Best Benchtop Bandsaw for 2020

Woodworking is one of the oldest trades in the world. It has been practiced in nearly every profession or culture known to the modern world and has resulted in a dazzling array of styles and methods for creating furniture, houses, and any of the many other things mankind has made out of wood over the years. From the bare wood of homesteads or frontiers to the impeccably ornate carvings of the world’s historic sites, carpentry has served humans to an extent that few other professions can claim.

The variety of products that woodworkers have produced is matched only by the number of different ways that have been developed to yield those results. There are endless woodworking techniques to try, each with the particular positive and negative aspects that distinguish it from the rest. Even the types of wood one can work with can seem endless. Each tree possesses a woodworking profile that makes choosing what wood to use a tough decision.

Even more crucial to the finished design than either of these is the question of what tools you choose to employ and how after all, the tree won’t turn into anything without something to carve it. Picking the right tool for the job is an essential part of any woodworking project, and can mean the difference between a prized fixture or showpiece and a mess of shredded wood, or even a dangerous workshop accident.

If you’re starting with standing dead wood, you’ll likely reach for a power saw of some kind to start with and make a large indentation on one side of the tree. This will unbalance the trunk and make it fall, allowing you to take a smaller ax or hatchet and start clearing bark and limbs away to leave only a bare log for further processing.

Once felled and cleared, you might use a chainsaw to break sections off the log for turning on a lathe or grinding to mulch. If you’re planning to build something with it, though, you’ll want to use a proper mill saw to soiree the log and split it into planks. Planks and boards of specific dimensions have become the essential part of most home improvement inventories, and you can likely buy any kind of lumber you need if getting some for yourself isn’t an option.

With all your wood properly in place, you can consult your design plan and start assembling your piece. A hammer and nails are the classic tools to go with at this point, but there are plenty of other ways to get the wood to hold itself together without needing to wake the neighborhood with hammering. Screws, wood glue, and even carpenter’s staples might all make an appearance to keep your project together.

Best Benchtop Bandsaw Comparison Table

PRODUCT FEATURES LATEST PRICE
1. SKIL 3386-01
  • Six teeth per inch
  • 1.5” dust port
  • Single-speed motor
  • 9” band length
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2. Klutch
  • 120 volts
  • Three-blade speeds
  • 64” blade
  • 14 teeth per inch
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3. Shop Fox W1706
  • One horsepower motor
  • 13.5” cutting edge
  • Single-speed motor
  • 220-volt power supply
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4. Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17
  • Two horsepower motor
  • 12” cutting edge
  • 4” dust port
  • 220-volt power supply
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5.PJET JWBS-15
  • One and three quarters horsepower motor
  • 16” cutting edge
  • 230-volt power supply
  • Assembled weight 446 lbs
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6. WEN 3959
  • 9” cutting edge
  • 2.5 amps
  • 2500 feet per minute
  • 14 teeth per inch
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7. Gryphon C-40
  • 110-volt motor
  • One third horsepower
  • Unit weight 16.52 pounds
  • 4.5” vertical clearance
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8. ShopSeries RK7453
  • 9” cutting edge
  • 2.5 amp motor
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • 120-volt power supply
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9. Studio Pro Precision 2000
  • One-eighth horsepower motor
  • 36” blade length
  • 150-watt power supply
  • Aluminum construction
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10. Rockwell BladeRunner X2
  • 4” cutting edge
  • The unit weighs 15 pounds
  • 5.5 amp motor
  • 000 rpm cutting speed
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11. Rikon 10-305
  • Table tilts 45 degrees
  • 2” rip fence
  • 2.5-inch dust port
  • 115-volt power supply
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12. Central Machinery
  • One-third horsepower motor
  • 9” cutting edge
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • 62” blade length
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13. General International 14
  • One horsepower
  • Two preset cutting speeds
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • Up to 3280 rpm
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14. DeWalt MAX DCS371B
  • 2.5” cutting edge
  • 18 teeth per inch
  • LED work light
  • 20-volt power supply
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15. Hitachi CB18DBLP4
  • The unit weighs 6.5 pounds
  • 18-volt power supply
  • 640 SFPM
  • 3 ¼” cutting blade
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As carefully as you may have planned the piece, the chances are that you will find there to be some excess wood on some of the pieces. A corner might need to be rounded out, or a board might be just a bit too long. Perhaps you need several pieces cut to precisely the same dimensions, but the shape isn’t one that’s sold or made at the mill. You’ll need to cut them yourself if you want the right results.

