Bandsaw for Guitar Building – A Complete and Detailed Guide

band saw - What Does a Luthier Do?

Having the right tools for the job will get you a lot closer to the desired product, without making costly mistakes along the way. But do you actually need a bandsaw for guitar building? Let’s find out:

Bandsaws are one of the most important (if not the most important) tools that luthiers use in order to cut guitar fingerboards, shaping guitar bodies, necks, and other pieces repeatedly with little to no deviation from the intended measurements.

Bandsaws give you the ability to make the process of cutting even hardwood a breeze. These magnificent tools also enable one to cut the wood pieces into forms that aim to fit human body proportions better to the final consumers.

Artists generally play and rehearse a lot. A comfortable and anatomic instrument like the modern guitar has a couple of proven body shapes that will always attract and satisfy customers.

Bandsaws tend to be one of the most used machines in the process of guitar making, so depending on how serious you are, choosing the right one right from the start is what you should aim for.

Buying your first bandsaw is a giant milestone in your journey as a Luthier, and you should be well aware of what’s in it for you before you decide on the actual purchase.

This is often the priciest purchase an aspiring guitar maker has to do before being able to become a professional.

Why not use a table saw?

Although there is demand for a table saw at most guitar shops, they aren’t in fact a requirement.
What happens is that guitars tend to have more rounded shapes, so cutting straight isn’t that much of a necessity.

All of the straight cuts a guitar body would need can be made by a bandsaw with the aid of a fence.

What size of bandsaw should you get for guitar making: 9, 12, or 14 inches?

A 14″ inch bandsaw is the smallest size you should consider.

Sometimes the machine size becomes a restriction in your space, but getting a bandsaw that is too small will limit your possibilities in the long run.

A 14” inch bandsaw will enable you to cut longer pieces while keeping the blades cutting for longer. Smaller bandsaws tend to put more strain into the blades.

Also, smaller blades with decent quality are often harder to find, while longer blades that will give you more usage time are more readily available.

What is the 14” measurement

Bandsaw for Guitar Building

This is the distance related to twice the size of the radius of the wheel (diameter). It also indicates the space between the actual blade and the physical metal throat of the machine.

It’s the ideal size when moving around in order to outline different guitar parts, such as bodies, necks, etc.

As far as height goes, you’ll find that most bandsaws will range from 6” to 12”, without the addition of a riser. The riser, when installed, will add another 6” to your total resaw capacity.

Choosing the right bandsaw for guitar building

When acquiring tools, you should always consider if they will be able to get the job done.

We’ve established that when building guitars, the size of the bandsaw is very important.

But that’s not everything. Other many things to look at are durability, price point, the manufacturer’s reputation, and other factors that must be taken into consideration.

After researching and a lot of testing, let’s dive deeper into one that we think is the absolute best bandsaw for guitar making, for beginners and seasoned veterans alike:

Grizzly Industrial G0555 – 14″ 1 HP Deluxe Bandsaw

These Bandsaws are intended exclusively for woodworking.

Other than the great specs, what sets them apart are these features:

  • Cast-iron wheels
  • A T-shaped fence
  • Easily adjustable posts to guide the upper blades
  • Quick-release tensioner (so that the blades are only tensioned when in use)
  • Rack and pinion style guidepost
  • Ball-bearing blade guides

Overall these are awesome tools for guitar shop professionals and enthusiasts. They are shipped together with a woodworking blade on the package, so operation can begin as soon as you’re set up.

You’ll find that the gigantic list of accessories available will enable you to expand the capabilities to adjust as your needs grow.

In terms of power, when cutting wood, the general rule is that the more power you have, the better.
When speaking about guitar making, 1HP is more than enough for a blade of this size.

best bandsaw for guitar building
The best bandsaw for guitar building


This bandsaw is no more than 246lbs when you finish assembling it (not including expansion accessories). That’s still pretty heavy though.


Everyone that has some experience with guitar building will tell you that the cutting height of the bandsaw is a major factor. Especially when dealing with resawing.

What is Resawing on a bandsaw?

According to

Resawing is cutting a sawn plank of wood into thinner planks on a bandsaw. Thus the cut runs through the plank’s width, which distinguishes bandsaw resawing from ordinary bandsaw rip cuts where the blade runs through the stock’s thickness.”

Now that we know what resawing is, it’s very important to also know that the 6” inches of cutting height this bandsaw offers aren’t enough for resawing guitar tops.

If you can get the 6’ inch riser kit along, you’ll extend the cutting height and not have to worry about it when you’re in the middle of your project.

Cast iron wheels

Cast iron wheels
Cast Iron Wheels are one of the main benefits of this bandsaw for guitar building

In comparison with other machines with aluminum wheels, the cast iron wheels will help the overall cutting because they tend to help the motor with their impulse.

The heavier a spinning object is, the more gaining of momentum it provides to the whole system.

The thing with cast iron wheels is that some bandsaw brands might have you scratching your head at first because they need to be on the same plane (be coplanar) for things to work efficiently.

When this is not on point, you’ll notice that the machine vibrates a lot, which isn’t ideal for cutting wood, and for the longevity of the blades as well.

The Grizzly Industrial cast iron wheels are evenly balanced from the moment you receive the package, so no worries there.


Expect a high-quality finish in these G0555LX bandsaws. The paint quality in the wheel covers and other parts of the machine is good enough to keep it clear from chipping and scratching, and it comes with a really cool indented logo of a badass bear, and the safety warnings stickers.


The machine as a whole comes in a pallet, and the cast iron table has special protection, in order to prevent it from rusting during storage and shipment.

