Best Budget Band Saws of 2020: Reviews and Buying Guide
Finding the best budget band saws is a task that requires a lot of time and effort since generally, they are not relatively cheap. Also, whatever product you purchase, most of the time, those with an affordable price tag have poor qualities.
That being said, when buying a reasonably priced band saw, you want to make sure that you get the best value for your buck. As mentioned, it is not always easy to do so, especially when you shop online since you only get information about the positive things, but not about the negative ones. Regardless if you are a novice woodworker or an experienced one, this guide will help you decide which will be the best choice for you.
Best Budget Band Saws: Reviews of Our Top Five Choices
We’ve gathered five of the best band saws with different features and varying price ranges. We've looked into their features, as well as the pros and cons of using each one of them.
1. Grizzly G0555 Band Saw
For serious woodwork projects, the best choice is probably the Grizzly G0555. It has professional features and sturdy construction.
This 14-inch band saw is powerful enough to do tough jobs but is easy to use. It also has a competitive price that is within the price range of small band saws.
The Grizzly G0555 is also easy to assemble, thanks to its computer-balanced wheels. Changing the blade is also easy to do; plus, it offers simple adjustments that make it an ideal choice for both experienced crafters and newbies.
You’ll also notice that it is easier to use compared to other band saws because of its tension bar with quick-release feature and its durable cast-iron table. Additionally, complex cuts can be made since the table can be angled up to 15 degrees to the left and 45 degrees to the right.
With its great features, you might want to let pass of its downside, which is the lack of table light. We do not know why the manufacturer chose to omit the table light because this feature is almost always readily available on other band saws.
2. Rikon 10-305 Band Saw
While this is not as powerful as the Grizzly model we reviewed above, it is great for smaller projects and lighter woodwork. Rikon is also one of the most popular brands in the industry.
The Rikon 10-305 Band Saw has a large table made with cast iron, as well as has a steel frame, which is a lot better than the plastic-made units that are sold at this price range. It offers cleaner cuts because it doesn’t vibrate too much. Likewise, the micro-adjust handle lets you set the cuts precisely.
This is suitable for hobbyists but is not ideal for significant projects since its motor is not too powerful. Cutting through softer woods is a breeze with this band saw, but it can’t be used to cut harder woods that are typically required in bigger, more intricate projects. Another drawback is its small, 2.5-inch dust port.
Nonetheless, this tool has a two-inch tall fence, a 2.5-inch dust port, and a safety paddle switch. It also accepts a wide range of blade sizes, from 1/8" to 1/2", as well as a maximum cutting height of 4 5/8” and width of 9 5/8”.
3. Wen 3962 Band Saw
The third in our list claims to offer the best value for money. At a low price, the WEN 3962 band saw offers what most expensive band saw models can provide.
This is a 10-inch band saw with a sturdy table that allows up to 45-degree tilt. It also has a two-speed adjustment, which makes it more ideal to use for a variety of projects. Its dust port also has three different hose sizes for various dust collection requirements.
This band saw is equipped with a work light, a three-in-one dust port, a fence, and a miter gauge. This also comes with a 3/8-inch, 6TPI blade.
However, this band saw is not that easy to set up and adjust. Switching blades can be frustrating, as well, particularly if you are new to the crafts field. Nevertheless, the band saw has a 3.5-amp motor and cuts straight when set properly. If you are an experienced crafter, you might want to consider this band saw since it is one of the best budget band saws with the cleanest cut we’ve seen.
4. WEN 3959 Band Saw
The nine-inch WEN 3959 Band Saw is a good choice for smaller wood projects and is ideal for hobbyists but not for professionals. Keep in mind that this model is not advisable if you are planning to work with big cuts and harder woods because it is not that powerful.
Like most units mentioned in this list, this unit can be tilted up to 45 degrees, allowing you to create more complex cuts. It has a dust port that is smaller than the usual, which means more sawdust on the floor and more things to clean up for you.
With a 2.5-amp motor, the WEN 3959 Band Saw might be right for you. It may lack the power you need for big projects, but it is very easy to set up and change blades, which make it the best choice for beginners.
5. SKIL 3386-01 Band-Saw
If you are looking for a dirt-cheap band saw, the best thing you can get is the SKIL 3386-01. It is low-priced, but do not expect the quality to be topnotch.
The parts of the SKIL 3386-01 Band-Saw are made with low-quality materials that tend to break often even when doing the lightest projects. You may end up buying spare parts and paying for services.
This band saw is comparatively underpowered and offers limited cuts. With this band saw, you are unlikely to cut hardwood materials and it will probably take you longer than usual to finish a simple project.
