If you can make your own bandsaw guide, it will be very satisfying. However, we recommend professionally made guides because they are safer and better.
Replacing your bandsaw guide may rise the creative soul in you, still push it down for when you get better.
Use the recommended guides for now as they are more accurate, better balanced, and are more likely to fit with the bandsaw.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best bandsaw guides which are a near-perfect replacement for your bandsaw.
As guides vary in size according to the blades and saws they are meant for, we have decided to keep something for all sizes.
ACCURA 3/4" Blade Guide
5 out of 5
New ACCURA 14"
5 out of 5
JET Carter-Style Bearing Blade Guides
4.5 out of 5
ACCURA 7/8" Bore Upper Guide
4 out of 5
Rikon Tool Blade Guide
4.5 out of 5
5 Best Bandsaw Guides Reviews in 2021
The guides we have included are for replacing your ODM guides and so we have chosen the ones that are most likely to match with commonly used saws.
1. ACCURA 3/4" Blade Guides for Bandsaw
Accura has always been among our top choices because they have been making these guides for a long time and in that time, they have mastered the craft of making guides.
At first glance, you might feel that there are too many screws for such a compact guide, but they only make it more adjustable. So, if you’re picky with your adjustments, this will give you the original-like settings you saw in your ODMs.
These are perfect ODM replacements for 14” bandsaws. However. You might have to work to make this fit precisely to some of the saws.
Please make sure this is a good match for your tool because a lot rides on how well it fits. Not only the quality of your work but also safety depends on the proper installation of these guides.
You don’t have to do any kind of setup on this unit. It’s delivered to you completely assembled and the service from Accura doesn’t leave much room for complaints. Yet another reason why they are so well-regarded.
The thrust bearing included runs the guide and saw smoothly, while the screws can be adjusted with your thumbs to make sure you’re not over-tightening any.Highlighted Features:
2. New ACCURA 14" Band Saw Blade Guide
Accura makes all kinds of guides for saws and they have been making these tools for a long time. This Accura tool is one of the best bandsaw guides among the aftermarket users and for good reason.
What we like about their design is the minimalistic approach which keeps it simple yet efficient. There are no extravagant screws or bearing to complicate the adjustment.
It’s a simple and light guide that does exactly what it’s meant for, which is guiding the blade to accurately cut through lumber.
This includes two graphite cool blocks. The cool blocks prevent the blade from sparking up and keep the process safe. And under the blocks, you have the screws to adjust the tension of the guide which can be easily adjusted.
Overall, this is a smooth functioning guide that’s going to have that sharp look to give you confidence as you run the blade. On top of that, it also runs smoothly to provide a smooth-running bandsaw.
It should fit a 14” bandsaw. But you have to check the bore size before you buy this to make sure it fits with your saw.Highlighted Features:
3. JET Carter-Style Bearing Blade Guides
If you want to replace your originals with something better, then bandsaw blade guides from Jet is what you should look into. Their guides come at a heftier price but are definitely worth the extra bucks.
This model sports a premium build and has three bandsaw guide bearings. The bearings have been built for perfection and give your blades complete support.
On top of that, these also reduce the friction with the blades and provide a smooth performance. Hence, a guide like this is also good for your bandsaw as it makes the saw’s work easier.
Further, another interesting addition they have made to their bearings is that they have sealed them completely. So, no dust or debris can enter the guide and make it lag.
A guide might not determine how refined your cut turns out, but it does give you the confidence to go through with the difficult cuts. And that’s where an exclusive guide that firmly holds on to the bandsaw comes into play.
It doesn’t only help to stabilize the bandsaw but also reinstates confidence in you as you have a sharper looking tool.
Since this is a high-end guide, it can support your most difficult projects with ease. If your project requires the bandsaw to outperform itself, then this will stand by the tool as it supports speeds up to 5000 SFPM.
Also, as you can make micro-adjustments in both the upper and lower guides, it gives you the option to put everything in precise control.Highlighted Features:
4. ACCURA 7/8" Bore Blade Guide for Band Saw
The reason why we keep coming back to Accura is that no other brand makes such products for such a price point like they do. It makes them one of the biggest names in the aftermarket bandsaw industry.
Right away from one look, you can tell that this is a strong and sturdy bearing. The material is thicker than the 3/4th guide, which is a larger size.
It will be fairly easy to install and you shouldn’t have to make too many adjustments if your bandsaw is 14”. Further, this can also be used for saws ranging around 16-18”.
One of the most amazing things about the construction of this tool is that although Accura has prioritized making this sturdier, it did not increase the weight. Hence, it will sit very nicely on your bandsaw and make sure your blade isn’t fidgeting.
If you make tricky curves with your bandsaw then you will enjoy using this guide as it can be adjusted to very fine values.
Another advantage of this guide is that it can fit a range of bandsaws. Further, you also get two cool blocks to support the blade.
