandsaws.
If you are more of a metalworker, the Grizzly Industrial G0561 Metal-Cutting Bandsaw is the option for you. This one sports a 1-HP motor with a cutting capacity of 7 x 12 inches (rectangular) and 7 inches (circular) at 90 degrees. Since it has gear step blade speeds (90, 135, 195, and 255 FPM), it will be easy to choose the right setting depending on the metal you need to cut.
This unit has a 104-1/2″ x 1″ x 6 TPI blade for you to get started while the all-steel one-piece base makes it stable. In addition to that, it has cast-iron wheels for durability and heavy-duty ball bearings for a smooth transition or operation. Among its convenient features include the quick-release vise, the adjustable blade guides, and the adjustable hydraulic down feed.
What’s more, to keep your metal from getting burned, it has a coolant nozzle for safety. It even has an automatic shut-off feature to prevent the motor from suffering when unnecessary. The metal cutting bandsaw has dimensions of 48 x 16 x 40 inches, a weight of 343 pounds, and a coolant capacity of up to 2-1/2 gallons.
Things I Like About This Product: It has a solid construction plus even though the speeds are slow, this allows safer cutting.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The blade tension adjustment needs to be worked on.
If you prefer a smaller bandsaw that has a work light, you will like the Skil 3386-01 9-Inch Bandsaw with Light. This one has a 6 TPI bandsaw blade that will adhere to most woodworking demands while its LED work light allows easy viewing of your workpiece in dim areas or garages.
With a single speed on its motor, it has a rack and pinion table adjustment so you will find the right angle to work on your material without sacrificing comfort. What’s more, it has a 1-1/2 inch dust port for easy dust extraction setups.
This minimal speed also allows you to work on a couple of metal-based materials aside from woodworking. With a table size of 12 x 11-3/4 inches, it has a maximum cutting capacity of 3-1/2 inches and a 9-inch throat capacity. It has a rip fence for making straight cuts while the miter gauge is used for cross-cutting.
The no-load speed is at 2,800 FPM for its 2.5-amp 120V motor while it can accommodate 1/8 to 3/8 x 59-1/4 to 59-1/2 inches of blades. Like most of Skil’s products, it is backed by a 3-year limited warranty when you register the product within 30 days from purchase.
Things I Like About This Product: The base is sturdy and the whole motor runs quietly. It also has a good speed that will accommodate most woodworking projects.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: Installing the blade is a little difficult.
The Ryobi BS904G 9-Inch Bandsaw is powered by a 2.5-amp motor that’s ideal for woodworking. It comes with a dust collection port for debris management while it sports a blade tracking window for accuracy and convenience. Its rack and pinion blade adjustment system will also speed up your job.
With a cutting capacity of 3 1/2 inches and a 9-inch throat capacity, it has a rapid set blade tensioning system for ease of use. What’s more, the all-aluminum wheels will make it run smoothly along with the ball bearing support.
Since the table can be tilted to 45 degrees, this allows for work flexibility. The included blade is a 1/4-inch x 6T blade so you can use it right away. I like that its precision aluminum interior blade wheels keep the vibration to a minimum to reduce or even avoid user fatigue.
Weighing only 37.3 pounds, this bandsaw has a cutting speed of 2,460 FPM and can accommodate up to a 62-inch blade. With a table size of 11 3/4 x 14 3/4 inches, it arrives with a miter gauge, blade, switches key, and a user’s manual.
Things I Like About This Product: It can cut wood and aluminum easily, it has a 45-degree tilt feature, and it’s not too heavy to lift between rooms and/or work areas.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It doesn’t do well with straight cutting in metal as compared to working with wood.
If you’re not sure what to cut, the WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-Inch Bandsaw allows you to choose between 1,520 and 2,620 FPM so you won’t risk burning or ruining your material with the wrong speed. It has a beveling table up to 45 degrees and a space size of 14-1/8 x 12-1/2 inches. This unit accommodates up to 72-inch blades with 1/8 to 1/2-inch sizes.
Weighing 73 pounds, this bandsaw has overall dimensions of 20 x 25 x 58 inches with a cutting capacity of 6 inches (depth) and 9-3/4 inches (width). With its 3.5-amp motor, this unit comes with an optional stand so you’re free to choose between benchtop and floor-standing positions.
It also comes with a work light for cutting in dim areas plus a 3-in-1 dust port. I like that it fits various dust extractor hoses, such as 1-3/4, 2-3/4, and 4 inches, for easy adaptability for different Shop-Vac models.
Moreover, it comes with convenient features such as a miter gauge and a fence. A 6 TPI 3/8-inch blade already comes with the unit for you to get started. Likewise, it has an onboard measuring guide to help with accuracy plus it has ball-bearing operation for smooth sawing with minimal noise.
Things I Like About This Product: The stand is built solidly and the table has a large size. Bevel adjustment is a breeze and the motor has two speeds.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: The light’s location is not so convenient.
The Jet JWBS-15 1.75JP Bandsaw has a 14-inch resaw capacity, which means it is ideal for big pieces, whether you’re working with veneers, wood, panels, or other similar materials. Due to its 21-1/2 x 16-inch cast iron table, it has a lot of room for bigger workpieces, allowing you to take on tougher jobs. This makes the bandsaw more applicable for job site use or industrial needs.
Blade support is also great due to the rack and pinion adjustment plus the 4-sided guidepost on the unit. Likewise, blade tension adjustment is also easy to work with using the three settings (full, partial, and full release). To give you a better view, it has a blade tracking window.
