7 Best Band Saws for Any Budget

Are you looking to purchase or upgrade a band saw for your woodworking arsenal? 

The WEN 3962T 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw was the best we could find. If you’re looking for band saw cutting power on the go, then the Makita XBP04Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact band saw is the right choice.

If you’re instead looking for a heavy-duty band saw or one that cuts metal, you’ll find those and more below.

Let’s get started.

Our Top Picks

Best: WEN 3962T 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed

Runner-up: Makita XBP04Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact

Best for the Money: WEN 3959T 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop

Best Portable: DEWALT 20V MAX Portable

Best Budget Portable: WEN 94396 10-Amp 5-Inch Variable

Best for Metal: Grizzly Industrial G0803Z

Best Heavy Duty: RIKON 10-305

Best Band Saw

WEN 3962T 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw

  • Power Type: Corded Electric 
  • Blade Length: 10” 
  • Warranty: 2 years

This is a top band saw designed for convenience and performance. 

What I like

The best feature by far on this Wen band saw is the cutting power. The 3.5A motor can cut up to six inches deep and nine and three-quarters wide. This means you’ll have excellent freedom when cutting a variety of pieces without making cumbersome adjustments or changing tools. 

Another great feature is the built-in work light that you can adjust the aim of for targeting light at your workspace. The added light is great for safety and precision. 

You’ll have two speeds to choose from depending on the measurements and density of your material: 1520 FPM or 2620 FPM. Variable speeds are super useful when working with different wood types such as high-sugar woods including cherry and maple so the wood won’t scorch as much. 

The aluminum work table can create bevels up to 45 degrees with a miter gauge. It’s also a perfect size at roughly 14” x 12”. 

The 3-in-1 dust port is a unique feature that fits a variety of dust extractor hoses up to 4 inches.

What I don’t like

The 10” blade is flimsier by design compared to the 14”+ band saws, so it has a bit more vibration than the sturdier options.

Verdict

Overall, this band saw performs admirably for a smaller model since it packs a punch and achieves smooth, accurate cuts of any material. Plus, the cost-performance ratio is pretty excellent.

Runner Up Band Saw

Makita XBP04Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Brushless Cordless Band Saw

  • Power Type: Battery
  • Blade Length: 2 ⅝” 
  • Warranty: Unknown

For high-powered performance in a small package, choose this Makita band saw. 

What I like

This Makita band saw offers high-powered cutting in a very small package with an 18V 5Ah battery. The cordless design makes this saw much more convenient for use around your workspace since you don’t have to bring your materials to the tool every time. It can also be used outdoors whenever needed. 

This Makita model is quite slim and compact, so it is great for traveling workmen who value portability and convenience with their tools. 

This saw has variable blade speed thanks to a brushless motor delivering up to 630 FPM cutting power. The variable speeds allow you to customize the cutting experience according to various materials. This means your cuts with more porous, denser, or thicker materials are smooth and safe. 

This band saw is extra convenient since its battery charges in only 45 minutes. Plus, there’s a battery charge indicator so you’ll know when you’re getting close to a recharge.

What I don’t like

The blade is quite short at less than 3 inches, so this band saw can only be used for small stock and thinner pieces. There is also a bar close to the blade that limits your cutting depth, so this saw can’t be used for larger cutting tasks.

Verdict

If you’re in the market for a band saw for smaller stock or greater freedom around your workspace, this is one of the best options. 

Best Band Saw For the Money

WEN 3959T 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Benchtop Band Saw

  • Power Type: Corded Electric 
  • Blade Length: 9” 
  • Warranty: 2 years

For a balance of value and performance, look no further. 

What I like

This large and sturdy band saw is great for bigger stock since it can cut 3 ½ inches deep and 9 inches wide. You can fit this bandsaw with blades 1/8 to 3/8 in size for more versatility and cutting options as well. The saw’s blade is ¼ inches wide, a perfect size for your standard cross-cuts, resawing, and beveling. 

The work table bevels up to 45-degree angles and is simple to adjust for quick changes. The table itself is just over a foot wide by a little under a foot long for working with all types of pieces without feeling cramped or limited. 

A 2.5Ah motor delivers blade speeds of up to 2500 FPM, which is great for this price range. This power can cut through various sizes of materials with ease and efficiency. Ball bearings give the blade really smooth operation to prevent jagged cuts. 

The band saw has a 2 ½ inch dust port for simplified dust management when working with wood or more toxic materials like plastics and composites.

What I don’t like

This band saw cannot be used to cut metal since the blade and speed are not compatible with metal cutting.

Verdict

If your collection is lacking a band saw with the power and versatility for most projects without metal materials, this is a great pick for a balance of value and performance.

Best Portable Band Saw

DEWALT 20V MAX Portable Band Saw

  • Power Type: Battery
  • Blade Length: Not included 
  • Warranty: 3 years

If portability is a top requirement for you, this Dewalt band saw is the right choice. 

