A band saw is a power saw with a long, sharp-toothed, band-like blade that rotates around double wheels. These saws offer excellent control for cutting wood, metal, and other commonly used building materials.
When it comes to choosing the right band saw, Deane Biermeier, a carpenter, contractor, and member of The Spruce's Home Improvement Advisory Board, suggests, "Consider the type of projects you do or how you expect to use the band saw before deciding on which one to purchase. Band saws are wonderful when they’re needed, but you may be able to get by with a less-expensive one than you thought. If you'll only use the band saw occasionally for small projects, for example, you don't need the biggest and best. But if you do a great deal of intricate woodwork, need to cut metal, or often cut pipes, then it's worth it to spend more for a tool that has all the power and features you need."
We researched dozens of band saws from the best tool brands, evaluating power, ease of use, accuracy, safety features, and overall value.
Our top overall pick is the WEN 3962T 10-Inch Band Saw With Stand, which stands out for its powerful and smooth performance, durable construction, and customizable sawing.
Here are the best band saws.
WEN 3962T 10-Inch Band Saw With Stand
Versatile dust collection system
Large depth capacity
Includes miter gauge
Can be a little more difficult to adjust when using thin blades
This powerful and feature-packed 10-inch band saw comes with its own sturdy 25-inch stand, so you won't have to take up any counter space in your workshop. If you prefer, you can remove it from the stand and use it as a benchtop tool instead. Either way, this top-ranked band saw is ready and willing to slice through wood straight across, on a curve, or even on an angle. The 3.5-amp motor propels a 72-inch blade that can be anywhere from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch in thickness, so you can tailor it to the delicacy of your project. There are two speed settings: 1520 feet per minute on low or 2620 feet per minute on high. The band saw has a throat of 9 3/4 inches and a cutting depth of up to 6 inches, allowing you to tackle thick materials without fuss or bother.
The table measures 14 inches by 12 1/2 inches in size and can be swiveled up to 45 degrees to the right for cutting bevels or other angled cuts. There are a miter gauge and adjustable rip fence to help keep your cuts as accurate as possible. And while sawing wood can be dusty, the three-in-one dust port fits a variety of vacuum hoses so you can keep the dust under control while you work. The saw also comes with a flexible work light, so you can easily angle it right where you need it.
All-in-all, this is a great band saw for any DIYer or enthusiastic woodworker who wants a band saw that can handle most projects but doesn't need the power, size, and expense of a 14-inch professional model.
Frame Type: Benchtop | Power: 3.5 amp | Throat: 9 3/4 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 6 inches
WEN BA3959 9-Inch Band Saw
Perfect for hobbyists or small projects
Includes miter gauge and rip fence
Few complaints that it's difficult to maintain straight cuts
Not everyone needs a large band saw for cutting through wide or long boards and other materials. If you mostly work with smaller boards, or only expect to use your band saw on occasion, a more compact machine that’s still powerful enough to get the job done, yet won’t hog up too much space in your workshop or garage is all you need. And the WEN BA3959 9-Inch Band Saw fills that need perfectly.
The work surface of this band saw measures 12 1/4 x 11 7/8 inches, and it uses any 59 1/2-inch band saw blade that’s between 1/8 and 3/8-inches thick. At 2.8 amps, the motor isn’t the most powerful, but it still has enough oomph to slice through wood and similar materials up to a depth of 3 1/2 inches, including bevel cuts from 0 to 45 degrees.
The band saw comes with a 1/4-inch blade, a 2.5-inch dust port, a miter gauge for setting boards at precise angles, and a rip fence to keep your cuts straight.
Frame Type: Benchtop | Power: 2.8 amp | Throat: 9 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 3.5 inches
DEWALT DWM120K 5-Inch Portable Band Saw
Large cutting capacity
Included blade is not the best
Cut through round, square, or rectangular pipe, conduit, rebar, fence materials, or other metal materials, including steel and wrought iron almost effortlessly with this 10-amp, corded portable band saw. It has an impressive cutting capacity of 5 inches wide and deep with round materials and 5 inches by 4 3/4 inches when cutting square or rectangular materials. The blade on this beast is a standard 44 7/8 inches long by 1/2 inch wide by .020 inches thick. There's a variable speed trigger that allows you to set speeds between 100 and 350 strokes per minute and an adjustable material guide to keep your cuts accurate.
