Do You Need a Band Saw? (Explained for Beginners)

What is your current level of experience with woodworking? Where are you on the path to becoming a master craftsman? Have you been at it for some time now and are thinking about purchasing a band saw? As with our household budgets, the woodwork shop can contain some “nice to haves” and some “have to have” pieces of equipment when it comes to power tools.

Surveys of woodworkers about the necessity of a band saw in their business have revealed a clear negative. A band saw is nice to have, but it isn’t required for the sorts of work you can do with or without one. Other equipment might be used to complete the same tasks.

A band saw is not required to do a wide range of tasks in your workshop. We’ll look at the most frequent operations done with a band saw and how they may be achieved using other, more essential woodworking tools.

What Is A Band saw Typically Used For

In the woodworking shop, band saws are typically utilized to complete the following jobs:

1. Splitting Pieces of Wood Into Two Halves Along The Lenght Of The Wood

A band saw is a useful device for cutting a large block of wood in half and producing two planks with the same thickness. However, a table saw may be used to do the same operation much more safely and effectively.

You can cut one of the thick planks into two equal parts by setting up the table saw blade to cut halfway into the wood from one edge and then turning the wood around and cutting it from the other edge with the same guide setting. This would result in two boards with a similar grain pattern and nearly identical thickness.

Finally, both planks would go through a thickness planer to make both sides of the wood smooth and flat. Even if you used a band saw for the splitting process, you’d need to plane all sides of the wood to remove any blade scars.

2. A band saw is also ideal for producing high levels of accuracy when cutting curved surfaces.

The band saw blade’s width enables the user to make cuts along complex curved edges. The sharpness of the curved cuts may be accurately refined using a tiny block plane or sander to provide the required curvature.

The same curved edge can be achieved by making use of a jigsaw. A jigsaw is light and maneuverable and can cut along a curved line as accurately but perhaps slightly more slowly than a band saw.

The process of trimming a hardwood log with a band saw to produce two planks with similar grain patterns is known as “book matching.” The two halves may then be fastened together to make a book that has symmetrical grain along the centerline.

A table saw may be used to split the top and bottom edge at the same time, after which it can be passed through a thickness planer to produce two smooth surfaces with identical grain patterns on both sides.

3. Band Saws are excellent for cutting notches and joints, as well as thick pieces of wood more than twelve inches in diameter.

Wood, plastic, and other synthetic materials can all be cut with a band saw. Other approaches may also be used to cut these applications.

Notches and joints can be cut using a jointer, a table saw, or a jigsaw. Non-ferrous metals, plastics, and synthetic materials can be cut using a jigsaw or a metal saw. For most woodworkers, cutting wood wider than twelve inches in width to thinner planks is rare.

Why You Don’t Need A Band saw In Your Workshop

A band saw is nice to have in your workshop since it is rather huge and takes up a lot of room. The majority of jobs completed with a band saw may be done with other tools. In terms of power saws, the most versatile are a circular saw and a jigsaw.

Woodworkers must be wary of table saws, for example, since they are harder to use and provide a higher level of risk than other power saws. Other than the chain saw, table saws are the most dangerous power tools available.

All saw blades running at high speed pose a risk to the hands of a woodworker, and care should always be taken to use safety equipment and machine guides.

For the price of a band saw, you may acquire a lot more useful equipment for your workshop. The teeth on the band saw blades are also more fragile and must be maintained properly to ensure that the blade does not pinch and break. Only experts in the field of woodworking with the available area and a clear need for a band saw should consider purchasing a band saw.

A single blade is insufficient for a variety of cuts. You’ll need to keep several various band saw blades on hand as well as be skilled at changing between different types of blades. The band saw blades are pricey, and if you need to have different types of blades, the price quickly rises.

In a workshop, a band saw requires a large floor area footprint. Because you will be using the band saw to chop long, thick pieces of wood, you’ll need to reserve space around it for such big things. You may discover that the trade-off in woodshop space is not worth it.


A band saw is not ideal for use by novice woodworkers, and most jobs for which a band saw is designed can be performed using alternative tools. Because the purchase of a band saw is quite expensive, most woodworkers may put off or completely avoid purchasing one.

If you’re new to woodwork or even somewhat more experienced, setting up your wood requirements in advance might help you avoid the need for a band saw. Your budget can be far better spent on a good drill, a handheld circular saw, and a jigsaw.

Chief Editor @AccureteToolsOnline (or, in plain English, I’m the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is helpful for our readers.

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