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Big Bang For Your Buck

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Review by Ben posted 07-05-2010 07:34 AM 5636 views 3 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Big Bang For Your Buck Big Bang For Your Buck Big Bang For Your Buck Click the pictures to enlarge them

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.

First Impressions

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.

Features

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.

Cons

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.

*Summary

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.

Ben




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Ben

158 posts in 2023 days



27 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1063 posts in 1632 days


#1 posted 07-05-2010 07:48 AM

Thanks for the review, helpful in my lust for a bandsaw.
What blade would you recomend for re-sawing instead of the OE one from Griz?

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View wseand's profile

wseand

2277 posts in 1700 days


#2 posted 07-05-2010 08:01 AM

That was a great review thanks.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Gerry's profile

Gerry

253 posts in 1899 days


#3 posted 07-05-2010 08:02 AM

Enjoy your new tool! Also, thanks for the review, and advise about the blade. My suggestion is the Wood Slicer from Highland woodworking. I’ve got 2 of them, and am in awe of the results every time I use it. Out of curiosity, with the riser block, may I ask what the total cost was? Thanks.

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View Ben 's profile

Ben

158 posts in 2023 days


#4 posted 07-05-2010 08:10 AM

I use a 3/4” Carter blade for resawing. When it wears out I plan to purchase a woodslicer.

I paid around $750 delivered (although I didn’t wait for the final delivery to my house ) with the riser block in April 2009.

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14947 posts in 1847 days


#5 posted 07-05-2010 08:39 AM

Love this saw as well. I too had to pick it up being I could not wait.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1830 posts in 2330 days


#6 posted 07-05-2010 03:03 PM

Congrats on the new saw!! Great review!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View RichardH's profile

RichardH

295 posts in 1660 days


#7 posted 07-05-2010 04:25 PM

Nice review and you did a great job capturing the benefits of a bandsaw. Got one for lathe work several years back (as you say, it is much needed), but wind up using it for all kinds of different applications. Mine is a real old school Jet (back when they were still blue), but I’m starting to look at grizzly for any new tols.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2346 days


#8 posted 07-05-2010 05:42 PM

Very nice review and a good idea on the outfeed table : ) Have you made anything yet with the Walnut or Cherry that you sliced up ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Howie's profile

Howie

2656 posts in 1581 days


#9 posted 07-06-2010 01:06 AM

I’ve had my 555x for over two years and love it. When I bought it,I bought a three tooth blade for resawing and it works great.
You are right Ben,I think grizzley is in a class by themselves when it comes to bandsaws.

-- Life is good.

View Ben 's profile

Ben

158 posts in 2023 days


#10 posted 07-09-2010 05:34 AM

Deke,

The fence works very well.

Dusty,

I built a simple medicine cabinet and a few cutting boards from the walnut. I have yet to build anything with the cherry. I am planning to build a jewlery box for my neice. Below is a pic of the medicine cabinet and a pic of the cherry sliced up.

View Rob's profile

Rob

22 posts in 1644 days


#11 posted 07-28-2010 04:01 AM

I got this same saw with riser block, mobile base, and 3 timber wolf blades on craigs list for $450..when I showed up in the guys garage to buy my jaw hit the floor when I saw how nicely kept the saw was (clean garage too). The only thing missing was one of the magnetic feet from the mobile base.

I have not used it at all – not much shop time lately, but I can’t wait to try it out.

-- Rob in Texas

View workerinwood's profile

workerinwood

2708 posts in 1726 days


#12 posted 09-14-2010 02:44 PM

Just purchased this saw. Ordered on a Monday delivered on Friday. Going to order the riser block and some blades. If I had not read your review I would have ordered the inferior blades and not been happy. Just received my Highland catalog so I will be ordering some Wood Slicer blades as well as some Timber Wolf blades.
Thanks for the information.

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Ben 's profile

Ben

158 posts in 2023 days


#13 posted 09-15-2010 04:50 AM

Jack. Congratulations. You will love it.. The blade makes all the difference. I upgraded from the Grizzly blade to middle of the road Carter blades and the difference was night and day. My guess is that if you throw an awesome Wood Slicer or Timber Wolf blade on there you might do a backflip. At any rate, try not to cut yourself when you let go of the wood to applaud your new saw.

Be sure to check the maximum recommended blade width for this saw. I don’t remember the recommended max width but I use a 1/2” for resawing. I believe you can go to 3/4” but, I am not positive.

View KentB's profile

KentB

21 posts in 1705 days


#14 posted 10-27-2010 07:32 PM

I’ve been considering buying this bandsaw. I read somewhere that if you install the riser block the tensioner has to be removed. I don’t know why that would be. Is that true? If so, I may go with the Rikon 14 Deluxe.

-- Kent B

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KentB

21 posts in 1705 days


#15 posted 12-09-2010 06:36 PM

OK, I did it. I received the 0555X last night. I don’t even have it set up yet and I love it. Heavy cast iron, great paint job and straight forward setup. I bought the riser kit and a Delta mobile base. I put in the riser and mounted it on the mobile base and rewired it for the riser last night. Tonight I’ll finish up with mounting the table and fences. This is replacing an old 1950’s 14” Sprunger model so I am very excited.

-- Kent B

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