The saw has rubber bumpers to protect it from damage, and ergonomic, adjustable handles for comfort during long work sessions. An LED light illuminates your cut lines, and when you are finished, you can hang the saw by its hanging hook or store it in the included hard case. All in all, this is a great choice if you need a portable band saw for construction or other heavy-duty projects.
Price at time of publish: $346
Frame Type: Portable | Power: 10-amp | Throat: 5 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: Not applicable
Ryobi BS904G 9-Inch Band Saw
Excellent performance for light to medium cutting tasks
Includes miter gauge
Some complaints that instructions are not clearly written
If you prefer a benchtop band saw for cutting wood or for use in metalwork, then this 2.5-amp, 9-inch benchtop band saw from Ryobi is an excellent option for a variety of work. This machine uses an induction motor for cutting pipes, wood and a variety of other materials. It features a 3 1/2-inch cutting depth with rapid setting blade tensioners and a blade-tracking window. This Ryobi band saw also feature aluminum wheels and ball bearing supports. It allows for blades that are between 1/8 and 3/8 inches in width and 62 inches in length.
The work table is 14 3/4 inches by 11 3/4 inches. You can tilt the table up to 45 degrees to the right for making miter cuts or other angled work. It's designed to reduce vibration, which can be an issue with many benchtop band saws. While not the largest benchtop band saw out there, this one is more than sufficient for the majority of DIY projects, and it has a very reasonable price, to boot.
Price at time of publish: $219
Frame Type: Benchtop | Power: 2.5 amp | Throat: 9 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 3 1/2 inches
DEWALT DCS371B 20V MAX Cordless Band Saw
Excellent for cutting conduit or metal pipe
Reasonably fast for a cordless tool
You'll need to buy battery and charger separately if you don't already own them
4Cut the cord with a battery-powered band saw that goes wherever you need it. This cordless tool runs off a 20-volt battery (sold separately), and can be used for cutting through a wide range of wood, bone, or metal materials, although like all portable band saws, it is best suited to metal. As it is handheld, not perched on a table, it is not suited for delicate work cutting angles or curves, but it comes in very handy when you need to cut through pipe, studs, or boards while working on site or away from an outlet.
The saw only takes blades that are 32 7/8-inches in length and 0.02-inches in width. That is different from benchtop band saws, which typically can use various thicknesses of blades. The maximum width of cuts you can make with this saw is 2 1/2 inches, and 2 inches when cutting pipe. There is no maximum depth of cut, as you can maneuver the saw up and down as you like. There is no speed adjustment, just on or off with a maximum speed of 570 feet per minute. The saw has a built-in LED light and a hanging hook for storage. The handles are ergonomic with a soft-grip texture that makes it easy to grasp the tool securely while cutting. The weight of the saw is around 8 pounds.
Price at time of publish: $214
Frame Type: Portable | Power: 20-volt | Throat: 2 1/2 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: Not applicable
Best for Metal
Shop Fox W1715 Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
Horizontal or vertical orientation
Handles most types of metal, as well as wood and plastics
Smooth cutting performance
Few complaints that the stand is not sturdy
Buying a great metal-cutting band saw can be a little more difficult than finding a reliable, affordable woodworking band saw. However, the Shop Fox W1715 Metal-Cutting Band Saw is an excellent option that works well on everything from steel and aluminum to copper or brass, as well as wood and plastics. This saw comes on its own wheeled stand, so you can easily move it right where you want it.
The 64 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch by 0.025 inch blade easily adjusts for either horizontal or vertical cutting, allowing you to tackle more complicated designs or cuts. The saw has three speeds— 78-, 108- and 180- feet per minute—for a range of options when you’re slicing through metal. It allows for cuts anywhere from 0 to 60 degrees and has a beveling vice for a sturdy grip. With this Fox Shop band saw, you get ball bearing blade guides, onboard blade tension and tilt knobs, automatic safety shut-off features, and a feed rate adjustment handle. The saw is powered by a 3/4-horsepower motor and features a two-year warranty.