For a single piece of lumber in any of these situations, the tool to use on wood is the table saw, a circular saw blade that is mounted inside the surface of a metal table to form a miniature lumber mill of sorts. Wood can be set against a fence along one side of the table and pushed into the bite of the saw, creating a perfectly straight cut through the wood in question.

A table saw is a good tool, and should feature prominently in any woodworking shop, but has two main shortcomings that stop it from being the only answer in a situation like this. First of all, a table saw is generally not going to emerge more than a few inches from the table in which it is housed; this seriously reduces the amount of wood it can cut at once, and makes it hard to produce identical results over several consecutive pieces of timber.

The bandsaw may look a lot like the table saw at first – they both feature the same idea of a saw mounted through the top of a work table – but its blade is a single thin strip of metal that stretches between the table surface and a connection overhead. This gives the bandsaw the ability to slice far more detailed curves than the table saw and through far thicker stacks of wood, making it the perfect tool for detailing a piece even before you attach it to your project.

Even a novice woodworker is likely to know that any tool in the field is the subject of fierce competition between many manufacturers and plenty of vendors to choose from, every one of them insisting that theirs is the only bandsaw even worth considering. The confusion only grows when it becomes apparent how similar they all look to one another. A layman can often have trouble filtering out even a few of the options available, let alone finding the one saw that is likely to be the answer he needs for his woodworking project.

Don’t give up on finding the right bandsaw just yet, though – we’ve cut through the mess and narrowed the field to just the best few. Pick one that suits you and you’ll be ready to head back to the workshop.

Our Best Benchtop Bandsaw Reviews and Comparisons

1. SKIL 3386-01

Product Highlights

You don’t need to be an expert to work this machine – a broad selection of helpful features is included to make it easier for the novice operator.

Features

  • Six teeth per inch
  • 1.5” dust port
  • Single-speed motor
  • 9” band length

What We Like About SKIL 3386-01

This saw includes a large dust port to keep your workspace and line of sight to the wood clear as you saw, and offers a solid nine inches of a blade in case you want to get more than one piece done at a time. A bright LED array will ensure you’re always in a fully illuminated workspace, and the rack and pinion table can help you cut at nearly any angle you can think of.

What We Don’t Like About SKIL 3386-01

The band slot in the table can catch the wood and interfere with your planned design. You will also want to watch out for motor heat – this machine gets hot quickly under any kind of load.

PROS

  • Good workplace illumination
  • Integrated dust port
  • Capable of extremely intricate designs
  • Runs quietly
  • Cuts well through metal, wood, and more

CONS

  • The table is not smooth and wood can catch easily
  • The motor heats up quickly and is prone to stalling

2. Klutch

Product Highlights

No such thing as the wrong angle with this saw – this model can switch freely from horizontal to vertical, making it the only tool you need in either direction.

Features

  • 120 volts
  • Three-blade speeds
  • 64” blade
  • 14 teeth per inch

What We Like About Klutch

This saw uses a powerful three-quarter horsepower motor to plow through multiple pieces of wood at once, and a high tooth count to ensure smooth cutting and long blade life. The whole machine is mounted on a heavy-duty wheeled workbench to let you reposition it easily despite its size and weight.

What We Don’t Like About Klutch

This saw is exceptionally large and heavy and can be awkward to bring into a small shop or inaccessible job site. It is also far more expensive than some alternatives, and the swiveling axis makes it relatively complicated to use properly.

PROS

  • High-power motor
  • Large blade area
  • High tooth count
  • Integrated vise to hold the wood in position
  • Three distinct speeds for different materials

CONS

  • Too bulky for the average shop
  • More expensive than competing models

3. Shop Fox W1706

Product Highlights

This manufacturer has carefully constructed a tool that includes all the most popular measurements and capabilities from across the world of carpentry.

