horizontal band saw

Best Horizontal Band Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

Best Horizontal Band Saw Reviews 2019

Most power saws out there are made primarily for cutting wood, but what if you need to cut trickier materials like metal? Then you need a horizontal bandsaw to make cuts on a wide range of different types, sizes, and shapes of metal workpieces. That is why we put together a list of the 5 best horizontal band saw reviews of 2019. We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ to navigate the differences between this type of bandsaw and other power saws. While the Grizzly and larger Jet top our list, you have to keep reading to discover our best value options.

Product Image
Best Seller
Grizzly Industrial G0561-7" x 12" 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
Top Pick
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12"
Best Value
WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
Model
Grizzly Industrial G0561-7" x 12" 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12"
WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
Customer Rating
23 Ratings
4 Ratings
106 Ratings
23 Ratings
47 Ratings
Prime
-
-
Best Seller
Product Image
Grizzly Industrial G0561-7" x 12" 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
Model
Grizzly Industrial G0561-7" x 12" 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
Customer Rating
23 Ratings
Prime
-
Top Pick
Product Image
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12"
Model
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12"
Customer Rating
4 Ratings
Prime
Best Value
Product Image
WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
Model
WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
Customer Rating
106 Ratings
Prime
-
Product Image
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Model
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
Customer Rating
23 Ratings
Prime
Product Image
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
Model
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
Customer Rating
47 Ratings
Prime

Grizzly G0561 Metal Cutting Bandsaw, 7 x 12-Inch – Best Seller

Grizzly Industrial G0561-7' x 12' 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
23 Ratings
Grizzly Industrial G0561-7" x 12" 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw
  • Automatic shut off
  • Blade size: 3/4" X .03" X 93"
  • Blade speeds: 80, 130, 180, 235 FPM

Grizzly may not necessarily be the oldest or most experienced company on our list, but they have quickly built a solid reputation for themselves. This is all the more impressive considering that the company has only been in existence for a little over 35 years. It is worth noting that, unlike some of the other companies on our list, Grizzly is not truly meant for the consumer-grade market. In fact, Grizzly is often not designed for use for simply professional-grade users either with a focus more attuned to the light commercial-grade market. As such, you will regularly find Grizzly products in commercial workshops that have a heavier workload or work on larger-scale projects. When you combine the company’s focus with the Grizzly horizontal bandsaw’s capabilities, it should not come as much of a surprise that this product takes the best seller position.

Great Cuts
One thing to remember when choosing your metal bandsaw is to identify the setting and general use of the machine. Not everyone needs the biggest or most powerful horizontal metal bandsaw on the market, but those that do can accept no substitutes. In this instance, the Grizzly might be one of the more capable options we reviewed that can serve as a legitimate commercial band saw. For one, the Grizzly G0561 horizontal metal cutting bandsaw features one of the most powerful motors we reviewed with a 1 hp motor that pushes 12 amps. This means that the Grizzly metal bandsaw provides some of the best cutting torque we encountered, though its staying power is only the second-best on our list. This does come at a literal cost though with the Grizzly horizontal cut off bandsaw coming in as one of the more expensive options on our list.

That said, the Grizzly horizontal bandsaw also features one of the better blade speed ranges that found as well. First, it has 4 different speed settings to accommodate a wide range of different metals, though it may struggle a bit if you try cutting aluminum. Regardless, you do not have to worry about the Grizzly metal cutting band saw leaving the workpiece in rough shape. This is because this cut off bandsaw features one of the better coolant systems that we encountered with a whopping 2 ½ gallon reserve. It is worth noting that the coolant system has been known to leak if not carefully assembled, but it works better than most all the same. Still, the already impressive coolant system is further reinforced with the inclusion of a chip brush to keep the blade and workpiece free of metal chips, improving the quality of the cuts and extending the lifespan of the machine.

Excellent Build
One thing that can get overlooked with a horizontal bandsaw is the build-quality, largely because most horizontal bandsaws advertise similar features. This is not to suggest that the advertisements are untrue, but there is still a wide variance between different brands in terms of the build quality. For the Grizzly metal cutting bandsaw, you do not have to worry about this issue as the only major component not made of cast-iron is the stand. However, even the stand is made of heavy-duty steel and can still support this beast of an industrial horizontal band saw. To wit, the Grizzly horizontal metal bandsaw uses high-end cast-iron for the bed, body frame, and wheels. This is important because it helps reduce the vibrations transferred from the motor and belt drive systems.

