Table Saw Vs. Band Saw: What Are The Major Differences?
Power tools are a necessary part of any DIY, woodworking, and construction project. It’s hard to pick the right tool for the trade between table saws, miter saws, band saws, and jigsaws. So, what is the difference between a table saw and a band saw?
A table saw makes straight cuts as you feed boards into the blade. You can’t feed boards into a band saw, and you can make curved cuts with one. Table saws let you make more kinds of cuts than band saws, and you can upgrade them with attachments.
Both table saws and band saws are a major help in countless projects. Let’s take a look at the difference between table saws and band saws, and see which one is the best for your project.
The table saw has a history dating back to 1777, but it didn’t come into its own until 1886. Modern table saws offer the most precise cuts for a variety of projects. You can make crosscuts, ripping cuts, and dado cuts with a standard, unmodified table saw.
Table saws only generally let you make straight cuts unless you use an attachment. One downside to table saws is that you have to purchase attachments such as jigs and clamps to make different cuts. However, you can add plenty of value to your table saw with attachments that render other tools obsolete.
Many manufacturers, such as Dewalt, produce both corded and cordless table saws. Table saws are great for woodworking, construction, and fun DIY projects. They are one of the most versatile of the 30 types of saws.
Corded table saws are ideal because there is no limit to your runtime, as long it doesn’t short out. The only limitation to corded table saws is that you have to be near an outlet to use them. However, it is possible to use an extension cord to improve your range if it is 50 feet or less.
Corded table saws are not ideal if you need to take your electric saw to several mobile worksites. You can rely on an extension cord, but you may not always be able to find an outlet out in the field. However, the lack of mobility is worth it when you don’t have to worry about your table saw dying.
You can take your table saw out with you for any project you need with a cordless model. Cordless table saws are energy-efficient, portable, and convenient. Battery-operated, cordless table saws require you to recharge batteries and pay attention to your working time.
The average 9 amp battery can let you make roughly 13 rips before you need to swap it out. It is best to charge at least 1-2 extra batteries at a time so that you don’t lose power while you’re working. Cordless table saws are better if you require mobility.
However, cordless table saws are not ideal if you have a long day of ripping wood ahead of you. It is possible to work all day with a cordless table saw, but only if you consistently charge your batteries.
You can expect to pay at least $300 for a table saw. Large table saws with kits and risers start at $520, and they are ideal for professionals. Portable table saws are a major convenience, but they generally cost at least $450.
You get more bang for your buck with table saws because of the available attachments. It is possible to upgrade your table saw with attachments for less than $100, and it’s worth every penny.
You can use a band saw for countless projects such as woodworking, metal fabrication, and even cutting meat. Larger band saws, called head saws, are big enough to cut entire logs.
Band saws are different from table saws in that they don’t limit you to straight cuts. You can make curved cuts with a band saw and that can be more useful than table saws in some scenarios. Many DIYers and builder-owners use a band saw for unique cuts, shapes, and angles that table saws won’t allow.
You can cut through wood, plastic, and even metal with a band saw. Band saws are less precise than table saws, and you may need to sand the materials that you cut. The position of the toothed blade isn’t ideal for clean cuts, and that’s the main drawback of band saws.
Corded band saws are a fixture in many workshops. However, they offer little to no range unless you use an extension cord. You can get the same level of power out of a corded band saw as a cordless model, but you don’t have to worry about battery life.
Compared to cordless models, corded band saws are generally larger and better suited for professional use. The average homeowner doesn’t need a large, corded, vertical band saw unless it is for an ongoing project.
It is much more common to see cordless band saws than corded models for the last several years. You can’t take on huge projects like with a corded, vertical band saw, but they’re more convenient. A 20-volt battery cordless band saw costs as much as $700, but it affords unbeatable mobility.
Small, portable band saws generally start at $230, and that is great for DIY projects.
Bandsaws are significantly more expensive than the average table saw. A professional vertical band saw costs $1,894, and low-end personal band saws start at just under $400. Your cheapest option when it comes to hand saws is a hand-held portable unit, and that costs $300.
Professional band saws are much pricier than table saws, but personal band saws are a great deal. Homeowners and hobbyists can spend as little as $160 on a tabletop band saw. However, a small band saw like that is unable to handle big woodworking projects.
Which Is Better?
Table saws are better than band saws if you are looking for precision. However, band saws are versatile and can cut through other materials like plastic and metal. You may have to do extra work and sand down the freshly cut wood when you use a band saw.
That is because band saws often have rough teeth, but that is not a problem with table saws. Table saws are also ideal if you need to feed boards and rip more wood at a time. You also have a wider variety when it comes to table saws between kits and corded or cordless table saws compared to band saws.
Band saws are a better option when you need to cut materials besides wood. Table saws are more mobile, easier to use, and rarely require sanding. It doesn’t hurt to have a table saw and band saw if you are a builder-owner, DIYer, or professional.
Do band saws cut metal?
You can cut metal with a band saw, but only if it is thicker than the depth of the blade. The standard band saw blade depth is typically 3 inches, so you want your metal to exceed that thickness. Electric motor band saws are best for cutting metal, and that is the modern standard.
Are circular saw blades universal?
Circular saw blades are not universal, and they vary in size and shape based on the manufacturer. You can swap out some blades between different manufacturer’s table saw, but they aren’t typically interchangeable. However, some circular saw blades work for miter saws, table saws, and radial arm saws.
Should band saws be sharpened?
You can sharpen band saws, but it is more cost-effective to replace them when they become dull. It can cost $100 or more to sharpen your band saw blade, and that is pricier than a replacement. You can sharpen the edges of old band saw blades by hand to use for something else, but not for the band saw itself.
Do I need a table saw and a miter saw?
You may not need a table saw if you already have a miter saw. A miter saw can make several types of cuts, but you can’t rip entire boards like with a table saw. It is easy to cut boards to a specific length with miter saws, but you may need a table saw if you want to feed boards into the blade.
Summing It Up
Table saws perform better than band saws, and it is easier to make a precise cut. Band saws are great because they can cut plastic, metal, wood, meat, and fabric. You can also feed wood directly into a table saw for long rips, and that isn’t possible with a band saw.
Professional band saws are pricier than professional table saws, but smaller units cost $200-$300. Electric saws are a better deal as a professional investment, but they are expensive for hobbyists. You can also choose between corded and cordless table saws which adds variety and more convenient options.
Both table saws and band saws come in portable and large worksite models. Band saws have better portable models, but table saws are generally better for worksites. You can’t go wrong between band saws and table saws, but table saws are more well-rounded.
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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