Features

  • One horsepower motor
  • 13.5” cutting edge
  • Single-speed motor
  • 220-volt power supply

What We Like About Shop Fox W1706

Many of the parts in this saw are made of cast iron to give it a level of durability unmatched by other materials. The machine comes in several fully assembled modules that can be fitted together with no or minimal adjustment to form the fully functional saw.

What We Don’t Like About Shop Fox W1706

This saw produces considerably more vibration than most people want to see in their tools and comes unbalanced quite quickly as a direct result. It is also more than four times the price of competing models, making it a risky decision unless you are quite sure that it is what you need.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble
  • Modular ball bearing guides
  • Integrated storage for extra parts
  • Cast iron durability
  • Good miter fence

CONS

  • High vibrations
  • Prohibitively high cost
  • Feature3

4. Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17

Product Highlights

Grizzly has developed a well-deserved reputation for tools that can withstand a considerable amount of wear and handle even the hardest tasks. This bandsaw lives up to it in spades

Features

  • Two horsepower motor
  • 12” cutting edge
  • 4” dust port
  • 220-volt power supply

What We Like About Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17

This saw has double the horsepower of other tools, letting it drive through the hardest wood and metal in no time at all. Both table and wheels are finely machined cast iron, making them sure to last you well into the future.

What We Don’t Like About Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17

Getting a saw of this size and weight into position can be a challenge for anyone, let alone repositioning it once it is fully assembled. The bearings are poorly positioned, making it much harder than usual to service.

PROS

  • Powerful two horsepower motor
  • Generous cutting edge
  • Incredibly durable
  • Clear and simple instructions
  • Al relevant screws and bolts included

CONS

  • Extremely difficult to move around
  • Bearings are awkwardly positioned
  • Feature3

5. JET JWBS-15

Product Highlights

This saw has won the prestigious Amazon’s Choice award for being the best in its class of benchtop bandsaws.

Features

  • One and three quarters horsepower motor
  • 16” cutting edge
  • 230-volt power supply
  • Assembled weight 446 lbs

What We Like About JET JWBS-15

The main attraction for this bandsaw is the degree of control it affords the user, with multiple independent fine control knobs and cutting guides to make every detail precisely how you want it for your project. It is easy to service as well, with the bands and other parts neatly removable through the doors on the front.

What We Don’t Like About JET JWBS-15

This model has been known to be a tad unstable while in operation. Like most bandsaws that include cast-iron components, it is too heavy for a single operator to easily assemble or move.

PROS

  • Powerful cutting
  • Amazon’s Choice winner
  • Roller guides included
  • Runs quietly
  • Fine adjustment controls

CONS

  • Rapid loss of stability
  • No workplace illumination

6. WEN 3959

Product Highlights

This saw turns to modern materials and engineering to create a compact, powerful machine ready for anything around the shop.

Features

  • 9” cutting edge
  • 2.5 amps
  • 2500 feet per minute
  • 14 teeth per inch

What We Like About WEN 3959

Compatibility and accessibility is the name of the game here – this saw is carefully calibrated to perfectly fit the blades produced by several other companies. It uses an extremely high cutting speed and tooth count to make quick, fine cuts every single time.

What We Don’t Like About WEN 3959

This saw is often marketed as a set with a benchtop drill press, which may limit its usefulness to many buyers. It has a relatively short cutting edge and can wear out bands far faster than other saws.

PROS

  • Compact footprint
  • High cutting speed
  • Carbon steel blades are stronger than other blades
  • Good value for money
  • Two-year warranty

CONS

  • Blades wear out quickly
  • Can be hard to find sold alone

7. Gryphon C-40

Product Highlights

Use this futuristic machine if you want to get ahead of everyone while still delivering great quality woodworking.

Features

  • 110-volt motor
  • One third horsepower
  • Unit weight 16.52 pounds
  • 4.5” vertical clearance

What We Like About Gryphon C-40

This model is capable of the high speeds and tooth count needed for extremely fine detailing in both wood and metal. In the right band, it can even make detailing in a glass plate, making it the only thing you’ll need for any project.