The parts fit tightly right off the bat, meaning that assembling is a no-brainer, given that you follow proper instructions. The switches are of industrial quality, built to last, and are easily accessible.


Though the G0555LX doesn’t come with wheels at the base for moving it around, you can easily adapt it with the right casters, if they have the right weight specifications, for when it’s performing the cuts.

Dust collection and maintenance

You can attach your preferred dust collector to the G0555LX 4” dust port easily to keep your shop’s air cleaner.

There are literally dozens of tutorials available online to do this, so you can get a bit creative.

Regarding maintenance, there are a few tasks you should do periodically to ensure the correct workings, such as cleaning not only the dust but also replacing the rubber tires on the cast iron wheels, replacing the blades due to natural wear, etc. They will all be thoroughly detailed in the owner’s manual.

This is the type of product that you can expect to be completely accurate, even when you first assemble it. That’s a very good indication that the project management was serious about delivering a product that it’s worth what it costs.

There isn’t anything worse than noticing cheap build quality on a product right after you receive it. Parts that won’t fit, that will stand out, or will make operation more difficult than it should be.

If you are looking for a heavy-duty bandsaw that is not only well-built and looks great but is relatively silent this is the right tool for you, and it’ll easily become the go-to tool when you need to cut quickly and precisely.

Is there an alternative to a bandsaw for guitar building?

There is. But it’ll require a lot more effort and patience to achieve the same results.

Using a jigsaw is an alternative, but expect to go through lots of blades very quickly. Hand cutting movement isn’t as precise as the bandsaw’s, and also the blades will heat up more, which eventually leads to breaking and losing their cutting edge.

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Although you can get away with building a guitar neck using a jigsaw and other improvised tools, for instance, it’ll take absolute mastery of the skills to get good even remotely similar results.

If you ever tried to make a neck without proper tools before you know what we’re talking about.

With a bandsaw, you can cut most guitar pieces in just minutes, and repeat the process as much as you need. That enables you to try more and get more experience from your builds.

So, bandsaws for guitar building – are they worth it?

Bandsaws are a must-have for any serious aspirants to professional wooden/strings musical instruments makers.

Not only they’ll save you a lot of time, but they will also allow you to scale your production, and consequently, your business revenue.

They’ll also ensure that your pieces are safely cut as close as they can to the project requirements.

Provided that every average luthier in the making has similar needs when starting out at doing guitar work, the bandsaw will become a very versatile power tool. It will enable them to perform cutting, joinery, and even resawing.

Imagine the possibilities

If that the professional is able to understand the capabilities of the machine and the proper ways to operate it/expand its functionalities, there is virtually nothing related to woodworking in guitar building that you cannot achieve through the use of a bandsaw.

But while the bandsaw is excellent for building guitars, it also works for nearly every other project related to woodworking. Given its ability to cut straight, curves and angles, you can build nearly everything you can think of using it. It’s awesome to build shelves, bowls, guitar stands, wall-mounted hangers, drawers, and boxes to keep your hand tools, racks, stands, frames, sculptures… You name it, the bandsaw can cut the pieces perfectly and with style.

But considering that your interest is to build guitars only, not only does it enable you to cut the pieces right, but you can also get a bit creative with body and headstock shapes. This, in turn, will add diversity and uniqueness to your instruments portfolio.

On a budget?

Even if you can’t afford a great one with all the bells and whistles, with a little creativity and elbow grease you can make even the cheapest bandsaw to a state where it’ll be capable to perform all the tasks you’d need to build beautiful and functional guitars. Of course, it won’t be as easy and you’ll probably want to rip your own face off with all the alignments and repairs you’ll have to do. but sometimes when on a budget you’ll have to make it until you can afford to expand your machinery. After getting some satisfied clients and reputation to your shop, you’ll be able to afford a better machine.

There are a number of knockoff products in the market today coming from all corners of the world They’ll almost always give you headaches regarding functionality, maintenance, and technical support. Quickly researching their reviews online reveals an army of dissatisfied customers. People that spent a lot of money and were tricked into thinking that the machine they bought would be the best deal, only to find out that after a couple of cuts they had a malfunctioning piece of equipment and no one to turn to for help.

Be careful when looking for cheaper machines that you’ll have to rely upon. As with everything else, if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Be responsible

Always remember that when purchasing a piece of equipment such as the bandsaw, with the intention of building instruments or doing any other kind of woodworking:

  • This kind of equipment must be operated by adults with full responsibility, and not before getting thoroughly acquainted with the safety measures and warnings contained in the operations manual. These machines are in fact intended to cut things, and observation of the security guidelines should be strict.

Other than that, bandsaws can easily do a lot of the heavy day-to-day duties of a luthier, their cutting capabilities are excellent right off the bat, and their capabilities are very expandable.

This is why they are one of the must-have tools for building strings instruments.

While bandsaws are excellent for building guitars, they also enable you to optimize and repurpose wood, cut curves for molds, cut 2 or more pieces in a consistent way together on top of each other, book matching that beautiful piece of wood, and building totally unrelated objects that will be useful nonetheless. So your investment is well justified even if you decide that building guitars isn’t your thing.

In conclusion

The conclusion we get in the case of the Grizzly G0555LX is that for the price that these sturdy and well-built machines sell for, they are an excellent power tool to have at any time when working with wood to build guitars and many other musical instruments as well. No matter if you’d like to try building a bass guitar, an ukulele, a violin, a baritone 7 string guitar, or simply a small bowl to keep some screws from falling to the ground and into oblivion, your bandsaw has got your back.

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