5 Best Benchtop Band Saws – Small Bandsaws Reviewed in 2024
You might think your workshop is complete without a band saw, but then you struggle to cut the same graceful curves that your buddies can. Maybe your jigsaw is gathering dust under your workbench because you just can’t get the shapes you want.
If the paragraph above describes you, a band saw is precisely what you need. Band saws aren’t just suitable for cutting wood into irregular shapes; they’re also excellent for sawing plastic and metal, thinning boards into slats, and any task that requires an exceptionally smooth cut.
Buying your first band saw isn’t easy, even after you decide to make the leap. Every woodworker has their own opinion about what’s most important to look for. In these reviews, we’ll help you cut through the noise and pick out a band saw that truly is the best.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024
|Grizzly G0555HX Deluxe Benchtop Band Saw
|Delta 28-400 14″ Bench Top Band Saw
|Rikon 10-305 Bench Band Saw
|WEN 3962 Small Benchtop Bandsaw
|KAKA Industrial Horizontal Benchtop BandSaw
The 5 Best Benchtop Band Saws
1. Grizzly G0555HX Deluxe Benchtop Band Saw – Best Overall
Rather than just tell you the Grizzly G0555XH is our absolute favorite benchtop bandsaw currently on the market, we thought we’d give you the evidence instead. We resawed a 10-inch oak plank into two planks of equal thickness and then measured the thickness at the top and bottom. The difference was about a hundredth of an inch.
With a 1.75-HP motor, this band saw makes almost any sheet of wood, plastic, or metal feel soft. We’ve used it for cuts we’d ordinarily go to our table saw for; it’s that good. On top of all that, despite our best efforts, we can’t seem to break it. It never complains, never bogs down, and the base never rattles. What more could you want?
We had to go deep searching for features to complain about, but if there’s any caveat at all with this saw, it’s that it’s hard to stop. Without a quick brake, the blade keeps running for several seconds after you switch it off. We recommend swapping out the factory-installed blade for heavier-duty work like log ripping. Overall, we think the Grizzly is the best benchtop bandsaw of the year.
2. Delta 28-400 14″ Bench Top Band Saw – Best Value
If your eyes bugged out with dollar signs at our #1 pick, never fear; we understand how many of you are looking for the best band saw for the money. Your search is over with the Delta 28-400. It’s a powerful 1 HP saw with a solid table and a practically indestructible steel frame.
To make a cheaper unit, Delta has laser-focused on this saw’s core function and left out a lot of extras; there’s no rack and pinion adjustment for the blade guides, for example, and no fence or miter. However, for those of you who prefer to add your own attachments, this might actually be a feature rather than a flaw.
We have a few problems that keep the 28-400 out of the #1 spot. While miter attachments are easy to buy, blade guide adjustment systems aren’t, and not everybody is a fan of jury-rigging machine parts. The lower guide, in particular, is a pain to reach whenever you change blades.
3. Rikon 10-305 Bench Band Saw
The Rikon 10-305 is our other pick for the best bandsaw for the money. If you’re on an especially tight budget, you can still afford to equip your shop with extra cutting power. The Rikon is a great option if you’re looking for something that won’t take up as much space.
Indeed, a 1/3-HP motor isn’t as strong as some carpenters want or need, but the 10-305 makes up for it with a large cast-iron work table, a micro-adjustable blade guide, and a steel body. Rikon also throws in clear instructions and an efficient dust port, and they make it easy to change blades out quickly.
However, the Rikon 10-305 doesn’t come with a stand, so you’re on your own for fitting it into your shop. The blade is useless, and you’ll notice the underpowered engine. This saw is strictly for hobbyists; we don’t recommend it for anyone cutting lumber professionally.
4. WEN 3962 Small Benchtop Bandsaw
The Wen 3962 is another budget-friendly Chinese-made bandsaw. It’s available in 9, 10, or 14 inches, but we have the most experience with the 10-inch size, and it’s the one we’ll discuss. The Wen has several excellent features, including a work light, a sturdy optional stand, and speeds of either 1520 or 2620 feet per minute.
The saw checks all the boxes. It’s heavy, runs quietly, and barely deviates at all down the length of an 8-foot board. We have no complaints about the calibration, the table, or the adjustable fence. Like the Rikon model at #3, this is a saw for DIYers and hobbyists instead of professionals, but that’s not necessarily a knock against it.
Unfortunately, the instructions don’t match what’s in the box, so you’ll need mechanical experience or help from someone who does. Running it at a faster speed causes the belt to rub up against the motor’s mounting bolt, and the miter gauge is so shaky you’re better off not bothering.
5. KAKA Industrial Horizontal Benchtop BandSaw
Here’s a curveball to keep the list diverse. This horizontal bandsaw from KAKA Industrial is adept at cutting metal, suitable for industrial use, and sells for a premium price. It’s debatable whether it is a “benchtop” saw since it sits on a wheeled stand. We decided to include it because it’s small and relatively portable, like the other saws on this list.
