Bandsaws are heavy duty tools for cutting materials, primarily metal and wood, and they’ve evolved considerably since their inception in 1809 - nowadays, you can pick them up in a pint-size, bench top variety, ideal for use in your workshop at home.
Deciding which saw is right for you might sound intimidating, as there are many on the market and as a piece of equipment it’s a sizable investment, financially, but if you know what to look for, it’s pretty simple.
We’ve done the research for you and selected five highly reviewed products to have you cutting away in no time, so you don’t need to waste time scouring the web in search of where to purchase.
Our buyer’s guide clearly lays out the features of a quality benchtop band saw that you should look out for when making your choice, helping you make a fully informed decision based on your preferences.
If you’ve still got a question, worry or concern, have a read through our frequently asked questions section, where we’ve gathered up and answered some of the most common bandsaw queries to help you out.
Best Benchtop Band Saw in 2021
OUR TOP PICK
Need an affordable, reliable bandsaw as soon as possible? Look no further than the Industrial from Grizzly, a well-known equipment manufacturer awarded “Top Value” by Wood Magazine for their amazing engineering, time and again.
Powered by a 1/3 horsepower motor, the Industrial has a heavy duty, resilient feel, supported by upper and lower ball bearing blade guides, with adjustable wheels for alignment and built-in rack-and-pinion table tilt for angled cuts.
Speedy and sturdy, a 62 inch blade comes installed and can be replaced with blades up to 3/8 inches in thickness, capable of slicing up to 3.5 inches high with enough power to slice through the densest materials.
A laser sight and LED light are both adjustable and allow for the most precise cuts possible by giving users a visual guide to follow, and an adjustable chip blower keeps offcuts well out of your way whilst you work.
Changing your blade out for a fresh one or adjusting your current tracking is simple and easy, whilst you’ll have no trouble moving it around your workshop at less than fifty pounds, using the footprint and top handle to safely transfer in no time.
Quick release blade tension, a paddle safety switch with removable key and extruded aluminium rip fence all keep the user safe when the machine is in operation, for peace of mind whilst working.
👍 Small but mighty at 9 inches tall and 1/3 horsepower
👍 Laser sight for precision
👍 Wheel brush for dust prevention
👍 Table tilt allows angled cuts
👎 Not for use on metal
Designed to be an essential woodworking tool to deliver precision cuts and irregular shapes alike, POWERTEC’s BS900 is a must-have for any DIY or at-home workshop, and one of the more affordable models on the list.
Cutting up to 3/5-8 inches deep and nine inches wide, you’ll have no trouble ripping up lumber or making the smallest, sharpest slices, making quick adjustments with the rack and pinion table, easily switching to a 45 degree angle.
A 2.5 amp, 1/2 horsepower motor offers plenty of power, perfect for a wide variety of projects, whilst the built-in miter gauge allows for accuracy, angle stops and incremental control, so you’ll have no trouble holding your saw steady.
Patented blade guard adjustment technology allows for swift and seamless blade replacement; the handy blade tracking window and 2 inch dust port prevent material buildup to keep your workstation nice and tidy.
The easy view window lets users peep in and check on their blades, allowing for the simplest tracking and alignment, swapping out your included blade for a new one between 1/8 and 3/8 in size, allowing for even more versatility.
👍 Die cast aluminium table
👍 Induction 1/2 horsepower motor
👍 Angled 45 degree cutting capability
👍 1725 RPM for super-speedy work
👎 Incompatible with metal material - woodworking only
High-quality, deluxe bandsaws are what Rikon promises, and judging by the reviews, the 10-3051 certainly delivers, capable of cutting wood, metal and more and delivering sharp, snappy cuts.
An increased cutting capacity means it’s great for use on small to medium projects, with a 1/2 horsepower motor at 1720RMP, whilst users can toggle between two blade speeds to up the ante, at 1515 and 3280 ft/minute respectively.
Tool-less blade guides, a quick release blade tension lever and large tracking knob allow for maximum control over your blades to minimize any potential dangers, whilst safety paddles guarantee a quick shut-down when you need it.
Tilting 5 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right using the cast iron table is more than simple, so you’ll be making angled cuts and jagged pieces in no time, without even breaking a sweat.
