Best 14 Inch Bandsaw for 2020
It’s hard to think of trade more ubiquitous than woodworking – nearly every culture that has ever met a tree has developed its own way of creating things out of wood, from primitive tools to the finest of sculpture. Wooden utensils, furniture, and buildings have all made tier appearances throughout the history of almost any nation you care to think of.
These projects don’t just grow on trees, though, and the crafts to create the project have been no less diverse than the projects themselves. Anthropologists have found different methods of woodworking the world over, each one with unique tools and methods that give a particular style to projects from the various corners of the earth. That these artifacts have survived the eons is a testament to the degree to which woodworking has been refined over the years.
However different the results and methods might be, though, there are still certain similarities to be found between each culture. If nothing else, the same general kinds of tools have been found nearly everywhere where woodworking has been practiced. When considered carefully, it becomes apparent that all woodworking comes down to only a few basic actions.
Axes are the first and most basic carpenters tool used to turn trees to lumber and clear limbs prior to any further processing. They use weight and a thick blade to augment the power of the woodworker’s own swing and tend to be laid aside after the first stages when more delicate work is needed.
Chisels are another common implement for the world’s carpenters and are the main way that any fine work gets done, allowing the artisan to cut the exact shape they choose into the wood with no or minimal waste. Although difficult to learn and employ, the chisel is often viewed as the thing that takes you from lumberjack to craftsman.
Countless other tools have been used to make wood usable in all kinds of ways, some of them more widespread than others. Sandpaper, for instance, gets rid of splinters and other imperfections in the wood surface. Hammers and drills can put together pieces with nails and screws. Paints in every shade of the rainbow and beyond are commonplace.
One tool in particular stands out for its universal applications and the sheer number of iterations in which it has been produced. Humans have used so many different kinds of saw over the years that it can be hard to keep track of which one goes to which stage in the woodworking process – in fact, most stages of the process have their own kind of saw.
A tree is felled with a larger double-ended saw, or a chainsaw in more recent years, then cleared with a hand saw and squared with a sawmill before being sawed down into planks or chunks of wood. Practically every task on the way to being a finished project can be accomplished by a serrated piece of metal instead of a drill, chisel, or anything else.
Best 14 Inch Bandsaw Comparison Table
|1. Shop Fox W1706
|2. Grizzly Industrial G0555XH
|3. General International 90-120 M1
|4. JET JWBS-15
|5. DELTA 28-206 Professional
|6. Powermatic PM1500 1791500
|7. JET Tools 414500 J-8201K
|8. Grizzly Industrial G0817
|9. JET HBS-814GH
|10. JET Vertical VBS-1408
Saws come in so many different shapes and sizes that it can sometimes be difficult to identify one if you don’t know what you are looking for. A bandsaw, for instance, looks nothing like the cartoon stereotypes of hand or chain saws. It consists of a strip, or band, of metal so thin and flexible that it can be wrapped around a set of wheels and turned like the chain in a bicycle. Most of the blade remains hidden in a tower-like housing, leaving only a few inches of cutting edge exposed at a time.
A bandsaw’s thin blade and high speed make it able to execute details that are generally beyond the reach of larger, less delicate saws, giving you yet another way to finish your project without relying on anything that isn’t a saw of some description. Those with some experience in the field might compare the bandsaw to a circular table saw. There is some justification to this, although the bandsaw tends to be used for more delicate tasks and the table saw for heavy cutting work.
One area where the bandsaw tends to exceed the table saw is cutting curves. The flexible metal can bend while cutting to the point where it is possible to inscribe a perfect circle in a piece of wood. Bandsaws also give the user the option of stacking up several pieces of wood for identical cuts; by exposing more cutting edge, the bandsaw user can instantly allow for more wood to be sawed at once, yielding multiple pieces cut to identical patterns.
The main disadvantage one is likely to find with a bandsaw against a table saw is engine power and blade durability. Using a thicker and more solid blade lets the table saw cut for longer and at higher temperatures than a bandsaw can generally achieve, making it unwise to use the bandsaw to make initial rough cuts.
Like anything, the important thing with a bandsaw is moderation. One might think that going for the biggest and toughest bandsaw around is the way to go to equip your woodshop, but that’s not always true. A much more advisable route is to find a good bandsaw with an average length that is likely to be both cost-effective and easy to service. Although every woodworker has different preferences for their tools, 14 inches tends to be a good medium length with which to get started with your bandsaw.
A 14-inch bandsaw will give you plenty of cutting room without using too large or expensive a band; the shorter band is also more user friendly and easier to replace should it break while in operation, a common hazard of operating a bandsaw for any length of time. The competition to be the best in the field for such a sought-after piece of equipment is fierce, and many shoppers can get discouraged at seeing how many models are on sale.
