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Bandsaw Recommendations

by dhar
posted 12-12-2016 03:57 PM


21 replies so far

View brtech's profile (online now)

brtech

1019 posts in 2829 days


#1 posted 12-12-2016 04:12 PM

I have the Laguna, and while I considered the G0555LX and riser, I thought investing in the bigger, more stiff frame was a better choice. I wanted to do resaw beyond what the basic Delta clone versions can do, which meant riser block, and it just seemed better to spend the additional dollars to buy a better frame. The other thing to remember is that the Laguna comes with great blade stabilizers, but you really should be upgrading the stock ones that come on the Delta clones at some point. Then there is the fence, the motor and the dust collection issues. I think the Rikon is an excellent saw, but I don’t have any significant experience with it. The 14-12 is a terrific saw. I have only good things to say about their tech support, but others have reported issues.

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3076 posts in 1895 days


#2 posted 12-12-2016 04:44 PM

I think that the first place to start is to guess what you will be doing with it. You probably will want to resaw but how wide? In my mind, up to 6” is pretty reasonable. If you go wider, you move into a different game.

Some on this forum do a great job at resaw. The rest of us struggle. If you resaw, you also need a planner or something too smooth the resawn face.

I have a 16” bandsaw which I use for resaw. I also do small projects and the big bandsaw was a pain to use the small blades. I caught a 10” Rikon on really good sale and have a 3/16” blade on it.

I would take a minute and day dream about what projects you see yourself doing and use those to make a choice.

Good Luck

View dhar's profile

dhar

18 posts in 1030 days


#3 posted 12-12-2016 07:08 PM

Redoak,

Truth be told, I don’t really see myself resawing 12” wide lumber anytime in the foreseeable future. However, I am assuming (albeit potentially incorrectly) the more expensive Laguna will be able to do everything the Grizzly does, only better. Compared to the Grizzly G0555 Extreme model, the Laguna offer:

- Slightly larger table (20.5” x 14” vs 21” x 16”)
- More powerful motor: (1.5 vs 1.75)”
- Larger re-saw capacity (6” vs 12”)

However, the Grizzly comes equipped with the work light.

I’m not sure whether if there is a difference between how smooth one saw runs vs the other.

What would be news to me is if the larger saw handles small blades poorly. I wouldn’t want to give up (or even compromise) the ability to work efficiently on smaller projects, which may involve cutting curves using thinner blades, only to gain additional resaw capacity. If the above is definitely a concern re larger saws, then thats certainly helpful to know.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8459 posts in 2749 days


#4 posted 12-12-2016 07:19 PM

Good advice here.

I have the GO555 with a riser block. It has aluminum vs. Cast Iron wheels. I can upgrade the wheels which is good. My saw tensioner is adequate and the guides OK. There is a bigger motor available but it doesn’t fit my saw. (checked this out with grizzly technical support)

As mentioned here it really depends on money and your goals. I thought this would be a good resaw machine. It’s adequate. This is due to the geometry of the bandsaw blade. And the tension on the wheel.

I’d suggest watching Matthius Wendal on YouTube in his wood made bandsaws. he has a tutorial on blades cutting etc.

These are things called hind site. LOL! Be patient and recognize limitations with the money you can spend.

It’s a crap shoot as you can get a lemon no matter what brand? I like grizzly support.

If I could afford it for my purposes I’d get a 17 inch with steel wheels and trunion. And a really big motor. LOL! Oh yeah there is always “where do I put it?”

Hind sight is always better. Good luck!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

7687 posts in 2056 days


#5 posted 12-12-2016 07:28 PM

My G0555 has cast iron wheels. It’s the Anniversary edition. I also have a riser block. I have no problems resawing 10” wide walnut with <1 /> thickness. All for about $600 total.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Davevand's profile

Davevand

51 posts in 742 days


#6 posted 12-12-2016 07:28 PM

Hi
I have a 14-12 and I really like it, but I only use it for resawing and thicker wood. The narrowest blade the 14-12 can use is 1/4”, but I think they sell guides for use with the smaller blades. I have an older Grizzly 14” bandsaw that I use for the narrow blades. The only change I would make is buying the light and mobile base from a 3rd party and not the Laguna brand, I don’t like either one from Laguna.

View weathersfuori's profile

weathersfuori

89 posts in 1036 days


#7 posted 12-12-2016 08:18 PM

I’ve got the G0555 Anniversary Edition as well and can say it has been worth every penny to me. I consider myself a beginner or maybe a half step above that level… I’ve used it to resaw lumber (mostly softwoods, haven’t yet needed to try harder woods so can’t comment on its ability to do that), detail work/curves with the lowest blade size it accepts, and general use otherwise.

