Band Saw Vs Table Saw: Which One to Choose?

Pretty spot-on question, to be fair. People, especially beginner woodworkers, have been drowning in doubt and confusion over choosing from the two for a decade. It is one of the most asked questions we receive from confused, lost reader and so we, therefore, to do an entire episode answering this age-old mystery of the Band Saw vs Table Saw: Which one to choose?

But to get to the ultimate conclusion, it is essential that you, first of all, know and acknowledge the personality of either saw. Let’s start, shall we?

We also have a complete guideline about how to choose the best Band saws with reviews, You can have a look!

 Band Saw vs. Table Saw:

Table Saw   Band Saw
A table saw, aka a saw bench, involves a circular blade running at top speeds to slice through materials. The blade sits on an arbor and is powered by an electric motor. A band saw, on the other hand, has a very narrow, thin blade that rotates via 2 drums or wheels inside the frame of the machine.

See The Difference Here:

The difference between Band Saw and Table Saw is massive and very evident.

First of all, there is a difference in sizes. Consequently, there are therefore differences in constructions as well. Table saws are more or less bulkier and heavier than band saws.

Second and most importantly, is the difference in blades. Table saws use a circular blade while the band saw use a very narrow one. Needless to say, due to these infrastructural variations between the 2 saws, they work differently, have a different finish, and most importantly, require a specific level of experience an expertise.

To furthermore help you understand this better and more clearly, we will compare the 2 saw on different grounds as follows:

1. Kerf

If something is being sawed at high speeds, it is normal that there is a particular amount of discharge in the form of particles, or powder or whatever. The saw, therefore, subtracts a specific amount of the material as waste. So, which saw produces the least amount of waste between Band Saw vs. Table Saw?

Table Saw   Band Saw
A table saw has a larger blade and therefore wider gullets. As a result, this saw takes a bigger bite of the wood, metal or whatever. And this, it makes more discharge and produces more waste. Not the most economical option for premium quality, expensive materials. Whereas with a band saw, because the blade is so thin and narrow, it has smaller gullets compared to the circular saw and therefore slowly saws away at the material without producing much waste. Ideal for sawing more expensive materials where you want minimum throwaways.

2. Speed

Which one gets the job done faster?

Table Saw   Band Saw
A table saw, with its massive circular blade with wider gullets, can saw through materials faster. However, the finish on the hand is slightly rougher and uneven. Due to its super thin blade with tiny gullets, the band saw will slice away at the material rather slowly. Nonetheless, the finish is much smoother, crisper and far cleaner.

 3. Type of Materials

Which of either saw is better for wood/metal/others?

Table Saw   Band Saw
Ideally, because of the fibrous and dry nature, wood is more suitable for table sawing. However, mind you that table saws can also be used to cut just about any other material as well. Whereas solid and packed materials like cement, metals, etc, do well on band saws. This is also because of the slower speed and the finer teeth make for more reliable and consistent cuts on tough materials.

4. Types of Cuts

Which type of cut comes best from the two saws?

Table Saw   Band Saw
For rips and squares, grooves, insets and dados on straight and regularly shaped materials, nothing beats the table saw. For more angular, bevel cuts on curvaceous and irregular shapes of materials, a band saw is your best friend.

5. Thickness of Materials

Which saw is ideal for thick and thin stocks?

Table Saw   Band Saw
The blade on a table saw is adjustable to an increased or decreased height, however, it can only do so much as 3 ½ inches in total. Therefore, your materials need to less than 3 ½ inches if you want to saw through the table saw. The blade of a band saw is vertical. This means you get a long line of the blade running vertically in and out of its frame. Apart from this, band saws have a blade guard which you can adjust pretty heavily as well. As result, thicker stocks, at least wider than 3 ½ inches, is ideal for the band saw.

6. Safety

When there is a razor sharp blade involved, safety matters. So between Band Saw vs. Table Saw which saw is safer to use?

Table Saw   Band Saw
On a table saw, the circular saw is very much exposed and your hands are susceptible to bloody, gory accidents if you do not use a push stick to feed the stock ahead. And on top of that, the smaller the stock, the more the risk of an accident due to your hands being closer to the blade. On a band saw, however, the blade almost entirely covered by the blade guard or blade post. This leaves only a fraction of the blade exposed.

7. User Comfort

All boils down to the saw that is more comfortable and easier to use!

Table Saw   Band Saw
The band is easy to use in the way that it is easily adjustable. You can adjust the height or angle of the blade from right where you are. However, it demands precaution during operation. While a table saw may be safer, it can be a tad bit overwhelming for some people given there are a few thing things like blade tension, manual and time-consuming adjustments, etc, that need to be mastered.


Also Read: The best Small Bandsaw reviews, and The best portable Band Saw reviews.

Exhibit   Table saw   Band Saw
1. Kerf or discharge More Less
2. Type of material Wood Miscellaneous
3. Thickness of material Thin (Under 3.5 inches ) Thick (over 3.5 inches)
4. Safety Less More
5. User comfort More Less

So that answers it! The Table saw is and should the first saw to get if you are a beginner at woodwork and construction. Whereas, the Bandsaw is for people who have mastered the basics on a table saw and have reached a high level of expertise. You are welcome!

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Last Updated on April 7, 2019 by Robert Patrick

Author Profile

Robert Patrick
Robert Patrick is the Chief Editor of Tools Adventure.He spent around 25 years in the construction and woodworking industry as a professional worker.Based on his experiences with the different type of tools; he is sharing his opinion about various tools so that a beginner can get started right away.Happy reading!