Bandsaw or Table Saw

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Forum topic by BerBer5985 posted 02-18-2012 05:45 PM 17226 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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445 posts in 2383 days

02-18-2012 05:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw table saw

If you had to chose between one of the two in a shop, which would you pick and why?

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

41 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2914 days

#1 posted 02-18-2012 05:51 PM

Bandsaw. I would use it to rip lumber, resaw, and work curved pieces. It is safer, quieter, and less messy. As I do all joinery by hand, the only worth a tablesaw has for me is to make crosscuts, which I do with handsaws. My shop has a small bandsaw, which I will upgrade someday. No tablesaw though, I don’t need it.

-- Mike

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3519 days

#2 posted 02-18-2012 06:04 PM

Wabbet season – duck season! I had a bandsaw long before I got a table saw, and built quite a few things with it. If you have a router then there isn’t much you can’t do versus what you can do with a table saw; but with a table saw you can do it much faster. For example, you ‘can’ rip boards with a bandsaw, but you’ll have to go to a jointer to clean up the edge. With a table saw, and a good blade, just push it through and you’re pretty muc done. And you ‘can’ do bigger panels, but that’s a real pain – and not very big panels either. In the end, I’m glad I have both. And since I got the table saw, I really don’t use the bandsaw very much – that should tell you something. However, while you ‘can’ resaw on the table saw, it’s quite limited. Plus bandsaw boxes are fun and easy. So in the final analysis I’d stick with the bandsaw, but I’m glad I don’t have to choose.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2556 days

#3 posted 02-18-2012 06:06 PM

TABLE SAW !!!!!!!!!!!!! I consider the table saw to be the corner stone of my shop.I think the table saw will do more things that a band saw will not.The table saw will cut a Dado a band saw will not.The table saw will cut cove molding.It would be an interesting thread to list the comparisons of different tools and how people use there tools in different ways!

View knotscott's profile


7980 posts in 3338 days

#4 posted 02-18-2012 06:17 PM

The two saws aren’t all that interchangeable IMO. It really depends on what you do and how you do it. TS is the main power tool in the vast majority of shops. For cabinetry, doors, flat type furniture, dimensioned lumber, the TS is the go-to tool IMO, because excels at rip cuts and crosscuts. A well tuned TS will rip easily with excellent precision and gives a smooth glue ready edge….you can also cut dados, grooves, and precise miters and crosscuts with a TS…you can even cut coves, but they don’t cut curves very well. A BS excels at cutting curves and resawing…great for cutting blanks for the lathe and curved things….great for cutting your own veneers, and rough trimming. While you can rip and crosscut with a BS, the resulting edge is rough in comparison to a good TS cut and would need some dressing up before going on to the next step, and is less precise overall.

I now own both but would definitely get the TS first. I made-do with a jigsaw for years before getting a BS.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2383 days

#5 posted 02-18-2012 06:42 PM

I’ve been reading lots of threads of people who make the move to a majority hand tool shop and it seems that they have a bandsaw for long rip cuts and resawing, then the crosscuts and joinery are all done by hand. I just was curious. I’m thinking about taking that step especially after watching the video on table saw kickback. haha! It seems like most people can do without a table saw in a handtool/power tool workshop. Right now I have a collection of all entry level used tools, such as a used contractor table saw, a used grizzly bandsaw, an older used jointer, and a cheap ryobi planer and they all work ok, but I’m finding I really enjoy working with hand tools more and more. I’m thinking if I were to keep power tools and upgrade them, that in my next phase of woodworking I might sell all of those and buy 2 really nice tools, 1 being a nice bandsaw and the other being a large jointer/planer combo machine. That way, I can rip long boards that I don’t want to rip by hand, resaw and make curved cuts, I can dimension wood which honestly isn’t the most fun thing to do by hand, and I can do all my joinery and cross cuts with saws and chisels and planes.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

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Jim Finn

2647 posts in 2884 days

#6 posted 02-18-2012 06:49 PM

I had a band saw before I had a table saw. After getting a good table saw the only thing I use a band saw for is resawing wood too wide for the table saw to do.

