We've all been in a situation where we don't want to rely on contractors to do the job that can be easily done by ourselves. It's a challenging task and requires focus, discipline, and, most importantly, persistence.
After all, messing with woodcarving can lead to the development of a new hobby, so it's a win-win scenario. So, where to start?
One of the most practical tools that a carpenter should use in practice is a bandsaw.
However, there are different types and models, and you don't want to end up with a product that you don't know how to use and appreciate to the maximum extent.
But, there is a solution - the benchtop bandsaw.
It is a compact and powerful machine that can be mastered in a couple of days, and it's virtually recommended for everyone, beginners and professionals.
So, we've decided to help out a bit and give you detailed reviews in hopes of finding the best benchtop bandsaw on the market.
Stay tuned and read our buyer's guide to learn more about these powerful machines!
Table of Contents
- Finding The Best Benchtop Bandsaws - Top 8 List
- #1. WEN 3959 Benchtop Bandsaw - The Best Overall
- #2. SKIL 3386-01 Benchtop Bandsaw - Runner-Up
- #3. WEN 3939T Benchtop Bandsaw - Customer Favorite
- #4. POWERTEC BS900 Benchtop Bandsaw - Blade Tracking Window
- #5. WEN 3975T Benchtop Bandsaw - Compact Design
- #6. Rikon 10-3061 Deluxe Bandsaw - Premium Unit
- #7. TACKLIFE 10-Inch Band Saw - Aluminum Table
- #8. Grizzly Industrial G0803Z - Portability
- Learning the Trade of Bandsaws - Buyer's Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts - Conclusion
Finding The Best Benchtop Bandsaws - Top 8 List
The first item on this review list is an absolute marvel, and you'll probably look no further than this one. Here's the WEN 3959 Benchtop Bandsaw.
Before we start, here's a bit of info for all the beginners reading this.
WEN is one of the most reliable brands of power tools that you can find. They've been around since the fifties, and they still manage to impress their customers with powerful and stable products, and this benchtop bandsaw is no exception.
You'll see that the true beauty of benchtop bandsaws lies in the fact that they're compact devices with powerful features and impressive accessories.
For example, this is a small bandsaw that weighs only 40 pounds, but it still packs a potent 2.5 amp motor that can give you 2500 f/m blade speed.
Moreover, it features a wide and stable 12-1/4 x 11-7/8 work table that can be tilted up to 45 degrees for increased maneuverability and spaciousness.
Even though it's small, there's no worrying about additional accessories such as the miter gauge, dust port, or a rip fence - they come with the bandsaw.
It can support blades up to 60 inches long, and you can use various models depending on the type of projects you'll be working on. For instance, if you need a wider blade for larger cuts, you can use blades up to 3/8" wide.
The best part of it all is that it's incredibly affordable for such a powerful and reliable unit.
When you take everything into account, you'll realize that there truly isn't a better option out there for this type of cash.
It was a difficult call placing this benchtop band saw in second place in comparison with our following product, as they're both extremely well made and packed with amazing features.
Still, it prevailed, and it's a pleasure to present the SKIL 3386-01 Benchtop Bandsaw.
If you decide to order this bandsaw, you'll probably be surprised by the size of it when it first arrives. It looks like an average-sized bandsaw from the pictures, but it's actually quite compact, weighing only 16.51 lb.
However, it's not just the fact that it's lightweight, but the strength that it has makes it one of the best compact bandsaws out there.
It uses 6 TPI blades that are perfect for your everyday projects that don't require professional-grade equipment, but they can still make deep and accurate cuts along the way. They are ideal for wooden materials, but they won't do that well with metal pipes, so keep that in mind.
It also features a rack-and-pinion adjustment system that allows you to set the angle and height of the machine with ease.
Of course, it wouldn't be one of the best benchtop bandsaws without a miter gauge and a solid rip fence. By utilizing these accessories, you'll be able to make curved and straight cuts with absolute accuracy.
All in all, you won't find this good of a bandsaw anytime soon since it dominates the market and the customer reviews are piling up.
Even though you'll find many premium and excellent picks, it doesn't mean they will suit your needs and satisfy your expectations.
However, the WEN 3939T Benchtop Bandsaw has won the hearts of many, so let's see why it is that.
You can already figure out that WEN is the brand to look for when it comes to bandsaws. It doesn't matter if we're talking about benchtop, horizontal, or resawing bandsaws - WEN will have a machine to impress the public.
The 3939T is everyone's favorite for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it has a 2.8 amp motor that can rotate the 3/8-inch blade at a 2460 feet per minute rate, which is fast enough to give you the force to cut through various materials, including metallic surfaces.
Secondly, one of the common things that bother bandsaw users is the lack of workspace, especially with benchtop models. However, the 3939T offers you the ability to maneuver across the spacious 12x12 inch table that guarantees you'll have plenty of room.