What I like

This band saw by Dewalt is one of the most portable on the market. It’s held easily in one hand with balanced weight distribution for less effort keeping it steady. The handle is both soft and comfortable, allowing users to handle the vibrations of the power tool for longer periods. 

An LED work light is built into the band saw for safety and precision if cutting without concentrated lighting or in awkward, dim spaces. 

An intuitive integrated hanging hook lets the saw be hung up for storage without putting unnecessary strain on any section of the saw. This reduces the potential for damage. 

This band saw has a couple of useful blade features as well, including a blade tracking adjustment feature and dual-bearing blade guide rollers. These features work together to keep the blade working smooth and steady during cuts. 

There is also a tool-free blade changing lever that makes switching out your blades more convenient. You won’t have to fiddle around when going to swap out your blades in between cuts.

What I don’t like

The blade, charger, and battery all need to be purchased separately for this band saw to function and be usable, which is inconvenient.

Verdict

This Dewalt band saw is an excellent choice if your goal is to have a convenient, portable power tool at your disposal. The only stipulation is that you need to purchase several key components separately.

Best Budget Portable Band Saw

WEN 94396 10-Amp 5-Inch Variable Speed Handheld Portable Band Saw

  • Power Type: Corded Electric
  • Blade Length: 5”
  • Warranty: 2 years

For maximum power and affordability in one small package, this Wen model is where it’s at. 

What I like

The most astounding feature of this Wen band saw is the incredible power. A 10Ah motor offers up to 420 feet per minute cutting action that can tackle woods, metals, plastics, and even rebar. For such a small saw, this power is impressive. 

I’m also pleased by the larger cutting capacity of 5 inches wide and 5 inches deep since most portable band saws offer half that or less. 

This band saw also features an adjustable handle, a feature that makes cutting at angles and in awkward positions easier. 

Despite its power, this Wen saw weighs in at less than 15 lbs for maximum portability and usability. Toss it in the back of your vehicle and you’ll be on your way.

The variable speed trigger can adjust operational speeds between 60 and 420 feet per minute to tackle any type of material with ease and safety.

What I don’t like

The included blade is designed to cut through metals of all sorts, so it can be a bit too aggressive when handling finer or thinner materials. Users may want to purchase a secondary blade that won’t bite into their material so hard.

Verdict

Overall, this is one of the best portable band saws out there. When you consider the price to performance ratio, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Best Band Saw for Metal

Grizzly Industrial G0803Z – 9″ Benchtop Bandsaw with Laser Guide

  • Power Type: Corded Electric
  • Blade Length: 9” 
  • Warranty: 1 year

The right choice for metal cutting projects. 

What I like

The blade size is versatile at 9” of cutting throat room for larger or awkwardly-shaped pieces. This saw operates using a ⅓ HP motor and is designed for efficiently cutting through metals. 

This band saw delivers high-speed cutting action with blade speeds of 2460 feet per minute. This high power delivers enough force to make quick work of all metal pieces you’ll be handling as a weekender or a professional. 

A unique feature of this band saw is a dust blower that keeps your cutting surface clear of dust so that you can always see exactly what you’re doing. By keeping the blade area clear, your cuts will be smoother and precision will be easier to achieve. 

This band saw also has an adjustable LED work light built in for targeted light where you need it most. An extruded aluminum fence and rail assist with resawing and other tasks.

Perhaps the most useful feature of this Grizzly Industrial band saw is the laser guide for achieving perfectly straight cuts every time. This laser guide shows where the blade will be cutting so you’ll never have to guess or hope you’ve set up your material correctly.

What I don’t like

This saw can be difficult to set up and calibrate, so beginners, in particular, may experience some frustration in trying to make this saw operate properly for their applications.

Verdict

If you require a tabletop band saw that can handle cutting through metal without efficiency issues, this is a great option.

Best Heavy Duty Band Saw

RIKON 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence, 10-Inch

  • Power Type: Corded Electric 
  • Blade Length: 10”
  • Warranty: 5 years

This is the only choice if durability and longevity of value are key considerations for your next band saw.

What I like

The durability is great with this Rikon band saw since it has a steel plate frame as opposed to the plastic frames commonly used on most band saws. Paired with the generous 5-year warranty, it’s difficult to find a more durable band saw. 

The table surface is a bit larger than average for a tabletop band saw at nearly 14” by 12.5 “ in size. This allows for greater maneuverability when making curves or handling larger pieces. It can also bevel at up to 45 degrees. 

This band saw is versatile for professionals and DIYers since a high-quality rip fence is included, but it can also be removed for performing free-hand cuts and more intricate cuts. 

This saw is beginner-friendly with a simple micro adjustment guidepost that adjusts the height with the turn of a handle. Since some band saws can be troublesome to adjust, this feature is a great addition. 

A 2.5” dust port is efficient at dust management to keep the workspace clear and safe at all times.

What I don’t like

Verdict

What to Look For in a Band Saw?

1. Blade Length/Cutting Throat: 

The cutting throat refers to the area of the blade that is visible to the user. This blade length differs between band saws, with the average being around 10 inches for a tabletop saw. 

