If you’re reading this, there’s a high chance that you’re looking to purchase a bandsaw for your workshop or next project.
A solid investment for all craftsmen, the bandsaw should be a staple in your woodworking arsenal, with a blend of power and accuracy to make any piece that of quality.
If you’re short on time, I’ve made a quick list of the benchtop bandsaws we’ve had a look into today:
- Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 bandsaw
- SKIL 3386-01 bandsaw
- WEN 3939 bandsaw
- Rikon 10-305 bandsaw
- POWERTEC BS900 bandsaw
- WEN 3959 bandsaw
Whilst compact bandsaws are suited towards the contractor who’s on the go – benchtop bandsaws find themselves in floor spaces of those who are looking for a little more power, and have no need for a cordless saw.
If you’re new here (and that’s fine, we all start somewhere), you may be wondering, ‘what exactly is a bandsaw?’ Well, a bandsaw is similar to a scroll saw, with its ability to carve interesting patterns and a focus on its precision. However, the similarities stop here – a bandsaw is more powerful than its scroll saw cousin, and can be used to cut a vast array of materials.
Bandsaws are identified by their design – a blade which is powered by a motor, which travels through wheels, exposing the blade which is used to make cuts.
There are many bandsaws out there that you can purchase, yet it’s best to align your needs, budget and output with the bandsaw that fits these three categories.
I’ve done my best to put together the best six benchtop table saws you can currently find – as well as their standout feature, in order to make this easy for you.
Tools of the highest quality usually have a price which reflects this standard, and this bandsaw is no different.
Laguna Tools spent two years in designing, building and rolling out their MBAND 1412-175 bandsaw – and the level of preparation shows in the end result; a powerful tool which tops the competition.
- 13/4 HP Motor
- Direct start switch with safety key which illuminates
- Cast iron table with 13-5/8″ throat size
- Aluminum rip fence with the following dimensions: 18″ X 5 1/2″ X 1/2″
- Ultra smooth worm gear and pinion, which is engineered to have minimum flex extended to the maximum point
- 1 x Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 Bandsaw
My Favorite Feature: Double Windows
- Double windows allow for blade tension and tracking to be monitored whilst the machine is running
With a bandsaw that cuts through all aspects of cutting edge technology and performance, it’s difficult to pinpoint one standout feature.
However, I’ve chosen the double windows – which allow you to actively see the tension of your blade – and also how it’s tracking. This gives you complete ownership over both the bandsaw and your project, as you’ll be able to check the condition of the blades without having to halt everything you’re doing.
For something which promotes convenience and doesn’t compromise on any other box, this is a big yes from me.
Do you think the same as I do?
- 2.5 HP motor
- Cut depth of 3-⅛”
- Ribbed aluminum table with tilt adjustment between 0 and 45 degrees
- Total table size of 11-13/16” with a throat depth of 9”
- Inclusive 1-½” dust port for removing unwanted debris
- 1 x SKIL 3386-01 Bandsaw
- 1 x flexible work light
- 1 x blade
- 1 x parallel guide
- 1 x miter gauge
- 1 x hex key
My Favorite Feature: Blade Guide Adjustment
- Inclusive blade guide adjustment for customized depth settings
With a cutting depth of 3-⅛”, the 3386-01 is fairly standard in this comparison when listed against competitor bandsaws on the market. One thing it has over its’ competitors, however – is the ability to adjust the depth to a customized setting of yours.
There opens up a world of possibilities for your projects, and has the ability to enhance your cutting skills, giving you complete control over every cut, angle and depth you can work with.
The first of the WEN bandsaws to be looked at today, and perhaps the most interesting – when looking at the models available within its’ range.
WEN have three bandsaws available, which you’re able to pick between based solely on the size you’d like.
These sizes range from 9” – which is the 3939, a 10” option in the WEN 3962 model and lastly, the largest option with 12” in the 3966 bandsaw.
- 2.8 amp motor with an attainable max speed of 2460 FPM
- Depth of cut is 3- ⅝” inches deep and 9” wide
- Accepts 62” blades from ⅛” – ⅜” in width
- Additional ⅜” wide blade, dust port, rip fence and miter gauge
- Ball bearings for streamlined operation and increased lifespan of bandsaw
- 1 x WEN 3939 Bandsaw
- 1 x ⅜” blade
- 1 x dust port
- 1 x rip fence
- 1 x miter gauge
My Favorite Feature: Value For Money
- Three options in table bandsaw size which gives more affordability options for users
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Value for money, how’s that a feature?
Well, let me explain.
We touched upon the fact that there are three separate bandsaws available within the benchtop options which WEN provide.
This is the most affordable of the priced models, and is extremely affordable – which allows you to purchase this as either your first bandsaw, or even an upgrade or an older model.
For the next model, which is the 3962 – you’re getting a little more size on the table, with slightly elevated specs when compared to this model.
Both of these models should be at the top of your list when you’re narrowing down which bandsaw is perfect for you and your budget.
The 10-305 bandsaw from Rikon is a scaled-down version of the 10-345 and 10-325 models.