Price at time of publish: $600
Frame Type: Floor | Power: 3/4 horsepower | Throat: 6 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 6 inches
Best for Resawing
Rikon Power Tools 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence
Tire-cleaning brush reduces sawdust buildup
Smooth, powerful motor
Easy to adjust and use
Reasonably compact size
Some complaints of receiving saw with a bent table
No miter gauge
Resawing refers to the process of cutting a piece of wood into multiple pieces rather than planing, which is removing a strip of wood along the surface. For example, you could turn a 1-inch thick board into multiple 1/8-inch-thick veneers or two 3/8-inch boards. Replaning allows you to get more out of a piece of wood and create a pieces of furniture with mirror grain designs. To make the job of resawing easier, you’ll want a 1/2-inch wide blade with three teeth per inch. This allows for a smooth and precise cut that’s still strong enough to get into the grain.
The Rikon 10-305 Band Saw is ideal for resawing, although of course you can use it for a full range of woodworking techniques. This reliable benchtop band saw features a large 13 3/4-inch by 12 1/2-inch cast iron table, which can tilt up to 45 degrees for cutting miters and other angled cuts. The 1/3-horsepower motor gives you plenty of power, and the rip fence can be moved or removed for optimal range. The Rikon band saw also has a steel construction and a 2 1/2-inch dust port.
The Rikon 10-305 can fit 1/2-inch to 1/8-inch blades that are 70 1/2 inches in length. It is a great option for all types of woodworking, and particularly good for resawing.
Price at time of publish: $500
Frame Type: Benchtop | Power: 1/3 horsepower | Throat: 10 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 4 5/8 inches
Best for Glass
Gryphon Corporation C-40 Band Saw
A must-have for anyone who creates stained glass or glass mosaics
Large water reservoir
Precise cutting ability
Not for cutting wood or metal
Most band saws are designed for wood, metal, or plastic, but the Gryphon C-40 is a great option for cutting glass, as well as tile, stone, and ceramics. Precision glass cutting is difficult for anyone other than professionals with the best equipment, but the Gryphon C-40 is a more affordable option than a CNC machine for precise cuts with this fickle material.
This machine has a very simple design with fewer features than the big wood-cutting band saws. This band saw can be paired with a diamond edged blade and operated at a high speed to slice through glass for use in stained glass and other projects. It also has an easy-to-use water-cooling system. This 1/3-horsepower tool is no-frills and very effective. Note that it's only for use in cutting glass or stone, however. It is not for use in cutting wood.
Price at time of publish: $522
Frame Type: Benchtop | Power: 1/3 horsepower | Throat: 4 3/4 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 2 5/8 inches
Best for Pipes
WEN 94396 5-Inch Portable Band Saw
Large cutting capacity
Handful of complaints about blade alignment
If you need to cut through metal pipes, conduit, rebar, or PVC pipe, then you'll love the ease and speed of carrying the task out with the WEN 94396 portable band saw. Note that this is a corded tool, not a cordless model, so you do need to be within reach of an electrical outlet or use it with an extension cord rated for heavy-duty use. The saw has a 10-amp motor, so there's plenty of power, and it also has variable speeds from 60 to 420 feet per minute. You can cut a maximum of 5 inches wide or across with this saw, which makes it very versatile.
The saw uses blades that are 44 7/8 inches long and 1/2-inch wide. It weighs 14 1/2 pounds and has an adjustable front handle to minimize fatigue during long work sessions. Note that you'll need both hands to use this saw; this is not a one-handed tool. It does take experience to use the saw for cutting very precise, straight lines, but that's true of all portable band saws, not just this one. Overall, this is a powerful saw with a good cut capacity for many metal-cutting projects.
Price at time of publish: $99
Frame Type: Portable | Power: 10-amp | Throat: 5 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: Not applicable
JET JWBS-14DXPRO 14-Inch Deluxe Pro Band Saw
Very smooth performance
Cast iron frame is very stable and durable
Does not include miter gauge or rip fence
The JET JWBS-14DXPRO band saw is a high-end professional-style machine for cutting wood, metal, and much more. It sports a two-speed poly-v belt drive system to cut at 1,500 or 3,000 surface feet per minute (sfpm). This two-tier speed function allows for extra precision when you’re making your cuts, allowing you to customize your approach based on your materials and project. The saw can slice into material as wide as 13 1/2 inches and as high as 12 inches.
This floor-standing band saw has a 15-inch by 15-inch sturdy and stable cutting surface that can tilt 10 degrees left and 45 degrees right, letting you tailor the tool to your needs, particularly when making delicate cuts. It has a resawing function and a full cast iron frame. This machine also has ball bearing guides, an adjustable table angle, and numerous safety features, such as a blade tracking window. It even has a storage shelf enclosed in the base. This is a great band saw that can do just about anything, but it is designed more for experienced and professional users and is priced accordingly.
