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If you enjoy a bit of DIY around the house and are in need of a new tool for your workshop, you have come to the right place. A band saw is a tool that should not be missing in any workshop or tool shed. Below, we provide you a complete guide on band saws so that you can choose the best band saw model on the market.
Band saws are an ideal piece of equipment for cutting wood and metal. You can also use this tool for other materials such as plastic. The specialty of this type of cutting tool is making curved cuts and irregular shapes. This is a heavy-duty tool and is an essential piece of equipment for any metal or wood professional.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best band saws on the U.S. market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about band saws
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- There are two different designs of band saws: table band saws and floor band saws. A floor band saw is far more powerful, but it is also more expensive and cannot be moved around a workshop. It is important to define your intended use prior to choosing one or the other.
- Band saws are particularly good for curved cuts and irregular shapes. If you don’t need to make these types of cuts, it may be better to choose another type of saw, such as a jigsaw or a circular saw.
- Saws are very dangerous tools and you must always keep the safety warnings in mind. Never skip the safety procedures and always use all the necessary protective gear.
Ranking: The best band saws on the U.S. market
In the following section, we will show you the best band saws on the market. By reviewing this part of the guide, you will be able to analyze and compare products to find the one that is the most suitable for you or your specific needs. In addition, you will also learn about their care and safety instructions. Take a close look at this list as we are very confident that your next band saw is on this list.
No. 1: SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-Inch Band Saw
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The Amazon Choice product is the SKIL 3386-02 120-volt 9-inch band saw that features a 2.5-amp motor, a contoured aluminum table with tilting adjustment ranging from 0 to 45. This versatile band saw is intelligently designed with an attached flexible lamp for increased visibility and a miter gauge.
With the SKIL 3386-02, you can make quick angle and height changes with the rack and adjustable table. The dust port keeps the work area sawdust-free and the innovative LED work light adjusts so that you can always see exactly what you’re doing.
No. 2: JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit
The JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw Kit from Jet is one of the toughest band saws on the market today. Boasting updated, innovative features that provide reliable precision, this floor band saw will cut its way through almost anything thanks to its massive, super-tough cast iron frame, and a blade speed of 1500/3000 SFPM.
This fantastic band saw features a number of important details, including a high-tension spring design that gives you more power and control for clean, accurate cuts. The sturdy design and construction of this floor band saw ensures optimum durability for long-term use. The JWBS-14DXPRO also includes an easy-to-view blade tracking window, so that you’re always aware of the blade’s position as you work.
No. 3: WEN 3962 Two-Speed Band Saw with Stand and Worklight, 10″
The WEN 3962 Two-Speed band saw is one of the best-valued products on the market today. This floor band saw is the perfect tool for any workshop or backyard tool shed. The design of this saw uses 72-inch blades from 1/8 to 1/2 an inch in size for a variety of both intricate and powerful cuts. The easy-to-assemble stand elevates the bandsaw without sacrificing the space of a workbench.
This incredible package on Amazon includes a flexible work light to illuminate the work area, a 3-in-1 dust port to fit a variety of dust extractor hoses (1-3/4, 2-3/4, 4 inches), a fence for creating straight cuts, and a miter gauge so that you can make angled cuts. The WEN 10-Inch Two-Speed Band Saw comes backed by a two-year warranty, a nationwide network of skilled service technicians and a friendly and helpful customer phone line.
No. 4: Grizzly G0513ANV 2 HP Band Saw Anniversary Edition, 17-Inch
Tools manufacturer Grizzly is proud to offer this 17-inch heavy-duty band saw that features 2 HP motors to easily power through wood and metal. This tool features a deluxe fence, a heavy-duty miter gauge, dual 4-foot dust ports, and a micro-adjusting geared table so that you can make precision cuts.
The overall size of this band saw is 73″ (Height) x 32″ (Width) x 32″ (Depth) and its approximate shipping weight is 342 lbs. For an impressive floor standing band saw that would normally cost much more, take a close look at the Grizzly G0513ANV 2 HP Band Saw.
No. 5: Rikon 10-306 10″ Deluxe Bandsaw
The versatile Rikon 10-306 10” band saw features numerous design specialties that make this bandsaw remarkably easy to operate and able to make quick adjustments to the blade, guides, and fence. The 2 blade speeds and an increased 1/2HP motor are quite ample enough for most small projects around the house or a small workshop. The compact design yet incredible power will be highly appreciated by those with minimal space or small workshops.
