When it comes to cutting wood, you need a powerful and reliable power saw so that you can make your cuts quickly and efficiently without damaging the wood. There are plenty of various saw types that you can use, but one of the most versatile for generic cutting is the bandsaw. Unlike other models like a jigsaw or a circular saw, you can do much more with this one machine, especially if you like to cut other materials besides wood. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best benchtop bandsaws that you can find, as well as go over their critical features, so you know what to look for when making a final decision.
Although the mechanics of this saw are the same as any other bandsaw, the benchtop part of the name refers to its size and portability. Full-size models take up a lot of space and can’t be moved from place to place, meaning that they are essentially permanent fixtures. Benchtop bandsaws, however, are smaller and thus enable you to bring it to any workshop or store it when it’s not in use.
As a result, we highly recommend these saw models for people who dabble in a variety of cutting but don’t have space or the budget for a full-size version of each saw type. Benchtop models are perfect for hobbyists or DIYers who need the power and versatility of a bandsaw without committing to something massive.
Kicking off our list is this model from WEN. This brand is well known for making a lot of high-quality power tools over the years, and this bandsaw is no exception. At a relatively quaint forty pounds, this machine is both powerful enough to take on most jobs while still being compact enough to place almost anywhere you need. In fact, it even has a carrying handle so that moving it around your workshop will be even easier.
What we like most about this saw is the performance. A 2.8-amp motor spins the blade at 2460 feet per minute, which makes it a bit more versatile than other saws we’ve seen.Thus, if you want to cut metal and wood regularly, this is the model you want, provided that you have the correct blades for the job. You can cut up to 3.6 inches deep and nine inches wide, which is more than enough for most smaller projects.
The other features that we like about this unit are that it has a wide one-foot by one-foot table that can tilt up to 45 degrees and it comes with a dust port for better cleanup. Finally, it has a quick-release knob for changing blades, making the process much simpler and faster. Overall, as far as benchtop saws go, this is a fantastic model.
If you are looking for something a bit smaller and easier to move around, then this bandsaw from SKIL is just the ticket. At a scant 38 pounds, it’s the lightest unit on this list, making it an ideal choice for woodworkers who have limited space and need to move their saws after each use.
Although the size seems limiting, this model still packs quite a punch. The 2.5-amp motor rotates the blade at a whopping 2800 feet per minute, making this one of the fastest benchtop bandsaws we’ve seen. Not only that, but it can cut 3.5 inches deep and nine inches wide, which is perfect for most smaller jobs.
As for the table, it comes with a rip fence for guiding straight cuts, a miter gauge for doing crosscuts, and it can tilt up to 45 degrees to let you make perfect bevels. The dimensions of the table are also ideal, giving you twelve inches by 11.75 inches total. Another neat feature of this machine is that it comes with an EZ viewing window so that you can see your cuts more clearly, as well as a LED light, so nothing is out of focus. Finally, it has a three-year warranty, which is a fantastic cherry on top.
Our final stop is with this bandsaw from Rikon, and if you want more power and reliability, then this is the model to choose. While the others we’ve seen have been relatively lightweight at about forty pounds, this is a monster by comparison weighing in at 76. That being said, part of the extra size is because it comes with all steel construction and a cast iron table, rather than aluminum.
As far as performance goes, this saw has more than enough capability to cut through almost any project, delivering up to 2780 FPM with a 1/3 horsepower motor.
Additionally, you can cut up to 4.6 inches deep and 9.6 inches wide, making it a bit better than the other two we’ve seen.
Other features of this bandsaw include a micro-adjustable guide post, a rip fence to ensure that you get straighter cuts, and a large dust port to keep your work surface clean. Best of all, you can connect a vacuum to the dust port for better results. Overall, this is by far the most robust and tangible benchtop bandsaw you can find.
This is the most important part of the machine as it will dictate the types of jobs you can do. While speed and size can also play important roles, if your motor is not built to handle the task at hand then you will never finish your next piece. Typically speaking, benchtop bandsaws are measured by amperage due to their size, but you can find larger models that are classified by horsepower instead. Overall, if you are doing bigger projects and need a workhorse, look for a model that uses horsepower, not amps.
Most bandsaws operate at a single speed, which is listed as feet per minute. This is how fast the machine rotates the saw blade, and it will also dictate what kind of work you can do. For the best variability, you want a device that comes with a variable speed adjustment, but those can be hard to find. In the end, you want to make sure that it can handle whatever material you’re cutting, whether it’s wood, plastic, or metal.
This is another crucial detail that will help make sure that you have enough room on which to work. Not only do you need a table that is large enough to fit your pieces, but you can also find models that shift and tilt as you need them. This can be especially helpful if you create bevels, so try to find a saw that has that capability. One thing to consider here, though, is that due to the overall size of these bandsaws, you will have limited table capacity. That being said, if you are looking for a compact saw, to begin with, then it might not be that big of an issue.
As with any power saws, you are going to generate a lot of dust and debris as you work. To help mitigate this problem and make it easier for you to keep your work area clean, you want to make sure that your saw comes with a dust port for easy collection. The best models will enable you to connect a vacuum hose to the port so that dirt is flying out into the air, and you can work longer without having to change bags or anything. For best results, you will want to hook the saw up to a large shop vacuum.
After looking at each of these saws, we have to say that our top pick concerning power and reliability has to be the Rikon 10-305. Using heavy duty materials and a robust motor, you can do much more with this saw than you could with the others on this list. However, with that in mind, we do know that size and dimensions are a mitigating factor, so if you need something a bit more compact, then we have to recommend the WEN 3960 as it has better results than the SKIL model.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.