My Store:
Change Store
My Store:
Change Store
  • Table Saw Vs Bandsaw: Which do you need?

Table Saw Vs Bandsaw: Which do you need?

It can be hard to choose between investing in a new table saw or in a new bandsaw.

The workshop footprint and potentially the price of the bandsaw is attractive, but it’s important to also consider the projects you want to do in 12months to help ensure that you invest in the right machine.

Remember that woodworking can be dangerous and a healthy level of fear and respect for woodworking machinery and safety practices can help keep you safe. Choosing the right machine for the job is one step to help reduce the risk.

Table Saws

A table saw is designed primarily for cutting thinner boards in very straight lines, along or across the grain. Most 250mm or 10-inch table saws have a maximum cutting depth of around 75mm

They are made up of a circular saw blade, mounted on an arbor and powered by an electric motor. Adjustment handles allow you to set the height and tilting angle of the blade and a locking fence is used to set a fixed distance from the blade.  This would be a RIP CUT.

A mitre gauge or similar attachment is used to perform cross grain cutting at various angles.  This is referred to as a CROSS CUT.

Various jigs and accessories can be added to expand these uses or increase accuracy.

Specialty blades can sometimes be used to cut dados or wide slots in a single pass.

Table saws usually offer larger tabletops than bandsaws, allowing larger materials to feed through the blade.

They are very accurate when set up correctly, but are limited by the height of the blade above the table (their cut depth capacity) and their maximum rip capacity.   

The space required in your workshop is dictated by the size of the table saw, but also the space around it, where you would be feeding materials through the blade.  This is very important when dealing with sheet goods.

The danger from a poorly setup table saw is obvious. A spinning blade and contact with any body part never ends well, but its also important to remain aware of your workpiece or offcut being forced back toward you, if not properly controlled. This is referred to as ‘kickback’.


The smaller, more upright Bandsaw takes up a much smaller footprint in your workshop, although you still need to account for infeed and outfeed, but generally with narrower workpieces. 

Bandsaws are generally regarded as safer than a table saw, but a moving blade on any machine MUST be taken seriously. Bandsaws generate noise while cutting, but can be almost silent between cuts. Their blade can be just as dangerous as a spinning table saw blade, but with less chance of kickback.

Bandsaw blades are a continuous loop of sharp toothed material, stretched tightly between two rotating wheels. The bandsaw’s much larger cutting depth and their ability to cut curves and irregular shapes, tapers and fairly good straight lines, makes them one of the most popular and versatile machines in the workshop today.

A Bandsaw is generally used on larger stock, for bringing the dimensions of the timber down into usable board widths and thicknesses. They are measured by their cut depth capacity, and their ripping capacity from the blade to the upright column. 

Compared to a table saw, the thinner Bandsaw blade makes for a less accurate cut, with a cut surface that needs cleaning later on either a table saw, thicknesser or jointer.

Click here to view our video on selecting between bandsaws!

So, which one do you buy?

Many workshops include both machines as they both offer unique features. But which one do you buy first? It all comes down to which one suits your current and short-term future needs the best.

If space is a consideration and you are planning on working on curved projects, then a bandsaw should be considered, but if you have the space and are wanting clean, accurate straight cuts, or to work with sheet type products, then a table saw should be considered!