Price at time of publish: $1,750
Frame Type: Floor | Power: 1.25 horsepower | Throat: 14 inches | Max. Cutting Depth: 12 inches
If you need a band saw for woodworking and want top performance, lots of power, and the best features, then the WEN 3962T 10-Inch Band Saw, which includes its own stand, is our top choice overall. But if you need a band saw mostly for cutting metal, and you want a saw that can easily travel to a jobsite, then the DEWALT DWM120K 5-Inch Portable Band Saw, which has a lot of power and can cut through large pipes, is our recommendation.
What to Look for in a Band Saw
There are three basic types of band saws: those that stand on the floor, those that sit atop a bench or table, and portable saws.
Floor or freestanding band saws are large machines with attached stands or cabinets. They take up considerable floor space, but have the power and the capacity to tackle larger, harder, and thicker materials. Still, the average DIYer doesn’t need this level of performance.
Benchtop band saws sit atop your workbench or table, and so require less floor space. While many are quite powerful, as a general rule, benchtop band saws aren’t quite as powerful as their freestanding counterparts. However, they are more than adequate for tackling the typical DIY project around the home.
Portable band saws are usually corded, but there are now cordless models that run off batteries as well. These band saws are useful for construction sites or other job sites where you’ll be working in tight quarters, doing overhead work, or working with small materials. These saws are mostly used to cut metal, especially pipe or rebar.
There are two numbers that make up a band saw’s cutting capacity: throat and cutting depth.
Throat is a measurement of the distance from the saw blade to the vertical column of the frame. This determines the maximum width of material the tool can handle. When a manufacturer includes a measurement in the tool’s name or description, for example “18-inch,” they are referring to the throat. As a general rule, freestanding band saws have larger throats, typically over 16 inches, while benchtop tools have throats between 12 and 14 inches, although many small machines have a throat measurement of 9 or 10 inches.
Cutting depth is a measurement of the distance from the band saw’s table to the upper blade guides. This is the maximum thickness of material the saw can handle. Between 6 and 12 inches is the most common range of cutting depth.
As a general rule, larger freestanding band saws have more powerful motors than benchtop tools. Professional or heavy-duty band saws might have as much as 2-horsepower motors, but most DIYers will find 1- to 1.5-horsepower more than adequate. The motors of benchtop or small freestanding band saws are usually somewhere between 1/2 and 1 horsepower.
What is a band saw used for?
Like other power saws, band saws are very useful for cutting straight across the grain of a board—crosscutting—as well as cutting down the length of a board with the grain—rip cutting. However, where a band saw really shines is in making curved or more complicated cuts. A band saw’s thin blade gives you a lot of control while working around edges and curves. This makes the tool very useful if you make wooden toys, home decor, furniture, or pieces used as trim.
Band saws are also often used to cut metal.
What size band saw do I need?
Band saws come in a variety of sizes and configurations, but the largest are generally best suited for professional use in a carpentry or machine shop. Few DIYers or hobbyists require the size and power of a freestanding band saw. Unless you are using your saw very frequently to cut large materials, a benchtop tool is the best choice.
As for size, most hobbyists and DIYers find that a band saw with a 12- to 14-inch throat is sufficient for just about anything they might want to cut. When it comes to power, a saw with 1- to 1 1/2-horsepower is enough oomph for any but the most demanding materials.
What is a horizontal band saw used for?
The typical band saw is a vertical saw. The blade assembly is stationary, and the user pushes the board or other material along the saw table while the blade moves vertically to make the cut. A horizontal band saw, by contrast, holds the material being cut stationary while the user swings the blade assembly horizontally to make the cut.
As a general rule, horizontal band saws are far more common in commercial shops or for industrial use and are often used to cut metal. While vertical band saws are also used commercially, smaller benchtop models are the most common type purchased by DIYers or hobbyists for use at home.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article is edited and updated by Michelle Ullman, the tool expert for The Spruce. She has extensive experience not only in writing about all things related to the home, but also in carrying out various DIY projects, including landscaping, painting, flooring, wallpapering, furniture makeovers, and simple repairs.
For this roundup, she considered dozens of band saws, evaluating each for power, versatility, basic features, extras, and customer feedback, as well as input from Deane Biermeier, a licensed contractor, carpenter, and member of The Spruce's Home Improvement Review Board.