Best Band Saw Buying Guide: The Top Options For 2020

While not every woodworker necessarily needs a band saw, the ones that do need the best model available.

Of course, knowing that you need a band saw is one thing, but knowing which one to get is an entirely different matter. Life gets busy, and it can sometimes be difficult to do the research before making a purchase. We understand that, which is why we have committed to doing it for you.

We have taken a close look at some of the most popular band saws on the market and assembled a list of the top five options. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your guide to the best band saws! 

Best Band Saw - Comparison

5 Best Band Saws - Review

1. Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe 14-inch Band Saw

Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe 14-inch Band Saw

The first band saw that we will be taking a look at also happens to be our choice for the top buying option on this list. We came to this conclusion based on the plethora of high-caliber features this unit boasts, but unfortunately, they don’t come cheap.

I’m just going to put this right on front street: the Grizzly is expensive. If you aren’t serious about your woodworking, you probably won’t want to think about buying this bad boy. And even if you are, the price tag featured on this unit may be out of your budget.

Now, this said, if you can look past the lofty price tag, you really are in for a treat—the Grizzly is a truly remarkable unit that every woodworker would love to own. One of my favorite aspects of this saw is how stable it is—the frame featured on this saw is made out of cast iron, which is about as stable a base as you can get for any tool.

The stable cast iron frame is useful for several reasons—for one, it contributes to the overall durability of the tool to ensure that it will stay in your shop for many years to come. It also ensures that the tool and the workpiece won’t move around too much, giving you access to more precise cuts. And finally, a good base will reduce the impact of vibration in order to deliver the best user experience possible.

The solid frame mixed with the high-caliber 11-amp, 110 volt motor that features an adjustable speed range of 1800-3100 FPM all account for a reliable and versatile tool that will provide experienced wood workers an excellent opportunity to do some of their best work.

As I mentioned earlier, my only reservation about this saw is its price. If you have a little bit of money to spend on this purchase, however, I definitely recommend checking out the Grizzly—you won’t regret it.

What we liked:

  • Cast iron frame
  • Excellent motor
  • Resistant to vibration
  • Fence

What we didn't like:

  • High price point

2. SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-inch Band Saw

SKIL 3386-01 2.5-Amp 9-inch Band Saw

This next saw from SKIL did not get selected as our top buying option, even though it is a great band saw that is available at a much more reasonable price than the Grizzly—so much so that we have selected it as our top budget buy.

One of the things that I like about this saw is that it has a lot of extra features that make the process of using the saw easier. For example, this unit comes with a built-in an LED light that will help to illuminate your work space—this makes using the tool safer and it will also help you get more accurate cuts.

The SKIL also features a good rip fence to guide the blade and enable you make straight cuts easily, and it has a dust port that will allow you easy access to utilizing a dust collection system. This, one the one hand, will help you keep your work space clean as you won’t need to deal with irritating debris, but more importantly, it will minimize your exposure to dust particles that can be harmful to your lungs. And finally, this model also features a rack and pinion adjustment table that will make it about easy to make adjustments.

Of course, this unit isn’t without its problems. One of the things I am not so crazy about in regards to this saw is that it has no variable-speed component. The saw is also pretty loud—though, to be fair, that is kind of to be expected out of a power tool.
If you can look past these issues, you definitely have a good buying option on your hands with this unit.

What we liked:

  • Affordable
  • Fence
  • Rack and pinion table
  • LED light

What we didn't like:

  • A bit noisier than some comparable products 
  • Only one speed setting

3. WEN 3959 2.5-Amp 9-inch Benchtop Band Saw

WEN 3959 2.5-Amp 9-inch Benchtop Band Saw

There is a lot to like about this next tool that we will be looking at. The first thing that you might notice is that the WEN is fairly affordable, especially if you compare its price to that of the Grizzly.

But there is more to like about this unit than just its affordable price. One of my favorite aspects of the WEN is the great motor it comes with—while this unit also features only one speed, it makes up for this by being very powerful. With rotations of 2500 feet per minute, the 2.5 amp-motor of this tool will definitely give you enough power to confidently approach a variety of materials and jobs.