I will admit I was kinda dead-set on Grizzly for some reason before I bought this and didn’t really research anything else, but that’s because I figured this would be all the band saw I’d ever need given my projects, skill set (factoring in the assumption that I’ll improve my skills over time… though still waiting for that to happen :-)...), and budget. Nearly 2 years later, I don’t give this purchase any second thoughts… and still believe it’s all I’ll ever need. Only regret was not getting the mobile base to go with it at the time to install before full setup… I’ve since gotten one and it was a little hairy getting the saw on there myself. I fretted over whether or not to get a riser block at the time of purchase and decided not to, and not until I made a few band saw boxes did I really feel like I needed one. Might get around to ordering the kit one of these days.

Based on what you’ve said, I think you’d be plenty pleased with the Grizzly, but since I haven’t used/seen the others, I can’t say whether they’d be the same, better or worse.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

View dhar's profile

dhar

18 posts in 1030 days


#8 posted 12-12-2016 08:57 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Perhaps the Grizzly 0555X might be happy-medium between the two saws that I’m considering. It may not have the resaw capacity of the Laguna; however, it does have a similarly sized table and motor.

One question I do have for those that have experience with the Laguna: Does issue of not being able to utilize smaller blades on the Laguna step from its high resaw capacity (12”+), or does it have to do with the wheels/support design. In other words, will the Grizzly, upgraded for 6” riser, suffer from similar issues of no being able to utilize the smaller blades?

View Davevand's profile

Davevand

51 posts in 742 days


#9 posted 12-12-2016 09:11 PM

No, the ceramic guides on the Laguna are too big for the really narrow blades (1/8 and 3/16). If I didn’t already have a 14” bandsaw and the 3/16 blades, I would just use the 1/4 on the Laguna.

View brtech's profile (online now)

brtech

1019 posts in 2829 days


#10 posted 12-12-2016 09:13 PM

AFAIK, it’s just the guides. Do you really think you will use a blade less than 1/4”? I mean, you can use a bandsaw as if it were a scroll saw without the ability to start a cut in a hole, but do you really want to? You can cut a pretty tight curve with a 1/4” blade. The curves say you can cut a 5/8” radius with a 1/4” blade.

View onoitsmatt's profile

onoitsmatt

377 posts in 1082 days


#11 posted 12-12-2016 09:32 PM

You might consider the Rikon 10-325. I like mine a lot. Has a 1.5hp motor, 13” resaw and can be had new in the $700-750 range. I’m not wild about narrow blades with the guide bearings but it resaws really well. FYI, seems like the 10-325 may have a new model number in the last few months.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View Richard's profile

Richard

1916 posts in 2597 days


#12 posted 12-12-2016 09:32 PM



Redoak,

Truth be told, I don t really see myself resawing 12” wide lumber anytime in the foreseeable future. However, I am assuming (albeit potentially incorrectly) the more expensive Laguna will be able to do everything the Grizzly does, only better. Compared to the Grizzly G0555 Extreme model, the Laguna offer:

- Slightly larger table (20.5” x 14” vs 21” x 16”)
- More powerful motor: (1.5 vs 1.75)”
- Larger re-saw capacity (6” vs 12”)

However, the Grizzly comes equipped with the work light.

I m not sure whether if there is a difference between how smooth one saw runs vs the other.

What would be news to me is if the larger saw handles small blades poorly. I wouldn t want to give up (or even compromise) the ability to work efficiently on smaller projects, which may involve cutting curves using thinner blades, only to gain additional resaw capacity. If the above is definitely a concern re larger saws, then thats certainly helpful to know.

- dhar


I don’t think the Work Light would be of any concern to me as far as the price goes , they are cheap and easy to add on .

View pmayer's profile

pmayer

1017 posts in 2971 days


#13 posted 12-12-2016 09:34 PM

I use a 1/8” blade on my Laguna once in a while, but I just leave the side guides wide open and use the rear guides. It works ok that way but you can’t push it too hard on tight turns. If I was going to be pushing the saw a lot with 1/8” blades I’d probably invest in the Carter guide system. Anyone who has seen Alex Snodgrass demonstrate this at a show either owns one or wants one. Unfortunately I’m in the second group.

In terms of resaw capacity, if you are interested in resaw, I wouldn’t suggest stopping at 6” capacity. You can do that on your 10” table saw by flipping the board. I rarely resaw the full 13” that my Laguna saw can handle, but I find that I do 8-10” fairly regularly. A lot of times I end up using it like a planer, to thickness a board quickly and without filling up my dust collector’s drum.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8459 posts in 2749 days


#14 posted 12-12-2016 10:08 PM

Have the shop fox heavy duty dolly as well on all my machines helps in small shop. Smallest blade I’ve used is 1/4 inch but I have a scroll saw for smaller details.

Buy the Grizzly with the iron wheels.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View dhar's profile

dhar

18 posts in 1030 days


#15 posted 12-13-2016 03:27 PM

I stopped by my local Woodcraft yesterday to check out the Laguna in person. Beautiful saw I must say.

