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10 Best Band Saws | 2022 Australian Buying Guide

Band saws are specialist power tools, so certainly not something you need for day-to-day DIY, but for workshops or serious hobby enthusiasts, you shouldn’t be without one. 

We’ve reviewed the best band saws you can buy in Australia right now, compared them, and put together a list of specs to keep an eye out for to make sure you choose not just the best band saw, but the right one for you, your space, and your work.

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1. Woodworm WWBS250 Electric Wood Band Saw

Woodworm WWBS250 Electric Band Saw
Top Rated Best Band Saw in Australia

2. Macc MB-411CSO-3 3-Phase Swivel Head Band Saw

Macc MB-411CSO-3 3-Phase Band Saw
Premium Choice Band Saw in Australia

3. Makita 2107FK Portable Band Saw

Makita 2107FK Band Saw
Best Value Band Saw in Australia

4. Milwaukee M18CBS125S-0 Cordless Band Saw

Milwaukee M18CBS125S-0 Band Saw

5. Milwaukee M12BS-0 Cordless Band Saw

Milwaukee M12BS-0 Band Saw

6. Dewalt DCS371N-XJ Cordless Band Saw

Dewalt DCS371N-XJ Band Saw

7. Metabo MBS 18 LTX Cordless Band Saw

Metabo MBS 18 LTX Band Saw

8. Metaltech MTMCB115 Heavy Duty Band Saw

Metaltech MTMCB115 Horizontal Band Saw

9. Metaltech MTMCB181 Industrial Band Saw

Metaltech MTMCB181 Band Saw

10. ITM UE712A Single Phase Horizontal & Vertical Cut Band Saw

ITM UE712A Single Phase Horizontal & Vertical Band Saw

Band Saws Buying Guide

What is a Band Saw?

Band saws, or ribbon saws, are exactly what they say on the tin. Rather than the pulsing stiff blade of a jigsaw, or rotating circular saw, band saws are designed for a constant, single directional cut.

They work with a toothed metal ribbon (usually steel) that passes between guides to create straight, but flexible cuts through timber, metal and plastic.

When to Use a Band Saw?

Band saws have a wide range of uses, from accurately cutting curved lines, to stripping down timber into batons and beams, or cutting through the length of timber.

They are designed to be used dry, but some metal band saws do have lubricants and water feeds to help reduce friction when cutting tough or brittle materials.

As we’ll explore later, there are quite a few different types of band saw, and they split into two main categories; workshop band saws (static band saws designed to sit on tables, or built into tables) and portable band saws, which are ideal for cutting through pipe to adjust plumbing, or remove old fence posts with ease.

What to Look for When Buying a Band Saw

Choosing the right band saw involves narrowing down your materials. If you’re a carpenter, then obviously you’ll need a band saw with an extractor for dust, and generally speaking, narrower bands are advisable for more versatile cutting.

For metal, wider blades can be helpful to reduce vibration and for straighter cuts with more control. But let’s cut down the confusion, and look at the most important difference between different band saws:

Blade width

Different blades suit different materials, but the most important factor in selecting the right blade width is the radius of the curve you plan on cutting.

For example, a 25mm blade is ideal for straighter cuts, but can cope with curves with a radius of 175m. For really tight curves, with a radius or 3-8mm you’ll need a 3mm blade. 

Many band saws won’t take 3mm blades, so finding one that does opens up more options. However, most band saws will take a selection of blade sizes, so check each model for its blade options before purchasing.

The more choice you have, the wider the range of projects you can undertake with one tool.

Power

As a rule of thumb, tabletop, or freestanding band saws have more power than hand held band saws. The power is relative to the motor, and the power source.

For DIYers and hobbyists, 1HP is probably enough, but for contractors and professional crafters a larger tool with 2HP gives more flexibility, and less likelihood of the blade catching, jumping or jamming as it is better equipped to cope with tough and brittle materials.

Cutting capacity

Cutting capacity is determined by ‘throat’ and ‘depth’. The Throat measurement of a band saw is the distance between the frame and the blade itself.

If your cut is deeper into your material than the throat, your band saw simply won’t fit. Cutting depth identifies the space between the entry and exit point of the blade, and gauges the thickness of the materials it can cope with.