No need to fret anymore, though, we’ve picked out the best 14-inch bandsaws already. Pick your favorite and you’ll be ready to get right to work.
Our Best 14 Inch Bandsaw Reviews and Comparisons
1. Shop Fox W1706
Like all Shop Fox tools, this bandsaw includes the latest improvements to make it easier and more convenient for the operator.
- One horsepower motor
- 14” square table
- 93” blade
- Cast iron table, wheels, and frame
What We Like About Shop Fox W1706
This bandsaw is not only the most popular size but there are also several other features, such as a fence, miter gauge, and more. Cast iron is used for added durability and complements the low-friction bearings that help preserve the parts during operation.
What We Don’t Like About Shop Fox W1706
The dust collection system on this model is lackluster and can leave the table far messier than it should be. Additionally, this model ships in several components and can be difficult to properly assemble, especially for the inexperienced buyer.
- Extended fence
- Integrated miter gauge
- Cast-iron durability
- Easy blade changes
- Ball-bearing guides
- High vibrations
- Poor dust collection
2. Grizzly Industrial G0555XH
This saw comes with the highest standards of quality assurance, made with CSA certification in an ISO 9001 factory.
- 1 ¾ horsepower motor
- 220v power supply
- Parts are made of aluminum or cast iron
- Up to 45 degrees tilt
What We Like About Grizzly Industrial G0555XH
The ISO is a group of organizations dedicated to making sure that the consumer gets their money’s worth. This saw meets their standards and those of the CSA, giving you two solid assurances that it will live up to your expectations.
What We Don’t Like About Grizzly Industrial G0555XH
This saw does not have the best vibration dampening system and can run quite loudly for its size. It is also heavier than some models and can be difficult to reposition.
- Reputable quality assurance
- Extruded aluminum table
- Saw tilts up to 45 degrees
- No need for a riser kit
- Digitally measured cast-iron wheels
- High vibrations
- Louder operating volume than is preferable
3. General International 90-120 M1
This saw introduces an innovative cabinet design that allows for more efficient cooling and tilting while in operation.
- One horsepower motor
- Up to 5 degrees tilt
- Maximum cutting speed 909 rpm
- 120-volt power supply
What We Like About General International 90-120 M1
The enclosed fan cooler guarantees liquid cooling levels of efficiency while still using only a fan. Two motor speeds let you vary the saw’s performance for different kinds of wood, making your cuts more precise and your work faster overall.
What We Don’t Like About General International 90-120 M1
The blade does not sit properly on the guides and can drift loose while cutting, resulting in serious vibration and poor-quality cuts. The instruction manual is unclear on how to fix this or any other problem you may encounter with your saw.
- Easy to assemble
- New cabinet design
- Superior cooling array
- Variable cutting speeds
- Easily tackles hard or softwood
- Balde does not stay true
- Unclear instructions
4. JET JWBS-15
This saw has won the prestigious Amazon’s Choice award for being the best in its class, and comes from a long line of exceptional bandsaw models.
- 1 ¾ horsepower motor
- Tiltable table
- Brushed steel and cast iron components
- Blade length of 133”
What We Like About JET JWBS-15
This model’s cast iron fence and table make it durable enough to handle heavier workloads without sacrificing any of its considerable precision in cutting. The ball bearing guides are independently adjustable with no need for any tools, saving on maintenance time and effort.
What We Don’t Like About JET JWBS-15
Being as it is made of steel and cast iron, this saw is exceptionally hard to move and position. It comes mostly assembled too, making it far more likely than usual to be damaged in transit.
- Trusted manufacturer
- Toolless bearing adjustment
- Powerful motor
- Amazon’s Choice winner
- A finely adjustable slide plate
- Difficult to maneuver
- Exceptionally heavy and bulky.
5. DELTA 28-206 Professional
This saw has an extra-large table to let you position and process bulky workpieces without worrying that they will fal off as you cut.
- 4” dust port
- 45 degree tilt to either side
- 240-volt power supply
- One horsepower engine
What We Like About DELTA 28-206 Professional
This saw takes the cutting process to another level with advanced pulley systems to more efficiently drive the blade and two tilt directions to let you work on projects of any description. A 4” dust port makes sure that your workshop will stay clean start to finish.
What We Don’t Like About DELTA 28-206 Professional
The saw does not hold alignment well without significant user maintenance to make it do so. The blade wobbles when in use and the entire saw comes with several loose fittings that the end-user will need to set personally to make it usable.