I also like the aluminum frame featured on the WEN—I mentioned earlier that a good cast iron frame is kind of the gold standard when it comes to supplying users with solid base, and I definitely maintain that. However, a cast iron base is often going to set you back a bit more money. That being the case, aluminum does serve as a nice, affordable, and lightweight alternative. Due to the nature of the material, it even does a good job of minimizing vibrations, though perhaps not to the same extent that the cast iron frame can claim.

I also like that the size of the work table gives you a pretty generous space to work with, which will ultimately make your jobs more comfortable. And finally, the WEN has a nice standard set of accessories to sweeten the pot—this package comes with a dust port, a rip fence, and a miter gauge that will give you everything you need to make the most out of this product.

Of course, like any tool, the WEN is not without its flaws. As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t have a variable speed option, although that is somewhat to be expected when dealing with saws in this price range.

One of the other problems that I have with this tool is in regards to the table. While I do like the size of the table featured here, I am a little bit troubled by the texture—the surface has a consistency that is almost like that of sand paper. For some reason this is quite common when it comes to aluminum surface tables, but it can also lead to scratched workpieces if you aren’t careful.

What we liked:

  • Good set of accessories
  • Generous table size
  • Affordable

What we didn't like:

  • The surface of the table is rough
  • Only one speed setting

4. Rikon 10-305 10-inch Band Saw with Fence

Rikon 10-305 10-inch Band Saw with Fence

I like Rikon products in general, and this next unit certainly is no exception. One reason for this is that this tool features a good, cast iron base—I’ve mentioned a couple of times why I think cast iron makes for a great work surface in power tools.

In the case of the Rikon, the solid build ensures that the user enjoys plenty of stability and durability so that the tool lasts for many years to come. It blends this cast iron construction with stainless steel that will also serve to provide plenty of support and stability.

Construction aside, however, it’s just a good tool. The 1.5 horsepower is going to empower users to approach a good range of materials with confidence. While harder stock is probably still off limits, you should have no trouble working through the common materials one would typically cut with a band saw. Additionally, this unit even features a micro-adjustable guide post to ensure that you can make cuts that meet your exact specifications.

Finally, you get all the accessories you could hope for, including a newly added rip fence. While this is a fairly standard component of most saws, previous versions of this tool did not include one, so it is nice to see that one has been added now.

If there is one thing I don’t like about this product it is that some models feature a table that is a little bit out of sync. It’s not a big tilt, but it is certainly distracting, and unfortunately there is no built-in way to correct the problem.

What we liked:

  • Cast iron/stainless steel construction
  • Great motor
  • Affordable

What we didn't like:

  • Table slightly out of alignment

5. WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-inch Band Saw 

WEN 3962 Two-Speed 10-inch Band Saw

The final band saw we’ll be looking at today is another WEN. This unit is a bit more expensive than the previous WEN saw we looked at, but it still represents a good opportunity to get a deal, and it also improves upon a few of the features of the last unit.

Most features included on this unit are going to seem familiar, but there is one new feature that I am pretty excited about—unlike the other WEN saw, this unit can operate at two speeds: 1520 or 2620 FPM. This variable-speed option is going to empower users to approach a wider variety of jobs with the confidence and precision they are looking for.

Additionally, this saw also features a host of accessories that you should find beneficial. It comes with a LED work light, a rip fence, a dust port, and a miter gauge—basically everything you need to make the most out of this saw.

One thing that I am not so fond of is that the settings are a bit tricky to adjust. That aside, the WEN is a reliable tool that should make a good option for just about anyone.

What we liked:

  • Great accessories
  • Stable construction
  • Variable speed options

What we didn't like:

  • Can be tricky to make blade adjustments

Video Credit: ​Howcast


So, which saw is the one for you? Our money is still on the Grizzly, but the truth of the matter is that any one of these tools would make a great option for your shop. 

Sean J. Stone

Sean has been a woodworking enthusiast for 8 years, and in that time has written huge resources on woodworking and tools.

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