Unfortunately, pretty much every power tool designed for a commercial-use will be significantly bigger than those meant for lower grades of work. When you combine that with the sheer amount of excellent build materials, the Grizzly horizontal bandsaw is by far one of the heaviest products we reviewed. Thankfully, the heavy-duty stand does not seem to struggle with this weight, though you may want to be careful if adjusting the Grizzly to be used a vertical metal cutting bandsaw as it can be a bit top-heavy. It is worth noting that the Grizzly horizontal metal saw bills itself as portable Still, the sheer size of this monster allows it to make cuts that other horizontal cut off bandsaws simply cannot make with the second-largest cutting capacities that we reviewed.

Grizzly Industrial G0561-7' x 12' 1 HP Metal-Cutting Bandsaw

Pros

  • Has a large cutting capacity
  • Has 4 different blade speeds
  • Has a 1 hp motor
  • Has a good coolant system
  • Is a safer bandsaw
  • Uses good materials

Cons

  • Is a more expensive bandsaw
  • Is heavier bandsaw

Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12″ – Top Pick

Sale
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12'
4 Ratings
Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12"
  • Large 10 x 12" infeed table assembly extends the support area and can be used in either horizontal or vertical positions"
  • Multi-position blade guides enhance use in vertical position by increasing the throat capacity from 4 to 8" and creates a Safer working...
  • Tool-less quick lock vise with preset mitering positions at 15°, 30° & 45°

Though most round-ups might not find Jet in this position, for our list it comes in as one of the oldest and most experienced manufacturers reviewed. Interestingly enough, Jet actually started as a manufacturer of heavy equipment used for airplanes. Eventually, the company transitioned into the air tool market and from there expanded further into the commercial metal and woodworking markets. While their woodworking models are not necessarily the best in the commercial-grade markets, their metalworking products are some of the best-rated and best-selling. When it comes to a horizontal bandsaw, the Jet offers a great mix of power and features that have it stand just a bit taller than the competition in our eyes earning it our top pick recommendation.

Excellent Cuts
As noted before, a great horizontal metal cutting band saw does not necessarily need to be the most powerful to be one of the best. In regards to the Jet horizontal bandsaw, you actually get a tool that is list-leading in some respects and second-best in others. For example, while the Jet metal cutting bandsaw may not have the most cutting torque we reviewed, it still offers an incredibly respectable cut with ¾ hp. However, while the initial bite of the Jet horizontal metal saw may not top our list, its motor putting to use 20-amps certainly does. What this means is that the Jet cut off saw will be able to handle more difficult cuts that would otherwise bog down less powerful motors. On top of that, the Jet 414560 horizontal bandsaw also has one of the widest ranges in terms of metal that can be cut.

The Jet HVBS-712D horizontal bandsaw accomplishes this feat with one of the widest ranges of blade speeds we reviewed. Aside from the fact that it is tied on our list for the fastest blade speed achievable, the Jet horizontal metal cutting band saw also features the second-slowest blade speed reviewed. This means that the Jet metal bandsaw is able to cut anything from aluminum to the lowest grades of steel on the market. Perhaps even better than the widest range of materials able to be cut is the fact that the Jet metal saw also features the largest cutting capacities we found too. It is important to note that the Jet horizontal metal cutting bandsaw is tied for the largest cutting capacities at a 90-degree angle. However, it easily eclipses the other products reviewed, including any other industrial metal cutting band saw, when it comes to angled cuts. This massive machine achieves this throughout its full range of angled cuts, including the less common 30-degree and 15-degree cuts.

Great Design
While the Jet 7×12 bandsaw offers some of the best cutting capability we found, it also provides some exceptionally smooth cuts as well. This has to do with the use of solid materials as well as a design that takes various nuances into account. For instance, this might be the best coolant system we encountered, even if it does have a smaller coolant reservoir than we would prefer. One minor absence we would prefer is the inclusion of a chip brush, but the Jet horizontal band saw attempts to account for this with a decent chip tray. This metal cut-off saw also impresses as a better horizontal vertical metal bandsaw. Aside from the fact that this arrangement makes using the Jet metal cutting saw safer, it also has the advantage of actually increasing its cutting capacity by 1” which can be huge for an industrial metal band saw.

It is also worth noting that the stand included with the Jet horizontal metal band saw seems to provide a bit more stability than some of the other stands we encountered. For one, the stand includes 4 wheels instead of 2, making it easier for 1 person to move by themself. On top of that, the stand is larger than most with the wheels also coming in at a sizeable 8”, though this may be more of a necessity than anything. This is because the Jet horizontal metal cutting saw is also the heaviest horizontal bandsaw on our list by over 100 pounds. While that may seem a bit daunting and will definitely require some assistance to move prior to assembly, it also speaks to the quality of materials used in its construction. The bed, bow, and wheels are all made of cast-iron, with the wheels featuring a flanged production. Even better than that, the worm drive system is made of bronze and kept in a sealed oil bath for long term durability.

