Best Benchtop Bandsaw Reviews – Make the Right Choice!

For many would-be purchasers, a benchtop bandsaw may very well be their first purchase when it come to a small bandsaw. And with so many makes and models to choose from it can be so difficult to make a choice.  So, we’ve reviewed four bandsaws that are value for money and highly rated by the folks that count.....real users!

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The bench top bandsaw (or table top bandsaw) models listed here are good for both people who want to get into using bandsaws for the first time or for those who need a secondary, smaller bandsaw for their shop to take on more intricate work.

Rikon 10-305 Benchtop Bandsaw

Overview

The Rikon 10-305 benchtop bandsaw is double the price of the other bandsaws listed here. But in terms of bandsaw pricing, it’s still in a very low price range. Despite the low price it’s offered at, the Rikon 10-305 is very capable of of producing high quality results, even in regards to resawing.

This is a bandsaw that will be great for people just getting started out in this, but can also have practical uses for professional shop owners who just need a smaller saw to do quick and smaller scale jobs and not have to switch out blades on their larger bandsaws. If you want a saw dedicated to ripping and resawing for smaller pieces, this is a great bandsaw to do it with.

The Rikon 10-305 comes in at a heftier weight for a benchtop bandsaw at 73.6 pounds. It’s surprisingly heavy for a bandsaw of this type but the weight comes from using sturdier materials and is still a very manageable weight.

Most users will be able to move a bandsaw of this size around their workshop without outside help. It has a pretty big cast iron table with dimensions of 13 and 3 / 4 inches by 12 and 1 / 2 inches. In general, the bigger the table the better.

There are bigger tables out there for more powerful bandsaws but this size provides plenty of support for the 10-305. Don’t expect full size production from this small bandsaw. You get what you pay for and this is right at the top of the range for a 10″ bench top bandsaw

This benchtop bandsaw has a 4 and 5 / 8 inch cutting capacity and edge facing thrust bearing for smooth operation. The Rikon 10-305 is a smaller bandsaw made for placing on tables or benches, but if you’d like to have the functionality of a floor model-type bandsaw, it’s easy to do so with the optional stand

Its cutting capacities are 4 – 5 / 8 inches in height and 9 – 5 / 8 inches in width. Its blade range goes from 1 / 8 inch to 1 / 2 inch. It has a paddle switch for safety in cases of emergency.

What Customers Are Saying

Its cutting capacities are 4 – 5 / 8 inches in height and 9 – 5 / 8 inches in width. Its blade range goes from 1 / 8 inch to 1 / 2 inch. It has a paddle switch for safety in cases of emergency.

For price and functionality this is a great buy.  You get what you pay for and this is right at the top of the range for a 10" bench top bandsaw.

Robin P
USA

Buyers like that the frame and other structural parts of this bandsaw are made of steel. It provides a solid feel to this bandsaw. This benchtop bandsaw comes with a blade already installed on it so after you buy it you can immediately start using it. Some have noted the blade that comes installed with it is not the best quality but gets the job done. (For further information click here: Timber Wolf provide expert advice on blade style and how to set the ideal blade tension)

This bandsaw has a somewhat complicated setup, however many customer point towards clear set-up instructions which if followed correctly will mean it purrs like a cat.

Most of your set-up time will focus on the upper and lower bearings. They’re not incredibly difficult to adjust but it would be nice if you didn’t have to adjust this. The measurement for getting an accurate level reading have been shown to be off by a bit. This bandsaw does not come with an attached light. There are many different lights you can attach to it but it would be nice to have one that comes stock.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

  1. The saw runs very smoothly and has no significant vibration or noise.
  2. A heavy and sturdy construction with a compact footprint, this saw actually operates quietly
  3. Good set-up instruction manual
  4. Great 5 year warranty

The Cons

  1. The ¼ inch stock blade may not be of sufficient quality for precision working
  2. Stand and mitre are not included
  3. Requires more pre-use adjusting than the other bandsaw on review here
  4. A little more expensive when compared to its other 10 inch rivals, however its build quality is what sets it apart

This is a very well built machine. Very quiet. Comes with a rather wide blade, but cuts through 1" oak very easily. Need to adjust the roller guides so the blade is exactly in the middle. Good set of instructions.