The cool blocks prevent the blade from heating up and make sure it’s positioned exactly perpendicular to your workpiece.
So, if you want a small yet durable guide to make working on your bandsaw much more refined, then this is something you can look at.Highlighted Features:
5. Rikon Tool-Free Blade Guide and Guard Kit
Rikon has brought us one of our favorite guards. You might know the brand for their power tools or industrial machines or even the accessories.
They have a range of products in their line-up but what made this list is their guard and guide kit which includes one of the most ergonomic guides we have seen.
The most important feature of this guide is that it has a tool-free installation. You don’t need any hex key or wrench to get this up and ready. You can set this up in minutes and start sawing.
Making adjustments with this tool is just as efficient. You won’t see issues like adjusting the bear only to do it all over again. This is pretty easy to work with and saves time too.
Another thing about the bearings that we like is that it can substantially minimize friction and protect the blade. Your blades will have a longer lifespan if you use this guide as it keeps them cool and reduces friction.
Also, the aluminum construction has given this a strong structure which is only further strengthened by the three bearings.
Two side bearings and one rear thrust bearing ensure that your blade is never off position and you can easily make the most difficult cuts.Highlighted Features:
Comparison Table of Top 5 Bandsaw Guides
Features a durable thrust bearing for more efficiency
1 thrust Bearing
New ACCURA 14"
Has tension adjusting thumb screws
Three guide bearings for reduced friction
Compatible with many kinds of bandsaws
1 thrust Bearing
Rikon Blade Guide
Can be installed and adjusted easily
2 side bearings & 1 thrust bearing
Bandsaw Guides Buying Guide
If you’re looking for the best bandsaw guides, then you have to know exactly what you’re looking for.
Replacing your broken or worn-out guides is very important to ensure work quality but with the many different ranges of this tool, it can become difficult to choose.
Here are a few factors you should keep in mind before buying these guides;
Bandsaw and Blade Size
Before you even begin to look for your guide you have to first know what size and structure you need for your bandsaw. Because if they aren’t compatible, the guide won’t fit.
However, if you’re experienced enough, then you can make the right adjustments to ensure it fits.
But for beginners, we recommend you don’t try that as sawing with a misplaced guide could result in you hurting yourself.
With blade guides for bandsaws, it becomes a matter of great annoyance if adjustability isn’t smooth. If each bearing has their own mounts, then adjusting is easy by turning them.
You can also find screws, knobs, and many different kinds of adjusting methods. But not all work properly.
Some are too difficult to work with while others can retort back to their original position before you lock it.
To avoid such inconsistencies, you have to check whether the knobs and bearings are easy to adjust.
Bearings control how smoothly the guide can direct the blade and keep it well-positioned. Having two side bearings and a rear bearing is an optimal choice.
The size of the guides matters along with the bandsaw size. If the size is too big in comparison to your bandsaw, it will feel obstructive and your blade might not fit also. But the actual problem is that it will affect your work, especially when cutting curved designs.
Although you might not put much significance in the looks, bandsaw guides that are too bland to look at can make your workflow slower.
Having better-looking guides will also motivate you and make you feel like you’re working with a newer tool. This will have a psychological impact on the outcome of your work.
Cool blocks don’t only keep the blade cool, but it also ensures the blades don’t create sparks. Blades move so fast that they can scintillate and heat up badly. So, cool blocks keep them unheated and reduce the effect of the friction.
But they tend to wear out soon and sometimes they depreciate in an uneven manner which then affects the blade’s position.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can Guides Improve the Quality of the Cut?
The main job of the guide is to ‘guide’ the blade so that it stays perpendicular. The cut quality depends on the bandsaw and the blade, the guide can only help make sure everything runs smoothly.
2. Do I Need Cool Blocks?
Cool blocks are self-lubricating blocks that keep the blades from heating up. They are there to ensure the blades don’t heat up too much when in contact with the guide.
3. How to Check the Compatibility of Your Bandsaw Guides?
Usually, all the compatible and direct replacements are mentioned in the details of the product. But if you’re still unsure, you can contact the seller and also check the size compatibility.
4. Is It Difficult to Install the Guides?
If your bandsaw model is supported by the guide, you won’t have any issue with installation. However, if you do, then you can make fitting adjustments to make them apt. It’s a task not too complex for a woodworker.
5. Is It Better to Get Original Replacements or Aftermarket Ones?
The answer depends on how much you wish to spend. Original replacements usually cost more but in aftermarket products, you can get similar performance for a far better price.
We have reached the end of our review, but one word of caution for our reader is that even the best bandsaw guides cannot yield the desired result if your skills aren’t there to back it. The guide will assist the blade and you can achieve that with both affordable or expensive tools.
So, the choice ultimately depends on your preference and we have just selected the ones we think are most enjoyable to work with.
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