Additionally, be careful in using this since the blade can often catch even on softwood materials, making you work less efficiently. The SKIL 3386-01 Band-Saw obviously has the lowest price, but it won’t give you the best value for your money. Nonetheless, it has LED work light that articulates, as well as comes with a rip fence, a 1.5-inch dust port, and a 6TPI blade.
Band Saw Buyer’s Guide
The list we provided above gives you insights on which of these band saws are ideal for you. The decision basically depends on your level of expertise, type of work, and budget.
When buying a band saw, it is essential to know the features you need in order to finish the project you are planning to work on from time to time. Of course, your projects may vary, so in this list, we included some of the most crucial factors to consider when buying a band saw. You will be guided as to what sets apart a good band saw from a low-quality one.
With any power tools, durability is very crucial. Tools with a higher price are usually more durable than the lower-priced ones, but they give you more value for your money as they are more likely to last longer.
Likewise, high-end band saws are powerful enough to cut on harder wood materials and create cuts that are more complicated and intricate. That being said, there are still affordable band saws that are constructed with quality materials such as steel.
2. Ease of Assembly
This is one of the most important factors to consider before buying a band saw. Band saws that are easy to assemble and tune will save you more time and prevent further frustration. There are band saws that have high-quality parts but are very difficult to set up, so be careful on what you choose, especially if you are not that experienced in this field.
Additionally, checking if the manufacturer provides an instruction manual or assembly video is a good thing to do. Make sure that the owner's manual is also written clearly.
3. Type of Project
The type of band saw you must choose also depends on the type of project you plan to do. If you are a newbie who plans to start working on small pieces of softwood, then an inexpensive, less powerful band saw may suffice.
On the contrary, if you plan to do professional work that involves harder wooden materials and complicated cuts, you may need a more expensive model that has high power and a lot of features.
A durable frame and high-quality cutting surface will guarantee efficient use for years. You also have to consider the type of wood you typically use in creating your woodwork. Some band saws are not capable of cutting hardwood materials and are only best for light jobs.
This list features band saws on different budget ranges. Band saws with the highest price are usually more durable than other models, but you may end up paying for features that aren’t really needed.
If you are going to use it to create a variety of projects with complex cuts and professional-grade materials, then go on and buy an expensive one. But if you think you are going to use it for just a couple of times to finish a small project, then you may only need something that gives you value for your money and the features you need.
Too much power is never an issue when it comes to band saws. If you want to buy a band saw and plan to use it for years, you need a tool that has high-quality and power. It is not always about the craftsmanship, but also the drive that a high-powered tool can provide you.
Remember that with band saws, the more powerful it is, the higher its capability in cutting stronger materials. High power will make cutting a pleasure, while underpowered models will usually make a light woodwork project become your source of frustration. Projects finish quickly when powerful tools are used.
6. Ease of Changing Blades
When doing lots of projects, you may need to change band saw blades every now and then. Likewise, different projects may need a different kind of blade, requiring you to change blades more often than you expect.
While some band saws cut efficiently, it doesn’t mean that you can change their blades easily as well. Some have a tricky way of changing blades, and if you don’t have much experience with this kind of tool, you may find it frustrating.
Thus, choose a band saw that is not only easy to use, powerful, and durable, but also offers an effortless way in changing the blades. Picking a band saw with this feature will make your work efficient and less stressful. You may even consider it as a safety feature if you look at it closely.
Keep in mind that the better the cuts, the more enjoyable and easy the woodwork project will be. Also, if you get a high-quality band saw that gives you great cuts, chances are you get better end products. The wrong choice of tool can result in frustration and waste of money, and can even be unsafe in certain circumstances.
From our list of best budget band saws, our top choice is the Grizzly G0555. The Rikon 10-305 is a great buy because of its low price but has fewer features compared to the Grizzly.
The WEN 3962 can also be an excellent choice, especially when it comes to value and quality. It is a good buy for those who are looking for a mid-range band saw that is ideal for both beginners and experienced woodworkers.
On the other hand, the WEN 3959 may be a good choice for small wood projects, but it is not powerful enough to be used for bigger ones. The SKIL 3386-01 has nothing much to offer except for its table light.
We hope that this guide becomes a useful tool when you are choosing the right band saw. Also, we hope that the reviews of our top five band saws can help you decide on which tool to buy for your particular needs and projects. We are confident that we have provided ample information to help you understand which features are really needed and which one is useless.
Table of Contents
- 1 Comparison Chart
- 2 Best Budget Band Saws: Reviews of Our Top Five Choices
- 2.1 1. Grizzly G0555 Band Saw
- 2.2 2. Rikon 10-305 Band Saw
- 2.3 3. Wen 3962 Band Saw
- 2.4 4. WEN 3959 Band Saw
- 2.5 5. SKIL 3386-01 Band-Saw
- 3 Band Saw Buyer’s Guide
- 4 Verdict