-- Website is

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2767 days

#7 posted 02-18-2012 06:57 PM

I think they are have equal values between the both of em. I guess, I am privileged, cuz I have em both. My table saw is a ‘50’s model Craftsman that I bought from a friend, but, my bandsaw, (Powermatic), I purchased new quite a few years ago. Like I said, I’m sure I use them both equally. What one can do, the other can’t, or vise-versa

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3786 days

#8 posted 02-18-2012 07:14 PM

Tough call after having both in the shop, as time goes by andmay start to downsize the shop I may just wing it with the band saw. But for now I’ll enjoy both because I don’t have to sacrifice either, good poll question will keep checking in to see what others have to say…BC

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2932 days

#9 posted 02-18-2012 07:28 PM

Most of my cuts are straight and square so I could live without a bandsaw but not the table saw.

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3106 days

#10 posted 02-18-2012 08:24 PM

Band saw.

1) I am more comfortable on the band saw than on the table saw – that’s just due to experience levels.

2) The types of projects I do require bandsaw more than table saw. In most cases it is the tool I turn to first. And it’d be hard to make bandsaw boxes without one…

I don’t do very large projects or furniture, not yet anyway.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2638 days

#11 posted 02-18-2012 08:33 PM

Table saw is a must. Band saw is fluff. Now I have offended a lot of people but if I had to give up one of my tools the band saw would be gone before sundown. I really think it depends on what you do with your tools. If you make larger pieces of furniture then the table saw is the go to tool. Table saw and a jointer. If you use hand tools then a band saw would be out anyway….right?

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 2960 days

#12 posted 02-18-2012 09:20 PM

I have a bandsaw and no tablesaw. I don’t feel deprived. I can crosscut lumber on my miter saw or by hand. Grooves are easy enough with router and guide or router table. A good table saw can cut fairly cleanly but most times a touch with a jointer or plane is needed anyway. I never did like wrangling sheet goods on a tablesaw.
For panels and wide stock, I prefer a circular saw with an edge guide and may someday buy a track saw.

I don’t have a vendetta against them though. If I had a much larger shop that would hold a tablesaw with a really large outfeed area I might go ahead and pick one up. I would like one of the really big sliding table saws but those are huge and expensive.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View unisaw2's profile


209 posts in 2998 days

#13 posted 02-18-2012 10:33 PM

The cut from a bandsaw will always need to be sanded or planed. So to do joinery with a bandsaw you need to perfect your hand planing. A well tuned table saw can give you glass smooth crosscuts.

I enjoy rip cuts and taper cuts on the bandsaw and then planing them to a perfect finish. The bandsaw is a safer tool.

As said above they are really two different tools, in the end it is nice to have both.

-- JJ - Northern Illinois

View woodymays's profile


106 posts in 3235 days

#14 posted 02-18-2012 10:42 PM

I would pick the table saw because of its versatility. The band saw has it pros to but I have done without a bandsaw for years. You can buy a scroll saw for less if you need to make contour cuts.

-- Behind every great man is his wife with rolling eyes.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10244 posts in 3610 days

#15 posted 02-19-2012 12:43 AM

Band saw. But not a dinky 14 incher. Those cast-frame
saws require too much fuss to set them up for straight
cuts and the limit of only running blades up to 1/2” wide
is a problem.

The band saw is equally and differently versatile than the
table saw, it is safer, quieter, and wastes less wood in kerfs.

The table saw only really excels at squaring panels and
some joinery things. For sheet good cabinet making you
don’t want to be without one, but for building fine
furniture and instruments the bandsaw is the way to go.

You can cut tenons, make dovetails, resaw, rip, and
of course make curves with a band saw. Most woodworkers
barely scratch the surface of what you can do with
a fine band saw. Lame band saws are part of the
problem. Lack of interest in exploring the tool’s
particular virtues is the other.

James Krenov preferred the band saw, as do Michael
Fortune and Gary Rogowski.

THAT SAID: for making money building cabinets and
for making quicker work of spouse-pleasing plywood
storage projects, the table saw is the go-to machine.

showing 1 through 15 of 41 replies

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