Quite a number of us love the bandsaws we have. This might be because they are far safer than the table saws, and they are easy to use, and are very versatile. They often are the go-to saws for cuts in the shop.
Buying the right bandsaw can change your woodworking experience and results, too. The main ingredient to their success is their versatility. Do you want to cut a piece of circle in a plywood?
Well, all you would need is a jig that takes not more than a few minutes, and you are good to go. You will get that perfect circle.
Do you want to re-dimension your 2 x 4 to make face frames for new cabinets? This will only take you a few minutes between your jointer and bandsaw. Then, you will get those beautiful pieces that are ready for use.
Would you like to make book-matched drawer fonts, the bandsaw is the tool you need.
All you would need is a few minutes to set up and cut, and you will have your drawer fonts ready.
Now, the question is, which bandsaw out there today is the best handsaw?
Let us give you a quick list of the products that will be featured in this article:
Best Bandsaw For Resawing 2019
- JET JWBS -14 DXPRO
- WEN 3962 Two-Speed
- Grizzly G0555LX
- Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175
- RIKON Power Tools 10-324 14” Open Stand
- Powermatic PWBS-14CS
Best Bandsaws For Resawing 2019 Review
JET JWBS 14-DXPRO 14-inch Bandsaw
This revamped model does have all the features you would look for in a bandsaw: a fantastic performance from a machine that feels and looks incredibly well made.
This new model has a redesigned frame that gives excellent support. Its ¼ inch motor combined with a V-Belt Drive and a large 15 x 15 inch cast iron table means that this saw can handle just about any cut that comes its way.
It has two speeds that makes short work of most cuts, slower speeds move through thicker pieces when re-sawing. Higher speeds create a cleaner, more accurate cuts when working with thinner stock.
This machine is a heavyweight machine that weighs close to 285lbs and will cost you some $1,300.
For this price, you will get a great machine, a machine that is well made and can deliver on many fronts including a 12-inch resaw capacity.
It has a modern design, which can make it a little complicated to use. Although, as you use it, you will learn all its capabilities.
With the JET JWBS 14DXPRO 14-inch Bandsaw, you really can’t go wrong. It is one great saw.
If you seek a top option on the market, this should be your choice.
It has a remarkable cutting capability and capacity, and it comes with great accessories, they are all in a sturdy solid machine that makes it the best machine in 2019.
Grizzly G0555LX Deluxe Bandsaw
This great bandsaw was a great contender for the top position of the best bandsaw of 2018. It is lightweight, weighing 247lbs, and for its cheap price, it is a lot lighter.
Despite its low cost, this machine is a great machine that delivers.
The Grizzly G0555LX offers a rugged cast iron frame that provides enough support to make exact cuts. It is powered by a 1 hp motor and 2-speed options 1800 or 3100 fpm, and it makes effortless cuts.
One of the most unique features of this saw is its computer balanced wheels. The wheels are coated in rubber and are balanced via computer.
Its new wheels make for an incredibly quiet machine, delivering very accurate cuts as compared to other cuts.
Although, this machine, overall, is a great machine, but the same cannot be said for its instruction manual which seems complex and very hard to comprehend.
While we always welcome a solid sturdy saw, the Grizzly seems a bit heavy to carry around.
Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 14 x 12 Bandsaw
This is another great saw on the market. This machine is powered by a monster 1 ¾ horsepower motor that will be more than you ever need. The power is combined with some great features like a 12-inch re-sawing capacity.
The manufacturers, when designing this, had re-sawing in mind. Its fence has two settings: Low and High, these allow you to support bigger boards when resawing.
The heaviest lumber is supported by a solid cast iron table and a steel frame with a pyramid spine for some extra strength. For other cut types, it is flexible, with a table that tilts 7 degrees to the left, and 45 degrees to the right.
It has a tracking window, a safety key, a two-year warranty and you will need to take some $1,200 out of your pockets for this machine.
You can use blades ranging from 1/8 to ¾ of an inch which can be disappointing. If this machine had to ability to take a slightly wider blade, then, it would be a contender for the top pick.
RIKON Power Tools 10-324 14 inches Open Stand Bandsaw
RIKON Power Tools are best known for their quality products, and this particular product delivers on many fronts. It is equipped with a 1 ½ motor and balanced aluminum wheels, it gives plenty of power for most cuts.
This machine has a dual voltage, so it is comfortable in a shop with 220v or 110v. It costs around $850, and it has many advanced features.
You can adjust the depth of your cut simply with a rack and pinion system that are seen in a bandsaw for the very first time.
When it comes to re-sawing, the rip fence comes into its own. The 6-inch high fence can support the most substantial pieces with no problems whatsoever.
The tall fence has slots that are milled in it so that you are able to fix auxiliary fence with ease. You can almost re-saw anything with its 13-inch re-saw capacity.