Weighing 446 pounds, it is a heavy-duty unit to consider investing in if you’re serious about woodworking or a similar business. It also sports an aluminum resaw fence for added support plus a work table that can be tilted 45 degrees to the right and 5 degrees to the left.
What’s more, it has a 1.75-HP motor that has a speed of 3,100 FPM, which makes it applicable for meeting deadlines and making the quickest cuts possible without sacrificing accuracy.
Things I Like About This Product: The unit runs quietly and has blade tension adjustments that are easy to work with. It is also applicable for resawing due to the 6-inch fence.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying This Product: It doesn’t come with a proper work light.
The Methodology: What I Considered When Picking the Bandsaws Featured Above
If you are curious as to how I picked the above-mentioned bandsaws, here are the criteria that I used and depended on:
1. Bandsaw speed
The typical speed of a bandsaw is around 1,000 to 3,500 FPM. However, that’s only applicable for free-standing and larger, more standard bandsaws. For the smaller units, such as the portable ones, you will get much slower speeds, as well as for those that are built mainly for metalwork, since going too fast with your saw will burn metal.
It is important to check the bandsaw speed when you buy the unit because it will affect your material, depending on which material you mostly work on. To be safe, just stick to the speed range I mentioned above if you want an all-around tool.
Another note: some people also prefer a variable-speed unit if they want to work on different materials. Most of these bandsaws offer two speeds that you can switch between at your leisure.
2. Blade accommodation
Blade lengths of 60 to 70 inches with 1/8 to 3/8-inch widths are commonly accommodated by bandsaws. Most of the picks mentioned above may also come with a free blade while others do require you to buy one separately.
Moreover, another consideration is the number of teeth, since different bandsaw blades have various teeth configurations. These have certain compatibility with the type of material or cutting job you have in mind.
3. Cutting materials
Are you more of a woodworker, a metalworker, or a bit of both? It’s up to you – woodworking bandsaws are common but the ones for metal are a bit more difficult to find.
For woodworking, consider bandsaws that have higher speeds. However, if you’re looking for a metal cutting bandsaw, you should find one that has a coolant and a slightly slower speed (or adjustable one at that) to make sure you don’t damage your material.
4. Cutting mechanisms
The most common cutting mechanisms include cross-cutting, which require a miter saw, and a fence for rip cutting. However, if you want to perform resaw operations, a high fence would be more suitable.
5. Ease of blade tension adjustment
Blade tension will help you finish the job quickly with minimal errors on your material. Regardless, many bandsaws on the market today offer easy blade tension adjustment.
6. Work light
A work light is always a plus point because it will help you see the material you’re working on, even in dim areas. After all, a work light will help promote safety, especially when you’re still cutting in the late afternoon just to meet a deadline.
7. Dust extraction compatibility
We all know that Shop-Vac setups are a must in the area, especially if you’re a woodworker. That’s why having good dust extraction compatibility for a bandsaw will put your troubles at bay. Anyway, many of the bandsaws out there have multiple ports and adapters for different Shop-Vac hoses.
8. Construction and weight
Most free-standing bandsaws are heavy, so expect to have at least two to three people help you set it up. Nonetheless, it should be heavy-duty and well-constructed so it will be usable for a long time, especially when it is for commercial or industrial use.
Portable ones, on the other hand, are typically made lightweight so you don’t have to worry about that. However, they should still possess some manner of stability as they are still bandsaws.
9. Portable vs. free-standing
Most woodworkers and metalworkers prefer free-standing units but you also have the option to go for a portable unit when necessary. For instance, when you need to work on a home project but you don’t need a bulky machine, that’s when a portable band saw comes in handy.
However, free-standing bandsaws have more advantages in terms of stability. They are also beginner-friendly and allow you to work with much bigger workpieces.
10. Warranty policy
Know what is covered by the warranty policy before you buy the unit. Many companies that make bandsaws have about 2 to 5 years of warranty to give you peace of mind.
11. Extra features
Other features that you will find on a bandsaw include the dual-voltage system, which I prefer if you want to give it as a gift to someone or need to send it overseas.
It would also be helpful to have a bandsaw that runs smoothly with minimal noise. That depends on the motor construction and the ball bearing system.
If you’re looking for the best unit, my top pick is the Delta 28-400 14-Inch Steel Frame Bandsaw simply due to its large capacity and dual-speed motor. You will also like the Rikon 10-3061 10-Inch Deluxe Bandsaw despite the slightly smaller cutting capacity because this one is more lightweight and ideal for smaller spaces.
For those who are looking for a budget-friendly or a beginner’s unit, the WEN 3939T 2.8-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Bandsaw is a good choice for you. However, if you’re aiming for a lifetime investment for your business, the Jet 714400K Jwbs-14SFX Steel Frame Bandsaw has a heavy-duty build and many other features you will like.
A portable saw, such as the Milwaukee 2829-20 M18 FUEL Compact Bandsaw, will be useful for the weekend warrior and smaller projects. For metalworkers, the Grizzly Industrial G0561 Metal-Cutting Bandsaw is a sound choice due to its slower speeds that are more suitable for such material.
Other considerations in my list include the Skil 3386-01 9-Inch Bandsaw with Light, which is good for dim areas, and the Ryobi BS904G 9-Inch Bandsaw, which is okay for both wood and aluminum cutting. Yet another flexible speed unit I like is the WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-Inch Bandsaw while the Jet JWBS-15 1.75JP Bandsaw excels at blade tension adjustments and a high speed.