The Rinkon band saw also features a quick-release blade tension lever that makes this band saw easier and safer to use than most other products on the market. It also comes with a convenient 45° tilt table so that you can make angled cuts. For a well-made and easy to use floor band saw at an affordable price, the Rinkon 10-306 10″ Deluxe Bandsaw is a perfect choice.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about band saws
There are many different models of band saws on the market. It is important that you learn about all the different products available and the different features of each type before choosing a product. Understanding how they work and what these tools are before you buy one will ensure that you make a successful purchase. In the following section, we answer the most frequently asked questions from users so that you understand these tools well.
What is a band saw?
A band saw is an electric saw that has a long, narrow cutting strip that is made from metal. This strip moves up and down on two wheels to provide an accurate cutting mechanism. This toothed strip is the part of the tool that makes the cuts. Some band saws have a pedal for regulating the speed of the cut.
Band saws are usually used to cut metal and wood, although it is also possible to cut other materials, such as plastic. This tool is extremely useful for making irregular cuts. Band saws are specially designed to give curved shapes to materials and for performing specialized cuts that are difficult to perform with other tools. A special type of blade is used when cutting metal, as a coolant is required to prevent overheating.
How does a band saw work?
Band saws cut by using a toothed and sharpened metal blade. Modern band saws use metal alloy for the material of the blade, as it is very durable and resistant. The blade is mounted on two or three flywheels, which rotate at high-speed thanks to the motor, which enables the saw to cut hard materials such as metal.
Band saws are used to carry out precision cuts in industrial production and carpentry.
Why is a band saw better than a circular saw?
There are other types of power saws that have similar functions to a band saw. For example, a circular or disc saw could be used to perform irregular or circular cuts. Most professionals, however, prefer to use band saws to cut wood and “soft” metals such as aluminum. The following list explains why:
- Cutting power: Band saws have the ability to cut thicker pieces of wood or metal than normal circular saws.
- Versatility: With a band saw, it is possible to make curved and patterned cuts easily.
- Low noise level: Unlike a circular saw, a band saw is relatively quiet. This is important to consider when you work in a workshop or noisy environment.
- Ecology: Band saws reduce less wood waste. As the blades are narrow, the cut is thinner and less sawdust is produced.
- Savings: A band saw is cheaper than a disc/circular saw.
- Space: It is possible to find compact models that only occupy a smaller area. Some band saw models can also be moved around, such as the table models.
- Safety: The downward momentum of the blade reduces the risk of launching a displaced piece of wood or metal towards the operator.
How do I take care of a band saw?
Like any power tool or piece of machinery, band saws require a certain level of maintenance. With use, both the motor and blades will begin to wear out. If you want your band saw to function for as long as possible, you will need to perform some basic and regular maintenance procedures.
Below we list the most important maintenance processes to perform regularly:
- If you cut metal, ensure that the saw blade is always lubricated. Lubrication will prevent the blade from overheating and splitting. It is very important to continually lubricate the blade whilst cutting so that it does not heat up.
- When you finish working with the saw, disconnect it from the power socket.
- Before changing the band saw blade, clean the area well. Make sure to remove all wood chips and sawdust from the area carefully. If the new blade is not fit properly due to debris, it may break whilst cutting, which can be very dangerous.
- Wait at least three minutes between making cuts. This will allow the blade to cool before using it again, which will prolong the life of the blade.
- Always use saw blades that are designed for your band saw. Using blades that are not designed for your band saw model can lead to serious accidents.
- When changing the saw blade, ensure to position the teeth of the saw correctly. If the new blade is installed incorrectly or the wrong way around, accidents can occur.
- Always keep the cutting surface clean. After each cut, remember to remove any wood chips or sawdust from the cutting surface. This should be done with a blower or compressed air gun.
- Keep moving parts well greased. Both the cutting table and the head have parts that allow you to change the angle of the saw. It is important that they are always kept clean and greased for maximum cutting accuracy.
What types of band saws are there?
There are two types of band saws available on the market, which differ by the support system they use. The first type are called floor saws, which are larger and are directly supported on the ground. These band saws are fixed to the floor and are very secure due to their tremendous weight. This type of band saw is usually used in professional workshops and manufacturing warehouses.
The other type of band saws are called table saws. These saws are supported on a flat surface such as a workbench. This type of band saw is much smaller and lighter, as well as being portable. They offer more versatility, as you can move them around and take them out of the workshop, however, they are also less powerful than the floor band saws.
What measures should be taken to avoid accidents when using a band saw?
