|Review by Schwieb||posted 12-27-2011 12:04 AM||8345 views||1 time favorited||13 comments|
I have wanted for many years a larger capacity bandsaw to use primarily for resawing and cutting out turning blanks. I am a bargain hunter and looked for a couple of years on and off to find used one. I chased down a few leads but always found them to be under powered, 3 phase, or being in terrible shape and requiring more than I wanted to gamble on restoring them, so I saved up for a new one. I considered a Powermatic, Delta, Grizzley, Jet, Laguna, and RIKON. I live far enough out from any sort of bigger woodworking equipment supplier so side by side comparisons were not likely, so I relied a lot on the reviews posted for these machines. There were mixed reviews for every machine.
Then I did a crazy thing. I wrote the customer service/ technical support departments through the contact us links on their websites. I received only one response to my query, ” Why should I buy a (insert name) bandsaw? It was from Rod Burrow of RIKON tools. His quick response was an eye opener for me. Turned out that Highland Hardware in Atlanta had this saw on sale for $400 off for a few more days. The folks at Highland were wonderful to work with. We did the deal, set up the shipping and a few days later I had my saw. There were a few anxious minutes when I saw these 2 very obvious forklift tine punctures in the shipping crate, but the saw was undamaged.
I was so excited to get it into the shop, assembled, and set up, I spent the rest of the evening doing that. Getting a new tool is so much fun, like being a little kid at Christmas. Rod at RIKON offered his personal phone number if I ran into any problems. I liked the look, fit and finish of the saw. It went together easily and while it is a very simple design, doing the adjustments is fairly easy. The factory blade isn’t much but I had also purchased from Highland a couple of additional blades. I fired it up and was in love: Little vibration, ample power, quiet, very balanced and smooth running. The dust collecting method worked well. I loved the quick tension release for the blade.
My only issue with the saw was the fence and resaw bar. The fence was a little narrow and light duty for the size of the saw and seemed useless to me for resawing bigger materials. It also did not slide smoothly. I contacted Rod and he sent me a replacement front rail and that took care of that problem. He also suggested a design for a resaw fence I could make for larger materials.
Thus far I am very happy with this purchase and give a real thumbs up to Highland Hardware and RIKON for their service and support. For the price I got a new machine with ample power for substantially less than the competition’s price. I don’t have a production shop, I’m a hobbyist, so this one works for me.
As an addendum to this review: After having such a positive experience I was puzzled by having follow-up emails apparently ignored. A call to RIKON yesterday cleared up the mystery: Email filters. I had sent enough emails that their spam filters blocked my emails. I spoke to Rod personally and he cleared up a couple of issues and is sending me a couple of parts. Barring the the email problem, Rikon has been very good to work with and I love my saw even more.
-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.