What We Don’t Like About Gryphon C-40

This saw is on the small side and does not have room to stack multiple pieces at once. It can also heat up much faster than most saws, so you will need to take a break more frequently to avoid damaging either the saw or blade.

PROS

  • High-speed cutting
  • Advanced alignment and stabilization
  • Diamond tipped blade
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Liquid cooling system

CONS

  • Smaller than most saws
  • Expensive blades

8. ShopSeries RK7453

Product Highlights

This bandsaw includes an extra-large work lamp with a flexible neck that lets you get just the lighting you need to do your best work.

Features

  • 9” cutting edge
  • 2.5 amp motor
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • 120-volt power supply

What We Like About ShopSeries RK7453

Proper lighting is important both for your safety and for making sure the project comes out how you want it, and this saw’s lighting array gives it at a level other saws don’t match.

What We Don’t Like About ShopSeries RK7453

This saw is prone to drifting off the cutting line, and will require a certain amount of skill to keep straight as you cut.

PROS

  • Good value for money
  • Powerful lighting array
  • Multiple safety features prevent unsupervised operation
  • Two-year warranty
  • Tungsten blade

CONS

  • Drifts while cutting
  • Plastic is used instead of metal for key components

9. Studio Pro Precision 2000

Product Highlights

This saw comes with an extra-large table that allows you to manipulate larger pieces of wood without them hanging off the edge and a liquid cooling system to counteract blade heat.

Features

  • One-eighth horsepower motor
  • 36” blade length
  • 150-watt power supply
  • Aluminum construction

What We Like About Studio Pro Precision 2000

Along with the included diamond blade, this saw features an integrated liquid cooling system that keeps the blade clean and cool through hard materials or longer periods of operation.

What We Don’t Like About Studio Pro Precision 2000

The motor on this model is not the most reliable on the market, and several of the components for the cooling system will need to be purchased separately in an accessory kit from the same manufacturer.

PROS

  • Diamond tipped blade
  • Large table
  • Liquid coolant
  • Two blades included
  • Three-year warranty

CONS

  • Not all parts included
  • Poor customer service

10. Rockwell BladeRunner X2

Product Highlights

This model is sized to be carried easily between one job to the next, setting up to work occurs in a matter of moments.

Features

  • 4” cutting edge
  • The unit weighs 15 pounds
  • 5.5 amp motor
  • 000 rpm cutting speed

What We Like About Rockwell BladeRunner X2

It’s not often you see a tool that is both benchtop level and portable enough to grab and go with one hand. This saw also fits jigsaw blades of any brand, so you won’t need to go hunting for the right ones.

What We Don’t Like About Rockwell BladeRunner X2

Because it is a portable tool, this model does not have the size needed to handle the larger pieces of material you would tackle in a stationery workshop setting.

PROS

  • Fits any brand of blade
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Can handle jigsaw blades
  • High cutting speed
  • Will cut tile and glass as well as wood

CONS

  • Not as much cutting space as stationery saws
  • Not sold with any spare parts or accessories

11. Rikon 10-305

Product Highlights

Use of collapsible steel rails in the frame makes it possible to fold and move this saw with ease.

Features

  • Table tilts 45 degrees
  • 2” rip fence
  • 2.5-inch dust port
  • 115-volt power supply

What We Like About Rikon 10-305

The simple control knobs included in this model make it easy to effect fine adjustments to the guides and posts that keep your piece on track.

What We Don’t Like About Rikon 10-305

This saw’s stand is built of relatively thin metal that can easily wind up warped from either transit or use.

PROS

  • Easily collapsible steel frame
  • Finely adjustable post and guides
  • Integrated dust port
  • Rip fence included
  • Compact footprint

CONS

  • Stand warps easily
  • Miter gauge sold separately

12. Central Machinery

Product Highlights

This model is built solid for heavy-duty use and extra length blades without taking up too much room in your shop.

Features

  • One-third horsepower motor
  • 9” cutting edge
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • 62” blade length

What We Like About Central Machinery

This saw includes a keyed safety that can protect against any accidental or unsupervised operation, and a cast aluminum table to handle heavier pieces of wood.