Another very new feature of the saw is the ball bearings at both the top and bottom of the saw. These ball bearings allow the blade to travel with less friction.
The reduction in friction means that the blades will last longer due to the reduced heat load on them.
This saw is lighter than some of the reviewed saws, weighing 218lbs. Despite this, the steel frame construction and cast iron saw table make it a sturdy, rugged machine.
With these fresh inventions, it brings in new challenges for set up. Sadly, it is only available in metric. So, you will have to use aftermarket materials in order to give some alterations.
Powermatic PWBS – 14CS
This is another very close competitor for our top pick. It has a 1 ½ horsepower motor, combined with a poly V Belt Drive system, and with a sturdy cast iron table that creates an awesome cutting machine.
This is a heavy-duty saw that will cost you about $1,300, and the thing is, it gives a tremendous amount of saw for its price.
Both the 15 x 15 inch saw table and its wheels are made from cast iron. You wouldn’t need any converters in your tool shop; the saw can be directly plugged to a 110v Ac.
The dust extraction is well taken care of. Its lower part has a 4-inch port, and this does a great job at eliminating the dust.
Just above the table, there’s a chip blower and a pressurized nozzle, meaning that you can keep the work area clean and free from debris. Its induction motor means that it is one of the quiet machines in our pick. Its motor is backed up by a welded steel frame that significantly reduces vibrations.
This machine is lightweight as compared to the other ones on this list. It weighs 280lbs. although it is sturdy, its light weight can seem a bit uncomfortable when handling larger, longer stock.
WEN 3962 Two-Speed – Best Budget Option
If you seek a budget option, then you shouldn’t look any further than the WEN machine. It has a bunch of options, and it comes at just under $300 (as at 26/01/2019), it is hard to find any that beats this as the best value for the money. It comes in three sizes: 9 inches, 10 inches, and 14 inches.
All in all, it is a perfect blend of both quality and price. This machine’s saw table can tilt left to 45 degrees, and it can cut at two speeds – 1520 and 2620 fpm.
Its 3.5 amp motor gives plenty of power for most cuts, and these includes even the most demanding ones, which, is really a surprise for a saw of its size and price. If you need the perfect bandsaw that is under $500, then you have the right model.
This is a good budget bandsaw, and it comes in at 10 inches; this sometimes makes it feel underpowered. It might struggle for lack of power if you are after demanding cuts.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Bandsaw
There are a few things you need to consider when picking a bandsaw and listed below are some of these important things.
Along with its blade, the power of your bandsaw’s motor plays a vital role on its effectiveness. There are lots of products available on the market with motors in the one horsepower range or even less.
Although this is sufficient for most cuts, they usually come short when it comes to re-sawing. When re-sawing, one tends to be cutting a board across its widest point.
Doing this, you would need more power than your typical bandsaw will offer. When it comes to the motors of bandsaws, the more the better. Look for a bandsaw with a minimum of a 1 horsepower.
There are lots of saws on the market that offer the 1 ¼ , 1 ½ and two horsepower motors. For the 14-inch bandsaws, sufficient power is needed. If you get anything less than 1 horsepower for a 14-inch bandsaw, you will struggle to drive the blade through a thick board.
The bandsaw’s throat capacity is the size distance between the top blade guides and the saw table. Other smaller saws come with a limited throat capacity of 4 to 5 inches. Such a small throat is not sufficient for re-sawing purposes.
In order for you to create beautiful book-matched cuts, you would need a minimum capacity of 8 inches or more. And just like the horsepower, the more the merrier in relation to the throat capacity. Most of the featured saws in this article can cut a 10-inch board with ease.
Guide Wheels – Aluminum Vs Steel
Another factor that affects a saw’s performance is the material of the bandsaw’s wheels that drive the blade. The heavier the wheel that is driving the table, and the more dullness and momentum that is behind the table, the easier it would cut.
You should think of it like catching a tennis ball or a baseball that is thrown at the same speed with your bare hands.
Although both balls are moving at the same speed, the increased weight and heaviness of the baseball will make it have a more significant impact.
Bandsaw wheels are usually either aluminum or cast iron. Aluminum, though, is far lighter, and they can be found in cheaper saws. Cast iron wheels are way heavier and are found in higher quality machines. And this makes the cast iron wheels the best choice to go for when choosing a bandsaw.
The ability to modulate the cutting speed of your bandsaw is a great thing when re-sawing. Slower cutting speeds are usually preferred when re-sawing. The reduced speed usually creates a slow and steady cut.
This type of cutting prevents the saw from binding, while it removes a lot of material with each pass.
For more complex cuts, you can always switch back to higher speeds for a more cleaner, faster and accurate cuts.
These are there to make sure that your blade stays true, square to the table, and prevents it from turning. The guides serve as rollers that sit on either side of the blade, keeping its movement straight and true.
