Trying to decide - Looking to buy a new bandsaw

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Blog entry by nobuckle posted 04-16-2011 04:40 PM 2462 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I have been looking at buying a new bandsaw. My current 14” Shopcraft bandsaw has performed pretty well but it has it’s limits. One frustration with the Shopcraft is finding blades for it. 70-1/2” blades are not the most readily available.

There are several brands that I have considered, Rigid, Porter Cable, and Central Machinery. Ideally I would like a Delta but Woodcraft is the only place I can get it and they want more than $600. I can’t do that. The Porter Cable, Rigid, and Central Machinery all come in at $399 or less. If I use a 20% off coupon from HF I can get the Central Machinery bandsaw for less the $300.

I would like to know what brand of bandsaw you use. Why did you choose that brand? In your opinion, how has the bandsaw you have performed for you? Your input and insight are greatly appreciated.

Best regards

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

12 comments so far

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 2779 days

#1 posted 04-16-2011 04:48 PM

I bought some 70-1/2” blades for my 10” at PTree. They are the Olsen AllPro.
The vendor doesn’t have the best service but the blades are great!

-- Website is finally up and

View bunkie's profile


412 posts in 3142 days

#2 posted 04-16-2011 04:51 PM

I bought the Grizzley GO-555P at the introductory price of $395. Out the door with the riser block and the mobile base and tax (I picked it up) it was just under $600 total.

So far, so good.I’m still getting the hang of resawing (which was my main reason for buying the saw). I immediately upgraded the blades with a WoodSlicer and a Bowl Turner blade. The WoodSlicer is excellent. I haven’t yet used the Bowl Turner blade, so I can’t opine on it.

In general, the Grizzley 555 series is pretty well regarded by its owners. It comes in various flavors and 555P seems to occupy the sweet spot from a value-for-money perspective.

BTW, several sources sell a kit to braze your own blades using blade stock. This solves the odd-blade-length problem and might be a good low-cost solution to your problem.

-- Altruism is, ultimately, self-serving

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4092 days

#3 posted 04-16-2011 04:55 PM

Have you looked on Craigslist? Every once in a while I see a nice saw there. You pretty much have to be lucky.

In your price range, I would probably go with the following:

I belive they have free shipping promotions from time to time. I am not a big fan of the HF saw, my uncle has one.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4092 days

#4 posted 04-16-2011 05:00 PM

LOL – Was writing my response at the same time as Bunkie. Betting you will see other Grizzly fans chime in.

If your not too far from Muncy PA, there is a showroom there….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2799 days

#5 posted 04-16-2011 06:08 PM

I bought a Powermatic 14” w/riser block about 3 or 4 yrs ago. I paid just under a grand for it then.
You can buy the same thing right now for the same price, and maybe even a bit less because of their 90th anniversary celebration.
I am very happy with its performance. It is like everything else, once it is tuned, you’ll be fine. I also use Timberwolf brand blades.
No matter what you buy, tune, adjust, and tune some more until you get er dialed in.
Good luck with your search.
I’m on the lookout for an 8” jointer myself, so, I know what you are going through.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#6 posted 04-16-2011 07:47 PM

I have the craftsman 22400 12” Bandsaw, I bought it for $ 289.00.
Like you money was the issue (still is). Like the band saw you have now the craftsman
has an odd size blade 89 1/2 ”, but it has been a really good worker for me.
I cut mostly shapes and profiles with it, I do not do much resawing, most I’ve ever tried was 5.5”
it does have a 7” resaw capacity. I have had no problems re sawing, but I go slow and being a
one horse or horse and a half saw, I know it’s limitations. I use this saw a lot and it has not been a
problem. I had to repair the swithch on it, but that’s all the problems it has given me in 4 years.
Happy saw hunting, in whatever you choose!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3880 days

#7 posted 04-17-2011 11:20 PM

I bought a bandsaw at a garage sale when I 1st started out. Later I was to find out is was from Harbor Freight. I added Cool blocks to the guides, the previous owner had just installed new tires, and when I bought a fence for it at a WWing Show they threw in a great book, . Later I bought a resaw blade from Highland Working and I resaw most woods 6” high, this is the blade to get. BUT the best thing I got from the list above was the Lonnie Bird book, learning to tune up the saw is the very best in help, no matter what kind of saw you get get this book too. I still use the saw to this day altho I purchased a 10” Craftsman saw to use with cutting blanks for turning and cutting small circles. My 2 cents…...........

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2799 days

#8 posted 04-18-2011 01:06 AM

yup, I agree with JohnGray.
very good book, with very great info

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 04-18-2011 01:22 AM

I have a Grizzly GO555 with riser and like it for resawing.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2756 days

#10 posted 04-18-2011 02:21 PM

Thanks everyone for your input.

-WayneC- I look on Craigslist daily to see if someone is selling a bandsaw. Most often people are selling 9” and 10” benchtop models. Every now and then someone is selling a 12” inch. Very rarely are people posting 14” bandsaws.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View 308Gap's profile


337 posts in 2998 days

#11 posted 04-21-2011 06:12 AM

Doug I called on a grizzly 555X on craigslist last week and it sold in 4 minutes, I called at 5 minutes. The guy said he should have asked for more money. I just pulled the trigger on a new grizz. ps the money it would take to get the HF BS up to the same field as a grizz would cost you more money. I did all the research also.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View WinterSun's profile


163 posts in 2605 days

#12 posted 04-21-2011 08:00 AM

Sometimes it takes a while for those Craigslist gems to appear. I’ve been watching my local CL since I was able to start setting up my shop last year. It’s a sea of Craftsman here, but good stuff pops up once in a while. It was just a few days ago that I saw an ‘80s vintage Delta 14” come up for something like $250. If you can be patient, CL can work for you. If you really want it sooner than later, I’d skip all the brands you mentioned and go Grizzly.

-- Rory // Milwaukee, WI

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