Sturdier door hinges, easy fitting dust ports, an adjustable fence carrier and easily-sliding rip fence systems are all upgrades this model features, vastly outperforming its earlier iterations in speed, accuracy and execution.
Rikon’s ISO9001 certified factory is located in Qingdao, China, and dedicated to designing and manufacturing machinery of the highest quality - knowing where your products are produced and shipped from is always reassuring!
👍 Powerful 1/2 HP motor can cut 5 inches high and 9-5/8 inches wide
👍 Wide, adjustable front rale
👍 Two blade speeds
👍 Dust port that connects to most shop vacs
👎 Pretty hefty at just under 80 pounds
Available to buy at 9 or 14 inches tall, there’s a model to suit any workshop size when you pick the WEN 3939, with its powerful 2.8 amp motor rotating your blades up to 2460 feet a minute - that’s pretty far!
A spacious work table at 12 x 12 inches in size offers plenty of space to spread your projects out and take on more sizable workpieces, and can be beveled up to 45 degrees for accurate, angled cutting.
62 inch blades can be between 1/8 and 3/8 inches in width, allowing versatility in your cutting whilst retaining accuracy, whilst ball-bearing components create smooth movements for durable, dependable service.
Adjustable blade guards, a fence for straight cuts, a built in dust port and a miter gauge are all built into this band saw to make the user’s life as easy and simple as possible and provide the most flawless finishes when cutting.
Weighing in at under 45 pounds, you’ll find it easy to move the 3939 around your workspace or even take it with you for working elsewhere, particularly when using the handy carrying handle built into the frame.
Supported by a two year warranty and the advice of a nationwide network of service technicians all just a phone call away, you’ll find that any potential issues after purchase are easily solved, at no extra cost.
👍 Lightweight and easy to carry
👍 Built in miter gauge and dust port
👍 Tilting capability for angled cuts
👍 Spacious working area
👎 Slower when working with metal
Bold in design despite a smaller price tag, the SKIL bandsaw helps you save a few pennies whilst maintaining an accurate, powerful cut, utilizing a 6 TPI blade to slice and dice a variety of woods, no matter how rough.
An adjustable rack and pinion table lets users make quick height and angle changes to mix up their cuts and create jagged jigsaw edges, whilst patented EZ View Blade Tracking allows the user to easily align their blades.
2.5 amps and 2800 RPM makes for a powerful motor, whilst the blade’s cutting capacity is a solid 3-1/2 inches, suitable for bigger projects, especially considering the 12 x 11-3/4 inch table offers plenty of working room.
Both the built in rip fence and miter gauge let you create different cuts, offering straight and cross-cut capabilities respectively, whilst the useful dust-port collects all the offcuts to keep your crafting space clean.
If your eyes aren’t what they used to be or you like things as specific as possible, the articulating LED work light helps to increase visibility by illuminating your cut line, allowing users to follow a clear guide whilst they work.
👍 Sturdy 6 TPI blade cuts through any and all wood
👍 Adjust height and angle to suit you
👍 Rip fence and miter gauge manipulate cuts for straight and cross lines
👍 Dust port and work light for accurate, clean work
👎 Would struggle to cut metal and other tougher materials
Benchtop Band Saw Buying Guide - Things to Know Before Buying
Band Saw Components
A band saw is an electric, motorized tool, the primary feature being a long sharp blade composed from toothed metal, stretched across at least two wheels for the purpose of cutting particularly dense, strong materials.
But what does each part do?
The most fundamental feature - you can’t spell bandsaw without saw! Length and width are important, as this determines what strength of material you’ll be able to cut, as well as the maximum and minimum size.
Sharpness is determined by the TPI or Teeth Per Inch (more on this later) - essentially, more teeth means a higher quality of cut, but a slower process, whilst blades with fewer teeth will cut quicker but their work is less precise.
A bandsaw’s frame is integral and must be strong and sturdy to ensure user safety, so you need to opt for a heavy-duty material like cast iron or welded steel, to keep the blade secure and hold it rigid whilst in use.
A poorly constructed frame is not only dangerous, but can lead to a lot of vibration during the cutting process as the wheels spin, which causes instability and a loss of control that impacts on the precision and accuracy of your cuts.