Edwin K Barnes
USA

Summing it up

The Rikon 10-305 is a serious benchtop bandsaw at a slightly more serious price. Made of much heavier components, its a sturdy piece of kit, yet light enough to pick up and put away without any trouble. And it could be a great addition to the professional wood worker even if they have another, larger bandsaw in their shop

Powertec BS900 Benchtop Bandsaw

Overview

The Powertec BS900 is a small benchtop bandsaw that has quite a few features and capability for its class. It competes well with other bandsaws in terms of price and functionality. Much like the Skil 3386 bandsaw, this bandsaw is made for DIYers and small projects in mind. It is, however, a bit pricier but not significantly so.

The BS900 has a 0.5 horsepower induction motor that provides plenty of power for the small to medium sized projects the bandsaw is intended for. A great feature of the BS900 is a tracking window that allows you to accurately see where you’re cutting. This is a feature seen on higher end models that allows for more accuracy and lets you avoid cutting where you don’t want to.

This benchtop bandsaw has a table that allows for 45 degree angling and is of the rack and pinion type.

The BS900 has a blade size of 62 inches by 1 / 8 inches by 3 / 8 inches and a throat depth of 9 inches. It has table dimensions of 11 and 3 / 4 by 11 and 3 / 4 made of aluminum die cast metal. It has a 2” dust port which is more than enough to handle the amount of dust this saw produces. At a 90 degree angle, it has a maximum cut depth of 3 and 5 / 8 inches and 2 inches at a 45 degree angle. It weighs in at 43.6 pounds so it has a very manageable weight. Its complete dimensions are 31.5 by 18 by 12 inches.

What Customers Are Saying

People like the stability that this benchtop bandsaw provides through its tubular steel frame. There are very little problems with excessive vibration. The belt-driven 0.5 horsepower motor is also a big draw for many, as most lower end budget bandsaws have direct drive motors.

There are a lot of adjustments that users can make as well, so you can fine tune it to the adjustments that best fit your needs. Powertec is known for its quality control so many like the peace of mind that their bandsaw is unlikely to have any manufacturer defects.

One of the minor complaints about this bandsaw is that the dust port for it has an irregular shape. That means that you’ll need an adaptor to fasten your shop dust collector to the bandsaw. These adaptors are not expensive but can certainly be an annoyance if you don’t notice this before buying.

The intense heat from welding can easily warp metal and several customers have noticed the warping in the base of their BS900. This can certainly be an issue if you plan on using this bandsaw unsecured. The problem however, is solved from bolting the bandsaw down.

This framer features one of the best power to weight ratios in its class with driving power of 1050 in/lbs. It does give quite a kick in use so something to be aware of when working up a ladder for instance.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

  1. Very affordable – and you don’t have to sacrifice very much performance in the process
  2. Blade guard adjustment and tension have a quick release function that allow for really easy and fast changing of blades
  3. 45 degree angle cuts made possible by the rack and pinion table
  4. Tracking window for precision
  5. Lightweight – can easily be moved by one person

The Cons

  1. Smaller sized motor has its limitations
  2. 9 inch throat is limiting as well but a bandsaw of this size has a different purpose than those of larger size
  3. This bandsaw is not made with resawing in mind. It can be done but great results should not be expected as there is no rip fence.

The Powertec bandsaw was well packed and arrived in perfect condition. The instructions were easy to read,and after initial setup,worked extremely well for a band saw of its size.It has all the features of larger more expensive saws, at a reasonable price.

Brother RatFink
USA

Summing it up

A great value for money "Introduction Level" benchtop bandsaw, the Powertec BS900 is lightweight and compact, and can be tidied away when not in use, which is great if you have a smaller workshop and limited space

Craftsman 21400 Benchtop Bandsaw

Overview

This benchtop bandsaw is quick to assemble straight from the box, though of course like any bandsaw you will need to make your bearing and blade adjustments first to make sure that you’re making great cuts from the outset.