There’s a learning curve for using a horizontal bandsaw, even for those who’ve used vertical bandsaws. However, once you set it up and learn how to use it, KAKA’s saw opens up a world of precision and possibility. It makes perfectly straight cuts in wood and metal, and its pan is equally adept at catching sawdust and coolant.
The “industrial” in the name isn’t just talk; if you maintain it properly, this saw can easily handle heavy-duty tasks. It’s not off-limits to hobbyists, either. Other than the high price, flaws to beware of include the wheels on the stand, which are cheaply made and can make the system unstable. We suggest locking them, replacing them, or just taking them off. The roller skate bearings on the blade guide also have a nasty habit of breaking; replacing them is a good idea.
Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Benchtop Band Saw
We named a few of our favorite benchtop band saws, and that’s enough for some of you out there. Others might want to know more about why we chose these five over all the rest on the market. It’s fantastic that you’re interested in going a bit further.sking “why” is one of the ways to become a true expert.
Ask the Important QuestionsThat’s what this buyer’s guide is for. We’ll walk you through the six most important questions to ask when buying a benchtop bandsaw (or any other saw). They are:
- Will this saw help me with my project?
- How much power does this saw’s motor have?
- Can it cut materials other than wood?
- How much waste will it leave?
- How easy is it to set up?
- How much does it cost?
Your project needs
As we mentioned above, band saws have a few purposes. They were first used in sawmills for resawing planks into thinner boards, which is where they developed their trademark precision. Later, artisans discovered that they were ideal for making irregular cuts. They’ve also been a favorite of carpenters looking to cut down on sawdust.
You can’t make the right purchase if you don’t know what you need your new band saw for. For example, if you’re stripping logs, we don’t recommend using the Rikon 10-305 or the Wen 3962. On the other end of the spectrum, springing for the Grizzly G0555XH is a significant waste of money if you’re just making a quilt rack.
Band saws measure their motors in horsepower. 1 HP is good, 2 HP is excellent, and anything above 0.5 HP will get the job done. Keep in mind that more isn’t always better.
Lower vs Higher HP
Uses of lower horsepower:
- You’re working with softwood
- You’re making smaller cuts
- You don’t want to pay for a bigger motor
Uses of higher horsepower:
- You’re cutting purpleheart wood or oak
- You have long boards to resaw into thinner planks
Not just wood
With their close-set teeth and a high degree of control, bandsaws are popular for shaping materials other than wood. If you’ve been considering a project involving plastic, sheet metal, plaster, cork, or another unusual material, it might be time to spring for a band saw.
Sawdust and waste
Band saws are used by carpenters who want to save wood while creating as little sawdust as possible. Here are some tips for getting a band saw that doesn’t leave too much waste:
- Examine the dust port. Does it work? How efficient is it?
- Read as many reviews as you can. If dust is an issue, other buyers will have pointed it out.
- Be prepared to change the saw blade. Many band saws, including several on this list, come with factory blades that don’t unlock their full efficiency and power. Luckily, changing out a blade is usually easy to do.
The primary difference between a band saw and a jigsaw is that the jigsaw is portable, whereas the band saw is fixed to one location. We suggest a jigsaw instead if you do most of your work away from home. Even if you tackle your projects at home, it’s important to consider their weight and simplicity when buying a bandsaw.
Some of the best units, like the Grizzly G0555XH that tops our list, are heavy. A heavy saw is nice if you’re trying to hold the saw steady while cutting out a pattern, but it’s not so great the day you have to move it.
Ease of Setup
If we have a #1 rule of buying saws, it’s this: you don’t always need the most saw you can get. You’re not less of a woodworker if you buy a lighter saw so you can carry it to your basement.
Some beginners will buy a saw with adjustment options they don’t need. That is why knowing what you want to do is so important. For example, you don’t need three speeds to build a cutting board.
If you automatically buy the cheapest band saw you can find, you won’t always save money. Have you ever heard the fable about the poor man who pays more for boots than the rich man because he has to buy a new pair every year while the rich man’s boots hold up for five? Power tools are like that. A cheap band saw might cost you so much in repairs and necessary add-ons that you eventually eat the savings. That’s why the Grizzly G0555XH edged out the Delta 28-400 for the top spot.
The Grizzly G0555XH was a clear outlier in our tests. It’s powerful, steady, and cuts a swath through any wood you care to use. It was an easy choice as the best benchtop band saw. However, the Delta 28-400 is nothing to scoff at either. It’s affordable, compact, and durable. Our only complaint is that it isn’t very versatile. Unlike the Grizzly G0555XH, you have to add accessories and features to make it complete.
We hope these reviews have given you the tools to start searching for one of the best woodworking tools you’ll ever buy. Good luck shopping, and we’ll see you in the workshop!