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Best Horizontal Band Saw Reviews

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R

Good for

If you’re looking to cut an object down to size with great precision, the horizontal band saw is one of your safest bets. These machines are specifically designed to deliver extreme precision and accuracy. On top of that, most models that are available on the market produce much less noise in comparison to other types of band saws which means they are more comfortable to work with, especially during big projects. One other thing that separates this type from the others is its versatility. In simpler words, one can cut metal, wood, plastic, and a vast variety of materials instead of being forced to stick with only one.

Automation is also one of the biggest upsides of this particular type of power tools. A horizontal band saw can be adjusted so that it cuts automatically which lets you do other things in the meantime. Therefore, the downtime is reduced to almost zero.

Q

Not recommended for

Things like complicated shapes or curved lines aren’t the category in which these units shine. In fact, if you’re planning on cutting complex shapes it’s probably not a good idea to do it with this particular power tool. On top of that, portability is not a factor whatsoever when it comes to these tools. Most models weigh up to few hundred pounds meaning you won’t be carrying them around often. One should also provide enough room for these things to work properly. In other words, if you don’t have a workshop or you’re struggling with limited space, a horizontal band saw might not be a good choice.

While the ease of use is a relative term, you can rest assured that it’s not easy to utilize these machines. They can be quite dangerous, especially if you’re a complete novice. In fact, it’s not recommended that you tackle any projects before thoroughly researching the principles and concepts of these power tools.

Top Rated Horizontal Bandsaws


Grizzly G0561 – Editor’s Choice


Our Rating: 4.7
When looking into high-capacity machines, one cannot skip mentioning this particular model. The Grizzly G0561 is our go-to choice thanks to its mobility, small footprint, and efficiency. It’s a good choice both for devoted professionals and hobbyists. The pros love the fact that it’s as efficient and powerful as many other more expensive ones whereas the DIYers like its simplicity and ease of use.

It features a single-phase 1HP motor which is capable of delivering more than enough power to accommodate most of your needs. The hydraulic feed control is a neat addition to an already versatile machine. It allows you to utilize the mechanism without having to worry about fatigue and downtime. Speaking of downtime, the automatic shut-off function allows you to set up the machine and let it do its own thing while you’re doing something else. Thanks to this system, you will no longer have to worry about staying by the machine while it’s in operation. Instead, you can work on something else and leave the unit unsupervised.

One of the things many people like, even though it sounds pretty irrelevant, is the fact that it comes with a blade included. Even though one can purchase a blade if it isn’t included with the unit, it’s usually quite a nuisance for most people. Furthermore, many models utilize proprietary blades that can be quite expensive and can turn into a serious expense after a while. This one, on the other hand, uses blades that are relatively affordable and well-designed.

As for the downsides, there aren’t many. A few people complained about leaks in the hydraulic system, but that seems more as a matter of isolated cases instead of being an inherent design flaw. The price is acceptable, even though we would have liked to see it drop a little in the future.

Our Rating: 4.3
While we try to diversify our models of choice and usually cover the most affordable ones, this is a slight exception, but with a good reason. When it comes to high-end units with a bunch of useful features, smooth operation, and ultimate efficiency, the JET HVBS-7MW takes the win. It’s one of the most versatile yet quite specific models on the market.

It features a capacity of 7 x 12 inches with the capability to swivel up to 45 degrees. The 115-Volt ¾ HP motor is capable of cutting through various materials without breaking a sweat. You can set the speed of the blade to 85, 130, 180, and 285 FPM respectively. This means that it can tackle different materials under different conditions depending on what you want to cut through. As far as the design goes, it’s one of the best we have seen so far durability-wise. It’s made of cast iron which guarantees longevity but does add up some weight. The automatic shut-off system allows you to leave the unit unattended and work on other stuff while the machine itself operates autonomously.