The guides themselves are 3-way ball bearing adjusted both top and bottom of the blade, offering great precision when it comes to making adjustments.

The Craftsman 10 Inch Bandsaw comes complete with an aluminum fence and mitre guide, which is a bonus for the price. It delivers a more than reasonable resaw capacity of 4 and 5/8 inches and like many other 10 Inch bandsaws in this class, it comes with a 1/3 HP (3.5 APM) motor, which is sufficient for most appropriate jobs.

I was a little apprehensive about this saw when I first purchased it, but after getting it home and doing a hour hour set up, I was amazed how well it made straight cuts as well as scroll cuts. It cuts hardwoods like butter and the accuracy is exceptional.

Madmiller
Michigan

What Customers Are Saying

Often compared to the Rikon 10-305 by many users, the Craftsman 10 Inch Bandsaw is solidly built, quiet, and smooth running. It also comes in a little cheaper than the Rikon, so some will argue you are getting better value for money.

However, potential buyers of this benchtop bandsaw should also consider that the Craftsman comes with a 1 year warranty compared to Rikon’s 5 years. So, although your initial cash outlay may be more expensive for a Rikon, you have the peace of mind that you have warranty coverage for a far longer period of time.

As we always say in all of our product reviews, make sure that you consider your intended usage when you are buying any power tool.

The overwhelming majority of users will stand behind this purchase and it will hold pride of place in many a workshop across the United States. Much like any 9 or 10 inch bandsaws, many will see this as a valuable accomplice to a larger 14 inch (or bigger) bandsaw. In the main, users are more than satisfied with its cutting performance.

Although it may state that it’s been adjusted at the factory, without exception, users will benefit by re-checking to ensure the blade and tension have been set up right.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

  1. Affordable compared to Rikon, but be aware of a much shorter warranty
  2. Excellent ball bearing guides
  3. Lightweight – can easily be moved by one person

The Cons

  1. Under powered motor
  2. Poor quality fence and miter accessories
  3. Short Warranty period

If you are intending to resaw 4 Inch logs all day long, then you’ve probably purchased the wrong tool. With a resaw capacity of just over 4 ½ inches, it will do the job and will require a slow patient feed, but you’ll be getting bored in a hurry as you simply don’t have the motor power or component weight to do these jobs on a scale.

I have owned and used this band saw for about 6 months now and have used it on a daily basis throughout that time. Granted there is a bit of initial setup time involved but if you set it up properly you'll find the saw is a superb saw within its capability

rtutsky
USA

As stated above, this benchtop bandsaw does come with a rip fence, however as is apparently the case with so many accessories that are included by manufacturers, this seems to be cheaply made and a little flimsy. Equally, the miter gauge is made with plastic and hasn’t endeared itself to users.

Summing it up

The Craftsman 21400 is a sound piece of kit, particularly when you consider it's very reasonable price.  It is solidly built, quiet and smooth running.

SKIL 3386 Benchtop Bandsaw

Overview

The SKIL 3386 is a 9-inch bench top bandsaw built with entry level woodworkers and DIYers in mind. For those just getting into woodworking, it’s a great introduction to the craft, as it’s very capable of performing small-scale projects and it has the mobility that a lot of larger and heavier bandsaws can’t claim. The fact that this bandsaw is portable is a huge advantage over other bandsaws and being under 40 pounds makes it easy to move around on your own without the help of someone else.

This SKIL benchtop bandsaw is not loaded with power or some of the advanced features found in other more expensive bandsaws, but for it’s intended purpose and affordable price, it performs extremely well and is great value.

It runs on 120 volts and has a 2.5 amp motor. This is not an extraordinary amount of power, but once again, the intended use of this bandsaw is for smaller projects and precision cutting so the extra power isn’t needed. That being said, the motor is very capable. The table tilts from a 0 to 45 degree angle. It has a blade guide with settings that can be adjusted to the length you want them.