Suited for a comfortable fit within your workshop that holds limited space, this bandsaw is perfect for those who do not require a large capacity for cutting and who are content with reduced power.
- 1/3HP, 3.5 amp motor with a max speed of 2780 FPM
- Large cast Iron table with dimensions of 13-¾” x 12-½”, tilt of up to 45 degrees
- Inclusive rip fence which can also be removed at will
- 4-5/8″ Re-saw capacity
- Large blade tension knob for easy adjustments
- 1 x Rikon 10-305 bandsaw
- 1 x rip fence
My Favorite Feature: Solid Steel Design
- Steel plate frame which is stronger than plastic frames used by alternative manufacturer
It’s easy to spot when materials are made from cheaper quality – and these materials can affect your quality of work and also the lifespan of your bandsaw.
When you’re paying top dollar for a power tool, you want to make sure it can stand the test of time. With the solid steel design, the Rikon 10-305 does exactly that, with its sturdy work surface a rare feature to be found in bandsaws of this size.
Perfect for those looking to begin their bandsaw creating career, the BS900 is recommended for beginners due to its’ versatility with its inclusive features, as well as it’s simple, straight-forward method of operation.
Of course, that’s not to say it isn’t perfect for the more experienced craftsman, for which it definitely is. Those with more experience, though, would just have an advantage over their beginner friends.
- Motor consists of the following specs: 1/2 HP, 2.5 Amps, 1725 FPM speed
- Aluminum diecast table with dimensions of 11-3/4″ x 11-3/4″ and a throat depth of 9″
- Depth of cut at 90 degrees: 3-⅝”, 45 degrees: 2”
- Blade tracking window
- Table with rack and pinion adjustment for easy tilt to a max of 45 degrees
- 1 x POWERTEC BS900 Band Saw
My Favorite Feature: Patented Blade Guard Adjustment
- Blade guard adjustment is exclusive to Powertec and allows for swift and effortless blade changes
The blade size of the BS900 ranges from 1/8″ to 3/8″, giving users the ability to resaw and also make scroll cuts all in one.
As you’ll be using an array of blades for different applications, the blade guard adjustment is exactly what the doctor ordered for this bandsaw in particular.
The blade tension adjustment option is in the form of a lever, and it’s a simple and effortless change to adjust blades.
Not only is this great for the convenience factor, yet it’s also important for protecting your blades, and increasing their lifespan.
This is a budget-friendly option when looking at your bandsaw comparisons, and is very solid quality for the price it’s placed at.
The last of the WEN bandsaws to be looked into today, the 3959 is another smaller benchtop bandsaw – yet a raft of exciting features and a powerful motor give this model a very big tick of approval for both the hobbyist and professional.
More geared towards the hobbyist this may be, it’s the features which we briefly touched upon that make this bandsaw a very good option to include within your homeshop.
Let’s look into these below.
- Work table dimensions of 12-¼” x 11-⅞”,
- Bevel ability of up to 45 degrees
- Accepts blades 59-1/2 inch blades anywhere from ⅛ to ⅜ inches in width
- Inclusive rip fence, mitre gauge and dust port
- Ball bearings allow for smoother operation and an increased lifespan of the bandsaw
- 1 x WEN 3959 Bandsaw
- 1 x 1/4″ wide blade
- 1 x 2-1/2 inch dust port
- 1 x rip fence
- 1 x miter gauge
My Favorite Feature: Powerful Motor In A Compact Shell
- 2.5 amp motor with a maximum speed of 2500 FPM
WEN proclaim that they remember ‘when’ a saw was both compact and powerful – and that’s exactly what they have delivered here with the 3959 bandsaw.
We spoke earlier of how this is suited for those starting off – and is not only perfect for them, but for the hobbyist who has a certain amount of space and is still looking for a powerful yet compact design.
The 2.5 amp motor will be able to rip through the majority of woods thrown its’ way – and whilst not as powerful as other bandsaws available to the public – it gets exactly what you want done, without the need for bells and whistles.
So there it is – six of the best benchtop bandsaws that are currently available and ready to make a new home within your workshop.
Out of the six we’ve looked into, there is one which, for me, is the clear victor in pure comparison.
That is the Laguna Tools MBAND1412-175 – and why have I chosen this? Well, for one it’s an absolute beast, with a 13/4 HP motor, a 13” throat size on a large cast table, plus a stainless steel body which will give you many, many hours and years of quality service.
Of course, this may not be within your budget with its’ premier design and powerful features sitting on the ‘higher end’, of the price range. For this reason, I’ve selected a tie for second with value for money – that being both the SKIL 3386-01 and the WEN 3939 bandsaw.
Both of these bandsaws are within a very cost-friendly range, and for their prices, they don’t skimp on the additional features and more importantly – their ability to cut materials without spluttering.
In saying this, all of the six options we’ve reviewed today would not look out of place in your workshop – it purely depends on what you’re looking for in a bandsaw, experience and the amount you’re willing to spend.
Hopefully, this has made choosing the next benchtop bandsaw that little bit easier for you – yet, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Perhaps you don’t agree with something on the list, or you’ve got another bandsaw you’d like to praise.
Whatever it may be – leave your comments below.