Bandsaw Reviews - Features and Specs For Woodworking Bandsaws
The most useful bandsaw reviews will not only provide one person's opinions with an overview of the tool's features and specs, but also give you an idea of what type of experience other users are having. The opinion of one person that has actually used a particular tool is certainly better than just looking at the tool in a store or online. But getting many opinions from many different users is better.
Each woodworker has his or her own unique history, habits, and experiences, as well as different needs and skill levels. For any given tool, you can likely find owners that love it, and owners that wish they had bought something else. Reading bandsaw reviews from several different sources will give you a better feel for whether a particular model is one you want to have in your shop. Seeing comments from a number of different owners will also give you an idea of the tool's reliability and longevity.
For the bandsaw reviews listed below, I have gathered information from as many different sources as I could find, including woodworking magazines, online retailers, and woodworking forum posts. I have compiled the comments and ratings from these different sources to give you a summary of what actual owners are saying about a particular band saw.
The features and specs are also listed to make comparisons between the different models easier. If there are common complaints about a specific model, I have listed those also.
Click on the links to go to the bandsaw review for a particular brand to get all the details about the specific models:
- Delta Bandsaw: Delta has offered a number of different woodworking bandsaws in the past, but currently they only offer one model, the Delta 28-206. (NOTE: The 28-206 has been replaced by the 28-400). The 28-206 is a 14 inch cabinet mounted band saw with a 16" cast iron tilting table. Height capacity is 6-1/4", but you can add a 6" riser that gives you a 12-1/4" height capacity.
Notable features of the Delta 28-206 are the two-speed pulleys and a quick-release blade tensioner. Amazon has 30 reviews at the moment, averaging 3.6 out of 5 stars. The LumberJocks forum also has a 5 star review with a number of nice big photos. The most frequent complaint is vibration, but that is often corrected with a different belt or by replacing a defective pulley (covered under warranty).
- Grizzly Bandsaw, 14": Grizzly offers four different 14" woodworking bandsaws. The G0580 is a basic open stand model with a 3/4 HP motor. The G0555 is also an open stand model, but has a 1.0 HP motor, two speed pulleys, and a blade tension release lever. The G0555X is similar to the G0555 but has a 1.5 HP motor and sits on an enclosed stand. The G0457 is the "big" 14" bandsaw and comes with a built-in 10" resaw capacity - no riser block required!
Grizzly bandsaws have won a number of different "Top Value" awards from the various woodworking magazines, and owners that posted on the forums and at the retailer websites seem to agree. The quality of the 14" Grizzly band saws is very good, and you see comments over and over again that you can't beat a Grizzly bandsaw for the price. Average ratings from Amazon and the bandsaw reviews on the forums range from 4.4 to 4.8 out of 5 stars - better than most woodworking tools.
- Grizzly Band Saw, 17": If a 14" bandsaw just isn't quite big enough, Grizzly has you covered there too. They have several different 17" woodworking bandsaws, and just like the 14" models, they offer great quality at a great price. The G0513 series has a 12-1/8" resaw capacity, plus lots of other useful features. There are a number of reviews on the Lumberjocks forum averaging 4.6 out of 5 stars. The G0513 series has also won a couple of "Top Value" awards from the woodworking magazines.
The G0636 series is designed to compete with high-end European models, and has a 16" resaw capacity. These have a considerably higher price point than the G0513 series.
Owner comments on the 17" Grizzly band saws echo the same thing as the 14" models: in the bang-for-your-buck department, it is tough to beat a Grizzly. There aren't very many Grizzly bandsaw reviews out there that give them less than four stars.
- Jet Bandsaw, 10" - 14": Jet's entry-level model is a 10" portable band saw, the JWBS-10OS. It has an open stand, a 1/2 HP motor, and a 4-1/8" resaw capacity. It has several features not commonly found on small band saws, such as a slide-out table extension.
Next up the ladder is a pair of 14" woodworking bandsaws. The JWBS-14OS has an open stand with a 3/4 HP motor and a 6" resaw capacity. The JWBS-14CS has a closed stand, a 1.0 HP motor, and a slightly larger table. It gets good ratings on Amazon, and has positive reviews on other woodworking websites also. A riser block kit is available that gives both of these models a 12" resaw capacity.
The biggest 14" Jet band saw is the JWBS-14DXPRO. It has a 12" resaw capacity built in, and comes with a 1-1/4 HP motor, two speed pulleys, and a quick release lever for the blade tension. It gets great reviews at Amazon and Rockler.
- Jet Band Saw, 16" - 20": The larger Jet band saws are all part of the same "family" and come with a triangular column that Jet says is significantly more rigid than the competition's rectangular columns. The JWBS-16B is a 16" band saw with a 1-1/2 HP motor and a 10" resaw capacity. The JWBS-18QT is an 18" saw with a 1-3/4 HP motor and a 12-1/4" resaw capacity. The JWBS-18QT-3 is the same saw with a 3 HP motor. Finally, the JWBS-20QT-3 and JWBS-20QT-5 are the big 20" saws that add a foot brake, with 3 HP and 5 HP motors respectively.
- Ryobi Band Saw: The Ryobi BS903 is in a completely different class than the rest of the band saws above. It is a homeowner grade, light duty benchtop bandsaw that costs roughly one third what the least expensive saw above does. It has a 9" throat capacity and a 3-1/2" resaw capacity. For the hobbyist that is only doing small projects and is limited by space and/or budget, the Ryobi can be a good choice. The Ryobi bandsaw reviews currently listed on the Home Depot website give it a 3.9 star rating, and 84% of the owners there would recommend it to a friend.
There are a number of other brands that are worth a look. Rikon, Laguna, Powermatic, Porter Cable, Steel City, and General all have woodworking bandsaws that get good ratings. I will have to say though that with all the bandsaw reviews that I have found so far, the overall favorite seems to be Grizzly. They offer a good quality machine at an excellent price, and Grizzly will probably be my first choice when it is time for me to upgrade from my current benchtop bandsaw.
Note: If you are thinking about getting your first bandsaw, or need help tuning up one you already have, I recommend getting a copy of either (or both!) Lonnie Bird's The Bandsaw Book or Mark Duginske's The New Complete Guide to the Band Saw. Either of these books will help you to understand the features and capabilities of a band saw, and guide you through choosing the right types of blades, adjusting and maintaining your saw, and what to do when things go wrong. Both have excellent ratings on Amazon, and are recommended by lots of folks in the woodworking forums.
That's it for now, but check back soon, as I will be adding more bandsaw reviews as time allows.