Ryobi 9-Inch Band Saw Review

Ryobi BS904G 9' BANDSAW Green

The Ryobi 9-inch band saw can handle a wide range of woodworking tasks. It includes a blade tracking window rack, a pinion blade support, and an adjustment mechanism.

Also, it has a built-in dust collection port and minimal vibration, which is not available in many band saws on the market.

But before you buy, it’s vital to make sure you know what you’re getting. Buying the wrong saw for your needs is not only a waste of money, it’s also dangerous.

In this Ryobi bandsaw review, I go over the vital features of this tool and how to get maximum value from it.

Features

  • Cutting capacity: 9’’ throat and 3-1/2’’ depth
  • Fast-track blade tensioning system
  • Blade tracking window system for better accuracy
  • Aluminum wheels
  • 120V Power
  • 0.025’’  Blade
  • Table size: 14-3/4 x 11-3/4 inches

 

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My Ryobi Bandsaw Review

If there’s one thing that being in the woodworking industry for a long time proves to you, it’s that there are tons of ways to complete a job… including incorrectly. But the endgame, of course, is to achieve a perfect result.

Though I have years of experience working with wood, I still stop to admire well-detailed woodworking jobs such as posts, shelves, corbels, and the like. These amazing pieces are brought to life with the help of different tools and impressive skills.

The Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw is one such tool.

Although many professionals would rather use a standalone, larger saw, the Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw perfectly caters to the needs of hobbyists and DIYers. This saw is accepted by many users as a great band saw for the money, because it comes with lots of features that make it worth the investment.

Beginners just starting out with woodworking and taking on DIY projects or mini-workshops will love this band saw. It handles lighter materials perfectly, as opposed to table saws or scroll saws which limit the work you can do. Most times, the most creative you can get using these types of saws is with small decorative fretwork (carving), marquetry (inlay), or cabinetry. The free-form band saw boxes are impossible to do.

So, a band saw is a smart choice to add to a workshop, but larger ones like the 14-inch JET j-8201VS will be too heavy and take up too much space if you have a small workshop.

The Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw requires being bolted or clamped to a bench for safety, but this is easy, as it is bench-top sized, lightweight, and can be easily moved around.

A plus to having this tool in your possession is that it comes with the standard 120V power, so you need not install an extra 220V outlet.

When getting a saw of this size, the first thing to consider is the work you plan on using it for. Remember, it is a 9” throat size, ideal for cutting 3-5/8″, which restricts the size of work it can handle just a bit.

This saw is meant for smaller pieces and is not ideal to handle high capacity resaws. A bigger saw is better if you do big resaws. Aside from being a great band saw for those on a budget, overall, the average DIYer and small shop will find the Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw useful and efficient.

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Construction Of The Ryobi 9-Inch Band Saw

The Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw comes with two aluminum wheels, a switch key, a blade, miter gauge, a tabletop, a 2.5-amp motor, and a manual.

The factory fitted blade is ¼” wide; ⅛” and ⅜” are available for separate purchase.

The table can be tilted with the support of a rack and pinion system. The 2-1/2″ dust collection port fits perfectly to a dust collection system or shop-vac

This classic design is similar to what is found on other units, such as WEN 3960 or SKIL 3386-01, although the motor power is slightly different. It is compact and weighs only 43 pounds which makes it one of the most portable band saws suitable for outdoor projects.

This bandsaw is simple to assemble with a few supplies. Take your time when calibrating the blade to get a proper tension. This will reduce the risk of the blade getting too tight and cracking prematurely.

Afterward, your bandsaw is set for use.

Do keep in mind, this band saw is relatively low cost and covers the basic parameters only. For instance, its 2.5-amp motor limits it to cutting wood pieces, although some users say that the Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw fitted with a 1/8″ TPI blade can cut aluminum sized at 3/8 – 1/2”.

 

Ryobi Band Saw Setup

Setting up the saw is easy. You can quickly set up the blade tension and tracking in minutes. The control knobs are easily adjustable and intuitive. Also, after setting up the blade, there is a little window by the side to check blade tracking when the unit is in use.

You may find the installation of the table a bit tricky, but it fits together just fine if you take your time. Also, it is at this point that you connect the hose for your dust collector if you have one.

