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Review of the Powermatic PM1500 15 inch Bandsaw

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Blog entry by Marty Backe posted 03-31-2013 05:36 PM 6169 reads 1 time favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In this video, I review the new Powermatic 15 inch bandsaw.

I recently upgraded from my 14 inch Delta 1HP bandsaw. I was originally considering an 18 inch bandsaw until I heard about the Powermatic offering. I liked the idea of the resaw capacity of a larger bandsaw, but the compactness of this 15 inch.

The two bandsaws are shown side-by-side, and then I show the various features of the new saw. There’s a lot to like about this new Powermatic offering, but I also don’t shy away from showing some of the negatives.



42 comments so far

View jeffbranch's profile

jeffbranch

106 posts in 1396 days


#1 posted 03-31-2013 07:20 PM

I consider Powermatic to be the Harley Davidson of power tools. I am jealous.

-- http://jeffbranch.wordpress.com

View widdle's profile

widdle

1471 posts in 1742 days


#2 posted 03-31-2013 10:47 PM

Would of been interesting to hear it and see it cut something…

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

169 posts in 1515 days


#3 posted 03-31-2013 11:08 PM

I did turn it on at the end of the video. It didn’t occur to me to cut some wood with it; all bandsaws look the same while in use, so I didn’t see any benefit. Once you’ve seen one bandsaw in operation, you’ve seen them all.

View widdle's profile

widdle

1471 posts in 1742 days


#4 posted 03-31-2013 11:54 PM

Oh.. Your right. i aborted after 30 min. Motor sounds good…Appreciate the work..

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1157 posts in 2742 days


#5 posted 04-01-2013 12:56 AM

Marty, Excellent review, very through and interesting. Best wishes with it. Couple questions.
What are your plans with this , resawing or bowl banks? Both?
How’s the Laguna DC holding up? You still happy with it?

Why did you buy this vs a Laguna or Jet?

Really appreciate the effort you up into your reviews and shop tips. What kind of projects do you make?

Thanks again. Bob

-- Bob A in NJ

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

169 posts in 1515 days


#6 posted 04-01-2013 02:15 AM

Hey Bob,

Frankly I did not look at any Jet models because I didn’t think they were in the same class (hope I’m not being a snob when I say that). I’ve heard enough questionable things about the Laguna, plus my only other experience with a Laguna tool, that I wasn’t inclined to go with them. When I saw the Powermatic in person, I liked it so much that my searched ended that day.

This saw is going to be my general purpose bandsaw. I don’t turn bowls, but maybe someday. I do look forward to being able to do lots of resawing with this saw. I resawed some 1/16th inch maple veneers, and it was a piece of cake.

Regards the Laguna Dust Collector, yes, I’m still happy with it. No problems. I only wish it did a better job of separating the dust from the air stream – I get lots of dust in the filter bag.

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1157 posts in 2742 days


#7 posted 04-01-2013 03:25 AM

Marty, ok, cool I was just wondering. I always wanted a powermatic but felt they were a little overpriced for comparable models. My “good value for money” brand seems to keep coming up with grizzly. Have 5 of their tools and they are well built and provide what I need. Your new bandsaw will be a lifetime tool and I’m sure you Will be happy with it.

-- Bob A in NJ

View firehouse's profile

firehouse

45 posts in 1535 days


#8 posted 04-01-2013 09:16 AM

MARTY, thank you for great video now i know all about the powermatic 15 you saved me a lot of gss and time looking. great job—————- thank you firehouse

-- duke 66 ocala fl.

View 2bigfeet's profile

2bigfeet

64 posts in 1423 days


#9 posted 04-11-2013 05:07 PM

Marty how is the saw doing? I’m about to order one but was wondering about what your doing for blades? I usually use Woodslicer’s but noticed they don’t make one in 153” :-(

Are you still on the stock blade or have you found a satisfactory resaw blade?

Thanks

Kerry

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

169 posts in 1515 days


#10 posted 04-12-2013 03:12 AM

I haven’t used it for any projects yet. At the time of purchase I bought 3 blades from Eagle Tools, which were supplied by Industrial Blade & Products, a local So. Calif company which supplies Lenox blades (they cut them to size to fit your saw).

I think it’s pretty easy to get any size blade you need by buying from a supplier who will cut and weld the blades to the required size. Finding pre-packages blades can be a challenge sometimes.

That being said, I’m only going by the reputation offered by Eagle Tools. I haven’t used any of the 3 blades yet.

I’ve still only used the stock 3/8 inch blade that’s supplied. But I was able to resaw a <1 />re going to love this saw when you get it. Let me know your experience.

View 2bigfeet's profile

2bigfeet

64 posts in 1423 days


#11 posted 04-16-2013 07:09 PM

Marty, I received my PM1500 today. Took me about an hour and a half to uncrate and assemble.

Just to piggyback a few things on your review:

My ruler was also slightly out of parallel on the fence rail. Like you, I never look at it. No biggy. I had a minor paint chip on the bracket that supports the fence rail. My cord reaches the plug on the wall. In fact, this cord is longer than any machine I have in the shop. I have extension cords on all machines.

I had ordered a 1/2” 3tpi blade from Highland Woodworking so it was here to put on. Not a Woodslicer but the step down. All I had to do was adjust the top thrust bearing laterally and pull in the side bearings. The table was dead square to the blade and the table cut square to the blade. I was a little shocked. Literally took me minutes to adjust the bearings and I was good to go. Love those tool-less bearings!

Very quiet running machine. Made a few quick cuts on some rock maple. So far so good. Quite pleased with overall quality. I currently have a Grizzly GO457 14” bandsaw. I’ll make a few comparisons in a few days.

View 2bigfeet's profile

2bigfeet

64 posts in 1423 days


#12 posted 04-16-2013 07:11 PM

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

169 posts in 1515 days


#13 posted 04-16-2013 07:53 PM

Hi Kerry,

Glad you received your saw and all is in order. I know this is only a sample of 2, but looks like maybe their quality is consistent. From the picture I see that you’re already a Powermatic customer. I think my next large machine purchase will be their disk/belt sander machine. I want to get a floor model, and theirs looks nice.

I look forward to seeing what you have to say in your upcoming comparison.

View 2bigfeet's profile

2bigfeet

64 posts in 1423 days


#14 posted 04-16-2013 09:54 PM

Marty, I also have the PM2000 table saw… and have their new drill press on backorder. That will probably do me for a while. :-)

Going to custom order the Woodslicer blades. They are that much better.

The Grizzy bandsaw will be setup strictly for scroll work with a tiny blade. The PM will be resaw only.

View Marty Backe's profile

Marty Backe

169 posts in 1515 days


#15 posted 04-16-2013 10:34 PM

If you remember, let me know how the Woodslicer works (I assume the 3/4 inch blade). I’ve never used premium bandsaw blades, but I should start.

I’ve been leaning towards getting the Delta drill press. I was considering the Powermatic, but I think I like the Delta’s table more, and the Powermatic can’t run as slow as the Delta. But I like the design of the Powermatic more, and I suspect it’s built better.

BTW, I’ve been looking at your Blog a bit, and I’m enjoying it. You do the kind of work that is inspiring. I like your style. I love the bench that’s shown in your The Shop page. Sometime in the next few years I’m going to build a proper woodworkers bench, and always liked the idea of storage underneath. Everything about your bench is pleasing to me; I’m going to refer to these pictures when it comes time to create mine.

Quick question; why didn’t you fill the entire space with storage (the center section is empty).

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