Your bandsaw’s powerhouse, the motor works to spin the wheels that in turn cause your blades to rotate, so the durability and power of this small but mighty component is more important than you’d think when it comes to cutting.
The stronger your motor, the quicker your wheels can spin, and therefore the faster your cuts will be completed; speed is measured in volts, amps or horsepower, depending on the manufacturer.
Vertical or horizontal?
Depending on the product you opt for, your bandsaw’s blade will be positioned vertically or horizontally, which changes the method of cutting.
Horizontal bandsaws require the material to be held still as the blade swings downward to perform the cut, traditionally used for trimming longer workpieces like pipes down to size. Users will struggle to cut curves or complicated shapes with a bandsaw, as when the cut is complete, the machine will trigger a switch and automatically stop the saw’s function - this does mean, though, that more expensive models can be automated.
Vertical or contour bandsaws hold the blade stationary instead, requiring the user to manually move their materials across it, allowing for the cutting of curves, angles and more complex shapes.
If you’re planning on making some considerably large cuts, you’re going to need a bandsaw that will provide enough working space for your projects, allowing for bigger materials to be chopped.
The bigger the bandsaw, the larger the blades it can accommodate, which also means you’ll be able to work more efficiently and take on greater tasks - if you’re only working with smaller materials, you don’t need to worry too much.
Additionally, the height your saw can cut is also important, depending on what it is you want to do with it - an average bandsaw’s blade is around six inches tall, but you can find longer or shorter models to suit you.
You’ll find that most units are powered by mains electricity or an external power source, unable to function on batteries alone - if portable cutting is more your bag, consider a portable, cordless saw, but remember they’ll be much weaker.
Likewise, the motor will also impact on your bandsaw’s power, as it will determine how fast your blades spin and therefore how quickly they cut through materials and the density they are capable of breaking through.
Should you need to make cuts at an angle, you’re going to want a bandsaw that tilts, offering maximum versatility - this is done by utilizing a rack and pinion adjustable table and is as simple as moving your workspace around.
The tilting capabilities of each table will vary between manufacturers and product lines, a 45 degree tilt to the right and a ten degree tilt to the left should be adequate for most projects.
Teeth Per Inch
Pretty straightforwardly, your blade’s TPI is just the number of ‘teeth’, also known as very sharp metal triangles, there are per inch, which is also sometimes referred to as the blade’s pitch.
You’ll find they’re categorized by their densities, typically coarse, medium and fine, each being capable of cutting different materials, so you’ll want to switch things up whenever you start a new project.
The finer and sharper the blade, the slower it cuts, but the cleaner and more accurate your result will be; consequently, the coarser a blade, the quicker you’ll finish the job, but the more difficulty you’ll have achieving a smooth cut.
As we said earlier, a saw’s speed is determined by your motor, with speeds ranging between 1/2 and 2 horsepower, the latter being more expensive; the faster your motor, the quicker the cuts, and the tougher the material you’ll be able to manipulate.
There can never be too many safety features in a piece of equipment that has the capability to sever your limbs, and ensuring you pick a bandsaw with the highest levels of protection is key to keeping yourself safe.
Mounted on the blade’s casing, the guard covers your blade when not in use and can be moved out of the way when you work, but works to minimize contact between your hands and those sharp, sharp teeth.
Working to secure your blade, holding it steady whilst you work to prevent any sliding, jumping or vibration - if not properly held down, your blades can fall out of place and cause serious injuries, which might prove fatal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do you use a band saw for?
Bandsaws are primarily used in the lumber, wood and metal work industries, but can be utilised for a variety of tasks and purposes depending on the user’s intentions - if you want to cut something big, you can probably use a band saw!
What thickness of wood can a band saw cut?
Individual bandsaws are capable of cutting different widths and thicknesses of material, but this is determined by the size and sharpness of its blades and the power of its motor.
Are band saws dangerous?Any equipment that features an incredibly sharp and quickly-rotating saw has the potential to be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced or foolish user, yes, but as long as you follow the user manual to the letter, there’s no reason to worry.
Likewise, be sure that the blade guard and tensioning system in your saw are in perfect working order every time you start work, before you begin cutting, just in case anything has been tampered with between uses. You can never be too careful!