Because the blade has a constant motion, you can cut through anything as long as it is smaller than the exposed portion of the blade.

Materials

Band saws can cut a variety of materials, but some are designed for timber, while others are designed for metal. Cutting through plastic won’t be a problem for any band saw, but it’s important to be sure you’re buying a band saw that’s suited to either metal or woodwork.

Different Types of Band Saws

So, we know how to understand the specs on band saw listings, but what’s the real difference between portable and static band saws, and what are the limitations of each?

As well as that, static band saws come as both horizontal and vertical tools. Each has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Portable Band Saws

Portable band saws are small, reasonably lightweight, and can be incredibly convenient for outdoor work, or working on the move. However, their size massively limits their capabilities.

For plumbers and landscapers, they are a useful tool to quickly remove old pipework or stubborn posts, but the throat size and cutting depth are very important as they are not adaptable.

Portable band saws also tend to have more limited blade options, and are generally used for straight cuts, rather than curved ones.

Machine / Static Band Saws

Static band saws, either freestanding, or table mounted, are much more versatile in terms of how they can be used, and will generally cut a wider range of materials.

However, they are large machines, and need dedicated space.

Vertical Band Saws

Vertical band saws are the most common type of freestanding band saw. They are the best for cutting curves, and intricate detail. Vertical band saws have more choice too, with more DIY models sold than commercial models.

Horizontal Band Saws

Horizontal band saws are generally used for straight cuts, with the materials clamped in place and the blade itself used to saw through, or onto the material.

They are useful for planing timber and accurately cutting through metal sheets.

Band Saws Safety Guide

There are so many types of band saw that it’s impossible to give a guide on how to use each, but there are some safety considerations that are universally important across all designs:

  • Wear protective goggles
  • Use cutting blocks to protect your hands
  • Be aware of wires, and remove obstacles from your immediate surroundings
  • Be aware of shut off switches in case of emergency
  • Secure timber with clamps for static or horizontal band saws
  • Only use static band saws on level ground

Workshop and Portable Band Saw Reviews

1. Woodworm WWBS250 Electric Wood Band Saw

Woodworm WWBS250 Electric Wood Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Woodworm’s electric wood band saw is an upgrade on the tool I learned to saw with many, many moons ago. This upgraded model is packed with clever features, including a clever little flexible LED lamp that points down at your work and is really easy to adjust.

The internal workings are no different to the traditional tools we used to use though, which gives me complete trust in this affordable workshop tool.

Pros

  • Incredibly good value
  • Well built
  • Reliable workings
  • Perfect for woodworking
  • Ideal for detail craft
  • Clear safety switch & shut off switch
  • Easy to adjust table height
  • Easy to adjust blade tension

Cons

  • N/A

2. Macc MB-411CSO-3 3-Phase Swivel Head Band Saw

Macc MB-411CSO-3 3-Phase Swivel Head Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Macc doesn't make DIY tools. They make professional tools for industrial use, and they’re priced accordingly, but we wanted to include a pro model because we believe in this brand, and we know there are some users out there that will be focused on this price range.

If you’re looking for tools that can cope with anything you throw at them, then the swivel-headed band saw by Macc is the best you will find. It can cut pretty much any material, and up to 400mm deep rectangular pieces.

Even at its max mitre range (60 degrees) it can cut through 140mm cylinders.

Pros

  • Huge cutting width (up to 400mm)
  • Stable
  • Packed with safety features
  • Easy to use
  • Simple to set up
  • Works with most materials

Cons

  • Expensive

3. Makita 2107FK Portable Band Saw

Makita 2107FK Portable Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

This Makita band saw is perfect for serious DIYers. Its durable casing, ergonomic handles, and wide throat give plenty of options for its user, and it’s really simple to set up and change the blade.

If you want a sturdy, trustworthy tool for a reasonable price, then you can’t go far wrong with this Makita band saw, which is ideal for ripping timber and cutting through pipes or overhead branches.