Compact band saws usually have a 2-3” blade throat, though some may be as large as 5-6”. There are also larger band saws that have 14” or larger blade lengths. The blade length you need depends on the size of stock you’re working with. 

2. Rip Fence

A fence is a helpful feature when making straight cuts and resawing pieces since it keeps your material straight and in line with the blade. For curved cuts, a fence isn’t needed, but for most other cuts a fence is a must. Some fences are removable so that you can achieve straight and curved cuts with minimal hassle as well. 

3. Cutting Power/Speed 

The cutting power of a band saw is measured in FPM or feet per minute. Depending on the material you’re cutting, and the size of your band saw, you’ll need a different speed. 

Many band saws range from 2000 to 3000 FPM, but some operate at much lower and much higher speeds for various metal, wood, and plastic materials. 

4. Power Source

Band saws are available in corded electric versions or battery-operated models. The corded option often offers greater power/speed, and they don’t run out of power and limit your progress. However, battery-operated band saws provide the freedom to move around your shop or work outdoors. 

The only downside is that they can’t be used endlessly and will need time to charge. There are pros and cons to both options, so you’ll have to consider your applications before choosing one over the other. 

5. Size

Band saws range in size from small handheld units to extra-large, stand-up saws that don’t require a table to stand on. Depending on the type of work you’re doing, each saw size has its perks. The tabletop versions are often more powerful and have larger surfaces to cut on, with greater cutting depth and width. Though handheld, compact band saws are usually weaker and are limited in their cutting capacity, they are convenient and can be used anywhere. 

6. Bevel

On a tabletop band saw, there is an aluminum work table installed that the blade runs through for cutting. This table supports your materials as they pass through the blade. For making angled cuts, this table can be tilted one way or the other by 45 degrees. This makes beveling materials simple and precise and is often needed on a variety of projects. 

7. Accessories 

Many band saws have a few extras that make the operation safer or more convenient. The most popular accessories including a band saw include an LED work light, an adjustable dust port for different hose sizes, and a dust blower to keep the work table clean of dust. Some band saws also have a variable speed option for their blade which offers extra versatility and safety with different materials. 

8. Blades 

The blades on a band saw make or break the saw, so you must have the right blade for your project. There are many different blade types, including standard, skip, variable, and hook blades that are suited to a variety of materials. The TPI, or teeth per inch, of the blade, determines what materials it can cut safely and effectively. It also affects the smoothness of the cut (the greater the number of teeth, the smoother the cut). 

The width of the blade is also an important feature since thinner blades make tighter curves but wider blades are sturdier and are better for cross-cutting and ripping. You may find you need multiple different blades for your project.

How thick can a bandsaw cut?

Band saws are true workhorses that can cut most anything. They are champions of cutting thick slices and curves through difficult materials, but every saw has different capabilities. 

The thickness that a band saw can cut through depends on the blade and the size and power of the saw itself. The range is quite significant since some saws cut about one inch while others can cut 8 inches at once. 

The main priority is that you have the right blade type and thickness, appropriate speeds for the dimensions you’re cutting through, and the right power for the job so the blade doesn’t get stuck. 

The length of the cutting throat, or exposed blade length, is the key determiner of how thick your saw can cut. For example, a 9-inch saw with around 2500 feet per minute cutting speed can tackle boards up to 3 ⅝” deep. However, other saws with blade lengths of 9-10” can cut as deep as 5”, so it truly does come down to several factors.

What is the Difference Between a Band Saw and a Scroll Saw?

Band saws and scroll saws are similar in several ways, and can both produce a curved cut well, but there is one stark difference between the two. A scroll saw oscillates up and down while a band saw uses a much longer blade that spins on a continuous loop. 

This operational design difference changes the way the saws are cut. For example, a scroll saw can produce very smooth cuts while a band saw is a bit rougher and usually requires sanding for a clean finish. A scroll saw with a fine blade is capable of nearly turning on a dime while a band saw has a wider turn radius. Of course, this also depends on the size of the blade’s width. 

Scroll saws are best for intricate cuts since their extra-fine blades can achieve precise detail. They’re easier to control with a foot pedal for blade movement and have easily adjusted blade speeds. 

Band saws, on the other hand, are better suited to the bigger, heavy-duty cutting tasks like resawing and rip cuts. They are also ideal for angles and more awkward cuts since they are very accurate cutters. 

In summary, band saws are best for straight or large cuts and scroll saws are best for intricate cuts.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interested in the top band saw we were able to find, choose the WEN 3962T 3.5-Amp 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw. If you’re looking for a convenient and user-friendly band saw, then we also recommend the Makita XBP04Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact band saw.

You can also check out our other saw buying guides here:

Image Credit: Flickr.com

About Roy Cohen

I'm Roy, founder of Hack My Garage. I started out like most not knowing how to hammer a nail, but now I know more than most people about home improvement and DIY. I want to spread my wealth of knowledge with the world and hope to make it a better place.