What Is the Best Bandsaw on a Budget?


When I first started woodworking, I learned what to do on a good quality industrial grade saw, then; due to the lack of space in my garage, I bought a low-end porter cable saw that mostly keeps my workbench from floating away. I’d rather use a hand saw than that one. I did a bunch of research to try to find other good budget friendly saws. Here’s what I found.

The best bandsaw on a budget is the Wen 3959 benchtop bandsaw. It is very inexpensive, costing just under $150 but has over 1000 customer reviews with an average star rating on Amazon of 4.5 out of 5. It has everything that you need in a bandsaw for carpentry, joinery, and woodworking.

I filtered through all of the budget bandsaws and came up with the top 4. Also, it is possible to make your own bandsaw. So, below I’ll give you all the details of the best budget bandsaws and what’s involved in making your own one.

1. Wen 3959 Benchtop Bandsaw

The average review rating

The average review rating for the Wen 3959 bandsaw is 4.5 out of 5. This is an excellent rating, and based on my research, the best quality products on Amazon all have a review rating in the 4.5 out of 5 range. 

The amount of reviews

It has over 1,100 reviews from customers who have bought the bandsaw. This means that the average review rating is very accurate. And you can be confident when you buy it. These two factors alone brought this bandsaw to the top of the list.

What it comes with (is it missing anything)

It comes with everything you need for it to work, straight out of the box. The only thing you’ll need is maybe a different sized blade. It comes with the standard size, which is good for most cuts you’ll need to do. It’s also compatible with the different blade sizes you’ll need if you’re cutting much thicker and coarser wood.

It also comes with a stand, so you don’t have to put it on a bench, which is pretty handy and will save you some space.

Summary of customer feedback (written reviews)

Most customers are very pleased with how easy it is to set up and how well it cuts. They have said that it cuts hardwood just as well as softwood. They also say that the blade that it comes with is very high quality and lasts a long time.

Others have said that it is solid and well built. People who have never owned a bandsaw before found it a little bit frustrating to set up. In my opinion, that’s to be expected when learning something new and setting up a machine such as a bandsaw with a few moving parts.

Price (how it compares)

The price of this bandsaw is very low at just under $150. It has Incredible value for the money and another key reason I chose it as the best bandsaw on a budget.

If you like this bandsaw then click hereOpens in a new tab. to buy it on Amazon.

2. Wen 3962 Two Speed Bandsaw

The average review rating

The Wen brand of bandsaws again. This one, though, is two speed and a bit bigger; with that, it’s about triple the price as the previous bandsaw, which is why it came in at #2. But it has a solid review rating in the budget range of 4.5 out of 5. 

Some bandsaws though they looked good and were slightly cheaper, had a review rating of about 3.5. And in my opinion, they weren’t good enough to make a list.

The amount of reviews

Another huge plus for this bandsaw is that it has over 1,300 reviews. This gives me a tonne of confidence in this bandsaw and that it will perform well and is exactly as is described.

What it comes with (is it missing anything)

It has an additional inch (2.5 cm) of the wheel diameter compared to the cheaper Wen model and has two speeds. So, you can cut large boards. Based on the feedback, the two speeds aren’t a make or break, and both models will cut equally well.

So, it’s up to your personal preference if you think you’d like the bigger sized blade, but you will end up spending another $120. In my opinion, for most people, it isn’t worth it. 

However, because the #1 ranked bandsaw is so cheap, it’s not a big deal to upgrade to this bigger sized bandsaw if you find you need it in the future. 

It has a work light built-in, which is quite handy. That way you won’t have to buy another separately.

As with all bandsaws, it comes with a fence, a miter, a dust port, and a blade, which is everything you need.

Summary of customer feedback (written reviews)

Experienced woodworkers that bought it have said that it is incredibly accurate, especially for resawing. Some customers have said that it is very quiet to use, and the dust is easy to remove. 

Others have said that they have many Wen tools in the woodshop and that they are the best value for money. Although they are cheap in price, they are very high quality and work the same as more expensive brands.

Price (how it compares)

This model is twice the #1 ranked bandsaw price on this list and comes in at just over $400. For the higher price, you get two speeds, and it has a bit larger blade wheel.

If you need something a bit bigger and like the idea of a bandsaw with more grunt, click hereOpens in a new tab. to buy it on Amazon.

3. SKIL 3386-01 Band Saw

The average review rating

The Skil 3386-01 bandsaw has an average review rating of 4.1 out of 5, which isn’t as high as some of the other band saws I ranked higher on the list. But, it’s still an excellent rating, especially since it has a large number of reviews.

The amount of reviews

It has over 800 reviews on Amazon, which shows that the average review rating is very accurate. The other band saws ranked above this one have more reviews, about 1000+ which means their review rating is more accurate. But 800 is still a ton.