Pros

  • Good cut capacity (120x120mm)
  • Good weight, not too heavy, not too light (5.7kg)
  • Corded electric (no need to charge)

Cons

  • Expensive

4. Milwaukee M18CBS125S-0 Cordless Band Saw

Milwaukee M18CBS125S-0 Cordless Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Milwaukee really does excel at portable power tools like this portable band saw. Its 18V battery might not sound much but it produces a supremely smooth cut on most materials, and has a wide throat that can cope with 127mmx127mm materials pretty comfortably.

This Milwaukee band saw's throat is fitted with an LED lamp to illuminate the cutting area, which I initially thought was a little gimmicky, but have to admit, is really useful.

Even in good light, it is useful to have that extra brightness focused on cut markings.

Pros

  • 127mmx127mm throat
  • LED-lit work area
  • Punchy 18V battery
  • Convenient and cordless
  • Two-handed operation for safety and stability

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Milwaukee M12BS-0 Cordless Band Saw

Milwaukee M12BS-0 Cordless Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

This small Milwaukee band saw, is a perfect tool for some jobs, but much too small for others. If you’ve got tough metal bars to cut through, or overhead branches this is ideal, but for anything larger than 41.3mm it’s just not big enough.

The advantage of the narrow cutting width is that you get more control, and a higher degree of safety from this tool than most hand-held band saws. If you value safety over versatility though, this is a really good tool, and very good at what it does.

The problem is that it just doesn’t do very much.

Pros

  • Really well-manufactured
  • Reliable tool
  • Easy to change the blade
  • Fan cooled motor
  • Comfortable handle

Cons

  • Weak battery, just 12V
  • Narrow throat & depth (41.3mm)

6. Dewalt DCS371N-XJ Cordless Band Saw

Dewalt DCS371N-XJ Cordless Band Saw

Source: dewalt.com.au

DeWalt’s 18V cordless band saw is great for small jobs and built for stability. It’s the one point where portable band saws really shine above table top band saws.

They are much better equipped to cope with twisting, and prevent cuts from catching or snagging by having much more limited throats.

It’s a small detail, but accompanied by DeWalt’s signature durable casing, that makes this one of the most reliable and robust hand-held band saws you can buy.

Pros

  • Fast charging
  • Secure blade fittings
  • Comfortable handle
  • Good value
  • Durable casing

Cons

  • Narrow cutting width (63mm)
  • Batteries not included

7. Metabo MBS 18 LTX Cordless Band Saw

Metabo MBS 18 LTX Cordless Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Metabo’s tool range is gaining popularity, but there is still a lot to be desired in terms of casings. Don’t get me wrong, they make good tools, and they work really well, with reliable motors, and functional inner workings.

The problems with Metabo come with the casings, which always seem to be a bit of an afterthought. Cheap plastic coated in thin rubber to make them look comfortable, but the reality is a sweaty, flimsy case.

What I will say in favour of this band saw, is that its great value for a very functional tool, with safety considered throughout. If you’re happy to have a tool that’s functional but a little uncomfortable, you could save a bit of cash here.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Good value
  • Easy to change blades
  • Dual handles, for better control

Cons

  • Narrow cutting width (63.5mm)
  • Batteries not included
  • Not particularly sturdy case

8. Metaltech MTMCB115 Heavy Duty Band Saw

Metaltech MTMCB115 Heavy Duty Horizontal Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

This horizontal band saw from Metaltech is designed for metal work, and can cut up to 110mm pipe, or through a 150mm thick steel bar at a 90-degree cut.

Like all good metal band saws, this can cut perfect mitres too, and works with any materials under 100mm when set up properly.

It's a bulky machine, so it needs some considered space in a garage or workshop that won’t get in the way, but if you’ve got the space, there aren’t many tools that can do the same job for this price.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Good cutting capacity
  • Corded electric
  • Heavy and stable
  • Well-manufactured
  • Accurate guides

Cons

  • Bulky

9. Metaltech MTMCB181 Industrial Band Saw

Metaltech MTMCB181 Industrial Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

If you work regularly with metal, whether it’s for DIY, craft, or industrial purposes, then there are few tools that can handle the same cutting specs as the Metaltech MTMCB181.

It’s clever, and very convenient, wheeled base is ideal for larger workshops where it can be stored to the side, or wheeled out for larger jobs where the materials are being cut down from longer lengths.