The coolant system is a great addition because it prevents overheating and ensures smooth operation throughout the cut, regardless of the material in question. The innovative chip tray keeps your workspace free of dust and debris which is certainly an underrated advantage. As far as disadvantages go, we couldn’t seem to find any notable ones. The overall weight might be considered as a slight downside, but it’s an expected factor nonetheless. Adjusting and fine-tuning the unit can be a bit of nuisance, especially if you aren’t familiar with the principles, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome by simply referring to the manual. The price is hefty, but the machine is definitely worth every penny.

Our Rating: 4.3
While we try to diversify our models of choice and usually cover the most affordable ones, this is a slight exception, but with a good reason. When it comes to high-end units with a bunch of useful features, smooth operation, and ultimate efficiency, the JET HVBS-7MW takes the win. It’s one of the most versatile yet quite specific models on the market.

It features a capacity of 7 x 12 inches with the capability to swivel up to 45 degrees. The 115-Volt ¾ HP motor is capable of cutting through various materials without breaking a sweat. You can set the speed of the blade to 85, 130, 180, and 285 FPM respectively. This means that it can tackle different materials under different conditions depending on what you want to cut through. As far as the design goes, it’s one of the best we have seen so far durability-wise. It’s made of cast iron which guarantees longevity but does add up some weight. The automatic shut-off system allows you to leave the unit unattended and work on other stuff while the machine itself operates autonomously.

The coolant system is a great addition because it prevents overheating and ensures smooth operation throughout the cut, regardless of the material in question. The innovative chip tray keeps your workspace free of dust and debris which is certainly an underrated advantage. As far as disadvantages go, we couldn’t seem to find any notable ones. The overall weight might be considered as a slight downside, but it’s an expected factor nonetheless. Adjusting and fine-tuning the unit can be a bit of nuisance, especially if you aren’t familiar with the principles, but it’s nothing you can’t overcome by simply referring to the manual. The price is hefty, but the machine is definitely worth every penny.

Our Rating: 4.0
If you’re looking for an economical and portable machine, this one might be a good choice. It certainly isn’t the best thing on the market by any means, but it does offer a decent amount of features, versatility, and efficiency. It’s good for small to mid-sized projects, but it’s not recommended for massive endeavors. It can cut through plastic, metal, and wood without any major issues.

It features a 110V ¾ HP single-phase motor which delivers around 1725 RPM. While it’s not the most powerful thing around, it definitely packs a punch and is suitable for both professionals and hobbyists. By changing the V-belt placement, you can adjust the speeds from 78 to 108 or 180 FPM respectively. This variety of speed settings allows you to fine-tune the machine and set it up to cut different materials with varying hardness. As we mentioned, this unit can be considered quite portable, especially in comparison to other top-rated models. It comes with a mobile base included which is nothing more than a frame with wheels, but it’s quite effective and useful.

As far as the design goes, it’s okay, but there isn’t anything particularly impressive about it. One thing that stands out design-wise is the fact that you can transform this horizontal saw into a vertical one within minutes. The quality is good, especially due to the fact that most of the components implemented in the design are made of metal. The included blade is of acceptable quality, but we recommend getting a few spare ones just in case.

The price is well-balanced, even though some people think it’s an overpriced product. While you can find slightly cheaper models with similar features, most of them lack some of the critical ones such as adjustable speed, hydraulic components, or even the auto shutoff function.

Our Rating: 3.9
This particular model is the best choice for people who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money but still need a decent machine. The 4.6-amp motor is capable of meeting most of your requirements without too many issues. One more great thing about the WEN 3970 is the fact that it can operate in both vertical and horizontal positions. As you can tell, this unit definitely doesn’t lack versatility.

The design is okay, but it’s quite simplistic. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad per se, but it could have been a lot better with only a couple of additional implementations. However, one shouldn’t expect more than they can get at an affordable price. Speaking of price, this model has one of the best price-to-quality ratios on our list. That means it’s suitable for anyone’s pocket while still being able to cope with demanding projects and hard materials. It features an auto shutoff system which helps a lot when it comes to reducing downtime.