As always, you must always follow the basic protection rules applicable to any job and any power tool. A band saw is a powerful and dangerous tool, so safety is very important. Below we provide some specific safety rules when it comes to using band saws:
- Never handle the object you are cutting in line with the blade. To push or guide small pieces onto the blade, always use a separate piece of wood.
- If the blade comes off the wheels or breaks, immediately move away from the machine and unplug it. If the saw breaks, it is possible that it will throw shards of sharp metal.
- Never open the flywheel doors of the band saw while the machine is running.
- Do not push the life of the blades. Replace the blades of a band saw as soon as they start to blunt.
- Always wear gloves when operating a band saw. Also, use gloves to handle and replace the blade of a band saw.
- Wear safety glasses or a safety shield. This will not only avoid you from getting sawdust in your eyes but it will also protect you if an accident occurs.
In order to choose the best band saw on the market, it is important to follow a structured buying process in order to properly assess the most important aspects. In the below section we will show you what you should consider before purchasing a band saw. You can use this guide to find the product that is just right for you in terms of quality and price. The elements that we believe you should pay attention to are:
- Cutting depth and width
- Cutting speed
- Table and blade guides
- Switches and brakes
- Blade tooth size
- Cutting capacity and frame
Cutting depth and width
The most basic band saws, such as table band saws, will be able to cut wood up to 6 inches thick. Industrial models and floor band saws can cut wood up to 12 inches thick. The same applies to metal cutting saws. This is an important aspect to consider, as it will define the materials that you will be able to work with.
The width of the cut of a band saw is the distance between the blade and the nearest vertical structure. This structure is usually called a protector. This distance will determine the maximum cutting width of the band saw. Usually, a low-mid range band saw can cut widths up to 13 inches. Professional models and floor band saws usually have a wider width.
The cutting speed refers to the distance (in feet) that the blade travels in one minute. It is represented by the acronym FPM (feet per minute). This blade speed of a band saw varies widely from model to model. As an approximation, the cutting speed of the most basic models is between 600 FPM and 1500 FPM.
The higher quality band saws have options that allow you to vary the blade speed. These options are ideal for adapting the cut to different materials. Increasing or decreasing the speed depending on the strength of the material results in more accurate cuts. Generally, it is recommended to always use the highest speed, provided this does not over-work the saw.
Band saws have two or three flywheels that turn the blade and power the saw. On models with two wheels, one is always located vertically above the other. The lower flywheel is the wheel that is attached to the engine and spins to make the blade move.
It is also possible to buy a three-wheel band saw, although with these saws the band runs more forced and often breaks more easily. Almost all flywheels have a self-cleaning system that avoids the accumulation of sawdust in the wheel system.
Table and blade guides
The tables are usually made of sheet metal, cast iron, steel or aluminum. Aluminum tables are usually better calibrated and balanced, although they can be more flimsy. Look for cutting tables with grooves incorporated as this improves the removal of sawdust and wood chips. They should also have the ability to be inclined in a controlled way up to 45º.
When using a band saw to make a cut, the blade often has a tendency to come out of the flywheels, due to the force being applied by the cut. This is avoided by a system of bearings or guides located on both sides of the cutting blade. Flywheels that rotate on sealed bearings are less prone to blockage or failure. Guides are also used on the table surface to adjust the cutting width and ensure that you cut in a straight line.
Switches and brakes
For safety reasons, the start and stop of the blade motion must be secured and automatic. It is advisable to purchase a band saw with a blade that stops automatically when the doors to the flywheels are opened. In certain workplaces, such as in workshops, it may be necessary to have a key to operate the band saw
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Blade tooth size
The size of teeth on the blade of a band saw is defined by the number of teeth that fit into an inch. This ratio is called the TPI. The thicker the piece of wood or metal that you are cutting, the more teeth (TPI) that are required to saw. Therefore, rough wood (e.g. from a forest) requires a higher TPI than industrially manufactured woods such as plywood.
Cutting capacity has to do with the amount of material you can cut in a single pass of the band saw. The capacity usually ranges from six to thirty-six inches. The cutting capacity depends on the size of the saw. You should consider the materials you will be working with before you decide on a cutting capacity.
Buying a band saw is an excellent choice for your workshop or for your home. With a band saw you can tackle any DIY project in less time, with less effort and with better results. All you have to do is take into account your needs and the materials you plan on working with before choosing a model.
Before purchasing a band saw, we recommend taking into account the shopping criteria that we discussed in the final section. We are confident that if you follow our buying guide that you will make a long-lasting and successful purchase.
If you enjoyed our guide, please leave a comment or share it with your friends and family to buy the best band saw on the market.
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