Woodworkers expect precision, durability and dependability when investing in a professional quality band saw. When shopping for a new band saw, power and a robust design should be at the top of the list, according to experts in the field.
"From my experience, you get what you can, but bigger is usually better with band saws because of the distance that the saw blade travels," says Kelly Mehler, owner of Kelly Mehler's School of Woodworking in Berea, Ky. "Larger machines are also more stable, their blades travel farther, they run cooler, are typically built sturdier and you can get a wider blade on them.
"A lot of people use a band saw to resaw. It's a great way to make thinner wood instead of planing it away into sawdust. I've always used my saws for resawing and a heavier saw works better for resawing than a smaller saw."
While a band saw can't replace a table saw, it is considered a safer option for certain operations.