You can bolt or clamp the saw to your bench. Clamping the saw will give you more flexibility in moving it around to work on various projects. If bolting, you need four bolts to mount it to a bench, and you can always consider creating a rolling stand for the band saw later.

Squaring up the blade to the table is critical but simple; to do it faster, you may need to use a smaller machinist square. You can open the two-door cabinet in the saw without tools. The cabinet contains two aluminum wheels and ball bearing supports. To lower the top wheel, you must lower the lever at the saw’s rear.

An adjustment knob at the saw’s rear can fine-tune the blade tracking. If at this point your blade tracking is still a bit off, raise the top wheel by lifting the lever. Guide the blade through the blade guide assembly around the wheels, and center the blade in the wheels.

After that, hand-spin the lower wheel and while at it, use the tracking knob to center the blade. The process is easy even for a first timer.

 

 

Using The Saw

After the setup, put in the switch key and get the unit running for some test cuts. You can test the Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw on various pieces of wood, but you will find it does better on 3/4″ plywood and other construction-grade lumber.

Straight cuts and curves are easy with this band saw, although the 2.5-amp motor might bog down in some places (like hard knots). The motor stalls if the radius is too tight, so have that in mind when working as well.

A simple freehand cutting test on a ying-yang shaped top will highlight the saw’s proficiency with curves, especially if you have the 1/8″ blade installed.

The saw can handle a little resawing on 2x4s, but it wouldn’t handle thicker resaw jobs. Also, you must create your own resaw fence.

Cross cuts can be made with this saw using the included miter gauge guide at 90 degrees. Small is the operative word on this saw, and it can virtually dig into anything you feed it from your hardwood scrap.

The dust collector port at the bottom wheel housing works well in handling the dust, and you will find that very little will remain in the machine while the vacuum is on. Also, a brush found on the wheel knocks off any dust as you work, and the dust control is so good, you may not feel you need to use a dust mask while using the Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw. I still recommend one, though.

When you reach the power switch while cutting, you will discover a yellow key. As a safety feature, this key must stay connected to the power switch for the saw to work; without it, the saw remains inoperable even when plugged. Although the benefit of this feature is obvious, a downside to it is that you can easily lose it. Take extra measures to ensure that you keep it safe after the day’s work.

This saw is fun to use for weekend projects. It is less complicated, and a newbie can easily achieve smooth cuts so long as the blade isn’t twisted.

 

Benefits

  • The Ryobi 9-Inch Band Saw easily achieves straight cuts, cross cuts, and resaws on light wood.
  • It can cut nonferrous materials like aluminum with the right blade and proper tensioning setup.
  • This band saw runs smoothly and is stable.
  • Weighing 43 lbs, it is lightweight and compact, making it very handy for DIY projects.

 

What You Need To Know Before Buying The Ryobi 9-Inch Band Saw

This band saw is small and built for light projects. If used for the right jobs, it performs smoothly but works limitedly when used for bigger pieces of wood because of its 3-½” cutting depth.

If you are working with thicker pieces of wood, get a saw that is 10” or above like the Rikon 10-305 model or the Craftsman 10’’ band saw.

It includes the all-important yellow key for safety. Without this key, the bandsaw will not work. I suggest using a thread to attach this key to the unit to help prevent it from getting lost.

 

Final Thoughts

The Ryobi 9-inch Band Saw is built with a mix of high-quality plastic and metal and has a solid construction. You may find the table to be a bit flat on one edge, but it carries this small unit perfectly. I hope this Ryobi bandsaw review has enlightened you on the use and benefits of this great tool.

In the end, it all depends on what you are getting the saw for. The average DIYer and hobbyist will love it, but it might not cut it (saw pun intended) for jobs that require more power.

A woodworker operating in a small shop will appreciate the compact size and low price. Larger workshops will enjoy its portability and proficiency in making small boxes. Overall, this saw is very handy to have around.

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Bob Campbell

Bob Campbell

By day Robert "Bob" Campbell is a residential carpenter but by night (and on the weekends) he is a non-stop DIY tinkerer. As the lead editor of HandymansJournal.com Bob is able to share his passion for DIY projects and buying all the latest gear with the online world.