- Innovative pulley system
- Sturdy cast-iron trunnions
- Extra-large dust port
- Tilts in two directions, not just one
- Blade quick release lever
- Does not cut a straight line
- Considerable setup work required
6. Powermatic PM1500 1791500
This saw includes a laser-measured T-square fence that provides unbeatable accuracy and safety while in use.
- Cast iron construction
- 230-volt power supply
- Blade length of 153”
- The unit weighs 502 pounds
What We Like About Powermatic PM1500 1791500
Powermatic’s catchphrase has been for some time ‘the gold standard of power tools’, and this saw lives up to it literally and figuratively. Under the golden finish, users will find a saw capable of more precise and powerful cuts that any other 14-inch bandsaw on the market.
What We Don’t Like About [Powermatic PM1500 1791500
This saw does not include sufficient instructions for its operation or use, making it unfriendly to the newer user. The blades are of an uncommon length that can be difficult to find locally; you may find yourself having to order directly from the manufacturer.
- Extra cutting power
- Throat can actually expand past 14”
- Computer-measured fence
- Highly durable cast iron table and cart
- Five-year warranty
- Hard to find blades that will fit
- Instructions unhelpful
7. JET Tools 414500 J-8201K
Multiple solid pieces of cast iron are used in this saw in an attempt to cut down on the number of moving parts that can be lost or damaged.
- 230-volt power supply
- The unit weighs 300 pounds
- Integrated gearbox
- Miter gauge included
What We Like About JET Tools 414500 J-8201K
This unit weighs considerably less than most floor-standing bandsaws, so you might even be able to move it unassisted. The built-in gearbox keeps blade tension right where it should be and makes changing speeds a smoother process than one would find in other models.
What We Don’t Like About JET Tools 414500 J-8201K
This saw comes unlubricated and will need both oil and a tune-up to be ready to work. The dust port is small and awkwardly placed, leading to a messy workplace and the need to use an external vacuum to get it properly clean.
- Relatively light
- Improved speed and tension control
- Easy to change blades
- Solid construction quality
- Can cut metal as well
- Not ready to use right out of the box
- A serious problem with sawdust accumulation
8. Grizzly Industrial G0817
This saw centers around a pedal-activated braking system that stops the saw almost instantly should anything go wrong in your workspace.
- Two horsepower motor
- 110-volt power supply
- 6” resaw fence
- Two 4” dust ports
What We Like About Grizzly Industrial G0817
Make safety first by using this saw. There are redundant fail-safes to minimize any possible unwanted operation. Two large dust ports keep your workplace clean with ease, allowing you to focus on your project.
What We Don’t Like About Grizzly Industrial G0817
This bandsaw runs far louder than other models, making ear protection a necessity to operate safely. The blade and motor heat up relatively quickly, so you will only be able to use it in short bursts.
- Cast-iron trunnions
- Powerful engine
- Relatively light for a floor-standing model
- Foot brake pedal
- Integrated blade storage
- Uncomfortably loud
- Heats up quickly
9. JET HBS-814GH
This saw has an incredible tilt range that lets you cut things practically on the horizontal.
- 45-degree miter
- The unit weighs 444 pounds
- One horsepower motor
- Carbon steel blade
What We Like About JET HBS-814GH
Add another level of creativity and convenience by using this saw’s exceptional tilt to cut a broad range of angles and corners without missing a beat. The carbon steel blade is stronger than ordinary steel models and has two separate cooling ports to keep it running even during longer projects.
What We Don’t Like About JET HBS-814GH
This saw’s tilting joint makes it difficult to set up and use properly, so novice woodworkers are advised to look for a more straightforward machine. It is also exceptionally expensive, costing nearly twice what other models demand.
- Dual cooling ports
- 45-degree miter
- Extra strong carbon steel blade
- Trusted manufacturer
- Exceptionally expensive
- Complicated to use correctly
10. JET Vertical VBS-1408
This saw takes all the classic amenities of a bandsaw to the next level, with improved safety features, lighting array, dust collection, and more.
- The unit weighs 643 pounds
- Blade length of 114”
- External lighting array
- Steel and aluminum construction
What We Like About JET Vertical VBS-1408
Most bandsaws have certain features that make them easier to use, like a workplace light or an emergency kill switch. All of these are upgraded in this saw, making it the easiest and most versatile tool on the market for all kinds of purposes.
What We Don’t Like About JET Vertical VBS-1408
This saw is prohibitively expensive and will be beyond the reach of all but the most dedicated hobbyists. Even if you should happen to find the money to buy it, it will still be twice the weight of other saws and quite bulky, making it nearly impossible to position and set up.
