Band Saw Reviews
Welcome to our Band Saw Reviews
This is a general overview on Bandsaws. To read Band Reviews on particular models, click below. To read our general review and watch the video, scroll down.
If you already know which table you would like, I’ve found the best prices are consistently at Amazon and in usually includes free shipping.
By Mark Adams Senior Editor, Wood Tools Magazine
I can’t imagine being a woodworker without a bandsaw. I use my bandsaw more than any other tool I have except for my table saw. I’ll bet this is the case for you as well.
I personally think life (at least my woodworking life) is way too short to use a poor quality bandsaw. So, let’s see if we can help you pick the bandsaw that will take your woodworking to the next level.
Here are some questions I think you need to answer before you upgrade to your next bandsaw.
Do you need a riser?
Risers come as accessories on many mid priced and most top of the line models. A riser is an attachment that simply allows you to increase the height of the piece of wood you’re cutting. The standard height on most bandsaws is about 6 inches.
OK, most bandsaw work is done on flat pieces. I went years before I even knew risers existed. But once I used on my woodworking capacities virtually exploded.
The main use here is to resaw actual logs into long thing strips or to take that piece of 9 inch high spalted maple and resaw it into perfectly matched bookend pieces for yoru news box or drawer.
You certainly don’t need this day one, but as your skills grow you probably will in the future, so at least make sure that a riser is available for your model.
How often will you resaw?
If you cut mostly curves with your bandsaw this is probably not an important feature. But even if you resaw occasionally, a taller fence is a must. Just make sure the model you choose has a fence that can be used for resawing or at least you have the capacity to create a jig or buy an accessory in the future. I promise you, there will be a day you will take full advantage of resawing and be glad you planned ahead.
What about the fence and table?
The bigger the table the safer and easier it is to cut. I think it’s imperative to have a fence, miter slot and miter gauge. Realize many models don’t come with any of these things. The better models will have a sliding fence like on your table saw. It should clamp down easily.
Like on your drill press most tables are too small. A melamine table that either you build or buy and dramatically increase the capacity of your bandsaw and I would recommend you consider before you buy if the standard fence is adequate for you.
To see some commercial examples click here.
Correct blade tension?
For most people, blade tension is how tight they can make the blade without it breaking. We’ve all be there. But in reality, especially with better quality bandsaws the blade will not wonder very much with a little give.
Please don’t pass over the section in the manual that tells you about proper tension for that particular machine.
If you ever had a blade snap on you because you had the tension too tight, you appreciate this advice.
How often will you change the blade?
When choosing a bandsaw find out how easy the blades are to change. Like all tools, the easier to change the more often you will install the correct blade and ultimately the better you’ll cut.
Yes, blades make all the difference in the world.
There is actually no one blade fits all. Go figure. For most people, two blades are enough. Get a thicker, deeper blade for straight cutting and resawing and a small blade for curves.
Hit the hip for a few extra bucks to buy a better quality blade. Time and time again, I have seen people put down so major cash for a saw and then use the cheapest blades possible. For me that’s just a head shaker.
Here’s a really nice video that shows various bandsaw techniques. It will almost make you nostalgic for shop class!
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