This is not a must-have piece of equipment, but it is one of the first "luxury" tools that I would recommend. It is very helpful to cut corners and chunks off of a block in a matter of seconds. My band saw is a small Delta model that I bought used. (You'll notice, if you read through the entire tooling section, that I have mostly Delta tools. That was largely by accident because I actually bought most of them used. They have, however, been good tools, and I do not hesitate to recommend them.) I recommend using a 3/8" wide wood blade for best results with briar.
Getting one's band saw properly adjusted is key to good performance from it. I recommend The Band Saw Handbook (link) for how to get the most from your band saw.