Pros

  • Automatic switch off after cutting
  • Obvious safety switch
  • Dust extraction
  • LED guide light
  • Rolling base for convenience
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to set up
  • Secure blade fittings

Cons

  • Expensive
  • bulky

10. ITM UE712A Single Phase Horizontal & Vertical Cut Band Saw

ITM UE712A Single Phase Horizontal & Vertical Cut Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

The ITM UE712 is pretty outstanding for the lower-priced commercial band saws. It’s best used for metals, but can cut timber and plastics too, including the option to rip down timber.

The big selling point of the ITM band saw is that it can be used as a horizontal band saw, and a vertical one thanks to the clever folding tables. If you appreciate versatility, I’m sure this dramatically adjustable band saw will take your fancy.

Pros

  • Works with most materials
  • Accurate cutting
  • Horizontal and vertical cutting
  • Generous cutting width (up to 300x180mm)

Cons

  • Expensive

Band Saw Top Picks for 2022

Best Band Saw - Our Top Pick

Top Rated Best Band Saw in Australia
Woodworm WWBS250 Electric Wood Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

Woodworm’s carpentry tools are impeccably put together and perfect for carpenters on a budget. As well as high-powered table saws, their cheaper range of band saws and free-standing saw tables are outstandingly efficient, and packed with safety features and modern upgrades on traditional band saw tables.

If you want something compact but capable for your home workshop, this is definitely the best band saw you’ll find for small spaces.

Premium Choice Band Saw

Premium Choice Band Saw in Australia
Macc MB-411CSO-3 3-Phase Swivel Head Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

I love the diversity of band saws but it does make it challenging to choose between them, with some costing well over $20,000, and others costing around $400.

The Macc MB-41CSO03 sits somewhere in the middle but has so many useful features that it feels like a significantly more expensive tool. 

If you’re serious about woodworking and want a permanent tool that you’ll use on a daily basis for work or hobbies, then this has to be the best premium band saw you out there.

Best Value Band Saw

Best Value Band Saw in Australia
Makita 2107FK Portable Band Saw

Source: toolswarehouse.com.au

There are cheaper portable band saws out there but there are few that can cope with the cutting widths of the Makita 2107FK.

This versatile, durable and safe portable band saw is ideal for domestic use, and for using around the garden. It’s corded, so it doesn't need batteries, and the blade is super simple to change. 

Realistically, but most band sawing jobs around the house, these portable tools are significantly better investments than the static saws, which are most useful for preparing timbers and metal for other uses.

The portable saws can still do much of that, but are also able to be used on the move.

Band Saws Frequently Asked Questions

How does a band saw blade work?

Band saws work by driving a blade on a continuous loop around guide wheels. They will always cut in a single direction making them able to handle thicker materials than most saws, and are used in industrial timber manufacturing to prepare logs into usable timber for that reason.

Can you cut straight with a band saw?

Band saws are adaptable tools, primarily designed for curved cuts, but they are capable of straight and accurate cuts if they are set up properly.

To prepare a band saw for straight cuts, use the widest blade possible, and slightly increase the tension (within the safety guidance on your tool).

Which direction should band saw teeth face?

Band saw teeth should point in the direction of the cut. So for vertical band saws, the exposed teeth should be facing downwards, and towards the user.

Never pull timber backwards through a band saw, and always check the saw is installed properly before use.

How do you stop a band saw blade from wobbling?

Band saws are brilliant tools, but for DIY users they can often sit unused for long periods. Over this time, the blade will take the shape of the wheels.

This can cause irregular cuts, and potential problems with alignment. For safety, remove blades from band saws when not in use. Follow this band saw maintenance tips for more info

Different saws have different functions. For other types of saws, see our product review and buying guides below: 

Pick the Best Band Saw for Your Needs

Band saws are one of those tools that you don’t know you need, until you’ve used one. There are very few alternatives that can do what they do, and finding the best band saw for you will make a big difference in your workshop.

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional crafter, the best band saws will make a massive difference to your productivity, and can vastly improve the quality of your work – especially if you’re making things on a big scale, or in bulk, and want to reproduce accurate duplicates every time.

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