- Tilts in both directions
- Flexible lighting arm
- Externally mounted gearbox for easy maintenance
- Safety switches are large and easily operated from any angle
- Two-year manufacturer warranty
- Too expensive for most woodworkers
- Extremely hard to move around and set up.
Final Verdict – Grizzly Industrial G0555XH
While all of these saws have their demerits and strong points, this one takes the cake for being the model with the most dependable outside verification of its performance. With two separate bodies of considerable repute having given this model the seal of approval, it is the logical choice for anyone looking for a 14-inch bandsaw that they can trust well into the future.
Even without the awards, this saw would have a lot of good things to draw the eye of a potential buyer. The base and frame are both cast iron, one of the strongest materials of which tools are made, and the lighting fixture is mounted on a flexible arm that lets the user choose the precise angle that suits their work style best.
Getting a bandsaw is not something that most people do on a daily basis. Even experienced woodworkers may find themselves confused by the sheer number of options available in this field. Narrowing it down to 14-inch bandsaws helps a little, but in order to make sure that you are getting the best deal – and the best tool – it is worth reviewing some basics before buying.
Your first question should be whether or not you need a bandsaw specifically, or if the job in question could be done as well with another tool that is cheaper and less complex to install and operate. Bandsaws tend to be extremely large pieces of equipment, and if you can save you time and money by not getting one, it is often worth it to do so.
If you decide that a bandsaw is indeed necessary, you’ll want to pick what length of blade and width of cutting edge you’ll be using. Unlike other tools, the bulk of the blade in a bandsaw is hidden inside the housing, making the blade length and cutting edge two very different measurements with different implications for your woodworking.
Of the two, blade length is generally speaking the more important measurement. While cutting edge can almost always be adjusted, sometimes even during operation, the blade length cannot be changed between saws and is the deciding factor as to which blade you will buy when the original one breaks.
Most bandsaws have a considerable number of amenities to make it easier for the woodworker to operate them. Such things as workpiece lighting, dust ports, and safety switches are all important features that you should be looking for in any potential purchase of a bandsaw. Leaving these features out may bring the price down, but the safety and convenience they add to your work are often worth the price in the long run.
You should also be careful to choose a saw that is rated to cut whatever it is that you plan to be working on. Not all saws are rated for all materials, and using the wrong one can be catastrophic for both your saw blade and your workpiece. Whether or not a blade can penetrate metal or plastic depends on both the power and speed of the motor and the tooth count and material of the blade. Make quite sure that you have the right blade before paying for your bandsaw.
There exist two more considerations when buying your 14-inch bandsaw that is often overlooked, but should not be.
First on this list is the size, weight, and complexity of the bandsaw. If it is too bulky for your workspace, you will want to look elsewhere no matter how good a saw it is. Similarly, if the bandsaw is too complicated for your skill level, you should keep on moving. This applies to the power supply as well, as the bandsaw is inoperable if you do not have an outlet of the appropriate voltage for its motor.
The budget should really be your first consideration. Bandsaws can be extremely expensive, and you will want to set firm limits for yourself on how much you are willing to pay for any tool, however impressive it might be.
Frequently Asked Questions
I got a great bandsaw, but I want to switch out the blade for something more versatile. How do I safely change blades?
Knowing how to properly change a blade is perhaps the most important skill you will need for servicing your bandsaw. It is the part exposed to the greatest stress and the one that most commonly wears out, and being able to replace it is critical for keeping your saw running.
The first thing you will want to do is powered down your saw and disconnect the power supply; no power tool should be serviced while still connected to any power supply, whether batteries or a corded electric source.
Open the doors that cover the upper and lower driver wheels of your bandsaw and make sure that they are well out of the way. Your saw blade might unexpectedly unwind when the tension is released and break itself on the doors otherwise. Some saws have a quick-release lever that moves the two driver wheels together and instantly removes all tension from the blade. If your saw does not have one, then you will need to find the release knob and begin to turn it until your saw blade goes slack.
Remove and set aside the old blade and unpack the new one, making sure that it is without any folds or twists along the entire length. Insert the blade into the guiding grooves on your saw, and spin it a few full revolutions to make sure that it has properly settled into place. You will need to use the slot and then the table surface, so make sure that it is unobstructed before you begin to change the blade.
Using the same controls that you used to release the tension, move your bandsaw’s tires apart until the blade is properly stretched between them and has minimal give or sway that could emerge as unsightly lines That could emerge as unsightly weaving lines in your next project. Close and lock the doors on both tires and reconnect the power supply; you may also want to give it a few quick turns with v power on to check that it will not come loose during operation.