Complete Buyer's Guide of the Best Bandsaws for resawing
For woodworkers that are looking to increase the quality of their work and the speed at which they can complete projects, purchasing one of the best band saws on the market from a quality brand will prove to be a good decision. Quality band saws are a tool that will provide service for generations.
I only recommend saws made by top tier woodworking equipment manufacturers and brands that I know stand behind their products. This means that there are no cheap options. If you are new to woodworking, a band saw purchase probably doesn’t make sense for you yet.
Are bandsaws necessary for hobbyist woodworkers?
While they are not a “must have” for the hobbyist or the “at home woodworker” getting a quality band saw is a necessity if you are a commercial woodworker. If you have had any experience in woodworking whatsoever, you have no doubt run into the situation of needing to make several trips to your supplier in order to get the right size stock.
While the bandsaw won’t be the most used saw in your shop, it will make your life much easier by allowing you to buy much larger pieces of lumber and resawing them to the right size for your project instead of having to keep several sizes on hand.
No other tool in your shop can resaw thick stock, logs or hard woods the way a quality bandsaw can.
Resawing allows you to:
- Better utilization. No need to stock your shop with a thousand cuts of wood. Once you have a bandsaw for resawing, you can just resaw large stock down to size.
- Bookmatch. Bookmatching is a technique of laying two or more resawed pieces of wood next to each other so that their grain mirrors each other. If you make tables or any other large pieces in your wood shop, the bandsaw is a must have, make sure to get one with a high throat to resaw and bookmatch wide boards.
Image of a bookmatched dinner table.
What you should look for to find the best bandsaw to resaw in your wood shop
Knowing what specs you’ll need in a hybrid saw will help make an informed decision. Here is a list of specs that you should look into before purchasing.
- Horsepower. Most band saw lines start at around 2HP. While this is fine for a number of cuts, you’ll need a more powerful machine to resaw thick stock. Saws such as Laguna’s Italian bandsaw line run all the way up to 7.5 HP.
- Resaw capacity. If you are looking to resaw large pieces of lumber, make sure your bandsaw has enough clearance. Being as though resawing is one of the most common uses of bandsaws, they will have their “resaw capacity” in their machine specs.
- Large table. Make sure there is plenty room on the table to fit your project. Of course, the trade off with this is the saw is less compact and moveable.
- Steel frames. While there are some cast-iron frames that hold up just fine, the larger bandsaws that will lend themselves more to resawing tend to have steel frames.
Cast iron frame
- Brand name. There are a few brands to avoid. If you buy any of the products that we feature, you’ll be doing just fine.
- Tilting table. Most modern band saws are equipped with a tilting table. This is a professional feature that you likely won’t need as an amateur woodworker.
- Resaw fence. Since you’re looking to resaw large pieces, make sure you are either prepared to make your own jig (my favorite) Or, make sure you get a saw with an easily movable, tall fence to help stabilize your lumber.
Best bandsaw for resawing
Powermatic - 24" Bandsaw 5HP, 3PH,
Winner for: Best bandsaw for resawing
Winner for: Best industrial bandsaw
With 5HP and a 24″ throat this bandsaw is suitable for any millworking job. While this is more power than you likely need, I have a hard time not putting this behemoth at the top of my list.
If you are a professional woodworker, this or the Laguna Italian series are the two saws that you should consider.
If you are resawing large stock, hard wood and timber, it is worth investing in a saw that has the power and clearance to take it on.
- Very sturdy with low vibration, even with all that power
- 5 HP is enough power for any job
- 24″ of resaw capacity is unbeatable.
- Fence could be a bit taller
- Higher priced than competitors
- Not easily moved around your shop
Laguna - LT14 SUV, 3hp Bandsaw
Runner-up for: Best bandsaw for resawing
Winner for: Best bandsaw for the money
Laguna’s lineup in both band saws and table saws is just unbeatable. I put them in the top 1 or 2 products in almost every one of my reviews.
They’ve managed to create a line of saws from 1.75 – 7.5 HP that all perform exceptionally well. I really have nothing negative to say about what they do.
- Very low vibration (due to single belt drive)
- Competitively priced
- Unbeatable brand with a 5 yr. manufacturer warranty
- Table could be larger
Jet - 18" Bandsaw, 3HP
2’nd runner-up for: Best bandsaw for resawing
Jet makes great products and stands behind them. While I typically favor Jet products, I just like Laguna’s lineup of bandsaws a bit more and it is hard to surpass the resaw capacity of the industrial powermatic.
Jet’s lineup of band saws rivals that of any other brand. All of the parts are easy to adjust, change and clean. In addition, JPW (Jet’s parent company) stands behind all of their products with a solid 5 year warranty. You won’t go wrong purchasing a Jet.
- Excellent brand name
- Manufacturers warranty
- Large lineup to find the right size and power saw for you
- Large table on most models
- Does not come with casters for mobility
- Blade tension gauge has been reported to fail on occasion
Rikon - 10" Deluxe Bench Top Bandsaw
Runner-up for: Best bandsaw for the money
Rikon provides a quality line of bandsaws and more importantly, they provide them at a price point that entry level woodworkers and those on a tight budget can more easily afford.
There is nothing wrong with this bandsaw and you could just as easily make the argument that this is the top bandsaw.
- Ease of setup and use
- Great dust port
- Priced competitively
- Not on casters which would be ideal
Can I resaw on a table saw?
Quite simply….no. While you’ll have no problem resawing a 2X4 on your table saw or even your contractors saw, you won’t be able to resaw anything larger than that. At least not safely.
If you are a hobbyist and getting a large, powerful bandsaw isn’t in your budget at this time, just hold off on purchasing all together. It is better to wait until you can afford a powerful machine than to try to use a table saw or small band saw.
Develop resawing skills on the bandsaw
Have a look at some of the many online tutorials on how to properly resaw with a bandsaw.
Resawing can be a tricky skill to get started on and like most tasks in woodworking, the stakes are high, so make sure you start with small pieces of stock and take as many precautions as possible.
Once you master the skill of resawing, you’ll have no problem repurposing the off-cuts that would have previously been scrap.