What We Don’t Like About Central Machinery

At only 1/3 horsepower, this saw has considerably less cutting strength than other models.

PROS

  • Thick aluminum table
  • Extra-long blade
  • Keyed safety mechanism
  • Small workshop footprint
  • The band stays level through soft or hardwood

CONS

  • Aluminum warps more easily than steel or iron parts
  • Relatively small table

13. General International 14

Product Highlights

This saw uses several sets of blade guides that achieves almost surgical precision with every cut.

Features

  • One horsepower
  • Two preset cutting speeds
  • Table tilts up to 45 degrees
  • Up to 3280 rpm

What We Like About General International 14

An enclosed cooling array makes this saw more efficient than other models with more open cooling mechanisms.

What We Don’t Like About General International 14

Many users report that this saw has unacceptably strong vibrations while running.

PROS

  • Multiple blade guides
  • Highly efficient cooling
  • Single piece welded frame
  • A solid stand improves stability
  • Two-year warranty

CONS

  • High vibrations
  • Difficult to assemble

14. DeWalt MAX DCS371B

Product Highlights

No discussion of power tools is complete without DeWalt, a leading name in anything for the construction site or workshop.

Features

  • 2.5” cutting edge
  • 18 teeth per inch
  • LED work light
  • 20-volt power supply

What We Like About DeWalt MAX DCS371B

This saw gives the user unparalleled mobility by using a battery instead of a wall outlet, so you can set it up anytime and anywhere you need to work.

What We Don’t Like About DeWalt MAX DCS371B

This saw is not up to larger pieces of material and can run out of power where a corded model cannot.

PROS

  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Tool-free blade change
  • Battery-powered mobility
  • High tooth count
  • Dual bearing blade guide

CONS

  • Batteries can run out
  • Not big enough for heavy tasks

15. Hitachi CB18DBLP4

Product Highlights

This bandsaw uses a brushless motor design to increase efficiency and tool life during frequent use.

Features

  • The unit weighs 6.5 pounds
  • 18-volt power supply
  • 640 SFPM
  • 3 ¼” cutting blade

What We Like About Hitachi CB18DBLP4

This saw automatically detects any resistance and adjusts the saw speed for maximum efficiency and reduced wear on the blade and bearings.

What We Don’t Like About Hitachi CB18DBLP4

As a battery-powered tool, this unit will require Hitachi batteries to keep running, and is not compatible with off-brand blades.

PROS

  • Brushless motors
  • Trusted manufacturer
  • Easily portable
  • Relatively wide cut
  • Toolless blade change

CONS

  • Incompatible with off-brand parts
  • Poor customer service.
  • Feature3

Final Verdict: Grizzly Industrial G0513X2-17

A bandsaw seems like a very different piece of equipment than most other tools that I use. Are there any special precautions to take when working with it?

A bandsaw’s main difference is the narrow blade and relatively long cutting edge that it presents to the user, as well as the fact that it stands vertical as opposed to being low to the table positioned horizontally to the user. These might make a difference in what the saw cuts and how, but safety rules for a band saw are by and large the same as those for any other power tool.

Workshop or job site safety when using a power tool starts with checking that a safe zone around you is cleared of anyone who either doesn’t need to be there or is not properly protected for the tool you are working with. A bandsaw has slightly less to worry about in this field than most ordinary table saws. It uses an oscillating movement as opposed to simply spinning a wheel, lessening the chance of a piece of lumber being launched by kickback while the machine is running.

Being properly protected for power tool usage means several considerations, starting with ear protection. Despite their smaller size, the motors that drive modern power tools reach a volume and pitch that can be damaging to the ear, especially when heard from too close or over long periods of time. Eye protection is a must as well – even with a lower risk of kickback, a splinter from a bandsaw can be disastrous should it hit someone’s bare eye.

One particular piece of safety equipment that you should not be wearing when using a power saw is the otherwise ubiquitous work gloves seen nearly everywhere else on a job site or workshop. These gloves give you a dangerously false impression of where your hands are; to avoid the many possible risks, one should work a power saw only when bare-handed.