Furthermore, if you have some bulkier materials that require you to tilt the table, you can set it anywhere between 0 and 45 degrees.
In terms of usage, it was very easy to work with, and it doesn't take a brainiac to figure out the main elements of this bandsaw.
The only thing that was a bit hard was the adjustment part when it came to setting up the blades, but it's quite possible that it had to do with the model in question.
Aside from that, there isn't anything that could potentially drive you away from purchasing this incredible item.
Nothing speaks of reliability more than the established company of POWERTEC.
They excel at producing both gardening and woodworking appliances, and the POWERTEC BS900 Benchtop Bandsaw is just another item in the collection of great products.
Powertec is one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to producing woodworking equipment and tools. They are a US-based company whose most appealing trait lies in the affordability of their products.
However, that doesn't mean they'll sell you low-quality goods, which is why we're reviewing the BS900.
In terms of specifications, it's your regular benchtop bandsaw. It has a potent 1.2 HP motor that runs on a 2 .5 amp, which is more than solid. In fact, this type of motor is considered mid-range amongst the benchtop bandsaw circles.
Furthermore, you'll be happy to know it has some special features that'll make woodworking a piece of cake.
For example, the Powertec team integrated a blade-tracking window that not only serves a safety purpose but also gives you the chance to track the process from a safe distance.
It also has a 2-inch dust port that helps keep the area clean and dust-free, and you'll also get a miter gauge for curved cutting.
It doesn't have any major flaws that could potentially jeopardize the potential purchase, except for the fact that it's not that powerful in comparison to some other units.
It'll do the job extremely well, but it's not a professional-grade benchtop bandsaw, so keep that in mind.
WEN strikes again with another fantastic benchtop bandsaw that'll make you want to consider throwing the one you have out the window. Here's the WEN 3975T Benchtop Bandsaw review.
Unlike the previous two WEN band saws, this one is the first compact and lightweight unit that is more adjustable and user-friendly than any other that we've covered.
It weighs 54.6 lb, so it can easily be transported from room to room or the field, depending on your profession.
Even though it's a small, 5-inch band saw, it doesn't mean that it's weak or that it won't live up to expectations. In fact, it features a 4.5 amp motor, which is astounding for a device of this size.
Moreover, the high-powered tech and internals allow it to cut through wood and metal, including steel, copper, and aluminum. Since it's a 5-inch saw, it'll take some time to finish the cutting, but that's the price to pay for having a portable bandsaw.
Also, the beveling blade will allow you to cut up to 60 degrees, which is a nice refreshment from your standard blades that go up to 45 degrees.
Overall, there is nothing to hate about this WEN product. However, upon closer inspection, we had two things that bother us.
The first thing was the price considering that the competition did not raise their prices that high. Secondly, it doesn't have an automatic shut-off feature.
Here's a professional-grade bandsaw for all the woodworkers out there that appreciate quality and are not hesitant to invest a bit of cash into a durable and resilient product. It's the Rikon 10-3061 Deluxe Bandsaw review.
However, Rikon has surprised us yet again with the fantastic 10-3061 model that offers a lot of features and possibilities to its users.
The first thing you'll notice is the size - it's a large and heavy-duty machine that's capable of cutting through 10 inches of metal and wood with ease. You'll also be able to resaw wood thanks to the strong 6 TPI blades that come with the band saw.
Another impressive feature is the powerful motor that operates at 5.5 amp. It can offer you the same capabilities as the Rikon 10-305 bandsaw and more. Also, it can rotate the blade at two speeds - 1515 and 3280 ft/min.
When it comes to some added features, you'll be happy to know that it has a quick-release blade tension lever, blade tracking, and a window for following the progress in action. The table can be shifted from 0 to 45 degrees for angled cutting.
If all of this isn't enough to convince you that the 10-inch Rikon bandsaw is right for you, maybe a 5-year limited warranty will change your mind.
Of course, it does come with a high price, but it's undoubtedly worth it. If it were cheaper, it'd be in range with the WEN band saws.
If you've been looking for the best benchtop band saw, you must've come across the TACKLIFE 10-Inch Band Saw on your way. Let's see why it is so valued in the current market.
First of all, the Tacklife bandsaw is one of those products that everyone seems to own, and there's no denying its worth. It's reliable, durable, and does the job in optimal time.
This bandsaw's primary focus is wood, and it can saw, resaw, and cross-cut thanks to the two-speed, 3.5 amp motor that delivers great speed and excellent performance. It can run at 1260 f/m, or you can set it to 3150, based on the thickness and the material you're cutting.
What makes it different from the previous units is the aluminum table with an extension. You'll usually find that bandsaws have an iron or cast-iron table, which is excellent for dealing with rough materials.
However, since this is a primarily wood saw, an aluminum table is a better fit due to its smoothness and durability.