There is also a thrust support which presses against the back of the bandsaw blade. The thrust support prevents the blade from moving backwards during a cut.
High quality machines usually come with two sets of blade guide, one is set above the saw table at the bottom of the blade guide enclosure, and the other is found underneath the table. Low-end machines usually lack the bottom blade guide set.
There are two types of guide sets on the market. There are blade guides that are made from either sealed bearings, or from ceramics.
Bearing guides are older models while the ceramic ones are more modern. One thing you should know is that they both do a decent job, but the ceramic blades are far less durable than the sealed bearings, and they are hard to replace.
The sealed bearings guide are more durable, and they are also easy to replace and they have a much better proposition.
Bandsaw Fence System
You can make a lot of bandsaw cuts freehand, but re-sawing a fence is a must. Without that, a decent fence re-sawing will be a tedious chore that eventually leads to poor results. You will find yourself making an auxiliary one that will give you the result you want.
The perfect bandsaw fence is strong, and it sits square to the blade. The height of the fence is equally important; you want it to be able to support as much piece as it can.
Normally, the fence should be as high as the piece of timber you want to saw.
Getting a 10 or 12-inch high fence may tend to be difficult, but there are plenty of saws with 4 to 6-inch models.
Ensure you find a design that gives you the option of attaching some t-tracks. Doing this, you can find a piece of ¾ inch plywood that better supports the timber you are cutting.
Your ability to lock down the fence firmly to the table is quite important. Make sure that the fence cinches down well and that it does not move, especially at the back. Some good fences have a micro adjust feature that enables you to dial in perfect cuts.
Bandsaws’ precision and its accuracy are what makes the difference between a happy-to-use bandsaw, and on that frustrates you with every use.
One of the most common problem you are likely to face is the blade drifting. Oftentimes, the blade cuts slightly out of square, and it stays that way.
Then, you would have to make minor adjustments to the feed angle to correct the drift.
Cheaper bandsaw models suffer blade drifts, and this makes them difficult for freehand cuts, and they are also almost impossible to use for re-saw cuts.
High-quality bandsaws, on the other hand, tend to have low blade drifts, making life easier for you.
Dust extraction is an issue most bandsaws face, even the most expensive ones. Under the table dust extraction is improved with a large dust port. Saws that are equipped with a 4-inch dust port below the table are much more efficient than those supplied with a 2 ½ dust port.
Above the table, extraction gets more complicated. Without a doubt, the best choice is an aftermarket posable arm are easily positioned just above the cut. Putting the suction directly above each cut enables you to eliminate as much dust as possible.
If you want to do more intricate cuts like dovetails on your bandsaw, the bevel capacity is quite vital. Your ability to accurately and securely set the saw table to the blade adds a whole lot of flexibility to your machine.
You should look for a bandsaw that can tilt at least 45 degrees for miter cuts, some good bandsaws will go even higher than that.
Tips for Re-sawing
For starters, having the best machine you can get is the best place to start re-sawing. But, there re certain factors that need to be taken into consideration for you to be able to make just the perfect cuts.
Choose the Right Blade
Forget the come-with blade with your saw. To get that great saw result you want, you need to use a specially designed blade. You could get a blade that is 3 or 4-teeth per inch (TPI). The teeth should have a 5 or 10 positive hook configuration.
This types of saw blades usually has large gullets between the teeth to clear the waste efficiently. The hooked teeth make aggressive cuts to get through the material quicker.
Blade widths are also crucial to re-sawing. You can re-saw a blade with a ¼ blade, but this will produce an unimpressive result and it will drift significantly.
The wider the blade, the better it is for re-sawing. On a 14-inch bandsaw hook, look for a widest blade that will fit your machine, and this is typically a 3 ¼ or 1 inch on some models.
Finally, treat your resawblade well. Do not leave it on the saw and use it for every day cuts. Keep them for special cuts, and make sure that they are clean and rust free. It pays to keep them sharp and in good working condition.
The right tension on your blade makes your re-saw cuts go much smoother and quicker.
The best blade tension for a re-saw cut is a little more than is needed to eliminate blade wobble. You should release the blade tension until it starts to wobble or flutter from side to side when you run the machine.
Increase the tension in little doses and keep running the bandsaw until the wobble disappears. Once you have found that sweet spot where your blade doesn’t wobble, increase the tension by ¼ turn, and you are good to go.
Adjust your fence
When re-sawing, you will have to deal with the occasional blade drift, so you should slightly adjust your fence to take it into account. If there isn’t enough play in the fence that will adequately compensate for the blade drift, you will need to install a shop made fence.
You can use paper shims between the fences at the front and at the back to dial in the perfect angle. And, before making any cut, you should ensure to plane the side of the timber that will go against the fence, and you should also plane the side that will go against the table square to it.