Bandsaw vs Table Saw: Which One Is Better and Why?
Are torn between using a bandsaw and a table saw for your woodworking projects? Do you find it hard to differentiate between their uses?
If so, then you've stumbled upon the perfect article for you. Today we're going to discuss the various pros and cons of a bandsaw vs table saw and outline their different uses.
This will give you a general idea about their woodworking applications and how it can help you complete your projects on time.
Having this information will surely come in handy, especially if you're a beginner. Pay attention to their individual features, and until you notice the ones that can help you the most.
A bandsaw consists of a long blade with sharp teeth that is connected to the wheels on either side of the saw. This makes the blade resemble a circular shape. The wheels rotate, allowing the blade to move constantly, cutting through thick pieces of wood with ease.
There are two ways you can cut wood with a bandsaw – vertically and horizontally. Their blades are thinner than the ones on table saws and are used for cutting wood and metal. Bandsaws have wider industrial uses than table saws. They are heavier and much more powerful.
Several types of bandsaws are available on the market with no lack of blades to choose from. This makes it an extremely versatile power tool suitable for multiple purposes. Bandsaws usually come with a fence, and their saw throat is much narrower than a table saw.
This allows the bandsaw to cut wood and metal into smaller pieces more efficiently than a table saw can.
The table saws are powered by an electric motor and are equipped with a circular saw blade that's mounted on an arbor.
It is versatile, easy to use, and immensely powerful. This is one of the most widely used power tools among woodworkers. The incredible power allows you to saw through materials within seconds.
Its latest models usually come with a dust collector that prevents the user from inhaling dust particles while working. They also include a braking mechanism that reduces the risk of accidents. Table saws can also be adjusted in height for more versatile use.
These saws are equipped with a large tabletop, unlike the bandsaw. It allows you to make swift and accurate cuts of wood. However, they are also responsible for 70% of accidents involving stationary saws.
Which Should You Use?
Before deciding which saw you should use, we need to delve deeper into their pros and cons. The following factors will help you decide which one is more suitable for you.
- Making Curves
Bandsaws are widely used for making intricately curved cuts with maximum precision. The large-toothed blades make it easier to do so. You can also make scrolling cuts, which are almost as accurate as a scrolling saw.
They are mostly useful for creating decorative furniture features such as making cabriole legs. A table saw isn’t able to make such defined cuts.
- Different Materials
The wide range of bandsaws on the market makes it a highly versatile tool. They are also equipped with blades that are remarkably sharp and so thin that they can cut through a variety of materials. Apart from wood and metal, it can be used for cutting plastic and meat.
- Quiet Operation
Despite its power, bandsaws generate minimal amounts of noise compared to a table saw. If you don’t want a relentless noise to distract you from your tasks, then a bandsaw is the way to go.
- Safe to Use
Let's face it, every saw that comes with razor-sharp blades can be dangerous to use. However, compared to a table saw, bandsaws are much safer. They have certain safety features that can reduce the chances of pieces of wood flying into your face.
- Lesser Wastage
Unlike circular saws, bandsaws have thinner blades that allow them to cut through wood more smoothly.
This not only speeds up the process but also wastes less wood and produces minimal sawdust. You'll also experience lesser resistance when cutting into a thick piece of wood.
- Can Cut Thicker Materials
Due to the intense sharpness of the blade, a bandsaw can cut through very thick pieces of wood efficiently. Table saws tend to have a thickness limit when it comes to cutting wood. They can't get through more than 3.5 inches of wood, unlike bandsaws.
- Leaves Rough Edges
Although bandsaws can save you some time when cutting materials, they also have a drawback.
They can often leave uneven edges in the woodwork, which calls for some additional finishing. This can often be annoying when you’re trying to make fresh cuts in a short time.
Some bandsaws can make precise cuts without rough edges, but they will cost you more.
- Less Cutting Power
A bandsaw can be highly efficient at making curved cuts, but the table saw exceeds it in terms of power. The low power means you need to spend more time cutting a piece of wood than you would like.
Table Saw Advantages
- Cuts with Ease
Table saws are equipped robust motors which enable it to cut through wood with much ease. This will allow you to make smooth and accurate cuts within a very short time. The unique blade design also contributes to this factor.
- Accurate Cuts
They also come with a fence or miter gauge slot that enables you to achieve a whole new level of precision. Whether you’re making rips or cuts, a table saw never fails to deliver when it comes to accuracy.
Adding jigs to a table saw increases its applications by a long shot. There are several jigs available on the market that allows you to carry out different types of tasks.
Each jig is either perpendicular or parallel to the table saw and produces precise rips and cuts accordingly.
- Adjustable Height
The latest table saw models have included a mechanism that allows you to set the height of the blades. This will surely be beneficial when you’re trying to make grooves and dadoes.
- Better Beveling
Modern table saws also consist of a beveling wheel, which increases its versatility. This enables you to adjust the angle of the blades and make bevel cuts. Beveling is much easier and faster with a table saw than a bandsaw.
Table Saw Drawbacks
Table saws tend to be incredibly noisy as it’s powered by an electric motor. This can often be displeasing to users as the noise can shift your focus from the task at hand.
Table saws are much riskier to use than a bandsaw. Their functionality leads to most of the accidents caused by stationary saws. Therefore, it's much safer to buy a bandsaw.
Why Should You Use It?
Both bandsaws and table saws have distinctive features that make them suitable for different types of projects.
A table saw is much more powerful and can cut through a piece of wood in the blink of an eye. It's highly efficient at cutting lumber to length.
You can get long and accurate cuts of wood within a short time. Table saws are also good for crosscutting logs into perfect squares.
With miters and bevels, you can make more angled cuts, unlike bandsaws. Just adjust the height of the blade according to the measurements, and you’ll get the perfect cuts. They are also ideal for making grooves and dadoes.
The bandsaws have very thin and narrow blades that can cut through different kinds of materials easily.
It's efficient at cutting large pieces of wood into smaller ones. They don't have any thickness limitations and are therefore more versatile. The thin blade also allows you to make curved and precise cuts.
Moreover, it produces less waste and is not as risky as a table saw. If your work involves working with different types of materials, then a bandsaw is your perfect ally.
Considering all their useful features, it's understandable why it's so difficult to choose between them. However, you should only assess their different applications and pick the one that fits your criteria.
Bandsaw vs table saw, no matter which saw you use! Just make sure you take the necessary precautions beforehand.