Compound miter saw or a 14" inch band saw as next tool?

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Forum topic by kwblack posted 08-11-2010 06:01 PM 6814 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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31 posts in 2868 days

08-11-2010 06:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw miter saw

kw here again with another question. what is the group’s opinion on my next big tool purchase, compound miter saw or a 14 inch band saw? My future plans are in learning how to build boxes, book shelves, things along those lines. I’ve researched and like Makita compound saws and Grizzly band saws. The band saw would be over twice as much as the Makita. I could get the Makita now, and would probably have to put off for a couple of months a band saw. I know I should get both :-), but not right now. What do you more experienced wood workers think? I’m still very much in a learning mode in wood working.

8 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 08-11-2010 06:22 PM

A key question is what do you have now. A second is what do you plan to do in the near future.

A table saw will do almost everything a miter saw will do but in some situations it may be a little more awkward. So if you have a table saw, your need for a miter saw is somewhat diminished.

A bandsaw is a great tool but only if you are going to be doing applications that require a bandsaw. Many bandsaw applications can be handled with a jig saw if you have one of them. The jig saw will go slower and it will, most likely, leave a rougher cut and require more sanding. Nonetheless, a jig saw can diminish how much you need a band saw.

The one thing you can do on a bandsaw that you cannot do on any other saw is resawing. However, if you are considering a 14” bandsaw your resawing ability is limited. Yes, you can add a riser but that will not increase your power. Ideally, you need an 18” bandsaw with at least 2 hp for good resawing.

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

View ChrisForthofer's profile


150 posts in 3065 days

#2 posted 08-11-2010 07:20 PM

My 2 cents on the question, if you are building furniture and smaller items and have a good miter gage (or at least a good way of setting up a marginal one) for your table saw (I assume you have one) I’d go for the band saw. However if you are doing remodeling (base and crown molding etc) or plan on doing that more than furniture I’d get the miter saw. All that being said, another thing to consider is do you have all the accessories you need for your current tools to do the projects you want to do? Stacked dado head, nice miter gage, fence upgrades, fixtures/jigs. I know I have been guilty of this in the past in just looking at the new tool side and not getting the “supporting cast” for what I already have.


-- -Director of slipshod craftsmanship and attention deficit woodworking

View kwblack's profile


31 posts in 2868 days

#3 posted 08-11-2010 07:37 PM

Don’t have the space for a table saw, which is another positive for the bandsaw, and for the miter saw for that matter. I have the usual assortment of tools, circular saw, drills, jig saw, router, hand tools, (haven’t built a table yet for the router, that’s my next project).

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3008 days

#4 posted 08-11-2010 08:40 PM

The BS will probably give you more satisfaction because it can do a lot of different things that pertain to woodworking, which Barry listed. It’s one of my favorite woodworking machines. :)

The miter saw does one thing but it does it well. Indispensable if you’re doing to be doing a lot of trimwork, but secondary when it comes to general woodworking.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 08-11-2010 09:03 PM

Band Saw, while a table saw can replace a miter saw a band saw can (in most situations) replace a table saw.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2912 days

#6 posted 08-11-2010 09:07 PM

My vote would be for the BS, especially since you are lacking the TS. I have the 14” Rikon that I picked up on sale at WC in June ‘10. It has native 13” Resaw capacity and 1 1/2hp. I run it on 220v and it runs like a champ. Currenbtly they run $799.

I have also had my 12” MS for years but found its usefulness limited outside of framing (that is until I bought a TS and BS).

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View kwblack's profile


31 posts in 2868 days

#7 posted 08-11-2010 09:33 PM

Consensus seems to have been reached on a band saw! Okay, now that direction has been settled upon, any preferences? I’m assuming a 14” 1 horse power, any particular one? I’ve read some surprisingly good reviews of the Harbor Freight variable speed with the riser kit and a new blade. Less expensive is better for me, but isn’t that true for everyone.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2912 days

#8 posted 08-11-2010 11:26 PM

Here is a good place to start looking at a number of bandsaw reviews.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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