If your shop doesn’t have the best lighting or you have poor eyesight, the built-in flexible lamp will help significantly. There’s also a mitre gauge to stabilize whatever you’re cutting and to facilitate making angled cuts. The SKIL 3386’s table measures 13 by 16 inches – this isn’t huge by any means but is nicely sized and provides adequate stability for small scale projects. It has a 9-inch throat and a cutting depth of 3-1/ 4 inches.

What Customers Are Saying

People in general love that this benchtop bandsaw is very easy to set up. Also noted is that the saw blade is easy to swap out. All you have to do is loosen the two big black knobs located on the top and bottom of the unit, which opens the band saw’s casing to where you can access the blade and wheels, and then just use the tension knob on top to lower the tension.

The old blade then can slide right out and the new blade can be installed. These steps done in reverse will get the new blade to how it needs to be. People also like how there are four holes drilled into the base of the bandsaw so that you can mount it onto your working surface to keep it secure.

I have had this band saw for a while. It was easy to put together and I really like the light accessory that illuminates the field of cutting. The saw blade was easy to install and I had it up and running in 15 minutes.

Bud J
Western Pennsylvania

What some people have said they don’t like about it is that it wobbles during operation. However, others have said that they’ve experienced the exact opposite and are surprised at how little theirs wobbles. This may be a quality control issue rather than a design flaw.

Others don’t like the fact that the casing is made of plastic. The casing certainly is not as strong as steel, but it is made of a durable ABS-style plastic. While there are other complaints, most of them stem from trying to push this bandsaw past its limitations.

Pros & Cons

The Pros

  1. Precise cutting
  2. Plenty of power for its intended use
  3. Lightweight, portable design
  4. Changing blades is easy
  5. Comes with accessory light for enhanced and safer visibility
  6. Very affordable

The Cons

  1. Sub-par quality control
  2. Some customers have models that wobble in use
  3. Not capable of heavy duty work loads.

Do keep in mind that for whatever tool you buy, buy a tool that is capable of performing the job you want to do without overworking the machine for that particular task. As long as you feed the stock properly this saw cuts fine. You shouldn’t force wood into any saw or equipment faster than the wood wants to be cut.

Excellent SKIL Band Saw. This was my first ever purchase of a band saw. I made the right choice. Not only was it affordable but also high quality. After reading the well written manual and attaching the base and checking all the alignments, I turned it on and it worked perfectly. It was also very quiet, to my surprise.

Michael D Mowery
NORTH CAROLINA, US

Reviews do state that this saw can be used for cutting metal, such as aluminum, however this is not recommended. This can cause damage to the bearings and the shaft, the latter of which cannot be replaced therefore rendering your saw useless.

Summing it up

Ideal if you are not wanting to spend BIG, the SKIL 3386 value for money benchtop bandsaw is a great introduction level machine.  Ultra portable, this Skil 3386 will competently perform the jobs it was designed for.

Unlike a lot of other bandsaws, this one comes with everything you need to get started, including a blade. There’s no need to buy extra parts so you can use it immediately.

Feature & Specification Comparison

Conclusion

These bench top bandsaws are great bandsaws in their own right. They’re all made for small-scale work – anything more intensive needs to be addressed with more powerful tools. But for what they do they do a very good job of it. Ultimately, which one you choose really depends on what you are trying to get from your saw and what you can afford.

If you need a bandsaw that can make smaller and more precise cuts around your shop, any one of these bandsaws can do the job. They’re all lightweight and portable as well so they provide a lot of performance but with mobility. Take a look at one of these bandsaws if you’re looking for a compact bandsaw, as they provide a lot of the features that more expensive bandsaws do but in a much smaller package.

We really hope that you found this review useful and that it has helped you to make a better, more informed decision. Drop us a line in the comments box below if you have any questions or think that we have missed anything.

If you are struggling for inspiration on what your next project should be, then click here to see a range of woodworking plans that might suit you.

Last of all, we wish you good luck on your POWER TOOL QUEST!!


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