Wen tools have grown in popularity over the past few years. This is partly due to the attractive price point. However, there’s a question that seems to keep coming up… Are Wen tools any good? We decided to test 3 of the most common Wen power tools and really put them through the wringer. Hopefully, our findings will help you determine whether or not it’s worth the investment to add the Wen brand to your tool collection.
A Little Wen History
Wen was founded in 1951 by Nick Anton. The company played a substantial role in developing and manufacturing many of the power tools we know and love today. Wen started with tools like chainsaws, engravers, and sharpeners but has since expanded its line tremendously. Over the years, Wen has shifted to a focus on tools for woodworkers, and they maintain a strong presence in the budget power tool market.
Where are Wen Tools Made?
One of the first things people think about when determining the quality of a tool is where it is manufactured. Tools manufactured in the U.S. are often considered to be better quality than those manufactured overseas. So, where are Wen tools made? Well, the short answer is that Wen tools are made in China. However, Wen parts and stock are kept here in the U.S., specifically in Illinois. There are also rumors that Wen tools are manufactured in the same factory in China as some other well-known brands. If those rumors are true, the difference could lie more in the name and color of the tools than the overall quality.
The Wen Warranty
The warranty is important to consider when making a power tool purchase. In addition to that, it’s essential to know that the manufacturer will stand behind their guarantee. Wen offers a two-year warranty on most of their power tools, such as the ones we’ll review. While we’ve never had to make a warranty claim (that’s a good thing!), we’ve read several reports of customers who seem to have had their problems resolved quickly and without hassle. We’re sure there may be an outlier here and there, but as a whole, Wen seems to offer good customer service and a warranty that falls in line with many other tool manufacturers.
One important thing to note is that Wen limits their warranty to 90 days for specific tools used professionally or commercially. We think the 2-year warranty and good customer service will give you peace of mind for tools used around the house or for those weekend warriors.
Wen 9 Inch Band Saw Review
I ordered the Wen 9-inch band saw from Home Depot. After receiving and unpacking it, I was instantly surprised at how well it seemed to be built. It’s mostly metal, except for the blade tensioning and table/bevel adjustment knobs. It was heavier than I expected, weighing in at roughly 46 pounds. The table seemed to be reasonably flat, but I knew that I would test that further when I started doing some cutting.
Overall Build Quality
As mentioned, I think the Wen bandsaw is exceptionally well-built, not just for a tool at this price point but in general. The metal construction looks durable, and I can imagine getting years of use out of it. The only thing I see possibly needing replacement down the road, except for the blade, are the knobs for tensioning and table bevel adjustment. These knobs are plastic and could potentially break at some point. This is just a big maybe for now, as I haven’t had any issues thus far. If the knobs were to fail, they’re offered on Wen’s website and would be an inexpensive fix.
While the bandsaw appears well-built, the accessories included are sort of… eh. The miter gauge, in particular, feels and looks like a toy. This is pretty minor, and if the bandsaw is solid, I can get past the accessories.
Cut Quality & Precision
As I started doing some test cuts, I noticed that the table seemed to have a little warp. As long as the fence and table keep cuts parallel to the blade, which it seems to do, I don’t see this as being a huge issue. The detachable fence leaves a little to be desired. Two locking clamps go on both sides of the table, which are also plastic. The clamps don’t ensure an even cut. You must measure each side of the fence to the other side of the table to ensure a nice, even cut. This may be the case with other bandsaws in this price range, but I can only speak to the Wen.
First, I ensured the fence was straight and set at 3/4″ from the blade. To test the cut accuracy, I re-sawed a small piece of 2×4 (1.5″x3.5″) right down the middle. The result was pretty good, coming in at only a fraction of an inch between the two ends. I measured with a digital caliper, and I’m sure there could be some variation in the piece of 2×4 pine purchased at a big box hardware store.
I also used a digital angle finder to ensure that the blade/table gave me an accurate 90-degree cut. I measured the angle on both sides of the cut 2×4 and was pretty happy with the results. As you can see from the image, it was coming in at roughly 89.8 degrees… that’s close enough for me. I’m sure I could make some minor table adjustments, but I was happy to see it this close to 90 degrees, straight from the factory.
Depending on the result you are after, you will probably have to do some sanding. This is going to be true with just about any bandsaw. They’re not meant to give you a fine finished cut. That being said, the cut was smooth enough to finish off with some 220-grit sandpaper.
The 2.5 Amp motor seemed powerful enough for soft and hardwoods. I tested pine and Ash wood to see how the motor and blade held up. I was able to cut both with ease. Granted, I didn’t try anything as hard as purple heart wood, but I can imagine this bandsaw would cut it without issue, especially feeding it through at a slower rate.
One thing that impressed me was how quiet this bandsaw is. Once you start cutting, things get a little noisy, but the machine itself runs very quietly.