The beveling vise allows you to cut at an angle of 0 to 60 degrees. While it may seem like standard addition, the beveling component is one of the strongest points of the WEN 3970. On top of that, it comes with a stand included that has two wheels to accommodate moving. On the other hand, the wheels aren’t as efficient as one would expect, especially due to poor quality. They do work to some extent but don’t expect a great deal of mobility because they aren’t foreseen to cope with much pressure in the first place.

Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, this model definitely has something to offer. It’s not the best one around by any means, but it’s one of the best deals and certainly a worthy investment.

Our Rating: 3.9
This particular model is the best choice for people who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money but still need a decent machine. The 4.6-amp motor is capable of meeting most of your requirements without too many issues. One more great thing about the WEN 3970 is the fact that it can operate in both vertical and horizontal positions. As you can tell, this unit definitely doesn’t lack versatility.

The design is okay, but it’s quite simplistic. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad per se, but it could have been a lot better with only a couple of additional implementations. However, one shouldn’t expect more than they can get at an affordable price. Speaking of price, this model has one of the best price-to-quality ratios on our list. That means it’s suitable for anyone’s pocket while still being able to cope with demanding projects and hard materials. It features an auto shutoff system which helps a lot when it comes to reducing downtime.

The beveling vise allows you to cut at an angle of 0 to 60 degrees. While it may seem like standard addition, the beveling component is one of the strongest points of the WEN 3970. On top of that, it comes with a stand included that has two wheels to accommodate moving. On the other hand, the wheels aren’t as efficient as one would expect, especially due to poor quality. They do work to some extent but don’t expect a great deal of mobility because they aren’t foreseen to cope with much pressure in the first place.

Whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, this model definitely has something to offer. It’s not the best one around by any means, but it’s one of the best deals and certainly a worthy investment.

Quick Product Comparison


 MOTORBLADE SPEEDWEIGHTPRICE 
Grizzly G0561 Product Image

GRIZZLY G0561

1 HP, 110V/220V90, 135, 195, 255 FPM343 pounds$$$Check Price
JET 414459 Product Image

JET 414459

3/4 HP, 115V85, 130, 180, 285 FPM386 pounds$$$$Check Price
SHOP FOX W1715 Product Image

SHOP FOX W1715

3/4 HP, 110V40, 60, 78, 80, 108, 180 FPM174 pounds$$Check Price
WEN 3970 Prodct Image

WEN 3970

120V80, 120, 200 FPM108 pounds$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Horizontal Bandsaw Works?


In order to make an optimal purchase, you have to have at least some basic knowledge of how these machines work. Many people skip on educating themselves because it seems complicated and in vain. However, while it’s a personal choice, the lack of basic knowledge can lead to some serious issues, and sometimes even injuries. Take a moment and check our brief explanation, it might give you a better insight into the concepts and principles of these power tools.

The Concept


A bandsaw works on a pretty simple principle – it consists of two or more wheels which drive a serrated metal band at high speeds. Depending on the power of the motor, the wheels can turn at anything from 80 up to 280 feet per second. It’s important to remember that the speed doesn’t always determine the quality of the cut. Instead, various speed settings are used for cutting through different materials.

 

The Materials


These machines are mainly used for cutting plastic, wood, and metal. Most of them are capable of dealing with all three of these materials, but some are designed for specific ones. The biggest factor in this particular case is the type of blade one is using. For example, there are blades specifically designed for cutting wood. On the other hand, there are also blades that are suitable for cutting plastic.

 

Best Use


Horizontal saws are usually used for precise cuts. However, some models are capable of transforming into a vertical unit with a single push of a button. Those can be used for re-sawing thick stock into thinner pieces. As far as complex shapes go, most modern models can be used for shaping wooden pieces, but aren’t recommended for peculiar metal or plastic shapes.

