Band saw or Table saw upgrade

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Forum topic by cannondale posted 04-21-2010 04:08 AM 1491 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View cannondale's profile


54 posts in 2483 days

04-21-2010 04:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: band saw table saw turning

I am thinking of upgrading either my bandsaw or my table saw. I currently have an old 14 in bandsaw that is pathetically weak even with a new sharp blade. I have a 235mm table saw/ 6” planner combination that does not have a tilting arbor. Most of my wood work is turning bowls and making furniture of various kinds for home and friends.
As I do more woodworking I find the need to 1) cut large turning blanks and 2) Rip bevels / angles.

My choice is between A) upgrading the table saw to a more powerful one with a tilting arbor or B) buying a large powerful band saw and a small table saw with a tilting arbor.

I’m thinking of a 18” bandsaw with 2hp that could do most jobs and having a smaller table saw to do odd bits and cut bevels.

Do you think a large Bandsaw is good enough for most woodworking needs?

What advice do you LJ’s have?


11 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#1 posted 04-21-2010 03:02 PM

I have an 18” bandsaw with a 2hp motor. With a 3/4” blade it can almost replace a table saw. I will comment that tilting the table is not a quick and easy task. I would not mind tilting it for an occasional cut, but if I were tilting it on a regular basis for bevels cuts, I would probably find the procedure annoying.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 04-21-2010 03:09 PM

there is no machine that is ‘good enough’ for woodworking – it really all comes down to speeding some processes and convenience. you could do all the milling and work using simple hand tools, but powertools will shorten that process, and in most cases ease the effort.

if you’re doing turning – the bandsaw will be more than enough, but if you’re doing furniture where you need a multitude of identical parts milled identically – a good table saw is the tool for the job. and getting ‘just a small table saw to do the job’ in my experience will prove to be a waste of time money and effort – if you do upgrade, upgrade to something decent. and that doesn’t mean to get a 12” 7HP table saw… there are some really decent saws out in the market that are sub $1000. just over cheap out – thats my point :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TheDane's profile


4934 posts in 3083 days

#3 posted 04-21-2010 03:14 PM

I’d go for a table saw upgrade. I subscribe to the theory that the table saw is the heart of the shop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View cannondale's profile


54 posts in 2483 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 07:52 PM

Thanks for that guys.
The other thing I did not mention before was that my existing table saw fence is meant to tilt, but the machining on the mechaninsm is so poor that it doesn’t even get over to the 45 degree. I find this frustrating and also think that a tilted fence does not give the control needed to rip a bevel. A titing arbor would allow the wood to remain flat on the table top and secure against the fence. This is my main reason to want to upgrade the table saw.

Does anyone else use a tilted fence with sucess?

View RedShirt013's profile


219 posts in 3081 days

#5 posted 04-21-2010 08:11 PM

What about putting in a bigger motor in your bandsaw? A 1.5hp motor can go pretty far

-- Ed

View TheDane's profile


4934 posts in 3083 days

#6 posted 04-21-2010 09:00 PM

What kind of table saw do you have? I didn’t know they made table saws with tilting fences, but that sounds like a kickback accident just waiting to happen!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2403 days

#7 posted 04-21-2010 11:15 PM

It sounds to me like the band saw is the heart of your workshop. Because you are a turner I would suggest the band saw. But on the other hand if your current band saw is adequate with the exception of power I would upgrade the motor on the band saw and opt for the table saw. As Dane stated its an accident waiting to happen. A table saw sled will deal with the miter cuts and straight cuts. But if I’m correct, if your cutting angles for bowl turnings you’ll want the band saw to be able to cut the deeper depth angles with.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3243 days

#8 posted 04-21-2010 11:31 PM

It really come down to your specific needs what type of work your doing. Are you ripping and cross cutting a lot with large size material then the table saw is the answer…are you making small projects like boxes and cutting boards than maybe a band saw will fill the need. I personnel think having the two is the ultimate in any shop…just my thought good luck on you choice and stay safe…BC

View Ingjr's profile


143 posts in 2436 days

#9 posted 04-21-2010 11:45 PM

I’d have to say Tablesaw. To me the TS is the main piece of machinery in the woodshop. JMO.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View BreakingBoardom's profile


615 posts in 2501 days

#10 posted 04-21-2010 11:53 PM

Just athought but if you can find some good used ones in your area, you may be able to upgrade both on the same budget. Have you considered that?

-- Matt -

View JuniorJoiner's profile


463 posts in 2860 days

#11 posted 04-22-2010 12:09 AM

never heard of kickback on a bandsaw. safer machine. and if you have a good jointer, will do most of what you need for furniture.
you mentioned that your Tablesaw has your planer as well, so you would have to buy two machines to replace that.
I think it’s a no brainer, buy a drill press.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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