If you’re looking for a budget benchtop bandsaw for home projects, I cannot recommend the Wen 9-inch bandsaw enough. It’s well-built, powerful, and cuts true (with some preparation). I’ve read some horror stories about other benchtop bandsaws in this price range, and I’m thrilled that I decided to go with Wen.
Wen Scroll Saw Review
I ordered the 16-inch Wen Scroll Saw from Amazon. The saw came nicely packaged for safe transportation, and all parts were intact. Again, I was impressed by the build quality of such an inexpensive tool. Some of the other comparable scroll saws from bigger name manufacturers are roughly five times the cost.
Overall Build Quality
This scroll saw is a pretty even mix of metal and plastic construction. While I don’t love a lot of plastic, it seems to make sense where it’s used on this Wen scroll saw, and the plastic seems durable enough not to cause any concern. Barring any mechanical issues, I expect to get years of use out of it.
Cut Quality & Precision
I started with a piece of 1/4 inch plywood to test the cut quality and precision. I wasn’t after a masterpiece here with intricate cuts… just something to test how easy it was to remove and re-attach the blade and how well it cut overall. I drew a few different shapes on the plywood and drilled my holes where the blade would go through.
Using a scroll saw, in general, is a bit of a new thing for me. Inexperience aside, I found it relatively easy to use after the first couple of cuts. Staying within my lines took a little practice, but once I got through the first couple of shapes, I felt like I had been doing it for years. The blade cut very easily, and the result was better than I expected. The table seemed very flat, and the plywood moved around nicely with little resistance.
Dust Collection and Work Light
I hooked up a shop vac to the 1-1/2 inch dust port to test the dust collection. This did a reasonably good job removing most of the sawdust during the project. The little air pump also did an excellent job of keeping sawdust out of my cut area. Sometimes I needed to blow some remaining sawdust out, but that didn’t bother me much.
I found the work light handy. The light moves and bends easily to shine where you need it most. While my garage is fairly well lit, having a little extra light shining directly on the work area was helpful.
Overall, I was impressed with the Wen Scroll Saw. It took a little getting used to, but I found it very easy to use once I got the hang of it. I achieved the cuts I was after, and the saw had plenty of power for the plywood. I imagine it would do just fine with hardwood as well. While I didn’t test any intricate cuts or even a 45-degree angle, I think this scroll saw is more than capable of giving me great results in a crazy affordable price range.
Wen 8 Inch Drill Press Review
I ordered the 8-inch drill press from Amazon. Wen seems to package their tools well for safe transportation. This was my 3rd Wen tool purchase, and even though the boxes got a little banged up, the tools have all been fully intact and without any damage. I was excited to open the box and see the same level of quality that I saw in my other Wen tools.
Overall Build Quality
Once again, I was blown away by how solid Wen builds their tools. This relatively small benchtop drill press seems to be built like a tank. Once I got everything together, including installing the table and chuck, it weighed in at roughly 34 pounds. At first, I was a bit worried that it might be a little top-heavy, with the risk of tipping over. After standing it up, however, I think you’d have to try to tip it over. For added security, it does have built-in holes on the base for attaching to a workbench.
Before powering it up, I lowered the chuck to test the smoothness. There was a bit of a springy feel to it, but overall the action was pretty smooth. I felt that springiness might even go away after some use, so I wasn’t concerned about that. The cast iron base is also a nice touch. This drill press is yet another Wen tool I can see giving me years of use.
The 8-inch swing on this benchtop drill press gave me an extremely accurate result. I noticed no variation between the topmost position and where the drill bit made contact with the wood. I used a 1/4-inch drill bit and a 1-inch Forstner bit to test the precision. Both gave me incredibly accurate results.
This Wen benchtop drill press had plenty of power. The 2.3 Amp motor seemed to provide plenty of torque to make drilling through pine and Ash wood easy as butter. I took it a little slower through the harder Ash, but it handled it just fine. I see it drilling through even harder wood without issue. While I’m not sure I would try milling aluminum with this drill press, I’d be surprised if it couldn’t handle it with a bit of extra care (and oil).
While I don’t anticipate the Wen drill press getting a lot of use, I think it will hold up to just about any project I throw at it. Limited only by the height of the swing, I can see myself being able to accomplish most applications that would require a drill press. If you need a quality, affordable benchtop drill press, the 8-inch Wen should be more than enough
I am delighted with the quality of the three Wen tools I tested. They each functioned flawlessly and gave me a good end result. I can’t see needing anything more than what I could get with the bandsaw, scroll saw, and drill press. If you do woodworking for a living and run your tools hard day in and day out, it might be worth looking in a higher budget range, but I can’t recommend Wen tools enough for the hobby woodworker.
So, are Wen tools any good? The short answer is yes, absolutely. They are quality tools at an excellent price. I’d try others without hesitation.
Last update on 2023-02-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API