 

Best Horizontal Band Saw – Buyer’s Guide


Before you make a final decision on which model to invest in, there are some things you should keep an eye on. A lot of buyers don’t know what to look for and which features to include in their plans. That consequently leads to things such as overpaying or simply buying something that turns out to be a bad investment. In order to avoid such things, take a moment and check our buyer’s guide. There are several critical points one should think about and we tried to bring them closer to our readers.

Power


While not the most important thing by any means, the amount of power can be a valuable indicator of many things. On the other hand, contrary to popular belief, more power doesn’t always mean better quality. It’s important that you research the pros and cons of both powerful and underpowered models and find an equilibrium for yourself. Needless to say, avoid investing in underpowered units because they won’t yield nearly as many good results as the powerful ones.

The Frame Is Critical


The frame is the foundation of every bandsaw. Naturally, the ones that are made from subpar materials such as hard plastic or anything that doesn’t involve metal are to be avoided. As far as the most common materials go, aim for cast iron, die-cast, and steel. Any other material is a slight risk, especially if you’re a frequent user. The principle is pretty simple – if you get a unit with a low-quality frame, don’t expect any miraculous performance. In fact, it will do more harm than good.

The Weight of Wheels


Even though it seems pretty irrelevant, the weight of the wheels is actually quite important. Most of them are either made of cast iron or aluminum. The iron ones are a slightly better choice because they weigh more and thus offer more stability and consistency. That doesn’t mean aluminum ones are a bad choice, but they can cause some issues such as wobbling or inconsistency.

WEN 3970 Blade

Dust Ports


Always look for models that feature an integrated dust port, even if you don’t own a vac. The reason is simple – you might acquire a vacuum one day, but you wouldn’t be able to upgrade the machine. However, if you buy a unit with an included dust port, there will be no worries once you get your hands on an industrial vacuum. On the other hand, if you already own a vac, then there is no reason not to buy a machine that supports it.

Also, when it comes to choosing between dust ports, it’s always better to go with the bigger one as it can extract much more volume than smaller ones. It’s more of a matter of common sense, but it still should be pointed out.

Table, Fence, and Other Additional Accessories


Most modern units include a table, fence, and even LED lights. However, the thing you should think about is the size of those. Naturally, bigger is usually better, especially when it comes to the work surface. Also, look for additional features such as miter gauge and beveling components. Most people think that these are all auxiliary accessories, but they should be a standard both for professionals and DIYers.

The Price


If something is particularly expensive, that doesn’t mean it’s proportionally better in comparison to some cheaper models. In fact, most of the time, you will stumble upon pricey models that seem quite similar to a cheaper one. In those cases, the most common factor for the price increase is either the brand or the overall quality of the included materials. The advice we can give you is to avoid particularly cheap copies of well-respected brands because they won’t perform as expected or will die out sooner than you think. On top of that, reputable brands usually offer better warranty conditions and have active customer support departments which can come in handy if you run into an issue and don’t know how to solve it.

Ultimately, it comes down to your budget. If you have a healthy budget, then finding a suiting machine shouldn’t be too hard. However, if you’re on a limited budget, there are some things you will have to sacrifice in order to get a quality unit. For example, if you don’t see a use in LED lights, buy a model without them and you will save a substantial amount of money.

The conclusion


Every one of these models we have covered offers something to the buyer. Whether it’s a professional level of performance or a bunch of auxiliary features, there is always something you can search for and find it for a reasonable price. Speaking of price, we paid special attention to it and tried to keep it as affordable as possible. Now, the main thing you shouldn’t forget is the difference between cheap and affordable, because those aren’t same things by any means. Needless to say, these machines aren’t cheap at all, and if you ever stumble upon one that is surprisingly cheap, you should probably avoid it at all costs.

If you’re interested in a more detailed review of the models we decided to cover, check out our full reviews. Remember to think about your safety and always make sure to set up the unit correctly or else it can cause severe issues and injuries.

Other Band Saw Categories

portable
vertical
benchtop