Why do I need a bandsaw?

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Forum topic by agallant posted 07-16-2012 03:39 PM 23788 views 0 times favorited 44 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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551 posts in 3083 days

07-16-2012 03:39 PM

I have been wanting a bandsaw. There have been a few times that I have wanted to resaw something and cut curves but besides that what else can I do with one? I view it as a nice to have not a must have. Please share your thoughts with me on what else can be done with one and how you use yours.


44 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2445 days

#1 posted 07-16-2012 03:48 PM

I am of the opinion it is a must have. Mostly because I don’t have one yet. I really want one to resaw. There are a lot of times I make things a lot thicker than they need to be. My two options now are:

1. waste lumber by turning it into chips (planer)
2. Waste lumber by making things thicker than they need to be

#2 is more palatable to me

Some would argue that just about everything you can do on a table saw, you can do on a band saw, and much safer. In addition to cutting curves, a lot of things are possible (and sometimes easier) on a bandsaw instead of using a table saw or router – like cutting tenons or even dovetails and box joints

My main reason is resawing, and that is why I don’t have one yet. I want something powerful with a good (at least 12”) reasaw height. I’m saving my pennies for a Laguna LT14SUV or the Rikon “ultimate” 14”


View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3053 days

#2 posted 07-16-2012 03:54 PM

All my sawing over the past ten years has

been on the bandsaw due to space limits

You can see some of the things I’ve made.

You NEED a bandsaw

Big is better,


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3168 days

#3 posted 07-16-2012 03:57 PM

I only have a small (Rikon 10”) bandsaw now, and have purchased plans for a shop made 16” saw from My thinking was that the small one would handle the curvy stuff and the 16” would be more versatile than a 14”; able to handle wider blades, more power and since I’m building it myself, I can adjust the plabs for any height I want, with-in reason of course.

I still feel that way. I use the little 10” all the time. Any time I need to cut something small that’s my go to saw. Mainly because it’s so safe.

View jmos's profile


902 posts in 2566 days

#4 posted 07-16-2012 03:57 PM

I have to say my bandsaw was the last piece of machinery I added to my shop (14” PM), and I use it more than I expected. Of course its the go-to tool for curves, circles, and angled cuts, but I also find I’m going to it more to rip wider boards, as the wood movement isn’t as much of a problem as it is on the table saw. I still use my tablesaw to trim to final width, as you get a better edge off the TS.

It’s also very handy for cutting tenons, dovetails, any kind of small cut. It’s a lot easier to use than a TS, and safer. Not that you can’t do some serious damage with a BS, but the whole kickback risk is eliminate.

The ability to resaw is great too.

-- John

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3845 days

#5 posted 07-16-2012 03:59 PM

For furniture building in solid wood it is a more useful machine
than the table saw. You can cut dovetails, tenons, lap joints,
make veneers, mill small logs, snap a line and put a straight
edge on a board quickly, snap a line and cut a taper in a
jiffy, cut circles and so on.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3123 days

#6 posted 07-16-2012 04:08 PM

The above posts have most of the items I do with mine, I have a General and Laguna, use the Laguna for resawing and the General for almost anything else.

The guys are right, you will find many more uses once you get started with one.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3063 days

#7 posted 07-16-2012 04:18 PM

I probably use my band saw more than I use my drill press. Things like ripping a thin piece out of a small waste block, or cutting a square block out of the corner of a board, or quickly cutting a slot in a jig part instead of reaching for the router. I am always doing all kinds of stuff like this as well as all of the other regular uses. I wouldn’t want to be without it.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MichaelAgate's profile


398 posts in 2520 days

#8 posted 07-16-2012 04:49 PM

My thoughts are, you will always see it as a “Nice To have” tool, until you actually get one in your shop. Once you use it, you will see, it’s no longer a nice to have too, but a “MUST HAVE” tool. It opens up so many doors and possibilities that you overlook without having one. Here is a couple of great bandsaws. If you ever decide to purchase, one of these will be the one and only bandsaw you should ever need for everyday woodworking in your shop and more.

-- Michael and Matthew

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2684 days

#9 posted 07-16-2012 04:54 PM

You need one because I said you need one.

(If you can get that past your wife, let me know, and also how many stitches and how long it took to heal).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3083 days

#10 posted 07-16-2012 05:01 PM


No more wife. I got to keep the shop and tools in the divorce :)

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5120 posts in 4157 days

#11 posted 07-16-2012 06:10 PM

Well, now that ya have that behind ya, you need one just because you need one. So there!!!
I sold my OLD Magna/Shopsmith 11” trouper and got a 14” G0555LX from Grizzly ‘cause I wanted a bigger BS.
WOW! Great saw, and not a bank breaker.


View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2385 days

#12 posted 07-16-2012 06:27 PM

Bandsaws and table saws are complimentary machines. There are tasks that one does well and the other does poorly or it is a lot more dangerous. If your work in solid wood it’s hard to get by without both.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2888 days

#13 posted 07-16-2012 06:29 PM

+1 for NEEDING a band saw. Even though I only have a lowly bench top model that is easily my biggest source of frustration some days, I can’t imagine not owning one. It is one of the most frequently used tools I own, next to my table saw.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View AHuxley's profile


851 posts in 3518 days

#14 posted 07-16-2012 07:00 PM

You don’t need A bandsaw, you need multiple bandsaws, just take it from a guy with 6. Seriously, the bandsaw is a machine that once you own it you won’t be able to figure out how you lived without it. But, the other side of the coin is like any machine you can learn to work around not having it. I use a lot of shop cut veneer and there isn’t anything else that can effectively slice 1/32-1/16” slices off a board. In the end find a good small (14”) used saw in good condition and work with it for a while, if it doesn’t open your eyes to possibilities then turn around and sell it and get your money back.

View Tennessee's profile


2891 posts in 2711 days

#15 posted 07-16-2012 07:16 PM

I own three of them. THAT’s how much I use bandsaws…

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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