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My new saw

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Review by Tony posted 03-19-2010 05:03 AM 17107 views 3 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My new saw No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Although I used industrial grade bandsaws in Jr and Sr High Shop Class, the only bandsaw I’ve owned is a Craftsman 10” bench top model. I’ve had it about 20 years, and it has been used for many model airplane and craft projects, but I’ve never been able to get it to cut anything over 1/4” reliably. I’ve been hoping to find a used 14” bandsaw around here, but they are scarce, or I’ve just been looking in the wrong place. I’ve done a lot of Internet window shopping, but just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger on one of the pricier models.

Enter Lowe’s and Porter-Cable. After first seeing this saw, I decided to do some checking to see what others thought of it. I found zero reviews. There were some people who had seen this saw in the stores, and expressed their opinions based on visual inspection, or based on their views toward Porter-Cable, but not one hands-on review of the saw. So I decided to be the guinea pig. Photos are at the end of the write-up.

After struggling to get the heavy box in place in my garage, I opened the box and actually read the manual. I also read Michael Fortune’s excellent essay on tuning a bandsaw. The first pieces to go together were the base. They seemed pretty heavy during assembly, but once the main unit is mounted, they didn’t seem so heavy. In fact, the saw seemed top heavy to me, so I opened the door to the cabinet and added 30 pounds or so of extra weight in the form of a giant bucket of paint.

Assembly went fairly quickly. I didn’t make a single modification to the saw, but assembled it stock. It took me a little over 2 hours to assemble and tune the saw. The instructions said blade tracking had been done at the factory. Ummmmm . . . no. Tracking was way off. After taking care of that, I used Mr. Fortune’s method of adjusting the blocks and bearing guide. Time for a test drive.

The saw is surprisingly quiet – more so even than my 10” bench top model. Vibration wasn’t bad, either. The saw seemed to track fine during test cuts. The blade that comes with it is adequate. I’ll probably eventually replace it. I didn’t try changing the speed, so I can’t say how hard that operation might be.

I’m not an expert by any stretch, so take my comments with a grain of salt. If I was going to be doing heavy-duty furniture work or had a professional shop, I would have gone with a higher end model. But for my weekend warrior, garage setup, I think it will be fine. In short:

PROs: Thorough instruction book, quiet operation, easy setup.

CONs: Top-heavy, blade is OK but not great.

Tony Turley

The box:

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The journey begins:

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One hour later:

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Even with our strong son, this was a beast to get on the stand:

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After a few test cuts:

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View Tony's profile

Tony

56 posts in 2010 days



40 comments so far

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13341 posts in 2328 days


#1 posted 03-19-2010 05:20 AM

Congrats on your new bandsaw.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View bigike's profile

bigike

4031 posts in 1943 days


#2 posted 03-19-2010 05:27 AM

very nice

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View 308Gap's profile

308Gap

332 posts in 1658 days


#3 posted 03-19-2010 05:28 AM

Cool keep us up to speed as you use it. I pawed it lowes also, it was right next to the last delta, they looked almost the same. Congrats on the new toy….......I mean tool.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View thiel's profile

thiel

359 posts in 1947 days


#4 posted 03-19-2010 06:04 AM

You know it’s funny you mention not finding any reviews of this saw… because when I saw your posting I thought to myself: “Wow… I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a floorstanding PorterCable tool.”

Looks solid… and I suspect it’s nearly identical to the Delta of the same size…

Congrats!

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Abbott's profile

Abbott

2570 posts in 1958 days


#5 posted 03-19-2010 07:11 AM

I believe that is the same saw that used to carry the Delta name. I bet you can bring up reviews for it. I looked them over at Lowe’s when they were discontinuing the Delta saw and they looked identical.

I have read that Black and Decker (DeWalt), Delta, Porter Cable the German tool manufacturer ELU are all the same conglomerate. I believe they also just acquired Hitachi tools.

Delta-PorterCable

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112089 posts in 2232 days


#6 posted 03-19-2010 09:51 AM

Congrats on your new saw. Most band saws are top heavy and blades included with saws are seldom any good

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4524 posts in 1729 days


#7 posted 03-19-2010 02:49 PM

Congratulations!

Like thiel, I do not recall ever previously seeing a floorstanding PorterCable tool. Delta, PorterCable, DeWalt & B&D all have common ownership and it looks like they are tinkering with the brand names. I’m sure this PorterCable is based on, or identical to, the Delta saw.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Rick Boyett's profile

Rick Boyett

167 posts in 1867 days


#8 posted 03-19-2010 02:56 PM

I really am not impressed with the re-branding of Delta tools as Porter Cable.

So when do we get the Porter Cable Unisaw?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8775 posts in 2754 days


#9 posted 03-19-2010 03:18 PM

Congrats on the purchase, I look forward to seeing what you make with it.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2303 days


#10 posted 03-19-2010 03:51 PM

interesting, so this goes hand in hand with the delta benchtop jointer that lowes used to carry that is now sponsoring the PC brand instead. seems like they are rebranding everything consumer level as PC, and making Delta only the heavier duty tools (Unisaw, new Lathes, etc)

regardless – congrats on your new saw, it looks like a good performer. I wouldn’t worry about the blade, as the factory supplied blade is NEVER any good. this would (read should) be your first upgrade and will significantly improve the performance of your saw and your cuts.

enjoy

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1762 days


#11 posted 03-19-2010 07:52 PM

Nice saw! Waiting to see what you do on it. If it is as good as my old Rockwell, you have at least 30 years of satisfaction coming. Have fun. RAnd

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5385 posts in 1887 days


#12 posted 03-19-2010 08:01 PM

“I have read that Black and Decker (DeWalt), Delta, Porter Cable the German tool manufacturer ELU are all the same conglomerate. I believe they also just acquired Hitachi tools.”

Ugh…. Now THAT is BAD news… I really like Hitachi…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Tim29's profile

Tim29

307 posts in 1805 days


#13 posted 03-19-2010 09:24 PM

congrats on the new saw.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View 308Gap's profile

308Gap

332 posts in 1658 days


#14 posted 03-19-2010 11:20 PM

Strange I cant find the saw on any site except lowes, I wanted to see if a spacer was available or not.

-- Thank You Veterans!

View Tony's profile

Tony

56 posts in 2010 days


#15 posted 03-20-2010 12:46 AM

www.deltaportercable.com lists a Riser Block package for a 14” bandsaw, but it says “For Delta bandsaws only”. Hmmm . . . might fit the PC, might not.

Tony

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