You can extend the 15-inch table to 21-1/3 inches and gain a much larger and wider cutting capacity than you'd normally have, even with a top band saw. It also features two connectors for vacuum cleaning and an additional blade.
When it comes to flaws, the only thing that bothered us was that it took some time to adjust and set up. The blade guides were a bit of a hassle, but once you set everything up, it'll run smoothly.
Finally, there's one benchtop bandsaw left for review, and it comes from another trusted and well-respected manufacturer, Grizzly Industrial.
Without further ado, here's the Grizzly Industrial G0803Z.
The main attraction behind the G0803Z is the user-friendly features that make it the number one pick for beginners and expert carpenters. Thanks to its build and portability, you'll be able to use this benchtop band saw wherever and whenever.
One interesting addition is the laser guidance system that allows for easier, quicker, and more accurate cutting paths than you'd normally encounter in a standard benchtop band saw. When you combine that with a 2460 f/m blade speed, you get one heck of a machine.
When it comes to some special features, you'll get the standard package that you'd expect from a solid band saw.
Ranging from the 2-inch dust port and upper and lower ball bearing guides to rack-and-pinion table tilt, this bandsaw has it all. So, why isn't it placed higher up on the list?
Firstly, it's the overall strength in comparison with the previous saws. It has a well-built 1/3 HP motor, but every other product on this list outmatches and outperforms it.
Secondly, it's way overpriced for a device with these features, but make no mistake - it's one excellent machine.
Read more —
Learning the Trade of Bandsaws - Buyer's Guide
The models you've read above in our band saw reviews are just the first step into learning more and more about these intricate devices.
The truth is - there are too many benchtop band saws to list.
Luckily, you can choose the right one for you if you follow a couple of suggestions and recommendations.
Stay tuned and check out the following lines.
Benchtop band saws are exactly what their name suggests. They are strong and hefty machines that are placed on benches for ease of use and portability.
Of course, you can look for handheld models, but they're usually less potent than benchtop models.
However, having a sturdy machine placed on a bench does not necessarily mean it'll be durable and everlasting.
In essence, you'll find that the two most common denominators in terms of materials used to construct these machines are either iron or aluminum.
They are both excellent, depending on what you'll be cutting in the future. However, there are different alloys and parts that might affect your decision.
For example, iron has a lot of alloys depending on the percentage of carbon in the molecular structure.
The safe choice is always steel or carbon steel, depending on if you'll be cutting through hard metal, and aluminum is best for wooden materials due to its smoothness and overall durability.
You'll also do quite well with cast iron band saws thanks to their low melting temperature, making them brittle and wear-resistant.
2. Blade Quality
Benchtop band saws are purchased by people who require a bit more power than you'd get from a standard saw.
However, you should also pay attention to blades, meaning the size and design that the machine can support.
For example, you'll usually find that 62-inch blades are the most common blade size when it comes to benchtop models, but that's not always the case.
Also, there are different blade profiles that you should consider since it depends on the material you'll be cutting.
6-inch TPI blades are the best if you're not planning on larger projects and you're building stuff around the house.
3. Things To Consider
Since there are a lot of special features that make these devices drift away from one another in terms of authenticity, you should first consider what you will be using the band saw for.
If you plan on cutting massive amounts of wood, it wouldn't be a bad idea to go for a machine with a dust port to keep everything clean.
Also, if you love experimenting with different projects and materials, you'll often need to adjust the band saw in terms of height, blade guidance system, and power.
So it wouldn't be a bad idea to go for a machine that can offer a variety of options, including multiple speeds and a high-tech guidance system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best benchtop bandsaw?
It's the WEN 3959 Benchtop Bandsaw based on the research we've conducted.
The WEN 3962 Two-Speed model is a close second, but we decided not to include it since there were too many WEN products to choose from.
Still, the point is that WEN is dominating the market, and there's no reason to go for any other manufacturer if you're looking for the best.
What is the best small bandsaw?
Our runner-up, the SKIL 3386-01 Benchtop Bandsaw, is a compact and small bandsaw that has a lot to offer. It's strong, has well-built housing, and it's quite easy to use.
What size bandsaw should I buy?
It always depends on the type of projects you'll be doing.
If you're a hobbyist that enjoys woodworking on weekends, you'll do well with a 9-inch, or a 10-inch band saw.
If you choose to make a serious profession out of woodworking, go for the stronger 14-inch or 16-inch models.
Can a bandsaw do the tasks of a jigsaw?
Essentially YES, but not in the way you'd expect.
A standard jigsaw can make narrow angled cuts that would accommodate carpenters that are building smaller items that require finesse.
On the other hand, a bandsaw can make wide and deep curved cuts.
Final Thoughts - Conclusion
After spending some time reviewing and learning more about these machines, we have to say that we've been astounded by the WEN 3959 Benchtop Bandsaw.
If you want the best benchtop bandsaw, this is the way to go.