|Review by Newman||posted 04-09-2012 01:31 PM||10931 views||1 time favorited||20 comments|
I bought this saw about 2 weeks ago, since then have used it quite a bit to aid in installing a hardwood floor as well as some other side projects. When researching bandsaws, one thing I noticed was that most of the reviews I’d been reading were 3-4 years old or older. B/c of this I figured I’d add mine here for a more current review.
Perspective: I’m a “home hobbyist” meaning I do this stuff for fun in my spare time. Treat this review as such
To start, I’m going to start with the “why not the other bandsaws in this price range.” I’m not sure you can go wrong with any of the ones listed below, but here is why I decided not to get these. Your reasons/needs may vary from mine, so this is largely opinion. My budget was ~600, the grizzly was $525 + 100 or so for shipping
Porter-Cable 14” bandsaw at Lowes: Not enough information… the porter-cable website has next to no real info on this product, combined with very little online in ways of reviews. Warranted or not, a manufacturers website with little info on a tool they sell always sets off warning bells for me, I don’t like seeing that. It also doesn’t come with a fence or miter, So while it started off cheaper, I figured by the time I got it setup with what I wanted I’d be well above the ~600 I was looking to spend. The one review I saw for it seemed very favorable. I came very close to buying this one… I just wish there was more known about it.
Ridgid 14” bandsaw: A number of bad reviews, a number of good reviews that listed a set of modifications that make the ridgid into a good saw. I didn’t really want to spend a ton of time modifying the saw, and around here it costs nearly as much as the port-cable.
Jet 14” : I liked these, both the closed and open based versions, They were just on the high end of my budget, the cheaper version being ~650 around here. Again, no fence/miter, They come with blocks, I liked that the grizzly came with ball bearing guides… not really sure if that is a big deal or not, everyone has their own opinions.
Craftsman 14” : discontinued?
Rikon 14” : Great saw with great reviews. I wished I could have found one locally, I’d probably have ended up with one of these
shopfox 14” : If you look at this saws specs, its pretty much a G0555X with a smaller table and 1hp motor, which is exactly what I wanted. I called every shopfox dealer in New England and nobody had this saw available, Amazon.com has it available, but short on stock so I was a bit worried it may be getting discontinued. There is also a good review from wood magazine that does a comparo of the shopfox and grizzly saws that you can download for about 5 bucks that is worth it if your shopping for a saw. the shopfox came out the most powerful/fastest cutting, but the grizzly was more accurate… I decided to go with accurate.
Other brands like powermatic were out of my price range. and a good old delta/rockwell that wasn’t heavily abused never popped up for sale locally to me…. I did look.
So… I chose the G0555, why not the G0555P? From my reading, it appears the only difference is the white color, and that the P is made in a factory that doesn’t meet all the certifications that the factory that makes the G0555. At least that is the way I read it. I figured if I’m spending 600, spend the extra 30 to get the one thats quality control MAY be a bit better. It may not… but I figured it was worth it.
Shipping: My first bandsaw arrived and I was able to see it without even taking it out of the box. Literally, destroyed in shipping, never made it off the truck, we sent it back and called grizzly. they had a new saw to my house in 4 days. The second arrived undamaged.
the base is 24 nut/bolts/washers, and another 4 to mount the saw on the base. I had it together and mounted in probably a half hour. It took longer to assemble the HTC2000 mobile base I bought to move the saw around on.
Setup went really fast as well. Blade tracked correctly right out of the box. tensioning was correct as well…. and the bearing guides and thumb screws to adjust them are all easy to manipulate. I was probably making dust within a half an hour with the stock blade
stock blade: I know this is like a 4 letter word… but honestly I don’t think its that bad. Its not great… but it cuts straight and the edges it leaves are clean. I have some good blades on order but overall I don’t hate this blade.
Like I said, with the fence on cutting 3/4” oak this saw cuts straight, dead straight…cuts I should be making on my table saw I didn’t bother stopping to switch tools b/c they were coming out so straight on the bandsaw that it wasn’t worth it to stop and go to the table saw.
Its quiet, vibration free, and so far is doing what its supposed to…. I’m extremely pleased with this saw.
nit picks: If I had to change something, these are what I’d change
- I don’t like that the fence floats on the rear fence guide and doesn’t clamp down.
- I don’t like that the front fence guide feels “flexible”. Meaning that when i lock the fence in place I feel like I’m going to bend the front fence guide.
( yes after eliminating other saws b/c they didn’t come with a fence, I will probably be buying an aftermarket fence for this saw… I see the irony here. )
- the quick tensioner system is great, except you can’t tell from the front of the saw if the blade is tensioned or not. I’ve already goofed this up a couple times starting the saw with the blade not tensioned. not a big deal, but annoying.
- the trunion mount is really in the way for the lower ball bearing guides adjustment. Its doable, but just a pain in the butt to try and gauge how close the bearings are too the blade, This isn’t something you touch everyday, so overall its not a big deal,