They said they sell “ALOT” of 14-12 and all their customers have been very happy with it. They said that after the positive feedback they received from purchasers of the Laguna 14-12, they decided to replace the Powermatic that was in their workshop area with the 14-12. The reported that its gets daily use (several hours a day) for the past year without issues. The had 1/4” blade on the one in their workshop. Not sure how it will handle a blade less than 1/4”, but it handled the 1/4” perfectly.

Wish I could check out the Grizzly in person. Does anyone in the DC area own one? :-)

Given the “value” factor, I am leaning towards the Grizzly. Woodcraft did mention that the Laguna might be on a 10% off sale late-January/early-February if I can wait that long. With 10% off and no shipping costs, the price difference (pre-tax) is slightly reduced between the two saws. The Grizzly will be $550+$80 = $630 vs and the Laguna for $990 (i.e., a delta of $260+tax).

Decisions – Decisions :-).

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

433 posts in 647 days


#16 posted 12-13-2016 04:10 PM

Thought I’d throw in my 2 cents:
I picked up the Grizzly G0555 Anniversary model during their sale last month. It’s a great bandsaw (just take a look at the reviews on here), but it’s also my first, so I don’t have a good point of comparison. The only thing I’m not keen on is the blade guard: whenever you adjust the height, it has a tendency to shift a little bit, forcing you to reallign the upper bearings (and it doesn’t seem like you can really adjust for this). It’s a quick adjustment, and that’s the only (minor) problem on a saw with plenty of potential. Then again, I’m keeping the guard raised as I’m primarily using this to cust bowl blanks. With a good blade (I have the Highland woodworking green wood blade), it cuts through 5” of ash like butter.
The only thing I would do differently if I did it again is to get the riser block immediately. Now when I do, I have to get new blades as well.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4859 posts in 3867 days


#17 posted 12-13-2016 06:13 PM

I’m in the 0555LX camp. All the BS I’ll ever need. Have not added the riser (yet), but my needs haven’t required it.
Great bang for the buck with good blades.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

417 posts in 1368 days


#18 posted 12-13-2016 07:37 PM

I went for the grizzly GO513X2 17” bandsaw a few months back. Very happy with it. It is on sale again at $1050 and is right at the top of your budget. Pre wired for 220v.
Pay attention to all the different versions of the GO555. There are many options. My saw, the X2 version had most of the extra bells a whistles like cast iron wheels, and all ball bearing guides. I believe the GO555 will have this sort of options too.
Good luck

-- John

View mikeber's profile

mikeber

23 posts in 766 days


#19 posted 12-14-2016 03:14 AM

Don’t know but any band saw restricted to max 6” is limiting. Any modern designed band saw with a steel frame is capable of 12” without raising blocks. Rikon has them, Laguna, Jet, etc. and they aren’t very expensive. Grizzly also has a 14” or a 17”.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

4846 posts in 2419 days


#20 posted 12-14-2016 11:26 AM

As for as the stand goes for the Grizzly saws, I too have the GO555P series but I didn’t use the factory stand, I instead custom built my own stand with lower storage and gave it my own spin on mobilizing by using rigid casters on one end and a front lift jack handle system.

As for as the saw goes, I also have the riser and have been very happy with it.

Click for details

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View dhar's profile

dhar

18 posts in 1030 days


#21 posted 12-14-2016 03:57 PM

Thank you all for responding. I hope to make a decision in the near future.

Seems like Grizzly is well accepted here at the forums. I got another call from Woodcraft confirming sale on the Laguna in the immediate near future.

Over the past two days, I did miss two deals on local CL for a Grizzly 0555 w/ mobile base and another Grizzly 0555LX w/ mobile base – both for $350.

For other that are in a similar position as I am, I found the following two videos very helpful:

For the Laguna 14-12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKAfLEHqQK4 and its follow-up review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KRo_lVzH90

Randy did and excellent job pointing out the cons on the Laguna.

For the Grizzly, I found the following review by Jay Bates very helpful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsElXp2M-M8

Both companies seem to have excellent customer service feedback.

My current thoughts are: – I can’t go wrong with either saw. – The Grizzly may possibly be a machine that can handle all I will ever need. – I don’t see myself using a blade smaller than 1/4” – so I don’t want to rule the Laguna out. I really don’t do small/detailed work and thus have never felt the need to purchase a scroll saw. – I haven’t resawed in the past, but that is mainly because it was never an option for me. – It appears that those who have resaw needs prefer to install the riser on the Grizzly. If I do see myself resawing hardwood, then it may be helpful to have the large resaw capacity of the Laguna, which is present without the need of installing a riser block. Most bandsaw users seem to have no issues with resaw capacity attained via installing a riser block, while other suggest pursuing a fixed frame saw to avoid flexing. One other thought about resaw is that Laguna provides 3/4 additional HP. – If 10% discount is being offered on the Laguna, and I can avoid shipping because I can purchase it 2 mins from my house, the price difference is partially reduced.

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