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Buying a Band Saw

Unlike other types of mechanical saw, a band saw offers flexibility and versatility without restricting creativity. Whether you're creating large continuous cuts or small, decorative patterns, this type of saw is a great investment for a whole host of jobs. While there are many band saw features and models, each style has unique traits that are best suited for different projects. Before making a purchase, consider these factors to choose the right type of band saw.

Why buy a band saw?

A band saw is typically used whenever you need to create elaborate cuts and patterns. Since this type of saw is in a fixed position, materials can be fed in a variety of large angles or curved cuts.

This device can be used for almost any woodworking or metalworking project. Depending on the model, the versatility of a band saw allows you to make everything from smooth cuts on thick lumber to complex decorative patterns on thin stock.

If you frequently cut large pieces of meat, a band saw can make butcher-style cuts through the bone with the appropriate blade.

Features of band saws


  • A band saw normally has a durable cast-iron or welded-steel frame
  • A welded-steel frame is able to absorb vibration better than a cast-iron frame does for different cuts






band saw features


  • A floor-standing base has a strong frame suited for consistently large cuts
  • Bench-top models rest on a workbench or countertop in lieu of a built-in base







band saw bases

Other common specifications

  • The motor's horsepower determines the speed options for the saw
  • The depth of cut refers to the distance between the table and the upper blade guides. The range of throat is the distance between the saw blade and vertical frame section


Learn more about band saw safety




band saw features

Types of band saws

Bench-top band saws

This type of band saw is light, economical and great for small projects.


  • Price range: $120-$250
  • Height range: 28-34 inches
  • Width range: 15-21 inches
  • Depth range: 11-13 inches
  • Blade: 62-70 inches


bench-top band saws

Bench top band saws are best for…

Amateur woodworkers: A bench-top band saw is ideal for beginners looking to make difficult cuts. It's also easier to use and much more affordable than a higher grade model.


Model-making: When doing projects that require fine scroll work or cutting thin stock, a bench-top band saw provides ample size and power for the job.

Stationary band saws

A stationary band saw is perfect for large or complex jobs.


  • Price range: $220-$1,700
  • Height range: 15-76 inches
  • Width range: 14.5-37 inches
  • Depth range: 18-28 inches
  • Blade length: 72- 100 inches


types of band saws

Stationary band saws are best for…

Professional woodworkers or industrial-grade projects: A stationary band saw typically has a sturdier, more versatile base than a bench-top model so it can tackle a wide range of projects. This type of band saw also has high horse power and large blade length, which means it's able to cut through tough materials.



Cutting through large slabs of meat: Whether you're a butcher or avid hunter, you know that slicing large hunks of meat sometimes require a heavy-duty tool. With the proper blade, a stationary band saw can get the job done.




Bottom Line

A band saw can come in handy for a wide array of projects, and there are many models intended for different do-it-yourself tasks. Before deciding which type to purchase, consider what job you're undertaking. If you're looking to do small scale projects around the house, then a bench-top band saw should be fine. However, if it's a heavy-duty metal or woodworking project, consider a stationary band saw for more power and stability.