What it comes with (is it missing anything)

It comes with a LED light, much like the bigger Wen model. The #1 ranked bandsaw doesn’t come with a light. But I figured most woodshops would have a few portable lights here and there, so it didn’t affect its overall rank on the list. However, it’s still nice to have and makes it more convenient when you need more light.

It has everything you’ll need to use it straight out of the box. Like the other models, it comes with a saw blade, fence, miter gauge, and dust port. It does have a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is really nice. 

It is completely pink on one side, and some folks might not fancy that color. But, it’s horses for courses. If you want a more industrial color, then I would choose the #1 budget bandsaw.

Summary of customer feedback (written reviews)

Some customers have left reviews saying that it doesn’t have enough power. Still, other more experienced woodworkers have said that as long as you set it up correctly following the instructions, it has more than enough grunt to power through both hardwood and softwood.

Others have said they noticed it lacking power but found once they adjusted some parts that had come loose, it fixed the power problem.

Overall, though, customers are incredibly pleased with the model and had no issues with it.

Price (how it compares)

It is very cheap and costs only slightly more than the Wen, which is about $150.00.

If the Wen is out of stock or you like the color of this bandsaw, click hereOpens in a new tab. to buy it on Amazon.

4. Powertec BS900 Benchtop Bandsaw

The average review rating

The Powertec BS900 benchtop bandsaw has an average review rating of 4 out of 5. This is a bit on the lower end and isn’t as high as I would like, which is why I put this bandsaw at number 4. However, it has other redeeming factors.

The amount of reviews

It has over 260 reviews, which is enough to make the review rating accurate. It doesn’t give me as much confidence to buy this bandsaw as the others on this list. I would much rather buy Wen or Skil. However, they might be out of stock from time to time. So, I added this one as a fairly solid choice.

What it comes with (is it missing anything)

It comes with everything you need. But it doesn’t come with a fence. You can purchase an additional fence that will fit with it. A fence, also called a rip fence, is a vertical guide to resaw boards – cut the board thinner. 

It also helps with knotted and warped boards by making it less likely you’ll get kickback. So, it’s a bit of a pain that it doesn’t come with one. But, you can easily make one yourself, or buy one separately. I found this good article which shows you how to make a bandsaw fence.

The #2 ranked and #3 ranked bandsaws on this list come with an LED light. But, this one, the #1 ranked bandsaw on a budget, doesn’t. It’s not a major problem, and you’ll need to get some portable lights for your woodshop, or you may already have some.

Summary of customer feedback (written reviews)

Customers found setting it up was very easy, but urged new customers to follow the instructions when setting it up, as some people who left 1-star reviews, didn’t follow the instructions and had a hard time.

Some customers said that it cut through Cherry – a hardwood with ease. Overall, customers who bought it were thrilled with it.

Price (how it compares)

It is on the cheaper end and costs about $250, which is ideal for a budget bandsaw. If you like the look of this one rather than the pink SKIL bandsaw, and the Wen is out of stock, I would definitely pick it up. You can click hereOpens in a new tab. to buy it on Amazon.

Related questions

Is it worth making your own bandsaw?

It can be fun to make your own bandsaw and will stretch your woodworking skills. But, in my opinion, it can be more hassle than it’s worth, especially since these budget bandsaws are so cheap.

But, if you want full step by step instructions, one has been made by Instructables.com. Click here to read it if you’re interested in making your own bandsaw.

Do you need a bigger bandsaw than these tabletop bandsaws?

For most woodworking applications, the tabletop bandsaws on this list will work perfectly. Especially based on the feedback of customers who bought them. Bigger bandsaw models aren’t that much bigger, but they are priced at about $1000+. 

In my opinion, this is really not needed unless you are consistently running into issues using the tabletop bandsaws on this list. For example, if you are producing a lot of one type of woodworking project, it would save you money to buy a larger bandsaw.

I recently wrote an article about layout a woodshop, where I listed the tools or machines you need, and in my research, I found that a bandsaw isn’t essential. You can read the full article here: [how much space you need in a woodshop]. A bandsaw is more of a nice to have.

You may be wondering about the difference between a table saw and a bandsaw. A table saw has a thicker blade than a bandsaw, so it isn’t as precise.

And they are too big to use to make curved cuts – you can’t turn the wood because the blade’s width blocks the wood. The bandsaw blade is much thinner and gives you room to turn the wood as you feed it into the blade.

If you want to make curved cuts without a bandsaw, you can do it using a chisel. It takes quite a bit more time, though.

I found this cool video about making curved cuts by hand using a chisel:

Conclusion

The best bandsaw on a budget is the Wen 3959, followed by the Wen 3962, SKIL3386-1, and the PowertecBS900. My number one rated saw had the highest review rating, the most customer reviews, and was is at the cheapest end of the price range. 

I chose the other bandsaws with a similar quality rating but are either a bit more expensive or have other features that make them not as good, such as the color and the quality of the reviews. 

But, they are still solid options, and you might want to pick them up if one of the models is out of stock or you like a different one based on how it looks.

Sources

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