Jet 414560 HVBS-712D Deluxe Bandsaw, 7 x 12'

Pros

  • Has a large cutting capacity
  • Has 4 different blade speeds
  • Has a solid motor
  • Has a great coolant system
  • Provides more versatility
  • Is a safer bandsaw

Cons

  • Is a more expensive bandsaw
  • Is a heavier bandsaw

WEN 3975T 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw – Best Value

WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
106 Ratings
WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw
  • Adjust the blade speed anywhere from 125 to 260 feet per minute for compatibility with a variety of metals
  • Beveling blade helps create cuts anywhere from 0 to 60 degrees
  • Cut pipes up to 5 inches in diameter or rectangular materials up to 5 x 4-7/8 inches in size

WEN is a tricky company to reconcile since it is actually the oldest and most experienced that we reviewed. On the other hand, WEN is definitely not like the other companies on our list in that it is focused almost exclusively on the consumer-grade market. This does not necessarily mean that WEN makes inferior products than the other companies we reviewed, but they are definitely not meant for a commercial or industrial workshop. That said, one main advantage that making consumer-grade power tools affords is the ability to sell products at a lower price. Because of this, the WEN horizontal bandsaw is one of the least expensive tools we reviewed and worthy of our best value spot.

Unique Design
While the pictures may not do it justice, the WEN is definitely not like the other horizontal metal saws on our list. Easily the biggest difference is that it is not big at all which carries with it some advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious and notable disadvantage the WEN’s smaller size confers is smaller cutting capacities. That said, while the WEN horizontal metal saw does technically have the smallest cutting capacities reviewed, they are not egregiously smaller than some of their competitors. However, this small size also comes with the advantage of fitting in smaller workshops without much issue too. In fact, this might be the most capable benchtop horizontal band saw that we came across, able to be moved by a single person if need be.

Decent Cuts
Since the WEN 3975 5″ metal cutting benchtop bandsaw is so small, you should also expect a requisite drop in cutting power. However, the WEN is still not necessarily the least powerful variable speed benchtop bandsaw depending on the spec. Still, you will not necessarily be able to cut quite as many materials as some of the other options on our list. This is because the WEN horizontal metal cutting bandsaw has one of the highest low-speed settings we found at 120 spm. On the other hand, the WEN can handle some light aluminum cutting with a maximum cutting speed of 260 spm. Even better, the WEN is actually able to more finely tune its blade speed than most of its competition due to a variable speed control as opposed to static settings. As if that were not enough, the WEN metal bandsaw also offers one of the widest range of angle cuts available with a full 60-degrees at the high-end. That said, this is also one of the few metal cutting bandsaws we reviewed which did not provide a complete vertical alignment.

WEN 3975 4-7/8-inch x 5-inch Metal-Cutting Benchtop Band Saw

Pros

  • Is a less expensive horizontal bandsaw
  • Has a variable blade speed
  • Is a lightweight bandsaw
  • Has a compact profile
  • Is easier to use
  • Has a larger angle cut range

Cons

  • Has a smaller cutting capacity
  • Does not provide a vertical alignment

SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw – Runner Up

Sale
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
23 Ratings
SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw
  • Motor: 3/4 HP, 110V, single-phase 1,725 RPM
  • Blade speeds: 78 FPM @ 40 RPM, 108 FPM @ 60 RPM, 180 FPM @ 80 RPM
  • Blade size: 64-1/2" x 1/2" x 0.025"

Shop Fox is one of the more unusual companies we reviewed in that it is the only product line that is actually part of an in-house brand. To be fair, Woodstock International is a solid company with a founding that goes back over 3 decades. On top of that, while they may be a bit more well-known for their woodworking tools, they do offer a full line of metalworking tools as well. That said, they might do better to stay within their wheelhouse as the Shop Fox W1715 horizontal bandsaw comes up short in some crucial ways.

Decent Cuts
From all outward appearances, the Shop Fox metal cutting band saw should be a solid product. It comes with a reasonably powerful motor that offers ¾ hp which is actually on par with some of the larger horizontal bandsaws we found. That said, the motor only pushes 5-amps which means that it will not be able to stand up to a difficult cut as well as some of its competition. On top of that, the Shop Fox bandsaw also features the slowest maximum blade speed which severely limits some of the metals it can cut. Though, it does at least offer 3 different blade speeds, so you can cut a range of different steel grades.

