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Craftex 18" bandsaw review

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Review by Bob #2 posted 02-29-2008 02:23 PM 11342 views 0 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Craftex 18" bandsaw review Craftex 18" bandsaw review Craftex 18" bandsaw review Click the pictures to enlarge them

My new 18” 2 hp bandsaw on a mobile base.
The upper wheel assembly is mounted to a channel steel support doing away with the older style castings.

The safety switch as well as the power switch are mounted at waist height for easy accessibility.

The table is about 3 inches lower than that of my old 14” bandsaw making it more comfrtable to use for “certain ” people around my shop.

The aluminum fence is mounted on ball bearings and clamps down with one hand like a tablesaw fence

A single cammed lever on top of the case acts as a tensioner device as well as a quick release for the blade .

The wheels are cast alumnum and fitted with synthetic rubber tires. The wheels are mounted on ball bearings .

The blade guide comes wth carter style ball bearing blade gudes and the height is adjustable by a hand wheel on a ratcheted gear drive for accuracy.

Both the upper an lower guides are adjusted by an allen key to move the individual bearings in or out on an eccentric shaft.
Access to the blade cover cases is made easy with a 1/4 turn eccentric knob.
It has dual 4” ports for dust collection which only work to limit some of the dust like most others.

The table is cast iron and takes a miter guage ( provided) adjusting the table angle could be improved but works like most others in this class.

This saw is in the sub $1000.00 class and is quite well thought out and sturdily built.

I could use a built in light but all in all it performs well and is now the go to saw in my shop.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner




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Bob #2

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28 comments so far

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Robb

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#1 posted 02-29-2008 02:56 PM

Nice, thanks for the review, Bob! I haven’t seen Craftex talked about much here or elsewhere.

-- Robb

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toyguy

1362 posts in 2557 days


#2 posted 02-29-2008 04:16 PM

I like a lot of the Craftex stuff. This looks like a great saw. I will be sure to have a look next time I’m at a busy bee.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

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Tony

978 posts in 2750 days


#3 posted 03-03-2008 09:19 AM

This looks very similar to the Delta 18” I have – with minor cosmetic differences. I agree a light to illuminat the work area would be a definite advantage. Once set up correctly, with a good blade (Lenox Carbide tipped blade) resawing 12” oak 8’ long is no problems.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (http://www.poydatjatuolit.fi)

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teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2488 days


#4 posted 03-09-2008 06:06 PM

thanks bob i also haven’t ever heard about that saw before. when it comes time for my first bandsaw i think I’ll upgrade to that so i can resaw without swinging for a Rikon. thanks for the post.

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#5 posted 03-10-2008 12:39 AM

If I can show you one thing it should be this:
Do your homework carefully and make sure that each tool you buy will do all you ask and that you can afford to have it.

Eventually you will have a fully equipped shop and the knowledge to run those tools to the max.

Good luck with your venture.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Hawgnutz

526 posts in 2796 days


#6 posted 05-17-2008 07:00 PM

Bob, where are Craftex sold?

God Bless,
Hawg

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#7 posted 05-17-2008 07:05 PM

This is the Canadian equivalent of your Grizzly stores across the border.

Bob

http://busybeetools.ca/cgi-bin/product10?&NMCLASS=00109&NSBCLASS=00119&NETID=1302390517081893673

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Wade Putnam's profile

Wade Putnam

108 posts in 2449 days


#8 posted 06-03-2008 07:38 PM

Good looking saw.
What is the resaw and rip capacity?

-- Wade, Nashville, www.mcgconstructs.com

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#9 posted 06-03-2008 08:28 PM

Hi Wade:
The rip capaicity is 18” or just under while the resaw is right around 12”.
There is just enough power (2hp) for the full height and I need a good blade at that thickness too.
I’ve been using woodmizers ( highland hardware) recently with good success.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2393 days


#10 posted 09-10-2008 01:27 AM

That looks like a nice bandsaw.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#11 posted 09-10-2008 01:33 AM

i’m moving it this week and I hate it! <vbg>

It’s 450 lbs and rock solid.

Of course I’m going to love it agian once we get it moved.

When you move your shop you see your entire life flash before your eyes!

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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LucasinBC

62 posts in 1791 days


#12 posted 02-22-2010 12:07 AM

Hi there Bob,

First of all – nice review and thanks for all the photos!

