|Review by Ben||posted 07-05-2010 07:34 AM||6845 views||3 times favorited||27 comments|
I love this machine. I purchased this bandsaw in April 2009. I have put it through it’s paces on numerous projects and use it whenever I can.
I decided on this particular saw after days of research. I ordered it through the Grizzly website. I was so eager to get it that I ended up picking it up from the shipping depot rather than waiting an extra day for it to be delivered to my house. The trucking company loaded it into my truck with a forklift and I was on my way.
When I got the saw home I used a couple of atv ramps to gently slide the saw out of my truck and down to the ground. My dad helped me unload everything and lift the saw on it’s base. The fit and finish on this unit are second to none. There was an abundance of grease on the bare cast iron to prevent rust during shipping. It came off easily enough. I know people love to gripe about the grease but, I would rather remove grease than rust any day of the week.
I also purchased the optional riser block which took about 20 minutes to install.
Using the saw
To begin, I would suggest you order a good blade at the same time you order the saw. The included blade is absolute junk. It is honestly not worth the time it takes to install it. It is common knowledge not to use the free blade but, this one has to be worse than most.
Once I installed a better blade I began sawing some walnut. I had an 8×10 walnut slab approximately 5 feet long that I salvaged from a felled tree. The GO555x cut through it like a hot knife through butter. I was able to get a stack of “free lumber” .
I have since milled many other boards and, milled a beautiful cherry tree that the local electric company felt was infringing on power lines. This saw does not hiccup.
I built a fold down table to serve as an outfeed when I am sawing long boards. The outfeed cost me less than $30 in materials and is very handy.
The saw comes with a 1.5 hp motor (115 volts), cast iron wheels, roller bearings, enclosed base with storage, worklight,cast iron fence, aluminum resaw fence, quick release tensioner, 4 inch dust port, miter gauge, and a very generous tabletop.
The only con I can think of is the junk blade they ship with the saw. Don’t use it unless you are just dying to fire up your saw. I think Grizzly would be better served by omitting the blade altogether.
Do I need a bandsaw??
When I started woodworking I wasn’t even sure I needed a bandsaw… I already had a jigsaw. Granted, a bandsaw is great for cutting curves but, I have found that cutting curves is one of the least significant things for which I use my bandsaw.
I love to rip rough cuts or very narrow boards with it. The bandsaw feels a whole lot safer than my tablesaw for certain cuts. This is the only tool I own that can rip-cut a 3 inch thick board or a 1” wide board with ease. It is also the only machine I own that is capable of resawing a board more than 4 inches tall. I have cut tapered legs freehand that looked just like they were cut with a taper jig.
Another notable point is that kerf of a bandsaw blade is significantly thinner than the kerf of a table saw blade. Very little material is wasted with a bandsaw.
If you do any turning on a lathe and want to use found wood rather than pre-cut turning blanks, a bandsaw is almost a must.
Many of the advantages I listed above would be applicable to most 14” bandsaws on the market. However, there are not many (if any?) saws, at this price range that have all the features of the GO555x. If I had it to do over again, I would buy the exact same saw. I know Laguna, Rikon, Delta, Powermatic, Jet and a few others make a quality product. It is my opinion (and this is strictly an opinion) that Grizzly is in a class all alone when it comes to bandsaws.