Iffy Build
By just looking at the spec sheet, you would expect the Shop Fox metal band saw to stand up with the best of them. Unfortunately, this is where the quality and manufacturing of different brands come into play. For instance, the table, base, and wheels are all made of cast-iron, but the larger components do not always fit as intended. On top of that, the motor is also noted for shorting or dying, though this could easily be due to users not understanding the limits of the machine– especially when it comes to the kinds of metal being cut. On a positive note, the blade guards are surprisingly good for the price range featuring an all-ball bearing design that keeps the blade straight without issue. This is also another smaller horizontal bandsaw that provides a wide range of angled cuts, including a 60-degree cut.

SHOP FOX W1715 3/4 HP Metal Cutting Bandsaw

Pros

  • Is a less expensive horizontal bandsaw
  • Has 3 different blade speeds
  • Has a larger angle cut range
  • Uses good materials
  • Is a safer bandsaw
  • Has solid blade guides

Cons

  • Has a smaller cutting capacity
  • Not the most durable

Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw – Also Consider

Sale
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
47 Ratings
Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw
  • Power Tools and Accessories
  • Country of manufacture: Taiwan
  • Manufacturer: Jet

Our final horizontal bandsaw is another product from Jet, but unlikely the more highly rated one, this model is definitely not meant for commercial or industrial use. To be fair, particular users might be able to use it in that capacity, but it is far more well-suited for a hobbyist or an occasional cut as opposed to rigorous, all-day use. However, there is a reason that it is the last horizontal bandsaw on our list, and some of its flaws make choosing it a bit of a gamble.

Questionable Choice
To get the bad out of the way first, the Jet 414458 horizontal bandsaw is noted for having problems right out of the box. While it is impossible to tell exactly, this could be either due to poor quality control during production or from rough handling while being shipped. Either way, there are regular reports of major components being damaged beyond repair when first unpacking, let alone using. To be fair, if you happen to get a Jet HVBS-56M horizontal bandsaw without prior issues, it does provide a solid build. The bed and bow are made of cast-iron, though these components have broken during transit. The wheels are made of flanged cast-iron for increased durability that seems to pay off as they are not noted for breaking.

Okay Cuts
Should this Jet metal cutting bandsaw arrive without issue, its ability to cut is good, not great. Arguably, the biggest reason for this has to do with the motor which is the least powerful we reviewed at only ½ hp. That said, the motor does run at higher amps than most of the smaller metal bandsaws we reviewed which provides some staying power through the cut. The Jet metal cut-off saw also offers 3 different speed settings with a nice range of speeds for most steel-cutting tasks. On top of that, this can also function as a horizontal/vertical metal cutting band saw with reasonably good blade guide adjustments.

Jet 414458 HVBS-56M 5-by-6-Inch 1/2 HP Horizontal/Vertical Bandsaw

Pros

  • Is a less expensive horizontal bandsaw
  • Has 3 different blade speeds
  • Has solid blade guide adjustments
  • Uses good materials
  • Is a safer bandsaw
  • Is a lighter bandsaw

Cons

  • Has a less powerful motor
  • Is poorly shipped (QC)

Best Horizontal Band Saw Buying Guide 2019

Power

The power of a horizontal bandsaw can be a bit deceiving in terms of importance since it generally does not need to hit the highest bar. Rather than the most powerful motor, you are generally going to want to look for the most durable motor. For instance, horizontal bandsaw motors are often rated in both amps and horsepower, each referring to a different quality. The general cutting power is tied to the horsepower, but this only tells you the maximum cutting torque. To understand how well the bandsaw will perform throughout the cut, you should pay more attention to the amps. This means that neither quality can be ignored, but our list offers a wide range of horizontal bandsaws. As such, the most powerful may not necessarily be the best for your particular needs.

Blade Speed

While cutting power often gets all the headlines with power saws and blade speed plays a sidekick kind of position, the roles are almost completely reversed for horizontal bandsaws. This is because horizontal bandsaws are meant more for metal than they are wood. While blade speed is important for cutting wood as well, it takes a special prominence when cutting metal. This is because metal generally needs to be cut at more precise blade speeds to avoid issues. Aside from the fact that the blade can break if cutting the wrong metal at the wrong speed, the workpiece can also suffer. If the blade gets too hot, the cut face can develop burrs or even deform the cut face. However, the issue gets even thornier when you consider that different metals should be cut at different speeds. To account for this, most horizontal bandsaws will include a few speed settings. While it is not necessarily important to get the absolute fastest blade speed, you will want to pay special attention to the highest and lowest speed setting. Bandsaws that have exceptionally fast blade speeds are also able to cut aluminum as well as different types of steel.

