When you need to cut several boards at once or want to cut curves, circles and other irregular shapes—the bandsaw is your go-to power tool.
A band saw operates entirely differently than any other type of saw and can be tremendously helpful in the right applications. Rather than cutting with a back and forth motion like a reciprocating saw, its thin blade runs in a continuous loop and cuts evenly due to regularly spaced teeth.
If you are looking around to buy a band saw, either as a replacement for an old and worn out one or because you have a new project that calls for one, it pays to compare various saws to see which one will be a good fit for you. The POWERTEC BS900 Band Saw, 9-Inch, and the Jet JWBS-10OS 10-Inch Band Saw with Stand are two of the hottest, most popular band saws available today. But which one is the best ? Sometimes popularity doesn’t carry a lot of weight, but when there are products that consistently out sell others in their class, it is a sound indication that it is because they out perform others in their class.
We are going to review the basic points and features of the POWERTEC BS900 Band Saw or Jet JWBS-10OS Band Saw with Stand, and compare one to the other. This way, you will be able to get a good idea—quickly—about what each saw has to offer.
So, let the contest begin to see which of these highly respected brand name band saws is the best for the money.
The Advantages of Buying Name Brands
Buying name brands isn’t always preferable to buying generic products. For instance, you might believe that generic acetaminophen is every bit as effective as its name brand counterpart, Tylenol. Truthfully, since the ingredients are the same, it may be just as good for less money. But, this reasoning doesn’t really hold true for power tools. Power tools, although an admitted boon to professionals and Do It Yourselfers everywhere, are just what their name implies —powerful.
When you think of something like a band saw with that razor sharp blade spinning at blinding speed, do you really want to trust a cheaply manufactured, inferior quality product?
Rarely will a no-name, generic power tool go through the sort of rigid quality control and exacting standards as a name brand product with a long history of superior quality and workmanship. Sometimes a bargain is a real bargain because you have gotten something that will do what you need done at a lower price than a name brand product. But sometimes a bargain isn’t a bargain at all because it costs you so much over time. Use a poorly made band saw and get hurt, or have to scarp expensive materials it ruined due to defective manufacturing—and you have lost money, not saved it.
So, we’ve touched on the advisability of sticking to brands you know and trust to deliver superior performance and workmanship. Now, we’ll move on to deciding which is the better bandsaw—the POWERTEC BS900 or the Jet JWBS.
The table shown below will show you a brief summary of the stats of each saw.
You can see by glancing at the table above that these two band saws are much the same. It may help to assist you in making an informed buying decision if we look at the main features of each saw, individually.
Both the POWERTEC BS900 and the JET JWBS-10OS have heavy duty, powerful one-half horsepower induction motors. For smallish size projects, this will probably provide all of the power you need. The JET has a Poly-V drive system that transfers power from the motor to the cutting blade, which lessens vibration while increasing a smooth, consistent performance.
Both of these bandsaws have fairly powerful motors of the same horsepower, but the JET with its Poly-V drive system might deliver just a little bit more power, so we’ll declare it the winner of the first round.
Ease of Use
The POWERTEC has several really nice features that increase its ease of use. It has quick and easy blade changes with a patented blade guard adjustment, plus its table has rack and pinion adjustment that allows for easy tilting to 45 degrees. Add to that the POWERTEC’s blade tracking window and it is designed for maximum ease of operation. The JET JWBS also is feature rich in things that make it easy to operate, such as an LED work light, quick release tension that makes for fast and easy blade changes, a tilting trunnion that lets you work at various angles, and a reinforced steel base for stability…it is a band saw that is made to be easy to use. On the other hand, quite a few users have commented on the fact that you must be prepared to adjust and tinker with the JET saw before using it if you want it to work right. There is also a fairly common theme that the tires are too loose for the wheel.
It seems that in the area of being easy to operate, the POWERTEC might be just a little ahead of the JET.
Both of these band saws, the POWERTEC BS900 and the JET JWBS have a reasonably quiet operation. This may sound trivial if you have never used this type of saw, but it isn’t. Some of them screech and whine like a banshee, making a horrible amount of noise, which causes operator fatigue and can actually damage your hearing over time.
This one we’ll have to consider a tie.
All power tools should be treated with respect and have adequate safety features, but if you’re going to be using a band saw….you really need to consider safety features. One of the main safety features of the JETJWBS-10OS is its blade site window that lets you see exactly where you’re cutting and the position of the blade. It also has big, ergonomically designed knobs that give you more control, another safety feature. Ditto for the LED work light that increases your visibility. The POWERTEC BS900 has a keyed switch that prevents starting the saw unintentionally, a very nice safety feature. It also has a blade tracking window so that you can always see exactly weer the blade is while you are working.
In this instance, we will have to award first place in safety features to the JET. It simply has a better design for operator safety, including the LED work light.
Neither one of these is terribly versatile, but then that is the nature of a band saw. Basically, they’re made to be a one trick pony. If you want a band saw for smaller jobs, the JET and the POWERTEC are very well matched. If you want a band saw that can tackle large projects, don’t buy either one of these. While they are well matched for power and cutting capabilities, they are designed for smaller jobs and as long as you bear this in mind and don’t expect them to do what they weren’t made to do—either one will suffice.
In versatility, we have another tie.
The Bottom Line
If you want a good, reasonably priced band saw to do small to medium projects, either of these will probably serve you well.
The JET is…
- …more powerful
- …safer to use
The Powertec is…
- …better for beginners
- …probably cheaper
I would lean toward the JET, because it is a brand i trust. It also got more positive reviews on amazon. But if i were on a budget, the Powertec would do fine.
“Safe & Powerful”
“Can you say “Inexpensive” ?”