I’m chiming in late to your blog, but I came across it when I was looking for reviews on the Craftex bandsaws. I also live in Canada (in BC) and I agree with your assessment that Busy Bee/Craftex is the Canadian equivalent to Grizzly insofar that the majority of their equipment is made overseas, mostly in China and Taiwan, and are reasonably priced below the more popular high-end machines (Powermatic, Laguna, GI, etc.) I actually live pretty close to the border, so for me to go to Grizzly and import a bandsaw it’s not that much of a chore, but I am hoping to get a local bandsaw to save me the trouble of importation, duty, etc.

To be honest with you, I have not read a single positive review on Craftex bandsaws, let alone all their other tools and machines, other than yours. I have read a number of relatively “neutral” reviews, so I am somewhat hesitant in purchasing one of their machines. The majority of reviews I have read are really negative, stating quality problems, poor machine performance, etc.

That being said, I am a hobbyist at best – a weekend woodworker at worst. I don’t have a shop – I have a garage, and I don’t ever plan on making woodworking a profession (IE actually make my living off working wood.) Right now the CT082 16” 2HP bandsaw is on sale until the end of March for $665 – normally it’s $850. I am very much inclined to go for it seeing as it would suit all my needs…assuming it’s not as horrible as all the negative reviews I have read.

Seeing as you posted this about two years ago – could you fill me in on how you like the machine now that you’ve owned it for a good amount of time? Are you still happy with it? Has it crapped out on you or have you had to get it fixed or repaired?

Thanks!
Lucas

-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#13 posted 02-22-2010 01:49 AM

Hi Lucas:
It’s difficult for me to draw any comparisons with Grizzly, laguna etc as I have no experience with them.
When I purchased this saw it was the best value for the dollar around,
I was using a 14” off shore BS that was giving me more trouble than it was worth due to it’s power and size.
The 18” 2 hp motor addressed that. The table on the Crafttex needs constant adjustment as it does not remain level despite tightening the handles. I will eventually put a bolt in the inside of the table e to prevent tipping but for now I just moan and tilt.
The bearings on the guides are of poor quality and I have replaced them one at a time. They are not expensive but a PIA.
With a “wood slicer” blade on this saw it performs very well allowing my a 12” cut at about 1/8” or bragging 1/16” veneers.
Would I buy it again?
Maybe.
The service policy at Busy Bee is not exactly what I am going to get used to so I don’t feel any allegiance to go back there for their brand.
It may be different at other branches but here the service was pretty much non existant.
Any time I have gone there for parts the answer is “you call head office”

If I have to call myself them I have no idea what the staff is there for.

Good luck with your purchase.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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LucasinBC

62 posts in 1791 days


#14 posted 02-23-2010 04:47 AM

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the update. I had heard that the table and guides were of poor quality, so I suppose I’m not too surprised by your comments. That’s too bad about the customer service- one thing that I constantly read about Grizzly is their great customer service. I have purchased a jointer from them in the past and I was thoroughly impressed. The only thing that I can see that Craftex has over Grizzly is that their products come with a 2 or 3 yr waranty, while Grizzly only offers a one year warranty.

I have only been to the New Westminster BC location once, and I have to admit that I was not impressed. The store looks pretty cluttered and only one of the employees seemed to know or care about woodworking. I asked if they had any card scrapers and they looked at me like I was from a different planet.

All that being said, I am in the market for a “Ford” and not necessarily a “Lincoln” in terms of a bandsaw, so I am still considering the Craftex. Judging by your comments, it’s likely easier to live with a bandsaw that needs occasional maintenance and adjusting than an underpowered 14” BS that can’t do what you want it to do!

Decisions’ decisions! Thanks for the insight.
Lucas

-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.

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Bob #2

3808 posts in 2741 days


#15 posted 02-23-2010 05:02 AM

If you do go with the Craftex make them set it up and run it in the store before you take possesion.
It’s a lot easier to check out a saw at their shop rather than try to get some help at yours to solve a problem.
If you do that you should get a reasomable bandsaw at a reasonable price.
p.s. make sure the rollers on the Carter style guides close to the width of the blade.
Mine did not and required lots of fiddling to make them touch and remain co planar from top to bottom.

Good Luck

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

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