Cutting Capacity

Cutting capacity should actually be understood as a group of cutting capacities for a range of different cuts. The importance of this quality will heavily depend on your purposes with professionals often preferring larger models while hobbyists can be satisfied with smaller ones. Fundamentally, cutting capacities can generally be broken up into two types: circular and rectangular. Circular cutting capacities determine the maximum thickness of a circular pipe or bar that the bandsaw can cut. Rectangular cutting capacities, on the other hand, can refer to flat workpieces or those shaped with right angles. It is worth remembering that a horizontal bandsaw can often be adjusted so that it sits in a different configuration. While often used to serve as a vertical bandsaw, these adjustments will usually include the ability to make bevel cuts as well. It is important to keep in mind that angled cuts will have a smaller cutting capacity than straight cuts, or 90-degree cuts, which have the largest cutting capacity of a given tool.

FAQ’s

Why a Horizontal Bandsaw?

Unlike most other power saws, a horizontal bandsaw is not meant to cut wood, though some manufacturers advertise the ability to do so. Instead, a horizontal bandsaw is actually designed to cut metal, usually multiple types of metals including ferrous and non-ferrous varieties. While many power saws have the ability to change out their blade in favor of one better-suited for cutting metal, they are rarely ideal for these purposes. For one, their motors and drives are generally made and tuned for cutting wood or other materials and only offer rough metal cutting capabilities. The horizontal bandsaw, on the other hand, features both a motor and drive design and tuning to cut metal as a first-order task. Aside from the internal refinements, horizontal bandsaws are also designed with a chassis and set of adjustments that better suit cutting metal as well. In fact, if you run a light metalworking shop or regularly find yourself making hundreds of metal cuts a day, a horizontal bandsaw will provide more consistent and better cuts than power saws designed to cut wood.

Some Technique Considerations?

While a horizontal bandsaw might seem similar to a standard bandsaw made for cutting wood, it does carry with it some limitations. Specifically, horizontal bandsaws regularly require larger blades than a traditional bandsaw. This does not mean that a traditional bandsaw will not also use a large blade on occasion, but a horizontal bandsaw will rarely use the smaller blades their cousin bandsaws might. Part of this has to do with the fact that cutting metal requires different blades than cutting wood. What this ultimately means is that horizontal bandsaws are not generally able to make the same range of cuts as a standard bandsaw. For example, you might use a standard bandsaw to make exquisite cuts with wildly organic and irregular shapes or designs. A horizontal bandsaw is not truly designed to do this and should be used primarily, if not exclusively, for making straight cuts. Keep in mind that a big part of this has to do with the fact that cutting metal, especially irregular cuts, require different techniques than does cutting wood.

What to Look for?

This will actually depend more heavily on why you need a horizontal bandsaw in the first place, often far more than with most other power saws. If you are a hobbyist, you can usually get by with a smaller, less powerful horizontal bandsaw. Of course, if you run a commercial business that makes dozens or hundreds of metal cuts per day, chances are you are going to want to favor a larger, more powerful horizontal bandsaw. It is important to note that a larger horizontal bandsaw does not necessarily mean that it is also more powerful, though they do tend to favor that correlation. It is also worth noting that the larger horizontal bandsaws are legitimately monstrous tools that take up significant amounts of space. As such, do not simply get the biggest, most powerful horizontal bandsaw without first making sure your workshop has the space for it. Outside of the raw specs and dimensions, the materials will often play a big role in how well the horizontal bandsaw cuts and how long it will last. While not all manufacturers use the same grade of similar materials, cast-iron is still preferred for most of the construction over less dense materials.

Conclusion

The choice of the best horizontal band saw will really come down to how and where you intend to use it. If you need a horizontal bandsaw for a commercial or industrial setting, you will definitely want to check out the Grizzly or the larger Jet. If you need more power, the Grizzly is probably your best bet– though the Jet has better staying power. On the other hand, the Jet offers a bit more in the way of cutting capacities but does not come with a chip brush. For the average person, the WEN is incredibly easy to use and a true horizontal benchtop bandsaw. If you need a smaller horizontal bandsaw with a vertical alignment, the Shop Fox is decent. Finally, the smaller Jet can be a good horizontal bandsaw, assuming that it arrives all in one piece. If you’re looking for a 14″ band saw or a benchtop version, we have reviewed those extensively.