|Review by Manitario||posted 04-17-2012 06:27 AM||5512 views||1 time favorited||9 comments|
I’ve had this bandsaw for about 8 months now, so I thought that it was about time to review it. I started looking at bandsaws about a year ago, mainly because I wanted something that I could cut curves with. I didn’t really think much about re-sawing during the decision process, thought it might be something I would do someday, but the real reason for buying a bandsaw would be to cut curves easily.
I have several other General International tools, mostly because they are the main brand that the local woodworking store sells. I have read a lot of good things about the Grizzly bandsaws, but there is something nice about having a store that you can go to and look at what you are going to buy (and real people to talk with if something goes wrong). Gen Int. had just come out with the 90-170 for the 2011 year and it seemed like a good machine: 1 1/2hp motor; 12” resaw capacity (which I figured may come in useful at some point in the future) 2×4” dust ports and a nice looking Excalibur fence. As well, I liked that it had cast iron wheels and a quick release blade tensioner.
Overall, after 6 months, I have used it very little for cutting curves (!) but have found it extremely useful for all sorts of other cuts that I used to do awkwardly on the TS. Recently I put a 3/4” Woodslicer blade on it and cut some nice 1/16” walnut veneer without any appreciable drift.
It’s difficult to give a good review of the bandsaw though as it is my first bandsaw and I don’t really have anything to compare it with. However, it is accurate, easy to adjust and use and the fit and finish is flawless. It works as I expected it to!
Generally though, I have a couple observations about bandsaws that seem to be common with most different manufacturers.
1) The table is small. For a machine that works so well at rip cuts (and even for resawing) it is strange that most bandsaws have small tables.
2) The throat insert is crap. I realize that this isn’t the most important part of the machine (and easily replaced) but it is even worse that the most basic of TS throat plates.
3) Would be nice to have an easy way of adjusting the bearings that doesn’t involve using allen wrenches in small, cramped spaces. Am I happy with the bandsaw: yes, and I would probably buy it again. That said, for slightly less $$$ I could have got a 17” Grizzly….
-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil